Brave Horse Tavern is a boisterous place. It’s full of Amazon employees trying to interact face-to-face, rather than online, though most conversations are teeming with tech talk. At the shuffleboard area, I’m surprised that the players aren’t sliding smartphones down the tables.
When you walk in, you’ll see steel baskets of house-made pretzels. And when you finally find a seat at one of the communal tables or at the bar, you’ll likely be ordering a couple of those twisty delights along with a beer.
These pretzels ($4 apiece) are both salty and malty, and a bit on the soft side. You can enjoy them plain, or choose from the trio of mustards (porter, apricot, and a horseradish-like “super hot” that’s my favorite) you’ll find at your table. If you’re looking for a fancier dip, there’s sour cream and crispy onion ($5), cheddar-pimento spread ($6), and smoked peanut butter and bacon ($6). You can go entrée-like by dipping your pretzels in a lager broth with clams ($10), or even dive into dessert with a Theo chocolate and hazelnut dip ($9).
So what do Brave Horse Tavern’s pretzels teach us about sex?
It’s all about budgeting for pleasure.
If you want a good time, you typically have to pay for it, and this is true in both the culinary and sexual arenas. First and foremost, there are health care costs, such as any relevant gynecological exams, STI checks, and birth/disease control. (Just this week, in a small piece of political good news, the Obama administration ordered that health insurance policies provide birth control and other sexual health services without demand for co-pay or deductible hit.)
To enhance sexual play, or to make condoms work better, you’ll want to buy lubrication.
Then there’s the cost of books for information, lingerie for looks, toys to enhance sexual play, and maybe movies (the recently mentioned Pirates, for example, retails for $49.95) for visual stimulation. Some people I polled factor in costs for grooming, food and drink for foreplay, and even therapy.
(And I’m not even getting into the financial costs of the consequences of unexpected pregnancy and the like.)
There’s limitless potential at unlimited expense for sexual experiences. For example, if you’d like to book a flight to join the mile high club, there are pilots waiting to provide you pleasure. Expect to pay $500-$1,000.
The bottom line is you need to budget for your sexual life. Maybe you don’t need a financial spreadsheet, but just understand the costs. It’s a bang for your buck sort of thing.
And don’t forget to factor in inflation. My Dad still tells me about the time when pushcarts outside of New York City schools like his sold pretzels for a penny or two (with mustard). More than eighty years later, he’d likely be shocked by the prices of Brave Horse Tavern’s pretzels. But budget accordingly, as he taught me, and you can have a good time–plain or fancy.
First published in Seattle Weekly’s Voracious on August 4, 2011.