(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 are below:
'Am I Bisexual or Straight?'
I am a 21-year-old man, in the past, I have had some sexual interactions with friends like handjobs and stuff, then it was just out of curiosity but I have noticed I also feel sexually attracted to a particular kind of guys but the ratio of me being attracted to guys compared to girls is 20 per cent towards guys and 80 per cent towards girls. I am kind of confused about if I am bisexual or straight.
Dear Curious Boy,
Thank you for writing in. It is good that you are able to recognise that you are getting attracted to a certain type of men. Some of us, if not all of us, feel specifically attracted to a particular feature, it could be anything – from a mannerism to a physical feature, to a body type. It is normal and natural.
You and only you can define what your sexuality is. Sexuality needn’t be something that’s static. It could be ever evolving and one could choose to redefine one’s sexuality or gender as they evolve.
There are straight men who are bicurious. There are bi-men who lean more towards women and less towards men. All of these proportions and permutations and combinations are possible. It is just like how some straight men are more attracted to a certain feature in women.
Sometimes it is good to break free from the shackles of wordy definitions. Let no words confine you by choosing to define you in closed brackets.
When you experience the warmth of a man – experience it. When you feel love towards a woman – feel it. When you choose to commit to someone of either of the populous genders or both, draw out a boundary with them and rules of the game.
Feel every moment, completely, truly.
Be the best version of yourself by owning every kind of emotion to the fullest.
‘I Miss My Ex. How Do I Get Out of This Depressive Zone?’
I was in a relationship for a period of almost close to 6 years. My break-up happened in August 2020. The girl and I had an age gap of 5 years which we were okay with throughout.
After the breakup, I was devastated to such an extent that I started getting panic attacks and sometimes even suicidal thoughts. She had blocked me from every possible medium to move ahead in her life and which is why the urge of not able to talk to her was killing me from within.
In September my parents showed me a girl for marriage and I approved for the same after having a nice chit chat with her. To be really honest I liked this girl a lot in the very first meeting and this decided to say - Yes.
Now, all my marriage dates are fixed. I'm scheduled to get married on 30 December.
I have whatsoever no compatibility or any other issues with my would-be. But deep down inside something is still killing me, I don't know what.
While even in a normal mood I sometimes get deeply lost into a world which no more exists. As for my ex, I guess she has moved on and is in love with another guy who was chasing her for almost a year and a half now. Also, me being Brahmin and my ex from another caste, I always had serious doubts about my parents approving inter-caste marriage plus was also not sure about her parents approving our age gap. Due to these self-doubts, I couldn't ever give my ex that assurance that a girl needs and in the end I was too scared if everything doesn't work the way we want then something very bad may happen.
Due to this fear, I always kept telling her we will see when the time will come and never committed when the big question of marriage was asked. I even supported her when she asked she will move on to that person who desperately wants her if I don't give her that assurance. I told her that you can move on in your life if you feel happier with the other guy.
Finally when she decided to move on with the guy chasing her for almost last 1.5 years, hear I'm feeling devastated, broken and what not.
She has cut all ties with me because as per her that is the only way to move ahead in our respective lives for a better future. Since I do not get to talk to her and neither see her, I get panic attacks sometimes and all day I keep on thinking about her.
I'm very happy with my would-be and have also shared with her about my ex. She understands that completely as she has also had a toxic relationship of close to 5 years but is totally out of it.
Now the only issue persists is how can I come out of that depressing zone?
Also, can I have any kind of normal friendship with my ex in future if at all she unblocks me or something?
Do let me know.
Dear Eagerly Waiting,
I hear you. I understand the pang in your heart.
Time is a great healer. Time is a great leveller. With time, your emotions will even out and you will be able to make peace with the truths of your life.
Look at it this way… If she hadn’t blocked you, you would have been privy to her love life with another man. How would you have felt then? Trust, it would have been difficult for both of you’ll.
She was with someone who was not willing to commit. She has moved on and is with someone who was pursuing her.. From your ex’s perspective, she needed the surety of a committed relationship with the stamp of marriage. As a person who loves her, you know that this is best for her.
When we fall in love with a person, we don’t take the approval of the family. It is difficult for someone to reconcile to the fact that suddenly, the love between two people would need the approval of the family.
When we love someone, we want the person to stand for us in thick and thin. It is natural. Whatever, her religion, her caste or any other thing, it shouldn’t stand a barrier to the expression of love.
The length of the relationship doesn’t matter, what matters is the intensity of love in those years. Some grow closer with time, some get pushed apart.
As for suicidal ideation, I would request you to quickly fix up an appointment with a counsellor. We all need a professional to help us see things the way things are, rather than seeing things the way we are.
Don’t worry about keeping your would-be happy. Just don’t stand between her happiness.
Do not shackle her being by assuming responsibility of her flight.
People are their own being. Women don’t need the stamp of approval of a man or “looking after”. If anyone does need looking after, it is you. We have to take responsibility for our lives so that we don’t end up hurting others who love us. It will help greatly if you seek an appointment with a mental health practitioner and have follow-up consultations regularly.
It is important to seek help. It is also important to let your partner know that you are not well.
Your love life with your ex could be a sweet memory. As time may heal wounds, she may hold a place in your heart. People may unblock and they may look at life in a new light.
“People come and people go, talking of Michael Angelo.” When relationships become history, sometimes the continuous feeling of ‘missing someone deeply’ gets replaced by a feeling of boredom born out of thinking about the same thing again and again.
Things change. Things get better. Give it time.
“There will be time, there will be time. To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet.”
Over time, I hope you realise that you have the courage to be in your present, completely and truly.
P.S. Fix an appointment with a mental health professional. NOW.
‘I Stopped Masturbating, Will it Affect Us in Bed?’
I have a few questions
1. I am really anxious while getting intimate with my partner and I feel that is because I always keep wondering if I am satisfying her or not. I do ask her this question and she always says that I am awesome. I feel that she is hiding her real feelings so as to not hurt me.
2. I do not last long in the bed and I have started doing the Kegel’s exercise. Due to lockdown we have not met so I do not if it is working or not. Are there any other ways to last long?
3. At the onset of lockdown I used to masturbate regularly, but I have started practicing NOFAP. How will this affect me when I am in bed?
Would look forward to your reply.
Thank you for writing in.
I am happy that you care for your partner and wish that she experiences complete satisfaction. However, this feeling of self-doubt and constant need for validation is self-defeating.
Will you feel better only if she gives you a 100 on 100 in sex? And more importantly, will you trust her scores ever? Enjoy the sex, forget the score.
Now coming to exercises, yes kegel exercises are known to make your body less stiff and help in sexual intimacy by causing more blood circulation to the penis… it is a gradual process, you cannot do the exercise and have sex and expect magic to happen. Body takes time to get used to the idea. You could also withdraw when you are close to an orgasm, deflect your thought to something else, and again restart sex. Pause and start works sometimes. If the problem persists, don’t hesitate to see a sexologist. Do not self-medicate.
Now coming to your third question – if you don’t masturbate or have sex, your sperms will one day, find its way out when they are manufactured in the excess. You may find yourself getting a night-fall one day. NoFAP will not affect your sex life adversely.
‘I Think I Am Asexual’
I think I am asexual. I don’t know, and evidently, I’m frustrated enough to mail experts about it, something that always made me cringe, those sex help questions in the Graffiti, back in the days of magazines.
I am 25 and I have had sexual encounters with 3+ people, countless times, but never ever had an orgasm. I have faked it every single time. I have tried masturbating but given up every time after 5 minutes, realising that nothing is really happening. It’s wrong to say I’ve never orgasmed- I have, but in the sitting with your legs crossed and pressing them way, which probably doesn’t really count. I’ve been doing that since a very long time, and that’s an orgasm of barely 5 seconds, but it feels heavenly, and I imagine a successful sexual encounter will be ten times better, and oh how I wish I could have one!
I don’t know if something is wrong with me or not.
I’m also someone who’s extremely reticent, which is why I’ve never been able to tell anyone about this. Whenever my friends discuss their sex lives, I make up stuff and it’s been so long that I’ve lied to everyone, that I can’t even own up to it now. It’s just really sad LOL. I don’t know how helpful this will be, but this is still something. I live with my parents, can’t even afford sex therapy, or get a sex toy or something.
I have always faked my orgasms. Never been able to tell the guy that I’m not feeling it. It’s probably the pressure to be perfect.
Nowadays when I go out on dates, the first thing I tell them is that I am not looking for hook-ups, and that’s where half of them disappear, or they stick around and try to change my no to a yes in spite of me having mentioned it before the first date. A guy recently asked me about my sex life, about what I like in bed, and I told him that he needs to stop asking me questions if he doesn’t want me to lie. Because I really do not know how to not lie, I know it sounds ridiculous but please believe me.
I am really helpless.
Any advice will be extremely appreciated, thank you.
Dear Ms Seeking Answers,
On a side note, for some people, putting what we feel in words and mailing it off to someone unknown online could be therapeutic by itself. I thank you for trusting me.
No one can define your sexuality for you except yourself.
Asexuality is not a disorder. Just because you don’t feel sexually inclined doesn’t mean you have something that needs to be fixed. You can experience true love and can feel love for a person without the wish to get into their pants.
You don’t need to be in this constant quest to fit in a world where a majority of people are sexual. You don’t need to fake orgasms.
Eventually, you just need to make peace with the fact that some people may not seek what you are seeking, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t enough people who also seek what you are seeking.
I reckon that our need to seek love and understanding and our ways through relationships by way of lying and faking orgasms is more related to how we see ourselves in relationships and needs psychological intervention.
Please do not hesitate fixing an appointment with a mental health professional.
P.S. Things get better.
(Harish Iyer is an equal rights activist working for the rights of the LGBT community, women, children and animals)