Tag Archives: Tinder

The Guysexual’s Guide To Decoding Dating Bios On Every App In The World

Decoding_date_bios_guysexual

 

As you might have realised, your dating profile is your window to the world. It’s your 4’ by 6’ advertisement in the personals section of the newspaper. So it’s only obvious that you’d spend more time on it: Being your witty, charming, and fun self – that’s where you get your right swipe, your woof and your clandestine tryst for Wednesday night.

But we don’t.

Instead, we look at every profile with an Instagram filter – there’s the computer analyst who’s mug shot is spruced up with Aden, the graphic designer from seven hundred metres away shining bright in the Maldives with Valencia and finally, the architect across the street, basking on the beach with a healthy dose of Amaro. While pictures gain priority, our bios get rehashed in different versions of the same fifteen or so things — all as pointless as trying to get the barista at Starbucks to spell your name correctly.

Here are a few template (but very real) dating bios, decoded just for you:

What he says: ‘Sane and sorted.’

What he means: ‘I will block you if you ask me something that offends me even slightly.’

 

What he says: ‘No hookups please.’

What he really means: ‘I am into hookups.’

 

What he says: ‘Looking for a reason to delete this app.’

What he really means: ‘I am waiting for my Prince Charming, but if I have to kiss a few dozen frogs on the way, I am not complaining. My flat mate is out this weekend.’

 

What he says: ‘Looking for a gym buddy.’

What he really means: ‘I have a boyfriend, but I don’t mind doing the dirty deed on the bench press. Lay out the yoga mat, will you?’

 

What he says: ‘I really don’t bite…unless you really want me to…’

What he really means: ‘I am really not that good in bed, but if you want, I’d moan out your name as we have mediocre sex. And then if I am really into it, I’ll even bite your nipples.’

 

What he says: ‘Only faces can start a conversation’

What he really means: ‘because I don’t want you to be as ugly as you sound on text.’

 

What he says: ‘Sapiosexual, looking for the same.’

What he really means: ‘I like the word; it sounds really cool.  But hey, now that we’ve got that out of the way, you’re place or mine?’

 

What he says: ‘Please don’t waste my time!’

What he really means: ‘I don’t want to waste my time text-flirting with you over a week. I am top, muscular and raring to go. How about calling me over right now?’

 

What he says: ‘No pic. No plc.’

What he really means: ‘don’t catfish me, please?’

 

What he says: ‘Looking for some NSA fun.’

What he really means: ‘I really am looking for some NSA fun.’

 

What he says: ‘I get HIGH on life.’

What he really means: ‘I am coming right over if you’d let me snort cocaine right off your ass cheeks.’

 

What he says: ‘I don’t really know what to say here. Haha.’

What he really means: ‘I really don’t know what to say when all they need are only 250 characters about myself. I try not to come across as boring, but I really am.’

 

What he says: ‘I am discreet and looking for the same.’

What he really means: ‘ I am married and don’t mind something on the side, as long as you don’t take pictures and send them to my wife.’

 

What he says: ‘I am discrete and looking for the same.’

What he really means: ‘ I am married and I also don’t know how to spell.’

 

What he says: ‘I prefer men over boys.’

What he really means: ‘Only tops, please.’

 

What he says: ‘Not into fats/femmes. Uncles and aunties please stay away!’

What he really means: ‘I am a douchebag, and I expect you to be one too.’

 

What he says: ‘Classy people only.’

What he really means: ‘I want to do dirty unimaginable things to you, but I will not pay you money for any of it.’

What Does Your Grindr Picture say About You?

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

 Yes. I am a liar.

And I am also a hypocrite.

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

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

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

Here’s what different pictures say about you:

  1. Mr. No picture

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

  1. Mr. Shirtless

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

Never.

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

  1. Mr. Smiling face

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

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

  1. Mr. Blurry

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

  1. Mr. Gym selfie:

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

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

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

  1. Mr. Sunglasses

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

Yes, even if they are from Calvin Klein.

  1. Mr. beach bod

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

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

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

  1. Mr. Suit

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

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

 

Dear Gay Men, Here Are the Do’s and Don’ts of Online Dating.

 

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As a gay man, you spend as much time charting the dregs of a dating app as you spend deciding between a mimosa and a mojito for Sunday brunch — only in the case of the latter, there are no empty calories, just empty feelings (and no, there are no Happy Hours on online dating portals).

Online dating might look depressingly tough, but it’s really not.  Do you want to get away and get it on in real life?

Just follow these dos and swerve away from the don’ts, and you’ll never have to hit the bar to drown your loneliness ever again:

Do: Have a recent picture of yourself

Unless you still look like your gorgeous, toned self from 2007, have a photo that was taken in the past few months as your display picture. After all, no one wants to see that look of disappointment on their date’s face when they turn up and see you for the very first time.

PS: have more than one photo, as cameras can be pathological liars (and so can people).

Don’t: Lie on your profile

We know how exhilarating it can be to lie about your age, height, weight and the fact that you won ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ award back in 2010 on your profile, but do remember — you are only one Google search (or one date) away from never seeing the hypothetical boy of your dreams ever again.

Do: Take chances

Does your date seem slightly boring than he did on text? Is his nose off centre? Do you find him a bit pudgy around the waist? You can pass him off, and wait and wait and keep waiting, but perfection might never make it when you want it to.

While online dating can seem superficial — as you swipe right through profiles of gorgeous men with pectoral muscles and PHDs, you might need to step out of your comfort zone every once in a while. Who know? Maybe the grungy musician who lives with his parents is the one you’ll click with.

Don’t: Ask for a picture if you don’t have one

If you do, you are a certified A-level douchebag.

Do: Be well groomed

If you don’t expect your date to turn up with garlic breath and body odour, neither should you. No one expects you to look like you are walking the ramp for the next Autumn/Winter collection, but make an effort and dress up (more on that later).

Side note: Take a shower and spray some cologne; it always helps.

Don’t: Be a Yes man

Will you share my salad?

Want to come back to my place?

Why don’t you leave your wallet with me when you head off to the washroom?

I have a fetish for blood. Are you interested?

Don’t be a people pleaser; if someone asks you to do something that makes you uncomfortable, a succinct ‘no’ is all it takes. You don’t even need an excuse after.

Do: Be on time

There’s nothing more attractive than a man who is always on time. If you aren’t, keep an apology text ready to be sent at least ten minutes before your assigned meeting time.

Buy him a drink (or two) when you get there — alcohol always makes up for (and makes with) lost time.

Don’t: Get too drunk on the first date

Being drunk on a date is never sexy, especially if it involves you retching over his Italian loafers (halfway through the heartwarming story of how he lost his cat when he was twelve).

Side note: If you are feeling the first date sweats and are generally anxious, calm yourself with a drink, but stop at two (or when you feel the sudden urge to flirt with the bartender).

Do: Talk on the date

Contribute to the conversation like you would contribute to water cooler gossip — remember that a great conversation can help you go a long way, right up to ten-year anniversary pictures on the fridge.

Don’t: Be mean

No one likes to be told that their posture is wrong; their shoes are last season, their big dream won’t work or that they’ve got something stuck between their teeth.

Don’t like your date? Don’t take it out on him. Have a drink or two, and end the night early with a polite excuse, and a cheque that’s split two ways.

Is Online Dating The Serial Killer Of Romance?

Viraf, a thirty-something brand manager loves plaid, soy lattes and expensive single malt. Like most quintessential gay men that I know, Viraf is on the lookout for ‘shake-me-by-my-shoulders’ love – the one that you find in dog-eared romance novels and primetime soaps. To further his cause for finding romance, Viraf goes out on a new date every week (while sleeping with twice the number of people in the same time) – and falls in love every month. It’s a tough life, but he survives (and so does his wallet).

Serial Killer

Continue reading Is Online Dating The Serial Killer Of Romance?

What’s up, Bro: An honest review of the dating app for straight, sensible men

Men have always had it easy.

Gay or straight, the laws of online dating have always been balanced. Gay men have Grindr. Straight men have Tinder. But what about straight men looking to woo (or wingman with) other men, you ask?

 Say hello to Bro, the app that everyone is talking about.

 bro

Launched in early 2016, (but like most other things, making its debut in India a year later) Bro promises that it ‘goes beyond using labels, and is for men that are interested in meeting other guys – it’s as simple as that.’ It doesn’t say it’s a sex app (in those many words) – it’s for men seeking friendships, men who want to date, men who want casual hookups and all the permutations and combinations in between – without the baggage of old labels and questions by older relatives.

 Straight, gay or bisexual – Bro is an all-accepting sausage fest, and makes no qualms about it. It’s online dating without typecasting itself as online dating. In fact, Bro advertises itself as the app that welcomes men who don’t feel welcome in the gay community. It finally lets people be what they shouldn’t be embarrassed of being – sexually fluid. Sexuality is a continuum and not a binary, and Bro recognizes that. But beneath the blue and white, straight man-friendly exterior, does it really offer anything that Grindr doesn’t?

 Yes, and no. There are less faceless torsos, more happy faces of people doing happy things. There’s always been a grey area between the boundaries of sex, relationships and friendship, and when an app asks you whether you are looking to find friendship, fun or ‘whatever’, Bro wins hands down in the grey department, all fifty shades of it. It’s for men who don’t want to commit – to labels, or a relationship – In fact, men can even ‘fist bump’ each other to show their sign of approval, so that they can be comfortable in their skin when they ultimately do ask each other for a blowjob (they are just one football jersey short of not really questioning their sexuality after using it.) This is my one grouse with the app; it puts heteronormativity on a pedestal.

 I am neither a bro, nor am I straight – so I break both the cardinal rules when I decide to try it out – I am not one to shy away from finding true love, even if it’s with a potentially straight man. How do I do as a bro?

 Not so well, but I’d let you be the judge of that with my six day gaycation on the app:

Day 1:

 I download the app with the vigour and hope that I usually reserve for the first day of a clearance sale. The app’s interface is bright, multi-racial and eye-catching, which is great – because that’s how I like my boys. After a quick sign up where it chides me for my stats, preferences and HIV status, Bro does what no other dating app does.

 It asks me to sort myself.

 Am I the beefy Jock Bro? A nerdy Brogrammer? A muscular G.I Bro? A preppy Bro? Casual Bro? Suited Bro? Lumber Bro, Hipster Bro or the ‘surprised-to-see-you-here’ fabulous Bro?

 I choose the casual Bro because no hipster would ever admit to being one.

 Once I am set, a grid of hopefuls show up –I am slightly disappointed. It’s a sea of men I’ve blocked on Grindr, long forgotten exes, a few friends and men I’ve always seen around but never spoken to.

I dive in.

 Day 2:

 I start my second day with a fresh fist bump. It’s Gautam, a video editor who I went on a date with a few months ago. I’ve swiped right on Gautam on Tinder; Woof’d at him on Scruff, and starred him as a favourite on Grindr. I do the only sensible thing left to be done. I send a fist bump back at him, in the awkward way I would in middle school. (Side note: I’ve never really been great at fist bumping – the last person I fist bumped was my three-year-old nephew.)

 ‘What are you doing here?’ he texts me.

‘I was going to ask you the same question,’ I text him back.

 ‘Just checking out the scene on the other side of the tracks, bro,’ he pings back. We both have a laugh over it, ending our abrupt conversation with a crisp LOL from each side. We make plans to meet soon, but we both know that we won’t.

 That’s the last I hear from him.

 Day 3:

 I strike up a conversation with a new face: 27-year-old Ankit’s profile says that he’s spontaneous, funny and charming with a hairy chest. He’s also straight, and inconspicuously (but not surprisingly) from New York.

 I say hello with a non-committal ‘Ssup?’ – could this be the start of a sitcom-level bromance (with six season and a movie) where we wingman each other at bars?

I wait for ten minutes. I wait for an hour. I wait for a whole day.

 He never replies, killing my sitcom dreams even before we can shoot a pilot.

 Day 4:

 Still reeling from the rebuttal, I open my bro with no new expectations. The app doesn’t disappoint – apart from two requests for my sexual preference, my message inbox is emptier than my heart. I switch off, vowing to never come back again.

I go back the next day.

 Day 5:

 I get fist bumped by a girl.

 She tells me she’s bisexual; I tell her I am surprised. The awkward silence resonates forever, but my relationship with Bro doesn’t.

 The Verdict:

 Breaking norms and reestablishing sexual fluidity aside, I realize I wouldn’t want to go find bros before my hos. It’s simply not my cup of tea. Instead, I’d pass it over for a keg of beer and a beautiful boy who wants me for a little more than ‘whatever, bro’.

 And for that, I’ve got Grindr and my wine shop on speed dial.

What we talk about when we talk about love.

What is love?

Is it a constant release of oxytocins or a woeful struggle to become the best version of yourself? Is it a cheaper substitute for cocaine? An attitude that lands you a starring role in every Bollywood blockbuster? Most importantly, is it the premise of every Beatles song?

Love is a lot of things.

valentines

 

To celebrate Valentine’s Day with my refrigerator full of wine, I spoke to six different LGBT couples about romance and its sweeping presence in their lives – as a day, as a feeling, or as a constant state of being that doesn’t make them want to kill their significant other. Through text, long distance phone calls and two really hot cups of coffee, here’s what we talked about when we talked about love:

Continue reading What we talk about when we talk about love.

Number Fourteen: The Analyst.

 

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Art Work: Siddha Kannur.

It’s Independence Day. August has never been crisper. It’s cool and fresh, and smells of the holidays.

I stare closely at Fourteen as he smokes his joint – he has a traveller’s face – mousy, windswept hair on a lean stubbled face. His features boast of a deep tan, and a glow that only comes with not having wasted your life at an office desk for months. Is he an analyst with a tech giant or an IT junkie? Is he a writer? Is he a travel journalist? A baker, a butcher, a candlestick-maker? What does he really do? I’ve always been an unreliable narrator. However, we have more important things to think about. Is he going to pass it? Is he not? It’s such an exciting game –

I splutter and burst out into giggles.

He stares.

‘Take it all the way in, and then blow it out deep and slow.

That line is so infested with innuendoes; we’d need an exterminator (or probably two). He grins. The smile is only slightly lopsided, but that’s not a problem when my mind is fuddled with fumes, and running on overdrive.

What am I doing here?

He passes the spliff to me.

Yes, that.

We are at his house, a modest one-bedroom home in the depths of Andheri – any closer, and he would be a next-door neighbor, any further, and I’d never make the effort to meet him again. The house is sparse – it looks like one that lets you pack up and leave at an instant. There are bulging bookcases, but no wardrobe. He practically lives out of a suitcase unless his parents are visiting, he says. That’s when all his clothes go under the kitchen counter.

I spot William Darylmple’s City of Djinns on his book stand by the bed (single mattress, faded bedspread that smells only slightly of mothballs.) ‘It’s my favourite book,’ he tells me. I lie that I love it too. I don’t have a clue what it’s about – I’ve not really read it. But that’s the rest of his bookshelf – it’s full of books I’ll never have the patience to read, but will never tell the world. I take a closer look – there are some titles on sexuality and homoerotica.

‘Are you out to your parents?’ I ask – visiting parents would hardly glaze over a copy of Queer Science. He laughs. They found out a year ago – chanced upon his diary.

He has a diary?

Not of the conventional sort – it was a journal of his sexual encounters, in all its lurid glory. It’s my time to have a laugh now – where have we heard that before?

How did they take it?

The same way most parents do – there was some crying, some ‘where-did-we-go-wrong?’, some ‘are-you-sure?’ but in the end, it was all good. They came out stronger as a family, and he came out stronger as a gay man. It’s been a year since.

Where does he see himself a year later?

Travelling, he replies almost instantaneously.

I cough; he thinks it’s the joint. I’ve heard this one so many times; I have it tattooed into my mind from one of those cheap tattoo parlours at the mall. It’s a classic answer. A gay man lusting after the idea of travel is like gay men lusting after, well, other gay men. There’s always that one off chance that you’d find love while on vacation, something more than a vacation fling – something so remarkably beautiful that it has an airport story to it – for the quintessential homosexual, it’s the next best thing to saying that you met your future boyfriend at Starbucks.

Where then? I ask him.

He spent the last two months in the hills (and that explains the tan), searching for substance or spirit, and sometimes even both. But one thing that’s common – he’s always searching for himself. I find it all very confusing. Gay men often find themselves in the strangest of places – the hills, the beach, at the opera, a fashion show, the runway, and sometimes even in abandoned restrooms a little after midnight.

I usually head to the bookstore, and find myself in a book.

‘Sometimes I wish I could just pack up and leave.’ He’s excited about quitting his job and leaving with a suitcase and an undecided ticket. The man wants to live his dreams through his travels – scuba diving by the Andaman Islands, building bonfires in Rishikesh, attending local rave parties in Kasol. Instead, in exactly a year, he’d head on to work for a major political campaign, and then find himself at business school. But that’s all in the future. For now, his dreams and aspirations are as pure the Malana cream we are smoking.

“Have you been to Parvati Valley? I spent a month there. It was fascinating! Can you imagine sleeping under the stars and waking up to the morning sun?”

Yes, I almost say – it’s the morning after every night of drunken debauchery. Sometimes I even forget where my pants are.

‘I’d want to go back there, and never come back,’ he says wistfully. You know something else that isn’t coming back?

The joint.

He takes a long drag, and blows out the fumes in concentric circles. I can hear him breathe. It’s deeply unsettling.

‘You know what I was thinking-‘

What can it be? Why is the sky blue? How do touchscreens work? Where does life come from? Am I eyeing the joint too much?

He exhales. I can be at peace. He hands it over. That’s another dose of peace.

‘What?’ I ask. If this were a B-Grade softcore thriller, now would be the point that he would pull out his machete and hack me into pieces. Instead –

‘Want to see me hula hoop?’

Why not?

He heads inside, and comes out with hula rings and a pair of clackers. Soon, the speakers are playing EDM on loop, the strobe lights are on and we are at the toys like kids on a mad sugar rush – we might as well as be the music video for the next M83 song – it’s that trippy. The hula-hoop lies unnoticed. ‘I know just the thing that will help,’ he quips and darts back inside.

Ten minutes (or forty) pass, and he’s been inside the kitchen for too long. My paranoia could be the third wheel on this date. Maybe he does have a machete. If I end up sleeping with the fish tonight, I won’t be surprised. I’ve a good life, seen great loves, understood joy –

He comes out right one cue. There’s no gleaming knife; only a pack of chips and some salsa dip. As the English say, a good spliff deserves some good food. I’d even eat an old shoe right about now. Thirty minutes and two packets of chips later, we are satiated. Well, almost.

‘So what do we do now?’ he asks, expectantly. We fade to black.

‘Let me know if you ever want to come over again?’ he asks, as I prepare to leave half hour later. I smile, but hesitate at the same time. It’s a now-or-never situation.

‘I will, but I had a question. Where do you buy your stuff from?’ I ask, tying my shoelaces. I don’t give away my eagerness. He gives me a peck on my cheek.

He has a supplier who stays close – she’s a twenty-minute phone call away – any closer, and she could be my mother. I take down her number, and accidentally delete his.

 

The Date-o-meter: 6.5/10

Does this have a sequel? : Yes.

If this date were a song, it would be: ‘Paradise Circus‘ By Massive Attack.