WEEKLY PICK OF STIMULATING IDEAS AND OPINIONS
It is possible to get drunk on bread and juice!
PAicture this: your body turns into a brewery. You never consume alcohol but are found drunk regularly. Your blood alcohol level shoots up so high that you pass out. Your liver is damaged.
It sounds unbelievable but ‘auto-brewery syndrome’ is a real disease. The Atlantic reports the case of a 32-year-old Chinese man who started suffering from it when he arrived as a college student in Australia, back in 2004.
“About once a month, and out of the blue, he’d become severely inebriated without drinking any alcohol. Over time, the episodes became more severe and more frequent.”
It was more than an annoyance. “He lost jobs... He was frequently hospitalised.”
Usually, this disease occurs because of yeast in the gut that ferments carbohydrates into alcohol, and it can be treated with antifungal drugs. But in the case of the Chinese man, doctors found the fermentation occurred not because of yeast but Klebsiella bacteria. He had 900 times more of this bacteria than healthy people.
“At one point, they produced so much of the stuff that it was as if the man had knocked back 15 shots of whiskey.”
The Chinese patient has recovered now after three weeks on antibiotics and a nosugar-and-carbs diet.
The bathroom mirror is their favourite pict ure f r a me; they drool over their own selfies, the touch that makes them wild with desire is their own. They are autosexuals—people who are their own top sexual fantasy.
“I’d look in the mirror, when I was getting out of the shower or getting dressed, and feel a rush of sexual attraction,” an unnamed autosexual tells the BBC (“I’m autosexual and I fancy myself more than other people”).
Although sex scientists now recognise autosexuality as a sexual orientation, coming out can mean being ridiculed for being s e l f - obsessed. “I once tried to describe it to my mum but she looked freaked out, so I stopped.”
Autosexuality is not a sign of narcissism, though, says Dr Jennifer McGowan of University College London. Unlike a narcissist, who craves attention, autosexuals are people who prefer “a private and personal sexual experience.”
While everyone can occasionally feel sexually aroused by themselves, you are not a full-blown autosexual unless you have “fantasised about having sex with yourself.” Michael Aaron, author of the book ‘Modern Sexuality’, describes them as people who “feel more aroused by themselves than by others.”
While the self-confessed autosexual Ghia Vitale got engaged to herself in 2017, and announced her plan to marry herself this year, most autosexuals also have other relationships.
“I do have an amazing sex life alone (but) relationships aren’t just about sex. I personally love the idea of getting married and having a family one day. I don’t see why I can’t have that just because I sexually enjoy myself,” the autosexual quoted in the BBC article says.
But she admits there is a nagging sense of not being 100% involved in her relationships. “Sometimes when I’m with a boyfriend, I feel bad that I’m getting a different kind of pleasure from our intimacy than he is.”
For an autosexual, the most fulfilling sexual experience is the one they have with themselves. “I conjure up memories of myself lying naked on the beach, or remember a time when I touched myself in the bath... Someone else’s touch just doesn’t do it for me in the same way...while I do enjoy sex with other people, I need to be thinking about myself, and touching myself, to orgasm.”
Her ideal partner, she says, would be another autosexual. “It could be amazing. It would mean I’d have a truly equal relationship for the first time in my life, where we’d both feel the exact same way about our sexualities.”
But she adds she’ll be happy even if she doesn’t find such an understanding partner: “I get my best orgasms with myself—and whether I’m single or in a relationship, I’m always going to be there for myself.”
MIRROR, MIRROR ON THE WALL: While autosexuals are willing to have relationships with others, they say their most fulfilling sexual experiences are the ones they have with themselves
BREWING TROUBLE: Some gut microbes can convert carbohydrates into alcohol and make their carriers drunk after a meal