Thu, Jul 01, 2004 - Page 2 News List

Adults could do with better sex lives, says sex educator

By Evelyn Shih  /  CONTRIBUTING REPORTER

The public is still ignorant of the physical aspects of intimacy, disease and impotence, a leading sex educator said yesterday.

"Many people are content with their sex lives," said Cheng Cheng-chieh (鄭丞傑), chairman of the Taiwan Association for Sexuality Education. "But their sex lives can become formulaic, and they do not know there can be anything better.

"Also, aging couples tend to simply give up when either the man or the woman can no longer `rise to the occasion,'" Cheng said.

Launching the association's awareness campaign for adult sexual education, Cheng called the misunderstandings about sexual activity among older people unfortunate, and said that the problem of maintaining sexual satisfaction throughout adult life was not covered in high school sex education.

Neither aging nor conditions such as diabetes or heart problems were barriers to sex, he said.

"Sexual satisfaction is healthy and helps to maintain a happy marriage," Cheng said.

The association is visiting Taipei, Taichung and Kaohsiung in coming weeks with its "New Era Adult Sex Education Exhibit," which will feature rarely discussed issues of sexual technique and health. Western and traditional Chinese treatments will be outlined. In addition, medical experts will be giving free lectures to educate the public on "sexual happiness."

Cheng, an ob-gyn practitioner, claims that many women have expressed a sense of sexual estrangement because their husbands rely on the same patterns of foreplay and intercourse each time.

Couples from more conservative Confucian backgrounds shy from discussing sex openly, Cheng said.

In severe cases, couples fail to consummate their marriages for years out of ignorance and inexperience, and not because of "abnormal anatomy."

"Conservative, overprotective family environments still have a strong influence on Taiwanese society, especially on girls," Cheng said.

He said many patients who consult him about sexual incompetence were women with a more traditional upbringing and who could not perform sexual acts because of their inhibitions.

Since there are no sexual therapists in this country, doctors are often called upon to provide counseling, Cheng said. However, most doctors are ill-equipped to answer detailed questions about sex because they themselves were never educated about adult sexual activity.

The association hoped to increase awareness of the lack of adult sex education and resources on the subject, Cheng said.

Although teenagers and young adults seem to know more about sex than their parents because of the Internet, they still tend to have a fragmented and superficial understanding, he said.

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