‘If it’s not about sex, it’s not about marriage’

Expert on sexual health says unsatisfactory sex life is leading cause of divorce across the Middle East

sex talk: Dr Heba Kotb, Egypt’s first licensed sexologist, says complaints among couples here include premature ejaculation, erectile dysfunction and drug overuse to increase libido

Dubai: Sex is the backbone of a marriage and couples should not hold back to attain maximum pleasure, a leading sexologist said.

“If it’s not about sex, it’s not about marriage,” said Dr Heba Kotb, Egypt’s first licenced sexologist and an authority on sexual health in the Middle East. She was addressing a media gathering organised by pharma major Pfizer in Dubai last week.

Kotb, who has a PhD in human sexuality from the American Academy of Clinical Sexologists, said: “A lot of married couples want a divorce because they have a poor sex life. Unfortunately, we do not have the exact figures, but common complaints include inability to attain orgasm, premature ejaculation, erectile dysfunction and overdose of drugs to increase libido.”

Courage needed

To improve sexual health, she said couples must be courageous enough to diagnose and admit a dysfunction. “They must free themselves from fear, shame, guilt and other negative psychological factors that inhibit sexual responses. Sometimes, physical diseases and dysfunctions also interfere with sexual functions, so they may have to be addressed as well.”

She said a vast majority of women suffer from unsatisfactory sex lives. “They want sexual fulfillment, but are sometimes unsure about how to express their needs or improve their sex lives. But they must talk about it with their partners and resolve their concerns in a climate of awareness and honesty. If needed, they should seek professional or medical help. There is a lack of family doctors in this part of the world, but things are slowly changing.”

She said couples have many misconceptions about the frequency factor. “They think it is wrong to indulge in frequent sex. There is no restriction as such although it would depend on a number of factors — like health of the female, potency of the male and so on. On an average, if a couple is in good health, sex not less than twice a week is recommended irrespective of age.”

Dr Kotb warned against the indiscriminate use of over-the-counter drugs to deal with erectile dysfunction.

“They have to be indicated in a proper dose and frequency. Research at a Cairo hospital once showed that 68 per cent of males admitted in the ICU were cases of such drug abuse,” she said.

Dr Kotb, who is based in Cairo, claims her views reflect the principles of Islam which encourage a strong marital life, including a healthy sexual relationship between husband and wife.

Your comments

  • Rahim

    Feb 7, 2013 3:48

    Amazing, this is what needs to be read and heard by couples all over. Considering the high rate of divorce amongst couples, its even more important.

  • EKEL

    Feb 7, 2013 2:43

    marriage life is not about sex,doing it 2x a wik,it is about how you respect,love,care and understand ur partner. Being contented of what he/she is,accepting his/her negatives is a great deal for marriege life. As they say, differences of couples makes life more interestingand new everyday.


    Feb 7, 2013 2:37

    Healthy marriage and sex articles are available in the internet. Couples should carefully followed the guidelines in order to fullfill a good relationship. Relationship should stay sweet and caring forever with respect to each other.

  • Dr.Raju M. Mathew

    Feb 7, 2013 10:53

    Unsatisfied and unfulfilled sexual life in marriage lead to sexual perversions, adventures, extra marital affairs and usage of drugs to induce sexual power or pleasures, that ultimately lead to divorce and unhappy family life. The victims are always children without parental love and care. Most teenage boys or girls are fed with wrong viewsand myths about sex or even subjected to sexual abuse by their friends or relatives and house maids or servants. This has a lasting impact on marriage and sexual life of a person. This is one of the price one has to pay for keeping sex as taboo. In this context, the bold stand of XPRESS to discuss sexual problems or sex education is commendable. Marriage becomes pleasurable with satisfied sexual lifeand happy children. Those who cannot enjoy Food, Sleep and Sex cannot lead a happy and meaningful life, what ever may be their wealth, status and achievements. By a process of integration at five levels, everybody can be sexy, smart and happy and remain young for a very long time.Ihave been conducting research on staying young and happy. Some of my findings issues have been discussed at length in my recent works.

  • Ebrahim

    Feb 7, 2013 10:30

    This article could have been written with less detail. The descriptions on problems that one may encounter could have been summed up to a few words.

  • AlbA

    Feb 7, 2013 10:07

    God hates divorce !Before married people even think of divorce, they should think of the children (if any). How would your children feel if they discover later that their parents divorced due to bedroom issues? And by the way, if you want to divorce someone because of issues to do with unsatisfactory sex, how sure are you that your next partnerwill be perfect in this field? Let's ask God to give us wisdom in these matters and not do things blindly.

  • Vidur

    Feb 7, 2013 8:59

    Do not agree with all of the above; We have been married for 10 yrs and trust me , we do not have sex twice a week and we both are perfectly healthy. Marraige is not about sex.... it's about many other key factors (trust, respect, love, helpfulness, finance, etc) and sex is one of those factors, but definitely not the most important factor.I am fit and my partner is good looking too

  • Al Deen

    Feb 7, 2013 8:49

    Nice article. It is 100% true what the doctor is saying. Couples should share their feelings and be more friendly then only will their marriage life stand in all respects. if anyone is shy, fearful or hesitates to share then itwill cause a big problem in their personal life. Try to share everything with your partner bcase she/he is your life partner and he/she is the right person to share. I hope with this article many people will change their thoughts and opinions about their partners.

  • Mohammed

    Feb 7, 2013 7:27

    Thank you Doctor, At last someone came across to state the truth. Hope this statement could bring a smile on many faces. Thanks again.

Latest Comment

Amazing, this is what needs to be read and heard by couples all over. Considering the high rate of divorce amongst couples, its even more important.


7 February 2013 17:26jump to comments