Later that evening at a speakeasy bar downtown we gathered in the corner booth by the bar. The night opened with one of Nathan’s questionable stories, “… once Marc and I had finally snuck out of the house, we buried the broken vase two-feet under the ground using our bare hands! But I promise you, our paranoia stopped there; we only wore foil helmets for the remainder of our stay in Roswell – But that was it!”. Nathan placed his arm over the very man himself: Marc. “Actually,” said a voice behind me, “I could have sworn I saw you two wearing those hats through airport security!”, Noelle entered, brushing her cheek against mine before taking a seat. “Noelle, I can’t believe you came – How’s your throat?”, Clare asked from across the table. “Much better! I had some honey-lemon tea to drink earlier… But before I forget,”, Noelle turned to me, “There’s nothing to eat at home. We’ll be sure to grab something on our way back.”. As if it was her que, Clare caught the waiter’s attention and unveiled our night with a round of drinks. That very moment, each of us knew where our night was headed and there wasn’t a thing we were going to do so stop it.
Sometime after, Clare asked me for the time and it was hard to give her a definite response. The last time I remembered to check my phone, it could have been 6:10. Though judging by the music’s sudden change in tempo, it was agreed that calling an Uber was corollary.
Ascending up the stairwell from the bar, we entered the sidewalk and a cold breeze cut through the open of my coat. “What time is it!” Noelle said openly as she checked her watch, “… 9:45 – why aren’t we home?”. Before anyone could comment, a yellow vehicle no larger than circus-buggy pulled up in front of us. I stepped through the rear door and sat in the middle of the backseat beside Nathan. Noelle was last to follow.
“Do you mind if I take a nap, my head is spinning.”, I groaned settling both of our belongings on my lap. “Sure thing sweets, I’ll wake you before we get home so we can decide on what pizza to order,”, Noelle said. I told Noelle that sounded like a plan but because I didn’t hear anything else from her, I may’ve been dreaming.
The next day, Noelle woke to something unexpected. Smiling in disbelief, she turned to her side and shook her head at the silhouette brooding from under the covers. With great care, she slipped out of bed and fell onto the carpeted floor with a thud – making her chunder almost instantly. Once settled Noelle emerged from the bathroom and made her way into the kitchen. There was not a single pizza box in sight.
Suddenly her phone rang. Noelle came out from the kitchen cupboard to answer her phone.
“Noelle! You’ll never guess what happened to me last night”, it was Clare. “You shagged Nate?”, Noelle could hardly contain her sarcasm, “Goodness, no! I actually hooked up with Andy”, Clare no longer boisterous – her tone shifted from one spectrum to another. Noelle was taken aback and took the bait, “The guy from Tinder?”, she asked, “The guy from Tinder.”, mimicked Clare – but this time with pride.
As Noelle continued to cook, Clare retold a story that would make your most intrepid Aunt blush. Clare’s sighed so loud that it almost cut through the sizzling bacon. She was charmingly dramatic. It was something she learnt by watching ‘When Harry Met Sally’ with her older sister… and with that preamble, we’ll end the innuendo here.
“Clare! I have just the thing – I’ll be back in one second,”, Noelle gabbled as she raced into the lounge grabbing my draft piece from the coffee table, and returned just in time to flip the bacon.
“Okay, hear this,” Noelle stiffened the wad of paper before reading aloud:
“For many women, a rewarding sex life is an important part of life. When a good sex life loses enjoyment and satisfaction it can affect other aspects of life, beginning with lessening self-esteem and creating difficulties between relationships belonging to both home and work. But for many women a lack in libido often occurs as a temporary problem, while for others it can be long term (Hicks, 2006).”
Noelle flipped the page to find two tables. She read the text below them.
“Recently, the relationship between aphrodisiacs and the regulation of sex hormones has received plenty attention from research scientists and independent nutritional blogs. The list of foods found to promote libido has undeniably lengthened beyond histories highly sexualized cocoa beans (Table 1.0).
Meanwhile in recent years, the work of aphrodisiacs have taken more of a gender specific approach as sex hormone boosters (Table 2.0).
Eating plant-based foods that naturally contain phytoestrogens have been suggested to help women raise their estrogen levels, whereas foods high in magnesium have been speculated to help maintain male testosterone levels (MDVIP, 2016).
However, as professionals advance further into the study of sexual phenomenon’s, or lack thereof, a relationship between decreased female libido and their pronounced fluctuations in male-dominant sex hormone [testosterone] over time, has risen to debate (Gracia et al., 2004).
Recently, a lack of testosterone activity in women has been speculated to underlie dysfunctional sexual desire, arousal and orgasms – but again definite proof is lacking (Basson, 2010).
In spite of this, the theory centered around testosterone-linked libido in women has taken new heights and support the Modern movement of thinking ‘like a man’. Where, performing gender specific activities may evoke temporary shifts in hormone balance. Social activities such as, ‘wielding power’ as a form of competitive behavior, or high-volume high-intensity resistance training, could possibly encourage testosterone release in women of all ages – but take less effect with age (van Anders, Steiger & Goldey, 2015; Vingren et al., 2010; Kraemer & Ratamess, 2005; Copeland, Consitt & Tremblay; Craig, Brown & Everhart, 1989).
Furthermore, the sport of binge drinking has also been found to influence sex hormones, testosterone and estrogen, differently at various life stages (Gill, 2000). Pre-menopausal women have been found to have lower testosterone and higher estrogen levels with high weekly alcohol intake, whereas post-menopausal women were found to have the same hormone levels with moderate consumption. In addition, post-menopausal women that abstained from drinking alcohol measured higher testosterone and lower estrogen. While, higher levels of alcohol intake were not associated with further increases (Gill, 2000). Though, to properly determine if testosterone or estrogen, or both, is required to increase libido, the natural levels of both sex hormones in the body needs to be assesses beforehand.”
Putting down the paper to adjust the stove, Noelle summarized “So, act like a woman think like a man?”.
“No, I think it’s more so: live like a man to be like a woman.”, Clare interjected.
Noelle added, “Are you sure? maybe its the other way around”.
“Live like a woman to be like a man?”, said Clare.
“No I think you’re right. But, I think the moral is that its best we grab a bite to eat next time before sending you home?”, Noelle laughed.
Following the smell of bacon, I entered the kitchen and unknowingly interrupted Noelle. Noelle smiled, moving the phone from her ear, “Clare and I were just reading one of your drafts.”. I was wondering where it had gone.
“Oh, you guys, don’t over think that one …”, I said walking towards the toaster by the stove.
Noelle’s eyes tracked me as I moved around the kitchen, then lowered what was left of the bread loaf into the toaster. As I came to Noelle’s side, I reached for a piece of bacon right from the pan – burning my fingers. “Aren’t you sick from last night? I’ve been feeling terrible all morning!”, Noelle said watching me react childishly.
“The difference between us is that I actually did some sleeping.”. With that, Noelle’s jaw dropped into a slight smile. “We’ll have to call you back later, Clare.”, she said ending the call.
Featuring imagery by Sofie T.
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