Let’s Talk About Sex!

Food AdvocateWhat’s a real food advocate doing talking about sex? Well, my health philosophy is about balance in all things. One day when I was writing Healthy, Sexy, Happy, I realized that sex was a huge part of why I’m healthy and happy. I’m not a doctor or a therapist, but I am sexy, so I think I qualify to give my opinion on the subject.

Sexiness—looking sexy, feeling sexy, desiring and enjoying sex—is part of the journey to optimal health. Traditional medicine doesn’t seem at all concerned about our sex lives. The best they can do is dole out erectile dysfunction pills that allow men to get and keep erections of which their partners are the recipients. Truth is, drugs can neither fix the underlying problems in men, nor help women feel desire and pleasure.

I’m not condemning anyone who can't have sex because they are seriously ill, have survived a psychological trauma, or got injured in an accident or one of the wars, those are different subjects. I'm talking to the many people who can’t remember the last time they had sex. Sex makes the world go around, and a sexless life is not very interesting. Even the Dalai Lama was quoted as saying that he has "women in his dreams." His Holiness has to deal with having sex on the brain, even though he’s a celibate lama. So it is shocking to me when women and men tell me, "Oh, I’m done with sex." Maybe you feel that you’re done with sex because you have no drive or don’t experience sexual pleasure. You don’t have to deny your human desire for sexual fulfillment. You can get desire, endurance, and satisfaction back. It happens when you get healthy. That’s why my program is such a neat package: health, sex, and happiness.

Before you give up on trying to resurrect your sexual desire and pleasure, just consider some of the benefits. One, it's so incredibly fun. Two, it’s free. Three, it’s really enjoyable exercise. And four, it's another formk of meditation. Meditation is the supreme mind-clearing activity, but some people are just not going to become regular meditators. Sex is another way to completely clear your mind. Mind clearing was essential when the Buddha and his students were walking around barefoot, and it’s still essential today, whether we’re walking around in Blaniks, Gucci, Tevas, or Nikis. You have to clear your mind regularly or you’ll implode. Mind clearing allows the fearful, watchful part of your brain, called the amygdala, to take in some positive information. Mind clearing trains your brain not to be nearly as paranoid or obsessive or however your fear manifests.

Aside from the many benefits of mind clearing, sex is so pleasurable. Regardless if you’re in a relationship, dating, or have regular lovers, feeling good about sex begins with feeling relaxed. It’s not possible to reach orgasm if you feel fear or anxiety. Having sex to reach orgasm also facilitates the most delicious relaxation via the release of brain chemicals. In women, orgasm causes the brain to release the body’s natural pain killing neurotransmitter, endorphins. It also releases the hormone oxytocin, which reduces anxiety and evokes feelings of contentment, calmness, and security. When men orgasm their brains release the happy neurotransmitters norepinephrine, serotonin, and oxytocin. Men’s brains also release vasopressin, a hormone that promotes a feeling of bonding, and drowsy hormones like prolactin, oxytocin, and melatonin.

Let’s talk about what you can do to get sexy again, baby.

Where our medical systems largely ignore our sex drives, two ancient medicines, Chinese and Ayurvedic (Indian) pick up the slack. The objective of both of these medicines is to integrate and balance the body, mind, and spirit, to achieve happiness and health, as well as to help prevent illness. They are both life energy/life force based medicines—Chinese medicine refers to energy as Qi; Ayurvedic, prana. Both consider sexual dysfunction a major symptom of energy stagnation.

Chinese medicine seeks to harmonize sexual drive, capacity, and pleasure to bring about happiness, compassion, and love. As Chinese medicine considers Qi to be universal, if one person is stagnant, it creates a problem for the whole. Wow, graphic. Our sexless society is obsessed with sexual images in movies and the media, but millions of people are sexually stagnant, which affects the whole by brewing and spewing so much anger, rage, and frustration.

One of The Eight Branches of Ayurvedic medicine is Sexual Vitality. If you go to India, sex is in your face in the gorgeous ancient statuary depicting extremely inventive sexual positions. Perhaps it’s because their medical system doesn’t beat around the bush about sex, but emphasizes that sex is a major tenant of good health.

You can get your energy moving again by addressing some fundamental factors of health: malnutrition, hormone imbalance, and adrenal fatigue. Factory food, dieting, taking too many OTCs and prescription drugs have created our low sex drive epidemic. Malnutrition from eating factory food results in low sex drive because it bottoms out sex hormones. At the same time, "famine" from eating factory food signals your brain to halt sexual activity, because we are programmed for survival, and the brain knows that a famine is not a good time to bring babies into the world. Dieting exacerbates famine, even if you’re extremely overweight. Contrary to conventional medical wisdom, the bodies metabolic processes can’t operate on body fat alone, they need building supplies in the form of real, whole, living food. Taking too many drugs creates a toxic environment in your body that is serious stagnation, which destroys mind, body, spirit balance.

Eating a balanced diet of real, whole, living food will heal you of malnutrition and, in the end the famine signals to your brain, restore your sex drive. That said, if you’re over forty, you may be experiencing sex hormone decline, in which case you need to see an enlightened doctor for lab tests and possible bioidentical hormone replacement.

I devoted an entire chapter to adrenal burnout in Healthy, Sexy, Happy, because adrenal fatigue is the unhappy companion to all conditions, including the phantom sex drive. So simply starting to have sex again will help move the energy in your body and help your adrenals heal.

Single sex—the unknown—is passionate and exciting. But you may be married or in a long-term relationship, and you could be yawning as you read this. Married/long relationship sex can be challenging. Familiarity can be less exciting and passionate. But a big part of the problem is behavior and attitude. Looking and feeling sexy plays a major role in making sex hot. If you lie around in baggy sweats and don’t take a shower all day, you’re not going to be an object of sexual desire and you’re not going to feel very sexy.

The sex act can get rote after a while too. Women can’t just lie there and do nothing. Likewise men and women need to learn the complexities of their partner’s sexual desires. Honestly, some of my gay friends seem to have a workable model – they just politely move on when things get boring. But if you’re committed, gay or straight, you can restore excitement by working on your appearance, and more importantly on your health, by eating real food, never dieting, taking fewer drugs, and exercising.

I can’t end without saying something about safe sex. If you’re not in a committed relationship, don't be reckless, please.

Om Shanti,
Nancy Deville

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