Tag Archives: Queer

The Unbearable Freedom Of Being

 

IMG_7961
Source: the Internet.

‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ a ninth grade English paper once asked me. It was a 20-mark essay, and I had 20 minutes to earn them. I rolled up my sleeves, and pulled out my cursive best.

The thing is, I wanted to be a great many things.

I wanted to be a chef, I wanted to be an actor, I wanted to be a painter, I wanted to be an astronaut, and for two weeks after I turned 11, I even wanted to be a National Geographic correspondent, if only because my older sister said that she wanted to be one. My essay – and the time allotted to write it – might have come to an end at this point, but my story didn’t. From the age of six to sixteen, I raced through changes. My styles, my sexual leanings and my haircuts changed, and so did my dreams.

Only, what did I never dream of being?

Myself.

All my years of adolescence, I had struggled to find myself, even though I struggled comfortably – I was so used to push my problems under a hypothetical carpet, and pretend they didn’t exist, that I never realized the lies I was hoarding up – little white lies, they wouldn’t hurt anyone, would they? It was an easy, lazy life.

I used this complacency as a security blanket, and wound it around myself whenever thoughts of the future terrified me. What would coming out (as a gay man) be like? Would it be a cakewalk or a walk down the plank? Would I have to talk about my feelings? Would I have someone to talk about my feelings to (a fair question, because I grew up thinking that you were only allowed to talk about your feelings at expensive therapy sessions, sappy book clubs or when watching romantic tearjerkers)?

Growing up was always a mark of independence – no more school, no more staying at home, no more rules, no more restrictions, no more getting worried over your mother’s eighteen missed calls (well, almost) – it seemed like a technicolour dream, being so free-spirited. But honestly, I didn’t know what I would do with all the freedom. Independence (or the mere thought of it) petrified me. What would I do being free?

Would I finally have to be myself?

People are terrified to be themselves, especially when bravery is an option, and not an obligation I’ve been called manipulative, selfish, a coward, a sore loser. Why would I want to be myself then? I’d rather be someone nicer and more admirable; I’d rather be someone else.

And that’s exactly what I did.

Some enjoy the peace that comes with accepting who you are, but most of us waltz on the fence in the middle. Take sexuality, for instance. We can stir ourselves to walk free and fabulous, but we’d rather stay safe and sound in the cage of heteronormativity. I made myself feel at home in the cage till I was twenty-one.

The thing about independence is that it doesn’t come gift-wrapped and express delivered to your front doorstep. It needs to be earned, or fought for.

Coming to terms with your sexuality and stepping out of the closet isn’t easy – especially when in a country like India, where minds can be as narrow as Bandra’s bylanes, even if you are an upper-class well-educated man (and sometimes, especially if you an upper-class, well educated man). Everyday life is a battle. As countless films and American television shows have told us, you don’t just wake up one morning and walk out into the sunlit world. To reach the closet door, you need to push through your woolens, those ‘buy-one-get-one-free’ shirts you bought on an impulse but will never wear, and the odd tangle of smelly socks, greying underwear and smutty novels you don’t want your mother to find. It will be tough, especially if you’ve been hoarding – and holding back – all your life.

And even when you do, it’s a never-ending process – those closet doors that everyone talks about? They are revolving. Week after week, you will find yourself coming out to friends, family, acquaintances, and (occasionally) drunken strangers at the bar. Perhaps one day it will not be the big deal that it is today, and you won’t have to worry whether your words are followed by a kiss to the cheek or a punch to the mouth. Every new acceptance is a fresh slice of independence, and you’ll wolf it all down without worrying about empty calories or complex carbs.

It will be liberating, the way you feel after you’ve survived a last-minute clearance sale. Only this is the clearance sale of regrets.

Fortunately, my personal coming out story reeks of acceptance and Hallmark cards – it happened at the dinner table, one Friday evening back in early 2015, over cups of chamomile and desiccated coconut biscuits. I sat my parents down, and told them everything in a diligently rehearsed 17-minute monologue.

In 18 minutes, it was done.

Questions were asked, hugs were exchanged, a tear was shed (that would be me). My mum went for a walk with her friends, and my dad continued solving the crossword puzzle. They accepted it with a simple shrug (and lots of love and support over the next couple of years, but this is the not a story about that). My sexuality was just another fact.

What about the war of words I had been expecting? The emotional bloodshed? The years of torment at the hands of society? They never came, even though the history books said that they would. Times are changing, and somewhere over pop culture references and more inclusive media representations, my parents and peers had changed as well. The history books had it wrong.

What they did get right was this – freedom felt liberating.

The freedom to stay single. The freedom to be a sexual deviant. The freedom to wear a skirt (if you are a man) or a jersey (if you are a woman). The freedom to wear both. The freedom to wear neither. The freedom to never find your way back home. The freedom to stay in for the night, with Netflix and a bottle of wine (that would be me again).

What do we do with the freedom then? Do we let it consume us? Terrify us into never seeking it out?

We do neither. We simply unwind and enjoy it with a cup of tea.

Preferably chamomile.

The Guysexual’s Guide To Freedom

 

freedom biyatch

What does freedom mean to me?

Wearing pyjamas on a Monday. Heading out on a vacation in the middle of January. Eating (and owning) eight bars of dark chocolate in one sitting. Netflix binging all week. Not replying to a text right away. Not feeling guilty about any of it.

Freedom might mean a lot of different things for each of us, but for the quintessential gay man in India, it means a lot more — the freedom to dress how they want, the freedom to love who they want, but most importantly, the freedom to be who they want.

At the end of the day, what else do you need independence from in India? You don’t need to answer the question; it was rhetorical.

But then again, the answers needn’t be. As Independence Day charges at us with all its tri-coloured glory, here are 15 different ideas that (gay) men need instant freedom from, this 15 August:

1. Body-shaming
I’ve said it before and I will say it again — square, round, fat, skinny, triangular, muscled, average, toned, thin, beefed up or even trapezoid — gay men (or anyone, for that matter) come in all shapes and sizes. As long as they are not a trigonometric equation, learn to appreciate all of them.

2. Patriarchy
Fun fact: did you know what makes a man (or woman) highly irresistible?
Their ideas on equality (and inclusivity).

3. Section 377
Because Section 377 is as redundant as Pahlaj Nihalani’s opinion right now. Let’s dust off the Constitution of India, and dust off those blues, shall we?

4. Bigotry
We all need to left swipe on extreme right wing propaganda – especially the one that opposes anything that is even remotely LGBT, including your (just the right amount of inappropriate) man crush on Rahul Khanna. Respect other people’s opinions like you would respect your mother on her birthday (or Mother’s Day).

5. Self hate
The only kind of people who hate gay men more than the bigots from above?
Gay men themselves. Internalised homophobia is real, boys and girls — it’s time to address the problem out in the open. Just like you should be.

6. Crocs
You might need freedom, boys — but your open toes don’t. The monsoons are over, so keep those crocs where YOU don’t belong — right at the back of your closet.

7. Judging relatives
Just like Apple’s license agreement and the disclaimer at the beginning of every movie, opinions of overbearing relatives are ticks that don’t need your attention.

8. Social media stress
The world might be going to war (here’s looking at you, North Korea and the United States of America) and I’ve still spent hours wondering why my #TransformationTuesday isn’t getting any Instagram love at 3 pm. It’s time to switch off the smart phones, and switch off that stress. I’ll probably go to the gym and work on my glutes instead.

9. Toxic love
No, the fact that he pinged you at 2 am, three months after he cheated on you (and effectively dumped you after) does not mean he’s trying to get back into your life. He probably just wants to get back into your pants. Love might be a lot of things, but it’s never deceitful. Nothing toxic can ever come out of a genuine, romantic relationship. Always remember that.

10. Notions of heteronormativity
Some people believe in monogamy. Some people believe in polygamy. Some people believe in free love. As long as you are practising safe sex, leave your notions of what is right and what is wrong right next to the used condom wrappers.

11. Gender appropriation
If Kiran, with the gender-neutral name, wants to dress in a way that’s slightly gender-fluid, don’t be a douche about it. No one needs that kind of negativity in their life — especially when they are trying to walk in six-inch stilettos in a busy Mumbai street.

12. Bullying
Just because I was okay with the fact that I spent most of high school getting pushed against lockers (and the occasional fellow nerd), doesn’t mean I am okay being dragged down a trail of comments by internet trolls, thank you very much.

13. No sugar diets
If gay men gave more importance to positivity than their protein supplements, the world would be a sweeter place to live in. Cinnamon bun intended. Empty calories aside, cutting sugar out just leads to an emptier life.

14. Bad television
The only thing worse than no LGBT representation in film (and other media) is shitty LGBT representation in film (and other media). Think of it this way — every time a gay person is portrayed as a promiscuous, sassy fashionista with no morals (or a wrist bone) on screen, a baby seal is clubbed to death in Antarctica.
Or worse, Chetan Bhagat comes out with another book.

15. Peroxide hair
Just one word: Nope.

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

5 friends

Every guy needs friends, and every gay guy?

More so.

As we live our short, but fabulous lives, we collect friends like we collect discount coupons from the newspaper — greedily. You have friends that you unwind with, friend that wind you up, and some friends that even flake out on you like the wind (that would be me).

People come and people go, but some stay till the very end, or till last call, whichever comes first. These are the ones that matter; these are the ones that you make unfulfilled plans to vacation with.

Whether you are an out-and-about social butterfly, or a Netflix-binger of the most asocial kind, start those tabs, guys — because you’ll be doing shots all night with these five friends every other weekend:

The Fag Hag

The Fag Hag is the crown jewel of the crew that the average gay man calls his own — she’s vivacious, brilliant, and woefully brash — but you only cherish her for every bit of it. Your relationship with the Fag Hag is one of extremes — extreme joy and debauchery — which is built on a string of bad exes, internet memes and free shots at the bar.

Have you dissed each other’s exes as you downed glasses of Ciroc? Check.

Made fun of someone you mutually hate over scrolls-worth of WhatsApp conversations? Check.

Proclaimed your undying love for each other every alternate date? Check and check.

The Fag Hag takes your love life seriously, and scrutinises all your romantic prospects down to the last detail, automatically loving or hating them based on 1) what they think of her outfit for the night, and 2) what your future artificially-inseminated kids will look like when they grow up.

The fact that she’ll always be dismissive of your long list of conquests aside, remember one thing, boys. You’ll be a great friend to a lot of people, but for her, you’ll always be her every-day guy. Her 4 am friend. Her little pet. Her therapist. Her punching bag. Her shopping cart. Her grocery list. And occasionally, even her prescription reminder.

It won’t be a problem, because she’ll most certainly be yours as well.

The Diva

The Diva is a strong mix of Kim Kardashian quotes, gin-based cocktails and bottled-up sass that would put the entire cast of Real Housewives Of New Jersey to shame — which means you also need to go through a few bottles of wine to go through a sitting with him.

In his bespoke shirts and Italian loafers, the Diva feels terribly out of place in your motley crew of misfits, and he makes it a point to tell you (repeatedly) so. He has an important-sounding job in an important-sounding organisation — which lets him eat at ‘all the right restaurants’, shop at ‘all the right places’, and date ‘all the right boys’. He’ll tell you all about it over expensive drinks (and repeatedly so), but never introduce you to any of them.

But that’s the thing about the Diva — apart from his raucous jokes, his self-worth and his complete disregard for anyone’s (or more importantly, your) feelings; he’s a really nice guy. Plus, he is friends with ‘all the right people in the world’.

Including you.

The Brozoned Buddy

Hidden behind deleted cookies, incognito windows and emptied caches; the brozoned buddy and you have a history that neither likes to bring up at the dinner table (or the bar). You’ve probably hooked up with him in the past, but decide to stay friends because of two reasons: The sex was bad, but the fallout that followed probably wasn’t.

Now, months later, you bond over your (thankfully) similar taste in alcohol and (fortunately) different taste in men.  You overcompensate your (un)resolved feelings by slurring out compliments to each other every time you hit the bar, because you don’t want to make the mistake of hitting the bed ever again.

Have you ever called him your ‘guuuurlfriend’? Yep.

Is he a ‘Damn! You are a goddess’ kind of boy? Oh yes.

Would he #SLAAAY? Most definitely.

Does that mean you are still attracted to him? Certainly not.

When you are not talking about each other’s boy problems, you are sorting out each other’s boy problems. You still look at each other’s romantic pursuits with mild interest and milder jealously, but support the other wholeheartedly, because that’s what friends do.

References to the past will never be made and if they do ever spring up, they are drowned over vodka shots and bad decisions you’ll probably regret when you wake up the morning after.

Hopefully, separately.

The Husband

Let’s get it straight. The Husband is only here because his wife/girlfriend/lover wants him to ‘try a bit harder and get to know her friends as well’.  You both show a mild interest in each other’s lives because of that one thing you have in common: his significant other. He’ll ask you questions about your boys, you’ll ask him questions about his work, all peppered with ‘hellos!’, ‘how do you do’s’ and ‘it’s been so long’s’.

You finally give up trying to get to know each other because it’s going to be a losing battle — and now, you stick to politely nodding your heads at each other every time you hang out, chuckling over sports jokes that you don’t get, chugging beer that you don’t like.

The Lovebug

We might all be looking for love, but some of us look for love harder than others. The Lovebug is the ditzy lead character from every feel good rom-com — he falls in love so often (every week, if you want to keep a count) — he’s a walking ad for Tinder. All it takes is a gorgeous, Rumi-spouting man to send him a charming hello on Grindr, and he’s already planning out the wedding. Bonus points if it doesn’t include a dick pic.

He’s spoken about so many boys over quarters of cheap rum and soda, you’ve reached a point now where you just nod and smile every time he starts a new story because you’ve no idea who ‘Sam from Santa Cruz’ is.

The Guysexual’s Guide To Every Fuckboy In The World

Fuckboy.jpg

Kartik, 28 (my copywriter friend who gets a mention every few weeks) matched with Atul, a senior associate at a top legal firm, about two years ago. They bonded over their love for bad puns, great gin and the fact that they were both self-proclaimed Ravenclaws. What could I say?

Wit beyond measure led them to each other’s treasure trails.

For Kartik (as is usual), it was love at first swipe. Like most millennial love stories, it had its (mostly) highs and (many) lows. But something still seemed wrong — the dates were always at home, friends were never involved and future plans were never made. Their trysts started late, but Kartik was never invited to stay the night (including that one time when he puked all over the bathroom floor).

It seemed strange, but Kartik (being Kartik) decided not to second-guess things. He continued making bad puns, and drinking great gin. Why wouldn’t he?

Atul was a great many things. He was smart. He was handsome. He was successful. He was charming. He was a dipsomaniac.

Atul was also a F**kboy.

The quintessential f**kboy (just like Atul) is not always very easy to spot, considering his adaptive nature and ability to blend in. The F**kboy is everywhere (and more importantly, anywhere). Smiling behind you at the checkout aisle in the supermarket. Making googly eyes in the subway. At the library. In your poetry class. In the bus. At the local pub. In your untouched list of Tinder matches. Anyone who’s traversed through this giant desert of dating knows that finding a F**kboy is like finding a wild Rattata on Pokemon Go — it’s that common — which makes avoiding them that much more difficult. Want to know how to bypass the boys that most bad decisions are made of?

Look no further, kids. Here are some telltale signs the guy you are hopelessly crushing on, only plans to crush your heart after:

The F**kboy only messages you post midnight.

He’ll never disappoint.

The one time he messages you at 8 pm, is simply because his flat mates are away.

He drinks his cold pressed juices straight out of the carton.

Just like he drinks his pre-mixed cocktails straight out of plastic bottles.

The f**kboy is an amalgamation of bad pick-up lines, expensive perfume and template text messages that he broadcasts to his little black book of men.

All three have high success rates.

He hoards up on all his used condom wrappers, because ‘how else will he know that he’s the supreme sex god that he claims to be?’

He addresses you as his bro. Even when he meets you in person.

And he doesn’t mean it in the endearing “I-am-so-comfortable-around-you-I-can-call-you-anything’ kind of way.

He’s always vague about his Friday night plans.

But he already has advance tickets for Tomorrowland 2019.

The F**kboy doesn’t snuggle. He prefers the post-coital smoke to the post-coital cuddle.

His idea of the perfect date includes drinks at a dive bar, and dessert back at his place. Dinner is usually not a part of the deal, unless you offer to eat it off him.

He wears his charm like he wears his signature perfume.

Bottles of it at a time.

He introduces you to his friends as a ‘friend from work that he bumped into’.

Eight months into knowing you. You never see them again.

Or all his friends know who you exactly are, but they act like they know something that you obviously don’t: that he’s seeing other people.

He’s always busy when it’s time to meet your friends.

Once it was his dog’s funeral. Twice it was a late night at the office.

And thrice, it was his mother’s birthday.

In the same year.

The F**kboy rolls up his shirtsleeves to just below his elbows, because he likes to live on the edge.

He likes to drive with his windows open, and uses styling mousse so that his hair doesn’t look ‘too windswept.’ Sometimes he doubles it up as lubricant.

He never lets you stay, and has an excuse ready every time you suggest pulling out your jammies. Sometimes it’s a early morning gym session at 5 am. Sometimes it’s an over inquisitive maid who can’t mind her own business. Sometimes it’s an Uber he booked for you when you were cleaning up in the bathroom.

He likes his boys just like he likes his chardonnay.

Free flowing, and out of his system the next morning.

He doesn’t see the point of crossword puzzles, middle school trigonometry or commitment.

He downloads Grindr Xtra just so he can get unlimited blocks.

And an unlimited pass into everyone’s pants.

At some point in your relationship, he’ll tell you that you are the One.

He’ll also tell the same thing to Rizwan. To Sam. To Kabir. To Nikhil. To Rahul. To Kiran. To Sameer. To Zishaan.

He breaks up with you eventually, because ‘he’s not good enough for you, and you deserve better,’ He doesn’t reply to your texts, phone calls (and that one long winding drunken email) after.

That’s the thing.

The F**kboy will only lead you to another one. And another one. And another one. He’ll lead you through a string of bad decisions, heartbreak and life-altering mistakes.

You’ll sigh every time, but you’ll never learn.

Now go message your Atul.

The Five Other Guys You Will Meet On Grindr

 

5 other grindr guys

We’ve already established that Grindr is a supermarket for gay men.

Whether you are shopping for turnips or torsos, you’d find some templates that will never fade away, just like the hickey from last Christmas — you’ve stared at the Torso’s six pack abs, shared salted peanuts with the Tourist and had your stress spots worked on by the Masseur, all in a previous version of The Five Different Guys You Meet On Grindr.

But has there ever been a dearth of men (and stereotypes) on everyone’s favourite hookup app?

Not really. While you haggle over beets and biceps at your neighborhood supermarket of sex, here are an additional five guys we’ve all had a dalliance with on Grindr:

1. The Druggie

The druggie comes in all shapes and sizes — tall, short, rugged, lean, stocky, smooth, and hairy — all marked by their characteristic glazed expression, and a nose that sniffs (but never runs). What does he run instead? His very own drug cartel on your friendly dating app — he’s sort of like Pablo Escobar, but without the killing and the love for cigars. The Druggie replaces his ‘Hi’s with ‘High Fun’s and always wants to know whether your ‘MDMA got you feelin’ like a champion.’ He sells everything from poppers to crystal meth (and even weed, to the less adventurous) and for the record, will only feel like breaking the bed when he’s Breaking Bad.

At the end of a really fast drug-fuelled day, our resident thrill seeker can only promise you one of two things — three hours of happiness or a trip to the urologist.

Either way, you might need a one-way ticket to rehab.

2. The Sapiosexual

If you eagerly text the Sapiosexual thinking that you’ll be able to have an in-depth debate about Syria’s refugee crisis or Rumi’s soulful poetry, you are almost certainly going to be disappointed. Being a sapiosexual, he craves intelligence, but you don’t need to ask the dictionary what it means, because he’ll tell you himself. However, a few texts with Mr Intelligent, and you’d realise that the only interesting thing about our friend here is the fact that he actually believes that Math will arouse him.

The word Sapiosexual is thrown around as casually as the phrase ‘sane and sorted’ on Grindr. It’s a security blanket he uses to keep the douchebags away, but he’s not fully aware that it makes him sound like one himself. The sapiosexual doesn’t throw any big words your way; he only throws questions — ‘what do u do?’, ‘Whr do u liv?’, ‘wnna meet nw?’ — for someone who craves intelligence, he doesn’t crave grammar much. But what else can you expect from someone who would confuse Stephen Hawking with Stephen Fry?

At the end of the day, how do you tell the sapiosexual from someone who can actually have an interesting conversation? Exactly six sentences in, he throws the quintessential question your way:
‘Do u has a dick pic?’

And that’s when you toss your brains out.

3. The Spambot

With his blonde hair, ripped body and good-natured face, the Spambot is your classic all-American frat boy. If he’s not flashing his dentist-approved smile, he’s probably flashing his washboard abs — his picture usually has him grinning cockily into a bathroom mirror, flashing both, with an expression that says, ‘Hey! What’s up? Are you ready for some lovin’?’

The spambot is thus, the perfect fix for your weekend. Only, he’s not real.

He begins with a simple, succinct ‘How do you do?’ and then trudges through a series of deeply NSFW sexts irrespective of how you respond. As you continue playing your very confusing game of textual table tennis, he asks you (very seductively) if you wish to watch him jerk off on his webcam. You politely refuse, but he sends you a dubious link anyway — one that would probably give your phone the digital version of Herpes.

The only giveaway to the Spambot’s otherwise blank profile? His height, listed at a meek 123 cms.

4. The Ghost

The Ghost is the Ranveer Singh of Grindr — he’s funny, not LOL funny, but actual ‘laugh out loud’ funny. The man gets pop culture references and sometimes, even plays Ping-Pong with them. He likes cats, loves Korean food and Netflix binges more shows than you do. He disses Haruki Murakami and swears by your favourite Margaret Atwood book. He’s someone you slowly see yourself spending the rest of your life with, as you text flirt with each other through countless late nights. Why is such a great guy single, you wonder?

And just when you are deciding whether you should buy matching towels or not, he disappears on you.

‘Hello?’
‘Hello?’
‘Hello?’

He’s gone without a trace, retreating into the ones and zeros to haunt another corner of the digital universe. That night as you cry yourself to sleep, you realise you’ll never see him again.

5. The One

The One is the perfect man you’ve been dreaming about, right since you bumped into your first Not Pictured (from our original five guys you meet on Grindr) — he’s the Prince Charming you get at the end of the really dark, depressing tunnel.

And it’s been a long ride indeed. The One’s dating profile is the missing jigsaw piece to yours. He’s everything The Ghost was and more. You click with him immediately, and give him your number even before your first conversation is over. He furiously texts you over the next few days until you work up the courage to call him one night, right after you down a few shots to calm your nerves.

His voice is the deep baritone you imagined. You giggle at all the right spots as he sets up a date (in a decently expensive restaurant where they serve soup in small plates). When you do meet each other, you realize that you are hopelessly falling in love. He’s your ‘everything perfect’. What do you tell people when they ask you how you met?

You’ll lie and tell people that you met while in the line at Starbucks, and you’ll continue your whirlwind romance right until the very end. But what do you do if it doesn’t work out with the One?

Well, there’s a Two, a Three, a Four and so on.

The Avengers of Online Dating: Six Super Liars To Stay Away From!

 

Avengers_Guysexual

Staggering amounts of people lie on their online dating profiles.

People lie about their age, they lie about their weight, they lie about what they do, and sometimes they even lie about ‘who they do’ (or don’t). We all like to pretend to be someone else once in a while, and we love doing so especially on our dating profiles — pulling on those masks of deceit, and becoming the best version of ourselves — if superheroes (and supervillains) like the Avengers can do it, why shouldn’t we?

While our favourite ensemble might be gathering troops and picking sides to fight the Infinity War in the recently released trailer, these are the six (Sc)Avengers (doing the rounds of the online dating world) that you definitely need to avoid giving your infinity stone to:

The Hulk

In all his glory, the Hulk is your bulked up Adonis, with a profile to match. With his bulging biceps and cheekbones that need to grace a GQ feature, he looks like the ultimate Men’s Health model. But while it’s common for all of us to fudge the details of our height and weight a little (adding an inch or two or subtracting a kilogram or two from our stats as we fill up our profiles and our egos), the Hulk takes it to a whole new level.

I’ll let you in on something.

The Hulk has lied about his high cheekbones. He has lied about his side obliques that can cut glass. He even lied about those buns of steel. In all probability, your modern day Bruce Banner is a gawky 17-year-old who’s voice is just breaking.

Just like your heart is right now.

The Black Widow

Raj was verbally abusive. Sam told him to go see a therapist. Danny would never call back. Kabir found it hard to commit. Rajeev never stopped calling. Shyam decided to tell his friends why they broke up. Tom called up his mom to tell her that her son is a psycho. Akbar called him a cheating scumbag. Ryan threatened to set his house on fire.

Do you see the pattern? You obviously do. The Black Widow spins a gossamer web of lies that’s built on douchebag exes, quivering voicemails and heartbreaking breakups.

But that’s the thing. 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, the chances that you are next on his kill list are as just as likely.

The Hawkeye

The Hawkeye is always watching.

With his keen sense of intuition and the hours he’s spent lurking on your social media feed, (memorising your tweets and liking your brunch pictures on Instagram) he knows the virtual version (and shape) of you by heart.

He knows you like your matcha tea, reality television and Internet cat videos. He knows you prefer your coffee black and your boys brown. He knows the street you live on, and (if he’s good), he even knows your bank account details.

He’ll use all these details to woo you: crack a ‘Bachelor in Paradise’ joke that he probably picked up from the internet, share a Instagram photo of his matcha Frappuccino, or tag you in a viral cat meme — it’s like a meet-cute from a movie, but also it’s just as scripted. He’ll continue pursuing you with all his likes and lies till he steals your heart away.

And if things don’t work out, he’ll use his skills to steal all your money instead.

The Iron Man

The Iron Man seems like he’s the Tony Stark of the online dating world. He’s suave, charming and seems like a man who knows everyone who matters — he tells you he’s had breakfast with A-listers from Bollywood (he’ll tell you about how Ranveer Singh makes the best gluten-free pancakes), he went bowling with Rob Kardashian that one time he was in Los Angeles (before the whole Blac Chyna showdown, obviously) and exchanges daily texts with the crown prince of Saudi Arabia (where they talk about stock prices and women’s rights).

‘I know so many famous people, I don’t think of them as famous people any more’ he gushes to you, over text. When you do take the leap of faith and believe him, and casually ask to share pictures of him with all his red carpet buddies — he mysteriously disappears on you, and you never get the VIP Pass access to his pants.

The Thor

Your blue-eyed boy is perfect on paper — he’s sweet, good-natured and (also) a treat to look at, plus his profile is spiked with inspirational quotes that change your life. He’s so amazing; he could be your custom-made Prince Charming on steroids. Does that sound too good to be true?

Because he is too good to be true. Your god of thunder is all rumble, and no spark when you two actually do meet, which will only happen once you share a dick pic on Grindr — after which the transformation from demigod to douchebag is as certain as another Thor sequel (the real one).

PS: No points for guessing that he doesn’t come with Thor’s magic hammer either (in his pants, or otherwise).

The Captain America

Our Captain America is sitting miles and miles away — either in a leased apartment that is the size (and smell) of a matchbox, or a hostel dorm room dang in the middle of Nowheresville — but here you have your favourite dating app telling you he’s saying hello just from two blocks away.

The king of fake GPS, our resident globetrotter travels all over the world looking for that special someone. He spends breakfast scouting for boys in New York, wastes lunch looking for men in Paris and grabs dinner as he swipes through all the guys in Delhi — he might not have the money to tour the men around the globe, but he definitely has the APK tool kit on his smartphone to look at (and talk to) all of them. Chances are that as you read this sentence, he’s probably cosying up to dudes in Amsterdam, while he flicks channels in his flat in Ahmedabad.

The 111 Thoughts You Have While Talking To A Homophobe

homophobe.jpg

 

1. Uh-oh. Look who it is, I can’t do this again.
2. I hope he doesn’t see me, I hope he doesn’t see me…
3. This is the most interested I’ve ever been in my mojito.
4. Is that an ant in my drink?
5. Oh damn. He saw me. Why does this always happen to me? I swear to god if he comes and says hello right now, I would just kill —
6. Too late.
7. Umm, hello to you too…
8. Okay, that’s not an ant in my drink either. Phew.
9. Oh yeah, I’ve been great. Thanks for asking.
10. And no, I am not here with my girlfriends.
11. You find that surprising? Pity.
12. Yeah, it’s amazing how many hot girls I know….
13. …No, they haven’t converted me yet.
14. I am still into boys.
15. Yeah, funny how that works.
16. Not really.
17. Do I want to hear another joke?
18. Pray do tell. What am I here for?
19. Umm, no. Not THAT one.
20. Yeah, it’s really funny that I am not drinking a Cosmopolitan.
21. That wasn’t a joke. I was being sarcastic.
22. Maybe I should laugh a little too loudly so that he gets the point.
23. Okay, I might have gone overboard with the back thumping.
24. Yikes! My arm accidentally touched his chest.
25. Does he think I am hitting on him?
26. He definitely thinks I am hitting on him.
27. Look at the way he’s looking at me. So beady.
28. I am going to drink another mojito. Really, really fast.
29. He just started a sentence with ‘I’m not homophobic but…’
30. This is going to be interesting.
31. Oh no. I take that back.
32. Did he JUST say that penis and penis don’t go together?
33. They did in that sentence, sir. Just saying.
34. NO. Two men having sex is NOT weird.
35. Your face is weird.
36. Thank god my mojito is here.
37. Let’s chug this.
38. Oh yes, but you are ‘gay-friendly’. I am going to take your word for it.
39. That’s just going to be another lie I’ll pretend to believe and nod.
40. He said that again. Maybe I should nod again.
41. Okay I feel funny. Too much head shaking is happening.
42. Yeah, yeah, I am okay… I am not a lightweight.
43. Har har. You are so humorous.
44. No being a lightweight is NOT a gay thing.
45. How many other gay men do you know anyway?
46. Yeah, I did not take offence at what you just said.
47. Oh yes, it’s definitely surprising considering how ‘gay men love drama’.
48. We don’t, really. Drama loves us.
49. You know what else loves us?
50. Great metabolism, pretty girls and success.
51. And an amazing sense of style.
52. Yes, I am judging you for wearing those crocs to the bar.
53. It’s not even raining.
54. And yes, I am going to drink slowly. You don’t need to tell me.
55. You aren’t my mother. Don’t use that tone with me.
56. What do you mean do I even drink beer?
57. Yes, I love beer.
58. I can drink a whole six-pack.
59. Those are not the only six packs I love.
60. LOL. Sometimes I am so funny.
61. Does he think I am laughing at his joke?
62. He definitely does.
63. Oh great, he wants to call for beers for us.
64. Wow, I am honored that you think I’m like one of your ‘straight buds’.
65. Yes, I think we should do this more often too, ‘mate’.
66. Gah. I can’t fist bump him on that.
67. What if I pretend I didn’t see it?
68. Quick! Look the other way! Look the other way!
69. Too late.
70. Surprise surprise! Yes, I do know how to fist bump.
71. Yeah, we gay boys fist bump too.
72. Why am I even still talking to this person?
73. Where’s my beer?
74. Oh. There it is. I am going to chug it and scoot off.
75. Three, two, one…here goes.
76. Okay, that wasn’t a good idea.
77. Damn. I shouldn’t have had that beer.
78. Yes, I know that drinking a pint is like eating seven slices of bread.
79. How do I know that? What do you think I am?
80. I read about it on Mashable.
81. No, I didn’t learn about that on Pinterest.
82. Sweet mother of lord. Is this man for real?
83. No. I don’t even have a Pinterest account.
84. Yeah, I also don’t follow Kim Kardashian on Instagram.
85. Don’t ask me who my favourite Kardashian sister is. I won’t answer the question.
86. What’s that even supposed to mean?
87. I should most certainly punch him.
88. No wait. I won’t.
89. Or maybe I will.
90. I can’t do this anymore.
91. CAN’T EVEN.
92. Wait, look at the time!
93. Oh, is it time for you to head to bed already? Such a pity.
94. Should we call for the cheque?
95. Yes, we’ll call for the cheque.
96. No we are splitting it. Most definitely.
97. Yeah, gay men split cheques. Why are you so surprised?
98. You should write a book. You should call it ‘Stupid Things Not To Say To Gay Men’.
99. I’ll help you publish it.
100. You don’t even need to give me credits.
101. A mention in the acknowledgments would do.
102. OH YAAAAS! The cheque is here.
103. And that’s my half. Smile.
104. It was so great running into you. Yes, I’ll find my cab. What? I am not bad with directions? Haha, you really tear me up!
105. But not really.
106. Let’s never do this again.
107. Oh great, he’s leaving.
108. THANK GAWD.
109. Time to go home and watch RuPaul’s Drag Race reruns.
110. I should probably pick up a bottle of Pinot Noir on the way.
111. Maybe I’ll just get some beer instead.