7 Keys to Lifelong Sexual Vitality: The Hippocrates Institute Guide to Sex, Health, and Happiness

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Good health leads to good sex and good sex can lead to good health. And your sex life can keep getting better over time; naturally, easily, and without drugs.

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Introduction: Healthy Sex Is Potent Medicine

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Sex is like air;
it’s not important unless you aren’t getting any.

— Anonymous

Sexual energy is a universal fuel of life. It nourishes the human mind, body, and spirit. Besides diet and exercise, nothing will naturally enhance your health throughout your life more than remaining sexually active. Healthy sex is one of nature’s most potent medicines.

This book takes a fresh scientific look at the physiological and psychological benefits of sexual intimacy, especially when it occurs in relationship with a committed partner. The information in this book will show you how to transform the sexual act from a mindless pleasure into a mindful health principle.

During our more than three decades directing the Hippocrates Health Institute, it has become increasingly clear to us that people who no longer have sexual intimacy in their lives tend to develop a range of health disorders, both physical and mental, more readily than those who remain sexually active. By contrast, our guests who have completed the Hippocrates program and continue its dietary regimen at home overwhelmingly report to us that their sex lives have improved beyond all measure.

 

Key One: Understand Your Sexuality

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When authorities warn you of the sinfulness of sex,
here is an important lesson to be learned.
Do not have sex with the authorities.

— Cartoonist Matt Groening

One half of the world cannot understand
the pleasures of the other.

— Novelist Jane Austen (1775–1817)

The following series of paired statements challenges you to consider the ways in which you might sabotage your own sexual fulfillment, and maybe even thwart the sexual potential of the people in your life whom you most care about. Read each pair and circle the statement that more accurately reflects your feelings. Your responses may help to reveal the extent to which your beliefs, attitudes, and judgments about sexuality contribute to sexual dysfunction, absence of intimacy, or health problems related to sexual repression and frustration.

Sex is an energy I control.

or

Sex feels like uncontrollable energy.

Sex is always my choice.

or

Sex often feels like an obligation.

Sex feels nurturing.

or

Sex feels hurtful.

Sex feels like I am sharing with someone.

 

Key Two: Imagine Your Sexuality

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As selfishness and complaint pervert and cloud the mind,
so love with its joy clears and sharpens the vision.

— Helen Keller (1880–1968)

To liberate the free attention necessary for developing an enduring and satisfying sex life, you must first banish anxiety, shame, guilt, and inhibitions about sexual expression. That means opening your mind to new ways of thinking about sexuality. “Sex is first and foremost a psychological issue,” affirms Barnaby Barratt, PhD, president of the American Association of Sex Educators.1

Not only does our mind directly influence our ability to feel desire and then to achieve orgasmic pleasure, but it — and the intention we set with it — also can literally reprogram groups of cells in our body to alter their expression and function. As an illustration of this mind-over-matter power, consider the evidence presented in an article in Scientific American Mind, which begins with this description of a remarkable experiment:

She did not often have such strong emotions. But she suddenly felt powerless against her passion and the desire to throw herself into the arms of the cousin whom she saw at a family funeral. “It can only be because of that patch,” said Marianne, a participant in a multinational trial of a testosterone patch designed to treat hypoactive sexual desire disorder, in which a woman is devoid of libido. Testosterone, a hormone ordinarily produced by the ovaries in women, is linked to female sexual function, and the women in this 2005 study had undergone operations to remove their ovaries.

 

Key Three: Express Your Sexuality

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Of the delights of this world,
man cares most for sexual intercourse,
yet he has left it out of his heaven.

— Humorist Mark Twain (1835–1910)

Annette and Irving met while students at Utah State University in the early 1970s and married not long afterward. Both had been members of the Mormon Church, which helped to insulate them from the sexual experimentation going on among their generational peers.

Over the next three decades, they raised three children and lived a rather mainstream middle-class life. But by their early fifties, the passion was gone from their marriage. Irving no longer had the sexual desire or potency to satisfy Annette, so she began living out her sexual fantasies on the Internet. Eventually, Irving discovered that his sexual problems were a by-product of a tumor growing on his pituitary gland. Medical treatment corrected the problem, and his libido returned to normal.

Annette’s experiences of sharing sexual fantasies with other men on the Internet inspired her to suggest to her husband that they spice up their relationship by visiting a swingers’ club in Portland, Oregon. “I was more ready to play with others than he was,” Annette recalled. “He was reluctant at first because he didn’t want to hurt our marriage. But he agreed to go one weekend. I was excited to be there and see people of all ages very free and open and expressive with their sexuality. We’ve been going to the club on occasion for the past three years. And, yes, we always practice safe sex.”

 

Key Four: Protect Your Sexuality

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An orgasm a day keeps the doctor away.

— Actress Mae West (1893–1980)

We are all by nature sexual beings, but this natural gift is subject to a host of outside influences that can sabotage our sexual functioning, and even our sexual orientation. There is no doubt in our minds that infertility and impotence happen in great part because of chemicals and radioactivity in our environment.

We all carry a synthetic chemical body burden that we have absorbed from contact with foods, municipal water supplies, medicines, cosmetics, personal care products, and other consumer items. For each of us, that means seven hundred or more of these chemicals have taken up residence in our body fat and body organs at any one time, according to estimates from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which has conducted widespread blood testing on thousands of people over the past decade.1

The toxic effects of these chemicals and our body burdens’ impositions on sexuality and sexual health are finally being recognized and documented. The following information is what every one of us needs to be aware of if we intend to be sexually active until the end of our lives.

 

Key Five: Nourish Your Sexuality

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I think people should be free to engage
in any sexual practices they choose;
they should draw the line at goats though.

— Singer Elton John

When a Stanford University oncologist informed thirty-two-year-old Andrea that the experimental cancer drug combination she was taking “will probably make you sterile,” Andrea’s lifelong dream of being a mother seemed to vanish in the face of her struggle against stage 4 Hodgkin’s disease.

Since the age of sixteen, growing up on a dairy farm in Wisconsin, Andrea had experienced a recurring vivid dream in which she walked hand in hand with a little blond-haired boy who she sensed was her own future son. Now that cancer of the lymphatic system had infiltrated both lungs, her doctors wanted her to undergo chemotherapy, followed by a bone marrow transplant and radiation, in addition to a cocktail of seven experimental drugs. There was no doubt in anyone’s mind that sterility would result from this treatment regimen.

“I knew that I had to put away my dreams of giving birth,” Andrea told us during a visit to the Hippocrates Health Institute. “It was a huge feeling of loss. I’m the youngest of ten children, and I had always wanted a big family of my own. But my first concern had to be my own survival.”

 

Key Six: Enhance Your Sexuality

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Sex is one of the nine reasons for reincarnation.
The other eight are unimportant.

— Comedian George Burns (1896–1996)

Some things are better than sex, and some are worse, but there’s nothing exactly like it.

— Actor W. C. Fields (1880–1946)

Human sexuality is ordinarily channeled and released as a procreative act, to tranquilize yourself, or as a form of recreation. Sometimes it’s a combination of these things. You might decide to tranquilize yourself to relieve stress, for instance, by having a bout of mindless recreational sex.

But what if we told you there was a fourth category of sexual expression and release, a mindful practice that few in the West have tried, an ancient technique so powerful that both men and women are said to experience multiple orgasms while engaged in it, enabling them to reach a transcendent state of spiritual bliss? This isn’t just New Age mythmaking.

Sacred sexuality, better known as tantra, is how this sexual yoga practice has been introduced to westerners. The word tantra in Sanskrit, loosely translated, means “to weave.” Its roots go back several thousand years to India’s Hindu and Buddhist spiritual traditions, though it should be emphasized that tantra is not a religion in itself, and anyone from any religious background or belief system can find benefit from it.

 

Key Seven: Prolong Your Sexuality

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Sexual intercourse is
kicking death in the ass while singing.

— Novelist Charles Bukowski (1920–1994)

Is it not strange that desire
should so many years outlive performance?

— Playwright William Shakespeare (1564–1616)

Alicia and her husband, Charles, are one of the more delightful and energetically happy couples we have ever known. They have been married for sixty years and show no evidence of having diminished their love and passion for each other. They fall asleep holding hands every night, and in the morning they always kiss each other to start their day. “We’ve made love thousands of times,” says Charles, “and the last time is always the lovemaking we remember as being the best.”

Alicia overcame cancer in the 1990s, but the disease was just a speed bump on their road of life. They have remained youthful in appearance, health, and spirit by eating a pure whole-foods diet and by treating each new day as an opportunity for learning and adventure. It all began in Massachusetts on their second date in 1948, when Charles took Alicia up in a stunt plane and did a series of loops and spins. Though Alicia promptly threw up her last meal, a tradition was established between them: nothing in their lives together was going to be boring.

 

Resources

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Tantra.com: This website is devoted to sacred sexuality and features instructional videos and books for those seeking a spiritual approach to sex. Articles can be found here on ejaculation control for men, how to be multiorgasmic, tantric massage, and female ejaculation. A tantra teacher directory gives listings of instructors near you who give personalized lessons or group tantra workshops.

BarbaraCarrellas.com: She is a sex educator who authored Urban Tantra: Sacred Sex for the Twenty-First Century and promotes conscious sexuality based on sacred practices such as tantra.

TheShameFreeZone.com: Maintained by sexologist Veronica Monet, based in Northern California, this website features a variety of useful information about relationships and sex, emphasizing sex-positive advice.

YourSexCoach.com: Sexologist Dr. Patti Britton, author of The Idiot’s Guide to Sensual Massage and the audiobook Sex: Tantra & Kama Sutra, maintains this website devoted to healthy expressions of sexuality.

AASECT.org: This is the home site of the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists, which maintains listings of certified sex therapists throughout the United States.

 

Index

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A

açaí fruit, 115, 126

Actra-Rx, 144

adrenaline, 64

adultery, 13, 45, 51–53

adventures, 148

aerobic exercise, 66, 147

Afghanistan, 13

Ageism in America (report), 26

aging and sexuality, 55–56

baby boomers and, 166–68

common symptoms of, 160–61

declining hormone levels, 154–55

hormone replacement therapy, 160–61

myths about, 158–60

sex as rejuvenating, 163–64

sexual intercourse duration, 70

societal prejudices about, 20, 26, 39, 155–56, 164–66

touching and, 58–59

widows/widowers, 157–58

alcohol, 68–69

Allen, Woody, 41

all-or-nothing thinking, 30

Amazing World of Orgasm (video), 170

American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists, 33, 89, 169

American Cancer Society, 42–43

American Journal of Medicine, 83

American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 85

America True Man Health, Inc., 144

anal intercourse, 12, 24

andropause, 162

anger, 3, 84

AnnieSprinkle.org, 170

antidepressants, 99

anxiety, 3, 60, 85–86, 89, 155

aphrodisiacs, natural, 133–38

adding interest to sex as, 148–50

dangerous, 145

fake, 143–45

 

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