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Sex may be a taboo topic in India, but there’s a 94-year-old man, Dr Mahinder Watsa, challenging this reticence by giving sex education and advice via his newspaper column, ‘Ask the Sexpert’.
Retired obstetrician and gynaecologist Dr Mahinder Watsa started his column in the Mumbai Mirror newspaper in 2005, and his no-euphemism-just-frank-and-witty-sex-talk approach has since gone on to grab attention all over India.
This ‘sexpert’ answers sex-related queries that pour in from all over India daily. He doesn’t shy away from using words such as ‘penis’ and ‘vagina’, which has landed him and the newspaper in legal trouble plenty of times, but it hasn’t deterred him.
Thirty percent of questions published on the column are from women, while a whopping 70% come from men, who are worried about their penis size, angle and shape, and especially, masturbation – whether it will lead to hair loss or infertility.
Some of the questions are super funny and absurd, and Dr Watsa’s answers are often even funnier. From genital problems and general anatomy to masturbation, sexual intercourse, homosexuality, pre-marital relationships, ejaculation, conception and pregnancy, he answers them all in his humorous, honest and non-judgemental way.
For instance, this question is asked the most: ‘Will the penis shrink from continuous masturbation?’ To which, he replies: ‘You talk a lot, has your tongue shrunk?’ And, the question that makes him furious is on broken hymens. Several men doubt their beau’s virginity and write to him about how to identify whether their partner is a virgin. Whatever the question, Dr Watsa doesn’t hesitate to give them a piece of his mind.
Though India gave the world the Kama Sutra, this South Asian country utterly lacks sex education, which leads to unawareness on a grand scale. In this atmosphere, Dr Watsa’s column serves as a platform for sexual health and education.
Dr Watsa has played an active role in the public health field in India. He has been an activist on behalf of the Family Planning Association of India (FPAI), which promotes sexual health and family planning, and runs his own center – the Council of Sex Education and Parenthood International (CSEPI), which promotes sex education. He has also written about sexual health for numerous magazines and specialist websites. In 2014, he received the ‘Dr Ved Vyas Puri Award’ from FPAI, for his contribution towards sex education in the country.
Dr Watsa has published a book called It’s Normal, on the same topic.