Health » Disease; Sex & Society » Sexuality, Communication: "The Appetites Project: Planning A Diabetic Menu For Romance"

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The Appetites Project: Planning A Diabetic Menu For Romance

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When our society thinks of sexy treats, we usually think of truffles, whipped cream, chocolate fondue, dessert wines...all things that can be extremely unfriendly to diabetic partners. As with any other dietary restriction, perfectly wonderful romantic nibbles can be procured with a little thoughtfulness, common sense, and communication.

  A Note On The Importance Of Knowledge

You may also find plenty of diabetic folks you want to romp with who do not wear MedicAlert bracelets, don't carry insulin or other medications, and don't mention a diagnosis, but seem uncomfortable when sweets come out. Diabetes is often forgotten as a risk factor in kinky situations, but it's just as important as knowing whether your partner has blood pressure issues or other potential medical issues. Moderate to severe hypoglycemia — low blood sugar which can occur in uncontrolled diabetes — can alter mood, cause disorientation, or end in unconsciousness. These are serious symptoms that can quickly escalate into medical emergencies. It's okay to ask a partner, whether they're "serious" or "casual," about medical conditions you might need to know about. An easy way to get around the way some people might omit certain conditions, either out of embarrassment or lack of awareness of their serious in a sexual or kinky situation, is to list them: "Just so I know, do you have any medical conditions? Blood pressure problems, diabetes, circulatory problems...?"

  What To Serve

Unfortunately, there's no One True Answer to this one. As noted above, methods vary as to how to handle diabetes. While it may seem "safe" to just avoid sugary sweets altogether, some diabetics who seek to control their diabetes through moderation and don't care for the taste of sugar-free options may find your carefully-constructed dessert an unpleasant reminder. To know what to serve, you need to know three things:

1. Your Partner's Diet Choices. Do they prefer non-sugary or artificially-sweetened treats? Do they splurge on sugary items from time to time? Do they always drink diet soda as a compromise to allow for cake on special occasions? Are sugary treats an absolute no-no? You can't guess the diet method from the severity of the diabetes; there are many factors to take into account and it's a very individual decision. Don't assume that since you saw them chow down on an eclair once, special treats are fair game. Ask and listen.

2. A Basic Understanding Of Sugars. For folks who've never had to think about it, there are hidden sugars everywhere. The current trendy "classic" and "natural" sodas, for example, are labeled such because they are made with sugar. Alcoholic beverages are frequently extremely sugary, especially when it comes to dessert wines and specialty liqueurs; mixers are, of course, huge sugar dumps. However, dry red wines are relatively sugar-free and there's even some research being done into whether it can help to regulate blood sugar, so some research will be necessary. Labels also don't always simply say "sugar"; the ubiquitous "high fructose corn syrup" is just a certain type of sugar.

3. The Limits Of Your Knowledge And Abilities. Don't try to pull off sugar-free brownies for the first time before your big date. Don't buy something at the store that you're "pretty sure" is sugar-free. If you were surprised to find that high fructose corn syrup is a sugar, be aware that you won't be the best person to vet ingredients for your diabetic partner. To learn enough to make decisions independent of your partner in this regard, you need (in addition to your partner's trust) to do a large amount of research, and it can be exhausting and sometimes depressing to spend so much time on a loved one's medical condition. Typically, your sweetie will have already done a lot of this footwork. Don't reinvent the wheel.

  In The End

This is one of those things in life that has no pat, one-size-fits-all answer. Rather than seeing that as a frustration, try to take the opportunity to get to know your bed buddy better. Who knows what might come next?


Lust. Hunger. Thirst.  
More than just basic human needs designed to perpetuate the species, these complex motivations can lead us to the edge of obsession or euphoria, fulfillment or torment, despair or ecstasy. Without satisfaction, these desires can consume our lives. SexIs takes a closer look at the intersection between food and sex. What makes us lust for food? What foods increase our hunger for sex? In what ways do we creatively and compulsively feed our appetites? It’s food for thought.

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