Sexy Feast: Catching Crabs at Flying Fish

flying_fish_crab_500pI’m at the new South Lake Union location of Flying Fish (reviewed three months ago by our Jason Sheehan) when the server sets down an enormous platter of crabs.

Crabs! This sex educator thinks back to those scary VD movies of yesteryear. But making this connection would be too easy, too obvious, and too scary for Sexy Feast.

My dining companion and I stare at the platter, officially known as “Salt and Pepper Dungeness Crab (with) sesame noodles (and) carrot daikon salad” on the menu. Two pounds of piled-up shells filled with the promise of crabmeat tempt us. Two sets of culinary surgical tools terrify us, slightly.

We go from staring at the platter to staring at each other. And that’s when I realize: Tackling the crabs is like tackling a new relationship. Both take work. It’s intimidating at first, trying to figure out how to get started. Perhaps the best bet is to take the plunge and dive right in.

The nutcrackers help to break things open, while the picks or tiny forks help to dig deeper.

And while it’s good to use whatever resources are available, eventually it seems easiest and most efficient to just get in there with your hands. Drop the pretenses and really go for it.

Yes, this is work, but instead of thinking of it as work, think of it as play. Laugh. Joke. Make a mess. Maybe even make mistakes. Be on the same level as your partner. Learn more about him or her, be supportive, and be nurturing.

In the world of VD (now STD or STI) prevention, the message was “Don’t get crabs.” But in the crabs as relationship metaphor, I say, “Get ’em.”

Chef Christine Keff tells me she likes to see people on obvious first dates ordering the crab platter, “getting their hands in the food, getting dirty.” Do the “dirty” work, and based on the Flying Fish experience, your relationship will be a spectacular feast–one that’s sweet and succulent in the end.

First published in Seattle Weekly’s Voracious on October 28, 2010.

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