Sexolve 136: ‘Will Smoking Joints Regularly Affect My Sex Life?’
Sexolve is equal rights activist Harish Iyer’s Q&A space on FIT.
If you have any problems, doubts or queries regarding sex, sexuality or your relationship, 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 to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This week’s Q&As below:
‘I Smoke Joints Regularly. Will It Affect My Sex Life?’
I am 31 year old man. I have a unique question, I don’t know whether you will reply or not.
I am harsh joint smoker and let me give you a more specific background, I smoke one hash joint a day and masturbate daily once. I have been doing this for past 2 years. I want to ask that is there any effect of this in future to my sex life. I also smoke 2 cigarettes per day.
Dear Mr Joint,
Thank you for your query. I am not a qualified doctor or pharmacologist, therefore I wouldn’t be able to answer your question in detail regarding smoking marijuana.
I came across this article in Psychology Today which suggests that the scientific community seems divided on whether smoking joints is sexual desire augmenting, inhibiting or has zero effect.
Regarding consuming/smoking tobacco products like cigarettes there are studies that say that testosterone levels and cigarette smoking have an inverse proportion to each other. The more you smoke the lesser are your testosterone levels, the lesser is your sexual desire. This is also because sexual arousal needs good blood circulation and tobacco has an antagonistic effect on blood circulation as it constricts blood vessels. Also, I have read several reports about smoking being linked to erectile dysfunction.
Regarding masturbation, you could masturbate when you feel aroused.
‘I Feel Sexually Attracted to Older Men’
I am a 22 years old single guy. I feel quite weird and very complicated about my sexuality. Though I feel attracted and want to spend time with girls. But I want to have physical relationship only with men much older (35+ of age) than me. I have even been physically intimate with some men (none of them were close to my family and all of them were married), but I just wanted physical intimacy, not anal sex (neither penetrating nor being penetrated), so it didn't work. I feel lust only for only men. I don't have any history of child abuse. Can you give me suggestions on what I should do as in this way I can't have any relationship with either men or girl.
Thank you for sharing with me. Sexuality is deeply personal. No one else can possibly tell what sexuality or gender another person is. Only the person can confirm, if they want to confirm.
Your desire to have sexual encounters with older men is neither weird nor abnormal. It is okay to wish to roll over the hay with someone older. As long as it is consensual it is fine. Desire for sex with older men need not be validated by any history of child sexual abuse. So don’t let your thoughts run in that direction.
One of the reasons you are not getting into relationships with gay men, I presume, is because by your own admission, you are dating men who are married to women. This makes the whole relationship very complicated. But there are many many fishes in the queer pond. I am sure you would find older single gay men too. Do look around. Go to LGBT parties, attend events and get acquainted with people beyond sex. Conversations can lead to things beyond copulation.
PS: Live life, unboxed.
‘I Love Women, but I Am Not Lesbian’
I am a 32 year old female and currently single. Putting my situation in words is difficult for me but I am trying to be as clearer as I can. From my childhood I liked myself to be judged as a boy. Be it my attire or my way of talking or subjects of discussion with friends, it's always more masculine. But I do wear feminine clothes, mostly to keep a so called balance in society as well as in job and also keep my family satisfied.
I was once in a relationship with a girl who was my best friend. That relationship broke after 13 years and that left a huge impact on me. The reason for breakup was her family's decision to marry her off and obviously none of us disclosed our relationship to anyone, as nobody would have understood. I couldn't stand up and tell the truth at that time and I feel devastated for the fact that she left me. I don't blame her but I expected that she would at least continue loving me. Anyway, I decided to live single then, as I loved her too much and no one would have accepted this identity of mine and I never wanted my family to be unhappy for me.
Now my family is thinking for my marriage to which I vehemently objected and stated that I want to remain single. They never asked me why, but just stated the fact that either I have to marry or break apart from my family. This has come to me as a huge blow and left me completely clueless.
I fought my breakup alone and somehow was getting along with reality but this latest blow has left me shattered. I can't explain my masculine side as they will think it's nothing at all, just as they think I am still a kid. I can't say about my inclination to girls as my family would think me mad to be a lesbian (which I feel I am not). I know I can never be in a sexual relationship with a man because I consider myself as a man - it would be disastrous for me if I agree to marriage. I don't know how to proceed further.
Anonymous "Guy" in Distress
Dear Anonymous Guy,
Your gender is what you tell the world. Your gender is not what the world assumes you are. If you say you are a man, you are a man. So you could do without the inverted commas, and still it would be super fine.
Listen man, I do know how much a break up could hurt. And the feeling of not being able to bring yourself to even share what you are, and what you feel is unfathomable for someone who has not gone through the same. I cannot feel what you feel, I can only imagine that it is not easy and it is certainly devastating.
I love you. I hope you find the strength to love yourself and stand up for yourself one day.
No, you don’t have to get married to a guy when you don’t want to get married to a guy and are actually attracted to women and call yourself a man.
I will not paint any rosy picture. To fight for yourself and emerge to be the truest and the most authentic part of you, is a struggle. I can tell you though, that there is light at the end of the tunnel. The fight is fierce, the fight for gender in a world filled with stereotypes is lifelong. But it is worth it.
I know it could get quite lonely when we find ourselves as the only ones who face this challenge. When we meet other people with similar challenges, we could learn from each other’s struggles and victories. So connect with UMANG LBT, a group for lesbian bisexual and transpersons in Mumbai their email is email@example.com.
You could also write to my friends at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Let’s get together.
PS: Things get better, when we stick together. Hai naah?
(The text and the location has been edited to protect the identity of the people. You can send in your questions to email@example.com.)
(Harish Iyer is an equal rights activist working for the rights of the LGBT community, women, children and animals.)