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Karen's Blogs

Blogs are brief, to-the-point, conversational and packed with information, strategies, and tips to turn troubled eaters into “normal” eaters and to help you enjoy a happier, healthier life.Sign up by clicking "Subscribe" below and they’ll arrive in your inbox. 

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Sex and Food

At dinner with friends, a widow made a comment on the connection between sex and food, a subject that’s not often (or openly) discussed. The rest of us perked right up and had quite a chat, and I’m passing on our thoughts—and my musings—to you.

The woman who raised the topic, a “normal” eater, said that when she’s dating, she doesn’t focus much on food. Though I don’t know her well, I will say that she’s a passionate person—she loves music, dancing, the arts, decorating. This led to talking about how much intensity women want in our lives—a lot! More to the point, we acknowledged how strongly we yearn for lives of passion, which got me thinking about how women often ignore or tamp down their desires and simply accept their lot. And end up turning to food to ignite whatever spark of joie de vivre is left in them.

Then there’s the sensual part of eating, which connects to sex. Our senses are meant to feel alive and if we’re not using our bodies for sexual pleasure, we may end up using our mouths to at least get some sort of tactile enjoyment. Remember, we are—to greater or lesser extent—sensual beings. We love to touch, taste, be touched, and use our bodies to get our juices flowing. If that’s not happening through a sexual or loving relationship, or through throwing yourself into some other engaging, body/mind enlivening activities, the chances of turning to food for sensual pleasure grow greater.

Then there’s the need for simple stimulation which we often ignore or, more commonly the seeking of stimulation (food) that’s the next best thing to what we really want (sex, love). Sure, sometimes we’re stimulated by an exciting read, or playing with the dog, or walking in the woods. But other times, we’re looking for far wilder abandon. In this case, only sex or food might fit the bill. In fact, my widowed friend thinks folks turn to food in order to feel alive—to know they’re alive. It’s a way of proclaiming, I have a body, I live, I feel! By turning to food, we’re saying, “I eat, therefore I must be alive.” Not so different from one of the reasons that some people self-injure—to feel something. The thinking is that it’s better to feel pain than nothing at all. It’s easy to see how abusing food might fall into this category.

Do any of these musings on sex and food resonate with you? Do you use food because you yearn for sensual stimulation, desire more passion in your life, or merely to feel and know you’re alive? Consider that in order for your relationship with food to improve, you will first need to find more passion, positive intensity, and joy in life.

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