Sexolve is equal rights activist Harish Iyer aka RainbowMan’s Q&A space on The Quint.
If you have any problems, doubts or queries regarding sex, sexuality or your relationships, 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’m 45 and I am Fond of 18-20 Year-Olds”
I am a 45-year-old man and gay. I have always been confident of my sexuality. I have had no issues with that. I am a proud gay man. Though I am not out to the world like you are, I am out in my own little friends circle. I am having a problem with something peculiar. I am only fond of youngsters who are between the age of 18 to 21. I end up having sex with just this age group of people. It sometimes irks me when I look at gay couples who are around the same age or have 5-10 years of age difference, because I don’t get attracted to people my age group at all.
A week back, I was mentioning the same to a friend, and he called me a pedophile. He said so jokingly, but it hurt me very badly. I was mighty upset and after a while I started labelling myself as one in my head. If I was not a pedophile, why do I get attracted to people half my age, old enough to be my children? And anyways, this also makes me think, are gay people pedophiles?
Young At Heart, Somewhere
Dear Young At Heart,
Thank you for sharing your innermost desires with me. I know it must have taken you some courage to actually type what you just did. I am not going to discriminate against you because you share a desire for young men. There are several older men who get attracted, sexually and emotionally to new adults.
It is fine to get attracted. It is also fine to have consensual “relationships” with adults in private. The key words/principles are “consent”, “adult” and “private”.
You are not a pedophile, if you adhere to these three principles. Pedophilia is a term that you shouldn’t use so loosely, it is classified as a psychiatric disorder where an adult person experiences sexual attraction towards pre pubescent children. If you have sexual attraction towards an adult, it is not pedophilia, matter not how much the age gap. It is not wrong that you feel the way you do, it is only wrong to engage in a sexual encounter with a non consenting adult. Don’t feel guilty.
And neither are all gays pedophiles, nor are all pedophiles gay. There have been cases of men raping young girls, right? Sometimes these reports are plastered all across the media. Wouldn’t it be grossly incorrect in generalising all heterosexuals as pedophiles in that scenario? Pedophiles are pedophiles. They deserve to be studied and reprimanded for their non-consensual actions, if any. They don’t need to be classified as gay or straight or bi.
"My Wife Wants to Have Sex All the Time”
My wife is always horny. She wants to have sex all the time. I don’t like it. I think she must have had some sexual relations in her past and she has been lying about being a virgin before marriage. I have seen some commercial sex worker’s vaginas, they are wider when women have a lot of sex with multiple people. My wife’s hymen was also broken when we first have sex. How do I trust this woman?
I should admit that this mail is a nightmare for any feminist, yet, I am going to try and respond to your query in the most gentle way possible. I am doing this just because you trusted me with your real feelings about women. In a heterosexual alliance, pleasure is not just sought by the man. Women also have their right to be pleasured. Men can’t always take control over the bed and sexual prowess. She doesn’t deserve to be labelled as a whore just for being sexually more active than her male counterpart. Man on top is not a norm, and women on top should not be a rarity.
I am not judging you for going to a commercial sex worker. However, I am judging you for your double standards. You are openly admitting to visiting commercial sex workers, where as in the same breath you say that even the thought of your wife allegedly having sex with other men bothers you. It should not. Women are not a body part. Think beyond the same.
I don’t know if the vagina expands when there is a lot of sexual activity. But I do know that there needn’t be a lot of sexual activity with multiple partners for it to expand. If her vagina is wider, there is only one person who could be possibly concerned about it – she herself. I am sure she is capable enough to bother about her vagina. And if there is a matter of grave concern, she would also visit a gynecologist herself.
Remember, if men had a hymen, virginity would be a myth.
So, relax. Take a chill pill.. Leave the tension of her vagina to herself. I am sure, she is a big girl and she can handle it. You seem to have a penis complex. Rise above it. Go for counselling. Your thoughts might change.
Seek professional help. I am sure people can listen to you and attempt to cure you of your unhealthy behavior.
Keeping the faith,
“I Feel Awkward Around My Straight Friends”
I feel extremely awkward around my straight friends ever since I came out to them. They are very accepting and loving, they are kind and they don’t tease me. But I think they suspiciously look at me all the time as though I have sex. I feel awkward. Can you help me?
Hey, glad that you have come out to your friends and also for the fact that they have taken it well. Now it is your turn. You need to empathise with your straight friends. They are probably watching over you. Or maybe they are just curious. You should have a heart to heart conversation with them and check with them if they are just being protective. Speak to them. Return their acceptance with your understanding and active listening.
(The copy of the text and the location has been edited to protect the identity of the person. You can send in your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org)
(Harish Iyer is an equal rights activist working for the rights of the LGBT community, women, children and animals.)