Paris is Burning


Last week, my platonic life partner Danny and I were walking through the 10ème Arrondissement, when we stumbled into what appeared to be an incredible assortment of men. Handsome, tanned, toned, ripped to the point where they could be used to teach anatomy to third graders… It was the best form of a meat market, each contender a delectable piece of Kobe beef. Thirty minutes later, at Klay, I observed as French gays around me acutely cultivated their sculpted physiques, incomparable to those of their hetero voisins. Suddenly it hit me – perhaps, Paris is actually better for gay men? Curious on the topic, I gathered together my two closest gay guy friends, poured them some Moscow Mules, and interrogated them on the topic. One of them wished to remain anonymous, so we will refer to him as Bambi for his Maybelline eyelashes.

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The Torture Test


This past weekend in Russia, my best friend’s husband caught me staring at my WhatApp for a full ten minutes, typing and deleting what was meant to be a violent text message to my long-distance ball n’chain. In full understanding of my inner turmoil, he leaned in and whispered one of the most dangerous sentences ever uttered: “If a man truly likes you, he will tolerate pretty much anything.”

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TBT: Aaron, the Original French Douche

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As the only human being left in Paris in the month of August, alongside the SDFs, tourists, and alcoholics, I have had a lot of time to reflect. A lot of time to wonder through deserted city streets and speculate about the delicate balance of baroque buildings and puff pastry skies, to smile creepily at random older folks who seem perfectly content to have the city for themselves, to reminisce days of Parisian past… My past, that is. On August 15th, on a French holiday known as Assomption, I had a vivid flashback to the same time exactly six years ago, when I kick-started one of the biggest fiascos of my dating career, not to mention my first one on Parisian turf. Without further ado, this is the story of Aaron, the Original French Douche who stole a year of my existence!

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Tinder Fever

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Tinder has a dirty rep.

Just last week, Vanity Fair published an extensive article that depicts the problems spurred by an overabundance of dating apps amongst people of our generation, calling it a “Dating Apocalypse” that proliferates value changes, intimacy issues, and even erectile dysfunction. I myself have had serious arguments with the guy I’ve been seeing due to the aftermath of my Tinder days past, which seem to haunt me incessantly, like the past of a harlot. To somebody a bit older and slightly old-school, the mere fact of having used Tinder makes me look weird, potentially promiscuous, and even desperate. While there is little I can do about it, I would like to stand on the defense of Tinder for just a moment.

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Great Expectations

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The other night, completely unaware of being profiled for field research, the guy I’m seeing brought up an interesting topic. He pointed out that, when you meet somebody, they have the most potential they ever will to you. You are able to project almost any image upon them, envision them however best suits your ideals. Then, as you get to know them better, you begin discovering that they are a real person, with a life, a formed identity, and a myriad of personality traits that you may not be prepared for, a realization that can inadvertently lead to a certain level of disappointment. (Ahem, should I be taking this personally?! Am I not the flaxen-haired, carefree goddess he met in on one drunken night in Williamsburg?)

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How to Pack for a Romantic Getaway


Ah, that first getaway with the new beau. . . .After a summer of getting to know each other over casual dinners and laissez-faire promenades, the Big Test has arrived: You are off for your first weekend of unity and togetherness and coupled-up bliss, where no secrets or personal pet peeves will be left uncovered. Which means that along with the general anxiety of whether or not you will still be dating once this is over comes a certain sartorially influenced stress level. After all, you want him to think that all those effortless outfits of yours practically materialize out of thin air rather than being the product of an overstuffed weekender that doubles as a back hazard. Recently confronted with this challenge over a weekend trip to Île de Ré, an island off the west coast of France, I learned some valuable lessons that show that a bit of preparation goes a very long way.

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