I don’t know what a “normal” amount of sex is? I mean the frequency with which a couple, you know, does it. Is it a believable—and totally acceptable—to do it once a week no matter how modest that sounds? Or is it as desirable as once a day…which just seems overzealous, unsustainable and an overcompensation for something missing in the relationship? I don’t actually know. Personally, I think the right sex-frequency for any couple is the sum of the times with which both parties are mutually interested in doing it…with each other….in a single calendar year. Yeah, that’s what I think.
What’s our number you ask? Well it’s hard to say. And even if I had done the math—which I haven’t [I totally have]—I don’t think I’d tell you. Not because I’m ashamed of the number either. Maybe I’m scared our number is so high it might fill you with damaging doubt and your sex life will snap like a twig under the pressure? I’m just saying. Besides, my number today could be completely different tomorrow, a year from now, or when I’m 75 and tripping on Viagra. So I’ll say this….”right now our number oscillates somewhere between doing it like rabbits and I’m gassy, not tonight.
What I do know is that the older and busier we get, the less energy we have for that spontaneous romp in the hay—and we’ve got to find new ways to spice things up! This is what I’ve learned from years of secretly reading Cosmo in the doctor’s office waiting room. Fresh and exciting is apparently the prescription. Romantic date nights, roleplaying, toys, and doing it in public spaces; nearly anything can be an aphrodisiac as long as it’s not routine.
Well Jonathan and I started something new that’s definitely spicing things up. It keeps us on our toes, and it’s simple—we scare each other. Yup! We literally scare each other. In short, one of us yells “BOO!” the other clutches his heart and screams like a girl, and then the two of us break into a good hearty laugh. One time I spent nearly eight minutes crouched down on all fours waiting for Jonathan to emerge from around the corner before pouncing and scaring the shit out of him. Fortunately I don’t mean that literally, because it was immediately after he’d just come out of the bathroom. I like to pick those moments when he’s most relaxed and comfortable and then BAM! Gotcha! Some nights when we’re walking Eddie, I’ll be mid-sentence and he’ll shout “UGH!!!” and scare both the dog and I and the occasional passerby.
Since we’ve started, we’ve developed a few rules—the most important being that we’re not allowed to scare each other when one of us is driving a car. This only applies to cars in motion, because scaring him in the passenger seat when he’s on his smartphone and I’m filling up at the gas station is another great time to freak someone out. Another rule has to do with me not getting scared when my LDL and HDLs are above a certain threshold, but that’s definitely harder to enforce, and we have life insurance policies on each other, so I almost think that’s an incentive for him at this point.
How does acting like immature children who scare each other benefit our sex life? To be honest with you, I’m not 100% sure. I know it makes us laugh and feel young again, because who doesn’t enjoy a good scare every once in awhile. It’s a little competitive, and I’ve heard it said, “a little healthy competition never hurt anyone.” Knowing he could scare me at any moment, adds a little suspense to mundane activities like brushing my teeth, or walking into the kitchen….and who doesn’t need a little mystery in their relationship? And like sex, it definitely gets our hearts racing.
If you’re not into scaring your beau, you can always try “spicing up the sack” with a carb-tastic meal, because nothing says “I love you” more than delicious plate of pasta or a gourmet slice of pizza. We recently tried this out in the Mission at Flour & Water. A few bites of their homemade pasta and crusty pizza dough and I was reenacting Meg Ryan’s infamous scene from When Harry Met Sally.
Flour and Water in San Francisco’s Mission District
I’ve been to Flour & Water twice now. It’s a few blocks from a good friend’s place, but that doesn’t make it any easier to get a reservation. You’ve got to call and put your name down nearly a month or so in advance. They do take walk-ins off the street, but everyone and their mom seems to know this. So to get a table without a reservation, you need to get to the restaurant at least 45 minutes before it opens and stand in line outside. When the restaurant opens, they’ll take everyone’s party name and size, and if you’re not in the first seating then you’ve got to wait for at least an hour before you’ll be seated. So there’s no point in waiting in line if you’re not one of the first 20 or so people who get seated right away. If you do have to wait, you can always grab a prohibition style cocktail at Trick Dog Bar around the corner. With a little bit of this and a little bit of that, those drinks take about 30 minutes to make, so by the time you’ve invested in a single round of cocktails, you’ll be that much closer to getting your coveted seat at the carb palace across the street.
All the insanity aside, Flour & Water has never disappointed. Their wine selection is meh, or at least that’s what I thought of the bottle of red our waiter suggested, but to be fare, not everyone likes the same thing and we could have easily picked a bottle we didn’t like on our own. The price points are reasonable and they have loads by the glass so you’ll be fine.
But you’re not going for the wine! You’re going for the carbs! You should plan on sharing a few pizzas, and a few pasta dishes, and if the there’s room for an entrée then go for it, but it’s really about the pizza and pasta. Everything is made fresh and in-house, and, well, it’s delicious.
Oh, and on a side note, Flour and Water has a great private dining room upstairs called the dough room. You actually enter it from a separate door outside, but it’s supposed to be a great value private party experience for about 14 people as the food and beverage minimum is totally reasonable, and the four-course family style meal is $95 per person. Here’s what we had our last time there.
The chilled heirloom tomato soup with cucumber and melon. This was a thick puree of tomatoes and very refreshing on a warm summer evening.
The zucca pizza with leeks, squash, ricotta and taggiasca olives. The zucca was creamy and rich and perfect for vegetarians, because it wasn’t just the margherita pizza that everyone is so bored with.
For us boys who eat meat, we got a salsiccia pizza that has a san marzano tomato sauce, pork sausage, capes, chili, and caramelized onions. Also very rich and delicious. Don’t worry, no crusts were spared in the photographing of this meal.
We had two pasta dishes.
The teleme scarpinocc with aceto balsamico. The magic of this dish is in its simplicity and the fact that you’re getting bars of perfectly cooked pasta, covered in creamy melt-in-your-mouth teleme cheese and a drizzle of sweet aged balsamic vinegar. The scarpinocc is a unique pasta shape that falls into the extruded pasta category. What makes it extruded? Well the pasta dough is pushed through an extruder giving it a hollow shape. It’s rare to find fresh extruded pastas (not at Flour & Water), that aren’t dried and sold in a box like rigatoni, penne, bucatini, macaroni, etc. The teleme cheese is a actually an American semi-soft cheese first developed in Tomales outside San Francisco before WWII.
And the campanelle with braised oxtail, squash, and pistachios. The pistachios were unique, but I couldn’t stop savoring the burst of the braised and buttery oxtail shooting out from the nooks and crevasses of the ornate campanelle pasta interior with each bite.
With all the carbs we figured a side dish of greens would be good and the marinated pole beans with tomato, basil, and fior di latte (a soft cheese) were perfect.
To share we, had the roasted lamb with jimmy nardello peppers, squash and charred scallion vinaigrette. The lamb was just barely seared, leaving the interior a tender medium rare just like we like it. The grilled squash and charred scallion vinaigrette were really the stars of this dish, and I almost wish we hadn’t finished our bread at the onset of the meal so we could sop it all up.
With what little room we had left, we showed some restraint and only ordered two desserts.
There was the cheesecake with peach and hazelnut crumble. [sorry my focus is off here, but you get the idea]
And the chocolate budino with espresso cream and sea salt. This wasn’t as good as the chocolate budino with salted caramel we make (recipe here), but you can bet your little stars there wasn’t a speck of it left in that ramekin.