Sex hospital! New clinic aims to get patients back in bed after surgery: Britain’s first ever ‘sexual healing’ centre aims to revolutionise speed and success of recovery from some of the UK’s biggest killers
by Diana Appleyard
BRITAIN’S first sexual healing hospital clinic is about to open its doors.
It claims it will revolutionise the speed and success of recovery from the UK’s biggest killers such as cancer, strokes and heart disease.
It also aims to aid recovery from routine surgery such as hip replacements and conditions such as diabetes.
Launching later this month at the private Spire Hospital in Southampton, it is the work of sexual healing guru Mike Lousada, his partner Dr Louise Mazanti and leading hip-replacement surgeon Dr Jeremy Latham.
Dr Latham first had the idea after recognising a significant issue for his patients was the impact on their sex life. He said: “It’s extraordinary that, so far, the sexual needs of patients have been virtually ignored.
“I wanted to conduct a survey on this but couldn’t get funding so carried out one with a partner in Australia and we found 37 per cent of women with arthritic hips wanted hip surgery specifically so they could have sex with their partner.
“Various clinical studies have also shown how important sexual healing is to recovery from trauma. It is the one issue patients always want to ask me about, although they are often too shy.
“By having this sexual wellness clinic on our doorstep, we can refer patients straight away, knowing they will get expert, practical and informed treatment and advice.”
According to medical research, regular sex has the same benefits as regular exercise. It increases the flow of chemicals that naturally boost and strengthen the immune system, improves cholesterol levels, stimulates the circulation, invigorates the heart and diminishes the intensity of pain.
Mr Lousada, who will be running the hospital clinic with Dr Mazanti, said: “The need to have sex is the most basic vital function we have.
“Any kind of surgery has a deep impact on the body and we know memory, emotion and trauma are ‘stored’ in the central nervous system. If untreated with professional advice, this can lead to sexual problems which will inhibit both recovery and the patient’s return to full fitness and health.
“If we can work on these, I expect we will begin to see dramatic effects on the recovery levels of patients.
“I know from my current practice helping people with sex-related problems, how much of a difference improving or restarting their sex lives makes to their wellbeing.
“There can be a temptation to avoid sexual intimacy if you are in pain or suffering, so our aim is to unlock patients’ sexual potential and make them feel like desirable sexual beings again.
“Every physical ailment has an emotional link which should be treated. We offer patients physiotherapy, so why not sexual healing?” There is a deep physiological response to sexual stimulation, within the nervous system, which is just as healing as physically manipulating limbs.
“In simple terms, your body heals much faster if you have a good sex life.”
Dr Latham continued: “We’ve known for a long time how important resuming a normal sex life is to patients. And the most significant reason for people wanting hip surgery, as well as aiding walking, is to make sex less painful.
“Sexual healing cuts across all boundaries. People suffering from heart attacks, strokes, cancer and conditions such as diabetes all see sex as a vital part of their return to, or ability to lead, a ‘normal’ life.
“It’s the one issue patients want to discuss with their doctor, nurse or physiotherapist.
“But many health professionals, no matter how well-meaning, don’t have the expertise to give the best advice and treatment.”
Dr Deborah Barrett, of the University of North Carolina, carried out a recent study of sexual healing.
She said: “Sex unleashes chemical compounds in the brain — starting with oxytocin, otherwise known as the ‘bonding’ or ‘cuddle’ hormone.
“Oxytocin increases with sensual touch and peaks during orgasm. It also reduces the effects of stress, as measured by blood pressure and cortisol, all of which are relevant in reducing pain.
“Additional substances released through skin-to-skin touch, with peak effect at orgasm, also contribute to pain relief and the body’s natural healing.
“These include serotonin, our body’s natural anti-depressant phenylethylamine which activates the brain’s pleasure centre, and endorphins which are our natural painkillers.”
Libby Dowling, a senior clinical advisor for Diabetes UK, said: “For too long, sexual problems have been the elephant in the room when we talk about managing diabetes. Many people are reluctant to bring up the subject, although they are longing to ask, and healthcare professionals can be equally unwilling.
“It has been a hidden problem for some people and I hope in the future, they will be able to have much more open discussions.
“For this reason, we have included the issue of sex in our new book, 100 Things I Wish I’d Known About Living With Diabetes.
“Diabetes can affect the blood and nerve supply to the sexual organs, which can result in sexual dysfunction in men and inability to orgasm in women, as well as vaginal dryness and lack of arousal.
“There is also a significant link between sexual problems and depression and anxiety, which may be relevant to some people with diabetes. We are hoping to encourage people to talk much more openly about any sexual issues they have, because this can have such deep impact not just on themselves but on their partners, who can feel unloved.”
Testicular cancer charity Orchid also backs the new clinic. It recently carried out a survey as part of Male Cancer Awareness Month and found half of Brits did not know if treatment for testicular cancer would affect a man’s sex drive, cause erectile dysfunction or allow him to climax.
But male cancer nurse specialist Robert Cornes said: “Providing a man has two healthy testicles before getting testicular cancer, early removal of one testicle will not affect his sex drive or erectile function and he will be able to climax and have children.”
Orchid also welcomed a new survey into sexual healing. A charity spokesman said: “We know sex is such an important issue for men with testicular cancer, and this is an area that needs to be explored, with far more information and help given.”
Dr Latham added: “Having set up the clinic, we need to roll out a national study to produce evidence that can encourage public funding of sexual wellness clinics.
“We must raise the profile of sexual healing — it is an issue that has been ignored for far too long.”
It helps boost self-worth
ARTIST Lil Sullivan, 58, of Camberwell, South London, is divorced with two daughters. Lil says:
“I was making love when I had a stroke, at age 49. My partner noticed I was unresponsive, and I ended up in hospital in a coma for several months. I hadn’t been ill beforehand and it came out of the blue. I later found I had very high blood pressure.
Sadly, since the stroke, I have had very little physical intimacy and really miss it. I think resuming your sex life after a trauma such as a stroke is so important – it makes you feel that you are becoming a whole person again, and the need to be touched and be loved is inherent in all of us.
There is very little information out there about how sexual healing could affect your recovery and I think that is such a shame.
We should talk much more openly about sex because it is a vital part of life.
I am still with my partner but he is afraid to resume our sex life because that is how I had a stroke in the first place.
To me, though, it would be so lovely – I feel as if I am not attractive any more because since the stroke, I have put on weight and walk with a stick.
People need to realise how important sex is to feeling our self-worth – not just physically, but emotionally as well.”
It’ll encourage men to talk
FORMER professional footballer Adam Tann, 33, lives in Ramsey, Cambs, with his graphic designer wife Lauren, 32. Adam, who now runs an extreme sports events company, says:
“I was diagnosed with testicular cancer when I was 24. At the time, I was a full-time footballer, felt extremely fit and healthy and thought I was invincible. I never thought cancer would happen to me.
I was worried how my diagnosis and treatment would affect my sex life and fertility. Basically, I wanted to know whether I would still be the man I was before.
I was at stage one cancer, and had a testicle removed and a prosthetic implant put in, plus one dose of chemotherapy.
At first I was unsure about resuming our sex life – inevitably, I felt quite fragile and also lacking in confidence. My girlfriend Lauren, who later became my wife, was so understanding. We took things slowly – it was maybe four to six weeks before we resumed the physical side of our relationship.
In a way, you don’t want to burden doctors and consultants with too many questions, even though they are questions you really want to ask.
So I think having a sexual wellness clinic on hand is a really good idea and would help so many men in my condition.”
HR business manager Sarah Taylor, 33, lives in Bristol. Single Sarah says:
“I have Type 1 diabetes. The symptoms began when I was 19, and studying at university. One day I collapsed and I was finally diagnosed after I was taken to hospital.
My first reaction was one of fear. Would I have to stop eating what I like, and drinking alcohol?
I was given information about how to administer my insulin injections, and once I had got over the initial shock, I did begin to wonder about how it would affect my sex life. At the time I would very much have welcomed more information about how my condition would affect my relationship and future pregnancies.
Diabetes does mean you are more prone to suffer from thrush, and that was quite awkward for me. Low blood sugar level can also affect your ability to orgasm.
The last thing you want to do is test your blood sugar levels before you have sex, as it rather takes away the spontaneity.
Being sexually active is so important to your general wellbeing, and your sense of who you are.
It also helps you to deal with the downsides, and keeps you feeling positive and optimistic.”
Good fumbling facts
1. Good sex boosts your immune system so helps you recover from injury, viruses or operations faster.
2. Sex is classed as exercise. The NHS recommends we all get at least 2.5hrs of exercise per week and includes sex in that quota.
3. Sex reduces stress levels which, in turn, allows the body to heal faster after a trauma.
4. More sex means better pelvic floor health, so improved bladder control and increased blood flow to the genital region. Your pelvic floor muscles are breathing muscles so the more you use them, the better your breathing becomes. Good breathing is the key to good health in most ancient practices like yoga and Tai Chi.
5. Sex lowers your blood pressure, keeping you healthier for longer.
6. Sex lowers the risk of heart attacks which, until recently, was the number one killer in the UK.
7. Orgasms help reduce pain so if you have a headache, sex might be the answer. The less pain our body is in, the more it can relax, allowing faster healing from injury and disease.
8. Male ejaculation reduces prostate cancer and can aid recovery from prostate diseases – one of the UK’s top killers of men.
9. Prolactin, a hormone produced after orgasm, promotes sleep and sleep aids physical recovery from wounds and disease.
10. Sex releases oxytocin, the so-called bonding hormone that promotes feelings of self-esteem. The better we feel about ourselves the faster we recover from illness or injury.
Australian Engineers Develop the ‘Holy Grail’ of Condom Technology
by Tosten Burks
Researchers at the University of Queensland’s Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (AIBN) announced today that their new latex technology, which incorporates molecular fibers extracted from native Australian grass, could be used to produce ultra-strong condoms that are 30 percent thinner than standard alternatives. The university’s president said the technology has “great potential to make a difference in the fight against HIV and AIDS.”
That’s no hyperbole. The thing about condoms is that people don’t like using them. Only 5 percent of men worldwide wear them. No less than the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has devoted millions in grants to developing condom solutions that enhance pleasure rather than decrease it. The stigmatization of condoms is one of the greatest barriers to sexual health around the world.
AIBN scientists argue that their latex—developed in partnership with the local Indjalandji-Dhidhanu people, who have creatively used resin from native spinifex grass for generations—opens the door for manufacturers to start marketing thin and satisfying prophylactic products that customers will actually use, rather than focusing on strength. In early “burst tests” (in which condoms are inflated until they burst), AIBN’s condoms withstood 20 percent more pressure than the control sample. They are 25 percent thinner than Trojans.
The team is now looking to license the technology, which it calls the “Holy Grail for natural rubber,” to the multibillion-dollar latex industry, where they see potential beyond the bed, especially in the field of surgery—nanocellulose latex gloves offer surgeons more sensitivity and less hand fatigue. The university signed an agreement with the Dugalunji Aboriginal Corporation to ensure that the local Aboriginal people, whose knowledge about spinifex formed the basis of AIBN’s work, retain equity in the technology’s commercialization.
Michigan Senate Passes Bill Making Anal Sex Punishable By 15 Years In Prison
The measure was snuck into a bill banning animal abuse.
by Adam Salandra
The Michigan Senate just passed a bill that makes sodomy a felony, despite the U.S. Supreme Court declaring such a law unconstitutional.
The state’s law, which makes anal sex punishable by up to 15 years in prison, is not specifically targeted at gay people, as it’s illegal regardless of whether a couple is same-sex or different-sex.
Instead, the sodomy ban is directly linked to a law against bestiality, essentially saying the two are equal.
The law states that it is a felony for anyone to commit “the abominable and detestable crime against nature with mankind or with any animal.”
It’s the “with mankind” wording that creates the loophole to keep the sodomy ban intact, even though the 2003 ruling in Lawrence v. Texas declared it unconstitutional.
Now that the bill has passed through the Senate, it is headed to the House for approval, which means there is still time to change the wording and keep “mankind” out of it entirely.
But GOP Senator Rick Jones says an attempt like that could put the entire bill, created to protect animals, in jeopardy.
“The minute I cross that line and I start talking about the other stuff, I won’t even get another hearing. It’ll be done,” said Jones. “Nobody wants to touch it. I would rather not even bring up the topic, because I know what would happen. You’d get both sides screaming and you end up with a big fight that’s not needed because it’s unconstitutional.”
Jones believes that the sodomy ban can only be repealed if a bill is created to strike all unconstitutional laws from the state’s books, but he is not willing to do it at the expense of his dog bill.
“If we could put a bill in that said anything that’s unconstitutional be removed from the legal books of Michigan, that’s probably something I could vote for,” he said. “But am I going to mess up this dog bill that everybody wants? No.”