Sexolve 203: ‘Life Is Difficult Without a Cigarette’

Harish Iyer answers your questions on love, sex and relationship.

7 min read
"Love that stands the test of time could be love stands forever."

(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 in to Harish Iyer, and he’ll try and ‘sexolve’ it for you. Drop in a mail to

This week’s Q&As below:

'Life Is Difficult Without Sutta'

"I wonder if this lockdown will go on for more time I will become impotent."
"I wonder if this lockdown will go on for more time I will become impotent."
(Photo: iStock)

Dear RainbowMan,

I have been facing a difficult situation. I am a married man. We in fact got married before the lockdown. Just before the lockdown.

My wife and I had planned a long honeymoon to Canada, but our plans had to be stalled due to the virus. What we have got to do, is instead, spend our intimate time with our entire family.

Luckily, since my wife’s family lives just 5 buildings away, we shuttle between my parent’s and her parent’s home. We have a room to ourselves in both the places. The problem is that we get only the night to spend time together. Else we are surrounded with our family members, which also includes a cousin each in both the homes who is staying with us as they got stranded in the lockdown.

Sex for the first few days was fantabulous. Two days later, we actually looked at porn and managed to do most of the stuff. It was almost like exploring our sexual drive to the fullest.

However, after the initial few days, things started to deteriorate. I couldn’t get it up. And this has led to anger and frustration in my mind. I am generally irritable.

My wife is supportive, but I have the fear that she will leave me if I don’t give her pleasure. She is very beautiful. I tried finding many reasons for my lack of performance.

I realised that this is because of the lack of sutta. I haven’t been smoking after my pack of cigarettes had finished. I always smoke before sex and feel excited because of that. The lockdown has ensured that I get no cigarettes when I need one. I am not an addict of anything, mind you. I just think it acts as mood enabler. I wonder if this lockdown will go on for more time I will become impotent. What should I do?

Sutta Man

Dear Sutta Man,

At the outset, congratulations on your wedding and wish you a very happy married life. I know that these are quite challenging times and even a momentous occasion like setting off on a honeymoon would be termed as adventurous. However another thing is also true.

Love that stands the test of time could be love stands forever.

So truly, while this lockdown is a test of patience and endurance, it is also a testing ground for our love, our empathy and our priorities. I am sure that with little patience and a lot of love, we will sail through this moment unscratched and intact.

I know for people who are used to smoking, this is particularly a difficult time. I am not a fan of smoking, but I do understand that exit from a habit, even if we call it a vice, should be gradual, planned and with adequate psychological support. Sudden exits may lead to irritability and other withdrawal syndromes.

I understand that as a smoker, it is difficult to digest… but the high here mostly is momentary, the lasting reality is that nicotine is harmful for our sex life and is seen as one of the reasons for erectile dysfunction.

Irrespective of the length of this lockdown, I think, it is nice when love and love alone is enough for us to make love. Nicotine, or any other external factors, shouldn’t be a causative factor for us to express love in its myriad ways.

However, I also understand the challenge if withdrawal symptoms. You should consult a doctor to aid you through this process and suggest some medicines that could help you deal with your craving for cigarettes. Do not hesitate to see a psychiatrist if this has adverse emotional effects on you. Doctors are open during the lockdown. Do remember to visit one.

And always remember, love in itself is an aphrodisiac.

On another note, I thank you and your partner and your respective families for giving refuge to your cousins who are stranded. This is a time when we need to rise as guardian angels. Hugs.

We only grow further with the total sum of goodness in the world around us. Thank you.



P.S. The power of love is always greater than the power of sutta

I Slapped My Husband In Retaliation of Verbal Abuse

"Since the past week, things got so heated that I had to slap my husband."
"Since the past week, things got so heated that I had to slap my husband."
(Photo: iStock)

Dear Rainbow Man

I am a 28-year-old girl and I have had a love marriage. My husband belongs to a different religion and my family warned me from marrying him. But my mind was young and I was a natural rebel to run away from home and marry him.

The first three years of marriage were wonderful. We used to fight sometimes, but our fights would be resolved very soon. We never got too heated with each other anytime. We just had some fights last year after the birth of our child.

Since the past week, things got so heated that I had to slap my husband. He lost his job and lost his cool one day. He said something nasty about my parents and I couldn’t stoop low to his level so I slapped him.

He didn’t hit me back, thank god for that. However, he and I have not been in talking terms ever since. I am fed up of this silence. I sometimes think my parents were true about my husband’s religion for him to be foul-mouthed.

But I can't go back to my parents. They will be like “didn’t we tell you to not marry someone from that religion”. I am stranded with an unhappy marriage. I don’t know what to do.

Thanks and regards,

Worried Woman

Dear Worried Woman,

Thank you for expressing yourself. I am not sharing your religion or your husband’s religion because it doesn’t matter.

Atheists and people of all religions are capable of love. All humans of all communities, are capable of having a dark side. Every individual is capable of being kind, they should be taken for what they are worth individually. We should not box any religion with our bigotry.

This corona pandemic has created a sea of devastation and its very unfortunate that your partner’s job had to be a casualty. These are trying times. We need more empathy now.

I am not the one to condone emotional violence. I don’t know the contents of your partner’s disrespectful words for your parents. To gaslight, to insult, to degrade your partner is never right. And to slap your partner is never right either. Irrespective of the gender of your partner or the nature of your relationship, you just don’t behave with our partner’s that way.

I strongly would recommend that you both see a counsellor. There are many who are available during this lockdown too on skype or zoom calls. Don’t hesitate to see a counsellor. Your partner is going through stress and his stress is spilling over in his personal relationship.

This lockdown will not last forever, however, the hurt we cause each other in this lockdown may stay for a longer time. Walking out of a marriage is a big decision.

Let’s be sure that we are not taking a permanent decision on a temporary situation.

I am not telling you to not quit the marriage. I am just telling you to invite the intervention of a psychologist who could help you both see things in all different ways possible. You may find a way out of the relationship in an amicable manner, or you may choose to stay in a mutually fulfilling and blissfully aware relationship after the consultation.

Love. RainbowMan

P.S. Corona has got the worst of us out, it could also be a reason to reflect on the best of our core.

'I Masturbate. Will I Be a Father?'

"Will I be able to produce kids after the lockdown?"
"Will I be able to produce kids after the lockdown?"
(Photo: iStock)

Dear RainbowMan,

I have not had sex since the lockdown and have been masturbating everyday since as my wife is stuck at her parent’s place.

Wanna Be Daddy

Dear Daddy Cool ,

A healthy ejaculate has millions of sperms. If you don’t masturbate, they usually come out in some way when your testes fill up in the form of night fall (wet dreams).

I can't tell you whether you can be daddy or not, that has several factors to be taken into consideration. I can tell you though that masturbation will not cause impotence. A healthy and normal body will produce several sperms everyday.

Masturbation is healthy if done only when excited but not as an obsession.

Give yourself time for some healthy diversion. Read a book. Watch a move. Listen to speeches on youtube. Do a course.

Life is good for the same ol’ Netflix even if we are not Netflix-and-chilling.



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

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