KARACHI: Two years ago, when a Pakistani-born Canadian woman opened up about her sex life while she was young and living in Islamabad, the moral police was quick to judge and demonise her. Then, there were select few who had more pressing concerns: Is it safe to have that many sexual partners at one time?
We tried to find out the medical, and even psychological, implications of having multiple sexual partners (not at one time, that’s another story).
Karachi-based sonologist Dr Kishwar Lucas strongly discourages having multiple sexual partners since you are risk of catching a Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) or Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) and it is near impossible to be sure that each one of them is tested and healthy. Further, contraceptives alone cannot save you, she says.
“HIV Aids can be transmitted through saliva and sweat, which is why it becomes highly risky if you get involved in sexual activities with different people,” Dr Lucas says.
“Gonorrhea is a common infection men can have which results in problems in urination and eventually urine failure,” she goes on to add. The sonologist, who also practices gynecology, says she also comes across many women who have ended up with STIs because of their husbands’ affairs with others.
We also spoke to a clinical psychologist about having multiple sexual partners since the practice is not one that is openly accepted in a society like ours, which is bound to have leave some affect on people.
The clinical psychologist, who chose to remain anonymous, said if a person is indulging in sexual activities with various partners out of his or her own will, it may be fine. But at times people don’t always know why they are doing it, she adds.
“Having multiple sexual partners might leave you with a feeling of guilt which consequently will become a cause of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD),” she says.
She goes on to add that psychologists no longer consider having various sexual partners an abnormal or unusual activity anymore. There are instances, however, that people indulge in extreme sexual activities due to a psychological disorder. “One of my patients had Schizophrenia and because of that used to have sex with lots of people. Another woman came to me and shared that how she was abused in her youth and now finds solace in having sex with multiple partners.”
“This happens because people don’t know how to cope with their problems and therefore resorts to abnormal sexual activities,” she adds.
In summary, it’s okay to have different partners as long as, and this is crucial, you know their medical history and should be tested before and after having sex. It’s also okay as long as you are not doing it out of guilt or pressure, and with full consent.
This is part of a series in which we plan on asking question many of you might be unable to or uncomfortable to ask. If you have any questions, drop us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org