Sunshinemary had an interesting post a few weeks ago about the human microbiome and how trading it during sex affects us:
When a woman comes together with her husband, she’s receiving more than just semen. She’s also being “seeded” by receiving a big dose of his microbiome inside her, a microbiome which literally affects who she is and how she thinks and feels. In a very real sense, we become part of the men we have sexual relations with.
She goes on further on the subject:
I am only wondering aloud here, but does it not seem that it would be stressful to a woman’s body and mind to receive the microbiomes of numerous men? Wouldn’t her body be able to adapt and function better if she only received that from one man? And doesn’t it make sense that she would bond deeply with that one man, given that part of him is now physically a part of her, affecting the very way she perceives the world?
This has been fermenting (hah!) in the back of my mind for the past week or so & then I realized why I hung onto it. My husband & I are bar gut-flora sluts. When we go to a bar, we will sit next to anyone & talk to them & just by the act of conversation, we share gut flora with them.
I have been working hard on colonizing my body with beneficial bacteria & I always thought of talking to people as me sharing my hard work (good gut flora) with them & increasing their health, but I never thought of them sharing their bad flora with me. And I certainly never thought that sharing a lot of strangers’ flora might be messing me up internally.
Just a few generations ago, there were close extended families that everyone spent a lot of time with & they would share their gut flora. People may not have had a lot of contact with complete strangers. When I was a kid being raised in the Catholic tradition, we lived in our Parish, went to school in the Parish school, went to Mass in the Church next to the school, played with all of the other neighborhood Parish kids after school & Mass. I bet if we had all been tested, they would have found that the Parish had a specific gut flora.
Which brings me to the subject of going to a wide variety of small bars & conversing with a lot of different people, a lot of which are complete strangers. I never thought of this as damaging my health. I never considered that this might be seeding me with detrimental microbiome. And the stupid thing about it is that most of these people are downright tedious, anyway. So it is damaging to my body & mind.
My husband & I were talking last night about how annoying a lot of the people are that we see on a regular basis & Sunshinemary’s post came to mind. I told him about it & suddenly it all made sense – we need to only converse with the people we like & respect. Only share gut flora or microbiomes with people in which we want to invest. We need to quit being conversational sluts.