As I’m preparing the evening meal I am thinking about what to write for this month’s blog. That’s when it occurred to me that it’s November, which means Thanksgiving, of course. The day of the year when many of us prepare an orgy of traditional epicurean delights. Throughout the years of teaching sex education I’ve relied upon the similarities between the hunger for food and the hunger for sex, as well as the relationship between food and sex as sustenance for the body, mind and spirit. Food is more than just fuel for the body. It stimulates and satisfies all our senses. It makes us feel warm, secure and calm. It is also a social activity, although we can enjoy a solitary meal or snack, too. Dinner for two or a feast for a few, it’s all good.

When the body needs food, the mind is sent a message to eat. If we ignore that message the mind starts to kick it up a notch making us less able to focus on tasks, becoming more irritable and giving us a headache. If we continue to ignore the message, we may become lightheaded from low blood sugar levels. Sometimes the stomach sends a message of its own in the form of a rumble. Then everyone around us hears the message. When it gets to be too much, we give in and eat. Not the optimal way to go about it, but it works. So I’m recommending that every day we have a sort of Thanksgiving Day feast. Alone, or with family or friends, we can enjoy a carefully prepared meal or just a quick nosh to appease all our senses. Look at the food, smell the food, touch the food (yes, touch it), taste the food, and if you can, hear what the food is saying to you.

Now, if you haven’t been thinking about sex while reading this, go have a sandwich or something because you’re probably hungry and didn’t realize it. Then come back for the next course. It is all about the connection I’ve been alluding to. When the body needs sex, the mind gets the message and tells in a variety of ways that we should act. Ignoring this message can have some dire consequences as well. The symptoms of ignoring that first message are pretty much the same for sex as for food. We’re easily distracted, often grumpy, and sometimes develop a headache. As for the audible rumble, well that comes from the stomach, so we must rely on other body parts to alert us.

I’ve taught that eating the same foods over and over is easy, reliable and rewarding but can become monotonous. Experimenting with food is fun. The same goes for sex. Trying something different once in awhile is exciting and unpredictable and can lead to a new favorite. It doesn’t have to be very exotic, just something we’ve never tried before. Or maybe a standard that can be prepared differently and spiced up a bit. I’m still talking sex here but using the food analogy which always worked in the classroom. Pizza lovers know that there are a variety of styles from which they can choose, such as thin crust, deep dish or Sicilian. Traditional dough, whole wheat or gluten-free! Vegetarian pizza, meats of all kinds, even fish (that controversial little salty friend, known as the anchovy). So if you happen to be monogamous, you can stick with the one dish that you love and change it up every once in awhile. If not, the menu is full of incredibly appetizing alternatives. Something for every consumer with another intriguing delight just around the corner.

So when you’re gathering together for that holiday repast, remember that being thankful for nature’s bounty isn’t just about the food. It can also include the other joys that are available to us to appease our hunger. Good and plentiful sex is always a treat and has many added benefits. Better mood, brighter eyes, glowing skin, increased self-confidence, flatter stomach, larger breasts (not you, men…just the women) and reduced stress. Can’t say all that about turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie. When coming to the banquet, bring your appetite and put aside those preconceived notions about what’s good and what isn’t. There truly is something for everyone when it comes to both food and sex.