Dear Sree: Outlook's Agony Aunt

From unrequited love, marital discord, sexual tensions, kid tantrums to cheating lovers, horny bosses and interfering parent, ask Sree just about anything. Dear Sree a weekly column on relationships, sex, love, and anything in between.
Dear Sree: Outlook's Agony Aunt
Dear Sree: Outlook's Agony Aunt

Dear Shree, I think I have committed a terrible mistake. I’ve forced my lover of three years into marriage (with ultimatums, etc.) when I think he really wasn’t completely ready and now my sweet, caring, man has turned into a nightmare! He says the most terrible things to me, hates the fact that I’m a vegetarian by choice, and makes love to me only twice a week. I’m drained and I dread that the honeymoon phase is over and that reality bites.

Pari Hussain, Mumbai.

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What you are describing is one of the oldest laments in the book that the mushy honeymoon phase has worsened into a real life nightmare where you are left with day to day troubles. As you have correctly said, the ‘honeymoon is over’ phase. It happens when you wake up from ‘the dream’ and find yourself in a place the world calls ‘reality.’ In this place there is no kissing. Have you noticed? And when the kissing stops, the marriage stops. To give things a fresh start, I suggest you start rethinking how to bring back tender intimacy into your relationship. For instance, when the boy cribs about you being a vegetarian, throw your arms around him, and whisper, ‘You’re the only animal I want,’ and embark on a sexual rendezvous. As for the man ‘saying terrible things’: Because it’s out of character, I suspect maybe he too is adjusting to the new life as a married man with the rigors of domesticity. So, try and avoid situations that you think can lead to nasty flare-ups and even if they do, quit sulking and kiss and make up. Your third complaint: less of sex, remember that sex in a marriage when you have to see each other all the time needs a certain kind of magic that begins with a kiss in the morning and is followed by a kiss tweeted in the afternoon, and a kiss in the evening over dinner. Don’t panic that you made the wrong decision. You have to work on making your relationship successful and keep the spark alive.

Dear Shree, after much weeping spells, many a sleepless night and a lot of thought, I finally came clean to my husband of two years, but partner for a decade, that I was unhappy and thought we should split before I am spend more time being deeply unfulfilled. I am 35 and he is 46. On discussing our issues my husband said that if I left he would have no chance of children and I’d be robbing him of that as his chances of meeting anyone are very slim and mine are slightly better. He has become a father figure to me. I feel I live in his house with his possessions and his rules. He is making me feel guilty for wanting to leave and leaving him childless and I feel like a selfish bitch, and it is leading me to question whether I should leave. He says I am selfish. Am I really such a bad person?

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Ritika Rampal, Mumbai

Even if you are selfish to want to be happy, what’s more astounding is that after having had so many years to make up your minds you went ahead and tied the knot only two years ago. Because, it’s critical to ask if you had any of these nagging doubts and incompatibility matters, then? Or are you like the quintessential Indian couple who make a pretense of happiness and store up hurts and negative experiences, barely emitting a word or ever discussing the grey areas in your relationship, until one day they blow. So, I will say it’s a tad immature to just declare that you are unhappy one fine day and walk out of a relationship of so many years, without any attempt to address the issues that lead to it in the first place. I would suggest couple counseling or plain thrashing of matters in private, before jumping the gun. Also, it’s possible your husband’s controlling behavior is an issue you’ve been confronting and hoping to resolve for some time. Either way, his reasons for continuing the relationship aren’t that persuasive. His suggestion that you’re his last hope to be a father is suffocating and fixes your role simply as a mother for his child. It’s a far more selfish piece of emotional blackmail than your expressed desire to leave.  If having kids was a priority, after nearly two decades together, for it to be an issue just this present moment, seems a tad obscure, unless like a lot of couples you both are just trapped in the wrong relationship. Certainly you shouldn’t have to stay with someone who makes you feel controlled and parented rather than loved and supported – and it’s unhealthy at many deep levels. Also, on his part, if at 46, he’s only just realizing you’re his best route to kids and family, then he’s either a really slow learner or he’s been dilly-dallying up until now. I can’t believe you’ve wasted so many years simply fence sitting. If you’re adamant that your surest path to happiness is to be found by walking away from a dysfunctional relationship, then walk away, sans the excess baggage of guilt.

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Dear Shree, I’m 23 and have had a fulfilling sex life over the past several years. Sex is great, dating on and off is cool too as I have discovered a plethora of online dating apps, and I love giving blow jobs! The only thing I can’t stomach when a guy goes down on me. It’s only happened twice — once on a guy’s mom’s couch recently and once with a guy I was in a relationship with in college. I absolutely hated both experiences. I don’t know if it's an insecurity thing or if someone can actually hate receiving oral.

Vidya Reddy, Chennai

Well, you don’t have to like anything sexual at all. Sexual preference is strictly personal as it’s mainly about what you prefer. And nobody is ever going to know that better than you. Think of it like ordering a burger: Nothing wrong with saying, ‘Hold the mayo,’ Or, in your case, ‘ditch the cunnilingus.’ Experimenting with a new sex act is an inexact science, usually discovered through trial and error. But do consider two variables: Maybe these two guys were awful and didn’t know the right erogenous spots or maybe they didn’t know what they were doing (quite possible, since they were young). Maybe you didn’t trust them. Maybe you weren’t able to explain what felt good — and what felt terrible. Maybe the relationship wasn’t great to begin with. So think of three things: First, you don’t have to be and feel pressurized to like oral, or anything else. Second, you probably shouldn’t rule out an entire sex act on the basis of two bad experiences. Third, trying something new is always tricky, so it’s always easier to try something with someone you trust, so you can talk about what works — and what doesn’t — and feel safe as you explore something new and uncharted.

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Dear Shree, I hadn’t had sex in a long time with my partner. Sex, like any other activity we do, can quickly get routine and boring.  And nothing kills your sex life and libido faster than boring sex. Can you please help, as our tenth year anniversary is coming up and I don’t want to wait up watching Netflix as my wife sleeps soundly, cuddling her pillow.

Jairaj Chutala, Jaipur 

Have a Sexual and Sensual Feast

There’s a lot of sensuality in food, especially foods that are juicy, creamy, and can be licked and sucked off your fingers. Plan a sensual feast in which you explore all of the ways in which sensual food can enter your mouth without using any utensils. Possibilities include feeding your partner and eating food off each others’ body parts, quite like the famous “Sushi Scene” in Sex and the City where Samantha was splayed out naked with sushi covering her entire body?  Just be sure to put down some protective cloths or sheets.  Better yet do it on the kitchen table!

Have Sex in Unusual and Different Places

Always sex on the bed?  Infuse variety.  Try the floor, the living room couch, the shower, the balcony, kitchen counter. Car sex can be erotic and a huge turn on especially when you pull over on the side of the road in the middle of a drive. A new place, a hidden kink and a new high.

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Explore Dominance and Submission

While this can sound really intense, it does not need to be that way.  We’re not talking here about whips and chains, unless that’s your preferred flavor.  Light dominance with consent, and always with consent, can be very effective in creating a lot of charge in the room.

Some easy ways to explore this is by blindfolding and light restraints on your partner’s hands.  A scarf or men’s tie works really well for this. Soft, sensual, teasing touch heightens sensation.

Learn Tantric Body Massage

Tantra massage helps to awaken the entire body using all five of our senses. In a full body Tantra massage, the giver uses their entire coconut oiled naked body to massage their partner.

For further queries, write to Dear Sree at

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