Study Guide

Like Water for Chocolate Sexuality

By Laura Esquivel

Sexuality

With that meal it seemed they had discovered a new system of communication, in which Tita was the transmitter, Pedro the receiver, and poor Gertrudis the medium, the conducting body through which the singular sexual message was passed. (3, 179)

Here we can see the power of the aphrodisiac. Unfortunately, the feeling is a three-way experience, and Gertrudis gets the combined heat of Pedro and Tita in her, um, delicate bits.

[Gertrudis] desperately needed a man to quench the red-hot fire that was raging inside her. (3,190)

Yowza. This is what Juan thinks when he sees Gertrudis running around naked, but, c'mon, the guy is pretty desperate himself—why else would he gallop like a mad man, driven only by the scent of roses?

He wanted to study, examine, investigate every last inch of skin on [Tita's] lovely, monumental body. Surely, she'd look like Gertrudis; they weren't sisters for nothing. (3, 197)

Yeah, Pedro, we bet you do. Unfortunately, he's going to wait a lot longer to get the chance to do any sort of studying.

One last chile in walnut sauce left on the platter after a fancy dinner couldn't feel any worse than [Tita] did. (3, 200)

After observing Gertrudis's sexual adventure and escape from the ranch, we can understand why Tita feels like a leftover chile—cold, untouched, forgotten.

"[Juan] left because I had exhausted his strength, though he hadn't managed to quench the fire inside me now at least, after so many men have been with me, I feel a great relief." (7, 429)

Gertrudis confides this to Tita, and it explains why she went to work in a brothel. The question is, can we judge her for becoming a prostitute, or is it a form of liberation?

[…] and throwing himself upon [Tita] caused her to lose her virginity and learn of true love. (8, 537)

Okay, hold up; is this really the best way to consummate "true love"? We're not entirely convinced that having Pedro jump on Tita is sexy, or sweet, or necessary. Are we alone in our thoughts?

"Not until you behave like a good woman, or a decent one at least." (10, 675)

Ouch, Mama. Talk about the chile calling the pepper hot…Mama E criticizes Tita for not being a "decent" women, when we all know she's got a less than perfect past.

[…] and before departing gave [Tita] a recipe the prostitutes use so they don't get pregnant: after having intimate relations, use a douche of boiled water with a few drops of vinegar. (10, 696)

Who else would share a contraceptive method with Tita but Gertrudis? Darn it if we don't love her spunky, liberated woman style.

"While you were gone, I had relations with a man I've always loved, and I lost my virginity." (11, 782)

Burn. Talk about two shots through the heart of Dr. Brown…Tita confesses all of this and the guy still wants to be with her. Now that's love. We think…

[Tita] was experiencing a climax so intense that her closed eyes glowed and a brilliant tunnel appeared before her. (12, 859)

Is it just us or did it get scorching hot in here? While we're glad Tita is enjoying herself, this climax sounds a little dangerous.