Story

Too Love Or Not Too Love

Why does queer love always have to be so dark, hidden and taboo? Why can’t it, just for once, be happy, safe, gradual & soft?

The first boy I kissed was not the man of my dreams. We met in a public park after dark. He probably wanted a blowjob and I was buoyed by the waves of hormones and confusion that clouded my young queer mind.

The park, though nowhere near safe, seemed like a good enough space for us to lock lips and explore each other. It seemed like a place of longing, of desire, of taboo and of lust. Now when I look back, it was far from that. The place wasn’t beautiful at all. It was full of thorny bushes impaled with plastics and rubbish. Joggers and lurkers were everywhere and the air was devoid of even an iota of romance.

The dominant feeling was one of exposure, quickly overshadowed by fear. The moment my virgin lips touched another man for the first time, strangely, there were no fireworks exploding in my head, no butterflies roiling  in my stomach and definitely no fragile dreams of a beautiful future forming in my head. The only thing I was looking forward to was going home. It was physical and nothing else. Lust and curiosity ruled the moment. Who knows, maybe love and happiness were hiding in the bushes chasing the garbage and the shadows? Maybe not.

There were quite a few experiences after that, all hidden in secrecy from the peering eyes of the world. Some part of me searched for that beautiful culmination of lust and sexual desire that comes with a good experience. Mostly I was giving in to the most banal, animalistic desires that all living beings experience – that of the physical touch. 

I was having sex but not making love, feeling but not enjoying.

They say that the most sexual organ of the body is the mind. ‘Please the mind and the body will follow.’ I disagree. The mind may be the ruler of the body, but the heart is where happiness resides.

If in those initial days of me exploring myself, and others, my heart would have been happy, I may not have felt the need to have sex with strangers. Or at least I would have made love to them, connecting through our minds and crescendoing as one.

Whatever the case, the tendency to avoid the heart in the art of love making is all too common, especially in queer settings. Recently the hit series – Made In Heaven, though beautifully made, showed a character in the series – Karan, fucking but not loving and in turn, spiraling desperately out of control.

It’s the only show in the Indian landscape that truly dared to show queer sex without shame & with as much gusto & oomph as heterosexual sex. The scenes were sensual, lustful and arousing in nature, as they should be to educate people and normalize conversations.

While my body reacted to those scenes, my rainbow-coloured heart couldn’t help but yearn for some sappy romancing. You know the ones. Teenage flings, away from reality yet beautiful in themselves. Pimpled faces admiring each other, names scribbled on desks, ice-creams shared on street corners, bunked tuition classes and interlocked fingers. While there is now an abundance of queer shows for Indians to watch, all of them are as real as they can get. The need for sappy romances has never been greater.

Maybe, if the teen me had seen queer characters romancing rather than fucking, courting and wooing instead of hating and scheming, my first experience would have been much different. Who knows, maybe I would have fallen madly in love with the first boy I touched, my eyes would have been busy counting the stars above us rather than noticing the garbage around us. Maybe my lips would have parted to engage in conversation rather than to explore and feel.

Maybe sex would have been completely out of the picture. My first could have been just furtive looks across the classroom, a peck on the cheek or a cute ‘hello’ followed by a blush.

Why does queer love always have to be so dark, hidden and taboo? Why can’t it, just for once, be happy, safe, gradual & soft?

Young queer people need more idols of love that resonate with them and their bodies. More examples about how love and sex are lovers themselves, not enemies. How making love is different than just having sex. How fucking (by itself) seldom pleases the heart and how the heart may crescendo even without a single touch.

‘Who, being loved, is poor?’

~ Oscar Wilde

This story was about: Sexuality

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Akul Baiju, is a journalist from New Delhi. He tries to mould words to bring out issues of real importance in this age of fast clicks and lazy scrolling. When not writing, you can find him dreaming about his next meal or picturing being buried in a pile of books. Say hello to him at akulbaiju@gmail.com.
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