Sex and Toast
I heard a pretty good analogy the other day and figured I would share it. Although Venice and I eat and cook whatever we like these days, there was a time when I was also just eating toast with her. And anything that wasn’t toast, even if it was tasty and sweet, we had always been told it was bad for us, would make us gain weight and possibly ugly to everyone else. We were both conditioned to eat safe and healthy, and toast was just that. Now, before I get into the analogy, I will say over the years I have heard sex compared to various things. I believe the first comparison to food I ever saw, was to cereal. A man that wasn’t married compared married to eating the same cereal each day. He may have been a comedian, I was young. He bragged about there being so many different flavors of cereal on the shelves, why would he choose to eat one forever? I also heard an analogy from a swinging couple that compared vanilla sex to vanilla ice cream. Sometimes they just wanted neapolitan ice cream. And after they ate neapolitan ice cream together, vanilla just tastes so much better.
Anyway, analogies are a great way to communicate in a relationship. They have always worked for me. If you can find an emotional connection to something your partner loves, and compare it to something you love, it may help them understand what you are going through. Below is a good example of a that.
Let’s talk about food. In this scenario we eat all of our meals together. Every day, all we eat for every meal is toast.
Now, this isn’t bad. We both like toast. We even change it up by having different toppings; Jam, peanut butter, Vegemite, and if we are doing something special, Nutella and banana. They are delicious.
But you want more. There is nothing wrong with toast, you enjoy it and you are certainly full after eating it, but there is such a wide range of foods that you enjoy and want to eat. Spicy Indian food, rich pasta sauces, sweet custardy desserts, there is a lot we could try. I am not very keen though, I just want to stick to toast. You aren’t sure if it is because I’m just timid to try other foods, or if I genuinely only have the palette for toast.
You buy cookbooks and fresh ingredients to encourage me to try new foods, but I just want toast, so they go unused. You feel bad for trying to introduce new foods in to our diet.
You love food, you always have. It has been a big part of who you are. You watch shows about cooking for enjoyment, and even get ideas for recipes and techniques that you’d like to try out – but I just want toast. You feel alone.
It’s not even about eating, sometimes the act of cooking is what you enjoy. You’d love for us to spend a day just making pizza from scratch. I agree that it sounds interesting, but in the end, I am clearly uncomfortable and make toast. I do put ham on it though, and melt some cheese.
I’ve made an effort, but you seem disappointed. I get upset, we have an argument, and we go back to eating regular toast.
Sometimes you don’t even know what it is you want to eat. There’s a recipe you have seen, and you may not even like how it tastes, but you want to give it a go. I’m uncomfortable with this new potential combination of flavors or textures, so I pass. We have toast.
You want to build up your culinary skills. You want to get great at cooking, but you feel limited to just making toast. Good toast, but just toast.
Here’s where the analogy falls apart a little – you aren’t allowed to eat without me (although toast is fine). You can’t cook or order anything else, even if it looks really good. You keep watching cooking shows, and I’m fine with that, but you are just getting sad that you know you are only going to be having toast for dinner. You still enjoy eating, but you can feel this weight pulling you down. You talk to me about meals you would love, and I say maybe, but I seem a bit dismissive, and hurt because I think you don’t like my toast. I made French Toast that one time, I thought you liked it. I guess not, we go back to fairly plain toast. You keep holding on to this hope that I’ll surprise you with one of those meals, but it doesn’t happen.
You are not angry at me. We have talked about trying new foods many times, and I say I am interested, but every night it’s toast. You are starting to worry that I genuinely only have interest for toast, and don’t ever want to try something new. I say that I do, but what does it mean if I don’t?
This analogy got through to the anonymous writers wife, so maybe this idea and analogy can help other couples communicate with each other if they are in a similar situation. Sex and Toast