When I recently watched a TikTok of someone smashing two pies into a model’s face, my type A self immediately felt compelled to wipe up the cream filling dripping down her head and blouse with a paper towel. But apparently, what I deemed a hot mess, others think of as, well, hot.
Pie throwing is a common outlet for a food fetish known as sploshing, Lana Holmes, a psychologist at Onward and Outward Center for Inclusive Therapy and Wellness in the metro Atlanta area, tells me. Sploshing can also look like sitting your bare ass on a cake (a.k.a, cake sitting), wading in a kiddie pool of milk and cereal, or even more vanilla activities (sorry), like licking frosting off your partner’s skin. The more examples I learned about, the more I understood the appeal (and the more I needed a cold shower).
Holmes gave me a quick and dirty rundown of this ooey-gooey fetish, from its history to advice on how to experiment with it in a safe, consensual way.
First things first: What is sploshing?
Simply put, “sploshing is a fetish in which people derive sexual arousal and pleasure from being covered in food products and beverages,” Holmes says. She explains that it falls under the broader category of what’s known as the “wet and messy” (WAM) family of fetishes, which incorporate squishy, fluid substances like mud and slime into sex play.
According to Holmes, the late Clive Harris (who went by the pseudonym Bill Shipton) and his partner, Hayley, coined the term “splosh,” co-founding a magazine of the same name in 1989. Splosh! was dedicated not only sploshing, but other WAM fetishes, and later expanded into a video production website.
The beauty of sploshing is that it can take a broad range of forms. It can be naked or clothed, partnered or solo, and involve having sex or just engaging in fun erotic play, Holmes says. Some sploshers love being completely doused in certain food products — like gunge, which can describe honey, syrup, and pretty much any thick, viscous substance — while others prefer smearing them only onto certain body parts they find arousing.
What’s so sexy about sploshing?
As with many sexual fetishes, there’s a multitude of theories as to why being coated in custard or other food products would turn people on. Some might see sploshing as a means of defying expectations of primness and properness, Holmes tells me. They might’ve grown up in family or community that had strict standards for how people should conduct themselves. “For some people, it’s very pleasurable, as well as liberating, to do something that’s the polar opposite of that,” Holmes says.
Others find themselves drawn to the playfulness of sploshing, she adds, not unlike the food fights they might’ve joined in or seen on TV as kids. And still others revel in the sensual experience of foods and beverages touching different parts of their bodies. A key component of sex, after all, is physical sensation. Some people might love the feeling of whipped cream dripping off their skin, or cake filling the crevices Down There. Last but not least, creamy things might just remind people of bodily fluids.
Sign me up. How can I explore it with a partner?
Anytime you want to try new sex stuff, you need to propose it to your partner first, Holmes says, rather than springing it on them. Let them know you’re interested in sploshing and ask if they’ve heard of it before. If not, refer them to some reading (and/or viewing) material and check in with them after they’ve had a chance to review it. Remember, “consent is an ongoing conversation,” Holmes says. Your partner might be excited about sploshing at first, but later decide they don’t want to do it anymore, or only in a specific way. Respecting those boundaries, even if they shift, is absolutely essential.
The good news is, you've probably already dabbled in sploshing without realizing it, Holmes says. Maybe you’ve had sex that involved licking off champagne or chocolate. If your partner consents, you can use these experiences as entryways to experiment with different amounts and types of food, based on textures, smells, and tastes you find appealing. Say you’ve already dabbed whipped cream on a partner’s body. Maybe this time you can look into filling huge tubs with whipped cream and slathering it on each other.
And if you’re a total sploshing newbie and want to see what it looks like, Holmes says you could always search for sploshing videos on your favorite porn or fetish site. She also recommends checking out sites dedicated specifically to sploshing and WAM, like UMD.net. If you want to just dip your toes in to start, I’ve personally learned a lot through searching for the “sploshing” hashtag on TikTok and IG.
If you and your partner do decide to take the plunge, scout out locations where you can splosh without staining your furniture or anything else of value, Holmes suggests. Maybe opt for easier-to-clean spots like your bathtub, or invest in a tarp or similar covering.
Finally, the not-so-sexy but crucial safety precautions: Avoid playing with any foods you or your partner are allergic to, Holmes says, and be careful with peppers or other foods that can burn your skin or cause abrasions. “Also, when it comes to any kind of sugary food or drink, there is a risk of developing a yeast infection,” she adds, so keep anything that falls into this category out of your vagina, and/or your partner’s.
Sploshing “definitely does take some planning and consideration,” Holmes says. But the juice — or chocolate syrup, or whipped cream, or other food or beverage of choice — may very well be worth the squeeze.