‘Women deserve sexual pleasure too’ – Dr Tlaleng Mofokeng
Dr Tlaleng Mofokeng, or Dr T as she is affectionately known, is a medical practitioner who wears many hats with ease. If she isn’t on our television screens as co-host of Show Me Love, she’s writing the Sex Talk column, acting as a full-time commissioner for the Commission for Gender Equality or running a women’s health clinic in Sandton.
She has just added author of Dr T: A guide to sexual health and pleasure to the long list of accolades. To celebrate this milestone, Dr T spilled some tea on the book, music and sex with us.
What’s the funniest term you’ve heard people use for sex?
Shoe-shining! I heard it when I was doing the sexual health show on Kaya. One of the topics was, “How do parents tell each other they want to have sex when there are children in the house?”
One of the callers said she and her husband have a thing about shoe-shining. They’ll start talking about polishing shoes and they’d both know it’s time. It was the funniest one.
Name three songs people should have on their sex playlist.
Red Light Special by TLC, Purple Rain by Prince and, my favourite song, Adorn by Miguel . I have a four-year-old son and I swear that child was made to this song, but that’s just according to me. When I remember that day, I’m like,“This is the song!”
What are you currently reading?
My own book! I was so involved in the process, and in the creative element of deciding on the cover, it’s very personal because I feel like it’s partly my work, a reflection of me.
Is there gender equality on the sexual front?
For me, there’s always something terribly skewed with how women’s sexuality, sensuality, sexual expression and desire is always second-rated.
Men must get pleasure first,then we will. A lot of research is being done around male sexuality and pleasure. You find that women’s pleasure is not researched as much and there is little support for bio-medical solutions. So, for example, if you’re a woman who’s going through menopause, there isn’t much for you around your sexual pleasure that goes specifically beyond just a cream in the vagina.
What would you teach young girls about sex?
That they are sexual beings in their own right and they can explore their own bodies and look at their own vaginas and that their bodies are for them, they have the right for their bodies to be respected.
A hymen is a myth, so if you want to delay your sexual debut, that’s fantastic, but remember you still need information and sexual health goes beyond the act of having sex. You need to know about menstrual health and hygiene; how to treat your periods; the symptoms of PMS, for example. A lot of young girls are going through PMS and they don’t even know what they’re going through.
What is SA getting wrong with sexual and reproductive health?
We don’t have services for queer people, if you’re a transgender woman, for example. Many are self-medicating because there are no protocols or medical guidelines that help the nurses and the doctors on how to assist a patient who is transitioning. If we say, as a country, we’re LGBTQIA+ inclusive, but in that inclusivity there’s no access to services, whether it’s legal or from home affairs or medical, that is a problem.
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