Tag Archives: Relationships

GuysexualRecommends: ‘The Gay Man’s Guide To Dating’ at Korner House

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Nine years ago, as I watched Sex and the City reruns, I had a dream. I craved to have a book reading for my (hypothetical) book, smile and pose for the press, and giggle with my friends over cocktails after – just like Carrie Bradshaw did (without all the bad decisions and bad boyfriends tbh). I was twenty and silly.

Over the next decade, my dreams and passions changed, and so did I – but this cringeworthy one remained. Did I want to keep calm and Carrie on?

Obviously, because ZOMG IT’S FINALLY HAPPENING!

Come along to the Korner House this Friday and watch (and laugh at if you want to) me read excerpts from my debut e-novel,  ‘The Gay Man’s Guide To Dating’ by yours truly (there’s a fun Q&A about douchebags, desirable men and dating dilemmas after, and I am full of zany one liners and undeniable wit). It’s going to be a riot of words (and delicious appetisers!)

What:  ‘Should I Call First? And other dating dilemmas resolved!’: An exclusive reading from ‘The Gay Man’s Guide To Dating‘ by Juggernaut Books.

Where: 6-8 PM, Korner House, 21, Union Park, Khar (West), Mumbai -400052

 

Why should you go: Come along if you are a friend. Come along if you are someone who supports the cause. Come along if you want to know more about LGBT culture. Come along if Mean Girls is your favourite film. Come along if you are looking for (fun) relationship advice (or want to secretly diss and judge people who do). Come along to cheer me on. Come along to heckle me along for all you want. JUST COME ALONG, PLEASE?

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.

An Additional 25 Men Not To date in 2017

25 other guys 1x1

There are a great number of great men in this world.

You can probably count them on one hand. In this haystack of hot men (or lack thereof), there are sadly, only a few shiny needles that you want to take back home. Unfortunately, the world is full of wrong men that you’d never want to see ever again, in a haystack or otherwise.

Is there a test that helps you sort out the frogs from the fresh-faced Prince Charmings? Not really, but if your potential playmate checks off any of the items of this list then it’s probably a good idea to leave him in the pond you found him in.

You did great in bypassing The 75 Boys Not To Date in 2017 here, here and here , but you still have a long way to go. Ready to start counting?

So never date a man who…

  1. Addresses the wait staff rudely.

A wise man once said, ‘Never judge a man by how he treats his equals, but by how he treats his inferiors.’ Okay, it was Sirius Black in the Goblet Of Fire.

2. Calls you ‘baby’.

You see that tremor on my face? It’s not love. And never will be.

3. Wears slippers with trousers.

You know that moment when you see slippers sticking out of trousers? It’s that precise moment when my mind shuts down and I start singing Taylor Swift’s ‘We Are Never Getting back Together’ in my head, when in actuality, I am singing sweet nothings into the boy’s ears.

4. Uses more than one hash tag in a tweet.

#It #Is #Not #Cool #When #You #Talk #Like #This.

5. Has drunken stories from Tuesday night.

No one should ever have drunken stories from a Tuesday night. They aren’t called the Terrible Tuesdays without a reason, are they?

6. Posts more than one selfie a week.

Negative credits if any of these are included: the duck face, gun flexing, trial room testing and the classic ‘t-shirt lift to reveal a bed of abs’.

7. Tells you that Murakami is his favourite author.

He’s probably only read Norwegian Wood.

8. Doesn’t eat the crusts of his pizza.

Picky eaters never make for good lovers. Trust me. Also, that crust? That’s sex on a plate.

9. Doesn’t really have friends his age.

You know what that means? It means that entire generations of people have obviously avoided him for a reason.

10. Repeats his jokes.

If people didn’t laugh at your joke the first time, it’s obviously because they didn’t get it. Right?

11. Signs off his emails with an inspirational quote he’s picked off the Internet.

Are we living in 2002 again? Keep it simple, crisp and end it with your last name.

12. Expects you to instantly fall in love with all his favourite things.

‘Oh wow, Quantum Physics is so much fun,’ said no one ever.

13. Says he is always busy.

You know what he actually is? Full of excuses.

14. Starts off a story with, ‘That one time I beat someone up…’

‘Nuff said.

15. Thinks that women are feminists because they want it easy.

I am sorry, but you have it easy because you are a male chauvinist pig.

16. Thinks that it’s cool to make racist jokes.

The only thing that is even less funny than him is my diet.

17. Texts you way too much.

‘Hi!’

‘Good morning!’

‘What’s happening?’

‘I am bored.’

‘What did you have for lunch?’

‘Are you busy?’

‘Hello?’

‘Good night!’

18. Sneezes without covering his mouth.

Get out of this faster than his germs get to you.

19. Doesn’t like brunch.

Only evil, heartless people don’t like brunch.

And restaurant owners who have lunch deals.

20. Thinks that Instagram is a waste of time.

Hello, you are a waste of time.

21. Only texts you post-midnight.

No, he’s not texting you to wish you good night, he’s texting you to find out whether he can come over. But not in a romantic ‘Should-I-get-you-soup?’ kind of way.

22. Uses the word ‘fetch’ in conversation.

Stop trying to make ‘fetch’ happen, Gretchen.

23. Hasn’t watched Mean Girls ever.

If you haven’t watched this Tina Fey beauty, which defines the crux of every gay person’s high school years, we are no longer friends. You can’t sit with us!

24. Tries to dress sexily at the gym.

We do not care if your vest matches your shoes, sir, but can I use the treadmill, please

25. Writes listicles about what kind of men not to date.

Sounds like a total douchebag, but I’ve heard he’s a good kisser.

Do you think there are even more wrong men out there for everyone here? Tweet me and let me know!

Happy Damaged Men: Is Broken the new bad?

Broken guys

It’s the second date.

We are in that no-man’s land between deciding whether we want to tell each other our favourite Game Of Thrones character or deciding who pays for dinner tonight. In the last 40-odd minutes, he’s told me he’s an alcoholic, wrote a long vicious email to an ex who he broke up with and is now so broken that he can never get into a serious relationship. And I thought we were only getting dinner.

If I collect any more red flags, I can start my own souvenir shop. Would you like to buy one for your friends back home?

“So I might have to go grab dinner with a few friends later. Do you mind if we just get a drink at home instead?” he asks me, stirring me out of my monologue-inspired reverie. It’s only 6.30 pm. The sun is still out, deciding what to do in the dull city sky. Ranveer is an executive producer with a media mogul — in his plush suburban apartment; he only sees the things I don’t. I don’t blame him — why would he see the white picket fence dream when he has a sea-facing view? Why can’t he be like every second profile on Grindr — sane and sorted, butlooking for fun?

I agree to the drink nevertheless (White rum, four cubes of ice, some lime water). I also agree to other things.

Hugs are exchanged when I leave two hours later.

Continue reading Happy Damaged Men: Is Broken the new bad?

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

Happy Endings: Myth or Miracle?

 

Gay Marriage (1)

Rohit, a business consultant from New York, met his husband when he was 24 years old. Hours into a special LGBT Holi Night at the local bar on a crisp March night, they locked eyes over a jazzy Bollywood number.

‘It felt simple, the spontaneity.’ Rohit tells me on chat. ‘Ravi asked me for dinner the very next day, and I said yes.’

How did he know it was one for the long run?

‘Immediately. I had hardly expected that I would meet someone who would understand my journey as a brown man, a gay man, and an immigrant — and here he was, someone who understood all three. We didn’t have to explain ourselves to each other, we found home.’

The proposal happened years later — over a quick Euro trip (Rohit’s first) during the summer. The question was popped over a bottle of Veuve Clicquot, in the their hotel room in the middle of Champ-Elysees. They shared half a dozen macarons after, and celebrated at a gay bar with go-go dancers all night long. It was all very fabulous.

‘What has marriage been like?’ I ask.

‘When we were getting into it, it was for very practical reasons, even though we knew that we were in it for the long haul. Marriage gave us legal guarantees of (hospital) visitations, inheritance, and partnership we wanted. People treat our relationship with greater weight and respect, now that the government sanctions it.  Also, there’s certainly a greater degree of closeness that comes with making vows — inviting 70 of your closest friends to come dance the night away — that is hard to describe. ‘

They both seem content with their lives — Ravi runs a bar in Philadelphia today, and they plan to raise puppies in a world that is both, peaceful and inclusive. It’s a wonderful plan for their future. I feel a dull ache in my chest as I type out my goodbyes, but I know it’s only the beginning.

Marriage, children and a house with a white picket fence might necessarily not be the dream for a lot of gay men anymore (I’d prefer a sea-facing studio apartment and a long distance relationship any day), but my friends, Bikram and Wren share a similar story across the Atlantic.

27-year-old Bikram is an environmental scientist based in Switzerland. Wren is a Human Rights consultant. They both the save the world, when they are not saving each other.

Their first date was a disastrous dinner at home. Bikram turns beetroot red even when he thinks about it today: ‘I word-vomited through three courses of dinner. Somewhere over the entrée, I thought I would never see him again.’

Bikram found it embarrassing. Wren found it endearing.

Two years later, they moved in together.

They decided to get married while on a walk, one wintry evening. There was no grand declaration of love. No rings in champagne glasses. No elevator ride on the Eiffel tower. No planetarium full of stars. No macarons, and definitely no go-go dancers.

It just made sense — it was one of those things that had to be done, the end of one journey, the beginning of another. They didn’t exchange conventional rings; instead they opted for toe rings at a Tam Brahm ceremony months later. Their parents cried, hugs were exchanged and a new family was made.

‘Have things changed?’ I ask. Domesticity has never been a strong suit for gay men. ‘I’ll tell you a secret,’ he says to me — his voice crackles — it’s the bane of long distance phone calls. I press the phone closer to my ear. Bad reception can be worse than a bad relationship.

‘Do you know what being in a relationship is like? (I actually don’t) Being married is no different; we just have a piece of paper now that lets us address the other as a husband.’ That sounds fair enough, but does that mean they do the crossword on Sundays?

‘We don’t need to do things together. We still lead our lives the way we used to.’ Bikram prefers trance; Wren likes his classical music. They both like chocolate ice cream.

‘Finding your happily-ever-after is not about finding someone who completes you, it’s about finding someone who lets you be. Being accepted for who you are is a powerful aphrodisiac. Do you know what I mean?’

I actually don’t. I’ve been a train wreck of bad decisions, failed relationships and boys who never text me back. But wait, there’s no jigsaw puzzle to be completed?

Only on Sundays, by the fireplace. Sometimes they even bake a cake.

I am only slightly disappointed, but both couples are still surprisingly happy. Their families accept their husbands, and speak to each other on the phone every other weekend. They shop for groceries, cook dinner, do their laundry and watch repeats of The Bachelorette on television. There’s no drama, just domestic bliss.

It’s here. Men are getting married, and society isn’t crumbling.

The cake does though, the one that they bake on Sundays. But still, they genuinely seem to enjoy their delightfully boring routines.

The thing about fairy tales is that we never know what happens after ‘Happily-Ever-After’. Stories end with grand weddings, but there’s no epilogue to tell us what happens next. Sometimes they come up with a sequel, but they skip past the settling in, and head straight to the next big bad — heroes and heroines fighting it out, rather than fighting each other. Fairy tales never have time for the every day and the ordinary. But neither do we.

It’s important not to forget that my friends also live in countries where gay men enjoy the same basic rights that other people do — the chance to make your vows, or even break them. Marriage equality abroad hasn’t just changed reality for gay men, it has also tamed romance.  It isn’t as nuanced as Disney makes it out to be, they all tell me. I’d have to agree.

While gay marriage in India might be a far away ‘fairytale’ concept (side note: But then again, being gay in India is 2017 is like being gay in Europe in the ’50s), we still have a long way to go before we reach our own versions of matrimonial mediocrity. It might take time to reach that point where we bake a cake over the weekend, but it doesn’t mean it won’t happen.

It might take a year. It might take a decade. It might take two. Until that day, I raise a glass to all the brides and groom in the world, and know that if the day comes when I decide to get married, I’d want red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting…

…and preferably a groom who doesn’t run away before I do.

Ask the Guysexual: Love And Other Drugs: Vol. 1

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Gay men have a lot of questions.

Ever had one you were too embarrassed to ask the therapist? A doubt you didn’t know which friend to turn too? A plea that had no solutions in sight? A worry that might seem small to everyone else, but was as big as your crush on Bradley Cooper?

 It’s time to hold on to those message-in-bottles, or the grand trek you plan to make to the Himalayas to question the almighty, because your truly is right here to solve all your dick-related doubts. How do I find love? Where do I meet men? How do I know if my crush is gay? Am I expected to carry condoms for a nightcap? How do I make a clean exit (pun intended) the morning after? Can I wear loafers with a cardigan on a first date? Should I wear a cardigan on a first date? Is the gorgeous man at the gym someone I should pursue over protein supplements and Pilates? Do I need protein supplements to find love?

Find answers to these questions and more in the newest #AskGuysexual feature – Love And Other Drugs: Vol. I:

 

Q. I have this tiny crush on a boy from my French class, but I think he might be slightly out of my league. Should I go tell him anyway?
– Besotted_You
A. I am going to keep this short and simple. There’s only one question you have to ask yourself. Is the boy-in-question Ryan Gosling (or insert-superstar-heartthrob-of-your-choice)?

If the answer is no, then you should just go for it – If they say no, you’ll have a laugh about it in a few weeks, become best friends because the ice will have broken – and then use the story in the toast, when you effectively end up as the best man at his beachside wedding soiree in Goa (where you will hook up with another one of the groomsmen, who you’ll eventually end up dating).

And if your answer is yes, then 200 points to you for being friends with Ryan Gosling in the first place – that’s so much swag; it needs to be sold in a clearance sale. What do you do then?

Just go for it.

 

Q. At the risk of sounding like a sex-craved maniac (which I am not), how soon is too soon to hook up with someone you’ve met on Grindr?

– EzeeA
A. Have I ever told someone that I am Grindr only to find a friend?

Yes.

Has said someone believed me when I’ve said that?

Yes.

Have I laughed out loudly and then chugged a bottle of wine shortly after?

Yes again.

Let’s face it – Grindr is a ticking time bomb for sex – it’s not only about the how or the why, it’s more about the when (and the where, but that is another story) when you are talking about hooking up with the hirsute hottie of the week.

You might not want to sound like a prick (Let’s skip dinner, shall we?) or a prude (why hello there, cobwebs of my underwear!), but ultimately, it’s your decision at the end of the day. One can bonk someone anywhere between the wide spectrum of ‘I-know-what-his-younger-brother-does’ and ‘He-thinks-my-shirt-looks-great-so-I-should-probably-sleep-with-him!’ In fact, if you even give out to someone at ‘Hey-can-I-buy-you-a-drink’, no one’s going to judge you – there’s no such thing as ‘too soon’ in Grindrsville. There’s a now, never and everything in between.

Just make sure you carry a condom.

Side note: Unless the drink is a glass of cheap wine, in which case your choice of drink is more questionable than your choice of how easily you put out.

Q. I’ve been trying to find friends on Tinder since 2015, but everyone I talk to seem to think that I only want to sleep with them. Help me out?

– K. Das
A. Most people like to think of Tinder as the supermarket for singles. You go up and down aisles, picking up the ones you look and swiping off the ones you don’t. Assume you are going to the market to buy avocadoes – you’d buy some, but then you would also end up buying cilantro. And maybe, even some jalapeños. (Side note: hey, maybe you are making some guacamole. In that case, call me over for dinner?) At the same time, some people come to only buy jalapenos. Or oranges. Or apples. Or even toilet paper (well, you get the gist.)

Finding a friend is like buying jalapeños when you want to buy avocados at the supermarket – you don’t decide to, it just happens – unless you end up buying half the hypothetical supermarket, in which case you might need a therapist or just a break from Tinder. Different people want different things, and there’s always a high chance you’d find someone who wants to buy the same thing you do (to make guacamole). All this supermarket analogy aside, here are a couple of questions you have to ask yourself.

  1. Do you have a half-naked picture of yourself up as your display picture?
  2. Are you flexing your biceps in said picture?
  3. Have you ever asked anyone to come over for some ‘Netflix and chill’ without even knowing what Netflix (and chill) is?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, chances of finding a friend on Tinder are going to be slightly more difficult than trying to read the news without having Ranveer Singh plastered all over it. You just can’t help it.

Q. I’ve a very insightful question. Can one ever find true love on Grindr?

– BroZoned4Lyf

A. People find love in the strangest places – at the supermarket (Excuse me, do you want to buy those turnips?), the coffee shop (Hey, is this seat taken?), the bar (Hi, this might sound weird but can I buys you a drink?) the book store (If you like that book, I know just the one that you should buy!) and sometimes even the dentist’s (I am here for a filling, what about you?)

Finding true love on Grindr is a lot like finding true love at any one of these places (Hello, Love your abs. Can we go get a drink?) – just because it happens online, doesn’t make it any less real – it’s like bumping into someone at the book store, only this is not a bookstore, and the bumping happens on the phone. (Side note: there’s a lot more bumping happening all around you, but let’s pretend we don’t notice it, shall we?)

Now go let Grindr be your Fairy Godmother.

Q. I’ve spent the last few nights tossing in bed because I have a huge problem. I might be developing feelings for my best gay buddy, and I don’t know what I should do. What do you suggest?

– LoveLorn2012
A. What have all great Romcoms taught us (apart from the fact that bangs are cool, and you will most likely end up with your high school sweetheart)?

That it’s easier to fall in love with the best friend than it is to fit into your jeans after you’ve had seven burritos at Taco Bell. But then again, life is no Romcom movie. Falling in love with the best friend is always a tricky thing – how close are the two of you to begin with? Do you watch an occasional movie together? Bitch out the new office intern during lunch hour? Braid each other’s hair while watching late night reruns of Grease? (Just kidding, no one braids each other’s hair anymore.)

Do gay best friends work the same way conventional best friends do? There’s always that thin shroud that cloaks every friend we come in contact with – it’s the diplomatic version of the friend-zone, only politer. One minute you are both ogling at that cute boy sitting two tables away from you at the restaurant, and the other you are trying to awkwardly avoid each other. So what do you do if he doesn’t feel the same way?

The thing about great friendships is that they can withstand anything – so if your friend can’t deal with your confession and just not let it go, he probably wasn’t that great a friend to begin with.

If that happens, you can always have a cupcake.

Have questions that you need answers to? Tweet them over to @theguysexual and get them answered in #AskGuysexual’s Love And Other Drugs: Volume II next month!