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We are plagued by total ignorance: Dr. Paras Shah

Dr. Paras Shah as chair at 10th Asia Ocianic conference at China

Dr. Paras Shah as chair at 10th Asia Ocianic conference at China

Sexuality is a subject, which concerns us all but, is more often than not pushed under a carpet. Sexual myths, problems and queries which might be of a healthy nature find no takers except quacks advertising their trade through garish pamphlets and boards.

We bring you an interview of Dr Paras Shah who is an authority on sexual matters; he is Hon. Chief Consultant Sexologist and Infertility specialist at Rajasthan Hospital, SAL Hospital, Shalby Hospital, Ahmedabad. He is responsible for launching India’s first medical web site, http://www.s4sq.com/, providing free answer to sexual problem with in 72 hours. In an interview with Speakbindas, he makes some startling disclosures on the sensitive subject.

Interview:

Q. Do you think that a sexual revolution is taking place in India?

  • I would agree partly on that. There is a sweeping sexual change but whether it is of the magnitude of a revolution, I would not wish to say that. Because this kind of revolution is in very small urban pockets. With influx of the media and multinationals people are getting exposed to global trends and lifestyles and sexual preferences. It’s all happening in urban pockets in a big way. But in the vast majority of the country there is no revolution. There is slow, steady, gradual change.

Q. Do you think there is a need for sex education in our country?

  • Yes, definitely. In fact, sex education is the need of the hour. Unless we change the sexual attitudes of the people, the family planning programme and the AIDS education programme will never be successful and sex education is the only answer to this. Sex education does not mean teaching people to know what they do not know, but it means teaching them to behave as they do not behave.

Q. In your opinion what is the right age of imparting sex education?

  • There is not right or wrong age for sex education. It starts from the cradle. It is not a one-time affair. It is continuous process from pediatrics to geriatrics. However, the age group that is in maximum need of this education in our country would be pre-pubertal.

Q. Why do you think so?

  • Well, there are a number of reasons for targeting this age group. On third of the population falls in this age group. They have maximum sexual drive and also maximum opportunity of sexual interaction. They are impressionable, eager to learn because physical changes are taking place at this age, hence most receptive to information regarding sexual matters. They are the citizens of tomorrow and will be assuming roles of responsibility in the future, as parents, teachers educators, etc. Thus keeping in view the Country’s limited resources, it would be most cost effective to impart formal sex education to this high risk group and obtain long term benefits for the society as a whole.

Q. What is your aim in the field of sexology?

  • The primary aim is to educate the people at large, especially Indian, about sex. The ignorance on the subject is colossal in this country. I aim to remove the doubts and misconceptions. My effort is to reduce the anxiety in the average person, which paralyses sexual response.
  • Also wants to create awareness about this important branch of medicine, which has unfortunately been neglected so far by the medical fraternity and also by the Government.

Q. What is the most common problem you come across among your patients?

  • Anxiety is the most common problem in all cases – psychological, organic, constitutional or situational. A feeling of failure sets off a chain reaction of hostility, shame, guilt and fear. Unlike in the West, this particular anxiety is born out of the many myths, misconceptions and misdirection’s about sex and sexuality prevalent in our country.

Q. Has the sexual revolution in the West affected Indians?

  • Yes, the morals and mores of the West have influenced us to a great extent. The feeling of guilt about sex is gradually disappearing but certain hypocritical attitudes still abound. Our sexual values are based on myths handed down from one generation to the next and consequently most people anticipate, more problems than they actually have.

Q. What are the most common sexual myths?

  • The most common is that masturbation is harmful. In fact, it is a normal activity and does not lead to any weakness whatsoever. It is beneficial in the sense that it acts as a safety value. It is an outlet for sexual tension. Venereal disease and unwanted pregnancy are also avoided.
  • Other prevailing myths relate to loss of semen, hymen, celibacy, virginity, passing ‘Dhat’ (white discharge) or semen in the urine etc. Semen is not vital except where conception is concerned.
  • The most outrageous myth that I have come across in this connection is that one drop of semen – 100 drops of blood, which in turn require a lot of nourishing food. Another myth is that celibacy is conductive to longevity. That conservation of semen is essential to longevity is a misconception because semen is manufactured day in and day out. The passing of semen with urine is another misconception. Physiologically, this is not possible at all because whenever a male reaches orgasm (discharges) the passage from which the urine comes (bladder neck) closes. Hence, semen and urine can never mix together in a normal individual.
Dr. Paras at China Closing

Dr. Paras Shah at China Closing

Q. Does the adoption of family planning methods affect sex life?

  • Not at all. This is another misconception that has been fuelled by object ignorance. Indian men usually fear that after vasectomy they will be sexually impaired. But this is nonsense.
  • There are two kinds of cells in the tests – one secretes sperms and the other produces hormones. The later are transported in to the blood stream, Sexual desire depends upon hormones and tying or litigation of the vas does not make any visible difference in the sexuality of the individual. The presence or absence of sperms does not affect ones virility.

Q. What do you think of the sex clinics which are proliferating at a fast rate?

  • This is largely due to the non-availability of qualified specialists in this particular branch. If some one has a heart ailment he/she goes to a Cardiologist, but this does not happen if a person has sex problem, basically due to the non-availability of physicians with specialization in sexual medicine.
  • The day the medical council rectifies this anomaly and incorporates the teaching of sexual science in the medical curriculum, qualified physicians and consultants in sexual health will be available to the public and quacks will automatically disappear from the scene without any official ban or legislation.

Q. How these quacks work?

  • After a patient has related his problem, the quack exclaims that there is tremendous weakness in his genitals and prescribes exorbitantly priced sex tonics and tablets. They scare them further by saying that they would be incompetent for marriage if the required dosage of medicine was not taken.

Q. Why do people believe in quacks?

  • The lack of sex education which is imparted neither in schools nor in colleges. Majorities of people are ill-informed about normal sex and sexuality. The average person gets his sex education from books and friends.

Q What about sex tonics?

  • They are useless, by and large. If a sex-strengthening tablet shows the picture of a bull or a horse or the male organ, it is the picture that works and not the tablet.
  • The tragic result is that whenever an individual consults a doctor, he gets a prescription of one of the ever increasing plethora of drugs or dopes or so called sex tonics, which, if at all they are effective are so only because of the well know mechanism of suggestion or faith cure. To sum up it is exploitation of the desperate by the ignorant.

Q. What discoveries have you made about Indian men and their sex life?

  • Most Indian men use their wives as sleeping pills. They hardly indulge in any foreplay. What is more important is the play rather than the sex act itself. They also assume the superior position.

Q. What about Indian women?

  • Indian women are not at all inhibited, as is the general belief. For them, sex is the ultimate climax to love. But they expect their husbands to teach them about sex. It is more like a student-teacher relationship than of equal partners. I would say that most Indian women do not know what to expect but they do have a healthy interest in sex.
  • Finally, I would say that sexual satisfaction is inseparable from the total vitality of the body. In my view, an understanding, responsive and affectionate partner is the best sex tonic for an ideal sex life.

Q. Is it aging that affects male virility or is it some malfunctioning or vicissitude? Are there some steps that can be taken to rectify the malfunctioning?

  • To my mind, there’s a difference between “growing old” and “aging”. We are all growing old. To grow old is normal. Physiologically, it is progressive maturing despite a natural slowdown. However, “to age” is pathological. So we are all growing old and certain changes are bound to occur.
  • None of us can run as fast as we did ten years ago. We do not worry about it – we accept it as a natural function. If it takes longer for the man to achieve an erection or the woman to get lubricated – it is physiologically normal and not pathological. You don’t need to consult a doctor. One needs to understand that one needs to devote more time in foreplay.

Q. So aging abolishes neither the need nor the capacity for enjoying sexual experience but then in the process of each advancing day, does it diminish the strength or the vigour or the desire?

  • No, a man can be sexually active till the last day of his life, provided he is in good physical health and there is no psychogenic block. Among most of my elderly patients and I can generalize for most of the Indian men, what happens is that, if by chance if they fail once, they feel “I have become useless”. I give them the example of Sachin Tendulkar, who gets a century in his first match, gets bowled for a nought in his next match. That doesn’t mean that he can’t play well in his next match. Therefore, I would like to emphasize that failures are common but they definitely do not signify an end!
  • Similarly, a woman can enjoy sexual life till the last day of her life. Most women in our country come up with the idea that their sexual desire was a reproductive desire, so when reproduction is no more possible, sexual problems precipitate.
  • The quantity i.e. the frequency may go down but frequency does not give any clue to health, vigour or vitality. What is important is the quality of a relationship and not the quantity. What is important is not how much or how long, but how pleasurable and beautiful. Sexual pleasure is not a performance to be gauged. It is a pleasure or more correctly, happiness to be shared between 2 persons. Sex can be the climax of love; love need not be the climax of sex.
Dr. Paras Shah at China Closing

Dr. Paras Shah at China Closing

Q. In your view sex life among the elderly is recommended?

  • Absolutely! The view that sex after 50 is not possible needs to be changed. Sexuality is an important for the older set as it is for the jet set! In fact, these could be the golden years of sexuality because there are enough years of affection, warmth and understanding after having spent a lifetime together.

Q. What do you think of the way sex is depicted in Hindi cinema?

  • It is depicted in a very crass manner. And there is no remedy. The Censor Board does not have a single sexologist. Even the so-called sex education films are obscene, vulgar and meaningless. The film called “Gupt Gyan” is utter nonsense and a study in depravity.
  • I don’t know how the Censor Board passes such films.

Q. Any comment on Rajneesh’s concept of sex to super consciousness?

  • There are two ways of attaining nirvana – either through Mahavir’s way, that is abstinence, or through the tantra way, that is excess of sex. Rajneesh has propagated the second concept. He is very well educated man and has immense knowledge of not only sex but also other subjects.

Speakbindas: Thank you Dr. Shah for sharing such valuable information that mostly the young generation really seek these days. I hope, this would open up the think process of the many who were under some delusions about issues related to sex.

Dr. Shah: Thank you Devang. Let’s hope that our conversation will help people to open up to sex related issues by deleting the myths they carry in their mind with the truth.

About

Devang Vibhakar is the Founder and Editor of www.SpeakBindas.com. He has interviewed more than 350 people. His effort was recognized by Limca Book of Records, twice. He has been to Scotland as well as Germany as part of vocational & cultural exchange programs and has compiled five books so far. He’s passionate about bringing forth interesting stories & interviews of entrepreneurs to avid readers of SpeakBindas. He can be reached here.

10 thoughts on “We are plagued by total ignorance: Dr. Paras Shah

  1. Sanjiv Sharma says:

    Thanks for the info Dr. Paras. I usually do read your articles where ever its available. Hope to receive more such informative article soon.
    Thanks a lot.
    Sanjiv

  2. unknown says:

    Good info. Iike to read your article when ever i can.Keep giving more

  3. I dr suresh patel practising as obst & gynecologist in east ahmedabad since 12 years.now sir i want to start sexual enhancing teqnique surgery in ahmedabad.so what your opinion regarding this practise. pl. give opinion and oblidge me.

    Thx.
    Dr suresh

  4. my contact no. 9824540325

  5. Hema says:

    hmmmm a very good piece of info doc…even I have overcome some of my misconceptions…thanx n happy educating …I wish all men read it specially…..

  6. Wellwisher says:

    Human male is also like an animal, at his prime he wants to impregnate all females arround if possible.Whereas human female desires to get impregnated like an animal by all means. Why?

    Basically reproduction system is developed in nature because of self-centeredness. Desire to live for ever. Death is inevitable and hence reproduction provides atleast possibility to live genetically for a very long period.

    Why attitudes of male and female differ? Out of millions of sperms in a male boby a negligible number succeed in a lifetime. Female eggs are comparatively very few. Less chances. Hence acute desire.

    Religion teaches: Living for others is better than living only for oneself. In sex life, the same way; if one desires to give maximum pleasure to the partner, satisfaction is the end result. Marriage institution is very important for common good of all humanity. People like Rajnish have forgotten common good. They have harmed the humanity at large.

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About

Devang Vibhakar
Devang Vibhakar
(Editor, www.SpeakBindas.com)
SpeakBindas is a Limca Book of Awards winning blog. It's a PR3 blog with 1000+ articles & Interviews. Devang Vibhakar - Founder - has interviewed more than 350+ people and has been to Scotland, London & Germany. He's a writer, speaker, traveler & movie-goer !! He has also written four books. He's passionate about bringing forth interesting stories & interviews of people from various sectors of life to avid readers of SpeakBindas. You can reach him here .