(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 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 are below:
'Love Doesn't Exist In My Life'
I am the most lonely person on planet earth. Thats what my friends tease me. I am 43. Single. Never had an affair in my life. I was hit on by many. Never went on a date. Everyone assumes though that I must be having my mini orgy everyday because I am a little popular and am called sexy. I know my looks and diva like personality gives that impression. But i dont know how I can get into a relationship. I have very few friends. I am popular, but a loner.
My parents just asked me once if I wanted to try for arranged marriage. I refused then. That time I was just 25 and thought that I will fall in love. I did not fall in love.
Sexolve 317: ‘My Son-In-Law Is Gay!'
And after that my parents did not ask me ever. Just because I am wealthy and can afford all luxuries, my parents thought that I will be looked after well with the money we have in the family. I really do not know how I could take this loneliness. Because I have to be independent, should I also be lonely? Others parents are bothered about their children. My parents love me, but think my future will be set with money. They are not bothered about family legacy and stuff even though I am the only daughter. Is it my life - that I need to live and die like this? I am getting depressed. Please help.
Thank you for writing in.
I have been in a similar state sometime back, where I believed I would die alone and will have no one by my side. I may not know exactly how you feel, because even empathy has its limitations, but I can definitely say that I have an inkling.
Many fear growing old and lonely. Somehow we assume that when we have a significant other, they will help us find our happiness. The truth though is - that we need to only seek contentment in the freedom that we enjoy within our own selves.
Our contentment and peace cannot be dependent on external factors. We need to be at peace with the idea that being independent doesn't mean being lonely.
Two (or more) fiercely independent people could be in love with each other.
I learnt it the hard way too, after seeking counselling for many years - that I will have to first fully embrace the idea that when I am all alone in this world after my parents and others will pass away, I don't need a companion just because I am lonely, but because I love the company of the person.
Love is a strange thing, it sometimes catches us unawares and sweeps us off our feet when we least expect it.
I suggest a little mind exercise.
Close your eyes. Understand and embrace the idea that you will be content even if you are alone in this world. Revel in this independence. The happiness even when you are with yourself. And then open yourself up a little to the possibility of finding a space in that little universe that you have just created in your head, for someone you love.
Create the image of this person in your head. Create this possibility and believe in it.
There is power in positive self belief. There is power in the idea of manifestation.
Open yourself up. If your parents didnt ask you again, if you would like to marry someone of their choice, so what? If an arranged marriage is a possibility you want to see manifesting in your life. Take the first step of breaking ice. Tell your parents that this is what you want. Have open and honest communications with your parents. Let them know how you feel.
Vulnerability is strength. Be vulnerable with them.
Having said that, independence is not a bad thing. You can be independent and yet completely in love. Two very independent people can be in love.
P.S. It takes love for self, to find someone to love you.
I Don't Know If My Daughter Is Bi Or Confused
I am a 53 year old lesbian mother. I was forced to marry a man by my family. And I did not have the courage to say that I am lesbian around that time. Now I am a divorced woman with a loving daughter and a partner. Since the age of 4 my daughter has grown up with two mothers. She is 16 now and is exploring her sexuality. She went out on a date with a man, a couple of times. And now says that she feels for women too. She says she is Bi.
I wanted her to have a fuller life and not get influenced by the lives of her two mothers. I think just because she is with us she is assuming that she is bisexual.
She can be totally straight otherwise. I dont want my daughter to go through what I have gone through. I want her to have a normal life with a husband and children. Is there something wrong in what I am feeling. Is it wrong to protect your child. Because My daughter is angry with me when I try to tell her that it is a phase. Please help me understand this better.
Thank you for writing in and baring your heart to me.
Mothers are mothers everywhere. Even in the animal kingdom. Most want to protect their children from all adversities, trials and tribulations.
You have been through tough times because of your sexuality, you know what the path ahead could be. There would be challenges for a queer person that a heterosexual person may not face.
You are being a mother and are wanting to protect your child. There is nothing wrong with this feeling.
However, your daughter is her own being. She will grow up to be who she really is. You, of all people know, that sexuality is not a choice. Being out and open about it is. You can only guide her to embrace her truest and most authentic self.
At 16, she may have questions about her sexuality or gender. She may want to fit into some boxes and adopt some labels for herself, and sometimes she may not. It is her life. Personally, if you ask me, as an LGBTQIA+ person myself, I have moved from identifying as a bisexual man at 19, when I was around 22, it dawned on me that I may just be gay. At around 40 I discovered that I am genderfluid.
At 43, I am embracing the fact that one could be in a committed relationship and yet have lovers. Many discover all the time, everytime they explore.
The Q in LGBTQIA+ stands for queer and also questioning. We forget the questioning part. Questioning yourself on where you stand in the spectrum from time to time, isnt a symptom of being confused. It is a sign of being mature.
And coming to your point of your child being influenced by lesbian parents to take up lesbianism. Lesbianism and bisexuality is not a skill or a hobby or a vice that one can take up or pursue. She is exploring. She is questioning.
Gay parents dont give birth to only gay kids. But they can ensure that children are more aweare and accepting of their sexuality, because they know it is okay to feel love for their own gender. They see an example of that at home. So no, she will not be influenced to be gay/bi because she has two mothers, however, if she is bi, she will be unashamed and honest in accepting it.
Straight people don't give birth to only straight kids. Gay people dont give birth to only gay kids.
Sexuality is not an influence. It is the essence of who we are.
Your daughter would love to have the support of her parents. Embrace her. Tell her that she is good the way she is.
P.S. Kudos for living your life in your own terms. May your daughter follow her own footsteps.
'I Love Men'
I think I am not straight. I love men. Am I homosexual?
I cant tell you who you are. Only you could confirm or not confirm to any of the alphabets in LGBTQIA+.
Give yourself time and maybe with time you may want to confirm to being gay or bi or any other alphabet. Even if you dont confirm to a gender or a sexuality, it is okay, That is also a valid state of being.
PS. just be the best version of yourself.