When a group of food writers was gathering on a late Sunday morning for brunch, I suggested Lecosho. (I'm not big on egg and batter dishes, so I liked that Lecosho served real lunch.) The menu looked perfect, and we sampled a number of the items, enjoying most of them--including octopus salad and Sardinian fish soup. Sandwiches were hits, with one miss.
But at a place where the name is based on a Chinook word for "pig," I also had to try the house-made sausage. This lovely link was served with lentils, greens, and a simple soft-boiled egg, cut in half. A perfect plate.
So what does Lecosho's sausage with lentils tell us about sex?
When it comes to our genitals, we're nervous. Embarrassed. Ashamed. Uncomfortable.
We, um, titter.
When I worked in high schools, one of my favorite classroom activities was having students brainstorm known words and phrases for the genitals. And for sex--whether alone, or with someone. Oh, the lists would be hysterical. And a bit scary.
For example, for female genitalia: Bearded clam (or oyster). Beaver. Beef curtain. Box. (And those are just a few of the "B" words.)
For male genitalia: Jack in the box. Johnson. Skin flute. Dong. Schlong. Heat-seeking moisture missile. And my personal favorite: one-eyed trouser snake.
As a sex educator writing Sexy Feast, I always consider the sexual connections to food. So here I am at Lecosho, staring at a huge sausage and some little lentils. And while lentils are not beans (both are part of the legume family), the connection is all too clear.
For on that student list of terms for masturbation: stroking the sausage. (A close relative of walloping the wiener.) Also: flicking the bean.
Like I said, too obvious.
Because of our discomfort with sex, we make up names--often food-related--for our body parts and bodily functions.
I'm not totally against pet names or slang for our body parts. But note that we don't have many names for, say, elbow, whereas we have hundreds for the genitalia. I'd suggest we need to start teaching children the right names of all their body parts from the youngest of ages. That's why I like the book Belly Buttons Are Navels (sadly out of print). It teaches children the correct names for their body parts--much to the dismay of some in the anti-sex education crowd, who were sometimes successful in having the book banned from school and community libraries.
You can hear the correct names of those controversial body parts, and how to make them work better, this Sunday--which marks the start of the Sexy Feast dinner series. This column comes to life, as three area restaurants will be hosting Sexy Feast dinners over the next few weeks. Picture a winemaker dinner, but instead of an explanation of wines, Jay Friedman will explain the sexual lessons learned from each dish in your multicourse meal. This will be a fun and stimulating way to talk about romance and relationships! The first Sexy Feast is this Sunday at Cafe Lago, followed by a Valentine's dinner at Willows Inn on Feb. 12, then a final one at 5 Corner Market on Feb. 27. Check here for more information.