What can pasta possibly teach us about sex?
It's been about a year and a half since I started writing Sexy Feast . There's food


Top 10 Sexy Feast Sex Lessons of 2011

What can pasta possibly teach us about sex?
It's been about a year and a half since I started writing Sexy Feast. There's food porn aplenty to be found on the Internet. My column, though, takes food porn to next level by taking me to one restaurant each week, where I try to figure out what one dish (or one aspect of the restaurant) teaches us about sex.

In the past year, I've been lucky to look for sexual lessons at high-end restaurants like Canlis, RN74, and Cafe Juanita, as well as "on the street" places like Mike's Chili Parlor and Marination Mobile. The food is fine everywhere, and always stimulates my sexual thinking. My experiences have led to lessons about lubrication, threesomes, bukkake, prostitution, the Pirates adult video, Internet dating, and much more.

Here I present (with links to the complete column) my top ten Sexy Feast picks for 2011, each asking the weekly question: What does each restaurant teach us about sex?

Tantalizing Tentacle Porn at Madison Park Conservatory

Chef Cormac Mahoney of Madison Park Conservatory has a way with octopus, and one of his tentacled dishes taught us the importance of being sexually open-minded, which led to a lesson about tentacle porn:

Some see tentacle porn (in which octopuses or other creatures get it on with humans--typically sweet, innocent females), popular in Japan, as symbolic of that country's perverse nature. Fact is, octopuses have been part of Japan's sexual scene at least as far back as the early 1800's (during the openness of the Edo period), popping up in shunga (erotic art, often given as gifts to couples on their wedding nights). The classic example is Katsushika Hokusai's The Dream of the Fisherman's Wife, in which a pair of octopuses entangles a seemingly willing woman, one kissing her and caressing a breast while the other engages in cunnilingus. Now, in modern-day Japan, an octopus' tentacles are an easy way to show penetration of a woman, since censorship laws prevent the portrayal of an actual penis.

Learning to Play Ball at Issian

At Issian izakaya in Wallingford, I ate a number of small plates of food, then finished with grilled onigiri, which led to a lesson about the handling of balls.

While every guy has his own preference about touching the testicles, follow the onigiri method to see what works. Lubricate a finger and run it along the seam that divides the ball sack and up to the base of the penis. Try making a C with your left hand, using it to cup his balls while stroking his penis with your right hand. Slowly, play with movement and pressure. You might want to slide the balls over each other or squeeze. Some guys like a harder squeeze, while some like a lighter touch; you "will be able to feel and see when you are applying enough pressure." And, as with onigiri, you might even want to take the balls into your mouth.

Getting Head at Sushi Kappo Tamura

As part of a superb meal at Sushi Kappo Tamura, Chef Taichi Kitamura recommended nitsuke, ultimately serving me the head of kinmedai gently simmered (the meaning of nitsuke) in mirin, soy sauce, and I'd guess a dash of dashi, which demonstrated the process of giving and getting head.

If you've never had head before, you may not realize it's an option; even if you do, you may have to request it. Ask politely, and don't be overdemanding. If you do get it, be sure to show your gratitude to your provider. This is not something to take for granted, as you never know when you'll get it again. And if you haven't done head before, I realize it might be a bit awkward or overwhelming. It helps to be sober so that you can concentrate fully on what you're doing. Show respect. Admire your prize. You'll probably want to take small nibbles at first, but eventually you may just want to dive in completely, trying to devour it with ferocity. One hint: Try to keep it as lubricated as possible. That will make it easier and an overall more delicious experience.

Cover-Up at Gourmet Dog Japon

At Gourmet Dog Japon, I chose the Kabuki dog, which is sausage topped with bonito flakes, katsu sauce, Kewpie mayonnaise, grilled cabbage, and beni shoga (red pickled ginger), which taught us about the Japanese intrigue with covering the wiener (and more):

On the surface, Japan is a sexually quiet country. Look closer, though, and sex is seemingly everywhere: love hotels, manga, used-panty vending machines, etc. And then there's the booming porn business. Yet the penal code still imposes one odd censorship standard: filmmakers must mosaic out the genitals, covering the clitoris (indeed, the whole vulva) and pixelating the penis. (The law has loosened a bit regarding public hair.) Mosaic-mania goes back to the Meiji period, when porn was considered "injurious to public morals." Some say that the mosaic makes Japanese porn less "penetration-focused" than Western porn, resulting in more camera angles, tantalizing techniques, and overall creative approaches to porn. In other words, wacky things like bukkake, which originally meant a different way of saucing noodles.

Uneeda Do It, Al Fresco

Uneeda Burger is a burger joint from Scott Staples of Restaurant Zoe and Quinn's fame. I enjoyed my burger here, but it was where I ate it--on the front patio--that gave us a lesson about sex, in this case outdoor sex:

[W]hen pursuing outdoor thrills, you'll want to take a few precautions. For example, you might bring bug spray, as you don't want little critters involved in your play. Perhaps pack some protection in the form of sunscreen, too. As with camping, whatever you pack in, be sure to pack out, as you don't want to leave a trashy mess behind. Bring tissues or towels to clean up any liquidy remains. You or your partner might just need to bite on a towel to muffle yourselves to maintain privacy during your moments of excitement. Speaking of which, don't expect guaranteed privacy. If you've found Eden, others might, too. And if there's a chance children will be around, don't do it.

Checking (Sexual) References at Book Bindery

Speaking of settings, at a meal at Book Bindery I was struck by a prominent feature in the room: large, built-in bookcases (shown here in impressionist tones). The sexual lesson learned was the importance of having a reference library:

No one knows it all. Perhaps the best part of sex is that there's always something new to learn. So why not keep a library right in your bedroom to spice up your sex life? Choose from erotica (fun to read together), sensual massage instruction, guides to couples-friendly porn, Kama Sutra-style books, and more. One I still like to recommend: Dan Anderson's Sex Tips for Straight Women From a Gay Man. Right on target.

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New York Cupcakes Lead to Good Vibes and Two-Way Pleasure

I recently ventured to New York Cupcakes in Madison Valley and ate a New York Neapolitan. I was reminded that you can break the cupcake to get two distinctive parts that can satisfy the differing desires of two partners, which led to a discovery of a vibrator that can double partners' pleasure:

?MSHarmony is a Korean company which has created a fascinating sex toy called the Zini Deux, winner of design awards. The Zini Deux looks like a little plastic football, but pull it apart, and you'll find two magnetically held pieces--his and hers vibrators! The convex piece is designed to part the labia and provide clitoral stimulation, while the concave piece is perfect for curving around the balls for testicular stimulation, or for providing direct stimulation to the penis. (It's also ideal for breast/nipple stimulation.)


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The Zini Deux is fairly pricey (I see it for $169.99), but it's like getting two toys in one--and it comes in classy packaging. For men who've never tried a vibrator, this is a great opportunity to get in on the action. And for women, it's a new toy for the collection. You need to shop around for what's best for you in terms of feel, speed, pulsation patterns, etc. Some women say that the Zini Deux doesn't provide enough strength, and also that it does not provide internal vibration. No fear: There are other vibrators in the Zini line that offer such options. All are gorgeous. (And speaking of sex and food, there's even a Zini Donut which can provide pleasure for both genders.)

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Little Sheep and a Hot "Recipe for Romance"

I love hot pot, but little did I imagine that tableside cooking with a loved one at Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot in Bellevue would teach us the role of cooking in creating sexual chemistry--as demonstrated in an adult video that has "couples" appeal:

?Recipe for Romance is a new adult video that is part of New Sensations' Romance Series. It's the story of two people in the catering business who create chemistry--for their clients, and (ultimately) for each other...

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There's teasing and tenderness, kissing and caressing. You know: romance. No emphasis on close-up, gyno shots. No focus on penetration. And no facials, which most women dislike. Pop-shots are kept below the neck. As Samantha Ryan, female lead in Recipe for Romance, explains in the "behind the scenes" extra (see, some people watch that stuff!), "So many movies don't portray real sex," adding, "We want to see what's real, what's true passion." Asked about the appeal of the Romance Series, she says, "These movies bring out that side which I think is really what people are doing more at home," and after additional thought, continues, "For women, we're not just looking for hot people having sex, we want the whole thing . . . getting into the storyline...getting really into it...real, romantic sex."

Grasshoppers Inspire a New Kama Sutra at Poquitos

At Poquitos, a Mexican restaurant that opened this year on Capitol Hill, chapulines (grasshoppers) roasted with chile pepper, lime, and salt provided fodder for a lesson in sexual experimentation and finding sources for new positions:

  • Porn. Yep. You might not have the acrobatic skills, strength, or stamina to do them all, but watch and you might get inspired to add something to your repertoire.
  • Position books. OK, that's not what they're called, but do an Internet search of "sexual position books" and you'll find plenty of Joy of Sex and Kama Sutra and even Position of the Day guides to keep you busy.
  • Plain old playin' around. See what fits. What works. What feels good. Laugh and learn.

A Broken Heart Isn't So Bad at Altura

Capitol Hill's Altura gets my nod as best new restaurant of the year. From Nathan Lockwood's tasting menu, tagliatelle with fried garlic, fried parsley, olive oil, and cured tuna heart shavings taught us how to pick up the pieces of a broken heart:

How do you mend a broken heart? It should start with tears, as it's OK to be sad. Mourn, but also breathe and be confident knowing you'll eventually get through the sadness. Reach out to family and friends, find distractions, and take care of yourself. Exercise. Rediscover things you like to do, and discover new things as well. Don't blame yourself for failure. And don't feel compelled to find a replacement for the person who's gone. Learn the difference between being alone and being lonely. Seek counseling if you need it, and socialize as you find yourself ready.

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