Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Glossary of a BLOW OFF: Palate Cleanser

Pal·ate Cleans·er
Function: Noun
1 : used in the middle of a meal to remove lingering flavors from the mouth so that the next course may be enjoyed with a fresh perspective.
2: the first person you have sex with after you get out of a relationship.

I first heard of the term palate cleanser in Cindy Chupack's book Between Boyfriends. Chupack actually calls it "sexual sorbet" but that just sounds way too cheesy for words. According to Chupack, after a break up you need to "sleep with someone else. Sexual sorbet cleanses the palate and prepares you for the next course. After all, you don't want your ex to be the last guy you had sex with. You need to put some distance between the two of you, and 5-7 inches ought to do it."

I'm on board with her philosophy, although sometimes a palate cleanser can be a little traumatic. It's basically the nail in the coffin of your last relationship. At the same time, going through a break up is not dissimilar to getting into a car accident. The longer you wait to drive after a car crash, the more anxious and panicked you'll be behind the wheel. I once waited TWO YEARS. The worst is when you realize that you're the other person's palate cleanser. Ouch.

So, readers-- what's your take on the "quick, have sex with the next person you meet" technique to get over a break up? Have you done it? Does it work? Comment below!


  1. You waited two years to drive after a car crash?

  2. i'm a "palate cleansing" prude. i can't say it works because honestly the "quick" part does not apply. it also took me 27 years to have my first one night stand so i am definitely not the voice of sexual sorbet.

  3. that's right anonymous. i was referring to driving there and nothing else. Hey slim, when are you gonna write about that one night stand. if i recall there was a public bus involved.

  4. yah i've never been a strong proponent of palate cleansing-- i feel like it would be more traumatic than a relief, for me personally.

    but then maybe i need to stop being such a prude and GIVE IT UP more.

  5. The problem with cleansing your palate is often times it leaves an aftertaste. You're hungry, you need to eat, and something you don't have much of a choice and you break down and eat the ritz crackers with cheeze, you go to bed full, content. You're not starving anymore. Then you wake up covered in crumbs and fake cheese on your fingers. You feel low, probably lower than you did before. You used to eat steak and lobster, or whatever it is you sophisticated people with your 401k's and good credit eat these days. You sure as hell ate real cheese. Weclome to rock bottom! So now you have to cleanse your palate again. Only now you'll eat where ever. Doesn't matter who serves you. Microwave pizza, McDonalds, Old Chinese food. So long as the taste of the ritz cracker is out of your mouth. But by now it's too late, this whole thing has sent you down a dark hole into a depressive shame spiral. You put on weight, you smell, people don't trust you with nice things anymore.

    So to hell with cleansing your palate. When you get in a car accident you rent a car. This shouldn't be any different...only make you sure rent one of those real nice luxury ones that you can only get with a referral that come with blonde hair and do anal.

  6. Hate to say it, but I think it can be important for guys. If only for shallow self-confidence purposes. I could see how it'd be a little less reassuring for girls since it's a little easier for girls to-- mmmm -- to drive in the first place.

    --Anonymous #2

  7. I get so scared of the thought of having sex with a new person. I wanna make sure I really like them first and its mutual.

    That said, I like the idea. Go for it!

    Just finished reading I loved, I lost, I made spaghetti by Giulia Melucci

    A girl of many blow off and sorbets!

  8. I think the hard part is recognizing whether the post-relationship breakup guy is a palate cleanser or someone you actually care about. No one really stops to appreciate the cracker between wine tastings. What if it was a gourmet cracker paired with wine from a box!

    And then there is the issue of what if you get back together with the supposed past relationship? Then was it worth cleansing your palate in the first place or just unnecessary calories?

    So many what ifs. Clearly, I'm not built well for a multi-course meal. But I think it's a great idea for those who have good taste.