This Valentine’s Day, let me offer you a small glimpse into our very queer life.
One common question every gay man gets asked almost every time they come out is, “How do two guys do it?” And while they most often just mean how we do sex to each other, I like to think it’s way deeper than that. Like how do two guys make it happen when almost every force in this country is working against you, how do they co-exist, and how does that not drive them insane?
My partner and I have been together for four years now, three of which we’ve spent living under one roof. And while the maxim that “Love is Love” is what anyone should ever need to know about dating as consenting adults, there are nuances that queer romances possess that are rare and need to be celebrated on the official day of love. So, allow me to share what my experience of dating an entire another male human has been like, so we can finally set a lot of uneasy questions to rest. The main one being - Is being in a gay relationship better than being in a straight relationship?
Now that we have answered that one, let’s see in what aspects does our relationship differ as well as align with a heterosexual one.
Food - My partner and I are both chubby, so needless to say it was food that brought us together, and in many ways kept us together. The first two years of our dating period were thankfully not spent in a pandemic, and that allowed us to binge eat our way through a range of cuisines. The irony is that he’s a vegan and I’m a non-vegetarian. So how do we make that work? By absolutely not interfering in each other’s diets whatsoever. When we go to a restaurant, he gets his food and I get mine and we never have to shovel spoons full in each other’s mouths to show affection. And in Post-Covid times, no one should be doing that anyways. We rarely cook for each other but that does not mean that we don’t individually enjoy the meal and then describe what we like the most about it. It also helps that he’s not a fussy vegan, which means we don’t need two refrigerators and two sets of utensils for our meals, although we do use separate pans (because he draws the line at fried fish stench, and I get it). But we also pass on each other’s distaste for certain food items to each other. He has managed to transfer the dislike for mayonnaise onto me. I used to enjoy putting mayo in everything and now I just cannot stand the sight of it.
Chores - One thing I always notice when I meet my straight friends at their place is that the man in the relationship has no clue about the upkeep of the house. It’s either the woman’s job to clean the house or they hire help. This includes my own father. But as soon as my partner and I started living together, we understood the need to do all of this on our own. Thankfully our mothers taught us well, and we keep our house in the best shape. Only time there’s an unnecessary mess is when my straight friends come visiting to be entirely honest.
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Groceries and Bills - People often want to know who pays the bills after a meal or who gets the groceries every week. And the answer is we both do. We split when we can and when the other is broke, we cover for each other. Rarely have we let money become the focal point of our existence. But that’s perhaps because we are pretty bohemian in our lifestyle and I know other gay couples who are very meticulous about their spending.
Arguments - It’s funny because as I write this, my partner and I had an argument about something trivial like who ate the last chikoo. And within the time it took to finish the previous sentence we somehow managed to not be mad at each other. My friends often wonder what it’s like when our arguments get way out of hand. And because we are two boys, there have been times when fights turn into full boxing matches. But we always manage to fight our way into lovemaking, so that’s two fantasies for one.
We also happen to be very crass. More than what normal straight people can handle. And I often end up joking about how they should hear what we call each other in bed.
Lockdowns and Movie nights - The pandemic did take a toll on our relationship like everyone else’s. Right around the end of March 2020 he had to fly to his family in Ahmedabad, leaving me all alone with our three cats in Mumbai. We were then apart for the next four months, talking only over the phone, WhatsApp, and numerous video calls. It became my only outside connection where I could say whatever was going through my mind. For me, being sober came with its own demons and somehow through the worst mental period of our lives, we looked out for each other. Once we reconnected in July, we decided never to be hateful or mean to each other because almost losing our families shook us up to the core during the second wave. We love our time spent at home, we’ve put all our heart, money, and aspirations into building a life together in a tiny apartment that we love to call ours. We love cuddling up and watching TV from the bed as the cats snuggle around us. We love watching Toy Story or Inside Out and crying uninhabited, because the level of comfort we have built around each other is rare and we know can possibly never be imitated in the future.
Social events - I always make sure to introduce my boyfriend as my partner no matter the social event. This is to clarify up top that we are here together as a proud gay couple and it often leads to a whole barrage of questions from other party guests. So that’s two hours we love to spend breaking down how our lives are for absolute strangers who are just being exposed to the gay lifestyle.
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Sex and stuff - I wanted to save the information everyone really wanted for the end. Making love is a hassle for anyone in this country. The fact that OYO rooms are now synonymous with young couples just looking to spend some time together is not lost on most of us. Often there are judgemental glances towards straight couples. In that regards, gay couples can often be lucky. There have been so many times where I have checked into a hotel overnight with a gay lover and pretended that he’s my office colleague or cousin and gotten away with it. No judgy glares - just two boys doing what boys do. I know the situation is way different when it’s two women, but we should get to count our stars where we can.
And though people are always curious how gay sex works, I am not going to break it down verbatim. Just one thing we all need to know is that you can’t just get turned on and go into the playing field when trying to have anal sex. A lot of prep has to go into a night of lovemaking (like douching and lubrication) when you’re queer but the end result is not having kids so it’s a lose-win I’d say. Several gay couples are also slowly experimenting with open relationships and polyamory nowadays - something that is often treated as taboo within heterosexual marriage.
Despite the benefits I point out, the fact that remains that on paper, my partner and I are just that - Partners. Not that I am excited to tie the knot yet, but it would be great to live in a nation where I can legally have my partner as my nominee and open a bank account together. And while we wait for that to happen, I think it’s important to commemorate our love in any which way possible. Because we all deserve to be loved, irrespective of our quirks and kinks.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are independent views solely of the author(s) expressed in their private capacity and do not in any way represent or reflect the views of 101india.com.
By Navin Noronha
Photo Credit : Navin Noronha