Friday, January 06, 2006

Sex and the Indian man and woman

Permission to reprint this article has to be obtained from The Hindustan Times

Mumbai has the only outpatient department for sex in the world

Shevlin Sebastian

a) Anand and Rohini Mhatre are a demure couple. He is swarthy looking, with broad shoulders and a thick moustache while she is slim, with a round face and a necklace of black beads around her neck. They have been married for four years and have not been able to consummate the marriage. The problem: Anand (28) suffers from premature ejaculation or early orgasm. As for Rohini, (20), she has never masturbated and has no idea of the sex act. The couple are desperate for a solution.
b) Ashok Desai, (39), has been married for just four months. He also has not consummated his marriage but for a different reason: he is a homosexual and feels no attraction towards his wife. From childhood, he has been turned on by males and would masturbate thinking about boys. When the proposal for marriage came up, a friend told him his sexual orientation would change after marriage. But that did not happen and now he does not know what to do. He told his wife he is going through some mental problems and she replied she was willing to wait till his problems are solved. So, they sleep next to each other, like brother and sister.
c) Ramesh Sharma (52) has been married for 30 years. From his wedding night, whenever he inserted his penis, within three strokes, he would ejaculate.
All of them are present at the department of sexual medicine at KEM Hospital. This is the only department of its kind in a country of more than one billion people and the only outpatient department for sexual dysfunction in the world. Around 60 patients--men, couples and homosexuals--have come on this rainy Wednesday afternoon to find a solution to the problems, which have been affecting their sex lives.
Dr Prakash Kothari does one-on-one interviews with new cases. For males, he asks four questions: whether they have desire, erection, penetration and orgasm. For women, it is desire, lubrication, penetration and orgasm. The answers to these questions will immediately guide him to the problems faced by the patients. Mostly, the men suffer from premature ejaculation, erectile dysfunction (impotency) or worries about penis size. For women, it is the inability to achieve orgasm.
Thereafter, he invites the group inside the clinic for a slide show. There are ten slides shown, mostly of the penis and the vagina. He says the penis, which is neither a muscle nor a bone, needs a good inflow of blood to function at its best. He clears the many misconceptions about masturbation especially the perennial one about one drop of semen equalling hundred drops of blood. “Nobody becomes weaker because of masturbation,” he says. “It is similar to intercourse. In one, you insert your penis inside a vagina, in the other you insert it in the palm of your hand.”
He talks about the bent penis, another common cause of anxiety among men. Everybody, he says, has a penis that is slightly bent, either to the left or the right. “Even Eros, the God of love, cannot have an erection at a 90 degree angle,” he says. “Whether left or right, the main thing is to penetrate.”
With his confident tone and reassuring smile, the doctor gives the impression that the problems can be solved easily. He says most men have early orgasms because they get too excited. For some men, the sensation in the glans is too intense. Sometimes, the onset of diabetes affects the penis. On rare occasions, performance is affected if there is an infection in the prostrate gland. “The solution,” says Kothari, “is a healthy lifestyle: avoid drink, smoking and stress.”
The treatment, once a week, is spread over a month. In the first week, the history of the patient is taken. In the second, is the audio presentation where myths and misconceptions are cleared. In the third week, there is a physical examination, while treatment begins from the fourth week onwards.
The patients, especially the men, listen to Kothari with rapt attention. The scales of incomprehension are visibly falling from their eyes. This is probably the first time they are attending a session like this. For years, they have suffered from misconceptions, fears, penis size worry and early orgasm. Now, there is light at the end of the tunnel, some way to understand what has been hampering their performance in bed. They belong mostly to the middle and lower classes, ranging in age from the twenties to the fifties.
Kothari suddenly looks up and says, “It is your duty to provide satisfaction to your partner. Will you promise to do that?”
The audience intones: “We promise.”
“Remember,” he says, “There is no expiry date for sex. Recently, a 92-year-old man came for consultation. You can have sex till your last breath.”

Different queries, same quest
People of different states find out whether sexual satisfaction has been obtained
Samadhan (Maharashtra): Are you settled or not?
Sukh (Gujarat): Are you happy or not?
Tasalli (Punjab): Have you enjoyed it?
Majo ayo (Sindhi): Did you enjoy it?
Trupti (Tamil Nadu): Are you satisfied?
Santrupti (Andhra Pradesh): Have you had ultimate satisfaction?