Have you ever bothered to look at the posters adorning walls in dark corridors of commercial buildings? I usually don’t as I have about a minute before I run past these corners that reek of urine before I can let out my breath and breathe normally. Once however, on my way back from a photocopying shop which is located in once such spot, I happened to drop the contents of the file that I was holding and had to spend about 2-3 minutes collecting them. It turned out that it was more than 3-4 minutes that I spent there as I tried to retrieve the documents with one hand while holding my nose with the other.  As I finished the task I looked up and saw them- the posters!

There were these comical pictures of men with enlarged privates and strange expressions on their faces and written in bold “ Are you suffering from VD,  hydrosil, erection problems, herpes or fistula?  For uninterrupted and enjoyable sex life contact Dr XYZ – phone no xxxxxxxxx” . To say that I was amused would be an understatement. I had to control myself from laughing aloud ( it would have attracted a lot of attention considering that I was the only woman there …).  I went back home and shared this information with my husband asking him if he had ever noticed them.  He said that he had but the interesting thing was that most of these posters were located in dark smelly buildings or around walls where men usually urinated.

We wondered what kind of  people these were – both the men who sought help from these so called docs and these quacks who put up posters about the cures that they could offer? “ May be I should go to one of them and see what happens’ teased my husband.  He tried to imitate a man with one of the problems mentioned in the ad “ Sir, I saw an advertisement when I was pissing on the wall of the hospital on 2nd cross street… and I was wondering if I could see you” ?  His tone was conspiratorial with lots of pauses and I was hugely entertained.

But jokes apart- I wonder what ails men so much that they cannot go to a qualified doctor and openly state that they have some sexual problem? Besides, as I found from the advertisement, the problems like fistula or hydrosil were not even of sexual nature though I guess, they were located around the privates. I guess it is something to do with this thing called    “ MOJO”.

I remember watching this film,  where the hero - Mike Meyers ( who is supposed to a be spoof on James Bond )starts yelling suddenly “ I have lost of my mojo”!  Those days I was not so computer savvy and therefore, had to wait for about two years before one bored afternoon, I googled this word “MOJO”. It threw a wide range of possibilities by way of meaning but the one that seemed to fit best with the context in the movie was  “a slang word for self-confidence, self-esteem or sex appeal.”

  So folks, when a man’s self esteem and sex appeal are all so closely interlinked, it is a complicated issue. Unlike us women who acknowledge openly our problems of middle age around the reproductive organs – ovarian cysts, fibroids in our ovaries etc , men I guess find it difficult to talk about these things and much less seek help. As a result they have to contact these quacks and probably whisper out their problems and then shell out a lot of money while hoping for the best.

From the way our society is constructed there is very little openness to talk about problems that relate to sexual dysfunction. Women take it more easily in their stride because upbringing has taught them that their job is not to enjoy sex but to produce children. Men on the other hand have been brought up to believe that it is their right to enjoy sex and part of being a man involves being a “ star performer” on this domain.

Ultimately, I guess it is not about the physical nature of the problem that requires attention, it is the mental state that makes these issues out to be big ones. The guys who are benefitting most from this are ofcourse these quacks who must be laughing all the way to the bank!


  1. I have a feeling that men who approach these quacks for their problems are not any more than people buying specs from platform vendor or those knowing their future from the man with a parrot or the few seeking talisman for winning a girl's heart.As long as gullible exist,these quacks thrive.But let us not generalise from a small specimen

  2. Dear Meera, a very good thoughtful post. I had thought on these same lines many times. Sexual satisfaction is not the personal domain of men. It is these men who end up discussing in whispers their sexual apparatus malfunctions. What do women do? In urban areas, women come up more openly to discuss such taboos, middle class is just opening up. But what about the under-privileged? Are they supposed to endure all that in stoic silence? Making a middle class husband to understand urinary tract infection and pestering him to take his wife to a Doctor is by itself a mammoth task. Imagine the plight of the uneducated and poor women???

  3. I was laughing at the beginning of the post. Never got a chance to notice such posters. Well women atleast know what they are going through..men are complicated when it comes to such matters. That's got me thinking now...why do they call women complicated then?
    Enjoyed your post!

  4. Yes Partha, those days of platform sales of "aphrodisacs" are probably over. Nivedita, you know we in NGOs often talk to women about birth control , Reproductive tract infections etc when they are not the decision makers ( at the poorer ones in rural areas) and UB you hit the nail on the head- who says we women are complicated?

  5. Most of these practioners take advantage of the ego and psyche of these patients.Even at these times,many people like to keep their sexual inadequacies as a secret.And that is why there is a booming market.You don't have to go to the dark lanes..they are all over television these days.And also there is an endless list of herbal products who make crores, selling something which has no data to support.
    The truth is that no one will complain if such a therapy fails.That will be revealing his impotence,isn't it?.

  6. i gues these DOC's doing it to make quick money as the men who g oto them want to keep all this a secret...

    moreover I am yet to reach that age and yet to find one a reason to go to one of these docs .. os cant basically comment :)


  7. Out of the 5 comments that I have got so far 3 are from men- very encouraging! We have a saying in Tamil that says " A theif cannot scream if a scorpion stings him" - this is something like that Dr. Antony. I think the secrecy of the entire thing is where the money lies not to mention all the mumbo jumbo that these docs must be feeding these guys!

  8. hhmmmmm....I think you are right at concluding part that "most of the time it is not about the physical nature of the problem that requires attention but it is the mental state that makes these issues out to be big ones.....

  9. Things always found on dingy walls - porn posters and sex therapists. Mind you both are very similar and cater to same crowd

  10. Though a very humorous piece, it addresses a very serious issue. Actually I was laughing while reading the first half of it but got serious at the second half. Our society gauges a man’s ability by his virility and reproductive ability and these are all connected to their ability to dominate, “Mard ho, ek aurat ko kaabu nahi rakh sakte? Napunsak ho gaye ho kya?” It is sad and all the more difficult for the men.

    I remember in Gone with the Winds, when Rhett’s and Scarlett’s first born was a girl, everyone around doubted that Rhett would be frustrated for having his first born, a girl! Rhett of course defied all the popular conventional thoughts and ways!

    Loved the write up Meera.

    And hats off to the ever-most witty comment from your husband, “Sir, I read about your clinic while pissing on the wall......” it is too much.

    I think I will now write a piece on this men pissing on the wall thing!

  11. Ani waiting to read the post on men pissing on the walls.

  12. Meera, need a tip or two from your hubby, from your anecdotes, I gather he has an excellent sense of humour!

  13. Madam, ur articl was straight . but may be their target customers wer teenagers.Have u seen Such docs making gud revenue?. Writer sujatha had written a short story on this kinda ppl(docs) . they will b basically]
    1.Age 50+
    2.An UG and had read some books
    3.seeked a govt job for some time (a long time fancy)
    4.No other go
    so he turns allrounder as
    etc etc ., whic do nt invite any hard/physical wrk.
    so it s nt the prob of masses.. the prob is with the doc s running such camps.
    so jus drop pitty on them.
    also u may have seen such ppl in film "UNNAI THEDI" a film by Surya and sneha.. with a lodge based Professionals.

  14. Hello Kamalika welcome to my blog. I agree that these guys ( the docs) are basically losers but then there is usally no supply without a demand for anything ? Have not seen the film you mentioned. But I will certainly see it. BTW you may like to watch " Mumbai Matinee' a hindi film about people like the one I wrote about

  15. *laughing*...this is so similar with what is operable in Nigeria! Poverty is the reason why people patronize them.


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