Believe it or not, food was introduced in the early days of my love life. One trip to Cirilla’s, an adult sex and romance shop, introduced me to a world of edible lubes, flavored condoms, and gummy candy penises and boobs. The cashier at the store saw me looking at the row of candy g-strings and nipple tassels and offered me some sage, unsolicited advice: “If you’re into candy,” she said, “you should try sticking a fruity Tootsie Roll ‘up there’ for your man to find.” This is not the only thing she suggested to spice up my very new, blossoming sex life. “You can also cut out the bottom of a cupcake wrapper and put frosting on your coochie,” she offered with a straight face. While I was in no rush to go home and try either of these suggestions, I initially didn’t see it as an unsafe thing to do. 

In a casual conversation with a friend, I shared this slightly wild customer service interaction. “OH EM GEE, that is a yeast infection waiting to happen,” my friend told me. Sometimes, the best sex ed you can get is from your friend in a grade higher than your own while serving your time in a public Ohio school.

However, my sex shop soirée was followed by countless flips through Cosmopolitan’s spicy pages where I once found a whole spread about kitchen sex. These positions had people saying “Yes, chef!” way before The Bear. (I mean, as long as you sterilize your spanking spoon before and after use, I think these are some decent tips.)

Navigating the world of food and sex in any capacity is incredibly nuanced. Some perceive the act as strictly part of sexual subcultures or interlaced exclusively with food fetish videos, which are now creeping onto TikTok. Other open-minded people may be looking to try something new with their partner(s), but may not know exactly how to incorporate food into their activities. Luckily, Spoon University is both hungry and horny for knowledge. Here’s what the leading experts in the sex education and relationship fields have to say about bringing food into the bedroom.

How do I tell my partner I am interested in incorporating food into the bedroom? 

It might feel awkward to bring this idea up at first, but with a trusted partner, you can explore almost anything together. Matthew Lachman, an AASECT certified sex therapist and owner of Cleveland Sex Therapy, had some wonderful ideas — not just for introducing food sex into the bedroom, but any sexual activity into the conversation. “Make it a point to talk about your brakes and accelerators to arousal weekly. When was the last time a check-in was done? Now that sex is talked about more, let's broach the subject of kinky play and exploration,” Lachman said. “In general, I am a proponent of bringing food into the bedroom to mix things up and provide more sensuality. This is an inherently vulnerable situation so don't be alarmed if your partner is taken back. This does not have to be a one-time conversation. Start slow.”

Lachman is all about asking questions and examining your desires with yourself and with your partner to have a safe and fulfilling experience.

Similarly, Hannah Deindorfer isn’t just a sex and sexuality coach with more than 500 happy clients. She’s “The Libido Fairy” who helps “low-libido women create turn-on, pleasure, self-love, and freedom to have the sex lives of their dreams.”

She noted that opening up conversations like these should happen in a neutral environment — basically, anywhere but the bedroom. Consent is key when beginning the conversation, making sure your partner is open to hearing about new fantasies. Iterate that you’re already enjoying your sexual experiences and want to explore those good feelings in a new way, and this idea doesn’t come from a lack of satisfaction. “Share playfully without expectation,” Deindorfer recommended. “Like ‘So, I've been thinking it could be fun to explore something new in the bedroom and enhance, like incorporating food, and I have some fun ideas on how to do that. What do you think about that?’” Just be prepared for any reaction they might have, accept it, and talk through it.

What are safe foods to bring into the bedroom for beginners?

Lachman is all about syrups, whipped cream, and honey. “These can be put on various parts of the body [or] be put on our partner's hands and be sucked off sensually,” he said, noting that these should never be used on or inside of the vagina. 

If you don’t want to opt for a grocery store Hershey’s chocolate syrup situation, many companies specialize in body chocolates, edible paints, and the like exclusively for this type of play.

Of course, when you first imagine a food-based sexual experience, Reddi-wip may come to mind. (Whipped cream bikinis à la Varsity Blues and Katy Perry music videos are doing wonders for the brand, TBH!)

Deindorfer then shared the words I’ve been waiting to hear my entire adult life. “Turn your partner into a charcuterie board and have a little meal off of them — with whatever types of foods pique your interest. Give lots of praise and kisses and maybe even a little massage to the partner being the table.” I certainly can’t wait to ask my boyfriend if I can turn him into a butter board.

She also expressed that exploring temperature sensations through food is a delightful way to try something new, including “alternating ice cubes with melted chocolate and [reporting] on which sensations you enjoy the most.” Normally I wouldn’t recommend people watch the Fifty Shades Of Grey trilogy as they’re simply not kinky enough, but the famous “ice cube scene” is a great source of inspo for this exact scenario.

#SpoonTip: Make sure warm chocolate feels comfortable on the skin. Burning yourself or your S.O. is not sexy.

As far as practices to avoid, Lachman shared that inserting produce vaginally or anally is not something he recommends. “Fruits and veggies have microbes that could disrupt the Ph balance of a vagina. At the end of the day, I would stick to more common sex toys like dildos if we want to insert something.”

Can incorporating food into the bedroom enhance my relationship?

“The focus on sensory pleasure through using food can enhance connection to your body,” Deindorfer noted. “Sharing openly about what you like and dislike, debriefing the experience, and negotiating boundaries will strengthen trust and communication skills.”

According to Dr. Melissa Hudson of Counseling Solutions of Texas, novel experiences increase intimacy, generate excitement, freshen up routines, and more. It can be anything from trying to cook a new meal together for a weeknight dinner to using your partner’s butt as a bowl.

“I do believe that food play is a fetish, but definitely one that can be enjoyed by vanilla partner(s),” Sheena Sharma, a dating coach based in Austin, said. In her experience, people who are adventurous with food play are sexually adventurous as well. “Food play is a great way for vanilla partners to start adding spice,” she continued. “And then they can work their way up from there if they're feeling called to adventure even more.”