“What is that?” men ask, horrified, when they see the book. It’s a rather demure-looking book, featuring an image of flan on its cover against a warm background. Natural Harvest, it reads. And to many living in Los Angeles and obsessed with things like “organic,” “free-range” and “all natural” anything and everything, this is a fine concept. Until you read the subheading: “A collection of semen-based recipes.”
“WHAT IS THAT?”
Nine times out of 10, a man you’re blowing will prefer that you swallow. But mention eating his cum for dinner and nine times out of 10, his expression will turn from delight to sheer disgust.
This cookbook, written by Paul Photenhauer, shocked the blogosphere when it was released on lulu.com last year. The response was overwhelmingly negative.
“Anyone who has traveled abroad knows that foods we might find strange or unpleasant may be considered delicacies in other countries,” argues Photenhauer in the introduction. “Rotten fish is a national dish in Sweden, while Australians spread concentrated yeast extract on their breakfast toast. The British love their blood sausage, and guinea pigs are roasted for dinner in Peru. All the while, Americans and Europeans consume vast amounts of milk and other dairy products that consist of mammary secretions from cows. Compared to semen, milk might be considered positively disgusting.”
The book is divided into sections: drinks, appetizers, main courses, sauces and desserts. Here are three examples:
1 lb. veal escallops
3-4 tbsp. of butter
juice from one lemon
1 tbsp. of semen
2-3 tbsp. of white wine
salt and white pepper
Start by pressing the lemon juice into the semen, it doesn’t matter if it’s lumpy since the mixture will be added to warm ingredients before serving. Dust the veal with flour and saute in butter for about thirty seconds on each side. Remove the meat and add more butter, when the butter gets hot, add the wine. Quickly reduce the heat and add the salt, pepper and parsley. Remove from heat and add the citrus semen. While very hot and foaming, pour the sauce over the veal.
3 egg yolks
1/4 cup of water
2 tbsp. of lemon juice
1/2 cup of cold butter
dash of salt and pepper
In a small saucepan, whisk together egg yolks, semen, water and lemon juice. Cook and stir over very low heat until mixture starts to slightly bubble. Cut the butter into several smaller chunks and add one piece at a time to the yolk mixture, whisking after each addition until melted and smooth. Stir in the salt and pepper. Serve immediately.
8 ladyfinger cookies
1/2 cup of espresso
2 tsp. of sugar
2 tbsp. of cognac
1-2 tbsp. of fresh semen
1/2 cup of mascarpone cheese
1 tsp. of pure vanilla extract
Place a layer of ladyfingers on the bottom of the pan and let them fully absorb the mixture of semen, sugar, espresso and brandy. Layer the soaked cakes with the mascarpone cream mixture, either in the pan or individual glasses. Garnish with shaved chocolate. This dessert actually gets better if it’s made a day in advance.
“Plan your semen dinner in advance by collecting semen in the morning and then again just before it is called for in the recipe,” Photenhauer writes. “That way, you probably have enough for most of the recipes in this book. Just remember to refrigerate the semen to keep it fresh. Fresh semen should be eaten or cooked within a few hours since the taste quickly deteriorates. Once chilled, semen can be stored up to three days in the fridge. If you don’t plan on using it within three days, we recommend that you freeze it. Frozen semen should always be thawed slowly at room temperature or in the fridge in order to minimize deterioration. To have enough semen available, keep a container in the freezer and simply add ejaculate into the container every morning and then return it to the freezer.”
With regard to the consistency of ejaculate, he explains:
The cooking properties of semen are similar to egg whites, with the only real difference being the volumes used. Since semen is usually available in smaller amounts, most of the recipes utilize semen for its taste, and only secondly for its smooth texture and nutrition. Most of the recipes instruct that the semen be added towards the end of the cooking process or in the final stages of making a sauce. This is so that the delicate flavors do not risk getting overwhelmed by the other ingredients or destroyed by the cooking process.
When freshly ejaculated, semen usually has a thick consistency. Left untouched it will then “melt” and turn more fluid. Some semen cooks prefer using semen in its melted state while others enjoy ejaculating directly into the saucepan or mixing bowl. The recipes in this book sometimes specify “melted” semen but using “unmelted” will not affect the taste in the final food dish.
I was intrigued. I like semen. In the safety of a monogamous relationship with a partner who has been appropriately tested, you will find me positively delighting in cum. Facials, pearl necklaces, on my back, down my legs, on my shoes, you name it, I’ve worn it. My ultimate fantasy is to have the formula for gravity written on my chest or back in cum.
Until the moment I saw that cookbook, however, it had never occurred to me to cook it. Cooking, for me, is a kind of erotic art already — especially cooking for someone. There is nothing more sensual than watching someone eat something I have created. It’s better than painting because this creation is being taken into someone’s body and nourishing it. There’s something sacred in that. I don’t love cooking and I’m not very good at it, but I do it because of that, because of the pleasure of watching someone take into themselves an extension of myself. To me, the idea of adding this particular ingredient takes the alchemy to a whole other level.
My friend Bonni Rambatan disagrees.
“The semen-based recipe cookbook is our politically correct, nature-confused culture at its most elementary,” he told me. “First, in the book, the entire notion of semen is already radically desexualized, made into a positive fact rather than an embarrassing secret.”
The positive fact being, of course, that semen is abundant and nutritious. “It contains a good balance of fructose sugars, protein, enzymes, vitamins and minerals… Dr. Atkins would probably have praised semen as an ideal food had it not been considered a faux pas,” writes Photenhauer.
“The injunction behind this is the same as the one driving all the porn-positive and sex-positive arguments: the imperative to make more mainstream a previously deviant idea,” says Rambatan. Acknowledging the argument that the book signifies a return to communion with nature, he adds: “This book is all the politically correct ideas crystallized into one — what could be a better political correctness than letting a group of energy-saving, nature-loving, sex-positive minorities have their say in the wider world?”
I see it entirely differently. With all the attention we bestow on the development of gastronomical culture — the foodie movement, food shows joining mainstream programing, the chef as celebrity, and so on — we as a culture have elevated food above survival, much in the same way that we liberated sex from being simply a method of reproduction.
Food today is no longer simply satisfying a necessity. It isn’t about nutrition — food is now about the pleasure in the marriage of flavors and textures. There is a certain hedonism in eating. So it isn’t necessarily that semen is being desexualized, it is that the parallel concepts of sexual fulfillment (represented by semen) and gastronomical fulfillment (represented by gourmet cooking) have finally met — as parallels tend to do in curved space.
“That makes… sense,” lovers will say, still eying the book suspiciously.
Most won’t pick it up, much less open it. If they do, they’ll do it out of a perverse curiosity, and try, with some difficulty, to avoid making any faces, having been made aware of how oddly religious I seem to feel about it. Not a one will ever mention it again after that. And so the book will continue to sit somewhere visible in my apartment completely unexplored. Until the next time my girlfriends drop by and make the now classic joke: “someday, your prince will cum!”
A version of this piece originally appeared on BlogHer.com.