Sexolve is equal rights activist Harish Iyer’s Q&A space on The Quint.
If you have any problems, doubts or queries regarding sex, sexuality or your relationships, which you can’t seem to deal with, or 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
This week’s Q&As below:
“I Have No Interest In Penetrative Sex”
I am a 29 year old bisexual man from Mumbai. I am more inclined towards men. I discovered myself when I was as young as 13. However, I am yet to get into a proper sexual relationship with anyone. My problem is that I do not like penetrative sex with anyone. Don’t get me wrong, I am not a survivor of child sexual abuse or anything like that. I am just someone who doesnt like penetrative sex. Everywhere around me I see people speaking about sex in the penetrative sense. I feel weird as I do not feel like they do, so much so that I have started questioning my sexuality – am I really bisexual – is a question I ask myself nowadays. I feel suicidal at times because of this confusion. I am unable to take it. To find yourself and then to lose yourself, or doubt the authenticity of your own truth, could be the most painful of all traumas. I am the living example. How do I move forward?
Mr Doubt, Mumbai
Dear Mr Doubt,
Thank you for sharing such deeply personal information with me. I understand where you are coming from. I know the emphasis on penetration, even in our general language, could be quite obsessive. I have felt like you too. I never liked penetrative sex. And believe me, it doesnt make you less of a bisexual person if you dislike a certain sexual act. And that’s what it is – just one of the many sexual acts between individuals. Try looking at it in that light.
In fact, I very recently discovered, there is a whole group of people who do not believe in penetrative sex and that “position” is called “side”. I am a “side”. There are enough and more pleasures that one could work with their tongue or their hands in action. And for the more kinky, there are other body parts like – leg and face and hips and arms and buttocks... all of which could be pleasure points for you and your partner(s). Do not let one sexual position define the entirety of your sexual feelings.
However, I should also add that a sexual relationship is not only about us, it is also about the person(s) we are having sex with. They may want penetrative sex... so it would be nice if we could have a frank conversation. Conversation about copulation always helps. And if they would only want sex in the penetrative way, move over from them to someone who is more sexually compatible with you. Believe me, there are enough fish in the pond.
And naah re baba, I didn't assume that you were sexually abused for disliking penetrative sex. You don’t need to have necessarily had a bitter experience to validate your feelings. And if you have any suicidal feelings, do connect to the Humsafar Trust at Humsafar.org. If you wish to speak to me, who is a peer-listener and not a counsellor, I am all ears.
“Have I Become Impotent?”
I have a problem. While I was zipping back my pants after peeing, the skin of the shaft of my penis got stuck in my zipper. I was in the middle of a meeting and had to rush back after the leak, so I pulled my zip hard to the top. In the bargain, I stretched my penis foreskin and it tore. I started bleeding, but felt embarrassed to visit the doctor or tell anyone in the family. The area turned red. As I write this to you, it has been two days since the incident. I feel no pain, the thing has dried up. But I am scared and not getting any erections now. Have I become impotent?
Ouch! Ouch! Ouch! I dont even want to imagine what you would have gone though at that moment. It must have been utterly painful. I am not qualified to give you medical advice. I can only share that trauma affects sexual emotions sometimes. And this pain, is trauma. Also sperms are responsible for procreation, the penis plays the role of being a sexual organ for the passage of sperm. Please visit a doctor, baba. Jaldi!
Get well soon.
“My Husband Beats Me Up During Sex”
I recently got married. I met my husband on a matrimonial website and we briefly dated before we got married. We had sex only on the first night of our marriage. My husband is a kind man. He is very caring and loving. He is widely respected for his social work, but there is another side to him that I wish to highlight, that is bothering me. My husband beats me up during sex. He uses foul language and demands that I perform oral sex on him. A couple of times he also orgasmed in my mouth. I don’t want my relationship to go sour. What do I do?
Loving Wife, Bangalore
Dear Loving Wife,
All relationships should be set on the strong foundation of consent and mutual respect. And respect is relative according to the person, place and situation. Your husband could be a respected individual for his social work and caring ways with all the people in the world or in external settings. But you cannot and should not discount his abusive behaviour in bed with you. You have the right to deny him oral sex or any sex. You have the right to speak up against him using cuss words or beating you up. If it gives him a sexual kick, let him do so while he is masturbating or kicking himself. When he is having sex with you, it is not about his kinks and desires. It is about what you guys mutually decide.
Stand up for yourself. Speak up. Discuss. Abuse can be stopped. And if he is really a kind man, he will listen.