(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:
‘I Feel Sexual With Men, Emotional With Women’
I am a 24-year-old man and belong to a very traditional, cultural and well-to-do North Indian family. I am very confused right now. I have been different since childhood. I have known that but never understood it. I am sexually attracted to men and emotionally attracted to women. The feelings have become clearer in the recent past. I am not able to perform with women and I don’t get an emotional feeling for men. The more I think about it, I get a sinking feeling and feel totally isolated and alone. I really don't know how to solve this and I am afraid I will be alone forever. Please help me.
Thank you so much for writing in. At the outset, let me share that what you think and what you feel is perfectly valid.
One could get attracted to more than one gender at a time. One could get more attracted to one aspect of a gender and get attracted to another aspect in another gender.
Have you tried delving into the aspect of why you are unable to relate to men emotionally as deeply you feel emotionally for women? Since you get sexually attracted to men, it may be worthwhile to investigate for yourself if the feeling of emotional disconnection with men is attributed to the fact that you have interacted with or have known of more men who are sexually active but the conversations didn’t go further after the orgasm?
There are many men like you who feel sexual towards other men, but are not able to relate to them emotionally. To all of those men, I would say that men who have sex with men or men who find other men sexually attractive are not all the same.
Men who have sex with men come with a range of emotional capabilities, maybe speaking to more men and trying to understand their perspective would help in furthering your understanding.
There are a lot of groups, beyond Grindr and tinder in Delhi and elsewhere in the country, where men meet and explore common interests other than sex with other men. It may be worthwhile to interact with more men to understand the connection better.
P.S. Don’t hesitate to speak to or avail the services of a counsellor if the going gets tough.
‘My Mom Snoops on Me’
I am a 21-year-old boy and have a very supportive mother. My mother is one of the most supportive of my homosexuality. I have been with women and men, my mother knows about it. But the problem is that she snoops into my books and bags all the time. She throws away my condoms without telling me. When I ask her, she acts surprised. The problem is that I have seen her do that. Do I need to forget this behaviour of hers because she is a supportive parent? Should I be angry? I don’t know how to feel.
Dear Tensed Boy,
First of all, it is wonderful that you are choosing to reflect on your thoughts rather than jumping into immediate conclusions.
Conversations, not confrontations are the genesis of change. Engage in them more often.
It is important to not forget that acceptance of something that’s tabooed, takes the effort of standing up for the person despite opposition. Sometimes it involves unlearning and of age-old myths that have been propagated to us. To understand whats happening in someone else’s mind takes a lot of love, empathy and sometimes a lot of effort.
Be patient with her journey of acceptance of your sexuality.
You can discuss issues without being confrontational. Instead of asking her “why do you do this”, you could try telling her about your life and how you feel about men and women. I would suggest that you sit with your mother and tell her how you feel and listen to her when she shares about her understanding of your sexuality.
Since you state that she is supportive, it may be worthwhile to give her a glimpse of queer life and assure her that you will take care of yourself. While I do not think peeping into an adult son’s closet is the right thing to do, it is important that you understand where she is coming from and allay her fears or concerns.
I wish you and your mother the best.
If your mother would like to meet other parents of queer children, she could reach out to facebook.com/SweekarTheRaibowParents. Ask her to drop a private message here. It’s a group by parents for parents.
Do let me know if you get stuck anywhere. Always here to assist.
P.S. Remember, conversations, not confrontations.
‘Do Women Have Something Like a Penis’
I am ashamed to ask this. I am a 27-year-old man. I was told by my male friend that women also have something like a penis. What is that?
Dear Shy Boy,
Thank you for asking. I do not know exactly what your friend is referring to. I assume he means the clitoris.
A clitoris is homologous to the glans penis and is a point of sexual excitement in women.
You can read more about the clitoris here.
P.S. Read more about sex and anatomy.
(Harish Iyer is an equal rights activist working for the rights of the LGBT community, women, children and animals)