Hailing from the East and settled in the West; I see vast differences in the way sex is treated as a subject in both parts of the world. Growing up, it was slowly but firmly ingrained in me that pre-marital sex is a taboo.
The advantage to this approach is manifold. The rates of teen pregnancy are low. Children have a sense of knowing right from wrong since an early age albeit out of fear of parents or social stigma. As a result of non-indulgence, the child’s focus is not lost and they have more time to focus on academics or other co-curricular activities. The issue with it being such a taboo though, is that most girls view it as an undertaking of sorts and it can take them quite some time after marriage to have that kind of vulnerability with their partners.
In the West, it is much easier to fall trap to sex at an earlier age; call it the influence of media; innocent /fragile minds, not as much harping by parents, freedom of choice for kids or the openness of the society. It is not a very uncommon scenario to come across teen pregnancies. Besides the health issues like HIV, STD, etc; these young boys and girls are more vulnerable to abuse and mistreatment at the hands of a partner. As a result, their minds get scarred and eventually most end up having relationship or emotional issues.
So how to find the balance? Per Ayurveda, it goes back to knowing and adhering to the guidelines set forth by this ancient timeless system of medicine. Sex is a natural phenomenon which is essential for a healthy thriving relationship. But there are some do's and don’ts for sex as well. And it for sure is important to have control over sexual desires.
Why have control over sexual desires at all?
Per Ayurveda, Shukra Dhatu (generative tissue) is present all over the body. When present in the sex organs, it gives rise to sperm and ovum & when present in the other organs, it is responsible for the regeneration of the same tissue or organ. Formation of the sperm and ovum which have the ability to perpetuate human life is the most evolved function of the generative tissue.
The shukra dhatu is discharged during intercourse and the function of this tissue is to provide one with stability, strength, courage, love & happiness. Hence the excessive loss of shukra results in loss of these.
During intercourse, not only shukra but ojas is also lost. Ojas is the finest essence of all tissues and is responsible for providing an individual with immunity, energy, luster & strength. Ojas is as important for the human body as "prana" is for life!
Excessive intercourse results in the loss of reproductive fluid & ojas. Ever notice, you feel a lack of energy & strength after an intercourse? Now you know why! Therefore restrained sexual activity is the key to physical & mental health!
Some Guidelines Governing Sex
Per Ayurveda, sex should be performed taking into consideration the season, age and constitution of both partners.
Winter is the time for strength; our bodies are endowed with energy; the weather outside is cold and in order to turn up the heat we end up eating more and sex can be enjoyed frequently or as per one’s desires.
During summer, our body is the weakest, the heat is the external environment increases the heat within; we lose body fluids through sweating and dehydration. Thus, additional loss of fluids makes the body even more fragile so the suggested frequency for sex is every 15 days.
During spring and autumn, our energy levels are somewhere between the levels of winter & summer. Thus, sex is recommended every 4 days.