The Charm of the ‘Other’ Side

A gay man falling for a straight man isn’t uncommon, even though the outcome of such love is always known. Is it just a temptation of the other side, or are there other reasons behind this, delves Dr. Himadri Roy

I sometimes wonder is it natural or is it socio-psychological that I get attracted to a person who doesn’t belong to my sexuality, especially either Straights or Bisexuals? Why does this happen? And every time I have repented for falling in love with a wrong person. Despite penitence and experiences, I still do the same mistake.

Before exploring this arena, let me delve into my past and try to excavate some of the incidents that bruised my heart and soul, especially when I had invested a lot of emotions.

After my first better half expired in a tragic mishap, I left the country for a year to escape the trauma of his absence. Feeling claustrophobic in an unknown world, where I was considered a foreigner although professionally profound; I returned back soon because the place where I escaped borne in me an alienation and loneliness to the brim. If I had compromised on my loneliness, I would have been a faculty by now in one of the university where I went for a project. But standing now from a pedestal of accomplishments, I don’t repent my decision.

My hunt for a life partner took me through various heart breaking experiences. It started with a guy whom I met at Jaideep Da’s Lab. Soon we became very close and I started seeing him as my life partner despite hearing from him several times that he had a girl-friend back in Allahabad. I hardly cared about that, until one day a friend of his dragged me beside KC, the marketing complex of JNU, sat down with me and told me he was married. “Himadri what are you doing? Do you have any idea that he is utilizing you for all kinds of support for emotions, for sex and everything!” he said. That very night I confronted him. He tried to plead, justify himself, but I didn’t give him an opportunity. He left and I fell on my knees and cried. Alone inside the four walls, tears were my only best friends.

Somehow I overcame that pain within a week by engaging myself more with my doctoral research and getting a job as a faculty. Once again, I was introduced to another guy at a friend’s birthday. I thought him to be the right man for me. The same mistakes went on repeating but this time more vigorously, as he was younger in age. Passion ruled me and I failed to look into the other side of the reality. Then one day, he told me he was planning to leave abroad for his studies. I helped him financially to secure an admission. He flew off, and with that my dreams also flew off. Regular emails and chatting reduced down to weeks and then further to months and then he completely forgot me. I felt like I did the same mistake by falling for a wrong guy and within such a short time, he ruined me entirely. Soon one day I came across another guy from a small village called Sonepat, who was doing his Bio-chemistry from DU. I used to visit him on weekends but the episode ended very fast because his brother didn’t like me visiting him and spending nights at their home. He took his brother’s side and I was discarded as a trash into the garbage can.

Today when I look back into these affairs, I try to find a common thread and justify my actions. All of them were bisexuals and most importantly they all were from science background. Yes, even my first better half was also an engineer. May be the ‘other’ attracts me more, me being from humanities. But I wonder if this is natural then, why did all the three times I had to let myself be used as a doormat? All the time, my Mom came as a shield to boost me up for another battle. I remember her advising me, “See beta, life is not a picture that it will be painted the way you want. It’s like a flowing river. You will pass through different landforms and every time, you will gain in mass, rather amass experiences. You would be called wise and intelligent if you learn from the mistakes. Think them as good memories and forget what they did to you. You will see happiness everywhere. To be frank enough beta, you don’t have to sleep with ten different men to know who is the right one for you.” I couldn’t fathom the meaning of it. Went on having itsy-bitsy affairs with several guys, who were neither visitor to the cruising areas nor had an account on gay websites. I thought probably it was natural, overlooking the tendency of probing deep into it.

There must be several gays like me, who have fallen for or like bisexuals or straight men. It’s nothing wrong to have an affair with someone who doesn’t belong to your sexuality, your identity. But it would be wrong to totally blame them and acclaim, “Gays are being utilized by bisexuals all the time!” I brooded over this matter several times, are they really using us? Or are we trying to create a realization of our sexual fantasy?

May be both are right case by case, depending on individual to individual. For some it may be yes, sex is what they yearn for and notionally straight men and bisexuals are good in bed. For some, it may be that they want to get sexplored by people who drive them wild into a sense of wanderlust. Whatever it is, the truth is that there is a thin line of subtlety which might look faulty from the other side of experiences, and the repeated mistakes do not anyway teach us anything. It is a fact that love makes us so vulnerable that we overlook all flaws and vices with smiles and keep on falling in love every time, expecting that something will work out. But that doesn’t happen, because expectations are not foundations of true love, if at all it exists.

As all human beings dream of, gays are no exceptions. They also dream that they will settle down with the right man who will be compassionate, caring and considerate enough to make them feel like they are in the seventh heaven; and in pursuit of this dream to be a reality, most gays land up with screwed and faulty relationships. Then my question for the reader is: Are we aping the heteronormative characteristics of settling down? Can’t we have our own ideologies of partnership? Is it necessary that we have to be ‘husband’ and ‘wife’ in a relationship? After all why do we have to have nomenclatures for every relationship? Don’t bondages exist beyond the parameters of these nomenclatures?