Tag Archives: Men

Can We Stop With The #BoysAndTheirToys in 2018?

VENUS_MARS

Relationship experts, Internet proverbs, and magazines at the dentist’s all tell us the same thing. Men are from Mars, women are from Venus. Men are from Mars, women are from Venus. Men are from Mars, and women… well, you get the gist. Two planets apart, millions of miles away — now repeat it till you believe it.

But that’s the thing, it’s a myth. Men don’t necessarily need to come from Mars – they can come from Venus, Saturn, Neptune or even Ganymede (that’s Jupiter’s biggest moon for the astronomically unaware). In fact, they can come from anywhere they want, just like they can be whoever they want to be.

We might have been conditioned to believe that men need to be (or behave) a certain way, but the dictionary has never told anyone to be a classic d***hebag who smokes like a chimney and eats like a pig. Like I discussed last time, men aren’t a result of their toys, tempers and tastes, they are a result of their manners and their mottos.

Years of conditioning aside, it all usually starts as soon as you come kicking and screaming into the world. See, as a child you don’t understand the ramifications of what you say or the fact that one day, you’ll be embarrassed by what you’ve done – it’s like an Archiesversion of being sh*t-faced drunk and uninhibited – and no one has taught you that you have to behave a certain way just because, so you usually screw that up. You say the wrong things. You act the wrong way. You ask for the wrong toy.

As a child, I’d never had a kitchen set of my own – I had a lot of clowns, cars, books and GI Joes – and any time that I found these miniature cooking utensils freely available was a revelation. I would usually snatch an hour or two with them at my cousin’s, or play house with them with the girl next door.

It was pure, unadulterated joy, and I used all of it to bake make-believe macarons. It was big joke in my extended family, but I didn’t really care (also I really didn’t know). So finally, on my seventh birthday when my parents asked me what I wanted, I thought I’d jump at the idea – the only sort of jumping I would ever do.

I remember being really nervous about not getting anything at all, but I was also nervous that I’d be laughed at, so I checked and double-checked to see whether I really could ask for anything I wanted.

“Yes, please,” they said.

So I asked for a kitchen set. I don’t really remember the exact reaction, but it was politely explained to me that I couldn’t have one because kitchen sets were for girls.

I was crushed. So I asked for books. Video games. Toy cars. Spaceship models. The complete He-Man collection (side note: I got greedy).

For me, playing house wasn’t just about clanking those tiny utensils together; I wanted to act out all the ideas in my head – scripts I’d never be able to live but knew by heart. My crazy imagination was dying to see all the stories I scrawled in my little notebooks come to life.

And then Lego came along, and changed everything.

Conventionally, there was nothing wrong with a boy playing with his Lego set – I could build houses, and cafes and parks, without being disturbed. But the attempt to ‘Masc’ things up wasn’t far away – I got the fire station starter pack one birthday, but I ended up making a fancy condo (albeit with poles) with that as well.

The boys toys stopped coming my way though, and my bedroom filled up with books (and even more Lego sets), but it was a distraction from the seemingly endless amazement that I wasn’t macho enough – not playing sports or climbing trees. As long as I had my nose deep in a book, no one asked me why it wasn’t looking up football strategies online.

Eventually, my fascination with building homes and stories helped; I went on to become an architect, and then a writer, so I could say it all worked out for me – but my childhood remained the same.

A lie.

There’s been some progress, at least in moving away from the ‘pinkification’ of girl’s toys and allowing them the freedom to play with what would traditionally be called boy’s toys – their cars, dinosaurs, cowboys and all that.

It’s an important fight and we need it, but when it comes to the other side of the coin – little boys just dying to pick up a play doll or a play house – it’s a harder sell. Not to mention that in 2018, gender is not just about ‘boys and girls’. Everyone is finding their own way. Boys can play with girl’s toys and girls can play with boy’s toys. Heck, there’s no such thing as boy’s toys and girl’s toys anymore, just like there’s no such thing as a man’s job and a woman’s job.

How can I be so sure?

A few weeks ago, as I played house with my nephew, I asked him what he wanted to be when he grows up. He wanted to be a superhero, his grandmother, a policeman and a race car driver, in that order (He also said he wanted to be ‘happy’, but he’s always been a bright kid). He’s four years old.

His reasons for wanting to be his grandmother were simple. She made all the decisions at home. He wanted to do the same thing. We both high-fived and had tea with the underlying matriarchy in our makeshift hall.

My four-year-old nephew might be a doll (no pun intended), but the rest of us still have a long way to go. Countless dreams (and bones) get crushed every day because men are supposed to be breaking their heads (and their backs) at the workplace, or the gym. So here’s something for you to take away – do what interests you, not something that ticks all the boxes for becoming the quintessential man.

Am I gay because I played with dolls and kitchen sets, or despite the fact that I really couldn’t? Would it have really made any difference? With ‘traditionally masculine’ sports’ stars now coming out of the closet, there really is no fail-safe to stop your child from becoming ‘less macho’ (not even a good ol’ football can save him. Sorry about that.)

If you’d rather your child grow up sad and ashamed, the toy really isn’t the problem here. If they grow up to come out as gay or bi or trans or seem “less of a man”, it’s not because you bought them a Barbie doll when they were seven (it’s probably because they are built in a different way then you are.)

And even if it turns out to be true, so what? Be proud of them and pat yourself on your back for being such a great influence!

Just buy that kitchen set. You’d only thank yourself later when your son (or brother) gets you Eggs Benedict in bed.

You are welcome.

PS: My parents are, and have always been, great and very accepting and shielded me from a lot of bullsh*t (homophobic or otherwise) in life. They eventually did get me that kitchen set, only they pretended it was for my sister.

Every Man’s Guide to Surviving A Breakup

 

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It’s happened.

So you’ve just gone through (what you feel is) the worst breakup of your life. You’re standing all alone in your apartment, with your now-no-longer-jointly-owned cat, half of your belongings, and half of your heart. You’re single and stressing out over waking up to an empty bed, and an emptier life.

But I’ll tell you a secret.

You’re obviously going to get through it. All you need are a few essentials to start over before you get back in the game. So how about you prep your house (and your heart) with this essential Post-Breakup Bachelor Pad Survival Kit?

1. Crisp white sheets

Nothing screams the single life than brand new white sheets, completely devoid of the stains and smells of your monstrous ex.

It makes your dull, depressing apartment (and you) appear larger and brighter, and is the perfect background for the various vacation flings you’ll bring back home over the weeks to come.

2. A super-sized box of condoms

All the vacation flings that you bring back home aren’t going to cover themselves.

3. Instant noodles

You’ll need packets and packets of instant noodles, because you won’t feel like cooking anything more complicated. It’s your 4 am friend and you can douse it with everything you’ve got — the spare bit of ricotta cheese, some tomato ketchup, a little smidgeon of Tabasco, oregano that you painstakingly collected over years of pizza deliveries, a healthy drizzle of soy sauce and the dozen expletives you didn’t use in your goodbye email.

And as you wait the quintessential two minutes for the water to boil, you can cry. Because that’s enough time to cry your heart out.

4. A tub of your favourite ice cream flavour in the fridge

Ice cream solves what retail therapy can’t. Enough said.

5. A strong resolve

Every once in a while, you’ll have this sudden urge. It will hit you in the middle of the night as you toss in bed, or when you are answering emails at work. It might even hit you when you’re writing out a birthday card for the best friend. This is the urge to get back in touch with your ex, and ask him to take you back. You’ll beg, you’ll plead, you’ll reason, and you’ll hate.

For those tough moments, you’ll need a tough heart.

6. An emptier smartphone

Delete the texts, the pictures from your vacation last year, the bill receipts from your dates, the sexts you sent each other on your anniversary and the screenshots you saved to use in a fight later (and did). Delete it all. Cleanse your phone, and then use it to call a friend over. Call all your friends over.  Share your ice cream and your instant noodles with all of them. Repeat till you are happy.

7. A Netflix account with high speed Internet

The only remedy to the perfect post-breakup life is HD quality television, free of commercial breaks (and moments to linger back to your vile ex.)

Good luck binge watching through three seasons of Black Mirror as you try your best to chew on your lukewarm instant noodles from last night.

8. A bottle (or crate) of Cabernet Sauvignon stacked away in the closet

There’s nothing like some Bordeaux loving to get you out of your slump, and into bed with the cute writer you’ve been flirting with all of last week.

9. A yoga mat

At some point, you’d open the blinds and want to lose all the ice-cream induced weight. You’d want to get back in the dating game. You’d want to look like the best version of yourself.

On that day, you’ll buy yourself a yoga mat (because deep down you know you’ll never stick to a gym membership right till the very end). You’d effectively end up using the mat as a background for your next Grindr picture.

10. Optimism

One day, after an hour’s worth of Pilates on your new yoga mat, you’ll sit up straighter than before and tell yourself that this isn’t the worst moment of your life. You’ll throw out the leftover ice cream and drink the last bottle of wine. You’ll wash the noodle-stained vessels and put them away. You’ll tell yourself that you’ll be OK.

You’ll eventually start believing it. Because you will be OK.

Meet The Men 3.0: The Sapiosexual

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Ranveir, 27, is a high-profile accountant with a high-profile MNC.
And yes, that’s how he describes himself.

He likes his matcha tea and his sourdough bread, and twice a month, he likes walking his dog on weekends. Ranveir guffaws at racist jokes, and occasionally ghosts a nice guy because ‘things are moving too fast, and I can’t handle all the expectations of this relationship’.

While the fact that he spells his name that way might ring a warning bell, something else seals the deal.

Ranveir is a self-proclaimed sapiosexual. How does it change anything?

Let’s get it straight. The word sapiosexual is thrown around as casually as the phrase ’sane and sorted’ is used on Grindr. It’s a security blanket used by boys to keep the douchebags away (completely unaware that it makes them sound like one too), assuming it’s going to draw in a string of smart, suave and eligible men straight to the bedroom (and beyond). But that’s the thing.

All the smart, suave, eligible men are taken.
And they don’t call themselves sapiosexuals.

Continue reading Meet The Men 3.0: The Sapiosexual

Number Fifteen: The Therapist

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Art Work: Aakash Dewan.

It’s a sweaty Friday afternoon – but we are indoors, wolfing down second helpings of chicken schezwan noodles, and trying to get the waiter to get our drinks (two large pegs of rum with a little cola, topped all the way with ice) to our table. The air is heavy with cigarette smoke and endless chatter – you can smell the waywardness of our lives. I want to ask him whether he would like to share a smoke – but first, I have something more important up my sleeve –

‘What’s your name?’

Continue reading Number Fifteen: The Therapist

Guysexual Recommends: ‘Find Your Magic’ By Axe.

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The What?

The ‘Find Your Magic’ advertisement  by Axe.

The Why?

Because Axe finally reaches out to ALL men in the world – the misfits, the crazy ones, the theatre geeks, the nerds and the gays. ‘You need abs to sell a deodrant’ said no on ever.

Here’s to you, deodrant company of the masses.

The Where?

Find the trending video on Youtube right here.

Guysexual #Go: Salvation Star’s Taboo Soiree!

 

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What: Salvation Star’s Taboo Soiree!

Where: Bungalow 9, Bandra (West), Mumbai.

When: 9:30 PM onwards, Saturday, 23rd january 2016.

Why: Because hey, these parties are always overflowing with cute boys and tasty cocktails (or is it the other way around?). Plus, guess who’s the digital partner?

*shameless self-promotion*

Twenty Other Things You Hear At Every LGBT Party.

 

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  1. ’I wasn’t going to show up, but then I had nothing else to do…do you have a light?’
  2. ‘Hey, hi! Do you think I can borrow a cigarette from you? Benson Lights? Sure, anything will do.’
  3. “ Is he looking at me? Wait, is he looking at you? Okay, the first one to talk to him takes him home tonight.’
  4. ‘I think I need a shot…make that two. Can you pay for these? I forgot my credit card in my other wallet today,’
  5. ‘That shirt on those pants? He’s such a fashion disaster – he should be happy he’s cute!’
  6. ‘Do you think I can survive on one beer all night long?’
  7. ‘ OMG, where have you been? You disappeared! I haven’t seen you since…. oh wait, we ran into each other at the last one.’
  8. ‘Can we please leave before closing bell? I hate making small talk when the lights are back on,’
  9. ‘So gay parties aren’t usually my thing, but I wanted to come check out what the hype is all about…oh hold on, I see a friend, I’ll talk to you later?’
  10. ‘Is it just me, or are the lights dimmer than usual?’
  11. ‘Oh, you wear sandals? How cute.’
  12. ‘That new Adele song? Story of my life.’
  13. ‘Can I have a mojito? Hello? Hello? Umm, Mr. bartender?’
  14. ‘I want to go pee so badly, but all the stalls are full, and I am too intimidated to use the urinals, you know what I mean?’
  15. ‘Ughhh. This party is full of people I didn’t want to run int-…heyyy! What are you doing here? We were just talking about how lovely the crowd is today!’
  16. ‘Seriously, do you have any idea where the after party is at?’
  17. ‘I totally don’t mind being objectified right now.’
  18. ‘ Did you see how he had his tongue down his throat? So sick. Think someone will make out with me like that?’
  19. ‘Oh god, oh god, hide…it’s my ex!’
  20. ‘ If his t-shirt gets any tighter, he would look like a mannequin. A hot one, but a mannequin nonetheless.’