Have you ever wondered why we celebrate the 14th of February? Why more than 58 million lbs of chocolate are sold during Valentine’s week? It’s the most important holiday for florists, accounting for 32% of annual sales. What’s up with yet another corporate-sponsored holiday? We’re still pulling the pine needles from the carpet & sweating off the love handles of Christmas! If you were to Google the origins of Valentine’s Day, you might find stories filled with blood and gore surrounding the death of two different saints by the name of Valentine. The stories are shrouded in mystery, as neither legend as to what truly happened can be confirmed.
One thing is for certain, the official holiday was brought to you by the Christian church, at the end of the fifth century, when Pope Gelasius declared February 14 St.Valentine’s Day. The new holiday was likely an effort to “Christianize” the highly sexual pagan celebration of Lupercalia.
Lupercalia was a freaky little weekend festival celebrated by the Romans. The tradition was set to honor Faunus, otherwise known as Pan, the horned god of agriculture, herds and copulation. The celebration had a way of mimicking the efforts of nature striving to bring forth the spring, and with it new life. It is said that priests would gather in the Luprical cave to sacrifice several goats and a dog—the dog in honor of the she-wolf who saved the life of the abandoned infants Romulus and Remus, who later became the founders of Rome, and the goats in honor of the god Pan and to ensure the safety of their herds in the surrounding hills.
The priests would then run naked through the streets slapping half-dressed women with their freshly created bloody goat hide whips. The act of such lashings or whippings was known as februatio …both this word and the word februa come from the Latin meaning “to purify.” The naming of the month of February is believed to have originated from this meaning. Most women would line up for the honor to get lashed by a priest because it ensured fertility, even to those thought to be barren. Young men celebrating their rite of passage would draw volunteer women’s names from a lottery and spend the weekend with them, sometimes longer if the pairing was pleasant. What with the great deal of wine, whipping and the sex lotto it is easy to see why the church would want to abolish such a celebration.
Today most of us no longer rely on such festivals to bring about little bundles of joy, although some of us still appreciate leather whips. Science has brought us a new understanding of how and why we conceive, and fertility clinics to help couples who can’t. The reasons for not being able to conceive a child naturally are many. I’m writing today to help you understand why the body sometimes chooses to shut down our fertility and, with it, the libido.
The brain can be divided into three sections, the reptilian, the limbic and the neocortex. The reptilian brain, the oldest area, is responsible for our three primary drives in life called the reptilian reflexes: safety, sustenance and procreation, in order of importance. For example, a starving or dehydrated animal will usually not bother seeking out a partner or building a den until it can first provide for itself. If food is available but only by crossing the path of a hungry predator, the animal will wait to eat until it is safe. A woman’s body will even prolong labor if it feels threatened. You see, sex and baby-making come last in the order of primal importance.
Why is this information significant and how does it pertain to your libido? The human genome changes .1% every 10,000 years. Our bodies do not know the difference between now and then, even though our environment and specific stressors have changed drastically. The level of anxiety we experience at work or from lack of sleep can register in the body the same way as a saber tooth tiger on the prowl nearby. The processed food that many of us live on can deplete the body of vital energy. Even the tap water we drink contains chemicals such as fluoride and chlorine, stressors unheard of before last century.
High stress levels and poor diet have left many people drained. Erections occur only when a man is in a para-sympathetic state. In other words he needs to be relaxed. This information is gold if understood and implemented! Pharmaceutical companies and fertility clinics would no longer be billion dollar industries if we could begin to support local farmers and give ourselves permission to relax more.
Real chocolate, not the high fructose corn syrup-laden Hershey’s crap, is known to be an aphrodisiac. Aphrodisiac foods give your sex drive a boost usually because they are high in amino acids, antioxidants, vitamins minerals. Could you imagine what your sex drive would be like if you lived on the health-giving aphrodisiac foods daily instead of drive-throughs and frozen dinners?
There are many classes and books offered for women and men to learn about their cycles, health and fertility. This can go a long way in understanding why our sex drive is so strong at times, why our partners drive us crazy other days and how we might conceive naturally. Returning to our roots and diving into the messages of our bodies allows us to “take the power” back.
Prescriptions of birth control, Viagra and fertility injections are preventing us from hearing the body’s wisdom and setting us up for a disconnected way of living. In my opinion, we need to treat the lifestyle and not mask the symptoms.
If you want a prescription for better sex, I suggest your next office visit be to the only four doctors you will ever need: Dr. Diet, Dr. Quiet, Dr. Movement and Dr. Happiness. They can help create balance and restore health plus bring a new level of vigor to your bedroom life. For optimal sex performance allow your daily routine to include a little exercise, three daily meals containing whole organic foods, relaxation and activities that bring you joy.
This Valentine’s Day and every day I urge you to make yourself the object of your love and admiration. Give the gift of selfishness and make time to love and adore your body. Listen, and give it what it needs to be healthy and whole. Go the extra mile to show yourself how much you care. This is the ultimate secret of quality relationships, awesome sex life and good parenting. Once we care for ourselves, only then can we share genuine love!
Nicole deVaney is the owner of Iron & Salt Studio and a certified CHECK Institute practitioner. NicoledeVaney.com