Food and sexuality

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Cherries are considered a sensual and sexually symbolic food in many cultures

Food and sexuality have been associated in various ways throughout history. Foods such as chocolate and oysters are said to be aphrodisiacs.[1][2] In some cultures animal testicles and other items are consumed to increase sexual potency.[3] Food items also provide symbolism, such as the biblical "forbidden fruit" or the cherry with its associations related to virginity. Food items are also used metaphorically in slang sexual terminology and poetry. Some foods are considered sensual for their appearance, texture and taste. Whipped cream, melted chocolate, jam, strawberries that are often dipped in chocolate and peanut butter are sometimes used for intimate titillation. The relationship between food and sex has also been explored in books and cinema.

Art and literature[edit]

Cookies and biscuits are used to make this sexually graphic image

The connection between food and sexuality has been explored in various art works. A 1998 art show, Reflect, an exhibition of works by Monali Meher explored connections and themes including voyeurism, stereotypes, consumerism, freedom and advertising.[4] A display of food and sex related artworks from 19th- and 20th-century American artists was one of 16 concept groupings at a New York Historical Society show in 1991.[5]

In sociology and anthropology[edit]

Tasting food, tasting freedom by Sidney Wilfred Mintz includes essays taking "an anthropological view of food, including its relationship to power, freedom, and purity."[6] Food and Sex is also a chapter in Breaking the food seduction by Neal D. Barnard, Joanne Stepaniak.[7] and a topic discussed in Women's conflicts about eating and sexuality by Rosalyn M. Meadow and Lillie Weiss.[8]

Examples in media[edit]

Chocolates are a traditional gift for Valentine's Day.

The movies Tampopo, 9½ Weeks, Chocolat, Like Water for Chocolate, Eat Drink Man Woman, and Babette's Feast are among those exploring the relationship. Tom Jones contains a notable eating scene.

The lyrics to the French song Les sucettes relates to the entendre of lollipops as a sexual metaphor. The album cover for Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass 1965 album Whipped Cream and Other Delights pictures a woman covered in whipped cream.

In the movie American Pie a young adult engages in simulated intercourse with a pie.[9] Carl's Junior advertisements have featured a scantily clad Paris Hilton rapturously eating one of the company's burger offerings.[10]

Bikini bottom made out of edible candy beads
An example of food play fetishism.


Voodoo Doughnut' variant on the Boston cream doughnut is a "cock and balls doughnut" from that has cream filled "balls"

Some foods are symbolic or act as metaphors for body parts involved in sexual relations. Common examples include bananas, zucchini and cucumbers as phallic symbols. Melons have a similar use and are sometimes used as stand-ins for breasts, as in the Austin Powers movie where they are used to cover up a woman's bare chest.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ O'Connor, Anahad (2006-07-18). "The Claim: Chocolate Is an Aphrodisiac". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-06-23. 
  2. ^ Discovery Channel. "Aphrodisiacs". Retrieved 2009-06-23. 
  3. ^ Smillie, Susan (2008-10-02). "Cooking with balls: the world's first testicle cookbook". London: Guardian News. Retrieved 2009-06-23. 
  4. ^ Niyatee Shinde The Same Old Sexuality October 28, 1998
  5. ^ Molly O'Neill Of the Palate, From the Palette January 18, 1991 New York Times
  6. ^ Tasting food, tasting freedom
  7. ^ Neal D. Barnard, Joanne Stepaniak Breaking the food seduction
  8. ^ Rosalyn M. Meadow, Lillie Weiss Women's conflicts about eating and sexuality
  9. ^ Davis, Erik. "Moviefone Ranks the Top 25 Sex Scenes of All Time". Cinematical. Retrieved 2009-06-23. 
  10. ^ Kiley, David. "Feedback from Carl's Jr Paris Hilton Ad as Spicey as The Ad". BusinessWeek. Retrieved 2009-06-23.