The Queer Guy’s Guide To 18 New Year Resolutions For 2018

 

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2017 might be coming to an end, and so are my dreams of ever finding a happy ending.

As I pretend that my seventh glass of champagne is only my second, it’s time for me to ask those questions all over again — what do I remember 2017 by? The number of boys I ghosted? The number of boys who broke my heart? The bad decisions I woke up to (and with)? The bottles of prescription drugs I wolfed? The shots I downed to forget? The hangovers I’ll never be able to forget? The hours I spent at therapy after? The resolutions I vowed to make? The resolutions I’ll effectively break?

As gay men (such as myself) parade into the New Year making resolutions (and asking questions) that we’ll only give up on a week later, here are a few that I hope that don’t get lost in the sea of confetti, cheap champagne and regrets.

Want to know what they are?

Simply slide into 2018 with this queer guy’s guide to NYE resolutions (but not like those ugly d*ck pics that slide into your Instagram DMs):

1. Ditch the dating apps, but don’t ditch out on the dates.
There really is a high chance you’ll find the next big love of your life at the bookstore, or your favourite neighbourhood bar (and we won’t judge you even if it happens at the gym.)

2. Then again, don’t lie about your age, height or weight on your online dating profile.
72 kilograms are sexy, and so are you.

3. Don’t dismiss someone who’s considerably older or younger than you are.
But make sure he’s legal.

4. Put an end to the ‘New Year, new me’.
You’ll always be you. If people could change overnight, we would never have so many seasons worth of great television.

5. Be a nicer person. If you can’t, try till you succeed.
Gay men have the potential to be a lot of things – charming, well dressed, effortless, established, articulate, artistic or even high on drugs. But still, a lot of us choose to be douchebags.

6. Take an active interest in politics.
Because some of these decisions actually prevent gay men and women from receiving equal rights; which is just plain sad.

7. Let your biggest regret this year be not eating that last cupcake.
But you should go ahead and eat it anyway.

8. Stop answering texts from the ex.
There’s a word for it. It’s called ‘ghosting’.

9. Read more, but don’t read more into what other people said to you.
Books are sexy and mysterious, just like the hot guy who makes eye contact with you at the bar (and then disappears forever). Reading online lists doesn’t count though, unless you are reading this one.

10. Do something that frightens you, not someone who frightens you.
The list can include learning how to tap dance, skydiving and eating alone at a restaurant. Things the list should not include? Having unprotected sex with a complete stranger.

11. Exercise for health, not your crush’s phone number.
If you want those six pack abs that you can eat sushi off, make sure you are doing it for yourself (side note: even though eating sushi off your stomach can be quite unsettling).

12. Be okay with being single.
There’s always 2018. And 2019. And 2020. And 2021. And so on.

13. Understand that brands don’t make the man, manners do.
Very few men who have the latest Louis Vuitton bag will want to hear about your day at work.

14. Don’t be afraid to end a relationship that’s not going anywhere.
Especially when the only place it’s going is downhill, with prescription bills.

15. Actually enjoy experiences, instead of just Instagramming them.
And if the ratatouille doesn’t look as good as it does under the Aden filter, don’t eat it.

16. Tell the next boy you like how you really feel about him.
The world would have more romances if lesser people were scared of sending two text messages in a row.

17. Stop all the self-hating.
If there’s one thing that I love more than money, it’s myself.

18. Be happier.
Go on, you deserve it.

The 12 Gifts Every Gay Man Needs This Christmas Season

 

Christmas special

The ‘Most Wonderful Time Of The Year’ is here.

That time of the year when we drink our weight in alcohol, forget our love-hate relationship with sugar, and greedily tear open gifts just to get them exchanged a couple of days later.

IT’S CHRISTMAS TIME!

Since I’ve been incredibly naughty relatively nice this year, I tried to compile a list of everything I (and other gay men) would want for the holidays. And as you can clearly see, I tried not being too selfish. (PS: It’s the season of giving after all, and all I’d want to do right now is give you ideas.)

Now pour yourself another glass of rum-infused eggnog, and scroll through my wish list just like you’d scroll through the men’s section of your favourite online shopping portal:

1. A dating app that changes everything

Goodbye, Grindr. It was great knowing you, but I think it’s not working out.

Whatever happened to good ol’ fashioned dating, you ask? 2017 did. Most dating apps are breeding grounds for fuckboys (and other such men) who’d rather have you than the crème brulee you plan to share with them after dinner. How about we go for a movie, have fajitas and cola at a hole-in-the-wall, drinks at the friendly neighbourhood gay bar (read below), and then laugh over how great a time we had over dessert before I decide whether I want to be your dessert or not?

2. A FINAL goodbye to section 377

I said it last year, and I’ll say it again. While section 377 bans consensual sex between any two consenting gay men, what it really bans is my hope for the future of humanity. It’s finally time to say goodbye to the century old law, just like it’s time to say goodbye to the ex who never called back after the seventh date.

PS: Let’s just keep the regression to our primetime soaps for now?

3. An end to homophobia and oppression

Wouldn’t that be an excellent little treat for the Yuletide season? An end to bigotry? Giftwrap it for me, please.

4. Heartwarming gay fiction

How about we see a LGBT story that doesn’t follow the same coming out trope? I want to read a love story between two men that didn’t seem like it was written by a middle schooler (or their mother) – one where the leads don’t have loose wrists, and looser morals.

Here’s to reading more gay fiction (and non fiction) that tells untold stories, books that you can snuggle up to and read with multiple mugs of accompanying hot cocoa (or a bottle of wine – who’s to judge?)

5. A lifetime supply of condoms (and lube)

Think of it as a lifetime supply of pleasure and protection. Now go wrap your troopers, just like you wrap those gifts tonight.

6. Diet love

It’s almost 2018. If we can have diet chips and diet coke, where can we get rid of the empty calories and find ourselves some diet love?

Hold the sugar.

7. Acne cream that actually works

Here’s looking at you, pimple-on-my-temple that just won’t go – If I wanted to look like my geeky high school self, I’d go back to 2004 (not really). How many of us want our skin to match our glowing personalities?

Everyone.

I am officially done with activated charcoal masks and DIY scrubs, give me something that is as effective as Taylor Swift’s shade to her string of ex boyfriends.

8. A friendly neighborhood gay bar

No, we don’t want a bar that seeks us out every other Saturday of the month – we want a bar where we can be ourselves every single day of the week. Although we might like drinks and drunken banter at the niche pub halfway across town, we’d love it a lot more if we could have them without the masks and your musky colognes.

9. Adoption rights for LGBT folk

India does not routinely allow same-sex couples to adopt a child. That’s a shame for both, couples looking to start a family, and kids missing out on one.

I think it’s safe to say that having two dads (or two mums) is better than having none – because we can all agree, the world can never have too many self-aware fashion conscious children who know the benefits or organic eating and working out five times a week, can it?

10. An Adele concert

Eighty percent of gay men will tell you (over multiple glasses of wine) that they ‘identify with Adele’s music’. The other 20 percent are lying, or simply don’t know what they want in life (much like my string of ex boyfriends).

Now how about we get an encore of ‘Someone Like You’ as we chug an entire bottle of vodka?

11. Socks

As a very important man once said, one can never have too many socks. I prefer polka dots.

12. Nicer gay men

We might have religious fanatics, bigots, homophobes and extremists in this world, but no one hates the gays like the gays themselves. The Mascs hate the queens. The gym boys hate the chubs. The cubs hate the twinks. The bears hate the daddies. The Katy Perrys hate the Taylor Swifts. Everyone hates the sapiosexuals.

This hamster cycle of homosexual hate needs to stop. How about we enter 2018 with nicer, gay men instead of entering a heated argument over who’s better – Britney Spears or Madonna?

Let’s not go there now.

What I Mean When I Say I have A Gay Voice

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Over the years, I realised I have had a lot of talents.

I can roll my tongue, impersonate a pigeon (my head tut is phenomenal), fly a kite without any help, and most importantly, lie my way through a resume even when I am asleep.  It’s a lot for one person.

But faking a baritone is clearly not one of them.

I realised my voice was softer (read: more girly, for the masses and the misinformed) at a very early age. Being all of eight, I wasn’t great at pretending to be someone else (at least back then), and booming out like a blue whale wasn’t something they taught at kindergarten. I chose the only plausible solution.

Silence.

I would reluctantly answer questions in the classroom (or avoided the teacher’s eye), never yelled out to friends across the road (either out of surprise, joy or an incessant need to go slap them across their faces), and would pretend to be ‘shy’ in front of people I didn’t know. It’s lovely how many things you can pass off; when you tell people you are an introvert.

But there would be times when I’d forget, and my shrill voice would ricochet out like a distress call, in multiple high-octaves and increasing pitches. And then the hushed whispers would come, empty sniggers from emptier souls. ‘Why do you sound so nasal?’ my friends would laugh, and I’d retort with a stiff-lipped jab about my ‘respiratory problems that they’d never understand’.

That would silence them all, up until I changed schools, and changed bullies along with them. I’d come up with new reason every single time, but they’d all get shot down (or laughed at) in a week or two.

Over the next two decades, I grew up — and grew out of these insecurities (and my shrill, pre-pubescent voice). I’d learnt to adapt the way I spoke to whoever I was speaking to, and I used it like a shield.

I’d conveniently gruff up with a North Indian accent while speaking to a male colleague, and soften up with a breathier, breezier Mumbai undercurrent while chatting up an acquaintance. I reserved my ‘it’s-too-loud-in-here-to-hear-you’ blur solely for my mother.

Only my close friends got the real version of me. Highly excitable.

But yet, my voice was, and is…still the same?

It sounds worse on the phone, solely because I suffer from a recurring nightmare where I have to hear my voice on an answering machine on loop — which only makes it an every day affair with telemarketers.

‘Hello, madam? Can we interest you in a home loan…’

‘Dear Miss! Vodafone has an exciting new offer for you….’

‘Yes, ma’am. Do you want to try our double cheese burst special with that?’

I’d gruffly tell them I was man, and hang up.

Truth be told, I hated the way my voice sounds, and I absolutely hate that I hated it, and I hated the way that a voice like mine was usually hated. It’s a hamster-cycle of hate, only here the proverbial hamster (read: me) was running on a wheel of increasing decibels.

It’s the same as shrinking away from something that is even remotely effeminate -— including pink linen shirts, Cosmopolitans and peroxide hair — but what are we so afraid of? To sound like ourselves, or to be ourselves? Generations of (gay) men have cleared their throats, deepened their voices and raised their walls so that they could reek of everyone’s favourite perfume.

Toxic Masculinity, by you. I wore it proudly myself.

And then everything changed a few months ago.

I was meeting a few friends for a reunion halfway across town. It was a champagne-fuelled brunch, and everyone (including me) was buzzed and giggling, as people at champagne-fueled brunches are wont to. There were kids running around and playing with their tablets, like kids are wont to. In the midst of an extremely ribald joke that I am not very proud of, one of my friend’s kids tugged at my trousers. It was a little boy in blue, holding a tablet in one hand, and a Transformer doll in the other.

‘Why does your voice sound like a girl?’ the little child asked me curiously. I’ve never really liked little children — they are cocky, brash and solely rely on their cuteness to get away with inappropriate things — sort of like the quintessential f**kboy, only two decades younger. Call it an occupational hazard of being a gay person.

But yet, it had come back, the fear — it had followed me all the way out of every classroom and playground, and come back to haunt me almost two decades later. I felt like I was in school all over again. My facades went up, just like my voice had a few moments ago.

“Because that’s how my voice sounds when I am drunk,’ I said to him shamelessly, ‘It’s my happy voice! Your mum has one as well!’ (Sue me for being scathing.) We all laughed aloud, because it was all in good humour, but the mother avoided me for the rest of the evening. I compensated for her absence with three extra mimosas. (Side note: The mother wasn’t that close a friend, so the jabs were all well founded.)

But that’s when it struck me. People might say it is not, but my voice is gay (but not in the derogatory slur kind of way, but in a more empowering sort of way), just like the rest of me. Let’s get it straight. Do you know what you sound like when you laugh at someone for having ‘the’ gay voice?

An asshole.

Just like the fact that people come in all shapes and sizes, voices come in multiple octaves and tones. Some men sound like a double measure of single malt, some men sound like fingernails on a blackboard. Some men sound like twittering birds, some men sound like mean tweets by trolls. We are all born with our vocal chords, just like we are born with our sexuality.

And it’s high time we learn to deal with it.

At least I plan to. If it’s a dead giveaway that I am gay, so what? I think being a homosexual is pretty cool. I’ve got too much to say, and that is exactly why I won’t stop talking.

And neither should you.

Fantastic Men And Where To find Them


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Like I’ve said before, the list of places to not go looking for your next boyfriend is endless.

From the gym, to the gourmet supermarket, to your neighbourhood park — each place (and all the ensuing boys who frequent it) needs to be given a wide berth when you are trying to go from zero to Hallmark movie in the romance department.

Is it a depressing world?

Yes.

Does that mean you need to give up on the idea of finding true love?

No!

See, the list of places to not go looking for your next paramour might be a bottomless pot, but so is the list of places where you can find your next big summer fling — and I’ll tell you something — it doesn’t need to restrict itself to your neighbourhood watering hole or the local gym.

Want to know where you can find your next big (and hopefully, final) happily-ever-after? Here are my top four places to go scouting:

1. Your daily commute

Remember how they say that the journey is more important than the destination?

For most of us, commuting to work can be quite boring — travelling from point A (home) to B (work) can take almost two hours every day, which is time that you’d rather spend lifting weights at the gym, or chugging down shots at the bar.

It’s time to leave those cars at home, cross over to the public transport lane, and make things less taxing, and more relaxing. Whether your eyes sympathetically meet over a co-passenger who’s digging deep into his nose, sigh at the same instant at a delay announced over the train’s disembodied speakers, or bang into each other accidentally (of course) because of your metro’s faulty braking systems, there are potential mates lurking everywhere — and they have an open seat waiting for you right next to them.

Now, how about using your daily commute for something more meaningful — from point A straight to your new ‘B’eau’s heart?

The next time you take the train, or metro or bus to work, look up from your phones. You just might spot your next date. Hold on to the railings (or him, whichever is more convenient), and let your body do the talking. You’ll be taking the last train back (to his arms) in no time.

So are we all aboard?

Side note: If that doesn’t work for you, think about all the fuel (and money) you’ll save taking public transport to work. That’s where your gym memberships and shots at the bar come from.

2. At your work place

Anyone who says business should not be mixed with pleasure has clearly not felt the thirst as they make eye contact with the hot colleague at the water fountain.

They say that falling in love with someone at work might jeopardize your professional ethics, and might potentially make everything awkward — but isn’t everything in life awkward anyway? From tripping on your birthday cake when you turned twenty-three, to having a visible wine stain down your trousers’ front that one time at an office party, life has been one awkward marathon. So why stop there?

Being in a relationship at work only makes you work that much harder — no one likes to be given the cold shoulder by a colleague or a Wednesday morning yelling by the boss in front of someone they share an apartment with. This is not only work, it’s your relationship working out.

And the perks?

You get to carpool every day, spend boring meetings secretly texting each other across the table, and roll your eyes unanimously as your b*tch manager chomps away on his sandwich a little too loudly. It’s everything that makes a Monday morning at work seem like a Saturday night at home.

Plus, any chance you get to make your co-workers jealous is a chance well earned.

Side note: Is steamy ‘after-work hours’ sex in the pantry, a part of your bucket list?

Consider it done. Just beware of the hot coffee.

3. At the bookstore

Yes, bookshops still exist and meet cutes still happen — like they say, if it can happen in the movies, it can happen in real life. Plus, if you like to read books (and boys), it’s always best to go the source. Can you imagine cuddling with a book (and your future soul mate) and a hot cup of coffee all evening long (till the store’s working hours, obviously)?

You obviously can. But how do you meet your book-loving bibliophile for that to happen? Maybe you share a sneak peek at each other as you exchange side-eye glances at Chetan Bhagat’s most obvious plot twists, or gasp out loud together at Agatha Christie’s less obvious ones. Your hands could reach for the same Haruki Murakami masterpiece, or unanimously brush away another one of Jackie Collin’s potboilers. But what’s the best bit?

It doesn’t even matter if you are not on the same page (pun intended), because you clearly are going to be on the same book.

He finally walks over, and asks you whether you would recommend the book you are reading (Erich Segal’s Love Story, from the beginning of this chapter). You smile, and he sits down next to you. And there, as you coo about how you absolutely love the vanilla-like smell of old books, and passionately explain why a real, physical hardcover is always better than a PDF, he’ll nervously ask you out for dinner. How can you be sure?

Because, he obviously will (it’s Erich Segal’s Love Story, after all). What if he doesn’t?

Well, there’s always a discount on the bestseller’s section.

4. At a Volunteering Op

Volunteering can be amazing. For starters, you are giving back to society, and secondly, you are also teaming up with other like-minded individuals, who like you, are clearly the nicest people that make up a mere 1 percent of the world.

Take up a cause that actually matters to you (apart from your sole purpose of shacking up with a saint) so that you have a chance of ending up in Santa Claus’s list even if you don’t end up in someone else’s bed. Teach underprivileged kids. Help out at a community kitchen. Sign up for a pet adoption service. Join a beach cleaning drive.

Maybe as you clean up the shorelines of your city, you can clean up the mess your life is at the moment, by meeting someone who could be the much-needed positive influence on your life.  How about giving a chance to the wavy-haired gentleman with the deep tan and deeper dimples who’s picking up the plastic bags?

Sign me up, please. Plus, if you get to rack up some good karma as you build a ‘Habitat For Humanity’ for your heart, what’s there to complain about?

The Guysexual’s Guide To Red Flags

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So you’ve found The One.

He’s charming, handsome and well read, and is a hit with your family and friends. He laughs at your jokes and feeds you bits of his pudding, but most importantly, he:

– doesn’t message you only past midnight. Check.
– is not commitment-phobic. Check.
– is not mysteriously secretive about his life. Check.
– does not bring up his ex at all. Check.
– doesn’t get drunk every second night of the week. Check.
– is definitely not cheating on you. Check.
– is always available to talk. Check.
– loves you. Check.

You’ve personally scoured his life (and all his social media profiles) for a red flag, but you can’t see any. It seems like he’s perfect. But something still seems off. Do you give up?

Nope, because here are 10 home-tested ways to spot a red flag when you can’t seem to find a red flag at all:

1. He has a sense of humour that is cruel

While the occasional laugh at a stumbling child (or a man walking straight into a glass door) can be harmless, if someone finds humour in other people’s misfortune more than three times a day, it’s something to be scared of. Because at some point in the future, you may end up being the joke. It could be your hyena-like laugh or the way you slurp your noodles, or that one time you (almost) peed yourself through a re-run of The Ring.

Be with someone who makes you laugh all the time, not someone who laughs at you all the time.

2. He love-bombs you

What do you do the next time someone uses the L-word three minutes into the relationship? Pack up and head to the break-up bunker, because anyone who falls in love that quickly also falls out of it with equal ease (or sometimes, just deals with too many deep-seated insecurities about love, or lack thereof)

He might say that you are perfect and tell you how ‘he can’t believe he’s landed you’, but it’s a template he’s grown used to: it’s his defense mechanism to speed through what he thinks has potential, but more than often, it usually ends with a crash and burn. When someone says they love you early in the relationship, there’s a very high chance they are trying to direct it with their own terms, and if it doesn’t – things might only take an ugly (and a more resentful) turn.

3. You both have different life goals

You want to be animal rights activist but he wants to start his own barbeque restaurant? If you aren’t on the same page professionally (or financially), the chances of having a happy ending are next to nil. Clashing life choices aside, the last thing you want is for someone to hold you back from where or what you need to be – even if it means letting all the chickens go free.

4. And different sleep schedules

While it might seem like it’s not a big deal, the fact that both of you run on two different schedules will only run you into loads of problems (in terms of your social life, your careers and who drives you back home when you are passed out right next to the bouncer) especially when they are perking up to rage all night, just as you pull on your favourite clown jammies at 11 pm.

5. He doesn’t respect your boundaries

Does he tickle you jokingly even when you laugh and beg for him to stop? Call incessantly when all you want is a quiet day? Prod about your problems when you tell him you need time to think about them on your own?

If you are with someone who doesn’t respect your physical boundaries (even innocently), you are only two steps away from not having him respect you.

6. He says he hates conflict

You’ve heard the same sob story over and over again, over drunken fights at home or between arguments at dinner. He dodges all your accusations, and ignores all your pleas to come to a peaceful conclusion. And just when you are about to prod him for a reason and put an end to your couple-fuelled misery, he tells you he ‘absolutely hates conflict. It’s happened before with so many boys, and he can’t deal with it anymore’.

But don’t fall for it. He might as well as say: don’t confront me about anything in life, because I will ignore you or leave you. And somewhere down the line, he’ll tell all his friends how you were ‘just like the rest of them.’

7. He thinks all his exes are crazy

Ravi wanted to move in too early. Shyam would never stop calling. Rajeev decided to tell his friends why they broke up. Kunal begged to take him back by standing outside his apartment all night. Ahmed called him a cheating scumbag. Karan threatened to set his house on fire. Ryan asked his mom if she knew her son was a psycho. They were all so crazy.

Do you see the pattern? You obviously do. If a boy spews venom about an ex or two, it’s fine – we all have relationships that sour out. But if he badmouths every boy he’s ever been with, chances are he’s the problem.

8. He gets upset when you have to go back home

Could the movie last just ten minutes longer? Do you really have to leave after two ice creams? Can we walk around your block one more time? Must you leave right now? Can’t you stay the night? The morning? The day? The week? The month?

Makes you go aww? Naww, push those romantic aspirations back in your pockets, sir, because it’s not long before his ‘Don’t leave me so soon’s and ‘But we just met!’ turn into ‘You are leaving so that you can hook up with your ex right now, right?’

9. His sex drive doesn’t work for you

While there’s no wrong amount of sex that two people can have in a relationship, matching libidos are important for one to work. What if one half of the couple wants to get it on every three hours and the other thinks thrice a month is fine?

There’s no place for sexual chemistry in the sack when it’s already brewing with resentment, hurt egos, and an urge to get on Grindr and message the gorgeous man who texts from 800 metres away. At the end of the day, do you think you have different libidos?

It’s time you look for different partners.

10. He’s passive aggressive about tiny things

‘Your hair is a little too long.’
‘Try making it to dinner on time?’
‘Do you really need to go for a drink with your friends?’
‘I would have loved to see you yesterday, but it’s OK, I guess.’
‘Can you please send it to me before I have to remind you again.’
‘Just call me when you can.’

You know that little voice at the back of your head nagging you to end things? You should probably listen to it, because it’s not going to be passive aggressive like your paramour here.

Dear Gay Men, Here Are the Do’s and Don’ts of Online Dating.

 

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As a gay man, you spend as much time charting the dregs of a dating app as you spend deciding between a mimosa and a mojito for Sunday brunch — only in the case of the latter, there are no empty calories, just empty feelings (and no, there are no Happy Hours on online dating portals).

Online dating might look depressingly tough, but it’s really not.  Do you want to get away and get it on in real life?

Just follow these dos and swerve away from the don’ts, and you’ll never have to hit the bar to drown your loneliness ever again:

Do: Have a recent picture of yourself

Unless you still look like your gorgeous, toned self from 2007, have a photo that was taken in the past few months as your display picture. After all, no one wants to see that look of disappointment on their date’s face when they turn up and see you for the very first time.

PS: have more than one photo, as cameras can be pathological liars (and so can people).

Don’t: Lie on your profile

We know how exhilarating it can be to lie about your age, height, weight and the fact that you won ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ award back in 2010 on your profile, but do remember — you are only one Google search (or one date) away from never seeing the hypothetical boy of your dreams ever again.

Do: Take chances

Does your date seem slightly boring than he did on text? Is his nose off centre? Do you find him a bit pudgy around the waist? You can pass him off, and wait and wait and keep waiting, but perfection might never make it when you want it to.

While online dating can seem superficial — as you swipe right through profiles of gorgeous men with pectoral muscles and PHDs, you might need to step out of your comfort zone every once in a while. Who know? Maybe the grungy musician who lives with his parents is the one you’ll click with.

Don’t: Ask for a picture if you don’t have one

If you do, you are a certified A-level douchebag.

Do: Be well groomed

If you don’t expect your date to turn up with garlic breath and body odour, neither should you. No one expects you to look like you are walking the ramp for the next Autumn/Winter collection, but make an effort and dress up (more on that later).

Side note: Take a shower and spray some cologne; it always helps.

Don’t: Be a Yes man

Will you share my salad?

Want to come back to my place?

Why don’t you leave your wallet with me when you head off to the washroom?

I have a fetish for blood. Are you interested?

Don’t be a people pleaser; if someone asks you to do something that makes you uncomfortable, a succinct ‘no’ is all it takes. You don’t even need an excuse after.

Do: Be on time

There’s nothing more attractive than a man who is always on time. If you aren’t, keep an apology text ready to be sent at least ten minutes before your assigned meeting time.

Buy him a drink (or two) when you get there — alcohol always makes up for (and makes with) lost time.

Don’t: Get too drunk on the first date

Being drunk on a date is never sexy, especially if it involves you retching over his Italian loafers (halfway through the heartwarming story of how he lost his cat when he was twelve).

Side note: If you are feeling the first date sweats and are generally anxious, calm yourself with a drink, but stop at two (or when you feel the sudden urge to flirt with the bartender).

Do: Talk on the date

Contribute to the conversation like you would contribute to water cooler gossip — remember that a great conversation can help you go a long way, right up to ten-year anniversary pictures on the fridge.

Don’t: Be mean

No one likes to be told that their posture is wrong; their shoes are last season, their big dream won’t work or that they’ve got something stuck between their teeth.

Don’t like your date? Don’t take it out on him. Have a drink or two, and end the night early with a polite excuse, and a cheque that’s split two ways.

The Gay Man’s Clique: Five Other Friends You Need!

 

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Gay men are collectors.

They collect right swipes on Tinder, they collect V-necks from clearance sales, they collect loyalty points at the bar, and sometimes, they even collect friends.

You’ve already had a sleepover with the Fag Hag, downed shots with the Diva and made small talk with the Husband here, but who’s to say you can’t have more?

There’s always place for more in your posse of close-knit pals. Move over, OG group, because here are the five other kinds of friends you’ll be playing Cards Against Humanity with over the weekend:

The Breadcrumb

The Breadcrumb is the sappy second lead in every rom-com, the boy who’s never chosen in the end — which explains why he’s always striking out like every other contestant on the Bachelorette.

The Breadcrumb has been waiting on the bench for you for so long; it’s got a special wing named after him. The two of you have history (obviously), but although it wasn’t all fireworks (like your history with your Brozoned Buddy), you still hold a feeble sparkler for him in your heart.

Why don’t you take the leap and act on it then? Maybe he’s the one that got away?

It’s simple. He’s not as smart as Ryan, not as good looking as Ravi, not as charming as Bilal, not as enigmatic as Ishaan, not as athletic as Krish, not as funny as Kabir, not as breathtaking as Ranbir, not as witty as Farhad.

And yet, he’s not as unavailable as the rest of them. Which only makes him that much less desirable. One day, you hope to find your way back to the boy, through your breadcrumb trail of broken hearts that will surely follow this article.

Just make sure that someone else doesn’t get there first.

The Pile On

Eager, simpering and dedicated — the Pile On is the perfect minion for every gang of gay friends — the Gretchen Wiener to your Regina George in this post-millennial Mean Girls world.

He snakes his way to movies scenes, worms his way to lunch soirees, crawls into cocktail plans and squeezes into the booth while the rest of you enjoy burgers at the diner. But that’s the thing about the Pile On — he’ll do anything to be a part of your coveted inner circle — swipe through your Tinder to find you your perfect match (while dissing the Breadcrumb), hate on the same people you do (excluding him), pick you up when you have errands to run (and he’ll run those as well), and sometimes, if you ask politely, he’ll even do your laundry (but no underwear).

Friendship bracelets, memes on WhatsApp groups, invites to house parties and secret codes to speakeasies, the Pile On doesn’t get a lot of things in life.

Including heavy hints not to hang out with your crew.

The Wild Child

The Wild Child is the alpha to your beta, the Yin to your Yang, the ketchup to your fries, the ‘We-should-do-this!’ to your ‘What-will-people-think?’

With the sole purpose in life to make sure you have a great time every night, he eats, sleeps and sometimes, even snorts party invitations till his eyes end up with the same glaze as your breakfast doughnut — but beware, he’s just as nourishing.

The Wild Child channels a ‘more season two, less season six-esque Samantha Jones’ from Sex And The City (not counting the movie and its sequel), but only with tighter clothes and looser morals. When he’s not running to clearance sales for wardrobe checks, he’s bustling over to the STD clinic for health check ups — the Wild Child knows it’s better to be safe than sorry, but he’ll still want to push his limits, just like he pushes his snooze button every morning. The guy counts his minutes in vodka shots, credit card bills and lines of cocaine (that he’ll do while waiting in the lines outside the restroom) and he feels that every moment he’s not ‘raging and having the time of his life’, is a moment wasted (on Instagram.)

Everything said and done, each encounter with our resident renegade is laced with three questions:
Is it spiked?
Is it safe?
Is it a good decision?

As you can tell, the Child (first name, Wild) will most definitely be the poster boy for all the bad decisions of your life — including that one time you threw up the contents of your vodka-lined stomach on your neighbour’s front door.

In broad daylight.
When the door was open.

But he’ll also hold your head and make sure you don’t ruin your Italian loafers while you are at it.

The Dude

The Dude is a straight A douchebag — he makes sexist (and often misogynistic) jokes, generalises all gay men and jocularly tells you not to hit on him, if you as much as tap him on his shoulder in front of other people. Wait, he might not ask you questions like ‘who plays the man and who plays the woman?’ but he’ll still get you a flamingo pink phone case for your birthday.

But then again, he’s still your douchebag.

The Dude and you have a great story of how the two of you met, which you tell everyone (and anyone) over multiple pints of beer at the bar. He calls himself your ‘straight best friend’, your ‘perennial wingman’, your ‘go-to straight bud’ and other such bro-like things — after which you grimace like a depressed clown from the circus. He then guffaws and punches you, while you wince in mock pain. Everyone has fun, and laughs.

It’s a routine you’ve both enjoyed; it’s a routine you’ve both perfected over the years. As you clean up the pints of beer, and wipe off the hypothetical clown makeup, you never understand why you are friends with the Dude.

And then you realise he keeps all the other douchebags away.

The Flake

Word of caution: the Flake is always away — five minutes away, a traffic light away, a meeting away, a weekend away, until he’s not.

And then sometimes, he’s really away.

The Flake ghosts on your gang more often than the hot model that lives 800 metres away, but never replies to any of your texts on Grindr. Only, he’s more appealing and you don’t want to get inside his pants.

It’s not that the Flake doesn’t love you, he does — irrevocably so — it’s just that he loves cancelling plans more. He’s used every excuse in the book to get out of a plan — hemorrhoids, his dog’s funeral, the flu, an important exam, a boring deadline, head lice, a broken kettle, thunderstorms in the other part of town and even his mother’s birthday.

Thrice in the past year.

He’s inconspicuously absent at your birthday party, missing at that weekend trip to the beach three months ago, and nowhere to be found as you challenge your liver to a drink-off every Friday night. He’s the missing piece in the jigsaw puzzle of your friend circle.

But don’t stress — because when you do meet him (and you obviously will) he’ll pretend like nothing happened and pick up right where you left off last time.

And so will you.