If there’s one thing well known (even if it’s not mentioned) about young men, it’s that their libidos run riot most of the time. Biologically, their ‘sex drive’ peaks around 18 to 22 years of age – http://www.menshealth.com/events-and-promotions/sex-myths. This relates to their hormonal peak, but has nothing to do with performance or satisfaction. And it’s not just men who suffer – women also undergo massive hormonal changes and fluctuations in their sexual desires and drives, usually at a slightly earlier age than men, with the onset of their menses, although it’s believed their sexual ‘peak’ is later, around 28-32 years.
Most religions (Abrahamic especially), try to curb this completely natural drive by subjecting men/women to celibacy, abstinence and frustration through preaching that sex and masturbation are ‘sinful’. In ‘extremely’ religious countries the whole idea of sex becomes contaminated – bodies become sinful, masturbation sinful, sexual thoughts sinful! As if you can control thoughts!
Nearly two and a half thousand years ago, Socrates (according to Plato) advocated the life of the ‘mind’ over that of the ‘body’, hence the term ‘platonic’. At 70 years of age, in his second marriage and with several children, you might say he could afford to disregard the importance of sex, but it’s of no use to healthy, virile, young men (and women) in search of relief. Exercise or prayer don’t help much either, so what can society do to help?
Education can help. Education tells you the facts, not myths or religious dogma. It explains why young people experience their high sex drives, why they ‘think about sex’ all the time, why they feel humiliated, ashamed, embarrassed, confused, frustrated and aggressive; raging hormones are no laughing matter. Communication is key to survival and that is a major factor contributing to sexual frustration in segregated societies.
Understanding a problem is the first step to solving a problem.
Teenagers are notorious for their sexual neediness combined with ignorance, so knowledge of their own physical and biological changes, communal classes in sex education and the availability of counselling, can all give reassurance and dispel feelings of isolation, depression and suicide that often accompany sexual frustrations. I say ‘communal’ classes specifically because they have been shown to be the most favourable in dealing with myths and false ideas, whilst genuinely allowing both girls and boys to understand who they are as a sexual being, what they are experiencing and also, very importantly, what the other gender thinks and feels too.
Segregating the sexes, and in some countries it’s absolute, can only lead to more frustration. Without intimate, everyday knowledge of the other sex, how can anyone cope with the demands their hormones put on them? The very act of segregation heightens the fetishism and fantasies of sexual desire (and they can be wild enough anyway), perhaps even driven by the bombardment of sexually explicit images in the media, TV, films and the internet. These images sell everything from shampoo to cars, food and furniture.
Pornography, easily and readily accessed, is of growing concern to many; what effects does this relentless imagery have on susceptible minds? Or does over-familiarisation result in de-grading sex to a mechanical process and perhaps risk the fulfilment of an emotional relationship?
There’s no easy answer except to explore the possibilities, learn the facts and find what works for you personally; although almost impossible at present in many societies, it will change with the right education and debate. Some will find that with sufficient contraception (and information about guarding from venereal or sexually transmitted diseases), having a variety of sexual partners will be their solution. Others will prefer masturbation and others will get by without much problem. What is important, even vital, is an open and free society that teaches you the facts, then let’s you decide.
Writer: Kay Saxon
The writer is a UK based columnist and commentator with THE PASHTUN TIMES. She is graduated from the University of Central Lancashire, North of England. She can be reached at
THE PASHTUN TIMES