(Trigger Warning: Some questions could make you feel agitated. Reader discretion is advised.)
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 Husband Doesn’t Have Sex With Me’
I have been really upset. I have been married for two years and also have a son. Whenever I feel the urge for sex, my husband doesn’t have sex with me. I don’t know why this happens. Sometimes, he refuses and says that he is unwell and has a headache. Shortly after that, he sleeps off. I spend the whole night crying myself to sleep. Can you suggest me a way that I could not feel sexual at all? Please, this is killing me inside.
Dear Troubled Wife,
What you shared is deeply personal. Thank you for your trust.
To feel sexual is natural. Do not hate yourself for that. There is nothing wrong with your desire to have sex. Don’t hate yourself for it.
It is true that there is a mismatch of sexual energy between you and your partner. There needs to be a clear communication of your desires. If he is facing some challenge, he needs to communicate that with you clearly.
With the birth of a child, your house would be really busy.
You should be having an honest heart-to-heart conversation with your partner in a quiet place, far away from the daily hustle-bustle.
He needs to listen to it attentively. You need to listen intently. Do not let your words come across as accusatory or demanding. You can’t always expect clear conversations in chaoitic environments. Create the right safe place for you to speak and him to share.
The loss in sexual energy could be due to many reasons. Do not assume that it is your mistake or that you are wrong in any way because you have sexual desires.
Do not hesitate to see a counsellor.
‘My Girlfriend Thinks She May Be a Lesbian’
It's been almost a since year we have been in a relationship. My age is 24 and so is hers. Everything was good between us including the physical intimacy. We often spent our time together – at least monthly once., we had everything except sex. She doesn't kiss like normal girls...I had felt that sometimes... I had asked her about that and she said that she was normal. From the start, she said that she was attracted to girls too, she said that she may be a bisexual person. Days went by, now she says that she almost never felt the same as me....she said that whenever I kissed her she wanted to avoid that. She further added that she never felt any intimacy in things we did. This got me thinking. I realised that she was normal with me in the past days and our physical intimacy was also good too. Except, she was afraid of sex and she didn't want it. And I also accepted that and never forced her.
Amongst these days, there was a day when we tried mutually, but she felt tremendous pain and didn’t want it. Now, she says that she doesn't want any type of physical intimacy with me and she feels like she was a lesbian. She further added that nowadays, she feels more attraction over girls and wanted to try it out… but she also says that she doesn't want to kiss me or any type of physical touch except hugs and cuddles. I don't understand this...why is she feeling like this ....she is also confused about this. And she also says that she wants to kiss a girl but not me....but we had kissed before....and also added that she had some worst past in childhood like abuse but she doesn't want to tell that to me or anyone. She adds that maybe because of this past I can feel weird when you come near me... But I think it would be better with girls.
Can you shed some light? I am confused.
Dear Confused Lover,
Thank you for writing in. I understand that to be in love is a great feeling. To be loved back, even better. The best is when there is mutual respect that is valued more than love. In every relationship that has its foundation on love, the onus is on each partner to understand our counterpart’s needs and desires and respect them.
Love could be transient, respect cannot be so. It has to be permanent and all lasting for the relationship to last.
I am glad that this is a relationship that is based on honest confessions and not on lies and deceit. That’s being respectful towards your partner. I am glad that your girlfriend is being incredibly honest about her feelings with you and respects you enough to not use it against her.
One thing that we shouldn’t do in relationships is – to assume that we know about our partner’s desires more than what they do themselves.
She is honest about how she is feeling with you. People could discover their sexuality at any stage of their life. The same with the trauma of child sexual abuse, one could feel repulsed suddenly to a certain touch or a certain gender. I think that the best we can do for our partners in this situation is to help them seek the assistance of a counsellor. She would need therapy.
With therapy, one can hope that she would be able to decipher her thoughts better and move ahead without any confusion in her head.
True love is not in wanting the person, but in ensuring that the person we love lives their lives truthfully and to its fullest potential.
Assist her in finding a good counsellor. Be with her, as a friend. Do not try to name your relationship as anything but genuine friendship until she understands and figures out how she visualises life and her sexuality.
‘I Am Not Straight, but I’m Not Bisexual Either’
I hope I am sending the mail at the right address. Anyways, I will get to the problem/query. Ever since I was a kid, I used to think I am straight as a ruler. But when I grew up to be a teen, I realised that many straight men despise and loath the idea of sexually interacting with a trans woman. Which is when I realised that my sexual preferences might be a bit altered.
Fast forward to this year and I realise that I am also attracted to "twinks" and feminine men. After giving it some thought I have come to realise that I am probably attracted to anyone who is feminine and wouldn't mind having a relationship or being sexually active with them. When I consulted the internet it threw me the terms "mostly straight", "heteroflexible" and "bicurious".
I know I am not straight, but I am not bi either. But I don't want to jump to conclusions just by reading something off the internet, so thought of asking someone who is an expert.
I hope I didn't disturb you and hope you are having a great day.
Dear Confused Guy,
Thank you for writing in. No, you are not disturbing me. I am doing good, thanks for asking.
Sometimes we get too focused in fitting in definitions, that we don’t give ourselves some space to allow ourselves to stand out, beyond these wordy definitions. There is no other person who could speak about your sexuality better than you yourself.
Even if you are in a phase of “questioning”, it is a valid phase. You don’t have to always arrive at a perfect point on the scale where you confirm to any of the sexualities. If you are not straight, it doesn’t mean you need to automatically be presumed as Bi. You could be someone who doesn’t want to fix a certain definition.
Allow your body to feel what it is feeling. Allow your mind to think what it thinks without any fear or compulsion to box it into a limiting definition.
Let your experiences not be curtailed by definitions. Be uninhibited.
There could be a time, in future, where things get clearer to you and you feel strongly about confirming. Let it happens when it happens. Go with the flow.
P.S. Go with the flow, safely.
(Harish Iyer is an equal rights activist working for the rights of the LGBT community, women, children and animals.)
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