Study Guide

Like Water for Chocolate Sexuality

By Laura Esquivel

Sexuality

Let's talk about sex baby, let's talk about you and me…or, you know, not talk about it ever. Not too different from current times in the U.S. (abstinence only, anyone?), sex and sexual relations are definitely not supposed to happen before marriage. At least, that is, if you're a woman. A huge part of this book is how the female characters navigate the issue of sex and all the baggage that comes with it—body image issues/shame, body confusion, sexual repression, and sexual liberation. We'd like to point out how little of an issue sexuality is for the men in the book. It makes you think…has much changed?

Questions About Sexuality

  1. Why do you think it's necessary for Gertrudis to go work in a brothel?
  2. Could the encounter Pedro and Tita have in the dark room be considered sexual abuse?
  3. Are men more or less sexual in Like Water for Chocolate?
  4. What are the different ways in which Mama Elena, Tita, Rosaura, and Gertrudis deal with their sexuality or sexual frustration?

Chew on This

Not allowing women to have sex before marriage is a way of controlling them.

The only sexually liberated woman in the novel is Gertrudis. Is she happier, or more successful as a result of her corporal explorations?