My favourite food in the world is cheese. Every bite transports me back to Paris, the city of love, and feeds my insatiable hunger for fats and dairy. Although I fantasise about cheese most days, I’ve never done so in a ‘sexy’ way… at least, not until now.
Recently, I was a guest at a private sensory exploration workshop with a small group of women led by We-Vibe ambassador, sex educator and intimacy coach Georgia Grace. As someone who’s had a boyfriend for five years now and lives in the ‘uppity’ area of Sydney’s North Shore – where one night stands are basically a forbidden act or a dirty little secret – this was unsurprisingly a confronting two hours for me.
While conversations around exploring sex toys, intimacy and sensual play differ greatly from the conversations I’m used to having with my girlfriends over brunch, it was a conversation I didn’t realise that I’d been needing for years. Who knew being schooled on all things sex and intimacy could be so… well… sexy?
We talked about incorporating vibrators into foreplay to spice up our sex lives and trying new things with whoever we’re being intimate with for the moment, but there was a key takeaway for me. I had never realised I could be so turned on by the act of eating.
When I order pad thai on UberEats, I get excited, sure, but I wouldn’t say I’m aroused. However, Georgia taught me that my love affair with food can also turn me on in ways I never realised were possible – and I don’t even have to get into bed with it.
To kick things off, we were asked to approach the sexy snack table behind us which offered an array of aphrodisiacs like oysters, chocolate, cheese and a selection of fruit. Most of these ‘love drugs’ stimulate our sex drive by boosting testosterone and progesterone. Chocolate, for instance, revives our feel good hormones from the cocoa, and is quite sensual when it melts easily into your mouth.
I was familiar with the food on display – I’m such a hoe for picnic snacks and a good antipasto board – and I was told to choose both something I’m familiar with and like (I referred to this as my ‘boyfriend food’), and something I am curious to try. I chose a fig for my familiar food, as it’s my go-to fruit for my bircher brekkies, and a sweet dried apple crisp as my taste for ‘curiosity’ (my one night stand food).
We then had to blindfold ourselves and ever so slowly touch our familiar food choice. I flirted with my fig by brushing its body with my fingertips, up and down. I did this for about a minute until I pressed the fig gently across my lips. No joke, it was so hot. My senses were most definitely heightened. I could truly smell the fig, I could feel it’s rough yet smooth exterior getting close and personal with me at third base (oral is third base, right?). I started feeling impatient; I wanted to eat the fig so badly. The fruit was teasing me. Why was I suddenly so insatiable?
Eventually, Georgia gave us the green light to take our first mindful bite. I had eaten a fig or four at the snack table just before the workshop began, but it tasted sweeter this time around. I took small bites and let it sit and melt in my mouth while sipping on my glass of bubbles. It was a tantalizing experience.
I see why it’s called ‘mindful eating’. I wasn’t rushing like I usually do with food; sometimes I won’t even look at food twice. I’ll just quickly eat to satisfy my hunger.
When it comes to sex, I need something more before getting down to it – I need the build up. Although I already knew this about myself, this was further clarification that building up slowly before taking the first bite is a whole lot more fun than finishing the race early.
When it came to tasting the apple crisp in the same manner, it felt a little strange. It was rough, sharp and it kind of hurt a little. This could have been a metaphor for not sleeping with people who aren’t good for you because this food was not the right choice for me. Then again, I much preferred being curious with an apple crisp over the slimy oyster that did a number on my lips for the next few minutes. Yuck.
I’m more than just comfortable with familiarity, I actually loathe any kind of change. Sometimes I don’t even give new things a chance. I’m that person who goes to the same cafe over and over again. I would never suggest forcing yourself into doing something you’re not comfortable with – especially if we’re talking sexual partners – but because it was just food, I decided to have another crack.
On a second attempt with the apple crisp, the roughness became softer. The longer I touched and brushed the apple crisp against my mouth, the better it started to feel. The apple crisp became the only important thing in the room. It wasn’t uncomfortable to eat this time around because I gave myself more time to experience it. Feeding my curiosity felt nice.
As we all took off our blindfolds, the girls around me chuckled and so did I. The experience of flirting with food was definitely strange, but very interesting at the same time. I think we were a little relieved that we were blindfolded so we didn’t see each other sexually licking a piece of fruit for ten whole minutes. That would have been awkward.
Claudia is a Sydney-based writer who is addicted to 'useful' BuzzFeed quizzes, a diehard Sex & the City fan. She's also well-versed in pretending to know a Cab Savs from a Pinot Noir. You can find her Instagramming as @claudia_siron and you can check out her portfolio here.