Dr.Sandrine Atallah, MD, MHM, FECSM, ECPS, is a consultant in sexual medicine and a certified psycho-sexologist.
Our chat with Dr. Sandrine turned into a discussion around sexual education and misinterpretations around sexual ideologies in the region, a highly sensitive yet taboo subject of matter.
Dr. Sandrine Talks about Sex in the Arab World.
“As we grow up, we are told that sex isn’t a topic to be openly spoken about. The problem is a bio-psycho-social one. The lack of communication around the topic often leads to distress amongst many of the young population. One thing I commonly see in young clients coming into the clinic for is performance anxiety,” Dr. Sandrine tells Empower Mag.
On the other hand, Dr. Sandrine raises a crucial point around the vitality of sexual education.
“What we must take into account is that sometimes sexual dysfunction leads to distress, which can cause all sorts of mental health-related issues, such as depression.”
Self Confidence and Sex
While discussing many issues around the taboo of sex and the stigma around speak publically about the topic, Dr. Sandrine mentions, “self-confidence can also be correlated with sexual confidence. Couples need to understand that no one has it the right first time around. Just like learning how to ride a bike, great sex will come over time and practice. A couple’s sex life has a direct impact on their mental health.”
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Sex Education in the Middle East
The purpose of our discussion with Dr. Sandrine was to intentionally help people understand that sex, just like mental health, is in great need of education to help prevent high levels of distress, many of which are caused due to the lack of knowledge around the 3eib [Rude] subject.
“The best way to deliver sexual education is through the schooling system. It needs to be there. Many women still do not have enough knowledge on how to maximize their pleasure. Men who also use substances to increase their testosterone for gyming purposes need to understand that it has a negative impact on their sexual performance.”
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Understanding the above can be crucial for marriages and relationships.
That being said, in societies where sex cannot be an open subject for discussion, we ought to educate ourselves.
That includes claiming responsibility in maintaining a great and happy sexual life, encompassing a free, fluid and open communication with our partners.
Final Advice from Dr. Sandrine Atallah
“Individuals and couples in the Arab region need to seek better quality sexual information, in scientific books, on (Love Matters https://lmarabic.com/) or any other sources that are credible and reliable.”
Just like silence is a common behavior around mental health illnesses, many partners remain silent around their sexual dissatisfaction.
We reach an understanding that a great sex life behind closed doors can almost heavily enhance one’s mental and emotional wellbeing, boosting confidence, and acting as a great source of release or stress reliever.
EMPWR On Sex Education
While the topic remains to be highly taboo in the Middle East, at EMPWR, we aim to deliver relevant and important information that may bring about change.
Sexual Education is definitely in need of more coverage.
On behalf of the Empower team, we thank Dr. Sandrine for her efforts in speaking with the EMPWR’s founder, Ally Salama.
The #PeopleOfEmpower Series aims to shed light on mental well-being through the inclusion of individuals in leadership positions within their communities.
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