If you haven’t been able to tell by now by the amount I mention my frequent interaction with my family, I am back home living with my parents in this cant-find-a-job-post-grad apocalyptic recession. No worries though, it will be a few more months before I start itching for the independence I had the last four years in school. The other day I was talking to my father about my blog and he said to me “well you don’t write a blog about veganism and sex. You write a blog where sometimes you talk about veganism, and sometimes you talk about sex.” I stared at him as if he just sprouted another endearingly Jewish nose on the side of his face and headed out for my morning run contemplating the comment. Doesn’t he realize how similar they are? I thought. Apparently I’m unique in my idea that the purity of veganism and the base-need for sex are similar. Both are simple and basic, both are about nourishment and embracing life and, well, when done correctly they both feel pretty damned amazing. Plus, if you’re a foodie eating is an extremely sensual experience, although you don’t have to be a vegan to understand that.
My boyfriend Ben used to work at a restaurant called Simple Pleasures and I teased him about the name because it sounds to me like vegan erotica (aka, a place I want to go). It was really just a southern style restaurant, much to the disappointment of any travelers passing through Harrisonburg, VA who see the sign for it. Sex is all about simple pleasure. Simple in that it is the root of all our existence, it is what drives us, it is why our bodies are built the way they are and you don’t have to be a Freudian to admit that our society is pretty friggin’ obsessed with it. You can trace nearly anything in a culture, from beauty rituals to social interactions, back to the need to reproduce. Aside from needing sex to function, we also need to eat. Obviously, you don’t have to be vegan to eat, but like sex, veganism takes eating back to basics. If done correctly, it removes all the crap we funnel into ourselves; chemicals, carcinogens, carbohydrates devoid of nutritional value and a slew of man-made junk we can’t even pronounce, let alone digest correctly. To be a healthy vegan you need to make conscious choices in order to make sure you are getting what you need. (And to have a healthy sex life you need to make conscious choices to make sure you aren’t getting herpes). In doing so, you come to realize you really don’t need a whole lot. A complete protein (rice and beans? Quinoa? Soy?), complex carbohydrates and nutrient filled vegetables and you’re good to go. Some people may consider that boring, just like some probably find the missionary position boring, or sex with the same person over and over boring, or sex with themselves boring. See where I’m going with this?
No? Okay, well how about the fact that both veganism and sex are about embracing life. Eating vegan is completely non-violent, meaning no animals get hurt in the process, which is the great appeal to many who choose to live a vegan life-style. While the physical act of sex can be violent if that’s what you’re into (and many are), the idea of sex and most often the act itself is not violent, thus the reason it has been coined ‘love-making.’ Plus, the primal point of sex is to reproduce, which is about giving life, not taking it. The non-violence of veganism is an added bonus for me, because as much as I truly appreciate that, what really turned me on to veganism was the fact that it made me feel so damned good.
When I became a vegetarian years ago I found a kind of new lightness of being. I didn’t feel so weighed down the way I had when eating meat, although you couldn’t tell from the way I could inhale a hot dog like no one’s business. For me, vegetarianism lasted for years, but I still had issues. I fell asleep so often my family teased me about being narcoleptic. I was always so cold I had to keep my heavy coat on inside during cold Connecticut winters. Seriously, I slept in it. I forced myself to go to the gym because I knew exercise was good for me but aside from that I had zero energy. Worst of all, my stomach often hurt, and although I knew all along it was from eating dairy, I just couldn’t keep off the cheese. I decided to go vegan to see how it would make my body feel, telling myself right from the start it wouldn’t be for good if I didn’t notice a significant change. I had a long talk with the sharp cheddar. (“It’s only temporary. I swear, really, it’s not you, it’s me..”) Since last November when I had my last (heaping) spoonful of Greek yogurt, I haven’t looked back. My energy has improved, my circulation is better, I have put on muscle, I get up early in the morning and make it through the day nap-free and smiling, and my stomach aches evaporated faster than you can say “tofutti”. Plus, my complexion has improved, my hair is thicker, and my nails are strong and healthy. I feel really good. If I need to explain to you in this detail why sex feels good than I need to commend you on your abstinence because clearly you aren’t gettin’ it. Aside from the serious mmmm-that’s-nice factor of sex, a good roll in the hay (what am I, ninety?) can also relieve stress, improve self-esteem, build stronger relationships,and amp up your energy. These are just a few of the cornucopia of om-like centering side effects that come from a healthy sex life, and you don’t have to be a yogini to follow that line of thinking.
For me, the sensuality of veganism just makes sense, just like the importance of sex just makes sense. It all kind of clicks in my brain and I have never spent much time trying to piece it together logically as I am doing now, just in the way some people just understand physics or are naturally musically inclined. Not that it’s a talent, just something I have never really had to think about, so I hope I have made sense and painted a pretty picture here. Eating a natural, healthy vegan diet is good for you, will make you live longer, sends feel-good-vibes out into the universe and gives you a nice healthy glow. All of this is also true of an orgasm, so you should probably find your guy or gal and get naked. Grab a carrot on your way to the bedroom (for eating! Sheesh, someone’s mind is in the gutter).