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 email@example.com.
This week’s Q&As below:
‘My Husband Is Interested in Younger Girls and Wants Me to Look Young Too’
My husband has a weird obsession and I wanted to speak to someone about that. I don’t know if you would take it in the right spirit. We both are touching 50 now. We both have earned well and now my husband has retired. So we are definitely old but our sex life is as young as ever. My husband wants me to be young always. He ensures that I look good always, he doesn’t like flab in my body. Gets me to go for Botox and facelifts and everything. I don’t object that, because he basically likes it when people say good things about me. He wants his wife to be as young as ever, I don’t see a problem with that. My problem is elsewhere. Last month, my husband confessed that he masturbates thinking about young girls. As a mother of a 19-year-old, I suddenly got worried. I trust my husband. I know he would not be predatory. I wonder now though whether he got me to look younger just because he liked having sex with younger people? Also, I don’t doubt him, don’t get me wrong, but do I need to keep a watch when he is with my daughter or her friends? Also, any legal issues that my husband can face, something that he needs to be careful about?
Dear Mommy Dearest,
Thank you for writing in.
Firstly, it is a myth that people’s sex lives come to an end as people get retired. It sometimes also is the inverse, as one has more time to explore their lives and be more intimate with their loved ones. As long as you are a consenting partner who loves the lovemaking as much as your husband does, it is wonderful.
You said your husband likes it when you look young. You didn’t share what you like. Do you like going for “beauty” treatments? If you like it, no one should be given the authority to stop you from it. You are a person of your own will. However, if you do not like it, I’d request you to stand up for yourself.
Because, how long will you put his needs and his desires above your own? I hope there is a time when you own your body and do not allow anyone else the authority to use it as a canvas to facilitate their fantasies.
I don’t intend to scare you, but I have to tell you that along with all its appeal, medical treatments like Botox do come with a caveat of a health risk. I hope your doctor has ensured that you are aware and have taken the decision to go for the treatment after careful consideration.
Now, moving on to your husband’s lust of younger women, I would just say there is no restriction on thoughts per se, but one needs to be responsible for their actions.
Our lives are like Newton’s third law of momentum that says “every action has an equal and opposite reaction”. As long as your husband is only thinking/fantasizing/imagining, he is safe from the shackles of the law. But if he does any act like snooping/sexting/molesting without consent, he could be tried in Indian courts for those crimes. His mind is free to think about anyone and anything, but let his thoughts not turn to actions.
It wasn’t clear from your message if he gets attracted to people who are below the age of 18. He needs to be aware that there is a very strong law called POCSO (protection of children from sexual offenses act) that could be used against him if he does convert his thoughts to actions with anyone who is below the age of 18.
If he gets these thoughts about those below the age of 18, but doesn’t act on those desires, he could be a non-offending pedophile (gets attracted to children who haven’t attained puberty), non-offending hebophile (one who gets attracted to children who are between the ages of 11 and 14), or non-offending ephebophile (one who gets attracted to children/young adults between the ages of 15 to 19). This is a psychiatric disorder and he would need scientific intervention to keep his urges under control and for not acting on those desires. Please take him to a good psychiatrist who would not judge him for his thoughts, but would advise him on how he could keep himself in control forever. You could ask him to visit KEM hospital in Pune for more details. Please check this twitter handle and this message. https://twitter.com/DontOffendIndia/status/1192748966007361536
What I shared above was not to scare you, I am sorry if I made a wrong assumption that he gets attracted to people below the age of 18. But I thought it is important to make you aware of the fact that there is help available for your husband, just in case.
I want you to focus on yourself and your desires. What do you want and what do you not want? Do you want Botox? Do you want to look young? Or do you just want to be yourself and define your own path?
It is time that you take the reins of your life in your hands and do not let your desires be dictated by another. You deserve to be liberated by your own desires, not to be defined by another.
Do give your life a thought.
P.S. You should also visit a counselor for a heart-to-heart chat.
‘Is It Safe to Have Sex with an HIV+ Person’
I am a 38-year-old man in love with a HIV positive female friend of mine. If we don’t have penetrative sex but engage in other acts of love, is it safe for me?
Dear Positive Love,
Thank you so much for writing in.
Firstly, let me congratulate you both for finding someone special in your lives.
Your concerns regarding sexual relationships with someone who is HIV positive are understandable considering the stigma and the misinformation regarding the virus that floats around.
From the perspective of the HIV positive person, let me tell you that they could feel love, they could feel like making love like everyone else on this planet. The good news is that while there is an element of risk as one could imagine, science has found ways to keep the virus at bay.
HIV or Human Immunodeficiency Virus is majorly found in blood (it is in some other body fluids like semen and breast milk) and the most frequent mode of transmission is blood to blood contact. When you have friction in peno-vaginal sex or peno-anal sex, the possibility of wear and tear is more, and so are the chances of bleeding. So in this case, unprotected penetrative sex should be avoided.
Condoms form a layer between you and your partner and avoid direct peno-vaginal contact. You would need to ensure that there is no condom tear during the process of sex.
If there is a condom breakage, please do avail of PEP(explained below). Condoms can be used for oral sex as well. If the partners who are engaging in sex have bleeding gums, HIV could find its way to another non-infected person from the infected person’s body. There are also dental dams available to prevent the contact of HIV during Oral Sex. Do remember that condoms and dental dams cannot be re-used.
PREP and PEP are options available but one should have them only on prescription by a qualified doctor. Let me explain what these two are.
PREP or Pre Exposure Prophylaxis is when people at a high risk of contracting HIV take a medicine to reduce the risk of contracting HIV. Even if HIV enters your body, this should stop it from proliferating. Again, I would always request you to seek the advice of a qualified doctor before consuming any medicine.
PEP or post-exposure prophylaxis, on the other hand, is about the measures that one adopts once they are exposed to the virus. So, if you have had unprotected sex with your partner, you can reduce the risk of getting the virus by taking this medicine within the first 72 hours after being exposed to the virus… the sooner, the better.
One even needs to keep a tab of their partner’s viral load. If the viral count is much, there are more chances of transmission and vice versa. If the viral count is low and undetectable, it doesn’t mean that the virus is not existent in her body, but it means that it is closest to normalcy.
Do remember that HIV positive people face a lot of discrimination from their loved ones. I don’t want you to be condescending towards your partner. Do know that when it is true love, it is not stopped by a stupid virus. Love is always stronger than the virus.
Do remember to visit a doctor and seeking their intervention. Also, please take medicines only on prescription. PEP especially, I know, could have minor side effects.
P.S. I repeat, love is always stronger than the virus.
“I Come Too Quickly”
I am a 40-year-old married man and a father of two lovely boys. I have had a happy sex life till date, however, now I shoot too quickly… in a few thrusts itself. How do I solve this?
Dear Climax Woes,
Thank you for writing in.
The method of withdrawal and repeating is a helpful exercise. One could do that during masturbation. When you are at the brink of an orgasm, stop and retract your penis/ stop masturbating. Divert your mind to another thought. Then go back to masturbation.
Basically with this exercise, you train your mind to delay the orgasm. If it doesn’t work please don’t hesitate to visit a sexologist.
Premature Ejaculation is a medical condition. It would be best if you visit a doctor, preferably a sexologist, and seek their advice.
P.S. Tease your mind. Withdraw at the brink.
(Harish Iyer is an equal rights activist working for the rights of the LGBT community, women, children and animals)
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