Sexual intercourse and anything even remotely connected to the genitals is considered taboo subjects in India. Take a cue from families being ‘embarrassed’ by sanitary napkin ads, or your neighbourhood ‘chemist uncle’ giving you the side-eye when you ask for a condom. Societal attitudes towards sex ensure that you don’t have anybody to discuss your concerns with freely.
But you can talk to your doctor, and you should, because:
- The doctor has all the answers
Most people talk to friends or consult the internet for answers. While well-meaning friends will certainly have a lot of ‘information’ to offer, most of it is uncorroborated by science. Many articles you read on the Internet do not have a basis in fact, either. If you have any questions, you should schedule an appointment with your doctor and seek all the answers. Make a list of all that you need to ask and seek more information if certain aspects are not clear.
- The doctor can advise you on lifestyle changes for a better sex life
There might be a point when you discover that your lifestyle is most likely taking a toll on your sex life. You could be a smoker, or overweight, or taking recreational drugs, or imbibing alcohol. Other factors could be frequent work-related travel, job stress, erratic sleep times, a diet largely comprising junk food, etc. All or some of these factors can impact your sex life and reduce fertility, affect sexual performance, reduce libido, and so on. Talk to your doctor about the possible solutions to your problems, and make sure that you detail your sexual problems in detail so that the doctor can make an accurate diagnosis.
- You can find out more about having sex in a safe way
Though sex education is imparted in most schools in India, the fundamentals of sex often elude most adults. Most people harbour myths and delusions, instead of getting the right answers from the right sources. For instance, most men (and women) believe that the withdrawal method of intercourse prevents pregnancies–it doesn’t. Others have religious reservations about the use of contraceptives. Whatever your apprehensions and questions, place them in front of your doctor and get more information about having sex in a safe, responsible way.
- You can resolve your body image issues with counselling
Too often, poor sexual health can be attributed to body image issues. If you feel that your body is ugly or misshapen, or that your partner is grossed out by the sight of your naked body in bed, then it is bound to affect your libido and sexual performance. Voice your concerns to your doctor and outline your fears in detail. Most doctors counsel patients in a wise and humane manner. You should see a therapist if a chat with your physician has not helped.
- Your doctor can talk to you about your sexuality
Then there is the question of how to ‘come out’ to the world about your sexual identity. Some people are confused about whether they identify as bisexual, homosexual or transsexual, for example. Others struggle with feelings of guilt related to their own sexuality. If you feel trapped and helpless without any answers, you can schedule an appointment with your doctor to discuss the issue. Your doctor can even put you in touch with NGOs or organisations that offer counselling.
There is absolutely nothing in this world that can replace a doctor’s advice about your body and well-being. While it is difficult to speak to a third person about deeply personal health and sexual issues, doctors do not judge and will offer you the best possible course of action.