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I'm often asked 'what is with all the food in your yaoi?' The question is sometimes asked with exasperation especially after launching the youtube videos Cook Like a Uke. The short answer is that food is about seduction – especially for men. The adage – the way to a man's heart is through his stomach – is true. In the every day world, it is a far more realistic and a simpler writing device to have a male character become enthralled to someone via cooking than through more elaborate romantic advances. Bathtubs and fireplaces are very romantic, lend themselves to nakedness easily and are fun to imagine. They are devices I employ quite often and with great relish. However, I always base my characters on reality no matter how fantastic the setting I put them in. Men like food. I like cooking food. It's a very easy and fruitful union for me and my characters.
I use food and sometimes cooking in different ways in yaoi. I use it as a means of foreplay. My Semes and my Ukes all love good food. They taste it and savor it the same way they would the skin of their lovers. My characters are highly sensual beings. The taste of great food combined with the reactions of their lovers to the food often lead to heated sexual encounters. WARNING! Mild Spoilers Ahead!!
Andreas Hesper in Ensnared is first attracted to the angelic yet diabolical Darius Galatea by the way the powerful Lord enjoys his meal. He likens the way Darius eats his food to watching foreplay by a master. He immediately wonders what it would be like to have that intense attention of that mouth and that tongue on his body. Heedless of the danger, Andreas felt compelled to approach him because of that.
Truth be told, he couldn't really explain what possessed him to behave that way toward the most powerful man on the planet. He was far better looking in person than Andreas expected. Mykos Estevan was very attractive with his flowing platinum hair and strangely violet eyes. But Lord Galatea was strikingly beautiful with that creamy skin and hair the color of butter. The way the man enjoyed his food was like watching foreplay by a master. Andreas found himself wondering what it would be like to have that focus aimed at him. A simple introduction would not do. He had to do something to make Darius remember him beyond that night. Andreas believed he had succeeded, but to what end? Viktor was right about Darius and his reputation. No one refused him – ever.
Once Andreas was in service with Darius as his body slave, he often finds himself distracted when Darius is eating which often leads to being dragged into the bedroom.
Andreas was happy that his thoughts on the Convening were useful to Darius, but he was having trouble concentrating. Darius was a very sensual eater. The way he held and savored that sandwich reminded Andreas strongly of how his Owner made love, and it was driving him crazy. Though sore from the thorough use of his body the night before, Andreas found himself hungry for more. Everything the Cosi did while he enjoyed his meal reminded Andreas of their lovemaking. He could hardly get through his own delicious sandwich for stealing glances at Darius. Their leisurely lunch proceeded despite Andreas' growing distraction.
“Look at me, Andreas,” Darius murmured.
Andreas complied, meeting those vibrant blue eyes that were gazing warmly at him.
“What has you so distracted?”
“You, Darius. Your hands...your mouth...”
“Insatiable, are you?”
“No...it's you...what you do to me...”
Those incredible blue eyes flashed before he stood. Andreas watched as his Owner reached over to grab him by the hair, urging him to his feet. In a swift, elegant move Darius pulled his Dami against him then kissed him hungrily. Andreas felt a jolt of pure lust before his knees buckled. Darius continued the kiss even as he swept Andreas into his arms to carry him to the bedroom. During that brief trip, Andreas buried his hands in Darius' silken hair and held fast. He barely heard the bedroom door shut.
Andreas even becomes possessive about anyone else witnessing what he found so compelling as they spend more and more time together.
“What is troubling you, besides the mess we left in the living room?”
“I'm going crazy,” Andreas muttered. “You've made me crazy. I don't want anyone seeing how you look when you eat. It shows too much of who you really are.”
Darius smiled at him kindly.
“Now, you know how I feel about anyone looking at you at all. Your eyes, your smile, the way you laugh are all compelling,” Darius said. “And you are far more approachable than I am.”
“I approached you.”
“Yes, but only you could have gotten away with that,” Darius said. “You are singular in exquisiteness to me. I will not permit anyone else that access.”
“I've never felt possessiveness before. It scares me and pisses me off,” Andreas said. “I won't let anyone approach me. Even if I have to wear the collar and tag openly all the time. I don't ever want to cause you a moment of pain.”
Darius gazed at him with great warmth.
“You are well spent this evening, or I would make love to you again,” Darius murmured. “However, I will hold you close through the night, so you will be near my heart.”
For Darius and Andreas in Ensnared Volume One and Volume Two, food is something to sensually enjoy and often leads to lovemaking. Darius is aware of how much his enjoyment rouses his lover, and makes sure that it happens often. And though his arrogant Owner and lover exasperate him, Andreas doesn't mind the distracting turmoil that meals bring them.
For Rik Heron and Vincent Greven in A Soldier's Choice and A Soldier's Fate, food also leads to the bedroom but for different reasons. Vincent is combative by nature. He can also be quite boisterous in expressing himself most of the time, especially if he's ticked off. However, he is very shy about expressing his most personal feelings. He often uses food to show his love for Rik and later for their cobbled together family. Rik loves Vincent's cooking for a number of reasons. First off, it's delicious. He is often amazed at the skill and care his lover takes in preparing their meals. The other reason is that one of the rare times Vincent lets his real personality show is when he is cooking. From A Soldier's Choice:
I had never imagined that cooking would be a pleasure I shared with a lover. It was always difficult to watch Vincent without him becoming self-conscious and prickly. That didn’t happen when he was cooking. The process absorbed his attention making him lower his guard. His perpetual scowl was gone leaving the angelic, placid visage that I usually only glimpsed when he was sleeping. I sneaked long looks at him as often as my peeling or chopping allowed. When his gaze met mine, the expression in his eyes was soft and open. I adored the challenging and wicked glint that graced Vincent’s eyes most of the time, but there was something about that soft gaze that tugged at my heart. It could have shifted the mood, but I took the chance to tell him so.
A smile tugged at his lips, but his expression remained soft and open.
“I used to hate that smirk of yours,” he admitted quietly. “Then I realized it was part of your battle face – like my frown. And you’re smirk wasn’t always smug or all-knowing. Sometimes, you mock yourself; sometimes you’re daring me. I like your smirk, but I love how you look when you first open your eyes.”
“It’s a look that’s only for me,” he said with a slight blush. “I see everything in your eyes – what you feel about me and who you really are.”
Vincent let me corner him and draw him into long, lazy kisses while the fragrant soup stock simmered. In the back of my mind, I knew he was using a very pleasant diversionary tactic on me, but the rest of my body just didn’t care. I relished kissing that lush sweet mouth to my heart’s content.
Despite these practical reasons for having food play a role in the Soldier's titles, I still allow Rik and Vincent to let the pure sensuality of food propel them to the bedroom. Occasionally, food has been a major plot point for dangerous intrigue.
That really is the short reason of why I use food in yaoi. I could go on a lot longer. So enjoy the food along with my guys, and check out Cook Like a Uke!