The website of best-selling sex author Anne Hooper
TOTAL SEX HEALTH
Lots of us believe that good health is about keeping fit in both body AND mind. Going jogging is not enough. And you can easily fall ill from over-exercising. What’s really interesting is that today’s scientists are themselves coming round to this view:
– Hans-Peter Durr a renowned physicist and former Director of the world famous Max Planck Institute thinks the very atoms of the universe are influenced by “spirit”.
– Gabriel Dover the leading geneticist believes human instincts and feelings help shape our physical construction.
– And the newest hormone research shows that happiness comes from your brain making enough endorphins while sexual pleasure depends on your body supplying testosterone!
These holistic views of mind and body have huge implications for our personal relationships. The latest version of evolution theory (taking up from where Darwin left off) focuses on “adaptation”. Apparently, all the species on earth must be super-adaptive or they will die. This means that our brains are always primed for new adjustments. Literally this means we experience love, sex and relationships in totally different ways from our grandparents
For example, a hundred years ago women probably were unable to regard sex as a personal pleasure but thought it had to depend on marriage and submitting to a man. In 1899, wives had a duty to make themselves available when the husband decided, to do their duty and lie back and think of Great Britain. They would not begin to recognise today’s world where sex is a matter of mutual and occasional choice and pregnancy can be avoided. Instead of being a source of stress (or distress), this loving activity has become a source of joy.
And how did this present state of change come about? Largely through greatly increased knowledge about physical health. Today we understand in detail the strengths (and weaknesses) of men and women. We possess superior information on what each sex is physically and emotionally capable of. As a result the sexes have been slowly altering their physical performance and their mental achievements. In the second half of this century women have improved their examination performance, their sporting record, their job tenacity and earning capacity. Men are presently facing the challenge of using their greater physical strength and energy in softer yet more enduring capacities and in adapting to less physical but more cerebral challenges. The roles between the sexes are changing and this means that the possibilities of having a deeply satisfying love relationship at an equal level are greater today than ever before.
This innovatory Daily Mail series is an attempt to throw an ultra-contemporary slant on to that most personal of institutions, the Intimate Couple. During the next five weeks we are going to leap into the future and explore alternative ways of looking at physical fitness and its relationship to love between men and women. The acquirement of wisdom, a knowledge of magic potions, the transmutation of energy are part of our 21st century brief and not just a fairy tale. In modern terms, physical wellbeing and emotional wellbeing are intertwined with drug therapy, the power of energy and a flexible mind. It’s time we became consciously aware of how well a highly-evolved human being can experience life and love.
The elements we focus on in the next five weeks play a key part in how a valued relationship can develop and grow. They are:
- psychological understanding
- surprise and spontaneity
- healthy hormones
- realistic understanding of the sexual life cycle
Over the following five weeks we aim to give your relationship a 100 per cent boost – we offer you the chance to strengthen your emotional and sexual health and let your intimacy flower by 20 per cent per week. We will describe aspects of physical health known to influence relationship happiness and we will counterbalance these with aspects of emotional health known to influence physical well-being. Our ultimate ambition is to let you and your partner feel alive, adored and profoundly well.
DID YOU KNOW…
- that a committed relationship may increase your chances of living longer?
- that women with a high income who share a home but with a friend rather than a husband remain healthier than married women?
- that men who remain single tend to be in poorer physical and mental health than married men?
- that alcohol has been shown to decrease men’s sexual desire but to increase women’s?
THE ENERGISING POWER OF PILATES
Terence Stamp recently disclosed that he has reached perfect emotional AND physical health through a combination of avoiding allergenic foods and doing Pilates. Pilates is a physical training that was invented by Joseph Pilates, a sports instructor, who combined sports, ballet and weight lifting exercise to form the basis of his method. He always claimed that the reason his trainees did not die in the great flu epidemic of 1918 that killed thousands of others was because of the supreme fitness they had acquired through his exercisesTerence Stamp found that Pilates completely re-shaped his feet. Lynne Robinson, a teacher of this body control method, discovered it alleviated her back pain. A Pilates session leaves me with such a natural high, as the endorphins kick in, that I easily experience sexual desire and sexual response. Above all you acquire fantastic and invigorating energy and fun. It’s with this in mind that I suggest everyone takes time off during the day, (the lunch hour is ideal) to practise a few of these simple exercises. If you manage this only two or three times a week the quality of your life will change.
Ideally every section of the body is stretched or exercised. Thanks to space limitations I outline here just three exercises guaranteed to offer suppleness and a youthful body. If there is any health reason why exercising may be harmful please check with your doctor first.
- This is a warm-up exercise. Lie on your back, head on a small pillow, with your arms out to the sides, palms up. Your knees should be up, cuddled into your chest so that your thighs are at right angles with your body. Feet are softly pointed.
Keeping your shoulders flat on the ground, breathe in. As you breathe out, draw in your stomach and let your knees, still bent, slowly lower to the right side, at the same time turning your head to the left. Let the knees drop as far as feels comfortable and then a little further. You are trying to stretch the waist muscles.
- Breathe in and then as you breathe out again, using your stomach muscles only and keeping your abdomen completely flat on the ground, bring your legs back to the middle.
- Repeat the exercise 10 times in each direction.
- Lying on your back with your knees raised, and feet flat on the ground, place one hand behind your head where it joins with the neck and the other on your abdomen. Your head may be supported by a small cushion and to insure that the thighs remain squeezed together, hold a tennis ball between the knees
- Breathe in
- As you breathe out, hollow down the lower abdominal muscles so that they drop down to the spine, thereby lengthening the base of the spine.
- Maintaining this lengthening, slowly lift your head up, off the pillow to look at your abdomen, carefully curling the neck and shoulders off the floor.
- Only move your head up as long as you can keep your abdomen hollowed down. The minute you feel those abdominal muscles begin to pull up, curl gently back down at the head as you breathe in again. It is imperative you do not pull on the neck.
Repeat five times then change the hand behind the head and do five more.
- Lying on your back, head on a small pillow, take a long scarf and holding an end in each hand, place the middle of the scarf over one foot which is reaised. The other foot is flat on the ground with the knee bent.
- 2. Breathe in.
- A you breathe out slowly straighten the leg in the air held by the scarf. The foot itself is flexed towards your face and your spine remains straight along the floor.
- For a count of 10, breathing normally now, hold that stretch by pulling firmly on the ends of the scarf. The leg needs to be at right angles with the body. You should feel the hamstring stretch.
- Let go of the tension on the scarf and let the leg slowly bend again. Repeat five times on each leg.
For readers wanting to do the complete Pilates workout, see Lynne Robinson’s ‘Body Control’ video made by Telstar.