The last time I had oysters was last year at a pop up bar on a French beach. Three hours later I was sick in a bucket and then I had sex with my girlfriend. So, the relationship between food and sex is maybe all it’s cracked up to be. Sure, a lot of sex happens after meals. Then again, as we generally eat three times a day, there’s always likely to have been a meal somewhere in the timeline. A lot of heavy manual labour and chiropody also happens after meals, but no one bigs up those connections.
The evidence to support the notion that a squelchy soft food stuff encourages arousal is negligible. That said, if food for a romantic evening is done really well, then sex happens. But after a 16-course tasting menu all you will really want from your bed is sleep. Indeed, someone who cooks a meal because they think it might get them laid, rather than out of a genuine instinct to feed, simply won’t end up doing either properly.
Second, there is only one truly ingestible aphrodisiac and that’s the grape, after it’s fermented. Oh sure, you can go on about pearly oysters loaded with zinc, about split figs and the pulling back of the skin to reveal the pink flesh within; you can murmur about the joys of sea urchins and the thrill of roast iguana with chipotle and oregano marinade or the Ecuadorian staple dish of guinea pig. But if sex did occur after any of these were eaten it would have everything to do with the booze that was slugged back alongside it and nothing to do with the food itself.
I’ve had sex in a lot of various places but never in a restaurant. However, it seems there is hardly an eatery anywhere in London – in the world – in which it hasn’t happened, except perhaps an Aberdeen Angus Steak House; only a pervert would find one of those a turn on. In all of these stories there was one constant. The participants were very well lubricated (stop sniggering at the back there). Without booze, there are legions of people who would never have got any sex at all. I know. I’m one of them.
And yet… and yet. There really is something about the process of eating a meal with a significant other that is sexy, but it has nothing to do with the food itself. It’s all to do with the intimacy of the act, its elemental nature. Eating, like sex, is something instinctive. Get it right, by which I mean do it with real enthusiasm and intensity, and immediately you are wearing your elemental self on your sleeve. And it is that – rather than oysters slurped from the shell, or raspberries fed to a lover by hand – which is truly the sexiest thing of all.