(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 email@example.com.
This week’s Q&As below:
“I Am a 24-Year-Old Female, but I Hate ‘Girly’ Things Like Makeup”
A month ago I came across the article in Sexolve column of the quint titled: 'I am trying to find out my gender'. This article has been in my mind and I really wanted to reach out to the person who wrote it and inform them that they are not alone, and I too, have felt mostly the same my whole life. Anyway, I am now 24, female, who doesn't really hate her body but I too have always associated with a masculine attitude, and never liked girly things like makeup. I love women, everything about them. If I had to enlist a problem, I'd say that since I am a virgin (yes, I know, I have lived the most boring life), I am really worried and unsure about oral sex, that is, going down on a woman. I feel grossed out by it. Please tell me how to get over this. It’s kind of urgent, as I might have a date coming up soon. Fingers crossed. And also the reason for me to write is, to ask you if you could kindly help me reach out and establish a correspondence between the writer of 'i am trying to find out my gender' and I, I would be extremely grateful to you and the quint for this platform.
Dear Eagerly Awaiting,
Thank you so much for reading our columns with keen interest. I am afraid; I wouldn’t be able to connect you to any writer as we are focussed on protecting the identity and privacy of people who write to us. In fact, even names, locations, age and other personal identifiers are changed by me to protect the identity. We have a disclaimer to that effect too.
Your feelings about your attitude that you describe as more masculine, are a valid feeling. You don’t need to hate your body to feel a certain way.
If you don’t like make up – means you don’t like make up. There needn’t be anything girly, or non-girly about it.
I know many men who love make up. There is nothing non-masculine about it either. We tend to put everything in the boxes that are labelled male and female. Sometimes it’s good to step out of the binaries.
Isn’t it the pursuit of all humankind – to become the best and most authentic version of who they really are.
One could be a happy virgin too. Having sex or not, doesn’t reflect on how boring or exciting you are as a person. J
Regarding your apprehensions regarding oral sex… It may be true that you are disgusted by it… but isn’t it also true that sometimes, we think a lot about how it would feel and get grossed out by it, but when it really happens, one may not feel all that disgusted.
I wish you good luck with your date.
P.S. Love is love is love. And people love people, not genders.
“I Fell In Love With My Soon-to-be Married Friend After Having Sex With Her”
I have been in the most complex relationship. I am in a relationship with a girl who loves another guy who lives in a different city. They love each other from the last 8 years. In these 8 years, we hardly met 4 times or 5 times. We had only been talking on the phone. Last year, I met her, and we had sex a couple of times. I was just a friend, but after having intimated a lot of times, I really am in love with her. But she loves me or not - I don't know. Since we had a lot of sex, I am only thinking of her, I only want to do it with her not anyone else. I have options but don’t want anyone else. I got to know that she loves the other guy and they are now getting married soon. He is even buying a house in the same city for her and leaving his parents.
I told her about my feeling and she knew it already. She kept telling me that she loves him since the last eight years. Her long-awaited dream is getting true. I am happy for her. But I am also feeling bad for myself. I don't know what to do. I saw her crying for him when he was not here. Now he has a good job, he will make her happy for life.
I don't know what to do now. I am completely shattered. When I took up this relationship, I took it for granted, I took it for fun. But now, i love her. I don't know what to do.
I am also asking you: Is there any relationship between love and sex. Is sex is an important aspect of relationship?
How do I define my relationship with her? Is it was only sexual or only for physical need? I am really shattered.
Thank you for writing in. I have had my fair share of heartbreaks to realise that the position you are in could be very discomforting.
I want you to take a moment to realise what you are feeling – completely and truthfully. You are being sidelined by your friend who is looking for a committed relationship with another person. It is remarkable that your heart has so much kindness that you are overlooking your own heartache and are concerned about how much she was longing for this relationship with another.
Sometime, true love supersedes the want for a lifetime of togetherness. Sometimes, it is good to accept that our loved ones have their hearts beating for someone else. Sometimes, leaving is loving too.
True, reciprocal love is a blessing. It seems like the love your girlfriend is feeling for her boyfriend and vice versa. You can feel good for her. When we love someone, we wish their happiness, don’t we?
The fact that she shares so much with you, shows that she doesn’t dislike you. You both have also had sex. So there must be something brewing in that space too. However, not all people we have sex with, are people we choose to marry.
For your own kind closure, you should have a word with her in person and ask her what she feels about your relationship with her.
I know you must have spent a lot of time thinking what she must be thinking, now it is time that you ask her yourself – what she is thinking. As a good friend, she should spell it out to you.
We all seek closures in different ways. Some stop talking to their partners and give themselves space to recover. Some take a break from all communication for some time.
Once we find that our companion loves another, some,cut the relationship forever. Some take time to recover and then get back to being acquaintances. The most beautiful, in my opinion, are relationships that transform to endless friendship. But to reach the last state sometimes, one has to go through the preceding stages
Give yourself time. Give yourself love. Seek the assistance of a counsellor. You will recover. You will be better again. The sun will rise again.
Don’t let one relationship define your entire life. You are beautiful. You are worthy.
P.S. Please do seek the assistance of a mental health professional if it gets challenging.
“How Do I Educate My Child About Sexual Abuse?”
I have been having a tough time teaching my child about sexual abuse. I don’t want him to suffer child sexual abuse like you and I did. My wife tells me that I am paranoid.
Thank you for writing in. We all need to be proactive in educating our children about sex, gender, sexuality and safety. I am glad that you are eager to teach your child. Teaching about child sexual abuse need not be with gory details of abuse.
Begin with the right names for body parts. When an eye is an eye and a nose a nose, a penis is a penis and a vagina is a vagina.
When children get empowered with language, they are able to express better. Also, tell your child that there are some parts of the body that only caretakers can touch, and that too, if he ever feels uncomfortable, he can share with you.
It is important for parents to become the safe place for the child.
It is also important that parents don’t completely get obsessive about safety. We have to protect our children, but we cannot be there with our children at every moment. We need to be prudent with our trust. We need to equip our children, but we also need to understand that we have disconnected our umbilical cords and our children are free beings.
Love and safety,
P.S. Be safe, but not obsessive
(Harish Iyer is an equal rights activist working for the rights of the LGBT community, women, children and animals.)