Steaming up the airwaves with advice on you know what
By I. Christianto
JAKARTA (JP): The bashful among us are probably saying a private thank you to the media for its help in clearing up our questions about sex.
People too embarrassed to openly talk about the subject can keep their identities secret in seeking advice from print media columns and radio talk shows.
"I am a married man, and I've been having an affair for 10 years with a married woman who is also a relative of mine," a caller told sexologist Dr. Boyke Dian Nugraha on his show on Trijaya FM.
"She always asks me for sex. She also told me that she has several other male sex partners. Is she addicted to sex or hypersexual?"
Some listeners may have been taken aback that he was asking about the sexual habits of his mistress, and not how to end the affair.
Boyke advised him to stop seeing the woman, saying she was clearly a sex addict.
Another caller worried if her sexual needs were abnormal.
"I frequently pester my husband in bed, am I addicted to sex?" a woman asked Boyke later.
"No, because I believe you do not flirt with others and do not follow a guy to the toilet to have sex there, do you?" Boyke said, reassuring the woman that playful intimacy was to be expected among married couples.
The topic was "Addicted to Sex" on the two-hour show Sex Problems and the Solutions, which airs every Friday night.
Boyke told his audience that sexual addiction was not about the frequency of sex, but about people seeking emotional intimacy through sexual experiences.
"These people, women, men, young or old, are obsessed with sex. They use sex to fulfill their emotional needs. Consultation is needed to help them consider that sex is an enjoyable, healthy thing."
The talk is explicit on the show, with callers bluntly asking about topics such as premature ejaculation, impotence, fertility, pregnancy and masturbation.
Some did, however, shy away from using particular terms. They said "to have that" for having sex, or "my part" in reference to female genitalia.
All the graphic details may be a bit much for some listeners, even in cosmopolitan Jakarta.
Boyke said the response was overwhelming. "There is no letup in the phone calls coming in over the two hours. We do not have a chance to put the phone down."
The questions have changed over the seven years of the radio show, he added.
"The questions are much more sophisticated today, the callers have more knowledge and want to know more. Before there were questions like what is masturbation, but today they ask things like how to find the G-spot or what is the best way to perform oral sex."
Trijaya is not the only station with a sex consultation show. Elshinta features noted sexologist and counselor Dr. Naek L. Tobing every Thursday night.
Naek, who has been writing sex advice columns since the early 1980s, said he faced opposition at first.
"There were a lot of people, especially religious figures, who were against the column. It was difficult at first. And then people realized that part of the show was about sex, but most of it was about the problems people faced. They came to accept it and let it go."
The producer of the show, Krisanti, said the program was well- received by listeners.
"There are about 30 to 50 calls during the program, but we can only air some 10 to 15 calls due to time limitations," she said, adding about 15 letters were mailed to the program per month.
She believed the program showed the growing openness of the public, at least people living in Jakarta, about sexual matters.
"We see that the audience is also learning to be more open. However, after almost a year producing this program, I find it's easier for men to be open. I learned that there are only one or two women among the 10 callers every week."
She said Indonesian women were still reluctant to talk on the air about sex.
"I found it interesting that there were more male callers the time we discussed frigidity, which is usually associated to women. I see this as men's dominance over women."
Sex advice was originally provided in some magazines and tabloids, including men's magazine Matra and women's magazine Femina. Other publications, like the Sunday edition of Warta Kota and several other women's magazines, also have sexual advice columns.
People often feel more comfortable with the anonymity of print media. In one edition of Matra, a man asked about the trauma of his girlfriend who was raped when she was a teenager. Another letter was from a woman complaining that her husband could not arouse her as well as an ex-lover.
Men often ask about ejaculation, masturbation, semen, homosexuality and fertility. Women's inquiries frequently center on rape, frigidity, their husbands' infidelity, virginity, pregnancy and irregular periods.
There is also a mixed bag of myths about sex. Naek answered one inquiry to Matra about whether eating fried chicken from fast food restaurants could cause penises to shrink. He told the worried man that it could not.