Read Great Sex, Naturally Online

Authors: Laurie Steelsmith

Great Sex, Naturally (2 page)

Many women confide in me that they have negative or anxious feelings, at the deepest level, about their sexuality. Some feel inadequate—as if they’re supposed to feel something different during sex than what they actually experience. One of the goals of this book is to help women have a healthy acceptance of their feelings about their sexuality, feel more connected to their bodies, and manifest loving change in their lives.

A large part of being a healthy, vital, sexual woman is your core relationship with yourself. For a woman to have great sex, she needs to feel comfortable with, and connected to, her pelvis, her sexual organs, and the rest of her body. Many women feel disconnected from their genitals because of vaginal infections, incontinence, pelvic pain, and other conditions. A history of sexual trauma, or a cultural atmosphere that doesn’t promote a positive relationship between a woman and her body and sexuality, can result in a stifled libido and diminished sexual health.

In my practice as a naturopathic physician with a specialty in women’s health, I’ve found the natural protocols in this book highly effective for boosting women’s sexuality, health, energy, and creative drive. One woman’s story seems to sum up the experience of many others. She had lost interest in sex, was gaining weight, and was often exhausted. She came to see me after consulting many medical doctors, who had overlooked key signs that her body was imbalanced, said her problems were normal for her age, and recommended she simply exercise more and eat less. I found she had many symptoms and underlying imbalances preventing her from feeling amorous, including irritable bowel syndrome, vaginal dryness, and headaches. Tests revealed intolerance to gluten, high cholesterol, high blood sugar, and low sex hormones. With the right diet, bioidentical hormones, acupressure, and nutritional support, all her complaints disappeared, and her vitality and robust sex life returned.

There are countless women who similarly feel unable to make the changes they need to regain their sexual health. Many need only the right support and guidance to turn their lives around. If you’re one of these women, or one of the many who simply want to enhance their sexuality, you’re about to begin a journey in which you can fully manifest your potential for great health and great sex.

To your health,

Dr. Laurie Steelsmith

As both Laurie’s partner and a professional writer with a strong interest in natural medicine, I find it especially meaningful to coauthor, as well as illustrate, this book. In its pages, you’ll notice that the “voice” is occasionally in the first-person plural (“we”), and at other times in the first-person singular (“I”). Of course, “we” is Laurie and me, and “I” represents her. As in our previous book,
Natural Choices for Women’s Health
, I take the liberty of writing in the first-person singular on her behalf. But although my job is to create the text, you can rest assured that I never give medical advice. (I have no formal degrees in medicine.) People often ask how we work together and exactly what my role is in writing our books, so let me take this opportunity to give you a quick sketch.

We typically talk about ideas for months, or years, before committing anything to paper. When we’re ready to begin, Laurie writes down the appropriate medical information. This usually consists of the specific treatments, procedures, and protocols she recommends—the core prescriptive material, drawn from her many years of seeing patients. Much of what she writes down is in rough form, in phrases rather than sentences, but well researched, and interspersed with notes to me.

I then organize the material into sentences, sequences of ideas, paragraphs, and sections. Along the way, I add the headings, introductions, descriptions, closings, metaphors, local color, or anything else that might seem needed. My goal is to round out the text by elaborating on the issues in an accessible writing style. As a writer with many years of experience contributing ideas to health-related subjects, I add reflections that are relevant but require no medical training; some call for research on my part, but many are speculative. I tend to contribute the most content where topics are more general and abstract—for example, comparisons between medical paradigms.

It’s a great honor to partake in the creation of a work that has the potential to transform as many lives as this one does. I like to think that a male coauthor can offer a balanced perspective on women’s sexual-health concerns—and add extra insights on issues that affect men the most. As always, I hope my writing, ideas, illustrations, and graphics will do justice to Laurie’s work, and serve to broadcast part of her amazing gift as a healer to the many thousands of readers who deserve it.

Best wishes,

Alex Steelsmith

Disclaimer:
This book contains many self-help treatments and resources, but for serious health issues readers should seek treatment from an appropriate health-care professional. None of the treatments, recommendations, and protocols described in this book are intended as substitutes for qualified professional advice from a licensed naturopathic physician or practitioner of Chinese medicine.

INTRODUCTION

The Promise of Passion: Embracing New Beginnings

“No journey carries one far unless, as it extends into the world
around us, it goes an equal distance into the world within.”

—L
ILLIAN
S
MITH
,
T
HE
J
OURNEY

Imagine this: You’re 20 years older than you are now, and head over heels in love with the man of your dreams. You have the energy to exercise every day, take long walks, and entertain or go out every weekend. Your sexual vitality is so high that you often enjoy making love three or four times a week. You feel perpetually optimistic, deeply happy, and radiantly healthy. Isn’t this how you want to be 20 years from now—and at every other time in your life?

Are You Ready for a Sexual Power Surge?

If you’re looking for a way to recharge your sexual energy and at the same time transform your overall health at any age, then this is the book you’ve been waiting for. The first work of its kind devoted to optimizing women’s sexual health with the techniques of natural medicine, it covers a wealth of ancient secrets and modern methods for increasing your libido, including specific tips, advice, and practical information that has never been made widely available. The information in these pages empowers you to make changes in your life that will benefit you every day.

This book also directly addresses your concerns if you long for more intimacy in your life, but feel you just don’t have the energy to rekindle the flame of passion. If this is your experience, you’re not alone: an estimated 40 million American women struggle with diminished libido. According to some sources, statistics show that up to 63 percent of women experience some degree of sexual dysfunction during their lives, and low sexual desire is their most frequent concern.

You may experience low libido at any time in your life; it happens to women in their 20s and 30s, as well as those in midlife and their senior years. Perhaps you wake up one morning and realize that
sex
has become just another word. You know you’re missing something, because you vividly recall the rich connotation those three letters used to hold for you—how they once conveyed a sense of energy, mystery, and excitement, and seemed to conduct an almost palpable electrical charge. You may wonder what happened, and how such an alluring word could ever have lost its luster. Are you often more interested in watching television than making love? Did you somehow sublimate all your desire into accomplishments, friends, or family? Are you allotted only a limited supply of sexual energy to spend in your lifetime—a certain karmic quota—and can it be that you’ve already exhausted yours?

For many who practice conventional medicine, the answer is yes: your libido wanes, they may tell you, as your hormones change over the course of your life. This book invites you to not only question that answer, but disprove it in a hundred ways. It offers a refreshing perspective: you were designed by nature to be a sensual, vibrant, energetic woman for your entire life. Your sexuality changes through time, but that doesn’t mean loss; a waning libido can be a symptom of underlying imbalances—and opportunities for greater balance and sexual health. The truth is that at any age you can take charge of your sexuality and restore your libido, and
sex
can once again convey a sense of mystery, power, and passion in your life. As much as ever before, you can experience how it feels for your sexual energy to flourish, and know what it means to treasure pleasure.

Women’s sexual-health needs clearly aren’t being adequately met by conventional medicine. You see images of female sexuality projected everywhere in the media and advertising, yet if you need reliable advice on how to naturally cultivate sexual health, you may have nowhere to turn. At times in your life, your hormonal shifts result in physical and emotional changes that can dramatically affect your sexuality, but many physicians may overlook key sexual-health issues, or don’t know exactly what to tell women who need help in certain areas. Some women may be misdiagnosed as having
anhedonia
—the inability to experience pleasure—when in fact their pleasure potential is alive and well, and begging for the right treatment in order to be released. Our medical establishment perpetuates the notion that women should take conventional hormones, at some point in their lives, for many issues, and especially for reduced libido. But many women have legitimate concerns about hormones’ side effects, which include increased risk of heart disease and breast cancer.

One of the central ideas of this book—that your capacity for sexual pleasure and your overall health are profoundly connected—isn’t new. Many have alluded to it down through the ages. The idea appears in ancient Chinese medicine, which holds that sex is essential for health, and in some Western writings: in the 1900s, the controversial psychologist Wilhelm Reich was considered a pioneer by many for his work exploring the relationship between sexuality and health—although 21st-century women may find some of his ideas eccentric or difficult to grasp. Today, we have the advantage of a large body of accumulated scientific research to support the thesis that sexual pleasure and health are inextricably linked.

As we did research for this book, it was surprising to find how much of its material hasn’t yet been clearly elucidated or extensively published. This is, after all, the topic of
sex;
you tend to assume that it’s all been said before. Yet many priceless pearls of information—including even some specific aphrodisiacs—haven’t been made accessible in a reader-friendly way. (It seems hardly possible, for example, that everyone doesn’t already know all about such natural wonders as cordyceps, epimedium, catuaba, muira puama, and damiana, to name a few.) This book puts at your fingertips everything you need to naturally enhance your sexuality and take control of your sexual health in ways that will forever change your life. You can use it as your personal guide to
what really works
—the most effective tools and techniques on the subject, some handed down from one generation to the next for millennia, and others discovered in modern times.

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