Tag Archives: Same Love

The Guysexual’s Brutally Honest Review Of Tinder

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Online dating will always be shunned and sniggered at, like the fat kid from school that no one spoke to. Dating apps are usually hidden, stacked between photo-editing apps and to-do lists, away from prying eyes, pudgy fingers and awkward questions.

Why so?

It’s simple. It’s completely against the idea of a textbook romance — meeting someone at a party or at the local bookshop, bumping into each other, and falling head-over-heels in love with each other at first sight.

But that’s where you are wrong.

If you think your next big love isn’t hidden behind a mesh of profiles on the dating app of your choice, there’s a very big chance he’s not waiting for you at the bar with free drinks (and if he is, there’s a chance he might give you chlamydia). Conventional ways of finding love are dying out and for good reason, because we just don’t have the time (or the hope to leave things to chance).

So as we traverse through the desert of online dating with pit stops over at GrindrScruff and Hinge, here’s presenting the oasis at the end of many (many) dating dust storms.

Say hi to Tinder. She’s swiping right on you already.

What it is: Tinder is the It-girl of dating apps, the one that all the others want to be like, and secretly hate. Like the nagging aunt, it shows you picture after picture of suitable men (and women) – because perfection doesn’t come easy, and here, it can come more than once. But what sets it apart from the nagging aunt in question?

Tinder has a strict ‘no-judgments-passed’ policy, which comes to play as you test-drive your way through the sea of suitable men. Well, no one said that finding a potential mate was easy. They aren’t all Planet Romeo.

How it works: You can swipe right to ‘Like’, or turn left to ‘Oh-I-don’t-think-so’. Tinder is a clearance sale of Facebook profile pictures. You collect the ones you love, and ignore the ones you don’t. But then, the pile keeps on growing, and you don’t know what to do. Unless someone collects you too.

Intellectually, can Tinder be considered as the online dating app for the people who have given up on online dating?

Truly so. Unless you are my friend, Kartik.

Last month, the 29-year-old copywriter came across Rajeev — he was handsome, gay (and not sexually fluid like the boys on Bro), ran his own start-up, and at 6’ 2” (Rajeev’s profile told him), he was a lot taller than Kartik was. Was he the light at the end of a tunnel of d*****bags and dimwits? More importantly, could their mutual love for Rihanna, Banksy and Humans Of New York account for total compatibility in the romance department? Probably not, but maybe Tinder could help them meet halfway there (not literally, like in the case of Happn).

Kartik (super) liked right and waited.

And waited. And waited. He waited for all of 23 days, seven hours and 42 minutes. Rajeev never matched back. Obsessing over a text message is a little crazy, but when you’re in an online relationship (or not), that’s really all you have. Are you allowed to feel heartbroken if you’ve never met someone in person?

If real-life relationships are taxing and nerve-wracking, the ones you find here are only better – every curve ball that life throws at you, Tinder throws two. The biggest of them all: How do you answer the classic – ‘How did you two meet?’ – milestone that every couple that meets through Tinder dreads.

It’s simple. You tell them you met each other at Starbucks.

What I like about it: Unlike most dating apps for queer men (and women), Tinder doesn’t allow immediate, unfiltered communication. No more message requests. No more unsolicited dick pics. No more ‘I-see-that-you-are-50-metres-away-wanna-hook-up?’

Chat (and ultimately cuddle up) with only people you match with – not that there’s a guarantee a man won’t turn out to be a d*****bag after 50 texts full of witty prose.

What I don’t like about it: Like most good things in life, finding true love on Tinder doesn’t come free. See, Tinder might be your best bet to meet your future plus one, But Tinder Plus (or Gold for the select few who can afford it) is where you strike gold, no puns intended.

Unlimited right swipes? Hell yes. Rewind the accidental ones? Obviously. That one-off (brilliant) chance to skip the queue? Definitely. 3X chances of finding a soul mate? That’s a third of the catfishes you have to wade through before you find your Prince Charming.

Now I was always good at math, but these numbers don’t make any sense at all.

Bonus feature: They say a picture speaks a thousand words, but Tinder’s extensive library of GIFs and customised emojis can write a book. Cat got your tongue as you flirt your way with the hot travel photojournalist who you (super) liked? There’s an appropriate ‘wanderlust’ GIF in there somewhere.

Tips to follow: As a single gay man, do you still think that the quintessential dating app is the only speed bump on your journey towards finding a fulfilling NSA (no-stress at all) relationship?

Make an effort with your profile. Your vital stats and sexual preferences might get you sex in 30 minutes or less, but a soul mate? Not so much.

Stop using the app only after midnight – you are not fooling anyone when you want to meet for a date in the middle of the night. In your bedroom.

Stop tlking lyk dis 2 ppl online.

Be nice, be charming, be yourself – but most importantly, be kind, rewind.

Who is it for: Because the worst of us need a fairy tale to believe in.

For all the times you don’t find a Fairy Godmother to help you on your quest to seek true love, Tinder swipes right in and saves the day. She’d even give you a makeover if you have Tinder Gold.

But that’s another story.

Guysexual’s Grade-o-meter

Hookability: 8/10

Compatibility: 9/10

Usability: 8/10

Downloadability: 9/10

How I Found The Freedom To Be Myself

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‘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.

 

 

 

 

A Straight Guy’s Guide To Acceptance

 

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It’s International Coming Out Day today, boys and girls.

Which means, that as you read this sentence, thousands of men and women are pushing past their sweaters and bad decisions from 2007, and stepping out of their closets (into their out-and-proud sexualities).

I’ll tell you something – whether you are 14 or 40, coming out can be an ordeal, but that’s a story for another time. If your friend is lucky: everything will go well, and the two of you will be downing shots at the bar later tonight.

But if it doesn’t, you – yes, YOU – owe it to him to make his life a whole lot easier. To help you in ‘your’ journey of acceptance, here are a few things you shouldn’t say when a friend (or a sibling) comes out to you today:

  1. ‘Oh that’s amazing, dude. But wait a minute, you won’t hit on me now, will you, ha-ha?’

No, because you clearly aren’t my type. If you were, we would not be friends in the first place – I’d just be gushing about you to my best friend.

  1. ‘Do you know what? I always knew it.’

When someone comes out to you, it’s an exhilarating feeling – it’s full of the giddiness that comes with riding a rollercoaster. Telling someone that you already knew (even if you did) is like pulling the handbrakes.

  1. ‘Maybe if you only started playing more sport, you never know…’

This is when I make a list of all the sportsmen in the world who are gay. Stop with the stereotyping – it wasn’t cool back in 1966; it isn’t cool in 2017.

  1. ‘Haha, is this just because you’ve not had a girlfriend yet?’

Ditch the biology book when you are wondering what your gay friend does behind closed doors – love has nothing to do with how things fit, because it’s not the big 5000 piece jigsaw puzzle that we all assume it to be.

  1. ‘ I don’t really know what to say right now, bro.’

If you don’t, sometimes a hug would do – there’s nothing worse than radio silence. Be normal, the best reactions aren’t even worth remembering because they felt so natural.

  1. ‘So you the guy or the girl?’

Get out.

  1. ‘Whoa, when did you decide you want to be gay?’

The same way you decided to be straight.

  1. ‘But bro, do you have AIDS?

Let’s get it straight (pun intended). AIDS is not a gay disease.

On the other hand, sir, you suffer from something far worse.

Ignorance.

  1. ‘Well, duh!’

Read point two, but only slap yourself around your head this time.

  1. ‘Why didn’t you tell me sooner?’

Making someone’s coming out process about you is usually not the best idea. Focusing on them and their experience instead? Let’s get out those medals of honour.

  1. ‘Man, now you can help me with my shopping!’

The fact that gay men love to shop is probably the worst stereotype that ever exists. That, and the jazz hands.

Just wear what you want to, you’ll look great.

  1. ‘No, you are not.’

Do you know what you are not? A nice person.

  1. ‘Let’s go hit the clubs, mate!’

Yes, thank you. But that’s not why I just told you something this important, right?

  1. ‘Are you really sure about this?’ Maybe it’s just a phase, you never know? Remember, back when I was younger and I….’

Being able to finally feel comfortable in your skin is the best feeling in the world. Someone wanting to share that feeling with you is like wanting to share a large ice cream sundae on a hot summer day. Cherish it.

  1. ‘You mean you are bisexual, right?’

No. Gay. G-A-Y. Get that?

Now that you’ve finished reading the guide, how about you go help your friend with the closet door instead? Those shackles can be tough to pry open, and they could use all the help they could get.

Move along.

 

Read the whole post on MensXP here.

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

 

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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.

Ask The Guysexual: Love And Other Drugs Vol. II

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How soon is too soon to tell someone you love them? Can texting out of the relationship be considered as a classic example of emotional cheating? How can you ask a man what he loves in bed without sounding rude (or creepy)? Are there going to be any more misleading questions that I plan to use as click baiters?

Ding ding ding. We’ve got a winner right here! Now find answers to all these questions and more in #AskGuysexual’s Love And Other Drugs: Vol. II… (Oh, and you might want to catch up on Vol.I.)

Continue reading Ask The Guysexual: Love And Other Drugs Vol. II

Yet Another 25 Men You Should Not Date in 2017

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What do you look for when you are looking for a great man?

Bright eyes? Undeniable wit? A smile that reaches his eyes? Billboard-style white teeth? An Instagrammable face? An ability to make you laugh and swoon at the same time? A closet full of expensive, Italian shoes that fortunately fit you too? A trust fund (that would be me, sorry)?

The list might be endless, but we all have our checklists ready when we are looking for our potential plus one.

While I can’t personally tell you whom you should be dating (because your life, your choice), I can definitely warn you against these 25 douchebags to look out for, and swerve around. Why?

Let’s just say that these men are so bad; they’d make me look like a nice person. Do you want to know more?

So without much further ado, never date a man who…

1. Says he secretly judges people who haven’t had ‘avocado on toast’.
You know what else they’ve not had? First world problems.

2. Adds an inspirational Internet quote to his display picture on Facebook.
I am sorry, but Rumi’s poetry doesn’t go very well with your shower room selfie at the gym.

3. Always brings up that one time you didn’t answer his call.

Especially in the middle of a fight, two years later. Even though he knew you were burying your beloved dead cat. All alone.

4. Substitutes his abs for a personality.
And while these abs (all six of them) might be dashing and full of manners in bed, they’d have a really difficult time having a conversation with your friends.

5. Says ‘Heeheehee’ instead of ‘Hahahaha’.
It just makes it sound like he-he-he’s up to something.

6. Corrects people’s grammar on Grindr.
He’s not at a book club; he’s only here to be sexually objectified like everyone else. If he wants to look more uppity, he could have his college degree up as his profile picture.

7. Pesters everyone he knows to say anonymous things to him on sayat.me.
How about sayat.me not?

8. Has his single malt with cola.
You never want that kind of negativity in your life.

9. Says something like ‘my ex is the reason why I haven’t been able to emotionally connect with anyone else ever since’.
Said every red flag ever.

10. Comments on YouTube videos.
And then gets upsets or sulks continuously when it doesn’t get enough up votes.

11. Surprises you with a threesome for your birthday.
Where the third is his ex boyfriend.

12. Uses the hash tag #NotAllMen
And still claims to be a feminist. Ugh.

13. Forwards you Whatsapp messages that need to be sent to ‘15 of your closest friends to avoid bad luck’.
Break out of the chain. Literally.

14. Wears glasses, even though he doesn’t have a prescription.
He says sapiosexual. I say douchebag.

15. Does not acknowledge his champagne breath.
Instead, offers you a breath mint as if you are dying of halitosis.

16. Claims to be a Twitter influencer.
Oh be still, my excitable heart — but make sure it’s in 140 characters or less.

17. Complains about how he had to skip out on the Justin Beiber concert because of work.
Maybe you should skip him instead?

18. Tells you that his favourite band is ‘an obscure indie one that you’ve probably never heard of ’ because they are that niche.

19. Is thrilled when he’s asked for his ID at the local pub.
Sure, some bored bartender validated your bag-free eyes, your lush head of hair and your perfectly lined teeth; but keep in mind he’s doing it only because he plans to earn that extra buck (or hundred) as a tip for being ‘such a darling’.

20. Sulks when you don’t compliment him for still fitting into his designer jeans from seven years ago.
Because his waist is not as large as his ego.

21. Is passive aggressive at the drop of a hat.
Including that one time you actually dropped his designer hat from Bloomingdale’s, and he asked you if you could be ‘a tad bit more careful’ the next time around. There was no next time around.

22. Calls himself a ‘connoisseur of fine men’.
That’s just a polite (and politically correct) way of saying he’s been around a lot.

23. Never calls his mother.
Unless she’s dead. Or abandoned him.

24. Disses you for listening to Lady Gaga.
But has Katy Perry’s Teenage Dream album favourited in his playlist.

25. Asks you for a picture on Grindr, even though his profile is blanker than John Abraham’s face.
And there’s a very high chance he doesn’t look like John Abraham either.

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.