In honor of Valentine’s Day, let’s talk about sex, baby.

Sex plays a fundamental role in our physical and emotional well-being. It’s a basic human need according to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, along with breathing (very important), food, water, sleep, homeostasis (another term for internal balance) and excretion (also, very important). If any of these areas are missing in life, it could negatively affect one’s health and well-being.

Therefore, it is in your best interest that I tell you about an aspect of sex that is tied to food. Well, sort of.

During my culinary training I learned about edible lubricants. My instructor said she gave them as gifts. She wouldn’t share her recipe; I think she was a little embarrassed. So I did my own research to find out what makes a lubricant both edible and lubricating?

It’s mainly due to a component called glycerin sometimes spelled glycerine (glis-uh-REEN). Glycerin is a commercial product with over 1,500 uses, as a humectant, plasticizer, emollient, thickener, solvent, dispersing medium, antifreeze, processing aid, bodying agent, sweetener and lubricant. Glycerin is often found as an ingredient in many personal care items such as soaps, lotions and of course personal lubricants. It’s also used in recipes or added to commercial food products where it can serve as an emulsifier to hold things together and also make things taste sweet.

Also known as glycerol, glycerin is found widely in the body where it serves as the backbone for a triglyceride or found floating freely in the body.

A triglyceride is a type of fat that travels through the body to be used for energy or stored as fat. As the triglyceride is broken down for energy, the byproducts are glycerol and three individual fatty acids. The glycerol component is a fat but, unlike any other fat, can be converted to glucose and used for immediate energy. The three fatty acids which were part of the triglyceride chain can be used for energy or stored as fat for future use.

When combined with water, glycerin works like humectants, which act to keep things moist. Without the addition of water, glycerin will pull water from the skin and cause dry skin. Although it is not a sugar or a carbohydrate, glycerin makes things taste sweet. It is the only fat that can be converted to glucose for energy. Health-conscious people use glycerin as an alternative sweetener because it is converted to glucose at such a slow rate that it is unlikely to cause the rapid rise in insulin associated with weight gain.

Whether you use glycerin in a recipe for food or as a lubricant, it gives you energy and the lubricating properties of oil without the stored calories associated with oils.

What you mix with glycerin will determine its taste because you choose the flavor enhancer.

Vanilla extract is perfect if you’re making a recipe for a man because research has shown that men associate the scent of vanilla with love. Actually, I believe that goes back to childhood and the wafting smell of freshly baked cookies that only mom could make. So the introduction of vanilla into an edible lubricant might border a bit on an oedipal complex, but we’ll let you guys work that one out in therapy.

Elizabeth can be reached at

Edible Lubricant

1/4 cup filtered still water (not tap & not sparkling)

1/4 cup Vegetable Glycerine (NOW brand)

1 tsp of extract of your choice such as vanilla or chocolate

Mix all ingredients in a small bottle.

Makes 1/2 cup or 4 oz. by volume.

Oedipal Ice Cream

4 eggs, beaten

1/2 cup vegetable Glycerin (NOW nutritional product)

2 cups (unsweetened) soy or almond milk

2 teaspoons alcohol free organic vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoons sea salt (optional)

2 cups light cream, or 2 extra cups of soy or almond milk to lower the fat content

1/2 cup pecans or nut of your choice (roast lightly in a skillet to bring out flavor, cool before adding)

Place medium size bowl in the freezer to chill. The ice cream will cool in this bowl. Combine beaten eggs, glycerin and almond milk in a large saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until mixture thickens and coats the spoon, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Cool by pouring mixture in the chilled bowl placed in an ice bath. Gently stir in cream, nuts and vanilla extract. Chill in freezer. After forty-five minutes, check the ice cream. As it starts to freeze near the edges stir it vigorously with a spatula, whisk or electric mixer. Break up any frozen sections and blend. Return to freezer. Continue to check the mixture every 30 minutes, stirring vigorously as its freezing. Keep checking periodically and stirring while it freezes until the ice cream is frozen. It will take about 2-3 hours.

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