(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’ve Fallen In Love With a Polyamororous Man’
I am a 22-year-old girl in love with a middle-aged man. It all began as a fling. We had just become friends through an acquaintance and we eventually ended up having sex. The sex was good and we instantly hit it off. We then started meeting regularly. Every meeting would mean a lot of conversations and cuddles which eventually led to us having a lot of happy sex. This is still a routine in our lives.
The problem is that this guy is now going to another city for a few months and is candid in letting me know that he will be going out with this other colleague of his. When I asked him if he would be having sex, if it ever came to that, he said, “I would love to have sex with her.” This made me really angry and I fought with him. When I asked him if he loved me, he said that he had a lot of warmth and love for me but this was not a conventional love story. He made it clear that he doesn’t want to get into any relationship that’s just one relationship and that he was polyamorous.
It is true that he had mentioned this once in the beginning when we were getting close and later also a couple of times. But he also knew that I was getting madly involved with him and thinking about him all the time. I put up with him looking at other women also. I thought it was a phase and that all men look at more than one woman, but my love will make him stay with me forever. I never thought that just with one small posting outside the city, he will jump out of our unsaid bond of commitment.
I wonder if I did anything wrong. Is it my age? I hate being unloved. Please help me see things clearly. Should I leave him? I love him so much, how can I?
Dear Anxious Love,
Thank you so much for writing in. One may never know how another person feels exactly, but I know how it feels to fall in love and how it feels like in love. It is a magical feeling. I am glad that you experience this magic. There are butterflies in the stomach sometimes, and sometimes there is a kind of happy nervous anxiousness when we meet someone whom we are so hugely attracted to.
I understand that love has a language of its own. But it sometimes necessitates the aid of our common used language to attune our frequencies to the language of love.
It is important to have clear communication with the ones we love. It is important to have an expectation and reality comparison regularly. We have different ways of expressing love, but not every expression would mean that there is going to be a committed romantic relationship between individuals. These emotions between two bodies and hearts, ignited with the power of passion and empathy for each other, could transform into different forms over the course of time.
In love, there should be no scope for assumption.
Your loved one was clear about the fact that he would love more people when he stated that he is polyamorous. Poly people are capable of falling in love with more than one person. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t necessarily mean that he doesn’t love you. It means that he could be in love with more people even when he is in love with you.
Polyamorous relationships are best when they are based on the principles of honesty, regular and open communication and commitment to the idea that all poly partners agree to. There is a need to lay the ground rules for the polyamorous relationship that everyone agrees on.
It is not possible to have a healthy conversation when there is a surge of emotions. Please sit down with him and understand clearly where he is coming from. Put forth your ideas and expectations without any hesitation. Be honest in expressing your emotions and understand that you also would need to hold space for him, when he honestly shares what he feels.
You are two different individuals, you may not think identically every time. But when people value each other, they listen and they are usually willing to set up ground rules and values to work out to salvage the lovely bond that you share with each other. At any point, you shouldn’t feel like you have landed up with an unfair deal.
Give yourself time and patience so that you could take decisions together. Also seek the help of a mental health professional, preferably a good psychologist, to prepare yourself for the outcome... so that you don’t get carried away in happiness, or get completely torn if it things don’t turn out the way you expected them to. Because, heart of heart, we definitely need to know that both of these possibilities exist.
Please take good care of yourself.
I wish you lots of love and happiness.
P.S. Loving another is amazing. Loving oneself, even better!
‘I Am Gay and Attracted to A Woman’
I have been gay all my life. I am 28 years old. I have a boyfriend and we are madly in love with each other but I hate myself today from all ends because I crossed my paths with a woman at my workplace and I felt too attracted to her. So attracted, that I went home and while my boyfriend was in the other room, lying naked on the bed, I was inside the bathroom masturbating to the girl I had just met at work.
I didn’t feel this kind of attraction before and I didn’t feel this kind of attraction to any woman as such except this one girl. I thought this amounted to cheating as I didn’t seek my boyfriend’s permission. I spoke to him yesterday and he laughed out saying “so what?” This made me feel that he didn’t understand the gravity of the situation. What should I do? Am I slowly turning straight? I love my boyfriend and still feel sexually attracted towards him but this attraction towards this woman is causing concern. Am I unnatural or weird? Please help.
Worried Gay Man
Dear Worried Gay Man,
Thank you for writing in. I hope you change your signature from that of a worried person at the end of this response because what you feel is not something that could be termed as unnatural or weird.
Sometimes we feel attracted sexually or emotionally to a person irrespective of their gender or gender expression or sex. Now, that may not really mean that your sexuality is changing or that you are being unjust or weird in anyway.
You could still identify as gay and be bi-curious. You could be a gay man and find some woman attractive. You could be bisexual too and choose to be committed to your male partner. Everything is possible. Everything is natural.
Sexuality is a spectrum. And it is only you who can determine where you stand in this spectrum.
Even as a gay man, there could have been moments when you or your partner, admired/got attracted to other men. It is natural. That doesn’t mean that you are necessarily going to end up in bed with that person. In this case, you found a woman attractive. It may not be that different after all.
Gender and sexuality are fluid. They do not need to be boxed. It is you and only you who can define your sexuality or your gender.
There is nothing unnatural in you because of this.
P.S. I agree with your boyfriend, you feel sexually attracted to one woman, “so what?”
‘Will Over-Masturbation Make My Penis Weak?’
Will over masturbation make my penis weak and kill my sperms? Is it safe?
Dear Concerned Penis,
Thank you for writing in.
Masturbate sometimes when excited without making an obsession of it. Masturbation is considered harmless. However, anything in excess is not healthy. Let it not interfere with your daily life or routine.
I don’t know what you mean by “kill your sperms”. It is possible to have motile sperms even when you masturbate frequently.
P.S. In Hindi there is a saying that goes like “Atti Shatti Hai”, meaning “Anything in excess is an enemy.”
(Harish Iyer is an equal rights activist working for the rights of the LGBT community, women, children and animals)