08/11/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Are You a Gastrosexual? Comfort Food, Cooking & Sex

According to a Canadian newspaper, there is a new word in existence that may be of interest to you. A "gastrosexual" is a man who uses cooking as a way to seduce you ( I don't think this is a new idea -- just a new term for it. And, they've got the data to suggest that cooking is an effective aphrodisiac. According to the Calgary Herald, an English food company, PurAsia, conducted a survey which found that people who can cook are perceived as being more attractive. Many of us could tell a story or two about being wooed (okay I'm speaking from experience) with the help of a little fettuccine and olive oil.

So why is cooking so sexy? A study by Wansink, Cheney and Chan and found that men and women differ in their perception of "comfort foods." Women label prepared, convenient foods like chips and ice cream as their favorite comfort foods. Men, on the other hand, tend to identify foods like steaks, casseroles and mashed potatoes. Why the gender difference? The authors of the study hypothesized that it is because women associate foods like casseroles and steaks with the work it takes to prepare them -- and that is not comforting.

I'm venturing to say that part of the reason cooking is so attractive is because it takes two important things -- time and effort. It may be pretty safe to assume that anyone who finds a recipe, goes to the store, buys the ingredients, chops it up, and creates it into an edible dish when going out to dinner is so much easier must have some feelings for you.

I would like to create a new spin on this word. One might say that anything you do to show a person that you care about him or her and want to do your best to provide him/her with comfort will make you extremely attractive in their eyes. So, what might be next? A memorysexual -- people who remember important events like birthdays and anniversaries are perceived as sexier. A laundrysexual -- you are more attracted to someone when they help you with your laundry. A huggysexual -- you find your partner is better looking when they hug you. The moral of the story is: Do comforting and thoughtful things for the one you love and they will likely find you to be very attractive food or no food.