Dr Watsa’s cheeky responses to curious queries on sex and sexual health made ‘Ask The Sexpert’ one of the most widely-read sections in India’s Mirror editions.
Former gynaecologist and the man behind the widely-read ‘Ask the Sexpert’ column in Mumbai Mirror, Dr Mahinder Watsa, passed away on Monday at the age of 96. Dr Watsa was known for his cheeky responses to the hundreds of curious questions from readers on sex and sexual health. An official statement, given to Mumbai Mirror by Dr Watsa’s family read, “Dad was a man of many dimensions. He lived a glorious life and on his terms. Today, we would like to celebrate his life as he has passed on to join his beloved Promila.”
Dr Watsa’s witty responses to obscure and, sometimes, hilarious queries made the column ‘Ask The Sexpert’, printed across all Mirror editions in India, one of the most-read sections. The questions ranged from panicked men asking if their partners would become pregnant, teenagers asking if ‘too much masturbation’ is bad, and some curious experimentalists who wished for a twist in their sex lives.
But what Dr Watsa efficiently did with his tongue-in-cheek humour was also busting fake news and break taboos. Sample this:
“Q: I have heard that any kind of acidic substance can prevent pregnancy. Can I pour some drops of lemon or orange juice in my girlfriend’s vagina after the intercourse? Will it harm her?
A: Are you a bhel puri vendor? Where did you get this weird idea from? There are many other safe and easy methods of birth control. You can consider using a condom.”
Mumbai Mirror editor Meenal Baghel, in her 2015 profile of the sexologist, had penned how Dr Watsa has answered over 20,000 readers’ queries since he began writing in Ask The Sexpert column from the year 2005.
In the 1970s, when Dr Watsa was a part of the Family Planning Association of India, he proposed that a sexual counselling and education programme should be introduced. Though the idea faced much opposition at the time, FPAI started India’s first sex education, counselling and therapy centre. In 1974, Dr Watsa also began his career as a columnist by giving medical advice, sex education and busting common misconceptions in a column in a women’s magazine.
Dr Watsa has been instrumental in changing the way sex education is viewed in India, not just with his Mumbai column, but with his daily practice as well.
Dr Watsa was born in Calcutta, but since his father worked as a medical researcher with the British Army, he lived across India and neighbouring countries as well, including Mhow (Madhya Pradesh), Lahore (Pakistan) and Yangon (Myanmar).
“The need and the importance of someone like Dr Watsa comes from the Indian state’s continuing prudish reluctance to introduce sex education in schools and colleges,” writes Meenal Baghel.
Dr Watsa had then told her this is because “in the sexual act, we want to come across as perfect. It comes down to all about self-worth.” Which is why people are so fascinated by pornography and having less and less intercourse with another person, he had said.
The editor also shared that if there is one bit of sex advice that Dr Watsa would insist on it was: “Consent. Consent.Consent.”
Here is another witty responses from Dr Watsa:
“Q: I am a 32-year-old happily married man. Recently, I’ve been having mixed feelings about cheating on my wife. I have a goat; her name is Ramila. Over the past two months, I have been thinking about how it would feel to make love to her. Is this normal? Will I contract a goat-related STD? Please help!
A: Ask Ramila whether she would like it! Bestiality is not considered normal and it is illegal.”
Q: My family is demanding that I get married. How can I ascertain if the girl is a virgin?
A: I suggest you don’t get married. Unless you appoint detectives, there is no way to find out. Spare any poor girl of your suspicious mind.https://t.co/RuamJmEaYv
— ayeshea (@ayeshea) December 28, 2020
The most popular columnist at @MumbaiMirror was Dr Mahinder Watsa. I’d like to say he was the paper’s heart, albeit he answered questions on other vital organs mostly. We would take selfies with him when he came for the odd event. Now, there is no paper, and no Dr Watsa. RIP.
— namrata zakaria (@namratazakaria) December 28, 2020
Dr Mahinder Watsa, the almost legendary ‘sexpert’ for Mumbai Mirror, is no more. With the daily version of the paper now history, it’s almost as if he decided he’ll have to find another publisher in another world. I’m sure he’ll arouse a lot of laughter wherever he’s gone.
— Rahul Fernandes (@newspaperwallah) December 28, 2020
For a country that does not teach its young people to freely talk about their bodies and their sexual needs, Dr Mahinder Watsa was a beacon of light and hope. May he rest in peace.
— Rituparna Chatterjee (@MasalaBai) December 28, 2020
Q: Is it safe if penis is kept in the vagina when sleeping?
Dr. Watsa: Usually when the penis returns to flaccid state, it will slide out of the vagina. Even if does not, be rest assured the vagina will not have it for breakfast.
RIP, doc. Thanks for the laughs! #MahinderWatsa
— Shasvathi Siva (@shasvathi) December 28, 2020