Shunamitism is the practice of an old man sleeping with, but not necessarily having sex with, a young virgin to preserve his youth. The rationale was the heat and moisture of the young woman. [1]

The term is based on the Biblical story of David King and Abishag , a young woman from Shunem . When King David was old and could not stay warm, his servants found him, so he was still in virgin. [2]

Among scientific physicians, both, Thomas Sydenham (17th century) and Herman Boerhaave (18th century) prescribed for shunamitism Their patients.

See also

Rejuvenation (aging)


  1. Jump up^ Steven Shapin and Christopher Martyn, “How to live forever: the lessons of history,”British Medical Journal, BMJ 2000; 321; 1580-1582]
  2. Jump up^ 1 Kings 1

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