Sexolve is equal rights activist Harish Iyer’s Q&A space on FIT.
If you have any queries regarding sex, sexuality or your relationship, and need some advice, answers or just someone to hear you out – write in to Harish Iyer, and he’ll try and ‘sexolve’ it for you. Drop in a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This week’s Q&As below:
'My Boyfriend Was Almost Kissing A Man'
Dear Rainbow Man,
These days, I have been in two minds over someone I love. I just landed in Mumbai from the US and thought it would be a great feeling to land into the arms of someone I randomly fell in love with. But I am uncertain about where my life is going. I mean, I saw him with another man a few days back. They were hugging and kissing each other.
I know that my boyfriend is a little free in terms of spirit, but I didn’t know that his wildness was for other men too. I have seen him kiss women before. But this was the first time that I saw him kiss another man. I mean, I didn’t see him kiss him on his lips, but they were standing close enough and moving their hands over each other’s hairs like how lovers do. I didn’t think it was unromantic in anyway. Also after that, when we got out, they both were inseparable with their pinkies intertwined with each other. It is strange, because all this was happening right in my face with both of them aware that I was looking. It made me wonder, did they do this to cheese me off? Is my boyfriend trying to leave me? Don’t get me wrong, RainbowMan, I am not a homophobe. But this is a very uncomfortable feeling… you know when your stomach churns in a weird way… and you experience something eerie… you know the feels? Please help me see sense in all this blindness, dude. Please help.
Dear Worried Girlfriend,
Thank you for writing in. Yes, “I know the feels”. May not have experienced them the same way as you did, but I know the zone where your experience fits in. At the outset, let me assure you – I don’t think you qualify as a homophobe if you find your partner with another man. You are a homophobe only if the life of another person, who they love, and their independence, makes you uncomfortable enough for you to attack them.
I can understand that it is not a comfortable place to be at when you see the love of your life in the arms of another. Irrespective of the gender of the “another”, it is.
It shocks me to read that you have been putting up with this uncomfortable feeling for too long. What do you mean by “I have seen him kiss women before”. Did that happen with your consent? Was it agreed to as the terms of your relationship?
Every relationship has a code of conduct. Every relationship is defined by the couple in terms of what are the boundaries of the relationship. Did you at any time agree to an open relationship? Or a relationship without any rules? If not, then, why didn’t you confront him? What are you waiting for? Next Karwa Chauth?
You have to ask him, dude. You have to stop suffering in silence. If you are scared of losing your partner, let me assure you, that keeping these things in your heart and not clearing the air with your partner is the best way to fail a relationship.
Do not be scared to do things that may create some unpleasantness. Asking for the truth comes at a (little) price we pay for more clarity and for our own sanity.
You don’t need to necessarily ask in a confrontational way, rather use a conversational method. Sit down for coffee or a romantic do and ask him if he was kissing women and closely hugging men to make you jealous or was it that he has romantic inclinations towards others? Ask him if he loves you, and if it comes to that, discuss the parameters of the romantic relationship you share with him.
I don’t know if your partner is straight, gay or bi. Only he can tell you that. I can tell you though, that unlike the US, India is full of men who are extremely touchy-feely with each other. They may even hug and kiss each other and may confirm that they are heterosexuals. It is a cultural thing. We, in India, are a little more uninhibited in male-male bonding.
I don’t know if this is bro-mance or romance, but I do know that it's your right to exercise your choice to ask him questions and then decide if you want to take a chance. His sexuality immaterial, ensure that you don’t allow yourself to feel bad if someone else is the one who is breaking the rules and cheating in the game of love.
P.S. Investment of heart is an investment too. Invest carefully.
'I Plan To Get Home A Dog To Get Over My Break Up'
I have been watching your Facebook and Twitter updates for too long, and thought that I should drop you a question on sexolve. Well, this may not be your regular question, because I am not in a regular situation. My question is - I saw that you help a lot of animals. I want to buy a German shepherd. Could you tell me where I could buy one? Also, I haven’t had a happy childhood, and a week back, I broke up with my girlfriend. Will getting a dog help me recover? Do let me know.
Dear Doglover Guy,
At the outset, I thank you for writing to me and for reading what I share.
I can vouch for the fact that pets can bring in uninhibited joy in our lives. They are without sin and full of love. They understand and they react, and they sometimes do it better than what we do to console or comfort each other.
Pets look over you, but they need to be looked after too.
The idea of getting a pet cannot be just on the basis of getting emotional support. It is a commitment of a lifetime and something that would need you to give as much love and attention as you get from your pet.
Also, are you getting a permanent fixture in your life, to combat a temporary feeling of hurt? What happens when the hurt goes away? Will the dog hold the same relevance and reverence in your life?
Pardon my judgement – you would be extremely cruel if you abandon your pet either emotionally or physically after you have achieved your goal. So please do not do that. You could spend time in an animal shelter or visit some friend’s home to pet their dog and speak to their dogs.
And finally, if you decide to be owned by a dog after considering all the commitments it would require, I would urge you to be more considerate and listen to my last request.
I cannot suggest any breeders to buy dogs, because I believe in adopting and not buying. There are many dogs that need homes in many foster homes and shelters. Give them a chance. Also, there is a cruel puppy mill industry functioning thanks to unethical breeders who use female dogs as baby making machines. Let’s get dogs with thorough research to assure that we are not patronising this unethical industry.
P.S. Don’t use pets as Band-Aid solutions, when they see you as life-companions.
'My Husband has Performance Anxiety'
I want to share something important. My husband is the kindest soul ever and I am the luckiest woman alive to have him. I kid you not. Unfortunately, he is a bit on the plumper side and that has affected his confidence a lot.
He never had this issue with his ex-girlfriends which makes me even more insecure. And there are fights nowadays, that are becoming quite the norm, and it leaves me frustrated sometimes and I end up comparing myself with all of them and feel even worse.
Please know that I know he loves me and he feels terrible about the whole situation and he apologizes profusely when he cannot perform. I hate that he feels so bad about this. Please let me know a solution to this. He doesn't want to seek professional help and I guess it's playing on his ego a bit.
Dear Troubled Woman.
Firstly, it is a good feeling to have a partner who is considerate in bed. We are in a deeply patriarchal world, so respecting such small yet considerate expressions is a good sign.
People don’t remain in the same size and the same shape all their lives. Some grow bigger, some grow lighter. Some become thick friends, and some fade away into oblivion. The truth is that love is not a static emotion. It is a verb, it is in transit. It is the same case with lovemaking. There would be as many disappointments as there would be orgasms.
Where there is love, and it is genuine, love making may not have anything to do with weight. It could be more about procedures and techniques.
There are times when love making is more than the penetration bit. It involves titillation and tease.
Love making is more a game of senses rather than a race for sexual intercourse.
Touching, fondling, caressing, oral sex, mutual masturbation as lead-ins (or as stand alone activity) could help accelerate an orgasmic experience.
Also, one needs to mentally transcend boundaries of body consciousness and guilt to finally trust another individual when you are at the most vulnerable moment of your life – Naked. You cannot experience full love or full orgasm when you have your mind stuck in the pain of guilt and shame. You can get rid of all of these so that your pathway to love-making is ridden with love and hope instead of doubt and hate.
I hope I answered your query.
P.S. set yourself free and trust your wings.
(The text and the location has been edited to protect the identity of the people. You can send in your questions to email@example.com)
(Harish Iyer is an equal rights activist working for the rights of the LGBT community, women, children and animals)
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