Category Archives: Play

#GuysexualRecommends: Salvation Star’s Taboo Soiree: Ready, steady, Goa!

 

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What: Salvation Star’s Taboo Soiree!

Where: Thalassa, Khar, Mumbai.

When: 9:30 PM onwards, Saturday, 17th June 2017.

Why: the monsoons might be here, but bitch can’t kill my beachy Goa vibe.

As Salvation Star explores new territory with Goa’s favourite establishment, Thalassa here in the city, I’ve got only one thing to say. If you love Greek food as much as I love Greek men, this is the soiree to be #spotted at.
Now, go be found.

 

Meet the men 2.0: The Gym Freak

 

Gym Lover

Open up your Grindr, lads. Now tell me what you see?

It’s the same story everywhere.

When every fourth guy on Grindr looks like he has stepped out of an Abercrombie and Fitch underwear catalogue, you know you might have a problem. It’s no surprise that we’ve been trained to get out of the closet, and go straight to the gym, but now we are doing so on our spinning cycles.

It’s simple, if there’s one thing you need as a gay man today, it’s a body. You might want to think differently, but eight out of 10 times you are not going to get a great deal of interest from another gay man just because you look like you listen to Mozart, and devour literary classics for breakfast. Sadly, muscles are in and they are never going to go out of style (they are sort of like florals during spring, only better). We might have reached the age of technology, but deep down, we’d rather be men of steel.

Now, most gay men like to remove their flimsy cotton V-necks at a moment’s notice, showcasing their kilometer-wide chests and xylophone abs as if they were starring in an Indian remake of Magic Mike. They make other men (like me) gulp and vow to start going to the gym from next Monday.

Or next month.

But who are these men again? The ones who spend hours preening at the gym, and promise to split their post-workout protein shake with you, when they’d rather be splitting your legs in the showers instead?

You might have met the Hipster a few weeks ago, How do you sort the gym rats from the ones that scour the food court at the mall (like me again)? Here’s how you spot one, when he’s not asking you to spot him as he weight trains at the gym:

The Gym Freak hates it when people call him a gym freak, or worse, a gym rat. He prefers the term Fitness Enthusiast. He has a vest with the same emblazoned on it.

He has eye-popping biceps, billboard-worthy pecs, a tray of abs that can balance half a dozen eggs and broad shoulders that are the shape of a cozy armchair. You can even sit on him, but only when he’s doing a plank.

He says he does not have a ‘type’, but will proudly put up #Masc4Masc on his Grindr profile.

He follows it with a succinct ‘No fats, no femmes’ in his bio.

And a photo of his glistening abs (more than six, less than eight) as his picture.

He has a day for Triceps. It’s on Thursday.

He dresses up sexily for the gym.

He wears trainers that match his gym shorts. Sometimes, when he’s feeling attractive, he wears leggings.

The only time he cheated was when he cheated on his diet plan with a double cheese hamburger five Sundays ago. He’s not forgiven himself ever since.

He doesn’t need an alarm clock. He is the alarm clock.

The Gym Freak counts his calories every day. He allows himself 500 calories for breakfast, 400 for lunch and a mere 300 calories for dinner.

His protein shake accounts for 500 calories every serving.

His gym face is his orgasm face.

He spends two hours hitting the gym every day, and another two hours thinking about it.

He hates it when people typecast gay men as the quintessential gym-obsessed fitness freaks. He’ll tell you all about it as you help him count his reps at the free weight section.

He has all of The Body Coach’s workouts saved in his internet browser. He watches it whenever he has free time. While on the treadmill. On his way to work. At dinner. Just before he falls asleep. While jerking off. In the loo. At his best friend’s wedding.

The last time he ate a French fry was back in 2010. Whenever he gets the occasional craving, he realises that abs are not built over potatoes. He cries himself to sleep then.

He hates going on long vacations, because it breaks his strict regime.

But when he does, he looks for a hotel with a 24/7 gym, and a heated indoor pool. He gets excited if they have a massage room.

On more than one occasion, he’s thanked God for great genes, and grilled chicken.

He takes a #TransformationTuesday picture every week. And every day of the week.

When he can’t, he makes his personal trainer take one for him.

He’ll use any chance that he gets to go shirtless. At the beach. In the sauna. By the swimming pool. On a run. When he’s reading at home. While going grocery shopping.

He’ll tell you that your vodka and soda has 85 calories as you order your drink, when you are out on a date with him.

He knows because he looked it up online.

He’ll then call for a Caesar salad, with extra chicken. He’ll tell the waiter to hold the croutons, and the vinaigrette dressing.

He has an app that reminds him to drink water every hour. He has an app that reminds him that he has to run every other day. He has an app that reminds him he’s overshot his calorie intake for the day. He wishes he had an app that tells him where he can find someone to go the gym with.

He has a separate drawer for his Lycra gym wear. It’s right beside his bed.

His iPhone gallery is littered with gym selfies. And the occasional shot of sunrise from his morning jogs at the beach.

He will tell you that the Mint Chocolate Chip protein shake will taste like Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream, but he’ll know that he’s lying to you.

He knows the exact benefits of whey protein.

One night, over wheat crackers and low-fat cheese, he’ll cry to his friends about how all the gay boys only love him for his body.

But he’ll forget to mention that his Grindr profile picture is an aesthetic shot of his chiseled torso.

Which mentions that he’s looking for ‘gym-fit muscular men only’.

He’ll only touch beer if it’s gluten free.

He’ll tell everyone who listens how he likes it raw. When you cock your eyebrows at him, he’ll guffaw loudly and tell you that he’s talking about his special nutritionist-prescribed diet. The one with dehydrated sunflower seed crackers, juiced kale and dried goji berries. What he won’t tell you is that he secretly hopes that raw walnuts taste like bacon.

He gets serious separation anxiety if he skips the gym a day. He skips dinner the same night.

He hates flirting with other men at the gym, because how would he train otherwise?

He goes on a juice cleanse twice every month.

He uses the hash tag #NoPainNoGain, but he doesn’t use it ironically.

When he pictures his future with any potential plus one, he pictures the two of them breaking into a sweat (both in and out of bed) and grabbing a protein smoothie to go after. They exchange rings at the beach, after which they run off (literally) into the sunset.

He knows the exact days when all the personal trainers at the gym are on holiday, and when their birthdays fall. He gets them gluten-free cupcakes then.

Without any frosting.

The Gym Freak is never going to be happy with the way he looks. He’ll always have something to complain about. Too much fat. Too little muscle. Too much cardio. Too little sweat. He’ll go to the gym the very next day, and work on the part of his body that bothers him, even though he knows that spot reduction doesn’t work.

But that’s the thing.

I want to be a gym freak myself.

#GuysexualRecommends: Salvation Star’s Taboo Soiree: Time To Let It Glow!

 

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What: Salvation Star’s Taboo Soiree!

Where: White Owl Brewery and Bistro, Lower Parel, Mumbai.

When: 9:30 PM onwards, Saturday, 6th May 2017.

Why: Because while the thirst for tasty cocktails and chilled artisanal beer is real this summer, the thirst for cute guys is even more so. Have a thing for pretty men in prettier clothes?

Salvation Star is your path to sexual salvation.

Plus hey, I’ll be covering the party LIVE!

Meet The Men 1.0 : The Hipster

The hipster.jpg

 

We are almost halfway through 2017.

They say the age of the hipsters might be finally coming to an end, but can gay men ever let a good thing go?

We are still here, writing in our moleskin notebooks, riding our 12-gear bikes, using our organic moustache wax and stocking up on our ironic print t-shirts. It’s safe to say that the gay hipsters aren’t disappearing into the dregs of their black coffee mugs just yet. Jahangir, 27 and Subhashish, 26, would agree. The creative designer and casting director share an apartment in one of the quieter back alleys of Mumbai — a home that is littered with curios, knickknacks and pop culture references.

And they don’t plan to leave anytime soon. Do you want to know what makes the quintessential gay hipster, apart from his love for beer, bowties and his beard? Here are a few helpful hints:

The hipster doesn’t own a television. He’ll also make sure he tells everyone he knows about it. While on a date. At a casual lunch. During a work meeting. At a birthday party. In the bus. At the grocery store. While at a funeral.

He has his own complicated order at the coffee shop: like a Grande, iced, sugar-free vanilla latté with soymilk. It’s his standard go-to drink every morning on his way to work (as a graphic designer at an independent media house).

But most often, the barista can’t make it, so he has a large decaf.

He had a Tumblr profile back in 2012 that was called the TheUnfairKnightReturns. It is an archive of his button poetry, millennial rap and a motley collection of dark and depressing thoughts. He doesn’t like talking about it.

His best friend makes organic hemp t-shirts, which he freely wears and advertises. He’s always equipped with a card for her Facebook page. It doesn’t list any numbers, but has a standalone QR code.

The Hipster owns a coffee table book with vaguely pornographic pictures. It’s usually on top of his bedside drawer because he doesn’t have the money to invest in a coffee table.

He talks about how he hates Forever 21 — and yet it looks like all his clothes came from there. Especially when they have their clearance sales.

He saw 13 Reasons Why, but thought the book was a lot better than the Netflix original. He even wrote a long rant on Facebook pointing out all the differences between the two — all thirteen of them.

The Hipster believes in participating in No Shave November. All year around.

He buys all his groceries from the farmer’s market — you’d know because he Snapchats the entire experience.

And then he’d make it his Instagram Story, so that no one misses out.

He has five sets of bowties: casual, semi-casual, formal, party and street-chic-that-shows-I-don’t-care-about-trying-to-hard.

He doesn’t watch Game Of Thrones, because ‘it’s become so mainstream’. He won’t think twice before telling you that he’s read all the books though. Right down to all the companion books.

Sometimes, he bicycles to work.

He’ll complain about how the city just doesn’t have the space, or the infrastructure for cyclists. He’ll still use UberPool.

He rolls his eyes when people tell him they listen to EDM. He rolls his eyes even more when they tell him they haven’t heard of his favourite indie (but also very obscure) band. He gives up when they say that they think Alt-J is cool.

He’ll pester you to try out seaweed, which is the new kale, which was the new quinoa.

The Hipster doesn’t love flannel. He lives it.

For your birthday, he’ll gift you a mixed tape of all his favourite indie music. He’ll make you play it at the party.

If not that, he’ll gift you a potted miniature cactus. It’s a little sapling from the terrarium he’s working on.

He has an Instamax camera that he takes pictures of. The camera is in mint condition, and looks best when edited with the Juno filter on Instagram. It’s hidden away in his closet, and only makes an appearance when his friends are over, or when he’s packing a suitcase for a holiday.

Which would most definitely be a backpacking trip across Vietnam and Cambodia.

His favourite author is Margaret Atwood, and he’s read Handmaiden’s Tale twice. He cried the second time.

He knows the show adaption won’t be half as good.

But he’ll still live stream it the moment it releases.

He’ll deny it, but he got excited when he heard IKEA might open up a warehouse in the country.

When he realised that was a rumour, he commiserated by drinking an entire bottle of Coca Cola. It’s a secret he’ll take to the grave.

The last time the Hipster ate at a McDonalds was back in 2013. You remember because he tells you every time you meet him.

He’ll make faces at you when you devour your burger nonetheless.

He’ll swear that The Royal Tenenbaums is his favourite film by Wes Anderson, whom he adores. He scoffs at you when you tell him you thought Fantastic Mr Fox was cute. He’s not heard of Moonrise Kingdom.

He has a typewriter that he typed out quotes by Charles Bukowski from. They are all framed and hung in his living room. The typewriter hasn’t been used ever since. He covers it up with fairy lights.

He gets pissed at his flat mate for not knowing what sourdough bread is.

The Hipster constantly bums off cigarettes off people while out at a pub, claiming he doesn’t smoke. He looks bummed off if you don’t have a Davidoff. He’ll have a Marlboro in that case, because ‘Classic Milds just doesn’t do it for him.’

He has a manicured beard that looks like a permanent five o’clock shadow. He pays extra so that it looks just the right amount of messy. The stylist is given a free pass to NH7 so that she won’t tell anyone.

When he does run into the stylist at a music festival, he’ll pretend she’s a friend he has ‘collaborated’ with.

It was an art project that was so niche, they’ve been told not to talk about it.

He drinks only artisanal beer, and likes to tell people how ‘beer is the new wine’.

He absolutely despises brands. But he’s still counting down the days for the big iPhone 8 launch. It’s marked as a reminder on his iPhone 7.

He doesn’t believe in credit cards.

He’ll always be short of cash while splitting the cheque with his date.

And that’ll probably be you.

The Survivor’s Guide To Everything You See People Do On Grindr

 

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Airport romances. Proposals at the Eiffel Tower. Underdogs fighting it out against the odds. Triple chocolate fudge cake.

As people we’ve always loved our clichés, especially when we become one. So when it comes to our love (and sex) lives, it’s not a surprise to see the hackneyed habit-forming animals that we tend to be. Whether you are a first time rookie looking for your seven minutes in Heaven or a Tinder thespian who’s looking for a partner to adopt a dog with, here are twenty-five of the most likely things you will see on every dating app in the world:

Continue reading The Survivor’s Guide To Everything You See People Do On Grindr

The Guysexual’s Guide: Every Possible Guy’s Handbook For Attending Pride

 

Pride

Today’s a special day.

Is it my birthday? Is it the day Bradley Cooper finally tells me he loves me? Is it the day I inherit a trust fund? Is it the day I find the miracle cure to obesity?

No. It gets better.

Today is Mumbai’s annual LGBT Pride parade – the city’s ninth, with more than 7000 people marching in from across the city (and the world) – it’s the day we all get to stand together for equality. Stand together for basic rights. Stand together for love, but most importantly; stand together because we make a really good-looking picture.

That includes you, straight folks. Are you a red-blooded heterosexual who doesn’t understand why he needs to walk the talk? (‘Why do I need to meet gay guys?’ the average straight bloke would guffaw in my face, ‘How will it help me?’)

Support for your LGBT friends aside, here are four selfish reasons why you need to keep those PlayStations away and walk for Pride today:

  1. We’ll motivate you to join the gym if you haven’t already.

Let me tell you a secret. We got to Cross Fit when you were still struggling with crunches – it’s no surprise that gay men are more aware of their bodies than their straight counterparts. We might come in all shapes and sizes, but we’ll still make sure we look the best version of ourselves whichever way we are packaged – we are giftwrapped with gym memberships and protein supplements.

And we also do Pilates. Forty-five minutes at Pride can do what hours of staring at fitness videos on YouTube can’t. After that, a few months of motivation is all you need to end up looking like the next big underwear model.

2. Get style advice straight from the expert!

When your idea of making a style statement is cycling through your three Zara shirts with a pair of cream khakis, you need help. I am not saying every gay man is a writer with GQ magazine, but when it comes to fashion, we have the common sense not to wear socks with our sandals. Pride walk is the fashion parade that tells you what works and what doesn’t.

Want to know what colour belt works with your Italian shoes? Do stripes really go with spots? What’s the point of wearing a bow tie? Now you know whom to turn to, oh sweet summer child, so keep your Crocs where they rightfully belong.

Back in your closets.

  1. Find a gay best friend

Carrie Bradshaw isn’t the only person who needs a gay best friend – everyone could do with one. We know the best places to get brunch, we understand how cufflinks work and we’ll honestly tell you what not to say to your girlfriend when she’s threatening to break up with you. We are the Chandler to your Joey, without the girlfriend who got in the way.

  1. And finally stop being homophobic and go!

Fashion tips and gym buddies aside, the main reason you should go walk the pride is to show your support for the LGBT community. Contrary to popular belief, the gay men who are at the parade won’t hit on you. They won’t even look at you. We have other important things to worry about – like inequality and basic rights.

Also, walking for the LGBT Pride won’t make you gay – because surprisingly, things don’t work that way. Throw those old fashioned ideas in the trash can and step out. We did it ages ago, and let me tell you that it’s very fulfilling.

Or at least most gay men did.

‘Why should I go?’ asks Jai, a flamboyant digital marketing manager who’s a year older, but eons cuter. ‘I am not an activist; plus it’s a Saturday afternoon, I’ll rather sleep in!’ he sips at his peppermint tea, handing me his almond biscotti.

Sigh. If only his sensibility matched his swagger.

If like Jai, you are one of the many gay men who don’t think it’s their calling (or place) to participate in the parade, don’t fret. I’ve got you covered too. Here are a few reasons for you to pull back those bed covers and pull up your socks just in time for the walk today:

 

  1. It gives you the same sense of belonging that a clearance sale does.

 Let’s face it – you might love your straight friends to death, but they’d never be able to relate to the bad Grindr date you had last week, the one with the man who thought it’d be okay to get his ex along.

It’s different at the parade – here, as you are surrounded by fun (read: fabulous) people who are just like you, you feel the same way you felt when you bought clothes at half price. Do you know what that lovely feeling is?

It’s the overwhelming sense of community. The feeling that you belong.

Without any dates with exes involved.

  1. It’s better than finding love on Grindr.

Sick of rummaging around the dregs of online dating, sifting through the same pool of shirtless men?

You have more chances of running into the love of your life here than you have of having a decent, fulfilling conversation on Grindr. Can you imagine the possibilities of not having your heart broken by yet another torso that asks you for ‘a dick pic?’

Well, now you can. How about you go say hi to the cute boy waving the pride flag across the road instead? You no longer need to lie to people about meeting your future boyfriend at Starbucks.

  1. A chance to dress fabulously.

Remember that multicoloured jacket you drunkenly bought online after a bitter break-up and an even bitter bottle of wine?

Now’s your chance to tear out the plastic wrapping and wear it like you own it (side note: because in this case, you actually do.) Pride’s the perfect excuse to be proud of your identity and keep the inhibitions at bay – feather boas or floral shirts, if you think you can pull it off, pull it out of your closets right now.

  1. And finally stop the internalized homophobia.

 The only people who hate gay men more than bigoted straight men are gay men themselves. The twinks hate the chubs. The bears hate the cubs. The intellectuals hate the social butterflies. The mascs hate the femmes. The models hate the geeks. The activists hate the slackers. The queens hate the discreet. And everyone hates me.

It’s finally time to end the internalized homophobia, guys, and there’s no better place to start than walk for Pride itself. What about me?

I’ll see you at the finish line.

 

 

 

 

Pssst. Did my words stir you enough to attend? Here are a few quick details for you if you plan to swing by The LGBT Pride Parade later today:

 

Where: August Kranti Maidan, grant Road, Mumbai – 4000036.

 

When: Saturday 28th January, 3 PM onwards!

Mumbai Queer Pride ’16 : Don’t Rain On My Parade!

 

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What: Queer Azaadi’s Mumbai Queer Pride 2016

When:  3:00 PM onwards, Saturday, February 6th, 2016.

Where: August Kranti Maidan, Mumbai.

Why: Because one never needs a reason to walk the Pride, and hey, what would you rather spend your saturday doing?

So let’s walk the talk, shall we?