( By Dr. Vithal Prabhu )

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Myths And Misconceptions In Sexuality

Why myths and misconceptions?
The reasons are simple. Sex is considered as obscene or vulgar; therefore there is secrecy. This leads to ignorance. A strong curiosity develops during youth to understand the sexuality of self and of opposite sex. They turn to their friends for information, who are equally ignorant. The friends tell them whatever information (misinformation) they have. Since they can't dare to ask their parents or teachers, they turn to pornographic literature. They expect quacks to solve their problems. The myths and misconceptions gahered are propogated from generations to generations.

Effects of myths and misconceptions:

Some of the myths are harmless, while many are responsible for: Anxiety overexpectations Fear Sexual dysfunction Depression Marital disharmony Guilt Suicide Shame Homicide Victimization to quaackery

The following are some of the common myths and misconceptions:

Family Planning Abortion: Pill causes cancer. Numerous studies done show that pill does not cause cancer. Copper T causes profuse bleeding. In some women the copper T may cause more menstrual bleeding, that too initially. Otherwise copper T is harmless. Use of condom (Nirodh) interferes with sexual pleaure. -- The interference by condom is minimum. The sexual pleasure does not only depend upon skin to skin contact, but also on love, foreplay, intimacy and emotional involvement. Vasectomy leads to impotence. Impotence is due to decreased blood supply to the penis and has nothing to do with potency. In vasectomy, the vas deferens is cut and ligated so that the sperms are not expelled in semen.

Intercourse (Sex): Bleeing at first intercourse is the surest sign of virginity. Hymen is a thin membrane partially closing the viganal entrance in a virgin woman. It ruptures at first intercourse causing slight bleeding and minimal pain. However, this is not a rule, A girl may have been born without it, might have a lax hymen, or might have got it broken by vigorous exercises or by manual penetrations during childhood. Hence all virgins will not bleed at first intercourse. There is not test to prove virginity.

Different sexual postures and potions mentioned in ancient literature give immense pleasure in sexual act. Love, respect, caring and sharing, mutual pleasuring are some of the needs for successful sexual act. Sexual postures do not enhance sexual pleasure. Viewing them may attribute only to visual stimulation, but acting them out would be an acrobatic. Sex is like food. Eating icecream in sitting, standing, sleeping or head down legs up position does not change the taste of it. No portions have been scientifically proved to have properties of enhancing sexual pleasure.

Masturbation: Masturbation is harmful Masturbation is self gratification obtained through manipulation of genitals by hand or other devices resulting in orgasm. It is a natural, normal and a harmless sexual outle. It is nothing to be ashamed of or afraid of. It is not the activity by itself, but the guilt and shame associated with it that are harmful. Kinsey studies reported that 93% men and 62% women practised masturbation at some point in their life.

Menstruation: A woman becomes 'impure' during menstruation. Bad blood is thrown out through the menstrual flow. The inner lining of the uterus becomes thickened and gets prepared to lodge the fertilized ovum. It it does not arrive the lining has no purpose and therefore gets disintegrated and thrown out. This process is "Menstruation" It is not "bad" blood. Woman does not become "Impure" during menstruation. Menstruation is a process for motherhood. Orgasm: Woman ejaculates during orgasm as man does. Woman does not ejaculate any fluid during orgasm.

Penis: A man needs to have a long, thick, straight penis to sexually satisfy his wife. Sexual satisfaction to a woman is through love, respect, sharing and touch. Clitoris perceives erotic sensation and not the vagina. A woman perceives sexual satisfaction int he surface organs of her vulva (clitoris, labia minora) and not deep in her vagina which is insensitive. In man, erotic sensations are perceived through glans of the penis. Therefore there is no need of a long, thick and straight penis for the sexual satisfaction of either a male or a female. A penis as long as little finger can perform successfully the functions of fertility and pleasure.

Pregnancy, delivery, infertility: A woman can't get pregnant if : The intercourse is done in a standing position, The man withdraws his penis before ejaculation, The intercourse is done only once, Certain seafood/medicine is taken after the intercourse. These are not sure ways of preventing pregnancy. If the woman has an ovum (egg) in her uterus and if the man drops a few sperms accidently on her vulva even once, she can get pregnant.

Once pregnant, no foodstuff or medicine can abort the embryo. A woman is responsible for giving birth to a female child. If a sperm containing Y sex chromosome fertilizes the ovum, the child will be a male and if a sperm containing X chromosome fertilises the ovum, the child will be a female. Therefore the sex of the baby depends upon the sperm of a male. A woman is respondible for infertility. A man can be equally responsible for infertility as much as woman. In 10% of cases both are responsible. If a couple is infertile, the woman alone need not be held responsible.

Semen: Semen is a very vital and precious fluid. Every drop of semen is formed out of fifty drops of blood. Loss of semen through masturbation/wet dreams causes weakness. Semen has no relation with blood. Semen is like any other body fluid (e.g. saliva, tears, perspiration) meant for throwing out of body. Semen, like any other fluid in the body, can not be stored. Throwing out semen being a normal activity, does not cause any harm or weakness.

Sex Tonics: Sexual weakness, impotence, prmature ejaculation can be treated with sex tonics. Most of the sex problems are due to ignorance, misconceptions, overexpectations, fear, anxiety, depression, and marital disharmony. It means the problem is in the mind than in the genital organs. Therefore te individuals need coundelling and sex therapy rather than sex tonics. Some problems could also come up due to physical infirmity. In such cases the individual is to be examined, investigated, diagnosed and then treated by the respective specialist. In such cases too the sex tonics do not help. There are no drugs or sprays to improve or highten sexual performance. "Interested and ineresting partner is the best sex tonic" say Masters and Johnson, Gurus in sexology. No one should go for sex tonics or fall a prey to quackery.

Sexually Transmitted Diseases, HIV/AIDS: A person using public toilet gets sexually transmitted disease. STDs or HIV infection are not transmitted through toilet seats. The germs do not thrive in open. They have to pass from one human being to another for their survival. STDs can be prevented by taking a Penicillin injection after the intercourse with a sex worker. There are twelve different diseases grouped under STDs. Some of these diseases are curable with Penicillin some are curable with some other drugs; while some have no treatment. It is difficult to anticipate which STD the sex worker will pass on to her client. Use of condom can prevent STDs to a certain extent.

The best way to prevent infection of STDs is to avoid having sex with a sex worker. HIV/AIDS is spread by homosexuals: HIV/AIDS is spread by homosexuals as well as heterosexuals when one of the partners is infected. Vagina: Women insert long bojects like banana or cucumber in their vagina for sexual gratification. Not true. Since men do not have vagina, they can't perceive its sensation. There is no perception of erotic sensations in the vagina as on penis. The homologue of penis in the man is clitoris in the woman. Therefore no woman would get sexual gratification by inserting any object in her vagina.

The urine and the menstrual blood are passed out through one and the same passage in the females. No, these two passages are different. The urine is passed out through a small outlet called 'Urethra', situated midway between clitoris and vagina. The menstrual flow is thrown out through a passage called 'Vagina' situated at the lower end of the vertical cleft. This passage, though wider than urethra, can hardly admit a finger in a virgin woman. However it has tremendous capacity to widen, and can deliver out a baby's head that has a circumference of 35 cms.

Miscellaneous: Gays (homosexuals) can be identified by their looks They look like any other person. They are different in their sexual orientation, which is not visible. A woman has sex desire ten times more than that in the man. The hormone that stimulates sex desire is Testosterone, which is much abundant in males than in females. The hormones produced by females are useful for menstruation, pregnancy and lactation.

Research shows that women are interested more in love, romance and motherhood than sexual intercourse. It is necessary to match the blood groups of man and woman if they wish to get married. It is not the blood group but the Rh factor in the blood that is important. If the woman is Rh negative and if the man is Rh positive, then there is possibility that their second child may not survive. A simple solution for such problem is to give an injection of Anti D Immunoglobulin to the woman immediately after her first delivery (or abortion).

Matching the blood groups should not be a major issue in selection of the marriage-partner. Hysterial in a woman is due to sex starvation. Marriage is the only solution. It is psychological conflict and not sex starvation that causes hysteria. A guidance and treatment by a psychiatrist and not the marriage that is solution. A mentally ill patient should not get married until the psychiatrist permits. Marriage of any mentally ill person may terminate into marital disharmony and divorce.

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