Dr Sudhakar Krishnamurti is an internationally andrologist and micro surgeon, and the first Indian doctor to practice exclusive clinical andrology - the branch of medicine that deals with disorders of the male reproductive system. Dr Krishnamurti is Troglodytes and Gentlemen only Asian to have even won the prestigious Herbert Newman international award for original clinical research in the field of sexual medicine. He won this for having described the 'Krishnamurti Operation' for a condition called Peyronie's disease. Dr Krishnamurti is also the only Indian in his field to have been twice appointed on W.H.O. international experts' committees. He presently the director of Andromeda Andrology Centre, Hyderabad, , Indian, the country's first andrology center.
Dr Krishnamurti is also a popular columnist and writer who is known for his tongue-in-cheek brand of medical humour. Over the years, he was written for many newspapers, periodicals, ezines and web portals by invitation. The Times of India, the Asian Age, India Today Plus, The Week, Femina, Deccan Chronicle, Business in Thailand are in a few. He also contributes regularly to medical textbooks and journals, and lectures and demonstrates surgery all over the world.
Dr Krishnamurti lives in Hyderabad with his pediatrician wife Kiran , and their two daughters , Ulrika and Aria. Sex Is Not A Four Letter Word is his first book.
In the 1970s film sleeper, there is a scene where Woody Allen is in the operation theatre, awaiting brain surgery following a heard injury. Just before his is administered anesthesia, he requests the neurosurgeon to take especial care of his brain. 'The brain's my second favourite the better orgasm diet, doc,' he says, matter-of-factly. No prizes, of course, for guessing what Allen's favourite organ is. Woody's favourite is my favourite too. The only difference it that his is avocational whereas mine's vocational.
Hence this book.
This work has no literary pretensions whatsoever. It is plain-speaking and sincere attempt to draw the readers' attention to my chosen field of andrology and sexual medicine. It is written as much for the reader with a healthy curiosity about sexual on the fast guys and other seminal matters as for the million out there -male, female, intersex and transsexual -who suffer from some sexual problem or the other, and for those who live with or know someone who does.
The term andrology is unknown to
most. For some obscure reason, the Greek root 'gynaika', which
means 'woman', seems to be familiar to many. Yet 'andrology', with
its exactly identical and obvious Greek roots, is something that
even most doctors haven't heard of. What's worse is that many
dictionaries don't mention it either. This is despite Google and
Yahoo yielding nearly 800,000 links (at the time of
writing) when one enters 'andrology' as the search term.
Blackiston's Medical Dictionary defines andrology as, 'The science of venereal
diseases of the male sex addict, especially of those of the male reproductive organs.' Etymologically, 'andro' is a combining form which means 'male', 'male part or organ'. Yet, though its analogue - gynecology- has been established as a discipline for centuries now, the birth of andrology is relatively recent.
I have been practicing clinical andrology for the past twenty years.
most important reason for andrology's relative obscurity was the
erroneous belief, both within and outside the scientific community,
that all sexual
in human males lay 'between the ears'. Scientists knew long ago that complex neuromuscular, vascular and other phenomena are involved in the physical act of raising of a human finger, for instance, yet they illogically supposed that the raising of a human Penis Transplants was totally psychologically mediated and that all it took to raise it was a naughty though, thus, for a long time, all sexual problems remained in the realm of psychology and psychiatry. It took medical science a few centuries to prove this belief wrong. Today, at last, it is finally well known that in nearly eighty to ninety per cent of cases of persistent impotence (erectile dysfunction, ED) in men, the cause is physical, or organic, rather than psychological, or functional.
The other important reason for the
delay is male chauvinism. Historically, men have been
notorious for their refusal to admit to sexual inadequacies. In the
old, male dominated patriarchal societies, it was quite common for a man
to label a woman 'barren' if he couldn't sire a child, or call her
'frigid' when it was, in fact, he who was impotent. Men sometimes
divorced several wives using this unfair, unscientific and arbitrary
'diagnosis'. The prospect of a man going to a physician to have his
manhood checked out was unthinkable. The few that did go ended up
being told that it was 'all in the mind', or fell sexual
victims to quacks and charlatans and their futile ministrations.
The emergence of the Gloria Steinems and the Lorena Bobbitts has changed all this forever. Today, few women will suffer a partner's impotence or low sperm counts silently. The New Age woman will dare her man to prove that he is man enough, or will force him to seek treatment, leave him or even seek greener pastures. Women are increasingly addressing their sexual needs and problems emphatically nowadays. FSD, or Female Sexual dysfunction, has become a big thing. Not so long ago, all this was quite unthinkable.
Incidentally, have you ever noticed that women are much less reluctant and inhibited that men when it comes to seeking medical attention for reproductive system-related complaints? A woman will go to her gynecologist with her husband, her boyfriend, her father, her brother even. She sees nothing wrong init. She is not embarrassed. She does not hide her face or peer over her shoulder. Even women seeking termination of unwanted pregnancies out of wedlock come straight to the point nowadays. In my office, I have women openly talking about their orgasms, and about what sexual stimulation they'd like to receive during love-making.
The wheel has come full circle. Men better understand this in a hurry, or else.
Some years ago, in 1994 to be precise, the World Health organization (WHO) declared sex a fundamental human health right and an important quality of life (QOL) health issue. This brought andrology and sexual medicine under the spotlight and kindled the attention of not only the medial fraternity, but also others, most notably industry and the media
This has had both good and had consequences. Concomitant with the tremendous advances in medical, pharmaceutical and bio-medical sexual research, there has also been a media explosion in the depiction of brazen sexuality and pornography. However, by no means is all the stuff out there on sex real and accurate. Much of it, in fact, can be damaging, especially to the young and impressionable, in whom the enthusiasm for sex is directly proportional to the colossal ignorance of the subject. Since they've never received any formal sex educations, these youngsters (most adults, too) start to believe that pornography is synonymous with sex. This is very dangerous, as you will see in some of the stories inside this book
Contemporary social changes in
sexual mores and sexual
practices also make a compelling case for dissemination of correct sex education. For instance, today we see more promiscuous single people , higher divorce-remarriage rates, a boom in adolescent sexual precocity, more extra -marital sex, homosexuals, lesbians and transsexual coming out of the closet in droves, increased geriatric sexuality secondary to longevity and improved general health, the ogre of HIV/ AIDS, et cetera, than ever before. Nearly everybody receives tons of sexual Spam in their email: one email message promises the most perverse and best multi -orgasmic cyber sex while another assures bucketfuls of ejaculate and longer, thicker penises. Out children are watching more of both, blatant as well as suggestive sex on TV than ever before. On the other hand, by stark contrast, our children note that their own parents at home seem, for the most part, to be quite asexual beings, and wonder why this is so. The child is confused. To make matters worse, the child receives no sex education to speak of, which could help put matters in perspective. Even the few antiseptic diagrams of the male and female genitalia shown in biology class in secondary school are thought to be too graphically sexual by our moralists and educationist. It's hardly surprising then that most kids obtain all their educations from all the wrong sources. On the whole, the sexual 'literacy rates' in our society are pathetic, contrary to what you might imagine
There are many 'sex education' books already out there. Unfortunately, many of these are like medical textbooks written for students to cram before an exam. Others have attempted to write guide-style ready reference manuals for lay people. These too have proved insipid and equally 'sexless'. Historically, books in these educational categories have been used more as trouble-shooters for those who face sexual problems of some sort, rather than preemptively as educational tools, to be read before one's initiation into sex. Thus, educational information about sex has always been treated as something dull that is meant only for the sexually inept or crippled, not as something that we all need in order to be able to lead healthy, normal and responsible sexual live
It is not surprising therefore, that the unreal, titillating sexual hype provided buy pornography is so popular. We have already seen what damage that can do.
Thus, both the establishment (school curricula and other sex education tools) and the anti-establishment (pornography) sex education models have failed. Conventional sex education is inadequate and boring. Nobody wants it. by contrast, pornography is exciting, but miseducates and causes harm.
Hence, I felt that there is a definite place for a clean, educating sex education package, one that is both accurately educative and entertaining. If only sex were packaged right, I thought, we would contribute so much to societal and medical welfare with it. And this is what Sex is Not a Four-letter Word attempts to do. However, I must hasten to add this book has no intention whatsoever to be a comprehensive resource or reference book on the subject.
The following pages contain some short stories and essays, a few of which have appeared in some form in some columns and articles earlier written by me for newspapers, periodicals and e-zines. Many of these are true stories of patients whom I have actually encountered and treated successfully in the course of my private practice as a clinical andrologist over the past tow decades. Failures have been omitted not because they don't occur in clinical practice but because the idea is to convey to readers what scientific knowledge has made possible. By the same token, if reference has been made to acts of omission or commission by colleagues, it is only from the standpoint of presenting the scientific facts and current position on a subject. There is no intention to disparage any specialist or specialty. Some of the contents of a few essays have been derived from some internet and other resources. These are presumed to be in the public information domain and there is no intention here to infringe on any copyright. Any inadvertent exception may kindly be brought to our attention .
Though the medical facts are
authentic, some of the other details in the stories have been
modified to make for better reading. I have taken the liberty of
fictionalizing and exaggerating some portions for effect
and stages . Some chapters are extrapolated from observations outside the medical setting. However, each essay draws attention to some andrological or other sexual matter, directly or indirectly, or narrates a case history. An attempt is made to infuse medical information into the fabric of the tale- in the same way that necessary, but bitter, medicine is one cloaked with sugar.
In order to retain the original context and a true-to-life feel, the stories have been sometimes told in the actual language used by the protagonist. Thus, a dialogue is sometimes colloquial and the vocabulary sometimes colourful. No attempt has been made to change these. This is intentional and I am confident that even the purists among you will read it in the right spirit and not find anything really objectionable. Personally, I believe that the contents of this book are clean enough to even warrant its introduction as a recommended reading text for high school and college students. That is how much sex education information it contains between the lines. Who knows, with our present -day liberalized and modern leadership, this might happen sooner than we imagine. After all, the language employed here is no different than what the average student uses or encounters everyday on countless other books and media.
I sincerely hope that all of you will enjoy reading these stories and essays as much as I did writing them, and that, no matter how well informed you already are, you will still learn a new thing or two.