sex and food


-- चार हजार एक सौ और सत्तर-दो --

Something I think about semi-frequently: sexual urges are just as prevalent -- and diverse -- as hunger cravings. They are both equal parts of the human experience. The one real difference is that a person can live plenty long without sex but not without food. That doesn't make the sexual desires any less pervasive, however -- and evolutionarily speaking, they are just as vital to the survival of the species. That point can be applied differently to homosexuality, obviously, but that's not the point I'm getting at.

What gets to me is that really, nobody moralizes differing tastes in food. Some people like strawberries, some people hate them. I hate avocados and am baffled by how many people love them. In some cases, food is so spectacularly flavorful, it practically gives me a full-body orgasm. I mean, you should see me flopping around the booth when I have strawberries in chocolate fondue at The Melting Pot. Not everyone has that reaction. But I do! Not everyone wants to see me have that reaction either, I suppose.

The point is, it's widely understood that food preferences are as varied as people are themselves. You love avocados? Have at it! I don't give a shit.

So, on a purely logical level, it's baffling that sex is approached in our culture with such a radically different attitude. Not only is it regarded as something to be kept secret, but even though plenty of data shows people have sexual preferences just as varied as food preferences, for some reason there's this widely accepted idea of "normal" and all that deviates from it is somehow abhorrent. You have to be part of a crowd that is on some level seen as "fringe" before people look at these facts as simply neutral things that just are.

Most people have fetishes of one kind or another -- or multiple fetishes -- for example. And why should anyone be embarrassed by that? The fundamental reason, in this culture anyway, is that others will shame you for it. This is a big reason I love listening to Dan Savage's Savage Lovecast podcast. It represents sexuality in all its glorious diversity just by virtue of all the things people call in to ask about, and presents it all -- or at least anything harmless between consenting adults (this applies to food as well, by the way: force feeding would be looked down upon, right?) -- as totally normal.

Dan Savage has for years now been hosting an amateur porn festival called HUMP! Fest. I've thought about going for years and just never did it. I suspect Shobhit would go if he had a chance, although the tickets, for a two-hour program, are around $35. He'll be in India this year, though. And in spite of all I wrote above, I'd feel weird about asking a friend to go with me. So, a while ago I bought a ticket to go by myself, on Saturday, October 28. I'm going to the 5 pm show rather than the later one because if there's anything you can count of me for, it's falling asleep at a late movie -- even if it's literally porn.

I've seen a few narrative films with wide release that depicted real sex in them (Shortbus (2006) was very good but imperfect; Nymphomaniac Vol. I and Vol. II were excellent), although I did feel in pretty much every case that the only thing the real sex added was novelty, and it otherwise serves better purpose being confined to outright porn. My understanding with HUMP! is it's sort of the other way around: lots of short films that are porn with narratives added to them. There's a sort of sociological lens from which to view them -- in a public auditorium, I won't be there to get off watching them (especially since plenty of it will be straight or even trans porn, neither of which will I find sexually arousing), but to see a different way that people have something to say or express themselves. I'm really curious about it, anyway, and I have been for a long time. For all I know it could turn out to be a bore and I'll never go again. I kind of doubt it, though; it wouldn't be such a successful annual festival otherwise. It even travels to play in other cities. If nothing else, it's a celebration of the very kind of diversity I began discussing here, and that can only be a good thing.

-- चार हजार एक सौ और सत्तर-दो --


-- चार हजार एक सौ और सत्तर-दो --

Well, that's enough about sex (and food) for one day, I guess! Now I'll just mention that I took myself to see the very good Battle of the Sexes last night after work, while Shobhit was working for the evening.

It was downtown at 6:45, which means I had about an hour and fifteen minutes at home before needing to leave again. I had to wash my blanket and sheets in that time because I came home to a bit of cat barf on the lower corner of the bedspread. Fun!

Noah sent me home yesterday with an interesting product sample to test on the cats: The Honest Kitchen cat food, which is a dehydraded meat-based food you add water to, to make cat food. The cats seemed to quite like it, actually. And I don't know if this has anything to do with it or not, but they both slept soundly by my side on the bed all night, and were even both there even after the cat treat dispenser switched to the morning's snack for them at 4:45. The treats were gone, which must mean that, after falling asleep with me last night, they left to get the snack, and then came back to sleep beside me again before I woke up at about 5:15. Or at least one cat did; maybe one of them just slept all morning and didn't get any snack, although that doesn't seem likely. Either way, their apparent contentment this morning rather amazed me.

If I feed them this food for some time and they don't puke, I might actually stick with it. It'll also keep them more hydrated -- they don't drink a lot of straight water, and half the volume of this food, as served, is the added water. I feel like it's possible that alone could minimize their puking, but we'll see. The 2lb box would retail for something like twenty bucks, according to Noah. That likely makes it more expensive than the food we currently buy at Costco, but if the puking goes down or away, it might be worth it. It's only been one day, though, so it's obviously to early to judge, really.

Oh wait. I guess I am talking more about food now. Cat food, but still.

Oh, wait! I do have even more food news to report, I just realized. Shobhit fried up the rest of the potato filling originally made for Laney's birthday party on Saturday, into the last batch of samosas yesterday. He specifically put about seven of them into a container for me to bring and share at work today -- I kept two to have for lunch, but in the morning I heated the rest of them in the kitchen oven to share with Scott, Noah, Erica, Terry and Claudia. (Claudia's reaction was the best.) I think there's just a few still left at home, and then that will be it for some time. Shobhit's thinking about making pumpkin pies again for Christmas rather than samosas, and I think that's a very good idea.

Also I just finished up those two samosas for lunch out on the patio, as it's a nice, warm-ish and sunny day again. This time I was the first one out there, but once again both Alicia and Mimi joined me at the table. Mimi is retiring at the end of the year, and Alicia told us Marilyn will be too. "People are dropping like flies!" I said. And Alicia replied, "Or flying away, like birds!" Mimi noted that was a much better visual than dead flies. Okay, fine.

-- चार हजार एक सौ और सत्तर-दो --