Sexolve 198: ‘In these Times of Coronavirus, I Resent My Partner’
Harish Iyer on Coronavirus, lockdown and relationships.
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 here below:
I am feeling terribly anxious. I am alone in Mumbai where my partner is in Pune at his parent’s place. I feel the urge for sex and I feel terribly frustrated and anxious. I masturbate 5 times in a day but it doesn’t help. He is happy with his family. I want this corona bullshit to end. What should I do?
Sex Starved Man
Dear Sex Starved Man,
Thank you for writing in.
Let’s begin by acknowledging that this is a difficult time for all of us. I can only imagine that this time may be difficult for your partner too. He must be missing being with you too.
It is important that you don’t start a blame game with “O you are enjoying with your family, I am all alone”.
It is not his fault that he is in a (presumably) happier state. He doesn’t need to feel everything that you are feeling to ascertain that he loves you. He just needs to feel for you.
About you longing for his touch. I feel you. Many of us who are away from our partners are going through the same phase.
When we cannot control the situation around us, we should rather make best of the situation we are in.
Do experience the power of video chatting. (It may not be the real thing, but it is the closest to reality you could get now). Try doing things you like. Play an online video game. Watch your favourite film on Amazon or Netflix or Zee5 or Voot or any of the OTT platforms. Cook your favourite food. Just browse through your phone and chat up with a random friend you have never connected since ages. Say thank you to someone, say sorry to someone. Step out with all protective gear alone to feed the stray dogs and cats in your area. Make yourself useful to them. And masturbate only when you feel the need to, not as an obsessive habit.
I think you have the potential to do many things and discover several hidden features that you may have. This is your time.
Sex, well, that will happen too.
P.S. I agree when they say, sabr ka phal meetha hota hai.
This lockdown has given me the time to reflect on something that I never did before. I am thankful and sorry too. I realised that I have been a homophobe to someone who wrote me a love letter. I didn’t want to acknowledge then that I am lesbian too, so I played the role of a homophobe with her and in fact told a couple of friends who told another couple and she got targeted badly in school. I feel very bad now. I don’t know if it is right to tell her. I have seen her recently and have her number. I feel like apologising and moving on. How should I do this.
Dear Troubled Woman, Thank you for writing in.
It is not uncommon that queer people are homophobic just to hide their queerness from the other person. This pretention is toxic to the self.
However, over time, we gain courage to face our truths and not merely fight them. I am glad that you realise your mistakes and are genuinely apologetic. It is not necessary that you should fall in love with her if she proposes to you, but there are kinder ways to tell that you don’t feel the same way.
It is never too late to say sorry. It is never too early to apologise.
Go right in. Tell her that you apologise for your behaviour. Be aware though that she reserves the right to either accept your apology or tell you off. Be prepared for different reactions that could come from her. She is the master of her destiny. She may feel better if you let her know that you have realised your folly. She may also get angry when she is reminded of the mistakes you made. Give her the chance to react the way she wants to react. Do not judge her for her reactions. If she has suffered and nursed a feeling of hurt for too long, she would find it difficult to let go of her hurt too.
Give her the time to recoup. If she gets chatty with you and if the conversation comes to a point where you discuss coping mechanisms and stuff it may be a good idea to see a good psychologist who can help navigate through this.
P.S. It gets better. Yes, it does.
I am a 28 year old man and I am stuck in what can only be described as – one of my most difficult moments. I was sexually abused by my uncle when I was just 8 years of age. It began as groping at 8, and when I was 11 he had full fledged intercourse with me. I did not resist it then. He was close to the family. He told me it was a secret. He asked me “do you like it” and at that moment, it felt more like a massage, I guess, I liked it. I hate myself for that. Today I am a straight man, but I have had gay feelings for this man. We kept doing things till I was 16. We lost contact after that. I also tried forgetting. And actually thought I had forgotten. We had a death in the family and he was here. Now he is stuck and so am I with him. Today, I am with this man. In the same house. How do I deal with this? All memories come flashing. How do I deal with this. Is there a way out. Please keep my identity secret.
Dear Lonely You,
First, let me acknowledge your strength, honesty and your trust. Thank you for writing to me. Thank you for trusting me. Let me also acknowledge that we are going through a particularly difficult time at the moment. I cannot claim to understand all the complex emotions running in your mind, but I am glad that you are able to articulate this to me.
Let me tell you, that every child deserves the right to a happy childhood. The fact that he first groped you, you were too young to understand what was happening to you. When you were 11, you were still young to understand.
What he did with you between 8 and 11 is a thing called “grooming”. He made you feel good, he made it look like a game, he groomed your young impressionable mind to believe that whatever was happening was with your consent.
Don’t hate yourself for that. No child is ever responsible for this. Not even if you thought it was a massage. Not even when you thought it was nice and wanted more. It is not the child’s fault. It is a difficult task to decipher a whole range of emotions that a child survivor of abuse could feel right from curiosity to fear to disgust. Don’t blame yourself for that. No child is responsible for their abuse.
I am a survivor of child sexual abuse too. We all have our unique ways of coping with the train of thoughts. When memories come flashing to me, I don’t try to fast forward them or erase them from my memory. I sit still and let them all pass. I don’t fight them. I face them. And that makes a hell a lot of difference.
I know that it is challenging perhaps to be in the same house as your abuser. I can only imagine that one could be feeling anger, hopelessness and also a lot of resentment. It is first important to acknowledge that it is natural to experience these emotions. Don’t feel guilty for it. Acknowledge it.
I understand that you may feel the need to come out about your abuse to your family members. I would urge you to do so too, however, understand that we cannot govern other people’s reaction to our words. Often in families where the abuser is trusted, it takes some time for the family to come around and accept the truth that the survivor is speaking. It may appear that this is the most natural thing to do, but it may in reality not be that easy.
It may take some time for your family to deal with this shock. While they should distance themselves from the abuser, it is also possible that they take time to do so. Many families also would ask the question “why didn’t you tell me then”. I want to remind you, again and again and again – IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT.
Do not blame yourself and but also understand that people’s reactions are not under your control.
I know this is lockdown time, but there are many psychologists who are offering services over the phone. I would strongly urge you to speak to a mental health professional and seek their therapy.
Do write back if you need anything. I will share my mobile number with you for easy communication.
P.S. Please do see a counsellor.
(Harish Iyer is an equal rights activist working for the rights of the LGBT community, women, children and animals)
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