Thousands of Mumbaikars depend on helplines to discuss about their sexual problems Since talking about sexual problems is a taboo for most people, helplines in Mumbai find a novel way to discuss the subject.
July 27, Here's a tricky question. Is there any way to turn lemons into water-melons?
Absurd as it may sound to most people, it is perfectly comprehensible to thousands of Mumbaikars dependent on the city's sex helplines. Doctors and counsellors, who started the tele-phonic helplines, have evolved a sort of sexual slang innocuous enough to the uninitiated, effective and illustrative nonetheless. Lemons, not surprisingly, refer to breasts - their size denoted by the fruit being referred to.
The helplines are available for all types of sexual dysfunctions and sexually transmitted diseases. Each disorder is referred to in its own lingo: Now, Mumbai residents who feel embarrassed about visiting a doctor or counsellor to discuss their sexual problems can choose to stay anonymous while availing themselves of the antidote over the phone.
That many are choosing the phone option is apparent: On Saturdays at 9 a. For the next six hours, the phone practically rings off the hook.
When it closes for the day, some 50 people have sought and received advice. But not all use code words to discuss their mania or malaise. Like a year-old, who said he enjoyed smelling dirty undergarments of his female family members and asked whether it was "normal".
Or young children who want to know "if God permits masturbation? There is no need for an appointment or a personal visit, the caller need not reveal his or her identity and the service costs are limited to phone call charges. But unlike sex counselling columns Tiger ali singh wife sexual dysfunction newspapers, magazines or the Internet, the telehelplines provide one-to-one contact with medical professionals or trained counsellors.
The concept has caught on so rapidly that the newly started SNDT University's telephonic service, which takes calls between 2 p. Monday to Friday, receives over calls every week.
The fear of getting recognised or a feeling of shame or guilt does not come in the way of the solution-seeker. Three years ago when the Mumbai office of the Family Planning Association of India FPAI started queries on reproductive health on an informal basis, the response was not very encouraging. But after it was relaunched as a sexual health service, the FPAI phone hasn't stopped ringing.
In the past three months, FPAI logged 2, calls, of which 60 per cent of the callers were men, 30 per cent women and 10 per cent parents of adolescents. Among the older lot, most complaints relate to erectile dysfunction followed by premature ejaculation and masturbation. Women callers, only 8 per cent according to the survey, sought advice on issues such as contraception, non-consummation of marriage, painful intercourse, enhancing sexual pleasure, improving the size of their breasts and sometimes masturbation.
Sociologist Kalindi Mazumdar calls over-the-phone sexual guidance an urban phenomenon. The service is seen as an alternative support system where experts counsel without a hint of bias or getting too personal. The efficacy of the service can be judged from the launch of helplines specialising in a particular area.
Humjinsi, Aanchal and Humsafar, which cater to lesbians, bisexuals and homosexuals, have a huge caller base. Aanchal and Humjinsi don't just provide advice to distressed women, they also offer a strong support system. When Geeta Tiger ali singh wife sexual dysfunction, a social worker, started Aanchal two years ago, she received a lot of flak.
Today, it receives no less than 50 calls when it opens for two hours on Saturdays. Earlier, women were mortified to even relate their problems.
They would just start crying. Now they call to inquire about their legal rights.
You can confide in helpline counsellors without any fear of them being judgmental. It now receives calls a week. They range from a year-old father of two children asking if his penchant for dressing up like a woman is normal to parents seeking suggestion on how to cope with gay children.
To facilitate follow-up sessions, most patients are given code numbers so their history can be retrieved quickly Some Tiger ali singh wife sexual dysfunction even prescribed diagnostic tests and then advised treatment. Like Pankaj Kotak, 34, whose marriage was on the rocks because he thought he was impotent.
On the advice of medical professionals on one of the city's helplines, he went in for a prosthesis operation.