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The grotesque side of being a heterosexual in a society obsessed with other sexualities!

My business partner and I were meeting a rather renowned marketing expert for coffee. He asked us for our visiting cards, and when we gave him our visiting cards, the gentleman examined them carefully and queried, “What is the significance of the four numerals that constitute the name of your company?”
“They are birthdays,” answered my business partner.  
“Of?” asked the curious fifty-year-old man. 
“Both of us,” said my business partner.
“Oh, really,” said the man with some animation, “are you homos?” 
“I am afraid we are not,” replied my business partner calmly.  

I asked myself what on earth had made somebody who did not even know us want to leap to such an empty extrapolation. Surely, age should have given him a sense of healthier wisdom as opposed to such a petty perception. Then again, he was not at fault, because it was the wafer thin mentality that is currently in fashion (regardless of age) in which there is something fundamentally wired wrong that prods people in deriving cheap thrills by speaking with such stupidity.

If I were in the place of the man, and I was to set my eyes on a name as unique as that, I would have first complimented the duo on being remarkably innovative, and then I would have probed about how and why they had started their company with such an approach, and once concluded with drawing the reason behind such a name, a warm second compliment inclined towards the closeness and bonding would have been my outcome than an unwise gibe at sexuality.

The childishness of the situation triggered me to pen down a few points on notions that I feel have gone entirely awry in the frothy society that we are living in today. 

Case 1

Mervin and Lawrence have been best friends since childhood. They studied together. They were on the same football team, and are quite inseparable if one were to put it in one word. One day, after a gruelling game of football, Mervin had soaked himself in the Jacuzzi, and Lawrence had fallen asleep in soiled clothes in Mervin’s room. Seeing that Lawrence was napping, Mervin trotted naked to his wardrobe and was scouting for something to wear when Lawrence happened to wake up and saw Mervin’s unclothed back that was facing him. “Dude,” said Lawrence in jest, “I am surprised that you have such a little butt in comparison to the rest of your toned body.”

When Mervin narrated this to us over wine one day, we had had a hearty laugh, and the topic was never brought up again that evening because it did not make a difference to any of us, except, of course, to one friend, who whispered into the ears of another friend that Mervin and Lawrence were gay.  

I know of friends who have bantered harmlessly at their friend’s genitals. I know of women who have shared notes on their bosoms, and none of it even remotely infers that it has anything to do with sexual undertones.

I wanted to tell that friend who was speculating that being ‘with’ men is entirely different than being ‘into’ men. And that if you want to hang about with men, do. And if you want to be a man’s man, be. There is nothing sexual about both, and so long as you know what you are, the rest of the world can take a hike with their assumptions and presumptions as such inquisitiveness is the fixation of the absurd. 

Case 2

A friend from Delhi recently moved to Bangalore and was frustrated at the unnecessary poking of people’s noses in the lives of others. “Bro,” he expressed one evening over a meal, “in Delhi we have this healthy culture of walking about in our briefs, or hugging our friends and not caring about anything,” he paused and dissolved into a grimace, “also I’ve lived in hostels since my school days, so I care a hoot when I see a bare butt or a sausage dangling, but the culture in the South is a bit stilted. Any sort of closeness with your male buddies raises eyebrows here. This is so fucked up, man!”

I could empathy with him – there is an undeniably absurd level of idiocy in people around here, especially with the educated classes, and not so much with the masses. The educated, most strangely, do not seem to mind their own business, and sexual discussions are rife on any occasion and almost with everybody. It startles me how these weasels find harmless camaraderie so shockingly violating to go about scandalmongering about it. They don’t understand that it is not about sexuality, but about brotherhood. 

Case 3

Why go too far, my business partner and I are like Siamese twins. We are quite the endorsement of the misconception that if you are not born to the same parents, you cannot share the same bond that any two biological brothers would share for each other. A common friend had most aptly said years ago that we are like ‘checks and balance’ – such is our bond. And we are not sexually interested in each other, and we would not be sexually interested in each other as that is not what our sexual orientation is.

We have had our fair share of women and wild sex, and since we are not answerable to anyone, we do not advertise our women, and that leads to some dense minds wanting to babble behind our backs. To such buffoons, as uncouth as it is, we show our middle finger.

Furthermore, I asked Sameer, who has been a close friend for the last twenty years, whether he thought of the closeness between my business partner and me as odd. His instantaneous response was – “Are you serious someone even thought so about you both like that bro? Man, I’ve always envied you guys. About how closely knit you are, and somewhere I always wanted that kind of connect with my own brothers, or some of my male friends.”

Hearing those words only ascertained in me the fact that healthy minds thought healthily, and yes, people at large might newsmonger, but such people with perverse beliefs are best left to rot with their own sorts. Some might say that I am giving more importance to Sameer’s opinion over the opinions of others simply because it was favourable to me. Well, to that, I have the same to repeat; such people with perverse beliefs are best left to rot with their own sorts.

Case 4

M and V are two friends at our club. M is married and V is not. M and V are thick as thieves. When M is not with his wife, he is with V, and when V is not with M, he is busy at work or playing cricket. When quizzed about why a smart lad like him is not with a girlfriend, his standard response is that he is not into casual flings and arm candy is not his style. As expected, it raises eyebrows in a society who is preoccupied with everyone’s sexuality than bothering about their own lives.

V is even cooler when it comes to such bigots; he asks them to come and join him for a threesome if they pry a bit more than required.

These perverted blockheads, who have no occupation than to keep meddling with other peoples lives, should know that heterosexual men who are comfortable with their sexuality would not shy away from being around men of a sexual orientation different from their own. At the same time it is important to never forget that two people of the same gender can love each other like siblings do, and there is nothing wrong about it. People feel different things with different people, and just because it is beyond somebody’s capacity of understanding does not allow anyone any rights to judge or suspect, and if you find yourself in such an awkward situation then do away with such immature homophobes from your life for good as these ‘unhealthy’ people are not fit to be a part of your circle of friends.

Case 5

Vikram and Aditya are two brothers. They share an amity that would make anyone want to have such a relationship with their own blood. It was amusing to hear the word wafting around one day that Vikram and Aditya are in an incestuous relationship. Although Vikram was not concerned, Aditya lost his cool with someone who tried to irk them with their nonsense.

This is where I feel that some people are beyond redemption, that they are ailing mentally, and one simply cannot apply a limit to their lunacy. Aditya was not adroit enough to let it go and indulged in a verbal scuffle, but bear in mind that people like these thrive on sensationalism, and the idea of knowing what they are saying and doing has an effect on you. Never give them that comfort. NEVER.

And to men out there who would be facing such situations, and might buckle under the pressure of, “What would people say?” My only advise to you is not to bother about such inconsequential arseholes. Do not be perturbed unless you think you have some issues to deal with regarding this issue. 

Case 6

A couple I knew had been married for twenty-five years. They were quite the epitome of togetherness for many of us. We were shocked to learn that they had filed for a separation. Since we were close, we preferred not to snoop into the reasons for their decision to part as man and wife, but no sooner had the news reached other ears, people began hypothesising that one of them might have fallen in love with someone of their own gender and that was the cause of their divorce proceedings. 

One of the most misconstrued and misused notions is this – “Oh, he has passed the permissible age of marriage. Think he must be gay.” Or, “He and she were going just fine. The stories of incompatibility must be a façade, either he must have fallen in love with another man or she with a woman.”

I find myself appalled at such reckless rants. People do not marry for various reasons such as freedom or space, or because they enjoy their own company and are not seeking somebody else to fill in because they are content in their own skin.

I wish we could say with pride that gone are the days when one had to yield to parental or societal pressure when they had found themselves entangled within a marriage that was more a prison than heaven. Sadly, those days are very much prevalent, and we suffer the loss of so many souls to such brutalities.

The sliver lining though is that a handful of the people reach that stage of ‘I don’t care for the world but only for those who care for me.’ These people are impervious to the empty blether, except for the vulnerable. And it is these vulnerable individuals who have to make themselves understand that humanity thrives on rumours; it is great fodder for them, and what it does at its barest level is shows the world how ill one is in their heads with respect to such matters. 

Case 7

I workout at a fitness centre that is primarily frequented by the expats, and by way of lifestyle they are inclined to strip and walk from the lockers to the sauna or steam. Or even when they are changing, they most carelessly do away with their knickers and slip on new ones. For them it is most natural, except that there was an Indian man who kept staring at these people who undressed and then made it a topic of discussion with the others around. I heard it once, and then couple of times over the succeeding weeks. Although it was none of my business, I requested him one day to go see a psychologist because he seemed obsessed with the anatomy of men. The man went ballistic and said I was foolish to have assumed he was interested in men’s penises when he was only surprised at how and why these foreigners could change in front of other people. I did buy the idea, but told him that his conversations were never about the ‘changing’ but about the ‘penises’ and if he did not repair his needless fixation with it, it could land him into further trouble. He called me a gay bastard and stormed out of the locker.   

When we happen to, even by a slight chance, glimpse upon the penis of another man around us, we tend to inspect it for that dot of a second – this is a natural human tendency – something that has been hardwired into men since the inception of man. It is to do with the survival of the fittest. It is to do with the man who was the strongest, who is celebrated to be the most virile, and therefore, capable of expanding his family by planting his healthier genes. It was all about breeding then, and it is all about breeding now, so why then behave like we are prudes, and have sinned if we have seen another man’s member?

As harsh as it may sound if you focus on anything more than necessary in life then you might have latent concerns that you might have to address under the guidance of someone who is equipped to solve your predicament. Do not be touchy at such times. Be bold. Get to the root of the problem and fix it.

In summary: going to a gay bar, or being there for a bisexual friend would not make you one. This is something I see that many heterosexual men are terrified about. Be there for ‘people’ and not for what they ‘identify’ with. Also remember that most of these stigmas attached to the sexual spectrum would be null and void had we no society to judge us. If we were to develop a manner in which to supress the section that harbours such influences we would be happier people.

Care two hoots about the world. Live the way you feel you want to live. Love the way you want to love. Do not be intrusive in the lives of others. Mind your own business because what any two people feel has to do with self-shared mental and physical intimacy that only they understand, and that is why perhaps the word bosom buddies was coined to begin with in the first place. So go on, find your bosom buddy and live life on your terms.