What Does Your Grindr Picture say About You?

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Have I told you that a display picture isn’t that important for your Grindr profile?

 Yes. I am a liar.

And I am also a hypocrite.

See, it’s simple – sometimes you won’t have time to read someone’s profile bio – and we all know that your picture is all you’ve got to get him to say hello. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to know that the photo in question needs to be clear and recent (unless you still look like your charming 2010 self) – just make sure it’s not a mug shot or a scan of your passport picture, and you are ready to go.

Remember, the focus of the picture should always be on the star attraction: YOU. Because while a panoramic shot of the Eiffel tower or the Great Wall of China in the background can make for a great conversation starter, a selfie with a butt-plug on the shelf behind you can only lead to a lot of awkward questions.

They say that everything you need to know, you can learn from a person’s picture. Want to know more?

Here’s what different pictures say about you:

  1. Mr. No picture

Being discreet about your identity can seem enigmatic, but don’t complain when you can’t seem to earn any brownie points, in bed or otherwise. Unless you can charm your way into someone’s heart (or their pants) with some well-timed words, not having a picture up on your profile only leads to not having any game.

  1. Mr. Shirtless

Sure, you might say that you are ‘looking for your one true love’ but you don’t need to be shirtless on your path to romance. It’s really difficult to fall in love (or even be friends) with someone who doesn’t seem to have a face. When was the last time you made a new friend over how well proportioned your abs are?

Never.

Unfortunate as it may seem, it’s very difficult to be taken seriously when you think that the most endearing part of your personality is your sexy, sculpted chest.

  1. Mr. Smiling face

Smiles are sexy. You might want to come across as a brooding, yet beautiful ‘I-am-too-good-for-you’ rugged man, but smiles always gather the most attention (and hellos on Grindr). Plus, no gay man can ever resist a full set of pearly whites. It’s the easiest route to your ‘happily-ever-after.’

So smile away, boys – you won’t need a fairy godmother to find that fairy tale ending then.

  1. Mr. Blurry

It’s 2017, so the only reason you have an out-of-focus photo as your profile picture is because you used an artsy Instagram filter. Otherwise, you need to delete those scanned pictures back from 2007 from your phone as soon as possible.

  1. Mr. Gym selfie:

Yes, you care about fitness, love to exercise and spend about ten hours every week working on the various muscles of your lithe, supple body, but there’s a catch (and it’s got nothing to do with your warm-up at the beginning of your workout).

Generations of (less fitter, more sour) gay men have unanimously looked down at their gym-going counterparts in their quest for love, simply because they’d presume that the men in question would give precedence to HIIT over matters of the heart. Don’t want to turn a potential love interest away?

It’s sad to say that having a gym selfie as your profile picture will only give out the impression that you care more about your post-workout protein shake than the person you are talking to.

  1. Mr. Sunglasses

You might be gorgeous enough to grace the cover of GQ Magazine, but when you’ve got monster sunglasses that cover more than half of your pretty face, people will only assume that you are wearing them because you are ugly.

Yes, even if they are from Calvin Klein.

  1. Mr. beach bod

The shirtless, beach picture is the ultimate way to show off. How so?

It shows that you work out (your banana hammock leaves very little room for the imagination), are confident (because anybody with body issues would have a problem with being half-naked in public) and travel a lot (who else would be at a beach in the middle of the year?) Want to amp up those little red notifications of love on Grindr?

It’s time to find the nearest exotic beach and plonk yourself on a recliner.

  1. Mr. Suit

Maybe you are a professional. Maybe you are a model. Maybe you are a tycoon. Maybe you are an out-of-towner in the city for work, and looking for a friend to ‘show you around town’. Maybe you are none of the above, and just trying too hard.

Remember that this is Grindr, and not your LinkedIn profile. Stick to the basics; but just make sure you aren’t too basic.

 

The Gay Man’s Urban Dictionary

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What’s the shelf life of a clearance sale shirt? What’s the expiry date on a Grindr hookup? Do potatoes count as carbs? If you feel like a potato, are you a carb?  Do you need to kick your junk food habits out on the curb (no pun intended)? Are moccasins better than brogues? More importantly, what is a brogue?

When you are gay man, you’ll always be full of questions (when you are not full of self-doubt, that is) — but this is 2018, and some questions, while basic, — will always be more important than the others.

Take a few of these as an example.

Don’t know whether you are a top or a bottom? Do you feel it’s rude (and very inappropriate) when someone asks you whether you are a slave? Have you always wondered why your friends laughed at you when you said you loved vanilla? Are you surprised that people could be thatinto otters? More importantly, what is an otter?

It’s 2018, and it’s time for you to get with the times. Whether you are an out-and-proud gay man or an in-the-closet newbie, your dictionary of gay slang will always be as varied as your little black book of boys. So the next time someone tells you they know ‘just the right twink for your daddy charms,’ here’s a little glossary of gay slang to help you understand what they reallymean.

Bear: An older, broader hairier man who unlike his namesake, does not need to hibernate.

Beefcake: A gay man who spends most of his time at the gym, and the rest of it scooping spoonfuls of protein supplement into his post-workout shakes.

BJ: A bl*wjob, or when someone wants to make a bl*wjob sound cool.

Bottom: The receptive sexual partner; also known as ‘someone who likes taking it in’.

Buns: Butt or when someone wants to be cute about your butt.

Chubby Chaser: A gay man who likes his sexual partners just like he likes his pillows – soft and cuddly.

C*cksicle: A BJ, again. Or when someone tries to make a bl*wjob sound even cooler, but fails miserably.

Cruise: To seek casual gay sex encounters — usually in restrooms, pubs or sometimes, even by the corner streetlight, so that you can regret them the morning after.

Cub: A younger version of the Bear, heavier than the Otter. May or may not deal with body issues.

Daddy: An older, established man who likes his scotch aged and his boys, young.

Daddy Chaser: A gay man who likes his partners older, richer, but not necessarily wiser.

Discreet: A man who is either in a relationship or in denial, and wants sex on the side.

Dom/Dominant/Master: A gay man who likes to play ‘Who’s the boss?’ in bed. Sexual toys may or may not be involved.

Fagg*t: A rude thing to call a gay person.

Fairy: Another rude thing to call a gay person.

Hershey Highway: When someone wants to make anal sex sound more desirable.

Iron Closet: A gay man who is in such deep denial of his sexuality, he might never step out of the closet.

Kinky: Anything that is not Vanilla sexually, but peach apricot with hazelnuts.

Looking for Networking: A man who travels a lot and is on the lookout for vacation flings. He won’t ever call you back.

NSA: No-strings-attached casual sex, that doesn’t involve feelings or goodbye messages.

Otter: A thinner, younger version of the Bear. Has nothing to do with the animal.

Power bottom: A bottom that acts like he’s a top.

Poz: An out-and-proud HIV Positive man who’s doing what a lot of men out there are not — telling us about his status.

Slam: When someone wants to snort MDMA off your belly button.

Sub/Submissive/Slave: A gay man who likes being bossed around in bed. (Not to be confused with the derogatory term used during the American pre-Civil Rights era.)

The Closet: A place where you keep all your ridiculously expensive clothes, your snug woolens, and yourself, when you are not out to the world. In other words, a gay man who has not told anyone he’s gay.

Tonsil Hockey: When you are kissing someone so fiercely, it could be a competitive sport.

Top: The inserting sexual partner; also known as ‘someone who likes to put it in’.

Twink: A younger, smoother, cockier gay man.

Vanilla: Someone who likes his sex just like he likes his family values, traditional.

Versatile: A gay man who likes it both ways, but is secretly a bottom.

Wolf: A hairy gay man who’s neither a Bear nor an Otter but floats somewhere in between. Also, may not howl at the moon if you ask him too.

Yestergay: A gay man who now refers to himself as straight. But is not.

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

 

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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.