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Photo by: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post
Bomb shelter intimacy
By JUDY SIEGEL-ITZKOVICH
20/11/2012
No baby boom expected in nine months, but warmth and non-sexual contact can help cope with tension.
 
Unlike many previous periods of war, the current conflict with Gazan terrorists is not likely to bring about a baby boom in nine months, predicted Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center sexologist Idan Militscher on Monday.

He explained that the short periods in fortified rooms and shelters will not lead to procreation, but love can and should be expressed between partners in other ways in order to release tension and anxiety.

Militscher, who runs the hospital’s sexology clinic for men, said that during types of military conflicts that cause high levels of anxiety, people go into survival mode rather than seek to procreate.

He explained that there is a great deal of hormonal activity during war that reduces sexual urges and sexual functioning.

The sexologist does not think a baby boom will result this time, because “the size of the conflict is relatively small and has not required a general call-up of reservists. If a large number of soldiers are needed, there is a natural tendency for them to have sex with their partners before leaving for the battlefield for the innate intent of leaving progeny.”

In addition, reservists are not knowingly going to fight at this point, but for training and various tasks.

Baby booms in war occur after most of the young men are deployed, when they go on leave or after the fighting is over; soldiers have sex to strengthen the feeling of closeness with their partners and relieve tension, said Militscher.

But Operation Pillar of Defense is different.

While there is not much privacy in reinforced rooms or shelters, he advised couples to nevertheless share warmth, contact and nonsexual intimacy in order to strengthen the family and the couple’s bond. Physical contact helps to relieve aggressive urges resulting from terror attacks and the disruption of regular life. Research shows the importance of touch to our physical and mental health, he said.

“A hug, a caress and kisses – with the children as well – are very important in these times. It’s important to plan what you will do in the fortified room, including family games that give a feeling of control, and later, when the all-clear is sounded, couples will feel better,” Militscher said.
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