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WAS Congress-Glasgow 2011

Sexual research! Why you might wonder, do we need to research sexuality? Isn’t sex something to do rather than to talk about and research it? Isn’t sex a natural function? Don’t we learn what we need to know from personal experiences? But, there a lot of things related with sexuality that need to be explored. The 20th World Congress of the World Association for Sexual Health (WAS), which was held in Glasgow, UK (12-16 June 2011) was a place where many things were revealed under the motto “Forging the Future: Sexual Health for the 21st Century”. The biennial WAS Congress united international clinicians, researchers, educators, activists and policy makers specializing in the multitude of fields related to sexual health. More than 1000 participants from 67 countries had the opportunity to share knowledge on diverse issues of behavioral, clinical, psychological, social and cultural aspects of sexual health.  Some of the most prominent experts from various disciplines were invited to address topics related with human sexuality.

Why and where we should research? What is the future of the sex research? In which direction the research of human sexuality should be developed? These were some of the questions which were raised in the presidential address of the professor John Bancroft. He also appealed that we should all think about it.

This big scientific event offered an inspiring, compelling, and cutting-edge blend of research and science-based practices and opportunities to meet and network the world leading professionals in sexology, who are making efforts to promote sexual health, rights and sexually healthy societies worldwide.  It was very interesting to listen to the lecture from professor emeritus Beverly Whipple, which was entitled as: “The life work of a sexual health educator and researcher. She recieved the WAS Gold Medal for her work in the field of sexuality and women. She is one of the researchers who raised awareness of the G-spot and female ejaculation as well as the prostate gland surrounding the urethra.

At the congress, we also used the opportunity to make an interview with the president of WAS, d-r Rosemary Coates from Australia, who is the first female president of this association. In the pleasant conversation with her, among other important issues, she appealed for more research of the positive aspects of sexuality, like pleasure, love, enjoyment...

Last year, the World Association for Sexual Health successfully instituted and celebrated the first World Sexual Health Day on the 4th September. This year WAS has chosen to focus on youth’s sexual health and has elected the slogan: Youth's sexual health: Shared rights and responsibilities, as its central message. The particular aim is to involve as many young people as possible, to promote and facilitate for the voices of young people to be heard.

Sexpresso Reporters @ WAS Congress in Glasgow 2011The fact that the sexual experience is multidimensional was presented on the symposium Body, heart and spirit: Three approaches to woman’s sexual desire. Three wonderful women researchers from different perspectives presented female sexuality. For example, we learned that before we go on a sexual safari, we should get a good map. Also, we should open the heart to erotic connection. This symposium also discovered the secrets of tantric lovemaking, sexual desire and ecstasy.

As a part of the sessions “Meet the experts”, we again had the opportunity to meet Julia Heiman, the director of the Kinsey Institute. She had a lecture on topic Betting on futures for sex research.

As one of the contemporary trends in the field of the scientific research of human sexuality and as a practical application in sexual therapy, on this congress was noticed the concept of mindfulness. There were few lectures dedicated to this topic, like that one for mindfulness applications to women’s sexual difficulties.

Many presentations addressed significant aspects of the sexuality education,  as well as cutting-edge developments in the field; while other lectures focused on the past and future of theory, research, and professional practice related to human sexuality.

Few representatives of the Komaja Institutions, members of WAS also participated at this big scientific happening, celebrating human sexuality. They presented the newest results from the training program dedicated to female sexuality. They had two presentations entitled as “The Orgasmic Woman - a training program for sexual wellbeing: results from the follow up study" and “Greater body awareness and sexual enjoyment through the erotic power training: results from the training program The Orgasmic Woman.”

On the General Assembly of WAS, which was held during the congress, Singapore was elected as a destination where WAS Congress will be happening in 2015. But till then, before we will meet at the next World Congress for Sexual Health in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in June 2013. But till then...?! There are still a lot of things to be discovered!