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Dr. Richard Boroditsky


My grandson says 'My Zaida is a vaginacologist'

by Rhonda Spivak, February 10, 2011

Dr.  Richard Boroditsky,  director of the University of Manitoba Mature Womens Centre at the Victoria General Hospital,  has given  sex talks to countless groups of people before, ‘but never to a group of philanthropic Jewish women” he confessed at the outset of his remarks given at the home of Ruth and David Asper.

The fundraising event entitled “Sex in the City” on January 17 was a program of the Combined Jewish Appeal's Women's Philanthropy division, was was co-chaired by Val Thompson and Ruth Asper.

Actually, it’s unfortunate that the CJA didn’t make a You Tube video of Boroditsky’s talk –because I think it would have gone viral.  His engagingly frank speaking style removed embarrassment from a topic most of us had never discussed with our parents or teachers. (see my previous article  “What Kind of Sex Education Did We Ever Get at Joseph Wolinsky Collegiate by clicking here.)

At the outset of the event, Al Benarroch, Clinical Director, Jewish Child and Family Services indicated that proceeds from the event would go towards providing a challah or a meal on shabbat to families where the mother is undergoing treatment for breast cancer or other illness. “The idea is to have the community supporting and helping a family heal. This is fundamental to being Jewish. As a community we want to support those in need and we hope this will lead to other ways of supporting the healing of families.. We are looking at the idea of healing circles, having a mentorship network where a woman who has beaten breast cancer will help and support someone who is going through it now.”

Boroditsky began his talk by saying that he has been involved in issues pertaining to women’s sexuality “from the womb to the tomb.”

He  noted that people want to know “what is normal” in regard to sexuality, because they want to know ‘am I normal?”

He explained the physiology of the big O:
“I like to describe orgasm as a pelvic sneeze…you first develop increased blood flow into the pelvis. then pelvic fullness and congestion ,followed by a sudden release of this congestion ( A sneeze) ” [aaaaahh -choo]

He said that our societal norm promotes the following ;sex means intercourse, and intercourse is for marriage only and marriage is for reproduction, and that “all other forms of sexual activity are notacceptable. Immoral and perverted”Therefore premarital sex and sex after menopause is unnecessary , redundant and in some eyes immoral and perverted

‘‘The clitoris doesn’t appear until grade nine in Manitoba”, Boroditsky noted, saying that until such time there is no mention of the clitoris in sex education books, diagrams and curricula as its  only purpose is “for pleasuring.” Why discuss pleasure when you teach sex education

Boroditsky also referred to the way that older textbooks used to present the notion of  masturbation in negative ways [it was referred to as ‘onanism’], although it is a completely natural sexual behavior.  It feels good, and can be an alternative to coitus in older couples that are unable or unwilling to have intercoursrs It can also be a release for sexual tension (Horniness)and may lead to a decrease in high risk sexual behavior  and sexual aggression in young people

“Prepubertal children, although they don’t have a sex drive per se, are also involved in sexual pleasure,’ he added. Boroditsky told a joke about a young boy who was masterbating in a sand box and was told by his parent, “you keep that up young man and you’ll go blind. The child responded, ‘O.K. can I do it until I need glasses.’

Boroditsky spoke a bout the secondary sexual changes atpuberty, when there is ‘a bombardment of hormones—and everything tells youth ‘‘to do it.’ However, he said, males and females think  differently. ‘Girls give sex to obtain love and boys give love to obtain sex.’ They have different agendas which can lead to conflict ,an increase in high risk sexual behavior as well as physical ,emotional and sexual abuse

He quipped that when a boy uses a line ‘I can’t stop” a girl  ought to respond “I hear your mother coming.” He will stop on a dime.

He noted that studies show that the age of first sexual contact—any form of  it-is age 14, and  very often they abstain from intercourse but may be involved in  oral serx t.
“Many adolescent girls are having anal sex because  they are still “Virgins” and they can’t get pregnant that way,” Boroditsky said. However, “Anal sex is the most  risky form of sexual activity as it may leads to serious sexually transmitted diseases [STD’s].”
He recommended a website as a good resource regarding contraception choices, sexually transmitted diseases, pregnancy, and sexual health.

Boroditsky also spoke about the issue  as to  what extent schools ought to be involved in  sex education, noting that most teachers are limited by the  information they  are allowed to teach and are not able to convey the information they believe is necessary to insure their sexual health 
He spoke about how to talk to adolescents about the subject.

When he goes to speak at schools, Boroditsky tells students that until they are 18 years old don’t have intercourse ,it is a health risk ,However, he then says if you don’t listen to me “Use condoms  and the [birth control]‘pill.” He then tells   them about things they really want to know,  “what to do when you get turned on (horny) and how to be a good lover”
He promotes abstinence from intercourse  and  if you are sexual  engage in non coital pleasuring “ Orgasm without Organisms”

He said that statistics showed that the average number of sexual partners before marriage for a woman is 3-4, while fro a men, the average number is 6-8.

For married couples raising young  children, the  major  cause of sexual dysfunction are “fatigue,boredom,with the same routine ,lack of variety and more recently medications suh as antidepressants that decrease sexual desire and sexual arousal”

Boroditsky gave the audience a laugh when he told a story of   one woman who came to see him. He asked, are you sexually active? She responded, “No I just lie there.”
Boroditsky also spoke about menopause—which he said “shouldn’t be a pause from men.”

He had the crowd in stitches laughing when he described the ‘seven dwarfs of menopause as ‘Itchy. Bitchy, Sweaty, Bloaty, Sleepy, Forgetful and Psycho.”

He also said that a major problem  older women is that they may not have a functioning or available  partner. Other forms of sexual activity other than intercourse, should be acknowledged andpromoted.Many women have to be given permission and support to engage in non coital pleasuring

Older people may be on numerous medications or may also have memory loss which can lead to confusion and sexual dysfunction  He joked that some ask themselves, “Did I have it today?”

He also told a story of two older women, Mrs. Cohen and Mrs. Smith.  Mrs. Cohen lived in a senior’s residence and every night she had a “gentleman caller.’  She told Mrs. Smith,

“He rubs my thighs. I rub his thighs and then we sing Jewish songs.”

Mrs. Smith, who lived at a different senior’s residence responded that she too had a gentleman caller every evening and they did the same thing—he rubbed her thighs and she rubbed his thighs, but “we don’t know any Jewish songs so we screw.”

Regarding sexual orientation, Boroditsky said that “usually people come out of the closet in their late teens or early adulthood,” and that the stigma of homosexuality is still present today. According to Boroditsky, “the brain is sexed sometime early in utero” and “very few people are 100% heterosexual or 100 % homosexual. They are somewhere on the spectrum.”  

After Borodistsky’s talk, the women were treated to a table of delightful desserts donated by Beth Grubert’s Baked Expectations.

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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

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