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Book review: Dr Cuterus demystifies sexual health

Published on Fri 20 Jan 2023 at 04:43

Dr Cuterus – Everything Nobody Tells You about Your Body shines light on the many unempirical notions about human body, contraception, period, sex and other taboo subjects.

By Jisha Krishnan 

Is period blood toxic? Does semen have nutritional value? Is vagina the female equivalent of the penis? The answer is no, no, and no. If you are surprised by the responses, I strongly recommend Dr Cuterus – Everything Nobody Tells You about Your Body. 

Dr Tanaya Narendra aka Dr Cuterus (the millennial doctor, who has garnered a following of one million on Instagram) does a neat 101 on the human body, contraception, periods, birth control, safe sex, masturbation, pubic hair, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and everything that we are too embarrassed to talk about freely. 

Don’t be misled by the subject matter though. “This is not a book about sex,” says the debutant author in the very beginning. It’s so much more – it’s about the power of knowledge, it’s about science, it’s about critical thinking, it’s about feminism, it’s about self-love. 

There’s a section in the book that talks about vaginal washes and the misogyny behind the idea. Dr Tanaya quotes her “personal hero, star gynaecologist and author Dr Jen Gunter” who says, “Cleaning inside the vagina is like cigarettes for your vagina”. And yet, there’s no dearth of these ‘female hygiene products’ in the market! 

A good book makes you think – long after you have read that last page. And Dr Cuterus manages to do that – not just with what she says, but also how she says it. I like her cheeky sense of humour, simple illustrations (the 29-year-old doc is a multi-tasker) and her conversational approach to encouraging a healthy, sex-positive attitude to life. 

Published by Penguin Books, this book is essential reading for young adults and even older adults, who may have been living with half-baked or unscientific ideas about sexual health.