Thursday, September 05, 2013

On Bukkake

I know, I know — that post title, right? How dare I title something I wrote with that when Joyce Carol Oates' On Bukkake remains the definitive text on the subject?

Know that I'm only writing this to inform you of one simple but nonetheless notable fact: the word bukkake may not always mean what you think. Now if bukkake doesn't mean anything to you, please do not Google it, especially if you're at your work computer. Please also do not inquire about the subject at your local library. Also, please don't go to the Wikipedia page for bukkake, because it's somehow even worse to see the whole explosive process explained in matter-of-fact language and diagrams. It's just one of those things you don't know about until you do, at which point you can never forget what it means and you occasionally wonder, "Wait, how did I learn what bukkake was?"

The word calls to mind some rather vivid imagery, too, and that's what makes the other meaning so strange: It's food — udon, in fact. And I know because a coworker recently wrote about ordering bukkake udon from a Japanese restaurant in Los Angeles's Little Tokyo.

Here's the photo:

courtesy kcet food
Surprisingly tame, right? Compared to how you might have imagined bukkake udon, this looks rather savory, I think. (And that's savory in the sense of polite behavior, though I imagine it also tasted savory.) So why must this dish share its name with a sex act? Per my understanding, it's unlike the majority of udon dishes — which arrive soup-style, with the noodles floating in broth — in that the diner is served the noodles and topping and then required to pour the broth-like sauce over it immediately before eating. (Do I have that right? Please straighten out my understanding of the various bukkakes if not.) In case that doesn't make the connection clear enough, know that the word bukkake means "the act of splashing" in Japanese and comes from the verb bukkakeru, "to splash with (a liquid rudely)." Fair warning: that link may well be NSFW, depending on whether you work for squares.

So there you go. Now you know. May all your future bukkakes be the kind you ordered. Just be specific with your server.

Food written about in an unappetizing fashion, previously:

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