Graham Crackers May Change Your Sex Drive in All the Wrong Ways

graham crackerHere's a problem we never talk about: how to dampen your sex drive. When was the last time you saw the headline "10 Ways to Stomp Out Your Libido & Have the Non-Existent Sex Life You Crave"? Never, that's when. But back in the 19th century, that was actually a thing. And that's why graham crackers were invented.

Yes, those delicious cinnamon-sugar coated crackers we use to make decadent s'mores had a much more dismal beginning. For one thing, they weren't made with cinnamon and sugar. They were invented by evangelical minister Sylvester Graham to curb salacious desires -- as a way of liberating people, of course.


This was during the Temperance Movement of the 1830s, when other reformers just wanted to get the menfolk to quit boozing morning, noon, and night.

Graham wanted to free people from their overwhelming sexual desires. He created an intentional community of followers living on an un-heated vegetarian diet that also excluded alcohol, coffee, tea, and spices. He disapproved of commercial-made bread because it removed the bran. He developed a recipe for a rougher, grainier bread called Graham bread, or the graham cracker.

But that's not all. Graham also believed in wearing loose clothing, taking cold baths, sleeping on a hard surface, no snacking between meals, vigorous exercise, and definitely abstaining from sex. He was fun!

Graham believed lust led to specific health problems (like pulmonary consumption) and generally threw people off balance.

He was wrong about the health issues. But maybe he was onto something with the lack of balance. Haven't you ever felt like your life was thrown off-kilter when you've had a crush or were at the beginning of a relationship? I don't think shutting off lust is a healthy thing to do (particularly for adults), but I can understand how some people might have enjoyed some comfort from living la vida Graham. Maybe they were people lost in unrequited love.

And I imagine there are people who would sign up today for Graham's community if they could. For all the noise we make about having more, better, LOUDER! sex, there are probably countless others suffering silently, wishing someone could help free them from their sexual desires. Where is their anti-Cosmo?

Okay, that was an interesting idea to ponder for 30 seconds. Now back to decadent 21st century life, where we celebrate fulfilling sex lives and eat our graham crackers loaded with gooey roasted marshmallows and melted chocolate. I'm with the life-is-delicious camp.

Do you ever wish there was more help for people trying to reduce their sex drive?


Image via © Becky Luigart-Stayner/CORBIS

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