The Roots of Male Sexuality (now eat your fiber, son)
Date: Fri, 18 Jun 93 12:06:57 PDT
Subject: The Roots of Male Sexuality (now eat your fiber, son)
From: bostic@vangogh.CS.Berkeley.EDU (Keith Bostic)
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Bill Wisner)
Subject: I never did care much for Corn Flakes
In the middle 1800s, a Sylvester Graham led one of the first health-food
crusades in this country. He thought that bad health was related to
sexual excesses such as intercourse more than once a month, masturbation,
and erotic dreams, all of which were caused by eating rich and spicy
foods. These foods "increase the concupiscent excitability and
sensibility of the genital organs." The antidote he prescribed was a
vegetarian diet of plain and boring foods, one key element of which was
coarse, whole-wheat flour. Although you have probably never heard of Mr.
Graham, you have undoubtedly tasted a processed and sweetened version of
his attempt to reduce sexual excess -- the graham cracker.
Graham wasn't the only nut rolling around in nineteenth-century America;
many others were also concerned about curbing sexuality. John Harvey
Kellogg gained a reputation both as a nutritionist and a sexual adviser.
He thought sex the ultimate abomination and remained chaste even in
marriage. Masturbation was the worst sin of all, "the vilest, the basest,
and the most degrading act that a human being can commit." In his view,
it led not only to the usual stuff like tuberculosis, heart disease,
epilepsy, dimness of vision, insanity, idiocy, and death, but also to
bashfulness in some people, unnatural boldness in others, a fondness for
spicy foods, round shoulders, and "acne, or pimples on the face." Kellogg
introduced a number of foods designed to promote health and decrease
interest in sex, one of which he called Corn Flakes. The rest, as they
say, is history.
-- Bernie Zilbergeld, Ph.D., "The New Male Sexuality"
© 1993 Peter Langston