(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:
'They Plan to Marry Me off as a Business Deal'
I am a 28 year old woman. My marriage was fixed when I was almost 8 or 9.
I mean, we weren’t child married or anything like that, but my dad and his dad had decided that we would get married the moment we would be adults.
All through my childhood, I was told that when I get older I will get married to this guy.
Until, I decided to visit US for my studies, I met new people I discovered that I cannot be bound to a person this way forcibly by my parents and decided to make US my home when I was 18, at my own will.
I have not visited India ever since.
I am now a US citizen. My parents have come here to meet me. They broached the issue of marriage with me again, I refused to be married off. They left in anger every time they came here.
Mind you, my father is no village man, he is a well educated astute businessman.
Apparently this deal between my father and the person I call uncle, about getting their children married to each other is a part of a big deal that will cause a merger of several millions.
I have somehow never really understood how a parent could actually make their child a part of a business deal. I cannot deal with this anymore.
The problem now is that I am contemplating visiting India. My mother is very ill. She has terminal cancer.
The challenge is that if I visit India, they could force me to get married to the guy.
The guy is still 'waiting' it seems. Or they may get me abducted. Or for that matter killed. I hear all these funny things that people do to ensure that businesses thrive.
I love my mother though. I know the things she endured for me. She didn’t have a voice and was still there to lend her voice for me.
I am torn now. Should I think about my safety or regret not being able to meet my mother the one last time before she died? I don’t know. I am a mess. I need your help.
Regards, A Vi-Desi
Thank you for writing in. I cannot fathom that.
Sometimes, we discover that education or affluence has nothing to do with empathy and the respect to an individuals freedom.
In all this, I am glad that you stood your ground and took control of your life. No one, but you yourself should be able to make decisions on your marriage or relationships.
I am guessing from your description that you are from a fairly affluent family. I hope that you have your independent finances that are not attached to your family.
Financial independence is the most important factor when we are in threats of this kind.
I don’t think your decisions of meeting your mother or not, should be dictated by your family.
However, I would want you to exercise caution. Since you are a US citizen, keep the US consulate in India informed as you visit your birth country.
Keep a mobile number and phone that only you know about and some people who you could call your 'safety net'. Keep local police in India informed as well, take the help of the US Embassy in India.
And once you have your safetynet in place, you may choose to take the leap of faith and visit India. You should however, be safe and plan for any exigency.
Please take care of yourself. I know that you are moved at the moment by the illness of your mother.
However, do not put your life in jeopardy. Please take all necessary precautions if you decide to come to India.
Lots of love,
P.S. Plan well. Be aware, if not beware.
'Why Wife Is Dominating'
I am a 46 year old man I have a 50 year old wife. The issue is that she is too angry with me all the time. Ever since childhood she has been domineering.
Now that I am 46, I feel like I have a mummy at home. 20 years we are married now.
And I don’t need a mummy in her. I need a partner.
Please can you drill some sense in her through this column. I will show it to her. Hope she respects her husband like she is supposed to and hope she doesn’t engage in 'feminazi'. Please help.
Dear Young Husband,
Thank you so much for writing in.
You have been married for 20 years now and is there a reason why you are speaking about this only now? Is there something in the recent past that made her so? Or was this her behaviour throughout like this?
Maybe what she needs now is not a branding as “feminazi”, maybe she needs your empathy now more than ever.
She is supposed to respect her husband? Isn't it a case where you both are supposed to respect each other? I wish you both achieve that.
At 50, females could be going through several bodily changes, that could have an effect on their behaviour. It is the time that calls for empathy and compassion from everyone she calls family.
I think it is time that your partner and you pay a visit to a mental health professional. You should have a conversation and see how you could salvage your sanity and save your marriage as well.
P.S. Please visit a counsellor. Both.
Why don’t you start a sex class for everyone. That’s what gays do right?
Thanks for writing in.
We all should learn about sex, sexuality and gender. Unfortunately, all gay persons are not engaged in the education activities. We are all not peas in a pod, you see.
I suggest you read up more and I wish you good health.
May your life get better and become more exciting than mine. Because you clearly seem to be jealous of mine. J
P.S. Look into the mirror. Love the man in the mirror, sweetie.