I was listening to a routine by Lisa Landry this morning, in my car returning home from Hi-Rise Bakery, and heard her say that her husband has no interest in sex. Instead, she noted, he has “a stash” of food-oriented magazines that he keeps the way most men hold onto porn. She went on to say that during sex he shouted out, like Emeril, “Bam!” as he reached climax.
It was a funny routine, and insightful as well, and had me thinking, again, about why so many people in this country have developed a basic obsession with food. Lately, too. It’s a question I’m asked often during interviews I do for, “Back of the House,” even more specifically regarding chefs and restaurants.
Part of the answer is that most of us spend our days and nights taking care of others, in one form or another, and chefs in restaurants are among the few places where our needs are taken of. It’s pleasant to walk into an establishment feeling grumpy and leave sated.
But what about the underlying mechanisms that would lead Landry into recognizing that sexual desire has been replaced in her spouse by hunger for food? Could it be that eating demands less of us psychologically and emotionally? That it is not a demanding, active, or complex relationship, like love or sex, but rather one in which self satisfaction is key?
I’m thinking that food has become preeminent for some due to its ability to distract us from even more pressing needs and desires. That is the appeal, but, of course, its limitation.
It’s like the joke: A guy asks his girlfriend her favorite sexual fantasy, and she tells him it’s a dinner in a fancy French restaurant.