Meat represents the quintessence of erotic food. There is no scientific proof to back up this theory but its immense evocative power has remained intact for centuries. Just observe a human being ravenously tucking into meat: a stirring sight. Nothing evokes the primeval instincts of erotic cannibalism better than meat. Who can say they have never, at least once, pronounced the words “I want to devour you with kisses”?
It is generally acknowledged that eating any food with your hands is sensual, but a lamb chop in the fingers of a beautiful woman can be quite irresistible.
Our sympathies go out to all vegetarians but cooking meat is often a prelude to… the pleasures of the flesh. Eating it together is ideal, either before or after lovemaking, but make sure it is red: white meat lacks excitement. How can a turkey escalope compete with a rare fillet of beef? The only exception to this rule could be a leg of turkey. The allusive shape of any type of fowl, the invitation to grab it by the bone and its crisp skin well make up for the whiteness of its flesh and any dietary connotations.
Many cultures associate meat with sinfulness. Ancient monasteries must have had some reason for severely prohibiting its consumption and, in some of the more austere abbeys, those who ate it were even banned from confession and communion: as a food supplying energy and a stirring of the senses, it was not conducive to abstinence.
The powerful feudal landowners who brought abundant meat – especially game – to their tables, were well aware of this and understood the close relationship between the consumption of meat and physical strength. It is no coincidence that Philippe, the protagonist of Marco Ferreri’s film The Flesh, demanded rare steak in order to recover from momentary impotence.
Meat provides a source of inspiration in some highly erotic novels such as The Butcher by Alina Reyes, describing sensual back-shop encounters; Confessions of a flesh-eater by David Madsen, which, with great irony and sense of humour, narrates the infatuation of its protagonist for a quarter of beef; Immoral recipes by Montalban and Aphrodite by Isabel Allende, in which meat is the essential ingredient of the story.
What better bait than a rib of beef to rekindle those latent bestial spirits and spark off primeval hunting instincts. Meat, the food of our earliest ancestors, evokes the archaic image of man returning to his cave bearing a captured animal for his woman to cook. In this ritual, man presents her with his prey as a demonstration of his strength and power, and she transforms the throbbing animal into new edible energy for their mutual consumption. Energy to be burnt together. No less important is the fact that meat requires lengthy chewing and the use of teeth: this takes time and prevents conversation, which is also conducive to intimacy. Love is silence too. What better form of conviviality than one based on eloquent silences and devouring looks?
Inviting a partner to play a game with food can therefore be an erotic experience. It’s easily done. For example, forget cutlery and table manners and sink your teeth into a rib of beef or a shin of veal while gazing into each other’s eyes: meat invites us to abandon our usual obsession with hygiene.
Take a mental note: the more a person is inclined to dirty himself with food, the more passionate is his nature. At a dinner for two, a piece of meat on a bone held firmly in one hand so that it can be gnawed at detracts nothing from civilized man. On the contrary, it jolts him out of that somewhat affected composure which inhibits a healthy expression of his instincts.
So, let this be a homage to meat, for the role it plays in delivering metropolitan man from his excessive aplomb.