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I used to date a temperamental pastry chef. We didn’t get along very well and I knew it was going nowhere, but we were great at having sex.

I have this distinct memory of coming over to his house and watching him make a chicken pot pie. It was a Saturday afternoon, he was shirtless (of course) and walking me through how he made the brisée. Rolling the dough out over the ends of his small kitchen table, he used the rolling pin with a precise sort of recklessness, flour covering his hands, smudging some on his right nipple. Distracted, I helped as best I could — chopping carrots, celery, thyme, and potatoes — while we listened to the new Azealia Banks album. By the time the pie was in the oven, I was so turned on, that we were practically fucking in the kitchen until we eventually migrated bedroom. When the pie came out of the oven, we were so exhausted and famished that we ate half of it. I remember this because I was a bit depressed about having sex with someone I didn’t feel very much for, but the pie seemed to momentarily erase that.

There’s a scientific phenomenon called "post-coital tristesse" which refers to that feeling of pit-stomach sadness you might get post-intercourse. After a period of immense pleasure, your mind experiences a come-down that can sometimes completely engross and confuse your emotional senses. During the time of the Roman Empire, doctors believed that every animal experienced this post-sex melancholy except for roosters and human females. There’s something about food after sex that seems to soften the blow of this prolonged refractory period. After getting your heart rate up and sweating a little, the food you decide to eat afterward is a moment frozen in time — a warm, quiet memory you can revisit every time you eat that food thereafter. Interested in this phenomenon, I asked around about other guys’ post-sex snacks.

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Right after Mardi Gras, I stayed over at his place one night on the weekend, and we were both coming down with some kind of flu. I decided to make him this super herbal chicken soup. It’s essentially spring onion, ginger, garlic, green chile, chicken breast, and chicken stock, with rice and daikon radish, and a whole bunch of fresh coriander and mint on the top. He lived in this super swanky one-bedroom with a terrace, and I felt so grown up at the time, falling into this fantasy of domestic life, cooking this soup for him, eating it, and watching a shitty documentary about World War II.

—Justin (Sydney, Australia)

Much to the dismay of my partner, one of my favorite snacks is canned smoked oysters. There’s one time I had sex with someone in the kitchen and afterward, I saw the Clover Leaf can just sitting there, calling my name. I ate some, but when we started making out again we had to stop because my breath was all seafoody. He made me brush my teeth before he could continue kissing.

—Cody (Toronto, Canada)

Last year I met this Canadian who was a nanny for this ranch in Malibu, and he was only here temporarily on a work visa or something. We were on and off for two months, hooking up and watching HBO. He was a beatnik vegetarian, and we went to this shitty vegan Indian restaurant that would always leave me hungry the entire time we were together. The great thing about southern California is that there’s a place to get tacos at any hour of the day. After he would leave, I would go get a few orders of carne asada.

—Jeremy (Santa Monica, California)

So I keep dark chocolate in my freezer. It’s those cheesy Dove chocolates with the little inspirational notes inside. There was this guy I dated during a hot, long summer. After we would have sex, we would clean up, and right before sleeping, I’d grab two or four chocolates from the freezer. They were so cold sometimes I’d press the chocolates on him, and we’d read each other the notes in silly voices, and throw the wrappers on the floor next to cum-filled Kleenexes.

—Jeff (Brooklyn, New York)

It was a ramen place I think called Twoodles, or some people called it Two Chow? It was across the street from our apartment and open late, so my ex-boyfriend and I made it our thing to go over after sex and get a bowl of ramen with sriracha and their sort of melted peanut-buttery sauce. If it was a real good time, we’d get spring rolls. We didn’t go as much toward the end of our relationship.

—Brian (Halifax, Nova Scotia)

I almost always need something salty after sex. I enjoy saltines (the cheap kind) with slices of sharp Colby cheese. I’ll go through about half a stack, and put them on a plate, then make my way back to the bed. Some guys eat it with me and find it cute. Others politely decline.

—Zac (Cottleville, Missouri)

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This was actually the night we decided to start dating exclusively. He took me ice-skating downtown even though he hated it and was very bad at it. I think we tried watching a movie like Moulin Rouge or Atonement but ended up just having sex. We made late-night pancakes. Bananas folded into the batter, topped with strawberries, walnuts, syrup, and more bananas.

—Brandon (Newport, Kentucky)

 

I was dating a guy casually at the time, but eventually we would date for two years. He drove me to Chick-fil-A and bought me dinner after the first time we had sex. Spicy chicken sandwich, no pickles, large fry, and a root beer. I thought it was special and hilarious in an ironic sort of way to eat at an openly homophobic restaurant after having gay sex. Eventually he would break up with me, twice, in that same Chick-fil-A parking lot.

—Shawn (Los Angeles, California)

 

Both of us had been talking about how we wanted to cook more. We were sort of at this phase of the relationship where I was trying to figure out if it had a more serious element to it, so I thought cooking together would be this romantic activity. He really only likes comfort foods, and he had his mom email this “amazing meatloaf recipe.” It was very simple. Ground beef, onions, salt, and pepper. The top of it had this ketchup-Worchestire glaze. We put it in the oven, and started fooling around, but we didn’t time it properly so by the time we were actually going to have sex, the timer kept going off, and I had to keep stopping to check it. After we finally finished, the meatloaf was done. It was maybe a little overcooked, but still delicious.

—Ben (Brooklyn, New York)