If you’ve been on Gay Twitter in the past five years, there’s no doubt you’ve seen the tired joke that every twink is contractually obligated to make at least once in their life: “Just had a burrito, guess I can’t bottom for the next month.”
It’s not a great one-liner — and it’s even worse the 71st time around — but could there be a pearl of truth embedded in the mishegoss of this stupid meme? Is there actually an ideal nutritional combination to eat before “getting intimate”? And if so, how much of it should you consume?
In order to find an answer, we must first clearly define the question. What we’re ultimately looking for is the holy grail of pre-coitus fare — a complete, satisfying meal that will not leave us bloated, sluggish or gassy, but will render us horny, energized, limber and ready to tackle the unexpected.
Obviously, there is one population that ostensibly has more sex than most people, and therefore, might have keener insight into the pre-gastronomy of bone town: adult performers. If one engages in sex publicly and professionally, surely diet must factor into how they prepare for the job. This is certainly the case for gay porn performer, culture writer and self-proclaimed “pro-bottom” Ty Mitchell.
“Professionally, I’m thinking about having a dick in my ass for four to five hours while a bunch of people are in the room,” Mitchell tells me. “So, if I’m about to film a scene, I’m a lot more wary of what I’m eating. I know a lot of people, especially in my industry, who will starve themselves before they have sex, and I think that’s a really big problem.”
Instead, he opts for a protein-rich meal with lots of veggies or fresh produce before he shoots. Breakfast and a cup of coffee are a must, too. “I care more about the regularity of my diet than the emptiness of it,” he continues. “Typically if I avoid eating the morning before a shoot, I’m gonna be backed up. Even if I don’t have any coffee, it’s gonna be backed up. It’s more important that I keep my energy up than I don’t shit on set.”
Things, though, are no doubt a little different for the more casual sex-haver. I’m not too proud to admit, for instance, that the occasions on which I’ve had sex for more than four consecutive hours are few and far between. For us casual sex-havers then, Evan Goldstein, founder and CEO of Bespoke Surgical, who specializes in gay men’s sexual health and wellness, begins by offering some traditional wisdom. “A high fiber diet is really great,” he tells me. “The days that people are bottoming, they can do high protein. Different types of meats or chicken can slow your gut, and decrease the transit, so they may not interfere from a sexual perspective.”
So the wisdom passed down from our bottoming elders is true: Fiber and protein are the keys to successful bottoming. But what should we avoid at our hypothetical pre-sex dinner?
“Alcohol can cause you to see people that get flushed faces,” Goldstein says. “That same thing happens in the ass. There’s blood vessels there, and you can get yourself so dilated anally where the blood vessels are so engorged that you can get hemorrhoids.”
I realize, however, that perhaps not everyone in the world is engaging in exclusively penetrative anal sex and that my research needs to become less butthole-centric. To this, um, end, Sunny Rodgers, a sexual health and wellness educator, flips the whole script — she suggests that you engage in sexual activity before a meal. If you choose to eat beforehand, though, she recommends choosing lighter fare that may still keep you energized. “Instead of partaking in an entire meal with multiple courses, consider having a charcuterie plate or light salad to allow for energy but not an over-satiated feeling. This will allow for bodies to quickly respond to sexual cues and not have to divert blood flow to the stomach for digestion.”
Rodgers warns of the effects of ignoring her sage advice, too. A heavy meal, she says, could actually impede your pleasure in bed. “Your body will be focusing on digestion and not on the many functions and feelings associated with sex,” she explains. “The body is strategic with blood flow, and digestion could impact the quality of a person’s sex play.”
How much charcuterie, though? And should I be eating fistfuls of my light salad, or no more than a delicate forkful?
Alas, I should not. “Since sex is a physical act, you want to look at it as what you’re going to eat before working out,” registered dietitian Sam Moll tells me. “You want it to be easily digestible. If you eat a large meal and go for a run, you get cramps. So in general you want to avoid a large meal, because that’ll make you sleepy.” In other words, when it comes to optimum pre-sex meals, less charcuterie is more.
At the same time, Moll cautions that there’s no perfect pre-sex portion — instead, it all depends on your lifestyle and long-term dietary habits. Along those lines, I ask him what he might recommend for, say, a 200-pound muscle daddy versus a 120-pound twink, and after some light cajoling, he provides me with the following precious information: “If we’re considering a 200-pound, 50-year-old male who works out six times a week, they should go easy with two skinless chicken breasts, a side of couscous and braised kale with apples. A 120-pound, 21-year-old man who is moderately active will digest a meal quicker thanks to his youth, but he’ll have lower energy demands, so I’d recommend cutting out one of the chicken breasts and enjoying the same meal.”
It’s the same story for women and anyone else who doesn’t identify as a meaty daddy or a slender young man — the amount of your ideal pre-sex meal will depend entirely on how often you work out, what else you eat in a given day and what your metabolism’s like.
As far as particular foods go, it too is customized to each individual, but Moll recommends lean proteins and a lot of vegetables. “Plants are where we get our fiber, so think whole grains, fruits and vegetables,” he says (again with the fiber). “Fiber delays digestive traffic — it’s going to keep you full for longer and give you a bit more stamina. If you’re eating a lot of sugar or simple carbs, you’re going to get fatigued from that after a little while.”
If you really want to eat for the sake of fucking though, Moll has a final tip. “Some plants have flavonoids, a compound that’s abundant in berries, citrus, wine, tea and chocolate,” he continues, explaining that these will “promote relaxing and widening of our blood vessels. If you’re increasing your blood flow, you’re going to improve your erection.” (Clits also get erections, so this advice is genderless.)
Before we finish, I ask Moll to create a broadly ideal, dietitian-recommended meal for sex, to answer this question once and for all. Without further ado, I present to you the ultimate pre-fuck meal:
- Skip the free bread that arrives at the table.
- No appetizer!
- For an entree, roasted vegetables, sweet potato, braised kale and “some chicken.”
- One single glass of wine (if you want another, maybe wait until you get home).
- Save dessert for after sex.
There you have it, horndogs. May you never have bloated or gassy sex ever again.