If confronted by buffet-style portions of mozzarella sticks, thin crust pizzas, burritos and a Cheesy Gordita Crunch from Taco Bell, and right next to it, splayed across a bear-skin rug (imitation because she's vegan) laid my darling fiancée in scant lingerie in front of a glowing fireplace, I hate to admit that I'd have a tough time deciding which one I'd prefer.
These are my two favorite things in the world — food and sex — just sitting there, ready for the taking. What's a guy to do? Attack the plate like the veracious bear I am, or indulge in my innermost desires with the person I love?
I was raised to appreciate good food, and I had the rare privilege of growing up with an Italian stay-at-home mother who was a fantastic cook. So food is one of the great loves of my life.
I profess this love for food often, whether aloud, on social media or in permanent ink. I have four considerably large tattoos professing my love for food. As it stands currently, the foods represented on my body are: Mac and cheese, a slice of pizza, a hearty burger and a colorful collage of breakfast foods.
Intrigued by her emphatic response about my own preference, I posted a rather simple poll on Twitter: “What's better: Food or Sex?” The results, after 24 hours, showed that 70 percent preferred sex and the remaining 30 percent preferred food.
Obviously, 10 people isn't enough to solidify a respectable sample, so I then took my curiosity to Facebook, where I received much more detailed accounts. These were some of my favorite responses:
“Damn, man, I'm not sure. Not much much beats chicken with red and white sauce from Chicago style pizza.”
“Of course everyone's gonna say sex… but have you ever had a pulled pork poutine at 3 am though?”
“Sex, every time.”
“Good food ALWAYS wins.”
I even think I made an authentic connection occur between two of my contacts, who were very obviously flirting with each other in the comments:
I hear wedding bells!
As it stood, sex was leading by a good 70 percent. However, the result was divided by gender. Women almost unanimously chose food. Men chose sex.
So, still somewhat unsatisfied with my own results, I compared them with previous studies on similar subjects, but on a much larger scale.
Women almost unanimously chose food. Men chose sex.
In 2012, Today and Match.com joined forces to ask 4,000 people this same question. According to their results, one in three single women chose food.
This, compared to just 28 percent of people in committed relationships who preferred food, was surprising, considering sex was likely more readily available for married couples than singles. Not as surprising, however, were the men's results: Only 16 percent said they'd opt for food over sex.
I then sought a second study to confirm this impossible ultimatum once and for all. This time, the research comes from HelloFresh.
They surveyed 1,007 adults in the United States aged 18-70 about how they feel about cooking and sex, and how those two things interact.
The study, conducted from January 14-17, 2016, found that 29 percent of those surveyed believe cooking can be more satisfying than sex, while 24 percent admitted they cook to impress or seduce a companion.
Millennials were actually the likelier generation to cook to impress at 33 percent, beating out Gen X (21 percent) and Baby Boomers (20 percent).
Further research found that women are the more likely gender to feel cooking is more satisfying than sex. That said, men were found likelier to cook to impress or seduce a companion by 30 percent to 18 percent.
The results are somewhat unanimous: The variables are evidently divided by gender. Men generally prefer sex, and women generally prefer food. Two different studies and my own confirm it.
Men generally prefer sex, and women generally prefer food.
There's no denying that outside variables influence the answers to such a question. For instance, if somebody recently experienced a bad breakup, they may be more likely to opt for a pint of Ben & Jerry's over sex. Or, on the opposite end of the spectrum, somebody who's experiencing something of a dry spell may opt for sex over another slice of pizza.
Does this mean men are bad at sex? Or that dudes are inherent perverts? Or perhaps, does this finally confirm that better-than-sex chocolate does actually exist?
Who knows, but let's not overanalyze things here. This was a fun question that I'd always been curious to find an answer to.
Besides, I'm not sure there will ever be an instance where one must choose between sex or food. So let's just settle on the fact that both are fucking fantastic.