It began innocently enough: four women of a certain age meet on a Saturday in New York City to talk, eat, and see art. Yet by day’s end, we were innocent no more, and I’d conceived of a new movement: Slow Sex.
We started at M. Wells, the hip, newish restaurant in Long Island City, famous for Montreal cuisine. The place was packed, placing us within pheromone distance of a bevy of boys, all leaning Canadian in plaid shirts, black, square glasses, and baggy jeans.
The boys didn’t appeal to our sense of smell, but the food got our juices flowing (the meat being the thing at M. Wells). Sadly though, the venison jerky salad was so dry it needed K-Y jelly, and the fish soup, (the one thing you want to smell fishy), creamy in all the wrong places.
Thankfully, the desserts – coconut cream and maple pies – brought us the satisfaction we’d been craving.
From there we headed to the art museum P.S.1, where we walked smack dab into real sex, as opposed to the faux food-induced variety, in the photography of Laura Nakadate, whose looks suggested she never ate, and whose artwork gave the impression she preferred sex with herself, leading us to wonder: Do women even need men to get off, or is pleasuring yourself with dessert good enough?
We hadn’t expected that a place known for hand-crafted beers and organic, locally sourced food would lead us to dishing on sex again, but this time it was Rich who was all hot and bothered.
“Did you see the recent New York magazine article about how Internet porn is ravishing men’s sex lives?” he asked, handing us plates of roasted sweet potatoes with thyme he’d slaved over all day in the kitchen.
“I mean, you can find anything out there. Big-breasted women with fake boobs. Flat-chested hipster chicks who look like teenage girls. It’s all there, easy to access, and free. Which means, guys can’t get it up with their girlfriends any more,” he cried. We were enraptured, though whether by the implications of what Rich was saying or the braised kale with Heritage Farm bacon he handed us next, we weren’t sure.
I surveyed the room, now thick with men, all of whom looked eerily similar to those at M. Wells: black, square glasses, plaid shirts, baggy jeans, all sporting thick beards one hoped would go the way of the once-fashionable female bush.
That’s when it hit me. If it was true that guys who got off on Internet porn were the same ones who could a) tell extra virgin from virgin (olive oil) with their eyes closed (and hands tied behind their backs?); b) would no sooner wrap their mouths around a hormone-injected hamburger than listen to Justin Bieber; and c) would give their last dollar to buy a dozen, free-range eggs rather than be caught fixing an omelet with the corner bodega variety, then all we needed to get them interested in their girlfriends again was convince them that pleasuring themselves online was equivalent to eating a McDonald’s Happy Meal!
I suggested this to Rich after pleasuring myself with his sticky toffee pudding.
“I’m not advocating a return to a boring sexual diet,” I argued, Ronnybrook whipped cream still glistening on my lips. “On the contrary. My point is to show gastronomically sophisticated men that sex with locally grown women (rather than ones shipped from overseas, whose origins are unknown), who aren’t picked while still underripe, nor filled with chemicals like silicone, are as worthwhile procuring as a perfectly marbled slab of Niman Ranch bacon for the superior mouth feel both offer. Heck, maybe we can even get men to see that older, heirloom women – while not always perfect looking outside – taste better than mass-produced younger varieties that just look fresh on the shelf.”
I continued, my excitement mounting. “And for guys who, for ethical reasons, only eat organic, free range, and Fair Trade food, we label porn so that, at least if they’re going to consume it, they can feel better knowing the women they’re watching are cage-free!”
Rich wasn’t so sure, nor were my girlfriends. But I contend that if New York magazine is right – that easy access to fast-food sex dulls men’s taste buds for the good stuff – it’s time to borrow a page from the Slow Food movement’s little black playbook. Maybe then, asking men to forego cheaply produced porn will feel less like a moralistic burden and more like a message they can wrap their legs around.
In fact, I’ve come up with a slogan to start the campaign:
“My milk’s free of bovine growth hormone, and my girlfriend’s breasts are too.”
For a fabulous meal made with organic, locally grown food (all prepared by a chef we love), visit Jimmy’s No. 43, 43 East 7th Street, NYC, 212.982.3006.
Read a review of Laurel Nakadate’s show from female friend #1 and art critic/editor extraordinaire, Carol Diehl.
Learn “What’s Organic About Organic?” by bringing this new documentary to your home town.