July 06, 2006
As far as I am concerned, being any gender is a drag.
- Patti Smith
I get a million—sometimes two—invitations for this lecture on tantric goddess empowerment and that workshop on raw food penile enhancement all the time. But when I saw the press release for "Sexual Chemistry: What Actually Works" in my box, I knew I had to go.
And as with most things sexually related, I had a couple drinks and brought along some friends. No, I kid. But I did bring Sasha. And we might've lubed up first—with alcoholic beverages, people—at the Kahului Ale House, where we were two of, like, four chicks that I'm sure any one of the several hundred sausage farmers there would've loved to instruct in their own knucklehead course of Sex Chem lab. But I digress.
I'm not sure what I was expecting at the "two-hour interactive program exploring state-of-the-art practical aspects" of le mixing your peanut butter with my jelly, so to speak. But when Dr. Todd Michael began his discourse with a reference to What the Bleep—"the more we study the universe, the more we run into a wall of mystery"—about the chemistry between people and what we can do to avoid "mistakes" (ahem—musicians, DJ's, writers, et al.), I quickly whipped out my notepad and began scribbling. But what he said next left me aghast.
"Women need to balance their hormones," he said. "It's so easily corrected. And it's SO MUCH FUN!"
Uh, where's the sex part?
"Fatigue is the worst thing for sexual chemistry," Dr. Todd continued. "Stress, depression, insomnia all stem from low progesterone, high estrogen levels. Progesterone makes women feel good, have longer orgasms, etc. Estrogen decreases sex drive."
The horror, I moaned! Get it? Hor-mone? Anyway, he went on to say that the environment is flooded with estrogen. That it's in the plastic packaging of our foods, in the Teflons of our cooking pans, insecticides—and here's where it gets scary—caffeine, tap water, detergents, dry cleaning, hot computers and solvents of any kind.
Excuse me—did he say caffeine? This is my worst nightmare.
The excess of estrogen, or xenoestrogens, polluting our environment may be contributing to a younger puberty, or why girls are now having their periods at age nine. It can also contribute to heavy periods, severe cramps, breast tenderness, weight gain and hair loss. Estrogen makes cells divide more rapidly, which leads to accelerated aging, anxiety and panic attacks.
I think I'm panicking right now.
But there is hope. Dr. Todd said there are natural foods—like cauliflower, broccoli, cherries, rosemary and turmeric—that will block xenoestrogens. And that by choosing a plant-based diet, reducing sugar and caffeine (gasp!), increasing fiber and hormone-free, organic stuff, you can weaken the ravaging effects of estrogen overdose.
Fortunately, from there we moved on to sexier topics: Natural aphrodisiacs do indeed exist! Yippee!
Maca seems to be the most potent, according to the good doctor and the room full of knowingly nodding partakers. It's a root from Peru that's been clinically proven to increase sperm count, stamina, strength, energy and good old-fashioned desire. Can I get a hallelujah?
There's also something called Epimedium or Yin Yang Huo that Dr. Todd was embarrassed to say is commonly referred to as "Horny Goat Weed." It's fairly popular in traditional Chinese medicine, used to reduce fatigue and menopausal discomfort, as well as boost erectile function and "restore sexual fire."
Damiana, a small shrub found in Mexico, South America, Texas and the West Indies, is another one. Although Dr. Todd said its effect is low to medium, damiana is thought to reduce blood sugar, calm nerves, relieve depression and increase libido.
But other than that, Dr. Todd said the aphrodisiac industry is mostly a sham. The room was quiet for a moment. Then a guy in the third row raised his hand.
"Isn't cacao a natural aphrodisiac?" he asked.
"Yes, that's right," said Dr. Todd.
"Well, but… doesn't it have caffeine in it?"
"Yes. But in that case, you've got to take the good with the bad, and the benefits of cacao far outweigh the detriments."
Oh, phew! And so, my friends, chocolate is saved. And thankfully, so is my sex life, as well as the life of one caffeine-killing Dr. Todd.
Samantha Campos is currently seeking treatment from repeated viewings of Sarah Silverman: Jesus is Magic. MTW
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