(Trigger Warning: Some questions could make you feel agitated. Reader discretion is advised.)
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:
'I Am Lonely, Old and Single'
I am a working woman who is growing old and am worried really worried because I am greying and I am single. I wonder if I will be like this all my life. My family had disowned me when I was 19 and I came out to them about my girlfriend.
As luck would have it, my girlfriend ditched me for another woman in just 2 years of our relationship. I had left everything – my family, my savings, my educational documents – everything.
However, I was in a job already and I stuck on to the same job I stayed on and climbed the ranks. However, I don’t know if I will be loved ever again. Whether I will ever be in a relationship with another women.
Are there women in Mumbai who are queer and like me? I wonder. I don’t know. Will they like a 42 year old woman, I don’t know. I am scared of dying alone. I don’t know why I am writing to you,I don’t know if you are real and if you are a robot. but guess I just want to speak to someone who I don’t know and will listen to me.
I am here, I am listening.
As you read this, please imagine my voice and hear the sounds and intonations in your mind. I am a real human being, this is not a robot and this is not some artificial intelligence program writing to you.
I repeat, I hear you. I am listening.
The world has several women who love women. But patriarchy suppresses their expression of love. There are families that do not accept. But there is love. There are many women who love women.
And while I am no cupid, I do know that there are many who sail in the same boat and are looking for someone to row the boat together.
Please write to Umang or call them on the number they have put out on Twitter.
Also, have you read Gaysifamily.com there are many many stories of queer persons who identify as women in there. You could also write to them on firstname.lastname@example.org and now that the lockdown is opening up slowly, they may have events in Bombay that you could attend as well.
While these are no dating sites, I think love happens randomly, unplanned. The question is – are we there when love arrives and are we open to accepting the love that we deserve.
Open up. Go out. Write to people, speak to people. Venture on social media and dating sites. Things get better. They have to.
P.S. don’t hesitate speaking to a counsellor if the emotional turmoil gets too much.
'I Am More Committed to the Girl Than the Boy'
I have done something that I want to confess or share with you. I have a steady girlfriend, and recently I started liking a guy as well. I think we both connect beautifully with each other. My girlfriend and I are in an open relationship. Now the girlfriend complains when I am with the guy. The man complains when my girlfriend calls. I don’t know what to do. Also, my relationship with the girl is forever, the boy, I like, but I don’t feel that close of a bond with him. What should I do? Should I ghost the boy? How do I get rid of him?
Thank you for writing in.
I know that matters of the heart are not always easy to solve, but as long as there is truth and honesty, the greatest of mountains can be summitted.
The key words are truth and honesty. The boy you are dating is in a precarious stage. He is possibly falling in love with you, and despite knowing that you are in a committed relationship, he may pump up his hopes of a happily ever after.
Your responsibility doesn’t end by merely informing both your partners. It doesn’t help if you say – “I informed you, I didn’t hide. You fell in love, its your fault”. You need to take the onus of being truthful at every stage.
Check – are you using the man you are in love with a stephanie, - a wheel that you can use when the other doesn’t work. It is not a good feeling to be an “option”, and not the priority. It is not a good feeling to be number two always in the list of priorities.
Be honest with your boyfriend. Inform him about what you feel. Reiterate that again and again. And if he leaves, let him go peacefully.
I trust you to do the right thing and not lead people the wrong way.
P.S. truth hurts first, and then heals.
'I Think I Have HIV'
I had unprotected gay sex, I think I have HIV. Can you please help me?
Dear Worried Man,
Thank you for writing in.
When did this happen? There is PEP (Post exposure Prophylaxis) that you can take in the first 72 hours after exposure to the unprotected sexual act. If you have passed the period, please get a test done from the local lab, there are PCR tests and ELISA tests that are available with your pathologist. Please take those.
I would recommend that you speak to Humsafar trust. www.Humsafar.org. I don’t know where you are calling from. They are in Delhi and Mumbai and have networks across the country.
It is important for you to know that I have many friends who have tested positive for HIV and they live healthy lives by taking ART (Anti Retroviral Therapy) drugs regularly.
Please do get tested and practice safe sex always. Also read about PREP.
P.S. be safe, get tested.