Sexolve 251: “I Am Asexual. My Mother Wants Me Married Off”

Sexolve | Harish Iyer answers questions about asexuality, addresses masturbation myths, and responds to an admirer.

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Sexolve
7 min read
I am asexual, and the idea of romance, or love, or sex completely puts me off. 
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(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 sexolve@thequint.com.

This week’s Q&As are below:

'I Am Asexual. My Mother Wants Me Married Off.'

 I am asexual.  I don’t want to marry anyone.
I am asexual. I don’t want to marry anyone.
(Photo: iStock)

Dear RainbowMan,

I am a 25 year old girl from North of India. I am supposedly from a “progressive” family.

I put “progressive” in inverted commas because my mother thinks she did a noble deed by not getting me married off at 18 and now at 25, she wants me to marry the person she chooses.

She thinks it’s the daughter’s duty to listen to her parents. She was like “you wanted to study, we listened to you, now it is your turn to listen to us”. My father is pretty docile. He is not someone who has much of a say in these matters.

My mother is obsessed about getting me married. My brother, who is 2 years older than me, is heading for his PhD program. I am busy deciding to run to save my life from marriage or to kill myself. I am seriously upset and very confused.

I don’t know what to do. I am not someone who wants to marry or want to have sex. I am asexual. And here I have my dear mother who is planning everything she can to kill my joys and get me hooked to someone. I don’t want to marry anyone.

Not at 25, not at 35, not at 75. Never. I don’t want to marry.

The idea of romance, or love, or sex completely puts me off. I have had no bad experience in life in terms of sexual assault or anything… I just am made asexual. I don’t know what to do.

I don’t know how I could stop my life becoming a story of pain and instead write my story myself. I don’t know. I don’t know anything. I don’t know what could happen in my future. I don’t know if my life is just to listen to people and not have a will of my own.

Is that what I was born for. Is that all my life. I don’t know. I am really upset. Sorry if I poured my heart too much and spoiled your day. Sorry.

Runaway Bride

Dear Friend,

You have articulated what your feeling so beautifully. Thank you.

No, don’t apologize to anyone for speaking your heart out. Honesty is what we owe ourselves. I appreciate your candidness and love the fact that you are so self-aware about what you want and what you don’t want in life.

Parents can be wrong. Very wrong sometimes. And it is not wrong to put your needs and desires first. Children need to respect parents. But parents need to respect children too. It is a two way street.

Legally, morally and ethically, it is incorrect to force your child to marry or force your child to start a family with a person they don’t like. Emotional blackmail of children is wrong.

It is not a favour that parents do when they don’t force their choices on children. It just means they are decent human beings.

Forcing our children to have non-consensual relationship is not the sign of continuity of tradition, it is a blot to humanity. Since this non consensual relationship involves sex too, it takes the interpretation to rape as well.

I want you to build your own support system beyond your home. I encourage you to speak to a local non profit organization and seek their assistance. I suggest that you get out of your house, after you find adequate support for your initial days and also a safe place for you to stay. Seek legal intervention if it is needed.

I know of this women rights organization called Majlis. You can reach them at www.majlis.law. You could reach Human Rights Law Network on www.hrln.org . Seek help. Find yourself a job. Be on your own feet. And be independent.

I understand that times like these, when we feel trapped, we sometimes assume that there is no way out of this mess. We sometimes also tend to think of ending it all, by ceasing to exist.

Whenever you get such thoughts, acknowledge them. Don’t delay speaking to a mental health professional about these thoughts and seek intervention.

I know living life on our own terms may sometimes seem like a daunting task, but believe me, there could be light at the end of the tunnel.

Smiles

RainbowMan

P.S. May you shine light on the path you choose. And may all your dreams come true.

'I Am in Love With a Character, but Not the Person.'

This is not a love letter. Or maybe, it is one. 
This is not a love letter. Or maybe, it is one. 
(Photo: iStock)

Dear RainbowMan,

I have been a lover of your articles since the past 5 years. I have always been reading all your posts. I have been angry and sad and happy and mad everything after I read everything you write. There are times I don’t agree with you when you empathize with the worst kinds of people, sometimes I agree with you much.

You were and are my dope and my hope and my pain and my rain. I feel miserable that you are real. I feel I am in love with you – Mr RainbowMan. The issue is that I don’t like you as a person. I am not in love with you as the man behind this article.

I love the way you write. I love that you acknowledge your readers. I love the idea of you. I am in love with the person in front of this article. If you get it?

I know that this may seem a little off putting. But I don’t know how well I could articulate this. It took me some courage to write this to you. But I am in a confused state of mind. I don’t know if I am telling properly.

This is not a love letter. Or maybe, it is one. I am just a young gay guy waiting to hear a response from the rainbow man?

Anon 25

Dear Anon,

Thank you so much for your love. Thank you for reading my responses with great interest and enthusiasm. And thank you for telling me how you feel about Rainbow Man.

When we know of people in real life, we build perceptions about them. I firmly believe that everyone has a good and bad side to them. However, when we speak of people who are even a little well-known, we tend to magnify the negatives more than how much we appreciate the positives.

In real life, I am seen as someone who is strongly opinionated. I have also had my share of controversies. I didn’t want that perception due to the image that my real life deter someone from writing to me.

Sometimes (semi) anonymity gives one the ability to allow the reader to build whatever image they want to build about the writer in front of the computer. It’s like reading Harry Potter with the image of anyone we fancy as Harry in our heads.

Ranveer Singh as Harry? Mmmm....Why not!

OKAY, I digress. What I meant to say was, I am not offended, but instead feel a deep sense of gratitude that you have shared your honest feelings. Thank you.

I just wanted to remind you that there is a real person behind RainbowMan. The person who is writing this piece. And while they may want to believe that they are good, human beings as a rule are not completely good or completely bad.

We all are flawed in our own ways. There is nothing wrong in investing in love in a character called Rainbow Man.

However, it’s important to know that people are different from characters. And characters don’t become people, just because we imagine them as one.

Truth is stranger than fiction.

Smiles

RainbowMan

P.S. Love the person in your mirror. That’s the only true love.

'Will Masturbation Make Me Impotent?'

Am I wasting my sperm?
Am I wasting my sperm?
(Photo: iStock)

Dear RainbowMan,
My friends tell me that if I shag and waste my sperms, I will be punished and I will not be a father. Is that true?

Shaggy

Dear Shaggy,

Thank you for writing in. Your friends and you should know something.

Testicles form many million sperms every day. If you don’t masturbate, they will find a route out anyways. You may get a sex dream that would be followed by a night-fall.

An average healthy male need not worry about wasting sperms. He produces many everyday and only one sperm needs to copulate with one egg to form a child.

Yes, masturbate only when sexually aroused. Don’t make an obsession of it.

Smiles

RainbowMan

P.S. An excess of anything should be avoided.

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

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