When food becomes a safe word
In the era of #MeToo, forget strawberry and chocolate – beware the pineapple
Food is something that has enthralled people for ages. Hunter-gatherers planned their lives around food-gathering expeditions and today, in a world where food is the most accessible it has been, it is used in ways our ancestors would never have imagined.
From dining in the sky or in underwater restaurants, to burger patties that are not, in fact, made of meat, or crafting food that looks like one thing but is the complete opposite: the food industry has conceptualised ways of keeping food new, current and exciting.
One of the most exciting ways in which to use food, it would seem, has absolutely nothing to do with the purposes hunter-gatherer societies went out to forage and hunt. Combining food and sex, it is food but not quite as we know it.
The need for safe words is nothing new; they are usually used between couples who want to turn up the heat without risking a burn. In the climate of #MeToo, the need to extend this safety net has been highlighted in Hollywood where intimacy co-ordinators are being employed to ensure actors’ safety on-set.
Not all directors are taking this precautionary step of employing intimacy co-ordinators, which has led actresses to start employing safe words that can be used when filming a sex scene gets too heated. Apparently, some actresses are even insisting that these safe words be written into their contracts.
Without doing too much digging, it would seem that in both Hollywood and in the confines of private spaces, food items are some of the most popular safe words people prefer to use. Favourites that are featured in a variety of different lists include “pineapple”, “banana”, “apple”, “orange”, “peach” and “vanilla”. One list even included “banoffee”, “fairy bread” or “mayonnaise”.
While some people may find the use of food exciting during the throes of passion (there is, after all, a reason why safe words are needed), most people are likely to find it’s a quick way of diffusing a tense situation — naming one of the most ordinary things you can think of might just do the trick.