I must have been no older than 12 when I first saw a sign that said ‘Gupt Rog Clinic’ and misunderstood it as ‘Gupta Rog Clinic’. Wondering why Delhi has so many doctors named “Gupta”, I asked my mother this question. She laughed and clarified that it was not a medical franchise, but a kind of doctor who treats secret diseases.

What those secret diseases were, I had no idea. She wouldn’t tell me either.

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Several years later, I heard a group of men laughing loudly in a cafe, one of them hesitant to share how his date went. Her friends casually asked, “Gupt rog doctor ke paas le jayein tujhe? (Should we take you to a sex therapist?) and burst out laughing. Later that day I asked a male friend what that meant who explained that these guys were referring to a sex therapist.

This is the central message of Dr. AroraImtiaz Ali’s new OTT show on Sony Liv: “Jab tak gupt rahega, tab tak rog rahega (The disease will exist as long as it remains secret)

OTT platforms have given filmmakers an unprecedented level of creative freedom. A film with even a single sex sequence would be the target of the censor board’s wrath. With OTT platforms, filmmakers can experiment with the format and content of the stories they want to tell.

Dr. Arora is a great example of this welcome change.

Imtiaz Ali, who is best known for his modern romance stories, has dabbled in different genres on OTT. She, its OTT debut, is a crime drama series that recently got a second season on Netflix. With Dr Arora- Gupt Rog VisheshagyaImtiaz Ali addresses the social stigma against men’s sexual health in a serious yet lighthearted way.

Imtiaz Ali OTT
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The show’s trailer was released last week and gave viewers insight into the issues surrounding men’s sexual health and the fragility of masculinity as it depends on a man’s sexual prowess. Imtiaz Ali refutes the sexist argument, “What’s a man without his sexual prowess?” in a calm and composed way, much like the main character of the series played by Kumud Mishra.

His answer is simple. Sterility has nothing to do with a man’s masculinity or virility.

erectile dysfunction bollywood
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Sex therapists are the second most sought-after doctors, according to a report by Just dial. Apparently India has seen a 28% increase in demand for sexologists with most queries coming from cosmopolitan cities like Delhi and Mumbai. For many women, gynecologists double as sex therapists, but where do men go for advice about their sexual health?

We may have moved away from our parents’ puritanical approach to sex by having more honest and open conversations about it. However, when it comes to sexual health issues, we have a long way to go.

Men's Sexual Health Movies
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It is heartening to see the Indian film industry making great strides in normalizing conversations about men’s sexual health. The 2017 movie, Shubh Mangal Savdhan was probably the first mainstream film on the subject with a male protagonist who erectile dysfunction (ED). When the female protagonist, Sugandha, finds out about Mudit’s ED, she is quite understanding and says, “We don’t need to have sex, Mudit. There are so many other things we can do.

Prior to this, the only reference Bollywood made to male impotence or sterility was through indirect references via an adoption or surrogacy storyline in movies like Chori Chori Chupke Chupke and Filhaal.

Movies and shows about men's sexual health
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In the trailer for Dr. Arora, a patient points a gun at the doctor and threatens to shoot him if he reveals his identity. Instead of showing fear, Dr. Arora calmly said, “Everything will be alright. Do you understand?” He knows how fragile a man’s ego can be when the part of the body that’s supposed to make him manly fails. He understands that his patient’s anger stems from shame and fear.

This is the sad reality of a society where the slightest sexual health problem brings shame. As a result, most men do not consult medical professionals for fear of being exposed and labeled as impotent.

Male Sexual Health Issues
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Although problems like erectile dysfunction are a physical condition, they are also closely linked to men’s mental health. sexual incompatibility, performance pressurelow self-confidence and low self-esteem – these mental health issues are closely linked to conditions related to sexual health.

Male protagonists in movies and TV shows have always been portrayed as hypermasculine creatures with great sexual prowess who sexually dominate women. But what happens when a man’s ability to adapt to society’s rules about sex and masculinity is affected by physiological conditions?

This is the question that Imtiaz Ali wants to explore with Dr. Arora.