Home Cooking & Bedrooms – Living Well With HIV

Have you ever wondered how similar food and sex can be? All of us need to eat – it’s a basic elemental requirement for life. Sex for many people also fits into this category.

Just imagine being told that you could not have any sex in your life. The thought of being told this provokes the thought – just kill me now! For me, sex is up there in important things to do as part of being and feeling alive.

So let’s consider food as a metaphor for sex. Say you’ve been working hard and find yourself time poor – how likely are you to grab a quick fast food meal on the way home? Would anything do such as KFC or Hungry Jack’s or would you prefer a fast but healthier option.

In today’s urban sexual culture there are many ways to get a quick and easy sex hit if you’re feeling a little horny. Grindr, Gaydar and Manhunt are a bit like a fast food options. Hits the spot, satiates the hunger but you don’t necessarily make it a regular choice.

Perhaps you have some regular fuck/bed buddies you can call on. These may resemble comfort food – those meals which make you feel better when you most need it. Of course comfort food is not always healthy but it fulfills an important need. What about eating out of boredom? Hands up if you’ve ever looked for sex for the same reason, or as a distraction.

What happens if you eat food to excess? Most of us are aware of the negative consequences of eating too much, like becoming obese with related poor health outcomes such as diabetes and increased cardiovascular risk. Perhaps the food we eat is not as nourishing as we require. This may impact on our energy and capacity to concentrate, including our general sense of self and well being.

Society makes an investment in teaching almost everyone about how to eat well (e.g. 2 fruit and 5 vegetables, the food pyramid etc). Some of us even go local, seasonal, organic and least processed with the aim of nourish and caring for ourselves with the best food possible. Many of us aim to get balance and moderation with our diet but know there is room for improvement.

Back to sex….. After the pleasure, sex too can have some negative consequences. The obvious one is an increased risk of a sexually transmitted infection. But some of the less obvious consequences are feeling short term satisfaction but then a feeling of letting yourself down especially if we have made resolutions about not doing certain things. Sometimes we don’t feel good about the type of sex we’ve had or we have a feeling of disconnection. For some, self worth can take a battering.

When we think about the influences on the food we eat and our eating habits we can ask ourselves whether we are happy with them, or could we be more active about changing them? The same big questions could be asked of the sex we have, the relationships we have and whether they are satisfying.

But how do we learn about supportive sexual cultures. The dominant model is man + woman and faithful till death. For some this may be like eating food to which we are allergic or, at the very least, very bland and repetitive. If this is your preference – awesome for you, but for many of us we need other models to fulfill our sex and love needs.

Being conscious of what our needs are, without buying into stereotypes of what they should be (no matter where they come from), may be the beginning step to having more regular great home cooked meals made with love along with luxurious intimate and loving sex in the bedroom, park, beach …………

Cipri Martinez