Given the current economic climate, people are looking to cut costs wherever they can—including in the bedroom. Before you spend big bucks on a double-action, multispeed vibrator with ball bearings and Paris Hilton–worthy rhinestones, why not check out what’s available at the grocery store? With a little forethought and imagination, you might be surprised at the myriad ways foods can satisfy a different kind of craving.
Cucumbers When it comes to poor-man’s (or woman’s) dildos, nothing does a better stand-in job than a cucumber. But size does matter: Some cucumbers can be painfully porn-star–sized. Look for one that’s no larger than what could comfortably fit inside you for vaginal or anal play and never, ever, ever insert produce into the vagina or anus without slipping a lubricated condom over it to reduce potential irritation from chemicals, pesticides or bacteria not meant for one’s genitals. If using cucumbers for anal play, hold onto the end of the condom for dear life, lest the condom-clad cucumber get sucked up inside your body and make you the laughingstock of the ER. Zucchini and yellow squash also make good dildo understudies.
Bananas With their pointy ends, bananas are not ideal for vaginal or anal play, unless you like that kind of thing (I really can’t recommend it—vaginas and rectums are sensitive!). If you insist on using a banana—again, put a condom over it prior to inserting it and hold on to the end for anal play—choose a firm one over a week-old, sale-rack banana, which could get mushy if your vaginal or sphincter muscles contract around it. Not good! That said, I’ll give the banana props for its curved shape, which can be useful for stimulating the G-spot, located one to two inches inside the vagina, on the front vaginal wall.
Banana peels Remember the apple-pie scene in American Pie? Replace the pie with a banana peel. A man I know swears he used to do this as a teenager—he’d take a banana out of its peel and then masturbate into the peel as if it were a homemade masturbation sleeve (a.k.a. pocket pussy). Considering sleeves retail for $20 to $40, this is an affordable alternative. If you or your partner have latex allergies, however, you may want to skip this, as sometimes people who are allergic to natural rubber latex are also allergic or hypersensitive to bananas, and you might not want to explain the resulting rash to your doctor.
Chocolate With such a sexy reputation, it’s no wonder chocolate makes its way into so many bedrooms. There are, however, right and wrong ways to play with the sweet stuff: Prevent an unsexy mess by spreading towels on the bed, and never mix chocolate or chocolate sauce with latex condoms, as the oils and fats may cause latex to break. If you need to use condoms, either opt out of chocolate-on-the-genitals play or use polyurethane condoms, such as Trojan Supra, instead. A less-messy form of chocolate play involves spreading peanut butter on one’s nipples and using it as an adhesive for chocolate kisses or bits.
Strawberries and whipped cream That aerosol can of whipped cream is ideal for the breasts and penis but not so great for women’s vulvas (due to its sugar content, which can cause irritation or yeast infections). For that reason, though the “whipped-cream bikini” is popular, I’m more a fan of the whipped-cream bra than I am of the matching panties. However, for penis play, you bring the strawberries and whipped cream and he brings the nuts! But try not to get so overeager-beaver about chomping on your erotic strawberry sundae that you accidentally bite into his penis. That would be very, very bad.
Mint This one is for the foodies—it takes the old “ice trick” (i.e., sucking on ice and then performing oral sex) up a notch. Ahead of time, slice mint leaves and allow them to soak in water overnight to saturate the water with mintyness. Then, use the minty water (keep the leaves in it) to fill ice trays and stick them in the freezer. When your playdate comes around, suck on minty ice prior to performing oral sex—the change in temperature plus the minty sensation will add major tingles. To turn this trick into “fire and ice,” alternate between sucking on a minty ice cube and sipping hot mint tea in between bouts of oral. Because women’s genitals are more sensitive than men’s, this is best for fellatio. For cunnilingus, omit the mint and just go with the ice and (nonmint) tea, lest you accidentally make your lady too tingly.
Baby carrots: Just don’t do it. These little orange guys don’t belong inside any orifice of your body (other than your mouth), because they can get lost way too easily. I can’t tell you how many times men and women have asked me about the possibility of using baby carrots for sex, particularly anal play (perhaps because of their tiny size and how the “prewashed” label suggests cleanliness), but it’s simply not a good idea. I’ve read countless medical case reports about the removal of “anal foreign bodies,” which is medical lingo for “objects that people shoved up their butts and couldn’t get out.” Don’t do it, people.