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Here’s How To Make Cooking A Meal Together Sexy (When You Hate To Cook)

Here's an incentive to cook together. More often.

Love & Relationships

I don't care if you've been with someone for several weeks or many years, if there's one thing that should be made a top priority for the entire duration of the relationship, it's both individuals, being extremely intentional, about keeping the romance alive. One way to do that is to cook together.


So, what if you hate to cook? So much, in fact, that there isn't one single thing that you find to be even remotely attractive or appealing (let alone romantic or sexy) about doing it? That's where today's article comes in. Whether you want to save money, stay in for a weekend and/or come up with a quality time date that is both healthy as well as seductive, I've got 10 tips that can make spending a little time in the kitchen hotter (and easier) than it's been in a really long time.

1. Go Grocery Shopping Together

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I know I might be the rare one here to be saying this but I'm actually someone who enjoys grocery shopping. A part of the reason why is because I actually like to cook. Plus, for some reason, I'm able to get some deep thinking accomplished as I'm strolling from aisle to aisle. Yet even if you're someone who kinda loathes the idea of going to your local grocery store, something that can make it more bearable is to take your partner along with you sometimes.

There are a few benefits that come with doing this. One, you both can get what you want (rather than relying on each other to get what each of you truly desires). Two, it's an effective way for both of you to stick to a budget (which means, one less financial conversation that will need to be had). Three, look at it as a quality time date and a way for you to plan a sexy meal together. I'm telling you, shopping with your boo can be more fun than you might think. Try it before totally shooting the idea down.

2. Cultivate Some Ambiance

Once you get home and all of the groceries are put away, make sure that you create the right kind of atmosphere to make a dinner for two. Turn off your phones and the television. Light some scented soy candles (soy candles burn cleaner and last longer). Play some R&B music or load up your favorite playlist (just make sure that it's sexy and/or romantic). If your blinds or curtains are open, close 'em (I'll explain why in a bit). Pull out a bottle of your favorite wine. Light one up too, if that's your thing (check out "7 Proven Ways Weed Makes Sex So Much Better").

Sometimes, what makes people hate the thought of cooking is it seems more like a chore than a fun activity. By cultivating a chill environment, it can take some of the stress out on the front end which can make it so much more of a pleasurable experience on the back end.

3. Go All Out on the Décor

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Question. When's the last time you pulled out your really good dishes? Your fine china or the plates that you totally fell in love with; you know, the ones that you can count on one hand that you've eaten off of. Cooking and dining with your man is as special of an occasion as any, so make sure to pull those out. While you're at it, don't forget about some champagne flutes, a pretty centerpiece for your dinner table (Taste of Home has some cute DIY ideas that you can check out here), some rose petals for the floor around your table and a linen or lace tablecloth.

When you're not eating food on paper plates while sitting on the couch and instead, you're taking things up a few notches even in your dinnertime approach, that can get you all excited about preparing a meal together too.

4. Wear Very Little

Now let's talk about the two of you. While sometimes, dressing to the nines is what the occasion calls for, this time, how about wearing as little as possible instead? I've shared before that several men have told me that while lingerie is definitely appreciated when sex is about to transpire, what they really like is when a woman is in a teddy, baby doll, corset, body stocking or matching bra and panty set — just because.

He can pick out what he'd like to see you in as you do the same for him. Watching each other cook and then eat in your favorite alluring wear can be a visual aphrodisiac all on its own (it also explains why I recommended closing your window treatments).

5. Cook Together

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Cooking together can be very romantic; erotic even (as you'll see by the time you finish reading all of this). Plus, there are plenty of articles to support the fact that it's a great way to spend quality time with your partner; it helps to create positive and lasting memories; it helps the both of you to get back to enjoying the simpler things in life; it helps the two of you to sharpen your cooking skills and, it can actually de-stress you both because it gives the two of you the opportunity to discuss things — things that you may not have time for any other way.

6. Keep Things Simple

Even if all of this sounds great but you're reading this like, "OK. But that doesn't change the fact that I still hate to cook," I totally hear you. The idea is to keep your menu simple. Lobster Mac and Cheese. Scalloped Portobello Mushrooms. Eggplant Parmesan. Baked Pineapple Salmon. Chicken Curry. 15-Minute Jacket Sweet Potatoes. Herb and Garlic Cauliflower Orecchiette. Ravioli with Creamy Mushrooms and Asparagus. Thai-Style Peanut Chicken Wraps. Mustard-Crusted Lamb.

All of these are dishes (that I hyperlinked the recipes too; you're welcome) that may seem like they'll take all day to prepare but are actually pretty easy to make (even if you're an amateur) and are in quantities for two. When you realize that not everything requires blood, sweat and tears, it can make you feel better about making meals from scratch.

7. Make Fruit the Appetizer

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If you and your partner want to truly impress yourselves, your sexy menu needs to consist of an appetizer and a dessert. And since, if all goes well, the dessert may be something that you don't have to cook at all (if you know what I mean), go with a fruit appetizer. It's sweet. It's refreshing. And it's typically light, so that you're not too weighed down for, umm, dessert later.

Maybe some Strawberry Cheesecake Bites. A Mexican Fruit Salad. A bowl of Frosted Grapes. Some Fruit Salsa with Cinnamon Chips. Or some Lemon Whip Fruit Dip.

8. Experiment with Condiments

After you've enjoyed your appetizer and the meal that you planned, it's now time to pull out some condiments because guess what? Technically, the cooking is now over and again, once you review the recipes that I shared with you, you'll see that it really wasn't as much work as you probably anticipated (especially since you're only doing half of the work because you've got your partner in the kitchen with you).

And just what are the condiments gonna be for? I'll let your imagination run wild with this one. What I will say is if you check out "12 'Sex Condiments' That Can Make Coitus Even More...Delicious", you might be surprised how many condiments are sexy AF. Straight up.

9. Come Up with Some “Special Rewards”

Although I do enjoy cooking, depending on what I'm making, sometimes prepping the ingredients can get on my nerves. Don't even get me on clean-up.

So, if it's not so much that you hate cooking altogether, it's just that there are certain parts of it that you and/or yours can do without, come up with some sort of rewards incentive that will keep the both of you engaged. It could be deep kiss in between bites of chocolate-covered strawberries for every task that's completed or something checked off of y'all's sex list (check out "This Is How To Create The Best Kind Of 'Sex Bucket List'") if one of you agrees to do something that you loathe (like maybe peeling veggies or putting dishes away).

When there's an incentive to do something, that always makes it easier to do and more worthwhile.

10. BE THE DESSERT

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By definition, dessert is defined as being something sweet that is served up after the final course of the meal. You know, men find it sexy when a woman can cook. Women find it sexy when a man can cook too. Since you and your boo watched each other do it, there's already been some mental foreplay that's gone down. Now it's just time to take all of that sexual stimuli into the bedroom (or stay in the kitchen, if you please).

If you want some tips on how to make that extra special too, check out "15 Simple-Yet-Kinda-Buck Items To Take Sex To Another Level", "15 Sex Hacks To Take Your Bedroom Action To The Next Level", "12 Absolutely Bomb Sex Techniques To Try Tonight", "So, This Is How To Make Shower Sex So Much Better", "What In The World Is 'Prostate Milking'? And Chile, How Do You Do It?" and "How To Have Mind-Blowing Multiple Orgasms. Tonight, Chile."

All of them can help you and yours end the night off with things being extra sweet. So sweet that you'll want to repeat all of this sooner than later. Promise.

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You may not know her by Elisabeth Ovesen – writer and host of the love, sex and relationships advice podcast Asking for a Friend. But you definitely know her other alter ego, Karrine Steffans, the New York Times best-selling author who lit up the literary and entertainment world when she released what she called a “tell some” memoir, Confessions of a Video Vixen.

Her 2005 barn-burning book gave an inside look at the seemingly glamorous world of being a video vixen in the ‘90s and early 2000s, and exposed the industry’s culture of abuse, intimidation, and misogyny years before the Me Too Movement hit the mainstream. Her follow-up books, The Vixen Diaries (2007) and The Vixen Manual: How To Find, Seduce And Keep The Man You Want (2009) all topped the New York Times best-seller list. After a long social media break, she's back. xoNecole caught up with Ovesen about the impact of her groundbreaking book, what life is like for her now, and why she was never “before her time”– everyone else was just late to the revolution.

xoNecole: Tell me about your new podcast Asking for a Friend with Elisabeth Ovesen and how that came about.

Elisabeth Ovesen: I have a friend who is over [at Blavity] and he just asked me if I wanted to do something with him. And that's just kinda how it happened. It wasn't like some big master plan. Somebody over there was like, “Hey, we need content. We want to do this podcast. Can you do it?” And I was like, “Sure.” And that's that. That was around the holidays and so we started working on it.

xoNecole: Your life and work seem incredibly different from when you first broke out on the scene. Can you talk a bit about the change in your career and how your life is now?

EO: Not that different. I mean my life is very different, of course, but my work isn't really that different. My life is different, of course, because I'm 43. My career started when I was in my 20s, so we're looking at almost 20 years since the beginning of my career. So, naturally life has changed a lot since then.

I don’t think my career has changed a whole lot – not as far as my writing is concerned, and my stream of consciousness with my writing, and my concerns and the subject matter hasn’t changed much. I've always written about interpersonal relationships, sexual shame, male ego fragility, respectability politics – things like that. I always put myself in the center of that to make those points, which I think were greatly missed when I first started writing. I think that society has changed quite a bit. People are more aware. People tell me a lot that I have always been “before my time.” I was writing about things before other people were talking about that; I was concerned about things before my generation seemed to be concerned about things. I wasn't “before my time.” I think it just seems that way to people who are late to the revolution, you know what I mean?

I retired from publishing in 2015, which was always the plan to do 10 years and retire. I was retired from my pen name and just from the business in general in 2015, I could focus on my business, my education and other things, my family. I came back to writing in 2020 over at Medium. The same friend that got me into the podcast, actually as the vice president of content over at Medium and was like, “Hey, we need some content.” I guess I’m his go-to content creator.

xoNecole: Can you expound on why you went back to your birth name versus your stage name?

EO: No, it was nothing to expound upon. I mean, writers have pen names. That’s like asking Diddy, why did he go by Sean? I didn't go back. I've always used that. Nobody was paying attention. I've never not been myself. Karrine Steffans wrote a certain kind of book for a certain kind of audience. She was invented for the urban audience, particularly. She was never meant to live more than 10 years. I have other pen names as well. I write under several names. So, the other ones are just nobody's business right now. Different pen names write different things. And Elisabeth isn’t my real name either. So you'll never know who I really am and you’ll never know what my real name is, because part of being a writer is, for me at least, keeping some sort of anonymity. Anything I do in entertainment is going to amass quite a bit because who I am as a person in my private life isn't the same a lot of times as who I am publicly.

xoNecole: I want to go back to when you published Confessions of a Video Vixen. We are now in this time where people are reevaluating how the media mistreated women in the spotlight in the 2000s, namely women like Britney Spears. So I’d be interested to hear how you feel about that period of your life and how you were treated by the media?

EO: What I said earlier. I think that much of society has evolved quite a bit. When you look back at that time, it was actually shocking how old-fashioned the thinking still was. How women were still treated and how they're still treated now. I mean, it hasn't changed completely. I think that especially for the audience, I think it was shocking for them to see a woman – a woman of color – not be sexually ashamed.

I hate being like other people. I don't want to do what anyone else is doing. I can't conform. I will not conform. I think in 2005 when Confessions was published, that attitude, especially about sex, was very upsetting. Number one, it was upsetting to the men, especially within urban and hip-hop culture, which is built on misogyny and thrives off of it to this day. And the women who protect these men, I think, you know, addressing a demographic that is rooted in trauma that is rooted in sexual shame, trauma, slavery of all kinds, including slavery of the mind – I think it triggered a lot of people to see a Black woman be free in this way.

I think it said a lot about the people who were upset by it. And then there were some in “crossover media,” a lot of white folks were upset too, not gonna lie. But to see it from Black women – Tyra Banks was really upset [when she interviewed me about Confessions in 2005]. Oprah wasn't mad [when she interviewed me]. As long as Oprah wasn’t mad, I was good. I didn't care what anybody else had to say. Oprah was amazing. So, watching Black women defend men, and Black women who had a platform, defend the sexual blackmailing of men: “If you don't do this with me, you won't get this job”; “If you don't do this in my trailer, you're going to have to leave the set”– these are things that I dealt with.

I just happened to be the kind of woman who, because I was a single mother raising my child all by myself and never got any help at all – which I still don't. Like, I'm 24 in college – not a cheap college either – one of the best colleges in the country, and I'm still taking care of him all by myself as a 21-year-old, 20-year-old, young, single mother with no family and no support – I wasn’t about to say no to something that could help me feed my son for a month or two or three.

xoNecole: We are in this post-Me Too climate where women in Hollywood have come forward to talk about the powerful men who have abused them. In the music industry in particular, it seems nearly impossible for any substantive change or movement to take place within music. It's only now after three decades of allegations that R. Kelly has finally been convicted and other men like Russell Simmons continue to roam free despite the multiple allegations against him. Why do you think it's hard for the music industry to face its reckoning?

EO: That's not the music industry, that's urban music. That’s just Black folks who make music and nobody cares about that. That's the thing; nobody cares...Nobody cares. It's not the music industry. It's just an "urban" thing. And when I say "urban," I say that in quotations. Literally, it’s a Black thing, where nobody gives a shit what Black people do to Black people. And Russell didn't go on unchecked, he just had enough money to keep it quiet. But you know, anytime you're dealing with Black women being disrespected, especially by Black men, nobody gives a shit.

And Black people don't police themselves so it doesn't matter. Why should anybody care? And Black women don't care. They'll buy an R. Kelly album right now. They’ll stream that shit right now. They don’t care. So, nobody cares. Nobody cares. And if you're not going to police yourself, then nobody's ever going to care.

xoNecole: Do you have any regrets about anything you wrote or perhaps something you may have omitted?

EO: Absolutely not. No. There's nothing that I wish I would've gone back and said to myself, no. I don’t think at 20-something years old, I'm supposed to understand every little thing. I don't think the 20-something-year-old woman is supposed to understand the world and know exactly what she's doing. I think that one of my biggest regrets, which isn't my regret, but a regret, is that I didn't have better parents. Because a 20-something only knows what she knows based on what she’s seen and what she’s been taught and what she’s told. I had shitty parents and a horrible family. Just terrible. These people had no business having children. None of them. And a lot of our families are like that. And we may pass down those familial curses.

*This interview has been edited and condensed

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