Photo by Tim Gunther

THE CONNECTION BETWEEN FOOD AND SEX is obvious enough: For proof, one need only look to the sparkly eyed cook-teases on the Food Network, licking crème anglaise from their fingers with a deep, satisfied moan. It's the age of "food porn," and we're tempted daily by images of burgers glistening with fat, lodged in plump brioche buns, or ice cream slowly melting down the side of a waffle cone. Beyond such gastronomic titillation, the bookshelves are stuffed with food memoirs by middle-aged men and women who write breathlessly about the sensuality of freshly made pasta, or how the savage desire for rare steak soothed the wounds of a broken marriage.

I, for one, am tired of the veiled pretense of sexuality that surrounds our food. There are very real instances in one's life when one must stand at the crossroads of sex and food, where a well-penned metaphor or smile from Giada De Laurentiis isn't going to help one damn bit.

To that end, we offer this, a more practical guide. In these pages you'll learn if cooking can get you laid; understand the ins and outs of feeding hungry swingers; find out what you should be eating pre-coitus; discover Portland's sexiest restaurant; and all of the juicy shenanigans that happen behind the kitchen doors. Have at it. Just remember to turn off the kitchen light after you're done. Or before, if that's more your style.