Sexolve 237: ‘My Husband Has a Boyfriend’
“You deserve to show empathy and patience towards yourself,” writes Harish Iyer.
(Trigger Warning: Some questions could make you feel agitated. Reader discretion is advised.)
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 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:
My Husband has a Boyfriend
I am really worried. My husband is in the film line and he meets a lot of good looking people. He always ends up having long-long conversations with actors, it starts in the evening and continues till the wee hours of the day.
Last night I saw him engaging in an animated conversation with an actor in person. His hands were on the actor's thighs. His hands were inching closer to the actor’s groin. I know these actor people are very chaalu and they jump on anyone in the film industry to sleep with them and get a job. I don’t think my husband is that kind of a guy. Also, my husband is not gay, I think sometimes. But I wonder why he is also giving in to these tendencies.
Someone must have done something to him so he is also doing this with them, just to stay in the business? I mean, I know most have heard a lot of awful things about the film industry… maybe, some of those are true. I don’t want to spend my life imagining things. I am sure there are more than just professional things… does my husband have a boyfriend in that person? I mean, after so many years of our marriage I don’t want to wake up to this new life. Is this why we have not had a child?
We have had sex… good fulfilling sex, but I never got pregnant. We went to infertility clinics and I got tested, I was told that I have a problem with my fallopian tube, but what if he paid the doctor to say that and the problem is that my husband is gay. I am thinking of all sorts of things. I am really worried. How can I help him save himself from forced homosexuality?
Dear Worried Patni,
Thank you so much for writing in.
First, I want you to relax and take a long breath. I can decipher from your mail that these thoughts are making you incredibly anxious. You deserve to show empathy and patience towards yourself.
What I read in your mail is an interpretation and a lot of judgment based on hearsay. Most of us have read and heard about infidelity in any industry that deals with glamour. In my opinion, though, infidelity is not industry-specific, but considering that the film industry is in the public eye always – it gets publicized and thus one starts assuming that the whole industry is filled with sex maniacs. I know of several people in the film industry who may even perform sex scenes on camera but in real life have committed monogamous relationships. I know of some who have ethical polyamorous relationships also. And I know of the ones who cheat as well.
The point I am making is that the film industry is not a monolith. In fact, there is no one set of beliefs, ideas, or ideals that define any industry.
Now coming to your point regarding your husband’s sexual desires… One way of clearing our doubts is by asking the person directly. There is nothing that beats an honest conversation between individuals. So, the question is - did you ever speak to your husband about it?
Creative people could be quite absorbed in the stories they create. They could spend hours day molding actors to play the characters they perceive in their heads. Are you sure that this is not the case of a director speaking to his creative executor?
No, don’t get me wrong. I am not invalidating your story or trying to say that you are imagining things, what I am trying to say is that we never know if what we are thinking is true until we actually find out. Your husband is an adult. And I gather, that if he is a director or producer, he is in a position of power. If an actor seduces him, he has the power to say no.
One doesn’t know what your husband’s sexuality is. Only he could know. Only he can choose to define it. There is a difference between having a male friend and a boyfriend and a partner. Your husband can only define what this actor means to him. To address the issue with him. However, remember to not bring it up in an accusatory tone, but in a genuine conversational tone.
Now regarding infertility, the ability to father a child (with motile sperms) has nothing to do with sexuality. If a person is queer, it doesn’t mean that they could be presumed infertile. Sexual orientation has nothing to do with fertility.
Dwelling in these doubts for too long may cause you more heartache. Please slowly broach the topic with your husband and clear your doubts. If you need help navigating through this, or with your mental wellbeing in general, please don’t hesitate in asking a mental health professional.
P.S. Never neglect mental health. NEVER.
Love Seems Elusive
I have wanted to fall in love with fellow queer women for too long. I am not able to. Despite living in a metropolitan city, I have never been able to chat up or meet queer women. I am scared that I will die alone. We have won laws, but what's the use – I will die alone. I don’t hear stories of queer women. All of them are about married women in love with their husbands. Sometimes, you know, I feel so lonely. I feel like I will die alone – single, in a bed full of unfulfilled dreams. I dread it. I really dread it.
Thank you for penning your heart’s content in this email. Thank you for your trust.
Your mail ascertains the fact that there is so much more that needs to be done than upgrading our laws to the tenets of equality enshrined in our constitution. We need more visibility, more acceptance, and more love of all kinds.
There is a lot of work that needs to be done. But there is also a lot of work that is happening. There are several narratives of queer women that are available in the public domain. I suggest that you visit www.gaysifamily.com they are a group run majorly by queer women. This website has come out stories of queer women. They also have offline events on a regular basis where you will get to meet and mingle with fellow queers.
I would also suggest that you read OUT, Queer Stories from India. Here is a book promo that could excite you
You could buy the book from Queer-ink. Please follow this website for events. This is also a website run by a queer woman activist Shobhna Kumar. You are not alone. Don’t hesitate to write in if you need any more assistance.
P.S. I repeat, you are not alone.
Is It Okay to Not Shave My Armpit?
I have never liked the idea of shaving body hair. I am a 26-year-old man. I don’t have much hair on my face, (surprisingly… but I have a lot of armpit hair. All my friends have shaved armpits… I don’t like shaving. Am I gross? Am I abnormal?
Thank you for writing in.
There is no compulsion for you to either shave or keep your body hair. Do as you like. You don’t have to be confined to the norms set by your friends.
You can define your own unique style and live life in your own way. There is nothing abnormal in not wanting to shave body hair. It is possible to be hygienic even with body hair.
P.S. Let it grow if you want it to grow.
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