I’ve heard a lot of people talking about sex menus recently, so I was thrilled when Sheila got in touch with an idea for a guest blog inspired by the idea of creating ‘sex menus’ around your sexual needs and desires. I’ll keep this intro short and sweet and hand over to Sheila U – to tell you what a sex menu is, and how it inspired her latest photography project…
“Sex menu! What’s that?!”
The concept or definition of a sex menu is self-explanatory (clue’s in the name); it’s a personal collection of interests, preferences and boundaries that you share with a potential sexual partner. A ‘sex menu’ is simply a way to communicate a list of your sexual accelerators and brakes – a bit like an informative traffic light system for sex (whatever form that takes for you). You can list things you like; you’d like to try or aren’t interested in doing. It’s not a new thing, in fact, I’m pretty certain everyone’s got a vague idea of theirs in their heads, but haven’t necessarily written it down anywhere. It’s also I believe, a concept originally borrowed from sex workers who would offer it to their clients to help them choose what they wanted in a session. More commonly, it’s used by well-knowing organised people in the scene who decided they needed a faster way to swap interests with new partners.
Great! Now that’s explained, I’ll tell you why I’m here…
I’m nosy, I’m curious and I’m starting a new project called Sex Menu!
Sex Menu is a playful pun-tastic food photoproject by me, wanting to find out how people use food (and drink) as a form of seduction. So, in sorts, it’s a project on pre-sex menus. How do you use food to seduce someone you’re attracted to? Is it oysters and champagne, your secret spagbol recipe, naked sushi or do you treat them to the dirtiest juiciest burger known to humankind, watch as the juices drool down their face and arms and tell them how you’re imagining licking it off them? I want to know, nothing is off-limits. The aim is to build a body of quirky images and create an even quirkier exhibition or book from it. I’d also really like to normalise sex menus. Imagine if from an earlier age, we were able to understand consent and articulate our sexual needs easier. Things would be a heck of a lot easier.
So, I’d love your help – answer a few questions in my survey, it only takes a matter of minutes to complete.
I think it’s safe to say that for a vast majority (shoutout to greysexual/asexual/survival folx), sex and food are two of the top carnal pleasures we enjoy in life. With that in mind, I want to find out how folx use food (and/or drinks) as a form of seduction when you want to get it on! Let’s be honest here, you plan your outfit, your aesthetic, you prep your room perhaps, you plan what you’re going to do, what you want your end-result sexy times to look like, so I’m guessing you’ve got pre-sex plans as well, including food. I know I do! I cook a particular meal or go out to a fancy cocktail bar, but ultimately, it’s all a part of the foreplay. It also isn’t limited to one day of the year either (Valentine’s day or birthdays); it’s ongoing. Food is sensual, evocative, sexy, filling, tasty, imaginative, adrenaline inducing, mood-enhancing and orgasmic. So whether it’s for a first date or third, after a long-term partner’s had a long week and I want to help them relax in more ways than one, after discussing wanting to try something new or even, yes, as a birthday treat; food’s got a role to play!
I would like to stress that sex menus aren’t just for kinky* folx, everyone should have a sex menu. They’re fun to have and exchange and they’re incredibly helpful particularly if communication isn’t your strength. Go on, try it! Sex Menus is a particularly useful website I came across when I was doing my research and it has great additional resources as well as a sex menu template.
Thanks for reading this far and a massive thanks to GOTN for letting me grace her blog and talk about my project. It’s been fun writing this and I hope this proves useful to everyone!
*If you’re interested in some further additional reading, you can check out this article featuring a kinky sex menu too!