On Food & Sex:: Your Appetite Loves You….Do You Love it Back?
Updated: Jun 26, 2019
Appetite is one of those things, a lot like good sex, that never really gets talked about directly in our culture, and yet everyone everywhere, is talking around it and about it, without every really naming it.
In the same way we see magazine covers plastered with quick tips to “make it last all night”, we see short sighted, quick fix tips to of how to “not overindulge at the next office party” or “5 yummy recipes low in calories and sure to satisfy.”
None of which actually gets to the heart of the thing that drives us to try and fix, contort and remedy our relationship to food OR good sex. And that thing is appetite.
While when we think of appetite mostly in the realm of food, begin to reframe your view of appetite as the all encompassing appetite for life. From that vantage point, where are you constricted? Where are you putting all your eggs in one basket? Where are you not allowing yourself the nourishment and satisfaction in the whole realm of your appetite?
Appetite, much like your body’s natural mechanism to breathe, is involuntary, innate and a built in, naturally occuring opportunity to give ourselves the nourishment, pleasure and connection we desire.
It isn’t appetite itself that is the problem, despite all the articles, tips and tricks our culture has made billions of dollars convincing us we need to work to control and change it. Its our disconnection and misunderstanding of appetite that is the issue. We are scared of our appetite in the same way we are scared of our brilliance, our boldness, our power. Our culture doesn’t have it set up in such a way that these attributes are encouraged for women.
When I first talk with clients about appetite, I often get skeptical looks. People have been approaching their body as something to control, contort and change for so long that we don’t really know where to start when it comes to listening to the rhythm and voice of our bodies. We’ve become so accustomed to listening to the chattery little voice in our heads, we’ve forgotten our body holds a wisdom we’ve long been ignoring. That wisdom lives in our appetite.
Our appetite is the natural pulse of our desire, our longing, the natural zest for life that has us want to grow, engage, learn, do and be as much as we can be. Our appetite can feel unruly, even scary at the amount that it really wants. Which makes it understandable why we would try to control and contort it. We’ve lived in a culture that hasn’t applauded women being big, bold and powerful and appetite is nothing but those things.
Appetite wants us to engage with life, to soak up the juice, the nourishment, the play and the fun that feeding ourselves brings (again, I’m not just talking about food).
Most women have a BIG appetite that we’ve been told in myriad ways to turn the volume down on, cover it up, be more lady like, more polite, less bossy. We haven’t known how to work with appetite, so we’ve simply gone to the lazy way of controlling it.
And in controlling it, we’ve lost touch with the power that it holds. Women no longer know their bodies at a deep and irrevocable level. We see dis-ease, discomfort and denial of pleasure because we’ve bought into the paradigm of control, rather than one of expression.
I get it. When I first started to let the lid off my appetite, I was terrified what would happen. I loved donuts! Wouldn’t I just eat 3 dozen a day? I loved men! Wouldn’t I just devour them all and face the taunts and jeers of society’s judgment? I was bossy and had a lot to say! Wouldn’t I be shamed for not being the right kind of likable women?
But as Anais Nin’s famous quote goes, there came a time when the pain of remaining a tight bud became unbearable. I couldn’t NOT let the fullness of who I was out. And the same is true for woman after woman I work with. We start wherever each woman feels most comfortable and we take baby steps.
Embracing ones appetite, after denying it for so long is no small feat. The women who’ve done this know something intuitively: they know the lives, the joy, the full life satisfaction they crave can’t be found in the pop culture pressure of metaphorically holding our breath around our appetites and the pleasure, desire and expression that live inside our appetite. They’ve tried that route. It’s exhausting, it never ends and it doesn’t lead to ease, confidence or soul satisfaction.
I believe there is no more radical or powerful act a woman can do than stand in the fullness of her appetite, to take up space, to claim her desire and to relish in the soul quenching serenity that comes from being all of herself. It’s time, your appetite is waiting (and it has really delicious things in store).