Tag Archives: sex

What does this all mean?

So, what can be said in terms of sex, gender, and food?

As we have seen throughout this bog, everything can be examined with multiple lenses and it can be fun and sometimes really shocking.

By looking at gender in this blog, we can see that gender is all around us and there is no escaping it.  Gender is a social construct and is location specific, which means that how we view gender in our country is completely different to how we view gender in other countries.  When I said that there is no escaping gender, there really is no escape.  Gender is appears everywhere and we perform it every day as well.  Gender shows up in our food, commercials, ads, toys, clothes, etc.

So what can be said about sex and food?

Well, we now know that food is more than just the scrumptious stuff we eat off of our plates.  Food has many faces to it and has much more meaning to it than we have ever imagined.  We have also learned about the various relationships food has with people and our culture.  How the tiniest thing in food advertisements can mean so much.

And in terms of sex, we have learned that sex is also very complicated and there are many things that affect it.  Sex is no longer that simple pleasure that we enjoy.

However, to examine all of these together, the most important thing to note is that all of these are shaped by culture.  Culture is what shapes everything and become part of our society.  What we deem is acceptable food choices, or what is acceptable ways to present products through commercials is all based off of our culture.  This is why the world is so interesting.  Wherever you go, you will inevitably run into a different culture that will challenge you to think in other ways and to try new things.

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Snake wine and Frog Shakes

BALUT

http://www.gpwa.org/forum/eatting-filipino-balut-198757.html

Now that we’ve looked at western forms of aphrodisiacs, why don’t we look at something a little out of our comfort zone……….aphrodisiacs from other countries!

Not only do I think this is some of the most interesting stuff to read about and look at but the way these foods work as an aphrodisiac is extremely interesting as well.  For some of these cultures, food does more than just give us nutrients.  In Chinese culture, food is cooked the way it is and consumed in order to keep an equal balance of yin and yang.

To give you a taste of what some of these aphrodisiacs include, just read down the list (Festa):

–          Balut (Southeast Asia)

–          Snake essence in wine (meaning an entire snake is pickled in wine jars) (China/Vietnam)

–          Testicles (found all over the world)

–          Frog shakes (Peru)

–          Black chicken (Southeast Asia)

–          Caterpillar Fungus (China)

–          Hagfish (Southeast Asia)

–          Bird’s Nest Soup (China………and I’ve actually eaten this)

SNAKE WINE

http://www.trekearth.com/gallery/photo1273692.htm

 

This may just seem like a list of foods that people can eat in order to increase their sexual performance and such but there is so much more to the process.  For example, unlike in American culture, you can eat chocolate and increase your sexual performance because it has nutrients in it.  However, when you eat testicles in some countries, not only does is it believed that it gives you nutrients, but it is believed also believed that you gain the potency of the sperm inside the testicle.  This may seem weird in our culture but in many cultures; this is completely normal and is something that we must respect for its tradition and cultural value.  But once again, are these foods something that actually gives us energy? Or is it a placebo effect again?  From my personal experience with Bird’s Nest, I honestly have to say that I just felt the same after having it.

Also, I just wanted to give you something else to think about before I end this post.  There is a lot of truth in that many of these aphrodisiacs have actual nutrients that can help increase our sexual pleasure/drive.  For example, going back to chocolate, it has been found that chocolate actually helps release serotonin which is responsible for us feeling happy and relaxed (Ciampa).  However, at the same time, you have to eat a lot of chocolate before anything like heightened sexual pleasure occurs.  So, let’s really think about it, is it a placebo or real?

 

References:

Ciampa , Linda. “Researchers say chocolate triggers feel-good chemicals.” CNN:Food. N.p., 14 Feb 1996. Web. 5 May 2012. <http://www.cnn.com/HEALTH/indepth.food/sweets/chocolate.cravings/index.html&gt;.

Festa , Jessica . “Unusual Aphrodisiacs from Asian Countries.” AOL Travel. N.p., 03 Mar 2012. Web. 5 May 2012. <http://www.gadling.com/2012/03/03/unusual-aphrodisiacs-from-asian-countries/&gt;.

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Chocolate Covered Oysters: Double the Pleasure

http://la.racked.com/tags/chocolate-covered-oysters

 

As mentioned at the end of a previous post, we are now going to be looking at REAL situations where people ingest food in order to fulfill their gender role or where food becomes a placebo for sexual performance.

Firstly, to make this a little bit more relatable and to not push people off of their comfort zone too quickly, I will be discussing foods found in western culture that do this.  In many cultures, even ours, there is something known as aphrodisiacs.  Aphrodisiacs are foods (which can range from meats to vegetables to herbs) that are supposed to have the nutrients and powers to give men and women whatever they need to be able to perform sexually.

Have you ever heard that chocolate is supposed to improve sex a person’ sex life (5 Best Aphrodisiacs For Men)?  Or that oysters can jumpstart a person’s sex drive?

I certainly have and you can even see it within our culture.  For example, in the movie Easy A, Olive Pendergast is taken to a seafood restaurant by a boy because the boy believes that her eating seafood will increase her sex drive.

But really, isn’t eating chocolate and oysters just something that we tell ourselves in order to feel more confident and therefore be able to increase our sex drive/sexual performance? (aka the placebo effect)

Also, before I get into my example I should probably put out this disclaimer:  I did not use my ex boyfriend as a social experiment, I played a joke on him to prove how gullible he was.

For example, when I was dating my ex (he-who-must-not-be-named), I once told him that if he ate an entire bowl of sautéed onions (which he absolutely detested) it would act as an aphrodisiac and increase his sex drive.  With my ex being super gullible, he ate the entire bowl and within half an hour he said that his sexual appetite was crazier than it had ever been.   Now last time I checked/researched, sautéed onions were not an aphrodisiac anywhere.  So how the heck did his sexual appetite increase exponentially?  I believe it to be the placebo effect.  Also, because he believed in the effects of the sautéed onions, it also boosted his confidence in his sexual performance.

However, regardless of whether or not food is a REAL aphrodisiac or not, I have come to another conclusion.  Food can turn people on simply by how it is used which has created a new relationship with food and sex.  For example, some foods can make us think of erotic symbols which can us on.  I mean, how many times have we seen men get turned on in movies because a woman is seductively eating a banana or popsicle (which can be a phallic symbol for a penis)?  Also, food can turn us on by how it is used during sex and foreplay.  For example, when a person puts whip cream on someone else and licks it off, it’s not the whip cream that is turning us on…….it’s the sensual feeling we get from doing so (Fisher).

With all of this presented information, we can conclude that food can be used to turn us on by ingesting it (either with real scientific properties or through the placebo effect) or by how we use food.

 

References:

“5 Best Aphrodisiacs for Men.” Newsmax. Newsmax Media, Inc. , 22 Nov 2010. Web. 4 May 2012. <http://www.newsmax.com/FastFeatures/aphrodisiacs-viagra-herbal-drugs/2010/11/22/id/377857&gt;.

Fisher, Maryanne. “The Relationship Between Sex and Food.” Psychology Today. Sussex Directories, Inc. , 09 Feb 2011. Web. 4 May 2012. <http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/loves-evolver/201102/the-relationship-between-sex-and-food&gt;.

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Spinach keeps him hard

So I recently just looked at an episode of Popeye and how he eats spinach to become stronger and more masculine. Let’s seriously think about this concept though. Is food always used for satisfying our taste buds and keeping us healthy? Or is it more? Is food also a way for us to perform our gender and to fulfill our masculinity or femininity?

To proceed with this discussion, let’s look at this video that I found online that is another is also Popeye related:

So we have seen this video and quite frankly I have to say it was ridiculously corny and lame.  But let’s look at what it has taught us about fulfilling our gender (masculinity/femininity).  In the video we can see that this guy is trying to be like role playing as Popeye and is pretending as though he is going to sleep with Olive Oyl.  He goes to the drawer to take some Viagra (which is for sexual performance) but he soon realizes that it is all gone.  Instead, this real life Popeye eats some spinach which results in bulking biceps (which I personally found to be unattractive) and is ready to have sex.

Let’s think about this now.  Is the spinach he took really going to keep his erection hard?  Or is it a placebo effect that boosted his confidence (and masculinity) which is now going to make him perform better in bed?  To my knowledge and research, spinach does not keep a man’s erection hard.  But I do know that a little self-confidence can make a man’s penis work again.  Even Viagra has had some studies that shown that the tiny blue pill can physically work for some men but it has also shown that some men aren’t affected by it at all and some men just gain the placebo effect after intake (Loe).

Another way that we can tell this man is going through the placebo effect is because after eating the spinach, his biceps became huge……we do not see if his penis becomes hard, but we see his biceps.  Last time I checked, biceps have nothing to do with sexual performance.

You might ask and say, “Damn it Josh, this is just you being really analytical.  We all know that this video was an exaggeration of Popeye and not actually real.”  But you know what?  This type of stuff is extremely REAL as you will find out when you continue with my next posts.

 

References:

Loe, Meika . The Rise of Viagra: How the Little Blue Pill Changed Sex in America. New York : NYU Press, 2011. Print.

 

Shakelightly. “Popeye the Sailorman: Spinach or Viagra”. 16 May. 2011 Online video clip. Youtube. Accessed on 02 May 2012. < http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sUMxhkRidjc&gt;.

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Is BIGGER better?

I’m going to start this post with 2 questions, and the questions are for you too!

Questions:

1)      What is your favorite fast food joint?

2)       When you think of that fast food restaurant, what comes to your mind?

Here’s what my answers were:

My favorite place is Burger King (BK).  In my mind, there is absolutely no competition between McDonald’s and BK because it’s so much better than McDonald’s.  When I think of BK I tend to think of the awesome chicken sandwiches, onion rings with barbecue sauce and how I’m going to get fat or clog up my arteries with cholesterol.

Here’s another question, when you think about that fast food joint, do you also think about sex?  I’m assuming the majority of you said no, and I would have to personally say that I too would never think about sex and BK at the same time.  So why the heck do we put the two together then?  It’s because sex, gender, and food are highly relatable.

Below is an ad that I fell upon and thought it was a prime example to inspect under the lens of gender and sexuality, especially in terms of gender roles.

First, let’s examine all the innuendo and sexual symbolism.  To put it bluntly, the positioning of the sandwich in regards to the woman’s mouth seems as though she is going to give a blowjob (otherwise known as fellatio) to the sandwich which obviously represents a penis.  Also, the word “blow” in the ad just further implies fellatio.  To make things even more apparent, the sandwich is described as “long” (7 inches) and “juicy” and is filled with a lot of mayonnaise.  Also, just read this little description found at the bottom of the ad and I think you’d be able to recognize some more innuendo:

“Fill your desire for something long, juicy and flame-grilled with the NEW BK SUPER SEVEN INCHER. Yearn for more after you taste the mind-blowing burger that comes with a single beef patty, topped with American cheese, crispy onions and the A1 Thick and Hearty Steak Sauce. (The Cajun Boy)”

So, what does this say about gender roles and sexuality?

Well, it once again reinforces our heterosexual society because it assumes that sex is between men and women only. Could you imagine if the woman’s face was replaced with a man’s?  People would flip out!

What it also shows us about our gender roles is that for people who want to have sex with men; they should strive to meet a man with a long seven inch cock.  But even when we have met what we desire (which is a 7 inch cock), we should still want more……………..just like that darn BK Super Seven Incher Sandwich!

However, these roles are problematic because what if we don’t meet these expectations?  If a man doesn’t have a seven inched dick then he could feel really inadequate.  Also, for us people who like having sex with men, what if a seven inch dick (or even bigger) is something we found but isn’t as satisfying as we thought?  It brings up the question, is bigger really better?  Not only does it apply to penises, but also to food.  Are bigger plates of food tastier than smaller portioned plates?

Think about it and let me know what you think.    🙂

Reference

Cajun Boy, The. “Eating a Burger King ‘Super Seven Incher’ Is Just Like Giving a Blow Job.” Gawker. N.p., 24 Jun 2009. Web. 23 Apr 2012. <http://gawker.com/5301856&gt;.

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Breastmilk

Bam! So if you thought all the other things I wrote about was boring then you’re in luck because I’m finally getting into the interesting parts of my blog.  In this section, I’m going to be analyzing the print ads and how they are sexualized and gendered.

Here’s my first example:

The reason why I chose this ad is that they are examples of food that have been gendered and sexualized without using any people.

The first ad depicts a product that is being advertised by Baileys, a creamy chocolate flavored liqueur that is made up of Irish whiskey and Irish dairy cream (Product and Company Information).  If we were taking this ad literally, we would only see top views of two glasses of Baileys with chocolate in the center, “The Milk of Ireland” in the middle of the ad, and a Baileys label on the bottom.  However, almost nobody reads ads like that.  This ad is extremely gendered due to its placement and symbolism.  The top view of the two glasses with Baileys symbolizes a pair of woman’s breast and the chocolate centers are representative of nipples.  While on the other hand, the Baileys label is a phallic symbol for a woman’s crotch area.  Due to the fact that there is no actual outline of a woman’s body in the ad, the consumer is left to imagine the rest of the “woman’s” body.  Although it may seem as though the consumer is left to their imagination as to what the outline of the woman is, they are actually guided in how they should picture the woman’s outline by the “The Milk of Ireland” text.  The main goal for placing the text in the middle is to help the consumer outline the woman.

Not only is this ad completely gendered in that it represents a woman, but it is also extremely sexualized.  Never in a million years would you see a woman show her bare breasts and vagina out in public (except for maybe at a nudist beach or something to that nature).  Yet in this ad, because we are left to our knowledge of what a woman’s body is and imagination, we can conclude that the chocolate centers are nipples.  The sole reason why this is an acceptable in the public is because not a real woman’s body.

But how do we know for sure that this was the goal of the advertisers?

We know that this is meant to be a woman because of the placement of the items in the ads is relatable to a woman’s body.  Let’s pretend that the items on the ad had been arranged differently.  When we rearrange these items, there is no longer any correlation with a woman’s body.


Reference

“Product and Company Information.” Baileys. R.A. Bailey & Co. , 2011. Web. 19 Apr 2012. <http://www.the-baileys-lounge.baileys.com/en-us/Product-and-Company-Information.asp&xgt;.

Sharpe, Gwen. “Non-Subtle Sex in Advertising (NSFW).” The Society Pages . W.W Norton & Company, Inc., 27 Jun 2008. Web. 18 Apr 2012. <http://thesocietypages.org/socimages/2008/06/27/non-subtle-sex-in-advertising/&gt;.

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Class Assignment from Hell…but not really :)

I’m so excited that this is my first post of a blog!  Ok, so I must admit, this blog is part of my grade for my Sexuality and Social Media class but hey, its a pretty cool assignment and I’m gonna have a blast with it, especially since my blog is about food and sexuality.  So here’s what we’re supposed to post for our first post:  a thesis on what our blog is about, sources we’ll explore in response to our thesis and why we chose that thesis.

Thesis: Gender and Sexuality have an unrecognized influence on society’s views on the treatment, presentation, and use of food.

Sources I’ll explore:

articles, tv shows, my own observations by going to restaurants (yum in my tum), and anything else that comes my way!

I chose this because I love studying food, sexuality, and gender and quite honestly if you love food, this is a different way to look at food and not just as deliciousness that we see before us.

Hope you all love my blog and if at first you don’t, keep reading cause I’m sure you’ll grow to like it.   🙂

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