Sexolve 86: ‘Is Sex Important in a Relationship?’
‘Is sex important in a relationship?’
‘Is sex important in a relationship?’(Photo: iStockphoto)

Sexolve 86: ‘Is Sex Important in a Relationship?’

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

This week’s Q&As below:

‘My Boyfriend Suffers From Flatulence’

Dear RainbowMan,

My boyfriend is a bag of gas. Quite literally. He is a wonderful person, but he farts at the most odd times and it is extremely embarrassing. Last week when we were out with friends on a small New Year’s vacation, he had a peculiar “loud” incident and he didn’t even excuse himself. It is dirty and yucky and makes me truly socially awkward. I cannot deal with this anymore. I have not brought it up with him. I wish to leave him, but I cannot bring myself up to tell him that I am leaving him because of his farting habit. How do I go about this? Any suggestions.


I wish to leave him, but I cannot bring myself up to tell him that I am leaving him.
I wish to leave him, but I cannot bring myself up to tell him that I am leaving him.
(Photo: iStockphoto)

Dear Gaseous,

While passing gas is a natural bodily process, it is also important that we do remember that it could cause social embarassment too. I empathise with you.

But listen, you cannot leave him without caring to even bringing it up with him. What if this was not voluntary, but involuntary? What if he is not excusing himself when he farts just because he is unable to do so as it happens automatically without his body signalling him?

I suggest that you politely bring it up with him. Check with him if he has visited a doctor. Fix him an appointment with one, or urge him to fix himself one. Tell him how you feel about it and that you would want to help him out with it. Don’t be insulting, show your genuine concern.

There are many wars that could have been averted by the simple art of conversation.

Hope things get better for your relationship. Wish you good luck.


‘Is Sex Important in a Relationship?’

Dear RainbowMan,

I am a gay man from north India. I have been wanting to get into a relationship with this man who I know for the past three years. He proposed to me a month ago and I have kept him hanging there. My issue is that I do not feel the urge for sex. I wouldnt mind if he has sex elsewhere to feed his need for sex because he is getting none from me. My problem is that it will not be called a “relationship” then. How much is sex important in a relationship? Dont open relationships always fail?


“Don’t open relationships always fail?”
“Don’t open relationships always fail?”
(Photo: iStockphoto)

Dear NonSexual,

Just as it is natural to be sexual, it is also natural to not feel the urge for sex. As long as it doesn’t bother you, it is fine. It feels really nice to understand that you realise that the one who loves you may not have the same lack of interest in sex. He may well have a strong libido, for all you know. And I am glad that you are empathetic towards him.

However, do not let the world dictate your behaviour towards your loved ones. It is only and only the couple that could define the scope of the relationship. If you and your partner are okay to keep it open/polyamourous – so be it.

There will be people who will say nasty things. All communities are filled with such people, the gay community, a little more. But tu, rehne de. Dont give it much heed.

Whether sex is important or not in a relationship is relative. There is no one rule that fits all. There are people who have been in love and been in open relationships. There have also been many successful relationships who have been open, and I know of many closed relationships that have failed too. Stop comparing your relationship with the failures.

Base your life decisions rather on the best case scenario rather than the worst case scenario. I mean, rather than saying “this relationship has failed, so will my relationship”, say that “this relationship has succeeded so will mine”.

On that note, good luck with your relationship.


‘I Was Sexually Abused By My Father’

Dear RainbowMan,

I am a 27-year-old gay man. I was feminine right from the time I remember myself. I have been feminine since my childhood. When I was around nine, I was sexually abused by my own father when he was too drunk. I think that made me gay forever. I cant stop myself from understanding that my life has been a bane. Though my father never abused me after that day, it has strained my relationship with him. How do I get rid of the guilt? Did the fact that I am feminine prompt him to rape me? I hate myself.


Dear Sunshine,

Thank you for sharing what happened with you. Being feminine is not a licence for anyone to misbehave with you. Especially primary caregivers, like parents, have the onus of protecting their children.

The fact that your father was drunk doesn’t give him the licence to assault you. The fact that you are feminine, doesn’t give your father the right to assault you. Anyway, why is it that just because someone is a woman or woman-like, it is a licence for someone to sexually assault them?

I want you to know – IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT. Stop blaming yourself. And while I would not ask you to harbour hatred towards yourself or your abuser, I would also request you to not reason with his inappropriate behaviour. WHAT HE DID WAS WRONG.

I would suggest that you see a counsellor. Memories of childhood have a habit of revisiting our minds again and again.

Regarding, same-sex abuse making you gay. I am a survivor of same-sex abuse too. I was seven when I was raped by my uncle. Let me share with you some statistics. The 2007 survey by the Ministry of Women and Child Welfare reveals that one in every two to three to children gets abused. Mostly in the case of boys it is same-sex abuse. Not one in two boys are gay. Read the report here.

In the end, I believe I am gay because I am gay. The fact that I was quiet and shy, was seen as a licence for my abuser to attack me. In the end, I have stopped finding reasons and excuses to not accept, but be at loggerheads with my sexuality. I have instead allowed myself to feel what I am feeling.

I feel you would find peace if you do so too. And yes, please fix yourself an appointment with a psychologist. They will help you see things in a new perspective.


(The text and the location has been edited to protect the identity of the people. You can send in your questions to

(Harish Iyer is an equal rights activist working for the rights of the LGBT community, women, children and animals.)

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