Advice

Sex Advice From Competitive Eaters

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Q: Why are competitive eaters better lovers? A: Most people stop when they’re sated. We keep driving on.

Eric “Steakbellie” Livingston, 40

#24 competitive eater in the world

Why are competitive eaters better lovers?
Everyone else stops when their passions have been sated. We keep driving on, long past the point of discomfort and nausea.

How do you tell someone you're interested in that you're a competitive eater?
Never ever talk about yourself. Use the time to get to know your new friend. He or she will Google your ass, anyway.

Is competitive eating a hobby or a lifestyle? 
It’s more of a philosophy. We’re fascinated by life and want to see more things, run more miles, try every type of food and breathe more air than everyone else. I get to travel the country and share a meal (albeit a massive one) with the most interesting people.

When you go on a date, do you just eat one hotdog? Or eighty?
NASCAR drivers don’t go 200 m.p.h. when they’re driving around their neighborhoods. We don’t eat like animals all the time. If I’m not eating twenty hot dogs, I’m having just two with chopped onion and mustard.

My roommate in college had a theory that eating and sex were such intertwined drives, that you could watch a person eat and know what they would look like in bed. Now when I go to a restaurant, I spend most of my time people watching and not eating. Think about that the next time you’re out.

Oysters are supposed to be aphrodisiacs, and alcohol loosens everyone up. What food do you think is sexiest?
A girl with two large pizzas and a thirty-pack of Miller Lite would be on the cover of my porn magazine.

My boyfriend refuses to go down on me, because he says pubic hair is gross. I think completely waxing and looking like a child is gross. Is there any way we can compromise?
Both of you are sissies. I once had to eat eighty jalapenos in Chicago and then immediately get on a plane to Philadelphia via Atlanta. I was sweating vinegar and clutching the armrest in fiery pain. Even then, if my lady had wanted to join the mile-high club, she wouldn't have had to ask me twice. Toughen up and get the job done!

I met this cute guy at a gay club. We started flirting and went home together. I knew he was older, but I didn't realize he was twice my age! Is it worth pursuing him, or is that age difference too big to cross? 
The best wine, cheeses, and steaks are aged. As long as you’re of consenting age, you should feel comfortable dating whomever you’re attracted to. An older man may have lived a rich full life and can share his experiences with you.

My ex and I broke up years ago on really bad terms, and lost all communication. Now, all of a sudden, she's back, and wants to get drinks as friends. I'm curious to see how she's doing, but am I making a mistake if I let her back into my life?
I think George W. Bush said it best: “Fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can't get fooled again."

Erik “The Red” Denmark, 33

#7 competitive eater in the world

Why are competitive eaters better lovers?
They’re willing to make fools of themselves in any arena. It can be a pretty humbling experience to go out in front of thousands of people and stuff your face. Competitive eaters are not afraid to try anything. That definitely translates to the bedroom.

How do you tell someone you're interested in that you're a competitive eater? Is it a turn-on or a turn-off?
I think in a way it’s a turn-on. I’m not shy about it. It sets you apart from the average guy. In the past ten years, competitive eating has also drawn more athletic people who are more sports-minded and taking care of their bodies. Usually, my friends will tell a girl before I do, because they’re way more excited to talk about how I’m some freak of nature with some level of fame. 

 So you don’t have a pickup line, like, “Hey, baby. I’ve eaten four pounds of shrimp in twelve minutes”?
I’m not above anything. I’m not a douchebag, though, so I’d say it as a joke. “I’ve eaten thirty-eight weiners in ten minutes. How many have you eaten?” Something like that.

“But girl, all you gotta eat is one.”
Exactly!

Is competitive eating a hobby or a lifestyle? 
I wish it were just a hobby. Then I wouldn’t spend all this money traveling around America trying to prove something that people really don’t want proven. It’s more of an addiction, like running or weightlifting. It doesn’t inherently make you feel good. The results make you feel good.

Is it important that someone you date support your eating?
Definitely. I’m in a relationship now. It’s fun to share the bizarre subculture. It takes a very understanding woman, especially given the damage you do on the kitchen and the bathroom.

Oysters are supposed to be aphrodisiacs, and alcohol loosens everyone up. What food do you think is sexiest?
For me, hot peppers. I ate thirty habaneros in a minute once, and every part of my body was on fire. Every extremity. I needed to share that with somebody.

I'm slightly overweight — not obese, but there's a little more of me to love. My boyfriend and I have a great sex life, but every now and then he mentions how hot his ex was. Is that normal? Or a subtle hint that he wishes I were sexier? 
I don’t think that’s normal or a good sign. I wouldn’t say it has anything to do with your weight. Maybe the guy’s a little sketchy. Maybe he’s just a jerk or doesn’t know what he’s doing. There are boundaries. You don’t talk about your ex being hot to your new girlfriend. That doesn’t make anybody feel good. My advice is not to let that impact how you feel about your weight. It’s about how you feel about yourself.

I stumbled upon my boyfriend's porn collection — yes, I was snooping — and found some pretty weird stuff. I was disturbed, and also, surprised — if that's what he's into, I'll never be able to give it to him. Am I right to be freaked out?
No. You should assume that all your significant others have some weird porn stash somewhere. Men have different categories in their brains for porn and relationships. They’re not the same. Your boyfriend’s porn doesn’t mean that you’re inadequate, and it’s not a reflection of your relationship at all. Men get into weird stuff. Probably if those fantasies were came true, he wouldn’t like them anymore. 

So men would turn down scantily clad Japanese schoolgirls in real life?
Shit that I’d maybe masturbate to would never be something I’d want to happen in real life. If all these hot women came up to me at once, I’d be more likely to be anxious that I couldn’t satisfy all of them, than to be like, “Yes! This is my fantasy!”

Patrick “Deep Dish” Bertoletti, 26

#2 competitive eater in the world

How do you tell someone you're interested in that you're a competitive eater? Is it a turn-on or a turn-off?
I’m not really looking for attention for competitive eating. I’m on TV and everything, but I’m a pretty shy person. The best way for a girl to find out is for someone else to recognize me and come up to me. I’m not going to use that “Don’t you know who I am?” line on anyone. 

Is competitive eating a hobby or a lifestyle? 
It all stems from my love of food, so it’s more of a lifestyle. Food is my favorite thing in the world. I didn’t know about competitive eating until I was eighteen. As a kid, I prided myself on eating the most food — whatever it was — out of everyone in a given place. People were like, “Can you save some for the rest of us?” But my tastebuds have changed a lot since then. I don’t just eat junk. Besides being a competitive eater, I’m also a trained chef.

Competition so often involves unhealthy foods — definitely not haute cuisine. Is being a chef at odds with competitive eating?
I understand nutrition and sanitation, but my brain would explode if I considered them in competition. In a way, it’s ironic that a chef would be a competitive eater. But it makes sense to me, because I’m that into food and taste. 

Is it important that a girl you date be a foodie? Would you date another competitive eater?
I want to be with a girl who’s knowledgeable and open-minded about food, but she doesn’t have to be a competitive eater. There aren’t that many women in it. And it’s all relative. You might see one and think, “She’s really hot… for a competitive eater." In real life, she’s just an average-looking chick who eats a lot. 

Does your girlfriend help you train for competition?
Yeah, she’ll come over and watch me do hot-dog practices. I actually met her at the Nathan’s competition four years ago. She’s my biggest fan, besides my mother. She runs my Facebook page, and she supports me as I train.

Oysters are supposed to be aphrodisiacs, and alcohol loosens everyone up. What food do you think is sexiest?
I have an oyster record — I once ate fifty-three-and-a-half dozen oysters [Ed: note the word dozen. That's 643 oysters.] in forty-eight minutes. I can’t say it worked for me. I got so sick.  

My boyfriend and I have conflicting schedules, so we don't get to spend a lot of time together. As a competitive eater, do you have any tips on how to make our love life more efficient? What makes a good quickie?
You know how they say the best way to incorporate exercise in your life is to make it part of your normal routine? Pick some activity you do anyway and have sex. Maybe in the shower. I don’t want to say eating breakfast, because that’s weird. You could multi-task when you watch The Daily Show.

I accidentally found out that my best friend's girlfriend is using a dating site. Should I tell my friend, confront the girlfriend, or keep it to myself?
Tell your friend. Don’t confront his girlfriend. I mean, “bros before hos.” Isn’t that a law? 

But just being on a dating site doesn’t mean anything. You don’t know when she joined, or what she’s doing.
So maybe it’s an old profile. But a dating site’s for dating. Either way, I think the friend should know. Maybe do the research to see how active she is on the site. But you have to tell your friend.

I stumbled upon my boyfriend's porn collection — yes, I was snooping — and found some pretty weird stuff. I was disturbed, and also, surprised — if that's what he's into, I'll never be able to give it to him. Since then, I haven't wanted to have sex with him. Are porn interests different than real-life interests? Or are we sexually incompatible?
Porn’s a fantasy. When girls start trying to find out what porn their guy looks at, nothing good can come of it. Unless the girl wants to watch it with him.

Porn’s like an electric toothbrush. I can brush my teeth manually and take some time, or I can use an electric supersonic toothbrush and be done really efficiently. Masturbating is a daily routine for most guys, and porn makes it easier. But you don’t necessarily want to take something you’d watch and do it in your own bedroom. 

What about the fact that the girl was snooping?
He needs to find a better way to stash his porn, but I don’t like snooping. It’s porn. This guy isn’t having an affair.

I think some people worry that men actually want real women to be like those they watch in porn.
Right. And it’s not true. Just like girls don’t really want to be with a guy with a seventeen-inch dick. There’s nothing real about most porn, where a twenty-nine-year-old woman is considered a MILF. That makes no sense. Who’s doing the MILF math here?