They say vegetarians do it organically. But is there really a "veggie difference?" Do vegetarians have sexual traits that distinguish them from meat-eaters? Does all that chlorophyll really get their hormones going? Are vegetarians better, worse or even noticeably different as lovers? And what makes a good lover, anyway?
We posed the question "Do vegetarians make better lovers" to both veggies and meat-eaters on the streets of New York City, to vegetarian chat groups on the internet and to a few of our friends. This is not a scientific poll or an update to the Kinsey or Masters & Johnson studies (the groundbreaking research on human sexuality), but just the reflections and experiences of those who took part in our survey. People referred to cleaner bodies, more appealing skin, fresher breath and saliva, and sweeter "love juices."
"Flesh eating is a barrier to pleasure," notes vegetarian author/historian Rynn Berry. Referring to the erotic relief statues at Khajuraho, India, depicting scenes from the Kama Sutra, Berry says, "It's hard to imagine carnivores entwined as sinuously" as these erotic figures. Perhaps the Kama Sutra--the world's most famous and ancient guide to erotic love - could only have originated in a predominantly vegetarian country.
"Just as garlic finds its way through the pores as well as through our breath," said Bob Gotch, a long-time vegetarian living in Alamita, Calif., "meat and dairy with all their added hormones, chemicals and preservatives are likely to end up in our bloodstream and therefore in the love juices' of sex." In Berry's opinion, carnivores even find each other's smell repugnant, as evidenced by the fortune spent on perfumes and deodorants in countries with meat-centered diets.
"Vegetarians have more energy." Both vegetarians and meat-eaters reflected on the stamina of past and present vegetarian lovers. Vegetarians discussed their own higher energy levels since going veg.
"I think that eating low on the food chain keeps me fit, healthy and energetic," said Laurie Hollin of Manhattan, adding, "I look pretty good in a bikini!" Vegetarian bodies are described as trimmer, leaner, more attractive, and even more agile. "It gives you more energy both in and out of the sack," according to "Dr. Joe," a vegan for II years.
Throughout the survey, vegetarians expressed confidence in their own bodies and in their adeptness at lovemaking. Experts say sex is 90% psychological, so wouldn' t such confidence in one's own prowess sensuality in itself make someone a better lover!
Several meat-eaters were convinced that vegetarians might not be as virile because they have "less blood." Blood flow is important. Erections depend on it, and the vagina needs to become engorged and receptive. But the distinction of having "less blood" belongs to meat-eaters, not vegetarians.
The number one cause of impotence, according to researchers quoted in Lancet and other medical journals, is clogged arteries--the same culprit responsible for most heart disease and strokes. The plaque formed from a lifetime of eating the standard American meat- and dairy-based diet can eventually block the arteries to the genitals as well as to the heart, the brain, the legs, and other parts of the body. Sadly, by age 65, one in four men is impotent.
Arterial blockages, even slight ones, can delay erections and even snatch them away at critical moments. In a phenomenon known as the "pelvic steal," the blood suddenly rushes back to the muscles of the legs and buttocks just as the thrusting begins, leaving the lovers hanging, so to speak.
Stacie McCray, a Manhattan "almost vegetarian," said she knows a man who's " unhealthy." She's very sure that "if he were a vegetarian he'd be healthier and happier and therefore a much better Lover." McCray added that she "will not kiss men who eat frankfurters or steak."
"Vegetarians are gentle. Both meat-eaters and veggies describe vegetarians as more, gentle, giving, and sensitive to their lovers needs "There's a gentleness about vegetarians in general that I think is related to a nonviolent diet," noted Manny Goldman, a long time vegan from New Jersey. Ethical vegans in particular will avoid all animal products for ethical reasons were attributed with being more spiritual, less selfish and more considerate as lovers and people.
"Meat-eaters are selfish--'they're not willing to give up their taste buds for other issues--while vegans look at how each action in their lives affects other beings around them," insisted Heidi Cohen, a vegan for seven years from Long Island, NY. Does this purported gentle quality of many vegetarians translate into good lovemaking! Does compassion lead to more passion! Some believe that aggression, more often attributed to meat-eaters, makes sex hotter. "it's a sign of sexuality," commented Anne-Marie Wimmer, a tourist from Munich. "It's a matter of taste," responded Goldman, "whether you want to be chewed on, bitten, and clawed." Goldman, like others we interviewed, spoke highly of "passion that builds through gentleness." Said Cohen in this regard: "Most guys think that going really fast and hard, acting strong and grabbing, feels good for women. But it's much more pleasurable to be gentle, go slow, and feel each other's love and spiritual energy." She pointed out that in tantra yoga there are positions where the couple experiences mutual pleasure without even moving; through the use of breathing techniques. One vegetarian woman, "R.M." argued that vegetarians are "much better and hotter lovers" because "we know the importance of foreplay, the act of orgasm and afterplay, or pillow talk."
Veggies prefer veggie lovers
Ultimately what makes one lover "better" than another may have more to do with personal preference and the person than diet alone. Many echoed Bob Gotch saying that other factors are important, such as "the tendency to be emotionally expressive, a partner's self-acceptance, comfort with her/his own body, not having a shame-based attitude toward sexuality," and so on. "The sexiest man I know is a meat-eater," said Alice. "He has a hostile, critical disposition, but he is the best lover."
Still, most vegetarians expressed a preference for other vegetarians, especially when it comes to long-term, committed relationships. Several said they experienced "chemistry" with non-vegetarians and enjoyed satisfying short-term encounters and relationships with them; but over the long run, most said, compatibility of lifestyles becomes an issue.
Dave Horn, an ethical vegan from Jersey City, NJ, says he has never dated a carnivore for more than three months. "I just can't take the guilt of knowing that I've done nothing to keep her from causing animals to suffer. After a while I just lose respect for her and myself-and no relationship can survive that"
Vegetarian couples develop a special affinity arising from the joys of eating together---described by Horn as a "sensual act" and sharing what he calls the "quiet struggles with the world every day" (e.g. sifting through ingredient lists, asking picky questions at restaurants, searching for non-leather shoes).
Closeness naturally evolves from shared values, whether it's concern for health, the environment or the animals. "They're a little distinctive--they've made the first step," says one man, a writer and ethical vegan, explaining his attraction to vegetarian women. "If making love is responding physically to someone whom you respect and feel tender towards, then how much more likely is that love-making to be generous and openhearted (and therefore good) if that person shares your core ideals"
There are a number of different reasons why people chose to become vegans or vegetarians and as many different ways: they benefit from their choices. However, not everyone agrees that eating a plant-based diet automatically makes one a better lover.
"Vegetarianism gives you a better chance of leading a long, healthy life, and it helps protect the earth's non-renewable sources, but it doesn't transform your sexuality or personality to make you a better lover," says "Wildman" Steve Brill, a naturalist and wild food vegan for 13 years. When you switch to vegetarianism, in Brill's view, your essential sexuality doesn't change.
Subtly, though, the vegetarian diet does seem to change people: their scent and taste, their skin, hair and bodies--the way they relate to animals and ultimately to lovers and others; Maybe this is what inspires some vegetarians to proclaim the veggie difference" so enthusiastically.--Joan Zacharias
--Joan Zacharias, a media researcher by profession, has been vegetarian for six years and vegan for three. She lives in Brooklyn, NY and is an activist for animal rights and social iustice . Reprinted with permission from Veggie Single News, Inc., P.O. Box 300412, Brooklyn, NY 11230-0412.
Do Vegetarians Make Better Lovers?
At the risk of repeating what the article states, it's true. I do have much more energy, both in bed and out, I also am lighter and feel better about my body, which carries over into the relationship. More energy equals a willingness to experiment, and newfound pleasures. I am amazed that a diet containing meat can make you feel so bad inside and so sluggish. -Donna Z.
My soulmate, lover and spiritual husband transformed from a meat-eater to vegetarian to vegan. As his diet changed he changed. This man went from being an angry, aggressive, repressed, deceptive, lying, fearful little man who hid his love to being gentle, fully self expressed and committed to his love of me and his own examination of self and the culture of the world we live in. He loves all people and all animals He is the best lover and man I have ever known. His love making has grown over the years. He became vegetarian initially because I would only date a vegetarian so I have only made love to him as a vegetarian and now as a vegan.
As a neo-phyte vegetarian and neo-phyte relationship our lovemaking was furious, intense and almost angry. When I would make suggestions we try something different or gentle he would become angry and stop completely. I stopped asking. In private, in bed, he said I was a gift from God. He loved me so but he hid his feelings about me from all his friends and family. They thought he couldn't wait to get rid of me. I stopped the relationship. I dated a very nice meat-eater and he was great but the sex was terrible. I can't stand his taste, his smell. When he eats meat around me I am totally turned off. The smell, the taste, the soul it was just not there.
My soulmate never left me although I had left him. He was always around wanting and waiting for me. He transitioned into the Vegan diet and became gentle, loving, openingly expressive of his love for me... most of all he became a great LISTENER. Our relationship blossomed in ways it never had before. By his example of transformation I became Vegan as well. Our lovemaking shifted. He is gentle, sexy and subtly seductive. His smell is the best aphrodisiac in the world. He just has to be near me or hold me and I am melted to desire in an instant. He is like a flame, his smell, his lips, his taste... delirious. In the time it takes to inhale his scent I am so... ready for him. He is the love of my dreams... no one could possibly be better for me. Our slim, sexy bodies and souls fit together like God made us for each other. Monogamy is a blessing with a man like this... and a choice. Ten years of deep, deep love, sex, soulmating that couldn't get any better... But somehow every time we are together we seem to reach a new, ever greater level of love, expression, communication, soul flight. -Ann
Recently i met a vegan male, and immediately the attraction was there. much of it had to do with the fact that we were both vegan. we had a wonderful time together and shared an experience that neither one of us will forget for quite some time. unfortunatley we don't live near each other, otherwise maybe it would be something more than it was. i have been attracted to meat eaters in the past, but i have never had an experience with one that was as wonderful as this. i never wanted it to end. -Dana