There are plenty of moments in pop culture that take risks and break down the taboos that keep sexual exploration hush-hush. One such depiction happens in Call Me By Your Name, the 2017 film based on the novel of the same name. You probably know the one: Timothée Chalamet, who plays Elio Perlman, has a scene where he masturbates using a peach.
Obviously, this raises many questions. Why a peach? Does it feel good? Is it worth the cleanup? And finally… Is getting creative with your food worth trying yourself?
At first watch, the scene made me think of a video that went viral in 2014. In it, a woman showed her viewers how to “grapefruit” a male partner during oral sex. When we first watched it, it seemed like everyone spent weeks joking around about how strange this sex act was. But after Call Me By Your Name hit the mainstream, I wondered if fruit play is more common than I previously assumed.
How do you engage in fruit play?
So, fruits during sex. No, we’re not talking about feeding your partner grapes in a seductive manner, or rolling a condom on a banana in sex-ed class.
While Elio uses a peach in the book, it’s possible to use other fruits either alone, or with partners. Grapefruits, cantaloupes, coconuts, cucumbers, … you get the idea.
The easiest way to use fruits for sexual experiences is to feed them to yourself or your partner as you engage in other practices. The texture of the fruit, as well as any juice it produces, can create pleasurable sensations that contrast with and enhance other elements of your sexual experience.
Yet while it might be tempting to use fruit as a natural lubricant, or as something to insert into a bodily cavity, doing so can cause some pretty intense yeast infections, especially if you’re already prone to them. It’s the same reason why many people with vaginas might prefer to avoid lubricants made with glycerin, which is a sugar byproduct. Given that fruits are primarily made from sugar, people who have issues with glycerin-based lubes should be just as wary of sugar.
And while you might think that using fruit – or any food product that’s specifically marketed as a sexual aid — is worth the clean-up, I personally would recommend sticking to sex toys as there are so many that are noise-free, fairly inexpensive, and easy to conceal.
The Value of this Scene
Whether you take this route or not, hats off to writer André Aciman and director Luca Guadagnino for including this moment of sexual curiosity in both the book and the film.
Pop culture so often shies away from depicting the reality of sexual experiences, which is a shame. Doing so shows people they are not alone in self-discovery. Don't get me wrong: we still have a long way to go but we are moving in the right direction. But moments like these serve to make sex in film and TV all the more realistic.
The movie’s pure depiction of intimacy and connection is also worth applauding. The story, which follows a summer romance between Elio and a graduate student named Oliver, has a tender appreciation for two people sharing a deep connection with one another. It's definitely worth a watch.
And finally, a moment for Timothée. That peach scene took balls.