Sexolve 187: ‘My Mom Wants Me to Marry My Cousin’

Sex and Relationship Queries | Talking Marriage, Erectile Dysfunction and More

6 min read
'I have called her my sister all my life. I suddenly cannot turn in and become her husband.'

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:

'I Am In Love With a Guy. How Will I Know if He Loves Me Too?'

'How will I know if this guy who I love so much, loves me?'
'How will I know if this guy who I love so much, loves me?'

Dear RainbowMan,

Am in love with a guy I love very much which I gave my heart to but I don't know if he actually loves me the way I love him. I don't know if he truly loves me or he wants to play with me because I don't want him to break my heart, am so afraid. So, my question is, how will I know if this guy who I love so much, loves me.

Lover Girl

Dear Lover Girl,

Thank you for writing in. The matters of the heart are always worth it. Even the pain, even the pangs, even the uncertainty? Isn't it?

But how long can someone live in the realm of uncertainty? Doesn’t love get better when there is clarity? And what better way to clear than to ask and tell. What better foundation to build the relationship on, other than trust? Isn’t it?

So, go out with him. Spend time with him. Ask him. Tell him. And gauge if he is worthy of your trust.

Give it time.



P.S. Life gets better when we speak up

'I Lose My Erection During Sex'

'I have a problem with holding an erection.'
'I have a problem with holding an erection.'

Dear RainbowMan,

I recently got married. But whenever we get close (apart from a few times) we are unable to perform sex. I have a problem with holding an erection. My penis is erected but not well enough for sex and even though sometimes I feel maybe we fight a lot that’s the reason, but I didn’t feel erect while watching porn too. Please help.


Dear Rahul,

Thank you so much for writing in.

Sex is beyond sexual intercourse. Maybe, one should explore more options than just the penis in vagina thing.

Good foreplay. Romantic explorations. Change of locations could all aid in creating a more orgasmic ambiance. I think it would be nice to discover that facet of your romantic life with your life-partner. Fights can be a big romance downer. Do remember to keep your bedroom free of conversations that may lead to a fight. Finish the fight in the other room, so that when you enter the bedroom, you enter with an open mind that is willing to explore a romance.

Regarding your erection challenges, I suggest that you see a good sexologist and check with them if there is any treatment that is needed in terms of medication, or simple behavioural changes that can add spice to your sex life.



P.S. Change of scene can change the story.

'My Mom Wants Me to Marry My Cousin'

"So unworthy that I will need to marry my own cousin sister?"
"So unworthy that I will need to marry my own cousin sister?"

Dear RainbowMan,

I am writing to you in desperation. I hope you will respond to my query. I am a 32 year old man. Still unmarried. I have been in relationships before but somehow every time I date a girl, she either runs away with someone else or she moves out of the city for better prospects. I have been in 4 such relationships. I just think it is plain bad luck. I think I am the bad guy who deserves bad things. Okay, I am possibly digressing. Please bear with me. I am really worried and I don’t know how to put it. I am single, but I am not sad. I would love to be in a relationship, and I have had heartbreaks, but I am also someone who recovers pretty soon. I don’t want people to be concerned about me. I don’t need that kind of extra sympathy. The problem is my mother. She is “concerned” and in her “concern” she has managed to fix me an alliance with someone. Turns out that the someone is my own cousin sister. In our family, we can get married to our mama’s daughter. So, this “alliance” so to say, is my own sister. I have called her my sister all my life. I suddenly cannot turn in and become her husband. I cannot behave like that. It is dirty, incestuous and weird. Yes, my sister and I haven’t been in touch for many years. But I still remember her as my younger sister. I wonder what is this stupid tradition that allows such hideous things to happen. I am really angry. I feel like running away from my own family. It would not be the right thing to do, but this may only be the thing I would end up doing. Do I look like damaged goods, just because I am unmarried at 32? I am unsuccessful. Very unsuccessful. So damaged and unworthy of finding an alliance in a woman outside my family? So unworthy that I will need to marry my own cousin sister? This is worrying me. I am unable to see light in the conversations of my mother. However, I cannot tell my mother that I will not marry also. We, as a family, never step against the word of our parents. My mom is a single parent. I don’t want to give her trouble. She also needs someone to speak to. Doesn’t she. She wishes to have someone and maybe she is right. But I am afraid, my life is going through a real mess. Can you help me?

Bhaijaan, Mumbai

Dear Bhaijaan,

Thank you so much for writing to me. I know you are upset. It is quite evident with your words. You speak of a lot of issues in this straight-from-the-heart email. Thank you for pouring out your personal details.

Let’s first speak about your affairs. When relationships fail, we all start looking for patterns. Which may be a good thing to do, so we can better ourselves and get into a more fulfilling relationship the next time over. However, it is not wise to blame oneself for all failures. Relationships don’t take the route to marriage for various reasons. And maybe there were different reasons for it not taking off in that route in each of the four times? Cut yourself some slack.

When has marriage been any indicator of success of worthiness. Marriage is no mean feat. You have to be absolutely ready for it. You can’t marry someone because your mother asks you to. You can’t marry someone because you have had four failed relationships. You can’t marry someone because people think 32 is too old.

You need to stand up for yourself and what you feel. You may not have the world standing with you, but you should be standing up with yourself, for yourself.

Regarding your mother’s insistence that you marry your cousin, you are not troubling her if you tell her that you will not marry a person of her choice. You should have a heart to heart conversation with her. Tell her what you feel. Also speak to your cousin sister. Ask her what she wants. Tell her what you feel about this. As two matured adults, you can decide the route from here. Do not give consideration to any worldy things.

If your mother needs someone to speak to, enrol her in some club or ask her if she would like to organise a kitty party at your place. You don’t have to get a wife to entertain your mom.

Not being rude. But frank.

Smiles 😊


P.S. Speak to your cousin, yaar!

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

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