Things Can Be Sexy Without Being Sexual and Enjoying Watching Someone Eat Doesn't Mean It's a Fetish

Gastronomic voyeurism may seem like a “strange new fad/fetish” but, uh, have you ever heard of the Food Network?

Feb 5, 2014 at 12:30pm | Leave a comment

I have found my next career. I am going to quit my day job and make $9,000 per month eating three hours per day in front of a web cam. “Gastronomic voyeurism “is taking off in South Korea and I’m going to get ahead of the curve by starting my own program now, here in America.
 
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NEW HERO (photo copyright of Reuters)

 
Like Park Seo-yeon before me, I will lay out an impressive feast and let viewers watch me consume it for their entertainment and pleasure. I’m going to have to wait until I get rid of this sinus infection though, as right now I have to eat with my mouth open (for oxygen-related reasons) and that would probably kill the mood.
 
Of course people’s first response to gastronomic voyeurism is “FETISH” and “MASTURBATING PERVERTS,” and that may be the case. It would be naïve of me to assume that no one is tuning into Park Seo-yeon’s program for masturbatory purposes, but I don’t think it’s just that. It could be because they hate eating alone. It may be because she can eat THIRTY EGGS in one sitting and that's pretty impressive. It may just be because they like watching a woman eat.
 
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Quality Entertainment

 
Gastronomic voyeurism may seem like a “strange new fad/fetish” but, uh, have you ever heard of the Food Network? Attractive women preparing, describing and eating food for the entertainment of others is nothing new. You know a large percentage of Nigella Lawson’s viewership is there for more than her Tuna Mornay recipe, because Tuna Mornay sounds terrible. In the words of my father: “She’s giving someone marriage problems.”
 
And don’t even try and tell me that Cutthroat Kitchen isn’t a little kinky. Alton Brown is a sadist, and the joy in his eyes when he tells someone they have to cook soup in a cookie sheet borderlines on obscene.
 
Alton and Nigella aside, eating is and has always been a sensual experience. If we simply ate to “fuel our bodies,” things like wagyu beef and foie gras wouldn’t exist. We would just eat lean protein and green vegetables and maybe some brown rice and only drink room temperature water.
 
But we don’t. Because food is also a source of pleasure, and sometimes that pleasure can get a little sensual. I don't think there's anything wrong with that. A lot of things can be sexy without being sexual.
 
For instance: I have a thing about watching men fix things, especially sinks. When the garbage disposal broke last year, I assumed we would have to call a guy, but was super pleasantly surprised when my husband just got under there and fixed it himself. He didn’t even have to google it! Bring me my fainting chair! There is nothing inherently sexual about fixing a sink, but I cannot deny that I find this skill super attractive. Would I pay extra for a channel that was just men fixing sinks? Probably not. But I definitely re-watched this scene from season five of Mad Men more times than I care to admit.
 
Of course I had to ask the other editors what nonsexual things they find sexy:
 
I like watching a guy I'm dating read, work on a computer, do art or do anything else that seems to totally engross him. I find it hot when he's totally wrapped up or consumed in something that isn't me, basically. I also love seeing men play with their dogs or pet their cats or do anything else that's sweet and related to small furry creatures.
 
My dude hates holding my purse for me even for a second, but I think it's very sexy. Like the dude cares so much about his lady that he A) doesn't want her to get mugged or B) have to carry heavy things. I'M A PRINCESS!!!!!!
 
Natalie agrees:
Hahahaha yes I got you with this one. I love it when Chris carries all the shopping bags because he is STRONG LIKE AN OX.
 
And then she added:
 
Men being kind to animals, like on "Animal Hospital" I will inevitably fall in love with all of the vets.
 
Also any man fixing anything.
 
Really good acting -- especially distress, fainting or doing an accent of some sort. I'm pretty sure it's why I married my ex-husband, and also why it didn't work out, because he started acting IN REAL LIFE. That's much less sexy.
 
And later:
 
For some reason, I find this commercial really sexy (well, the dude in it, and how he's all passionate about his Giant Car Baby.)
 
I actually think it's sexy when women eat -- not in a fetish sense but because I like seeing women enjoy themselves in ways they "aren't supposed" to enjoy themselves. I find it sexy when someone is really genuinely enjoying something, not in a performative or showy way but in that totally into something way that means they are captured by how awesome something is. Competence, especially problem solving. 
 
Also, it will never not be sexy to watch people getting dressed. The whole process from socks to makeup. I don't know why I love that.
 
SAME regarding getting dressed, especially with very intricate things like makeup or a lot of buttons. Also performing of any sort, similar to Marci's. And when people baby-talk to dogs, because I am HIGHLY predictable.
 
People who are good at math and science are so sexy [Claire Note: Thanks!]. Or a real in depth knowledge of computers. People who make numbers elegant. It's so outside of my realm of thinking.
 
Also people who can build furniture. Going out, finding some wood, and hammering and sanding and cutting it to make something functional but attractive. Yes, I like someone who is both functional and attractive -- like the furniture they will make me.
 
Plus kindness to animals. I knew I loved my husband when he let a squirrel steal his sandwich.
 
Men who remember things. And who anticipate and plan ahead. Heavenly.
 
Men cooking. Men holding babies. Men being kind to the elderly. Men being kind to waiters/people in the service industry.
 
BASKETBALL SHORTS.
 
So there are ours. What are some nonsexual things you guys find hot?