Nov 08 2013

Ringa-Ringa-Roses!

Why is it that men play these silly games when it comes to sex?

Why cant they just say it?

One of the first learnings for me when I started coming out beyond the immediate F&F to my extended circle of associates, colleagues and activity partners, was that men I thought were straight would often make a pass, and not too subtly either! These were not close friends, but I had known them for years – guys I had gone camping with or worked with – which is partly what made it weird! I couldn’t understand it – If they aren’t gay why would they hit on me?

Some of the “stereo-typically gay” friends I talked to said that it happened with them all the time! But while I was intrigued, they were nonchalant! Couple of them even said *ALL* the straight friends they had come out to had hit on them at some point and they very often “scored” too! Somehow, I have never been that lucky! If I have to put a number, I would say its 5 out of 10! And some of them were just being casually flirty! But some were certainly looking for some ding-dong on the side! smile

So how do you handle a situation like this and avoid getting burnt? The key is to be on top of the game and not be caught by surprise. Understand the process, check off the flags as you pass them and be prepared at every stage for either Hailing or Bailing as the case may be! Decide whether its a Yes or No when the first dice is rolled. The card can change as game progresses, but keep it close to your chest. And if there is a sudden escalation (see NB below), the card in your hand will be the deciding card. Which card to hold should be a well thought out decision. Impulsive decisions are a bad move!

There is a definite pattern to the game-play that follows! Some Mo’s call it the Seduction Game, which I think is too sophisticated to describe this sort of thing! I prefer calling it Ringa-Ringa-Roses (or R3 for short) which is more accurate IMO to describe the beating around the bush that follows! I mean how hard is it to just say “Hey! Wanna Make out?”! Whats the worst that can happen? You will get shot down? So? Ego huh?

Anyways, R3 doesn’t start immediately after you come out. Guys take their own sweet time to make up their minds and perhaps muster the courage to go forward with it! But It generally happens within 90 days of the original coming out, though in one notable exception, it took 15 months for the game to begin! But generally as a thumb rule, if it doesn’t happen in the first 3 months, its not going to happen!

The R3 game usually has 3 Stages – sometimes 4 (Ugh!). Assuming you meet this guy once a week on an average, that’s 10-15 meetings for the game to run its course.

Stage 1 SEX TALK : This is a bit of a grey area since sometimes guys will talk trash anyway. But if someone hasn’t really bought up sex in his 1-1 conversations with you before, and it starts happening regularly after the coming-out, then this is the first red flag! Regularly being the keyword here! Offhand banter can be ignored!

To give an example, there was this guy I knew from my days in the NCC. We used to talk about Wildlife, Marathi theater, Shiv Sena, hockey (both of us played college level), aviation etc. But I don’t remember a time in 12 years when we ever discussed sex! Even remotely! But after I came out to him (~2006), suddenly it seemed every 2nd topic had to be about that! I didn’t know this stuff then but yes! R3 was definitely on and it ran its full course! Married with twins BTW!

Another sign to watch out for is how often does a gay-topic come up for discussion after the coming-out? This can be a slight grey area again because sometimes there is genuine curiosity about our “lifestyle”, but I think you should be able to tell. Keyword being regular.

After a time, the sex talk gets increasingly graphic and personal – like about what he likes and what he did to so-and-so or intends to! If you really wish to pursue this further, this would be the time to start taking notes! 😉

Stage 2 FLIRTING : Slowly, the sex talk evolves into Flirting. Still in the grey area here, because sometimes guys will just flirt casually, so hold on to your horses! Play it cool! Flirt back if you can! But remember: He is the guy, you are the girl. He is the pursuer, you are the pursued! If you intend to take this further, don’t do anything to break that illusion! Straighties playing R3 be like skiddish horses at the Jatra – they scare easily and bolt from their stables! You wouldn’t want that would ya?

Stage 3 GETTING PHYSICAL : When, and IF it gets to this, you know its serious. The R3 game is surely on! Stage 3 is where the verbal flirting evolves into more physical contact. Lingering hugs, ass pats, shoulder squeezes, pecks and so on! Lingering being the keyword here. I am sure you can tell the difference!

Stage 4 SELFIE/WHATSAPP STAGE : It rarely gets to this stage. But there have been a couple of times….so be warned! For me its the creepiest phase, but I am being subjective! This is the stage where you start receiving messages, almost always after 10pm, some with selfie pics. Some may be innocuous enough asking you to give feedback on their new mouche/beard style! But others can be more graphic.

There was this one notable instance, when I said YES at Stage 3, but the dude probably couldn’t muster the courage. Dunno. But it reached stage 4! Now I don’t know about you, but this is the sort of namby-pamby creepy-crawly that would turn a yes into a no! But your call!

NB: Remember the “Sex Story” sub-plot in the popular Friends TV series where everyone had a sex-story that would get people to sleep with them? Well, Straighties playing R3 have their own version of this. Its called “Want to watch some porn?” 😛 Its the escalation move – helps to Fast-forward the process and skip from stage 1 straight to the moon! Remember! The card in your hand!

IMO, Stage 3 would be the time you should take your Yes/No decision! Do you really want to take this further? See the checklist below and take your call! Lets get the hard stuff out of the way – whatever your answer is going to be, you are going to be the bad guy here! That’s just the way it is!

So if your answer is yes, let him know, but let him lead. But if your answer is no, let him down GENTLY! Straightie egos are very fragile!

THE MORNING AFTER SYNDROME

There have been exceptions, but the “morning after” is almost always filled with uncomfortable silences with a cloud of guilt hanging over the ceiling! Have heard from hag‘s that guys do it with them as well! So its not just the gay thing! Don’t know about you, but this mind-fuck is just not worth it man!

This is the reason why my decision is a NO like 90% of the time. Indian guys cannot handle the casual sex / FWB scene. They may claim to be ultra-hep and all that, but they cant! And its not just with other guys, they are the same with the girls as well! They just cannot! Just the way we are wired!

I’d rather retain a friendship or a working equation with an activity partner, than lose all that for one night of casual sex! Depends on how important sex is in your scheme of things! I agree, In an ideal world that shouldn’t be the case! But what are you gonna do?

To be fair, there are exceptions. That rare guy who is actually cool with the situation: comfortable and secure in his sexuality and himself. Who wont hesitate to call or message you after – and not for a hookup, but generally like he used to before. Where sex doesn’t change anything negatively in your friendship. With such people, sex can actually make the friendship stronger! But consider yourself very very lucky if you have met such a person.

THE LIST

  1. What are you looking to get out of this? Relationship? Don’t kid yourself honey! If that is what you want then date a guy who is gay/bi! He might not be out, but he is aware of his identity-that is key! But with someone who identifies as straight, the best you can hope for is a hookup or FWB-wala scene. That’s it! If you think you are going to want more, then the time to opt out would be NOW!
  2. Do you have the teeniest bit of attachment to him? If he is a friend, do you think you will be able to handle a situation when you are not friends anymore?  If that is not the case, it should be a NO! If he is an activity partner like a fishing-trip buddy or a squash partner, again ask how important the person is to an important part of your life. ‘Cos once the pants have come off, you are not going to be friends anymore! Indian guys don’t handle the FWB thing very well.
  3. Are you in love with him? Hey! It happens! Somewhere while the R3 game is being played this sort of thing can happen! If that is the case, then you should be walking, no running away! Put a distance between you – however difficult that may be! For the sake of your own sanity! You are looking for different things, and that is never going to end well! And believe me: sex makes it worse!

But if he is just a casual acquaintance you have known over the years, then throw out this list! Tear off his clothes and have the time of your lives! 😉

Enjoy!


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