Sexolve 152: ‘My Mother Stops Me From Shaving Body Hair’
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 email@example.com.
This week’s Q&As below:
‘I Have a Lot of Body Hair, My Mother Stops Me From Shaving It’
I am a 28-year-old boy from East Africa. My parents are of Indian origin. I have a very peculiar problem. I have been targeted often because of my body hair. I have a lot of body hair. Especially the hair in my pubic area are so long that sometimes when I wear shorts, it gets too visible. My parents told me that I am not supposed to cut my hair there. I want to, but I don’t want to go against my parents wishes also. Mom thinks that it is a family tradition have a lot of hair. I don’t want to listen to mom, I want to revolt. She should leave me alone. But I don’t want to hurt her. What should I do?
Dear Raising Hair,
Thank you so much for writing to me. I understand where you are coming from when you address your body image issues. It is sad that people are so shallow that they target others for their physical attributes. Whether you have hair and where you have hair in your body should be your prerogative and no one else’s. I am sorry to hear you are being targeted for this.
Now, coming to your relationship with your mother – I understand that you have a very strong bond with her. So strong that you seek permission from her for everything… I feel it is a good thing that you are having a terrific bond with your mom.
I should also add a word of caution here.
Your mother gave birth to an entity who has a mind of his own. Also, parents need to interfere with their children’s life in an age-appropriate manner. Your mother is human. She may have gone wrong. She should have respected your space considering that you are old enough to take decisions about your own body.
Tell your mom, gently, but clearly. Tell her that you love her, but would love it if you are left alone to decide on what’s good for your body.
Once the child is an adult, parents should realise that their umbilical cord cannot be connected forever. I hope she will. If she doesn’t, I wish you love and luck.
PS: Mom, please step aside.
‘My Family Addresses My Partner As My “Roommate”’
I am a 38-year-old woman who has been in love with another woman for the past 20 years. Yes, you heard it right, we have been in love and in a relationship as a couple. However, we don’t get recognised for anything. My family still treats her as a “friend” or a “roommate”. I don’t have a mother. I have told my sister and my dad to refer to my girlfriend as my partner when they speak to relatives. However, they don’t seem to get it. How do I persuade them? Is there something wrong with me? I seek validation. Is that wrong?
Dear Troubled Lessie,
We all deserve recognition for our love and validation of our relationships. There is nothing wrong with you. It is okay to love and to expect for our love to be recognised by our near and dear ones.
While there is nothing wrong with the expectation, one needs to be prepared for the fact that all of love is not always recognised by everyone.
Yes, it would be ideal if your partner is referred to as your partner. But how does anything change if they don’t. Let’s stop seeking validation of the ones who don’t believe in championing us the right way, let’s run to the town with those who believe in our love and are our love.
If your lover loves you, and you love your lover, that’s all that you need.
You need love, not validation of love.
If your father and sister don’t want to call your partner as your wife/spouse, let that not stop you from expressing love in full gay abandon.
PS: Even when you give love any other name, it is still love.
‘My Husband Is Not Sexually Intimate With Me’
I am a 32-year-old woman. I got married around ten years back. It was a love-and-arranged marriage. My husband is a lovely human being. But considering that my mom is a kidney patient, and my dad wouldn’t be able to manage my mom all by himself, I had made up my mind that I will never leave my parents’ side. I told my then boyfriend that I will marry him only if he agrees to stay with me in my parents’ house and to my utter surprise, he agreed. It is 10 years now, we are together and we are highly compatible. However, the challenge is that we don’t have any physical intimacy. I have never had sex with my husband. He is like a bread winner of the family, a kind person, a person who loves me, but he wouldn’t make love to me. For the first 7 years of my married life, I was bullied by my in-laws and my parents’ side of the family. They kept asking me to take tests after tests to check if I am fertile enough to bear a child. I was literally on the brink of depression. Hearing the word “baanj” again and again. I couldn’t tell people the real reason why I could not parent a child. After 7 years and several tests, I got pregnant through IVF and now I have triplets who are 2 years old. Till date, the issue is that we are not physical with each other. How do I change that? How do I make my life more fruitful and more useful?
Thank you for writing in. I know it would have not been an easy thing to trust someone on the internet. Thank you, once again for that.
I am glad that you like your husband and stand up for him every time. But does your husband love you? How did he react to you being not treated well by your family because of the fact that you didn’t bear children? Does he experience any kind of guilt, because of the fact that you have been unfairly targeted, when the real issue is that there is no sexual relationship with you?
I am glad that your husband is loving and caring and stays with you at your parents’ place, but do look beyond these things. If physical intimacy is what you seek, please tell him that you seek that – openly and frankly. Tell him what you desire and what you deserve.
Whether you decide to have a child or not, should not be a question that your in-laws or your parents family should be bothered about. It is totally your decision and it should be yours and yours only. You could seek your husband’s view on the same, because he would partner you in bringing up your child.
Please speak to your husband. Tell him very frankly that you feel when you feel those emotions. If things don’t work out the way you wish that they work out, please address the issue then and there with your husband. I would suggest that you seek professional counselling for your husband. It seems like he is going through something that’s bothering him but he doesn’t want to confess yet. He needs some serious counsel.
Don’t confront your partner, comfort him. Hope he opens up.
PS: Take him to the counsellor.