Okay friends, this is a fun post with some lighthearted existential philosophy. It also talks about sex, so consider yourself warned.
I really do wish everybody peace, love, and health (usually joy, also). People who receive emails, texts, and snail mail from me will all tell you. I also love a cheeky, irreverent expression sometimes, and this one showed up before the New Year:
I shared it immediately with all my friends who would appreciate it, including a brilliant and pragmatic cardiologist. I added ‘etOH [ethanol] and weed in moderation, and the rest–yeah!’
The ensuing email thread between us:
Friend: 😂😆 no orgasms in moderation?!?!
Me: Some things you just cannot get too much of. No risk. 😉😆
Friend: i’ve never heard a physician say “no risk” – only “low” “moderate” “high” risk. so i’m happy to go with no risk!!!!
Me: Teeheehee / It just occurred to me—YOU are the cardiologist!! IS there a risk?? 😱 / I cannot lead people astray here… / I suppose MI [myocardial infarction–heart attack] during sex does occur, right? / So shit, there is a risk! 😣
Friend: i suppose as a cardiologist, it’s always a risk-benefit ratio. risk is very very low. benefit is likely there every time. plus there’s the added cardiac benefit of ischemic pre-conditioning [training the heart with exercise] in those with significant CAD [coronary artery disesae] wherein you can develop angiogenesis [growth of new blood vessels] and collateral formation [bypass blood flow around blocked arteries] in the context of regular sexual/exercise activity. so it’s a big yes to orgasms!!!!
Me: Omg YYYAAAAAAAYYYYY!!! 💃🏻🎉🥳❤️ / And ENDORPHINS, yes? 😄
Friend: ah, yes, sympathetics. you know there is a hypothesis (totally unproven) that you are born with a certain # of heartbeats and once you use them, your life is over. if that is the case, endorphins, sympathetics and (eek) orgasms are probably no good for us. but again, that hypothesis is totally unproven and the more “exercise” you do, the slower the resting heart rate and the longer (observationally) the life. so probably, all in all, better to stick with the orgasms than to avoid them!!!
Me: Ooooo, fascinating!! I bet there is some vague, partial and flexible truth to that theory? Like yes, any given heart has a finite number of future beats left at any given time.
AND, there are likely many things we can do throughout our lives that give it more or fewer remaining beats—like a bank account that we deposit to and withdraw from… 😜 OH I just LOVE this idea!!
Diet: fiber, healthy fats, lean protein, moderate naturally occurring sugars (Food Rules by Michael Pollan: Eat food, not too much, mostly plants)
Movement: full body, cardio/strength/mobility
Relationships (I would bet anything this is proportionally the DENSEST, highest value heartbeat reserve elevator): love, meaning, connection…
Of course withdrawls are the opposites of these… I wonder whether bad sleep or toxic relationships are the greatest heartbeat extinguishers? My money’s on relationships—maybe not even toxic ones—rather the lack of them altogether. It makes total and complete sense to me that loneliness is a better predictor of mortality than smoking (I think it’s actually phrased that it’s a bigger mortality risk than smoking but I bet it’s a better predictor, too—if you look at the data a certain way?)…
OMG this totally aligns with my framework of the 5 reciprocal domains of health!! 😄 ❤️ ❤️
Ok so my mom told me that her dad told her that we are each born with a finite amount of prosperity in life. So the idea is to be frugal with spending, consumption, partying etc in your youth, so you have enough to spread out over a longer lifetime. I do like that idea. It feels akin to humility and generosity to me… So I wonder if there can be a pooling effect among one’s tribe—that we all spend/consume/share over a lifetime and extend/improve all of our lives??
OH thank you for telling me about this, I will think more (and possibly write) on it!! 😄 xo …And maybe my gong-gong’s theory is also flexible like a bank account, too.
I think we get to invent it, since it’s all made up to help us feel better about how we choose to live life anyway! 😄
THANK YOU for stimulating such fun thinking tonight! 😄
Ok more soon, big hugs!!! xo
All of these thoughts and ideas poured out between us from 4:44 to 7:22pm on 12/28/2022. I’m not sure more writing is required at this point? I thought about doing the math–for each episode of exercise, how many more beats, and does it even out with a resulting lower resting heart rate over a lifetime…? Nah. It was a fun and thought-provoking conversation between two friends which, for me at least, tightened connection and elevated joy. I am definitely heart-healthier for it.
Hope 2023 is off to a peaceful, loving, and healthy start for you all, my friends, if not a moderately buzzed and high, frequently orgasmic, and suddenly wealthy one. 😉