Saturday, July 25, 2009

Can a man make love to a woman he does not love?

Can a man make love to a woman he does not love?
by June Cheong
Sat, Jul 25, 2009
Mind Your Body, The Straits Times
Can a man make love to a woman he does not love?

It is a poser many women will want the answer to. When put to the medical experts, they unanimously told Mind Your Body: 'Yes, men can and do.'

Dr Peter Lim, president of the Society Of Men's Health and an andrologist, said: 'Men can be totally turned on just by looking at an attractive woman.

'Generally, most men, when stimulated enough, can have sex whether he knows the woman or loves her.'

Dr Adrian Wang, a consultant psychiatrist at DrAdrian Wang Psychiatric And Counselling Care, said studies have shown that men stray more.

'Men tend to view sex as an entity alone and just do it to gratify their physical desire. They are less likely to think of long-term consequences,' he said.

Why do men fall asleep after sex while women want to cuddle?

Men's sexual desires usually die immediately after sex as they enter a resting phase called the refractory period.

Dr Lim said: 'The man feels satisfied that he's done his job, so he goes to sleep. The woman's reason for sex is love. After it's over, she still feels the effects of the oxytocin hormone, which is linked to stimulation and orgasm, so she wants to be cuddled and held to feel secure.'

The difference in the way men and women reach orgasm may also explain men's seeming callousness.

Dr Ng Kok Kit, a consultant in the department of urology, andropause and men's health clinic at Changi General Hospital, said: 'Men reach orgasm more quickly, after which they have a refractory period averaging eight hours when they do not get aroused. Women, on the other hand, are not limited to a single orgasm and may be keen to continue with sex.'

Also, sexual activity involves physical exertion and cardiologists have classified sexual activity as 'moderate exertion'.

What food should men eat to improve the quality or quantity of their sperm?

Fertility starts with general good health. A diet rich in fresh food and leafy vegetables is advised.

Dr Ng said men's diets should include vitamins and minerals like vitamins C and E, selenium, zinc and folic acid.

'These vitamins are natural antioxidants which basically fight free radicals that attack and destroy the membrane that surrounds sperm,' he said.

'Infertile men have been found to have a higher concentration of free radicals in their semen compared to fertile men.'

Dr Ng also advised drinking just one to two cups of coffee a day and no more than two ounces of alcohol twice every week as 'alcohol is sperm poison'.

Can you have sex or get pregnant during your period?

Dr Christopher Chong, an obstetrician, gynaecologist and urogynaecologist from Chris Chong Women And Urogynae Clinic at Gleneagles Hospital, said most women are turned off sex during their period as there is so much blood.

It is medically safe, however, to do so, he said.

The chance of a pregnancy from having sex during one's period is one in 30,000. 'It's not impossible; you can still get pregnant if you ovulate at different times,' said Dr Chong.

What and where is a woman's G-spot?

This very sensitive and erotic zone was originally known as the Grafenberg Spot and named after German gynaecologist Ernst Grafenberg. He first described it in 1944.

The G-spot is believed to be located near the urethra in the anterior part of the vagina behind the pubic bone. Stroking that area is useful for establishing whether you have a G-spot and how it adds to your sexual pleasure. Stimulation of the area during penetration can also enhance pleasure.

Dr Peter Chew, a senior consultant gynaecologist and obstetrician at Gleneagles Medical Centre, said the G-spot is an extension of the clitoris and is highly sensitive because of the nerve endings concentrated in that area.

It is not known if all women have a G-spot.

Dr Chong said: 'Many believe that if you can find it, you may want to buy lottery.'

Is it normal for women to feel like peeing during sex?

Dr Chong said: 'Orgasm causes muscle contractions. When women have over-active bladders, the bladder muscles contract involuntarily and the bladder may release urine during orgasm.'

He advised women to seek treatment if they pee every time during an orgasm.

Dr Chew added: 'If you want to pee during sex every time, it could be a sign of a urinary tract infection or a sexually transmitted disease.'

Can pregnant women have sex?

Dr Chong said pregnant women can have sex as long as they do not experience bleeding or have vaginal discharge.

He usually advises his patients to refrain from sex after the 30-week mark.

He said: 'Sperm has enzymes that can induce labour and cause the cervix to open up. Stimulation of the expectant woman's nipples can also cause premature labour as oxytocin is released and that can cause contractions.'

Meanwhile, Dr Chew said sex can occur throughout pregnancy and that, in fact, sexual desire in pregnant women shoots up during the second trimester.

Are masturbation and sexual fantasies healthy and can they affect your sex life?

Dr Gan Tek Kah, a general practitioner at Singapore Men's Health Clinic, said: 'Masturbation does not harm the body. However, if a person becomes so obsessed with it and pursues it at the expense of his social life, studies or work, then it's wrong.'

Consultant psychiatrist Brian Yeo added: 'Masturbation is a powerful reinforcer. The image that you play with in your mind is very powerful. If a man masturbates and thinks of a woman, he reinforces his sexual attraction to that woman.'

As for sexual fantasies, Dr Adrian Wang, a consultant psychiatrist at Dr Adrian Wang Psychiatric And Counselling Care, said: 'Fantasies are healthy as long as both parties are consenting adults.

'What goes on behind closed doors is your business. If playing out fantasies enhances your sex life and you don't harm each other, it's a good thing.'

However, if your partner disagrees with your fantasy, Dr Yeo advised modifying it such that only acceptable elements are used.

Does penis size matter?

Dr Gan said: 'All our sexual thoughts, ideals and behaviour are socially constructed. The social expectation of a man is that he is big and strong so size counts. However, it is the hardness of the erection that matters, not so much the size of the penis.'

Dr Wang said that while size does not matter, a certain girth or length helps bring about sexual pleasure. He advised men who are less-endowed to focus on technique.

A 2007 British study reviewing 50 international research projects on penile size since 1942 found that the average erect penis' length is between 14 and 16cm and its girth is 12 to 13cm.

Do women achieve orgasm more easily through penetrative or oral sex?

Gynaecologists Mind Your Body spoke to said every woman has different preferences. Dr Wei Siang Yu, a medical doctor with a special interest in sex education who styles himself as Dr Love, said it is easier for women to achieve orgasm through external stimulation.

He explained: 'The nerve endings distributed in the vaginal wall can be dissipated while nerves around the clitoris of a woman are very localised.'

The Durex Sexual Wellbeing Global Survey 2006 found that 23per cent of Singapore women almost always or always had orgasms. It also found that couples 'satisfied' with the intensity of their orgasms spent 15.7 minutes on foreplay, compared to 10.4 minutes, which was the time others who were 'not satisfied' spent on it.

This article was first published in Mind Your Body, The Straits Times.

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