Regardless of complexion, belief and even race, one could safely assume that human beings’ response or behaviour when in a sensual mood is almost the same and the feeling unrivalled by any other human activity.
And coupled with the numerous hormones released into the body at that moment, it explains why some people lose composure, some could be shaking, some skip breadth and in some cases, the heartbeat shoots up rapidly.
It is out of this gripping excitement and ecstasy that people do whatever crosses their mind to have that needed satisfaction. And in certain instances, they abandon the normal sexual intercourse to explore other ways, all in a bid to reach that needed destination.
Perhaps, exploring other options is in tandem with a famous quote by one of the most popular poets in the 17th century, William Cowper, who said, “Variety is the very spice of life that gives it all its flavour.”
The things people do include oral sex, anal sex, masturbation, watching pornography and having sex with a woman even while she is menstruating.
Clearly and undoubtedly, some of these aforementioned sexual activities could make people reach climax and eliminate one of the people’s worst sexual fears – unwanted pregnancy. But beyond that excitement, studies have shown that each of those sexual activities have varying inherent dangers in them.
Thus, it is imperative to point these out.
Oral sex: While people who don’t do it consider the act as very irritating and largely repulsive, people who ‘do’ it or ‘receive’ it are wont to describe it as a nice experience and great shortcut to sexual satisfaction. It used to be an act performed by prostitutes, but findings have shown that couples now do it and women are twice more likely to perform it on men than men doing it on women.
However, people who do it feel there is no possibility of getting sexually transmitted diseases, but studies have shown that it has a high risk of transmitting certain STIs – bacterial and viral infections. The National Health Services in the United Kingdom identifies the STIs that are commonly caught through oral sex to include gonorrhoea, syphilis and genital herpes, which is a viral disease that affects the skin, often with blisters, or the nervous system. Apart from these, infections like Chlamydia, HIV, hepatitis A, B, and C, genital warts and pubic lice can also be passed through oral sex, but with less likelihood.
Medical News Today, a leading health care publishing company in the United States, has however warned that infected persons might not know on time that they have been infected. Also, the Chief Medical Officer, American Cancer Society, Dr. Otis Brawley, has revealed that it is possible to get throat cancer from oral sex, especially if the person the act is being performed on is infected. “It’s not oral sex, per se, that causes cancer, but the human papillomavirus, which can be passed from person to person during sex, including oral sex,” he said.
Anal sex: This simply means sex through the anus, and it is one of the things people do when they are sexually excited. Usually, it is done by homosexuals, a man or woman stimulating another person’s anus using the mouth or tongue, maybe out of excitement, or a man doing backdoor action with a woman. Even though this practice has been condemned by many, some still do it.
Notably, it is a veritable way of transmitting STIs. However, experts have pointed out that the anus has a large quantity of bacteria, being the channel for the passage of faeces. While these bacteria at the anal area may not be harmful to the person, the person doing ‘it’ could contract infections through the penile penetration. The situation gets really worse if after the anal sex, both persons resort to vaginal sex. Experts say it is like importing infections directly into the vagina, which could lead to vaginal and urinary tract infections. And for those who use mouth, it was also revealed that they stand the risk of hepatitis.
According to NHS, the STIs that could be contracted through anal sex include Chlamydia, genital herpes, genital warts, gonorrhea, HIV and syphilis. And for those who insert their finger into someone’s anus, NHS said STIs could also be transmitted through that. Other verified effects of anal sex include anal cancer, severe physical pains, given that the lining of the anus is thin and can easily be damaged, leading to bleeding or sores.
Another effect is anal leakage, occasioned by the penetration, which in turn weakens the ability of the sphincter to contract and hold faeces. Thus, such persons experience loose release of gas and stool. In certain cases, they are advised to use pampers, so faeces won’t fall freely from their anus.
Masturbation: This is when people give themselves sexual pleasure by touching, rubbing or stimulating their genitals or sexual organs for orgasm. Findings have shown that not only singles do it, married persons also indulge in it, for obvious reasons.
While people who do it boast that it rules out contracting STIs and that fear of unwanted pregnancy does not even arise, which, to them, makes it a safe practice, studies have shown that masturbation has its side effects as well. Apart from the fact that frequent or rough masturbation could cause irritation and cause the penis to rupture, lose shape and become swollen, some studies have shown that it could lead to fatigue, blurred vision, hair loss, memory loss, pain in the groin area and premature ejaculation (for men).
More importantly, it has been found to, over time, cause exhaustion and low sex drive with the opposite sex because it is very addictive and the pleasure derived from it does not last for a long time, like that of sex. Perhaps, the most serious implication for men is that it causes seminal leakage, in which case sperm would be coming out (freely) from the penis. In the absence of quality personal hygiene, such persons might have to battle with odour in that region.
Pornography: This involves printed materials, movies, pictures and magazines that show or describe naked people or sex in a very open and direct way in order to cause sexual excitement.
Watching or looking at these items is another way people seek to boost their libido and reach sexual satisfaction. This seems like a ‘harmless’ activity that does not have any link with infection or unwanted pregnancy – people’s worst sexual fears – but it has been found to have its side effects. Some German researchers found that watching pornography, which is addictive, could damage the person’s brain, as it could alter the brain’s structure and functions. They found that watching pornography leads to the release of more dopamine, which causes the brain to be desensitised to its effects and, in effect, reducing decision-making capability.
The lead researcher, Simone Kuhn, pointed out that with the use of magnetic resonance imaging scan, it was discovered that the volume of gray matter in the right caudate of the striatum was smaller among frequent porn viewers than those who didn’t watch. Overall, she said brain changes were noticed between people who watch pornography and those who don’t. “These brain changes are similar to those seen in cocaine addicts, who develop abnormalities in areas, such as the nucleus accumbens and striatum, which are responsible for learning, memory, pleasure and reward,” she added. As an activity that is against the social norm, it has been found to breed low self esteem, and on the other hand, impair the sexual functionality of such persons as it is very addictive.
Having sex with menstruating woman: It is not unusual for women to have increased libido during menstruation, but there have been debates as to whether it is safe to answer that ‘call for a romp in the sack’ at such times or better not to do it.
According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, it is very possible to contract STIs during this period, adding that virus could be present in the menstrual blood. Also, a medical practitioner, Dr. Rotimi Adesanya, said ordinarily, there should be no contraindication for having sex during menstruation, but that persons that have Hepatitis B and C, HIV or other venereal diseases are at a high risk of contracting infections, given the volume of blood at such times. He added, “You know there are some religious reasons why people are told not to have sex at such times, but beyond that, those are the other risk factors associated with sex at such times.
And that is why we encourage such people to exercise patience.” However, people who are bent on having sex with their partner at that time should use condom to reduce the risk. Perhaps, this is particularly useful for men who detest using condom while making love to their “own” partners.