Saturday, March 22, 2014

An Erotic Challenge (Explicit Language)

"Pleasure in the thought of a thing’s existence, if it stimulates desire for that thing, depends upon a person’s susceptibility and the presence of the object. The pleasure is therefore sensual, a matter of feeling and not of mind."

- Translated by Raymond Blakney, and quoted in Blakney’s An Immanuel Kant Reader

So said the 18th century German philosopher Immanuel Kant, in his Kritik der praktischen Vernunft (Critique of Practical Reasoning, 1788). As a philosopher, Kant was interested in the logical underpinnings of morality. Any undergraduate Philosophy major could tell you that Kant’s philosophy was not of the Hedonistic school. Nor was Kant a stripper or a porn star.

If you are an undergraduate Philosophy major, struggling to pay your way through college, then you may well consider getting a part-time job as a stripper or porn star. If you do, and you are a woman, consider using the stage name Immanuela Kunt. Think of Kunt in the Inga Muscio sense*.

But this is not the challenge.

Rather, the challenge is to stimulate desire and provoke the sensual pleasures of the feelings in your lover with a specially prepared meal. This meal is inspired by a game played by Philosophy majors and non-Philosophy majors alike in the dining halls of undergraduate schools across the nation.

If your lover is aroused by women, then you will prepare a meal of foods that evoke the shapes and textures of the vulva and vagina. If your lover is aroused by men, then you will prepare a phallic meal. If your lover is bisexual, then the choice is yours, depending on which feelings and desires you would like to provoke.

Creativity is key. Perhaps the first food that springs to mind when considering the vaginal meal is raw oysters, with their slippery texture and bivalve shape somewhat suggestive of a woman’s parted legs. Oysters alone cannot be the whole meal, though. There must be a variety of foods, all of which suggest female genitals in some way. The leaves of a red cabbage, skillfully arranged on a plate Judy Chicago-style, bring to mind a vulva. Foods with a hole, such as doughnuts and certain breakfast cereals, resemble a vaginal opening, and so much more so if they are pink.

Barbara Walker’s The Women’s Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets is a treasure trove of inspiration when it comes to foods associated with the female anatomy. Some of its suggestions: eggs, the red fruits (especially apples and pomegranates) traditionally associated with the uterus and/or menstrual blood, and cherries. You may also serve fava beans. Fava is Italian slang for a woman’s genitals, according to the Encyclopedia.

Likewise, it is not enough to simply serve hot dogs or other sausages for the phallic meal. Consider carrots, bananas, cucumbers, zucchinis, and bread sticks. Be creative and diverse. Include not just penis-shaped foods, but also foods whose shape and texture suggest the scrotum and testes, such as figs and prunes. Don’t forget that milk and creamy white foods (ranch dressing, for example, or tapioca pudding) suggest semen. For dessert, consider Twinkies, for their phallic shape and cream filling.

Serve this specially prepared meal to your lover, and watch for the reaction. Pleasure? And if so, is it pleasure of the mind, or of the senses?

Author's Note: I originally wrote this post for a website called "The Erotic Challenge" or something similar, long defunct. Later, it was published in the online magazine Lucrezia, which sadly is also now defunct. - Erin O'Riordan

* Inga Muscio, Cunt: A Declaration of Independence, 1998

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