September 24, 2020
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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.

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Dear Sree: Outlook's Agony Aunt
Dear Sree: Outlook's Agony Aunt

Dear Shree, I love my partner and having sex with her, but I just can’t orgasm. Whenever I masturbate, I can come easily. I don’t think I’m doing it too rough but maybe I am doing it too much. I have not discussed much with her on this. Would it help if I were to not masturbate for a longer duration, and then try sex?

Rakesh Seth, Mumbai

Experimentation is always good. You could try masturbating first, but you need to incorporate self-pleasuring into your love-making sessions with your partner as a preferred bridging method. Some men engage their partner’s help with this by inviting them to participate orally or with additional manual stroking. Some couples even prefer mutual masturbation as a climaxing method. But understand if there a communication problem between you regarding your innermost sexual needs? Try to share your exact preferences with her and discover hers, too.

Dear Shree, I have a colleague called Sudha and we work alongside each other all day, for the most part. We work well together and there is a nice vibe between the two of us. However, recently I’ve really enjoyed her presence. I kind of look forward to seeing her and spending time with her. I probably should have mentioned that she is married. That’s not a problem, because it was never meant to be anything more than a tiny crush.

Recently though, another coworker, let’s call him Prabhu, has been spending a ton of time with her. At first, they would include me for lunch and other outings, but recently have excluded me and gone off on their own. Which isn’t that big of a deal, except for one night. One night, I get a handful of phone calls from a number I don’t recognize. I finally answer and it was Sudha’s husband. He was worried because it was after 9 pm and she wasn’t home yet. He wondered if I had any idea where she might be. It wasn’t until that moment that I realized that Sudha Prabhu were together. Although, I can’t assume what it was. And I know it’s not my place because it’s definitely not my business, but I can’t stop thinking about it.

I’m jealous of Prabhu. I wish I was in his place. I wish that were me instead of him. I can’t help it, especially since her husband is the one who should be the jealous one not me. I’m sure he doesn’t even know. Anyway, it’s embarrassing for me to admit the way I feel, but I need some advice. Because the thought of being at work with all this going on is driving me crazy. I can’t let it go and would rather not work there anymore than to be around it. Separation might be my only solution.

Rajan Prasad, Chennai

Sudha may be charming, but don’t fall for the external only. Prabhu may seem to be the lucky one, but I guarantee after this all shakes out, which it will, you will be happy that it wasn’t you. It’s not that she chose him over you. This isn’t a dating game. This isn’t a game. She is married. Be thankful you are not Prabhu. Seriously. Even if you were the one getting attention, or extra loving from Margaret, it would come to an awkward end at some point. And that end would leave you with a corrupted relationship with Sudha, a suspicious husband on your ass and the terrible feeling that you messed up a marriage. Maybe that turns you on, but it’s not long lasting and comes with mega complications. Don’t be a homewrecker. Keep your distance and get a distraction. Put the effort you’ve put into fantasizing over their whereabouts into something that’s fulfilling, like spending time with friends or going out on some dates. Don’t let them drive you out of your job. When this all comes crashing down the only awkwardness will be between Prabhu and Sudha, and an office that can probably guess that something’s been up. Avoid the drama.

Dear Shree, A few months ago, I started dating a great guy. We were polar opposites, but still found a way to “click” with no effort. I was the happiest I had been in a very long time; we had a great time together, and seldom fought. Truthfully, I had never experienced a connection like this before. About three weeks ago, he told me that he couldn’t be in a relationship because he had “a lot of personal things to figure out before he could love someone”. He said he didn’t want to stop dating me, but thought it wasn’t fair to have me wait for him to figure things out. It was hard on me, because it came out of left field. However, we decided to remain friends (as we had only been together a short while), and we still talked almost every day. When we did communicate, he was usually the one reaching out first. At first, we only talked about “surface level” topics, but has since shifted back to more in-depth conversations.

Recently he has been reaching out more, and we just spent an entire day together jumping from one activity to the next (batting cages, to drinks, to dinner, to driving around admiring beautiful homes – things we used to do all the time). He made several comments about “doing this again,” and the entire day I felt like there was still something there between us. He’s also not the type of guy to play games or string me along. It didn’t seem like things were any different than when we were dating. I’m not sure if I can be misreading things. I have never stayed friends with an ex before, therefore I don’t know if he’s just being friendly, versus pursuing me.  

Sharon James, Kolkata

Relationships are hard work. It is much easier to have the same things that a relationship would have, but call it something else. I’m sure your friend is being truthful in saying that he doesn’t feel comfortable or ready for a relationship. But based on how you described your last date, it sounds like you may be more than friends just without the relationship label. It is your choice if you are comfortable to be in this under-identified relationship. If you enjoy the time that you two spend together enough without having the recognition or commitment of a relationship, you should. However, given the limitation that he set on the relationship and the level of involvement that you two had over the past week, I think it is safe for you to decide that this doesn’t work for you. If you are willing to remain in this relationship, how will you deal with other romantic interests and navigating physical attraction? When you’re in a non-relationship, you are still available to be in another relationship. Unless you two make a commitment to be exclusive, I would stay alert to the possibility of being disappointed. I think it’s fair to ask him to communicate with you if he decides to start dating someone else.

I would also encourage you to think about how you want to approach the physical aspects of the relationship. Given that you dated before and likely have some sexual chemistry together, it will be important to know what you want if/when that time approaches.

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