Forget about the 1960's Flower Power credo: "Sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll." Toss out your DVD of the steamy 1989 erotic thriller "Sex, Lies, and Videotape." In the health-conscious, food-obsessed, "bling"-oriented 21st Century, we seem to have stopped hurtling forward and started to move backwards Everything old is new again and we're returning to a kinder, gentler era when gentlemen and ladies enjoyed sex, chocolate, and jewelry as the language of love.
Our Love Affair with Chocolate
3,000 years ago, Indians of Central America poured molten chocolate from one pot to another to create bitter drink with a froth on top, the part they liked best. Spanish conquistadores and missionaries took the beverage back to Europe, where it became fashionable with the aristocracy, who added sugar to it. Today, three centuries later, hot chocolate remains a favorite drink shared by friends, family…and lovers.
For a "pulse" on 21st Century chocolate, there's no better place to go than the annual Fancy Foods Show. This year, the chocolate beverage of choice was a hot chocolate reminiscent of the "nectar of the gods" preferred by the Mayans and Aztecs. The steamy treat is made with a high-cocoa-content dark chocolate and (in response to the low-carb craze, no doubt) less sugar.
How does this cocoa fit in with romance? Chocolate bars are replacing coffee bars and liquor bars as the meeting place of choice for singles with a taste for love…and sweets. In New York City, the popular midtown hotspot "The Chocolate Bar" serves hot chocolate drinks including Classic Hot Chocolate, Spicy Hot Chocolate, and White Chocolate Caramel and iced chocolate beverages including Chocolate Shakers (served over ice, with espresso and whipped cream)
Our Love Affair with Sex
When it comes to sex, every forty years seems to signal the arrival of a new wave of permissiveness and freedom. In the 20's, the world embraced "The Flapper Era"…and one another…with abandon. Tough times in the 30's and 40's put an end to the jazz babies, and gave birth to the tough, no-nonsense, almost asexual Rosie the Riveters who didn't have time for pleasures of the flesh. (And a good thing, too, since men were at war.)
As the 40's drew to a close, the "boys" came home to a booming post-war economy and produced a boom of their own -- the Baby Boom. And when those baby boomers hit their stride in the 1960's…the sexual revolution was born. Free love (and a fair number of sexually transmitted diseases!) were the order of the day.
Power and influence became "sexy" in the 80's and 90's. It was a button-down time reminiscent of the 50's, with preppie boys and girls emulating the dress, manner, and courtship rituals of their grandparents. That conservatism continues today, but the drumbeats of a new age can be heard in the lifestyle of Generation "Next."
Our Love Affair with Jewelry
Throughout time, both men and women have worn jewelry for power and for protection from ghosts, deities, snakes, and even bill collectors! Our ancestors wore jewelry for good reason. Personal adornment and the use of bright, shiny items to attract a mate is as old as time. Jewelry is our way of showing off, spreading our "peacock feathers" to make a hit with the opposite sex.
Put on jewelry and you're putting on protection. (Not that kind!) What we call jewelry is really the evolution of personal adornment that has its roots in power-bestowing charms and talismans. Today, fashion forward jewelry wearers covet "conventional jewelry," but with a unique touch. Many of the unique pieces people wear today are rooted in cultural and ethnic traditions, interpreted in a decidedly 21st Century way. The goal is for jewelry to express a link between the present and the past.
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