Food Now, Sex Later
If it were up to my husband, it would be sex now and food later. Sadly for him, the opposite is true. And apparently I'm not the only woman who feels this way. According to a recent article in The Daily Mail, a UK-based study of 5,000 men and women showed 25 percent of women think about food every 30 minutes...a number surprisingly close—or not so surprisingly close—to the percentage of men who fantasize about sex over the same time period.
The results of this study weren't news to me (and not just because I crave chocolate* far more often than sex). Although I personally know of at least one exception to the study's findings, in general a woman's relationship with food takes precedence over her relationship with anything else. Why? Because it is closely tied to so many aspects of a woman's life.
When PMS hits, it's all about satisfying food cravings. The focus of most girls' nights out is where and what to eat. If a friend or neighbor is going through a difficult time, we offer freshly baked bread or a decadent dessert. Around 5 p.m. most women's thoughts are focused on desperately trying to figure out what to fix for dinner. A bad breakup with a boyfriend leads to a pint of Ben & Jerry's ice cream, while a successful date leads to a mug of hot cocoa with side of marshmallows. And being on a diet doesn't make us think about food less. If anything, it makes it so we're thinking about food every minute—the same frequency as 5% of the men in the study thought about sex!
Interestingly, the article goes on to report that for all this thinking about food, women don't necessarily have a healthy relationship with it. Check out these stats based on the women in the study:
- 15 percent eat junk food in secret (I'm one of those); 10 percent lie about doing so. (I'm not one of those.)
- 13 percent opt for low-calorie dishes in restaurants rather than ordering what they really want. (I may be guilty of this as recently as last week.)
- 40 percent feel they're constantly dieting or concerned about weight.
- 50 percent of women in relationships feel self-conscious when undressing. (I only get that way when someone's watching.)
- 60 percent of women in relationships are uncomfortable eating in front of their partner. (Only if I'm eating his leftovers.)