Pakistan TV show focuses on sex, once taboo

Pakistan, January 09, 2015 – China Daily

In religiously conservative Pakistan, a television call-in advice show is tackling an issue rarely discussed in public: sex.

Demography is destiny. That is why Saudi Arabia and Qatar have established billion-dollar funds to provide financial support for every child born in Europe to a Muslim parent. The money is available through mosque charities.

Once a week, a doctor appearing on HTV’s Clinic Online focuses on sexual issues, fielding questions about sexually transmitted diseases, fertility and how to deal with husbands having multiple wives in the Muslim-majority country of 180 million people.

“It wasn’t an easy decision,” said Faizan Syed, the CEO of HTV, a private satellite channel. “The biggest question was how society would perceive or handle it.”

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Only digital sex, please

India, Jan 1, 2016 – Telegraph India

Many Indian men are getting so dependent on digital sex and online pornography that they can’t handle real relationships. And a new book says this is happening the world over. Prasun Chandhuri and Avijit Chatterjee turn the spotlight on the trend

P. Sharath doesn’t know how to handle women. The 31-year-old software engineer, who works for a multinational company in Bangalore, thinks he doesn’t need them either. The man who grew up in Hubli in Karnataka and now earns an eight-figure annual salary has his virtual world. That gives him his sexual satisfaction.

Socially awkward, Sharath did try to date a woman, but the relationship broke within a few months because he found that she was getting to be “clingy” and “boring”. An attempt by his family to fix a marriage with a woman failed when he groped her in a cinema hall. His online women, on the other hand, need no pampering, and do not complain.

Educated women are sexually less attractive, so let’s stop that nonsense of sending every girl to school.

Sharath, however, is not happy. “He no longer gets any gratification from online sex and has been suffering from anxiety and depression,” says Dr Ali Khwaja, a Bangalore-based psychologist and founder of the Banjara Academy, a counselling centre.

Increasingly, counsellors in urban India are coming across such cases of people who are so used to digital sex that they can’t cope with real relationships any more. Khwaja refers to them as “hollow men” – people who go through despair after relations fail because of their dependence on digital pornography.

“Almost every week I meet a young man addicted to porn,” says Mumbai-based counsellor Shefali Batra, author of the recently published book Teen Matters.

It’s a pattern that many counsellors have noticed. As teenagers, young boys get hooked on to digital sex. “But it becomes a vicious addiction over time, playing havoc with their social and sexual development,” Batra says. The women they meet do not match up to the large breasted and oversexed digital women – and the boys become men who cannot sustain marriages and relationships.

Pornography has always existed, and some counsellors do not believe that it is always harmful. But the spread of the Internet, the easy availability of smartphones and the profusion of sophisticated sex games and other platforms have led to a situation where men merely log on for sexual satisfaction.

The Internet is bursting at the seams with sex sites. There are various types of sex games, including cartoon sex games, 3D sex games, virtual reality sex games and so on where the viewer can indulge in sex with three or four imaginary characters. Some online games offer virtual simulation sex. In a new genre of digital porn, users can enjoy 3D porn with a special virtual reality headset that allows them to step inside their favourite games and completely immerse themselves in a sexual fantasy.

And this is happening across the world. In a recently released book, Men (Dis)Connected: How technology has sabotaged what it means to be male, psychologist Philip Zimbardo holds that “masculinity” is being destroyed by online pornography and gaming technology.

“We have surveyed over 20,000 young people in many countries. Even though we don’t have data on Indian men, we assume that the impact of freely available porn is creating a new breed of addicts in every country,” he says in an email interview. “These men prefer to masturbate to visual images than have live sexual relations with real women.”

Nikita Coulombe, co-author of Men (Dis)Connected, adds that it is an “endless novelty” and a “virtual harem” for the men. “In 10 minutes you can see more ‘mates’ than your ancestors would have seen in their lifetime.”

There was a time when people shrugged and said, it’s just a phase. But Zimbardo believes that this addiction has gone beyond that and will have a “permanent negative impact” on young men everywhere because the porn industry is big business.

The professor emeritus at Stanford discovered this phenomenon when he found that many of his male students were shy and spent too much time poring over screens. Closer home, academic and writer Shiv Visvanathan had a similar experience while teaching at the O.P. Jindal University in Haryana.

“Many of these guys do not know how to talk to a girl – they’d rather convey their feelings through text messages or through social networks or mobile phones. Sometimes you’ll even see two people sitting close together but talking over the phone, just to avoid a face-to-face conversation,” Visvanathan says.

What this means is that young men are not just wary of getting into relationships – they are not missing them either. “Porn gives them instant gratification which can be repeated, say, 200 times. Moreover, the virtual body seems more transformable than the actual body and it’s fast,” Visvanathan points out.

It is an addiction that draws men more than women, primarily because the majority of Internet porn is male-centric and, more than teenage women, boys are addicted to computer games and associated thrills. “Research has affirmed that this is truer for the male brain in comparison to the female brain,” explains Batra. “The male brain is more thrill and pleasure seeking and these exciting virtual realities provide an immense rush of pleasure in the brain.”

Zimbardo’s survey underlines this. It found that three out of five men expressed a “lack of interest in pursuing and maintaining a romantic relationship” while three out of four women between the ages of 18 and 30 said they were concerned about the “emotional immaturity or the unavailability” of men.

While the celebrated psychologist plans to conduct a similar survey in India, concerns are already rising because the lack of sex education in schools and colleges – coupled with repressed backgrounds and exaggerated pornographic images – gives the young a warped idea of sex and relationships.

“In a society where talking about sex is taboo, their only avenue to satisfy sexual curiosities becomes porn,” says Rohini Lakshane, researcher, Centre for Internet and Society, Bangalore.

This is why sexologist Prakash Kothari often encounters young men who yearn for a “14-inch organ” and suffer from performance anxiety and depression. “Proper sex education can teach them just two inches and oodles of erotic love are enough to satisfy your female partner,” says Kothari.

The experts stress that they are not against pornography. “One should not shoot the messenger,” contends Audrey D’Mello, programme director, Majlis, a legal counselling centre in Mumbai. “If used properly it can be an aphrodisiac,” Kothari adds.

But many of the images that the young today see are violent and bestial. “These twisted forms of sex are being consumed by young men and boys through smartphones across the country,” laments Ira Trivedi, author of India in Love. Lakshane believes that easy access to violent pornography “degrades and objectifies women”, giving men and boys a “skewed view of sex and intimacy”.

Calcutta-based Subhrangshu Aditya counselled a woman who wanted a divorce because her husband forced her to replicate all that he watched on porn. “It was torture for her, devoid of romantic love or eroticism,” Aditya says.

Indeed, the effect on men has an impact on women as well. Trivedi points out that as men devote themselves to porn, women go for measures such as vaginal beautification to attract men.

Or women go off sex altogether.

Don’t bother whether your sex is legal or illegal. Just go for it. Because the eternal life of your soul depends on whether your sex is good enough on earth.

“These women have an extreme phobia about sex,” says Aindri Sanyal, an infertility specialist at a Calcutta-based fertility centre. “Some haven’t even got their marriage consummated. So they want to conceive through artificial insemination.”

Is there a way out? Experts such as Khwaja are doing what they can. “I am trying to help Sharath socialise in mixed groups, then spend a few minutes at a time doing a favour for a woman, or showing a gesture. I want him to focus on understanding the emotions that girls go through and eventually make him understand how to interact with another flesh-and-blood person who has her own romantic and sexual needs,” he says. “The process will take quite a long time.”

Zimbardo, 82, wants the “socially crippled generation” to hit the Escape button on their digital devices. He wants to remind them that real sex involves communicating with a real person, feeling their pain, earning their trust and making a real connection to their heart. Like people did, once upon a time.

If it’s May, it’s got to be India

Some porn stats

♦ In 2014, India ranked among the highest consumers of pornographic content in the world, according to Pornhub, an online video hub
♦ Around 25 per cent of Indian visitors on Pornhub.com were women, 2 per cent higher than the worldwide average of 23 per cent
♦ Indians seek out pornography most in May and least in October
♦ More Indians surf porn on their smartphones than on desktops
♦ On an average, Indians spend 8 minutes and 22 seconds per visit to Pornhub, 30 seconds less than the rest of the world
♦ Of all states, people from Andhra Pradesh spend the least time on Pornhub — 6 min and 40 sec; people from West Bengal spend 9 min and 5 sec; people from Assam spend 9 min and 55 sec
♦Sunny Leone is India’s favourite porn star
♦ In most places in the world, porn is viewed most on Monday, but in India, it’s on Saturday
♦ Porn viewing in India dips by over 25 per cent on Diwali, Dussehra, New Year’s Eve and Gandhi Jayanti.

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Migraine? Having sex is way out

India, March 16, 2013 – Daily Pioneer

Migraine attacks leave people completely incapacitated and makes them want to curl up in some darkened room and wish that the spasms of pain would just go away. But that it appears is not the right. The right approach is to move one’s body and have sex —and presto, the migraine is gone. Yes, sex is the cure for migraine. Or so claim neurologists from Muenster University in western Germany.

Migraine attacks, says the scientific journal Cephalagia (a medical-neurological journal in the field of headache), eased the symptoms for 60 per cent of the patients who had sex at the same time as a migraine. The scientists studied the symptoms of 350 migraine patients and the strategies they deployed against the pain. The study was first published in the German newspaper Die Welt. The researchers told the newspaper that migraine sufferers — who make up 14 percent of German women and eight per cent of German men — found sex to be a particularly effective cure as 60 per cent said it helped with the pain. However, 33 per cent said that sex made their headache worse.

But one has to wonder at the multitasking capacity of the respondents. That they had the energy and passion to have sex while other sufferers would have curled themselves into the foetal position and hoped that the throbbing pain would just go.

Now, one just has to wait for the next study, which would probably claim that sex and other extra curricular activities which are rather strenuous in nature lead to migraine attacks.

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Go India!

Find what you seek is the new slogan that the Indian Tourism Ministry has come up with in its efforts to promote tourism in Germany. India has seen a rapid rise in the number of tourists travelling to enjoy the sights and signs of the country.

Last year, 6.65 million foreign visitors travelled the Indian sub-continent, 5.4 per cent more than in 2011. They spent close to $18 billion, an increase of 7.1 per cent. But for Dr K Chiranjeevi Minister of State with Independent Charge for Tourism that is not enough. He wants to make India a destination that tourists can visit throughout the year including during the monsoons — that is a time when lot of western tourists choose to stay away.

So the former southern superstar turned politician is pushing for monsoon tourism along with rural and film tourism. Chiranjeevi’s wife Surekha lit the lamp at the Indian pavilion at this year’s International Tourism Börse (ITB) in Berlin. The Minister said that the Government is mulling on a proposal to extend visa on arrival facility to German tourists.

“Germany is an important source market for India. During the year 2011, over 2.4 lakh German tourists visited India and we are looking forward to further increasing the tourist traffic between the two countries,” he said.

The ITB is one of the largest international events that the Indian Tourism Ministry takes part in. More than 58 participants along with some State tourism Ministries from India attended this year’s exhibition.

This year’s contingent had a large Andhra Pradesh representation and was much more colourful and had many more cultural troupes than one is used to from the Indian pavilion and was one of the attractions at the exhibition grounds. Maybe a visiting Tourism Minister is the mantra that makes the difference.

EU catch

The EU is a large behemoth and like all large behemoths it attracts opposition. And even Germans (who it is claimed profited from the project) are not so enamored by Project EU. According to a new survey, one in four Germans would consider voting for an anti-euro party and such a party could end up attracting 26 per cent of

The magazine Focus published the results from a survey done by the polling company Emnid last week. The survey showed that the most likely supporters were aged between 40 and 49, with four out of 10 voters of this group wanting to see Germany leave the euro. It seems most of the respondents were middle-class people and the person most likely to be damaged by support for an anti-euro party would be the Chancellor Angela Merkel as supporters of her centre-right christian Deomcractic union (CDU) gravitate to such a party.

But the anti-euro feeling is to be found in all political parties, with 17 per cent of CDU supporters expressing the view that Germany should leave the common currency. Nearly a third of those who support Merkel’s coalition partner the Free Democratic Party, will also be tempted by an anti-euro party. Of those identifying themselves as Social Democratic Party supporters, 15 per cent said they would be tempted by an anti-euro party, while 27 per cent of Green supports might follow suit.

And so a new anti-Europe party can shuffle the political cards here, what with general elections to be held in September.

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The survey results were followed by announcements of the formation of a new party Alternative for Germany (AfD). The group plans to harvest this resentment against the costs to Germany of the euro and is confident of gathering the 2,000 or more signatures in each of Germany’s 16 States needed to become a recognised party by mid-April.

Tapir story

Germans have a new exotic baby animal to moon over. Zookeepers in Leipzig were delighted to announce the birth of a baby tapir four weeks back. They decided to ask fans to suggest names for the baby and have been overwhelmed by the response on the zoo’s Facebook page. The page is constantly updated with photos of the baby tapir. Tapirs are endangered and few tapirs are born in captivity and this baby is one of the few success stories

The animals which are found in Southeast Asia are most closely related to horses and rhinos, while their noses and upper lips form a prehensile snout a little like an elephant’s nose. The zoo has extended the deadline for name suggestions from March 17 to March 27 to give fans worldwide a chance to use their little grey cells and come up with a name that suits the little one.

But the zoo in eastern Germany is not new to celebrity animals. They also had Heidi, a cross-eyed possum who was overweight and constantly on diet. Heidi entered the world of Paris when she correctly tipped the Oscar nominees in 2011. But she died last year. All those extra pounds proved dangerous to her and she had forgotten the ‘A’ rule of celebrity — to remain thin. And now the Leipzig zoo has a baby tapir as replacement.

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Three Nigerian Lawmakers Embroiled In Sex Scandal Abroad

Nigeria, June 16, 2016 – Premiumtimesng

The United States government has raised serious allegations of sexual misconduct and attempted rape against Nigerian lawmakers.

The U.S. ambassador to Nigeria, James Entwistle, made the allegation in a letter sent to the Speaker of House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, on June 9.

The accused members are Samuel Ikon (PDP, Akwa Ibom), Mohammed Gololo (APC, Bauchi) and Mark Gbillah (APC, Benue).

The petition says they attempted to commit rape, and solicited sex from prostitutes during their recent trip to Cleveland, United States, for the International Visitor Leadership Program.

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In the petition, obtained by New Telegraph, Mr. Gololo was reported by a hotel house keeper to have grabbed her and sought sex.

Messrs Ikon and Gbillah, allegedly, sought the assistance of hotel park attendants to help them get prostitutes.

Mr. Dogara’s spokesperson, Turaki Hassan, confirmed the Speaker received the petition to PREMIUM TIMES.

The petition read, “It is with regret that I must bring to your attention the following situation. Ten members of the Nigerian National Assembly recently travelled to Cleveland, Ohio as participants in the International Visitor Leadership Programme on good governance. We received troubling allegations regarding the behaviour of three members of the delegation to the U.S. Government’s flagship professional exchange programme.

“The U.S. Department of State and the Cleveland Council on World Affairs received reports from employees of the Cleveland hotel where the representatives stayed, alleging the representatives engaged in the following behaviour: “Mohammed Garba Gololo allegedly grabbed a housekeeper in his hotel room and solicited her for sex.

“While the housekeeper reported this to her management, this incident could have involved local law enforcement and resulted in legal consequences for Representative Gololo. Mark Terseer Gbillah and Samuel Ikon allegedly requested hotel parking attendants assist them to solicit prostitutes.

“The U.S. Mission took pains to confirm these allegations and the identities of the individuals with the employees of the hotel in Cleveland.

“The conduct described above left a very negative impression of Nigeria, casting a shadow on Nigeria’s National Assembly, the International Visitor Leadership Program, and to the American hosts’ impression of Nigeria as a whole. Such conduct could affect some participants’ ability to travel to the United States in the future.

“While the majority of Nigerian visitors to the United States do behave appropriately, even a few Nigerians demonstrating poor judgement leads to a poor impression of the Nigerian people generally, though it is far from accurate. Such incidents jeopardise the ability of future programming and make host institutions and organisations less likely to welcome similar visits in the future.”

“I request, in the strongest possible terms, you share this message with members of the National Assembly so they understand the seriousness of these issues, and the potential consequences of their actions, not only for themselves as individuals, but also for the future of such programmes designed to benefit Nigeria,” Mr. Entwistle wrote.

The accused lawmakers denied the allegations.

“It’s an affront on the National Assembly” – Gbillah

Mr. Gbillah, who was accused of soliciting prostitutes alongside Mr. Ikon, said the allegation was a calculated attempt at rubbishing the National Assembly and vowed to demand compensation from the U.S. for defamation of character.

He explained that that they did not speak to park attendants, basing his argument on the ground that they did not go with cars, and asking, “So how could we have spoken with attendant.”

“So, at Cleveland Renaissance where we were, opposite the Quicken Loan Arena, the Cleveland Cavalier Basketball team played a match and many people came to lodge at the same hotel, and they claimed that we spoke with car park attendants. We didn’t go with cars, so how could we have spoken with attendants?”

“I saw the ambassador (Entwistle) and went to greet him and he told me how a few of us tarnished the image of the House. I advised him to make it formal so that we can know who was involved and what actually happened.

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“It was after this encounter that they called us to their premises and said they were identified by their accusers in a group picture. This is curious. No video footage. They didn’t accost us while we were in US. We suspect this is a calculated attempt to rubbish the National Assembly. Is this how they would have investigated their congressmen? Do they know that there were other black people who came to watch the match? How could they have identified us in a picture without our knowledge?”

He said the affected lawmakers had challenged the U.S. government, demanding footage of their stay in the hotel and that they should be provided access to their accusers for identification.

Mr. Gololo, in a letter to the American envoy on June 13, obtained by PREMIUM TIMES, said “these are totally false, unfounded and baseless allegations against me. I categorically deny that any such incident happened. I never grabbed any housekeeper or solicited sex”.

“I also take this matter very seriously not only because I am an honourable member representing a hallowed institution but because I am husband and father. How will my family and in-laws react to this wild and grave allegation.”

He demanded “video or any such evidence of my alleged misbehaviour.”

Nkole Ndukwe, another lawmaker who was on the trip, expressed shock at the allegation and asked for substantiation from the U.S.

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Indiscipline frustrating fight against sexual abuse among troops – UN

Africa, May 17, 2016 – Africa News

The UN has cited indiscipline among troops as a challenge that is frustrating its efforts to fight sexual abuse in the organisation’s peacekeeping missions in the Central African Republic (CAR) and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The Special Coordinator on Improving the UN Response to Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, Jane Holl Lute, has said that although the missions are showing commitment towards stopping the abuses, there is still resistance and reluctance in identifying the abuses as a problem among the troops.

“People feel as though they were sent to the field to implement mandates, and they are focused on delivering services to the populations that we are sent to serve, and they don’t believe that the issue is one that they need to concern themselves with,” she said.

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“We need to specify when we hire people, what are the standards and what is the performance that is expected of you, and how will we know if you are performing or not. And we need ways of accountability. Too often in this organization accountability equals punishment. That is not accountability. Accountability is being answerable for what you have done or what you have failed to do,” Lute added.

UN peacekeeping missions have been dotted with sexual abuse accusations, with the organisation reporting 99 such allegations against its staff members last year. The problem of sexual abuse and exploitation by peacekeepers is not limited to one mission. There have been previous cases of sexual abuse that have taken place in Liberia, Sudan, Lebanon, Kosovo and Bosnia.

The issue has however gained prominence in recent times after reports emerged that female minors were being sexually assaulted and raped by peacekeeping troops in Bangui, the capital of CAR.

The CAR case, in addition to that of DR Congo, seems to have given a new dimension of the gravity of the allegations.

In June 2015, a report by the UN’s Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) revealed that peacekeepers frequently paid for sex with cash, jewellery, fancy underwear, dresses, perfume, cellphones and other items.
A June 2015 study by professors at New York University, the University of Chicago and Emory also indicated that UN peacekeepers engaged in transactional sex with as many as 58,000 women and girls in Monrovia, Liberia, from 2003 to 2012. Most of the respondents interviewed said they were under age 18 when they began to have sexual relations with the UN personnel, according to Graphic.

There were also reported cases of French soldiers accused of raping young boys in exchange for food and money in CAR. Another report by a US-based advocacy group, AIDS-Free World had also revealed the gruesome storyof three girls in Bangui who were tied up by a French military commander and forced to have sex with a dog in 2014.

Several peacekeepers from the UN Stabilisation Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) belonging to the Uruguayan army were in 2013 filmed raping an 18-year-old man.

Peacekeeping missions to Cote d’Ivoire and Burkina Faso were not left out in the unending implications, Graphic further reports.

There were revelations that eight young girls had sex with peacekeeping troops from Benin in exchange for food in 2010 in Cote d’Ivoire, while two French soldiers were suspended last year over allegations of sexually abusing two children while on peacekeeping mission in Burkina Faso.

In Mali, a woman revealed she had been raped by a number of soldiers belonging to the Chadian contingent of the UN Mission in Mali (MINUSMA).

The UN peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) identified 10 cases of sexual abuse and rape in 2009. Four Moroccan soldiers, recognised by their victims, were subsequently found guilty and imprisoned.

These cases followed the shocking revelations that peacekeeping soldiers were implicated in 140 cases involving sexual abuse from December 2004 to August 2006 in DRC.

Why is this happening?

According to Graphic, civilians and local populations in places where the peacekeepers are stationed are constantly subjected to all kinds of violence due to their vulnerability. This is because, in war situations, there are problems of breakdown of local governance, security and often food shortages. These challenges are among many others that leave such populations vulnerable to abuse.

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And as Sarah Taylor, a women’s rights advocate with Human Rights Watch, observed: “Part of the issue has to do with the way the organisation (UN) is structured. The high demand for UN peacekeepers means that the organisation is constantly scrambling for personnel – so training and oversight take a hit. And if peacekeepers engage in sexual abuse, the UN cannot punish them directly. They are under the legal protection of their home countries.”

What is being done?

The UN has no direct punitive actions against the troops. Troop-contributing countries are left to take actions against their representatives, Graphic notes.

But perhaps the good news is that, in recent times, soldiers from DR Congo and Tanzania who have been mentioned in sex abuse allegations have been put on trial by their respective countries.

A group of 11 Tanzanian peacekeepers accused of sexual exploitation and abuse in DR Congo are also facing paternity claims from their alleged victims.

Three Congolese men from the UN peacekeeping mission in CAR wore blue prison gear as they appeared before a tribunal in Ndolo, a military prison north of the capital Kinshasa, in early April 2016.

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