Is "Better Than Sex Cake" Really Better Than Sex? I Put It, and 9 Other Things, To the Test

You know what? I'm gonna come out and say it: sex is fine. Just fine. It's (mostly) free, it's (relatively) easy to do, and it's a great way to have an orgasm, kill a Sunday afternoon, or make a new friend at Bonnaroo. Totally fine!

But, contrary to what college freshmen who have never even gotten to second base will tell you, sex is not the single greatest, only pleasurable activity in the world. Am I frigid for saying that? Uptight? Or am I just the only person daring enough to be honest here? You know that saying "Sex is like pizza: even when it's bad, it's still pretty good"? That's madness! Have you people even had bad pizza? It's like a condemnation of the entirety of human history and innovation that is happening inside your mouth. And so is bad sex.

So, if sex is not uniformly perfect, what are we to make of things that claim to be better than sex? They are claiming to be better than the ideal of sex, of course, not the weird thing that happened between you and your best friend when you went on vacation to Austria together a few years ago. But even in its most perfect execution, are there still things that are better than sex? Or is claiming that you're better than sex the #1 way to prove that you're worse than any and all sex, even totally marginal sex where you're looking to see if the message light on your phone is blinking? Because I am a journalist*, I decided to investigate.

A Hot Shower on a Cold Day

Source: A lengthy Reddit list on the subject.

How So?: Though the list doesn't provide specifics, I would imagine that the comfort and exclusionary delight of being super warm while the rest of the world is super cold would have something to do with it. It's a pleasing sensual contrast, you know, like all those sex tips you read in high school about giving someone a blowjob with ice chips in your mouth.

Better Than Sex?: Eh, throw in a space heater and a copy of Us Weekly to read while lying on a really plush carpet beforehand, and you have yourself a deal.

Paula Deen's "Is It Really Better Than Sex?" Cake

Source: Paula Deen.

How So?: Not explained, so I guess we're supposed to puzzle this one out ourselves. On one hand, I work really hard not to take food or sex advice from Paula Deen. On the other ... I do like cake. But on a third hand, this is a cake full of ... vanilla pudding? So I guess that's like some kinds of sex. Ugh, Paula Deen.

Better Than Sex?: Probably better than some sex — like say, the sex where you meet up with an ex while you're drunk that ends up with like 20 minutes of them mashing their damp genitalia on yours at a weird angle and then when you try to secretly leave in the middle of the night, their cat runs out — but not all sex. Give me a normal cake with no pudding inside and I'll think about it more.

Your Phone

Source: A survey about phones and our sex lives, which I am sure was not depressing in the slightest to administer.

How So?: Well, the poll didn't say that it was better, per se — just that, like food, cars, TV, internet access, and computers, phones are more important in our lives than sex. So, phones aren't inherently better, we just like them more. How infinitely worse!

Better Than Sex?: I vote: sad yes, accompanied by a slow, mournful shaking of the head, and an immediate and painful inventory of one's life and values.

Better Than Sex: The Ecstatic Art of Awakening Coaching by Arjuna Ardagh

Source: Self-proclaimed.

How So?: Much like some of the best and also the worst sex, the title of this book seems like a bunch of stuff that doesn't initially seem in any way connected. Sometimes that ends up being cool when it comes to sex.

Better Than Sex?: After looking through the first few pages, it turns out that this is actually a book about life coaching. It also includes the complete sentence "Sex, sex, sexy wild wet delicious SEX," which, ironically, made me definitely want to never have sex ever again.

Waking Up and Realizing That You Still Have Time to Sleep

Source: A Buzzfeed article covering the many everyday activities that are better than sex.

How So?: There is no explanation in the article, and given that this is actually the bane of my own existence (wouldn't it be better to just SLEEP the entire time??), I have no idea.

Better Than Sex?: Ugh, no, and you're a creep for even asking.

Better Than Sex: A Dessert Restaurant, Key West, FL

Source: Self-proclaimed (are you noticing a pattern with these self-proclaimed ones?).

How So?: This 15-seat restaurant — which looks like a bordello run by Guy Fieri and exists to serve your mom's one friend who likes to talk about how she's "so bad" for eating Hershey's Kisses — offers foods and drinks that are supposedly better than sex, like a wine glass with chocolate dripped on the rim. Which actually sounds worse than the worst sex I've ever had, and I once had sex inside a storage room that a ferret was trying to crawl into, so let that one sink in.

Better Than Sex?: Only better than sex with your mom's horny friend (she's also the friend who only buys greeting cards that play "Mambo #5" and "Sexy and I Know It" when you open them).


Source: Cathy cartoons, your corniest aunt, and a 2014 survey of French women.

How So?: Well, apparently French women surveyed were more willing to cut down on sex than on chocolate, but no figures were given about how much they were consuming of each, so this could mean anything — like maybe they're having so much sex, they don't even have time to go out and buy chocolate? French women are cool like that.

Better Than Sex?: If I said "yes," I am afraid that I would automatically turn into the kind of person who sends kooky email forwards written in multi-colored Comic Sans font, so let's just say "maybe, sometimes."


Source: This Thought Catalog article that painted the "sex vs. tea" argument as if this was a conversation we'd all been having for our entire lives (have we? Am I out of loop about this, just like I was about Sleepy Hollow? Why does this keep happening to me?!).

How So?: The article actually ends up arguing that sex is better than tea because it can get you pregnant and continue the human race, which is, frankly, the biggest strike against it in my mind.

Better Than Sex?: No. Talk to me when you've had some coffee.

A Bunch of Fancy-Ass French Food

Source: An informal survey of Paris-based chefs.

How So?: Almost all of the chefs surveyed actually seemed offended by the idea that any food could be better than sex, and then once they agreed to list foods that were better than sex, they started talking about sweetbreads, so ... I have no idea.

Better Than Sex?: I mean, I guess I technically have no actual way of knowing, but no. Especially not, as is listed in the article, "haricots verts grown by a grandfather, cooked by a grandmother, and eaten by a son." Oooh. That gave me a sad shiver, like accidentally sitting on a half-melted Otter Pop.


Source: A poll of women conducted by the Better Sleep Council, who obviously have a horse in this race, but still.

How So?: Supposedly, 80 percent of women polled reported that they'd rather get a good night's sleep than have sex. This, to me, feels like an unfair comparison — sex can be great (even better than hot showers), but sleep is an actual essential. I've gone months without sex and only felt like a horny loser; but when I went six months with terrible insomnia last year (averaging about four hours a night), I felt like my skin was going to fall off my body in the middle of Starbucks, but also that that didn't really matter, because my soul had already left my body and I was watching myself order a chai latte from the afterlife. Almost no pleasure in life is comparable to a good night's sleep — especially after a bad night's sleep or 80.

Better Than Sex?: Yes, yes, and YES! Sorry boners, vags, b-holes, and other fun junk of the world, but it is true. And in fact, I am going to go do it right now.

Fraghe Rap on YouTube

*I use the term loosely. Even if you skimmed the article on your way to this footnote, you know that.

Images: Giphy (12)