Sunday, February 14, 2016


Myths and Facts about Sex
Sex is among the commonest practices responsible for procreation and pleasure. It is almost universally practiced from the ancient times in humans. However, there are several myths and controversies surrounding it. Sex, being a taboo topic in our societies, is not openly discussed with elders and teachers. As a result, the myths propagate and the truth remains hidden. In this article, I would discuss the myths and facts about sex.
At what age can sex be started?
Several surveys indicate that teenagers are sexually active since around 15 years of age. However, it should be noted that the legal age for sex after consent is 18 years (in India). So, sex with a person below 18 (even after marriage) is illegal. This age limit may vary in different countries.
What is the normal/safe frequency of sex?
First of all, there is no “one” normal frequency of sex. It depends on a lot of factors, such as moods, daily schedules, location, presence of children or other family members, any physical illness, age of the person, any personal grief, and so on. So, if a couple is happy, it does not matter how often they are having sex. Generally, the fears are “are we having too much or too little sex?” Regarding too much sex, there is no need to worry as long as it is done within the legal framework, and does not jeopardies the daily work/schedule. The average frequency of sex (as per studies) is about once in 3-4 days in younger couples, and once in 6-7 days in older couples. Now, you should not start worrying if your frequency is below the above numbers. What matters is the happiness and satisfaction levels among couples and sex is just one of the many things contributing to satisfaction and contentment.
Is masturbation safe?
Masturbation refers to the self-stimulation of genitals (penis, clitoris or vagina) in order to achieve sexual arousal and pleasure, often leading to climax (orgasm). There are several myths among younger people about masturbation. They feel that it- is immoral, leads to weakness, leads to deformities of penis, or it decreases the chance of good sex after marriage. It should be noted that masturbation is a healthy habit and can be practiced throughout life, even after marriage. Most people (more than 90%) masturbate. With masturbation, there is no fear of pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Masturbation is, however, wrong, if it inhibits sexual relationship with the partner, or if it is done in public, or if it interferes with daily responsibilities. The guilt associated with masturbation can also lead to problems.
Is oral or anal sex safe?
Health wise, anal or oral sex does not lead to any additional hazards, which are not seen with conventional sex. So, if a couple likes it, they can practice it. There is no risk of getting pregnant with anal or oral sex. The legal status, however, differs in different countries.
Is male-male or female-female sex (homosexuality) safe?
Sex between people of same sexes- homosexuality (in men) and lesbianism (in women) are medically safe. There is no risk of pregnancy, however, the risk of acquiring STDs is similar to that with conventional sex. Homosexuality just indicates a different sexual orientation of these people. Homosexuality, however, is still illegal in India and many other countries. In addition, it is a social stigma too.
Is sex with multiple partners safe?
Sex with multiple partners is a risky behavior and should be avoided. There is a high risk of contracting STDs. In addition, it can lead to instability in a person’s life. In a married person, it can lead to break-ups and divorce.
How long should a normal intercourse last?
The duration of normal intercourse ranges from 3 to 7 minutes. This is the time from entering the vagina upto the time of orgasm, and does not include the time of foreplay. Anything less than 1-2 minutes is considered too short and is labeled as premature ejaculation. Shorter duration intercourse (and premature ejaculation) may leave female partners less satisfied or unsatisfied.
What is the normal penis size?
The penis should be measured when erect, and the average length varies from 5.5 to 6.3 inches (14-16 cm). The penis is considered small only if it is less than 3 inches (7.6 cm) when erect. Anything more than 3 inches is enough to satisfy a woman. Women consider girth (or width) of penis more important than the length. When erect, the normal girth (or circumference) of penis is 12-13 cm (4.7 to 5.1 inches). However, there are many men who are anxious about the size of their penis, which explains the boom of devices and pills that claim penis enlargement effects. It should be noted that the size of penis when flaccid may vary and does not play a role in determining the penis size when erect. This means that men with relatively small penis when flaccid can have the same size when erect.
Is it normal to have a curved penis?
Penis when erect can point upwards or downwards, or slightly to left or right. All these are normal. However, if there is a significant bend in penis, it could point to a disease called as Peyronie’s disease. You should consult a Urologist for evaluation.
Is nocturnal emission abnormal?
Nocturnal emissions refer to ejaculation during sleep among men, often after an orgasm. In women, there is vaginal lubrication along with orgasm. These are normal phenomena and do not indicate any disease.
What is the normal frequency of orgasm?
Men reach orgasm more often than women. Men reach orgasms about 75% of times. There are multiple reasons for the differences between men and women. In addition to social and cultural reasons, it is also that orgasm is not the most important aspect of sex for women. With oral sex and foreplay added to intercourse, women and men orgasm rates are almost similar. Also, orgasm rates are higher in a committed relationship rather than during occasional/first flings. Women are able to attain "multiple" orgasms. Also, it is alright to "fake" an orgasm by a woman to make the overall sex experience better for the couple. 

I have tried to cover some of the most important facts and myths related to sex here. I am sure you may have additional queries, which can be posted here as comments or can be sent to my email.

Dr Sudhir Kumar MD DM
Senior Consultant Neurologist
Apollo Health City, Jubilee Hills,
Hyderabad, India-500096
Phone: 0091-40-23607777/60601066

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