Mangiare

(author’s note: I really apologize if this comes off in any way as fat-negative. I’m certainly not fat-negative and I love everyone who can embrace themselves whatever the shape of their bodies. I just can’t seem to do it for me.)

 

This was going to be a post about how food and sex are linked. I thought I saw it clearly. Food play is something I’d indulge in, and I think food can be pretty sexy. Heck, if you follow my Twitterfeed, you’ll probably know about my frankly obscene love of French pattiserie . I get freakishly aroused at the sight of a brightly colored macaron or a delicious chocolate concoction.

I’ll be the first to admit, I have a difficult relationship with food. I’ve endured a lot of scrutiny for my weight and my uncommon eating habits. I don’t know how my weight came to be, to be honest. Mum says it was in the first year of boarding school, but I call bollocks. I was always the larger one.

I was always the odd one out and stood out like a sore thumb between the more lean girls of my year. Everybody hated me. For numerous reasons, that I still can’t grasp. I was an odd kid. And food didn’t make it easier.

Crisps have always been my main vice. Chips too. It’s an odd coincidence that when we moved, now eight years ago, we ended up living in the same street as a chippie. One that I frequented.

Food became my crutch. Mum’s depression, the poor quality of food at boarding school, my own boredom… it all flowed into an addiction to the tastes of good food. I came to crave my mother’s cooking. The taste of her beef stew lingering on my lips… it was enough to keep me going.

It didn’t help that there was a supermarket down the road from school. It didn’t help that the social assistent called my mum a terrible mother. It certainly didn’t help that the same social assistent found herself qualified enough to diagnose me with boulemia. And to add a big dollop of irony on top of the neverending ice-cream that is this story, she attributed her own weight to a glandular problem.

She would have had a field day if I had still been there a year after I chose to leave. My depression and my medication wreaked havoc with my body and I gained 40 kilos.

The stomach op was not a vanity choice.

After I had it done, my relationship with food was the worst. I craved it, more than ever. But it made me so sick. I remember throwing up in the middle of the street after accidentally drinking too much lemonade. I didn’t know how much I could eat anymore and it made me weary.

That changed, luckily.

I’m slowly learning to appreciate food. It took a lot of episodes of cooking shows to get me to love it. Now, I can’t wait to try new things. The tang of raspberry, the spiciness of a curry… all new, all exciting.

That’s why I started seeing food as something sexy. New food turns me on. Colors, tastes, a feast for the senses. Learn to appreciate food and you’ll see it in a whole new way.

My dream is to go to some exotic place, like India or Morocco, and drift along the market place, tasting and marvelling at the brightly colored spices and inhaling new smells.

Or to go to Paris, and eat myself sick with brightly colored baked goods, tasting sweet and sour and tang and everything all rolled into one dessert.

Food can be sexy. I’m sure of it.

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3 Comments

  1. Much of what you say here is very relatable to us, me (Jack) especially. I eat presumably far more than I should, and I love rich (arguably unhealthy) foods.

    I enjoy chips more than I do crisps, or to translate it for my fellow Americans, I enjoy fries more than I do chips. If we had a really good chippie nearby, I would frequent it too. Unfortunately, most of the local fish-and-chipperies can’t quite achieve the balance of fish-to-batter that appeals to me.

    I don’t know that I ever used food as a crutch. I suppose that might be the case; if it is indeed a psychological issue for me it’s never been diagnosed, and in fact it’s never actually occurred to me. As far as I know, I just love to eat. I crave not only the food itself, but to an extent the social interaction that comes with a good meal shared with friends and/or loved ones.

    The social assistant you mention sounds like a real piece of work. That she was quick to judge you and your mother but claimed her own weight was glandular doesn’t surprise me. So many people judge while at the same time refusing to take responsibility for their own faults.

    We’re glad that you are now able to enjoy, appreciate, and even be turned on by food. There are many things on my must-eat list, and thanks to you, the macarons de Paris of which you speak so highly have been added. They look and sound wonderful.

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  2. Food and body and sex are undoubtedly linked for me. When I feel unsatisfied in any way I crave food to fill the void. But when I listen to my disatisfaction, sometimes I find that what I’m actually craving is to fill the hunger of needing physical contact – even if its only with myself. I reckon I would be thinner if I had more sex! When I have days of feeling unattractive and unsexy in my body, I try and look at what’s underneath. It’s rarely actually to do with my body, it’s just that blaming it on feeling fat is a quick fix: “I’m feeling rubbish, it must be because I’m fat” when actually “I’m feeling rubbish, it’s because I’m feeling sad/angry/bored/lonely etc”.

    I’ve been *working on* this for years. Exploring intuitive eating after years of yo-yo dieting (-consciously finding out what foods I really like: chips are always a disappointment and never taste as good as they do in my imagination). Practising appreciation for my body rather than criticism (enjoying it today and not deferring that enjoyment until the “when I’m slim” day). Using my body to help others heal and healing myself in the process (working as a sexual surrogate partner). I’ve not yet sussed getting more sex into my life but I think that is an important next step.

    So thanks, Jilly, for raising this. There are lots of commonalities but, at the end of the day, each of us has a unique relationship with our body. I think being consciously aware of what this relationship looks like is vital, as is finding out whether chips taste good, and who we are sexually.

    Reply
  3. I don’t enjoy food all that much because of my OCD. I suspect my OCD won’t ever really go, so I guess I’ll stay like this. It’s a bit depressing really.

    Reply

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