Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Call Me Maybe

Such is the notorious reputation of that wicked sin-city up north that just the mention of a brief weekend in Bangkok is enough to evoke suggestive smirks all around. Even repeated protests that my regular bi-annual visits there have little to do with anything vaguely licentious - and more to do with my assorted relatives there - falls on disbelieving ears.

Paul : Yeah, I'm heading to Bangkok next week. 
Friend : Oh yeah, having a little bit of fun on the side, are we? *hint hint* *nudge nudge*
Paul : Just shopping.
Friend : Dancing all night long at DJ Station? Shopping for the hunky bar boys down in Soi Twilight?
Paul : It's purely shopping, with a little bit of family business on the side.
Friend : Not even a little happy ending with a massage boy?
Paul : Not even.
Friend : Why are you going there again?

I don't blame them.

Let's not deny that the city of Bangkok has a disproportionately high number of exceedingly attractive men. Just a glance through some of the cuter boys showcased on the likes of Grindr and Instagram is enough to proof that particular theory. A peculiar yet potent melange of sunshine, genetics and spice has produced some of the hottest fellows in South East Asia. More's the pity that I didn't inherit any of those tall, dark and hunky genes!

And yes, from chicken to beef, they try to cater for all tastes in men

Doesn't stop me from drooling over them though. Chances of catching the breathtakingly beautiful boys en déshabillé are plenty - what with the sweltering tropical heat making the deliciously delectable uniform of tight tanktop and skimpy shorts ubiquitous.

And let's not forget the ever-present gay bars. This being the ever-tolerant kingdom of Thailand where almost everything goes, some of the muscle marys shaking their luscious moneymakers on stage can be readily available for a price. Even a bargain sometimes.

Never had any prudish qualms of morality over prostitution so I've always been tempted - and helluva curious. To put it plainly, there's a barely concealed dominant streak in me that would enjoy having a submissive muscle-bound hunk genuflecting at my feet ready to fulfil my every whim.

Promise I'd be gentle.

And yes, I've always wanted to try that impossible gay Kama Sutra position seen only in highly adventurous debauched porn films.

Despite all that though, I have never ever hired a money boy. Perverse Murphy's Law perhaps but somehow though there's always an irritating impediment heading my way - whether a busybody relative, a monogamous relationship or a lack of bedding space.

And oh yes, let's not forget my ever prevalent fear of things turning violent. Hasn't everyone heard of the heartless trick turning the tables on the foolish john and making off with his bulging wallet?

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Dull Devil Dogs

Steady as a rock, that's my brother Peter. Dependable as the day is long. All the values you'd associate with someone typecasted as the elder brother, both in my nuclear family - and also in our much, much wider extended family diaspora.

From the day I was born as the younger sibling, he became the elder brother in our generation from that day onwards - the gēge 哥哥,  the hyung형, the bhaiyaaभैया- and damn if he hasn't tried his best to live up to that name. Wild drunken party animal he never was. Don't think I've ever seen him closed to inebriated even!

Most probably due to our family circumstances back when we were impressionable schoolkids, a series of unfortunate events that forced my poor brother Peter to grow up a lot faster than he should have. So yes, he has been held up as a shining paragon of virtue for the rest of the younger rugrats to follow, much to their neverending consternation.

What? Us straight-laced? 

But it is something when a younger sibling holds you up to such enviably lofty standards - and quite another when even your mother doesn't disagree.

Paul : Where's my brother? He didn't come home last night? 
Mother : Out for a night with his friends. Pretty late so Peter stayed over at their place. 
Paul : Sure Peter wasn't so thoroughly pissed carousing drunk the whole night that they had to carry him home?
Mother : It's your brother. He's pretty responsible.
Paul : Ouch. 
Mother : I have two ....
Paul : Don't say it!
Mother : ... responsible sons. 
Paul : Double ouch!

Such dull dogs we are that even our mother can't possibly fathom us doing anything remotely wild. Now that has to sting a little! Well at least I know my stolid brother won't even blink an eye but doesn't she know I'm the wildly contrary sort who'd probably take that as a challenge?

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Love is ( Sometimes ) Blind

Basically Fabulous Felix is one of those earnest happy-go-lucky fellows who allows otherwise painfully stinging insults to just roll off his back. Or perhaps slide off his Shield of Obliviousness, whichever way you put it.
Unlike me - I'm far less forgiving - I'd probably viciously gut that fellow with a carving knife or my tongue, whichever was closest at hand.

But even relatively serene fellows like Felix do have sore spots.

Especially when it comes to our spoken language. Like me, he's primarily an English-educated Chinaman who struggles with a little bit of Mandarin / Cantonese on the side. Which makes him the easy target of smug Chinese-educated scholars who insist on speaking only in pure Mandarin or Cantonese without exception while constantly poking fun at those who try.

Fabulous Felix is someone who tries - and had his admirable attempts shot down by just one of these pompous fellows. Something that he uncharacteristically never forgave, gaining his perpetual enmity. Till now he hardly mentions the reviled name without a faint sneer creeping across his usually placid face.

Turns out it's just unfortunate that the fellow wasn't someone he had a crush on. Since it basically changes everything.

Paul : So you stopped talking to this dearest enemy because he made fun of your Chinese?
Felix : Yes. Idiot.
Paul : You do know Silas did that to you twice last night? And probably another dozen times before to everyone else?
Felix : That's different!
Paul : How is that different?
Felix : It just is!
Paul : Just because you like him?
Felix : Umm...
Paul : You do know he loves to put down people?
Felix : Umm... did he?

Hate it in others and yet you find it tolerable in someone you love? Wouldn't that be the textbook definition of love is blind?

Damn, I'm almost perfect!
Yet love isn't actually blind. Call it temporarily sight-impaired instead. Entranced by their soul-consuming crushes, these lovers just choose not to see all the faults and weaknesses readily displayed in front of them. Further compounded with those rose-tinted glasses! Only much later when their senses finally return, do the warts start appearing one after the other.

Though he might deny it, Felix does have a fatal tendency to place his adored ones on a pedestal to be worshipped, blithely ignoring any flaw or imperfection. Me, I'm forever looking for the inevitable feet of clay. Wonder which is worse!

Thursday, July 19, 2012


Come on, is there really such a thing as getting friendzoned?

Recently broken up from a long-term relationship, Mercurial Marshall insists that the sea is only full of friendly fishes, though terribly tempting with very little at all edible to him.

Marshall : Yeah I do find him attractive.
Paul : So what's the problem here? He's hot, he's single, he's available.
Marshall : But he's a friend!
Paul : So friends don't have sex?
Marshall : No!
Paul : You prefer hot sex with an enemy?
Marshall : No!
Paul : So what's the problem here?
Marshall : It would be weird! He's a friend.
Paul : Are you gonna say he's fucking friendzoned?
Marshall : Yes, he's practically my sista.
Paul : So what if I grab you and french-kiss you now?
Marshall : But you're almost like my -
Paul : If you say sista, swear I will punch you.

Pardon me for a moment as I stand at my balcony and scream hysterically. Since not only do I despise the very notion of a friendzone, I also abhor the adoption of feminine nouns to describe platonic gay buddies. Deliciously risque incestuous gay porn aside, is it so very wrong to call these fellows brothers instead?

So what's wrong with a little sex between friends?

But back to being friendzoned - something all my friends insist actually does exist despite the fact that I find it kinda weird. Differing explanations exist of course but basically it refers to a tragically platonic relationship where a man, no matter how buff, attractive or eligible, is seen purely as a friend and not a potential love interest. Essentially typified by the geeky, lovable character of Ross Geller from Friends.

Quite an undesirable situation to be in for any guy, whether gay or straight!

Somehow the idea of sex is never entirely off the table for me. There are some really good friends I've always found sorta hubba hubba attractive - not that anything much ever happened sex wise - so we've all just remained platonically involved as best buds. A little smile, a little flirting, a little sexting but nothing remotely physical. Still doesn't mean I would ever say no if they asked for a quick lay.

Dark room orgy with the lot? I'm so there.

Hormones much :) Yes, I know I'm in the tragic minority here but honestly though, I don't see anything wrong with having friends with benefits. What better way to cement a friendship is there?

Monday, July 16, 2012

Capitalist Much

No one would ever see me as anything other than a free-wheeling capitalist. You know the oft-quoted evil capitalist stereotype : heartless corporate executives in their sleek Brioni suits ever-ready to foreclose on indigent orphans living on a pitiful pittance just to have their meagre plot of land ruthlessly bulldozed over for a stylish, upmarket department store?

Yeah, that could be me - if I could only fit into those enviably skinny suits. Even some of my more humaniatarian colleagues find themselves shocked at how coldly callous I can be sometimes.

But as I grow older, the world has grown to look different to me. Prematurely aging cataracts? Or perhaps my parents' hippie egalitarian values have finally rubbed off on me. Who can say?

Crush some orphans, you say?

Utopian societies don't exist, not even in simulation games. Socialist nations have crumbled one after the other, much to the chargin of their overzealous advocates - not that that capitalists can crow very much about the situation. Since let's face it, blatantly capitalist policies actually make the rich grow richer - and yes, the poor do get ever poorer. Clichéd catchphrase criticizing the free market system that used to get my goat but now I see that it's actually painfully true.

Which is how my industrious nurse with a burgeoning family of six stands there griping about the fact that she can barely make ends meet with her working-class husband, much less scrape enough to apply for a housing loan. And there I'm standing listening - with a crumpled letter in my hand outlining a pre-approved personal loan that I never asked for - with an amount that could easily cover half her housing loan.

Life isn't fair. And yes, capitalism can be brutally biased. Those who need loans can't afford them while those who can afford it actually get money thrown at them.

Wouldn't say I'm a total convert to liberal socialism though! Hell, I'd still bulldoze those orphans. But I'd probably let them leave the place first.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Cartoon Heroes

In brightest day, in blackest night,
No evil shall escape my sight
Let those who worship evil's might,
Beware my power, Green Lantern's light!

Hearing such a battle-cry, anyone would think such inspirational watchwords to have come straight out of the wild multicoloured pages of a superhero comic book.

Well these days you would be wrong. Inspired by the macho vigilantism shown in the comics, our very own minister ( in charge of Information, Communications and Culture no less ) has come up with a novel idea to fight crime - by urging local martial arts practitioners to be more actively involved in fighting crime.

At first the inattentive authorities vehemently deny the fact that there's a worrying rise in urban crime rates with a recent spate of violent kidnappings and robberies; repeatedly citing endless numbers and statistics rather than offering reassurance. And now we have our very own minister, ostensibly the official mouthpiece of the government, suggesting that the practiced pugilists with their training in armed / unarmed combat take to the streets to do battle.

Let's just ignore the fact that vigilantism in practice is altogether illegal.

Time for some action!

At least I am glad to know that the ruling government would support my decision to don cape and tights to combat crime and corruption. Perhaps I might not be worthy of Superman's mighty emblem but I'd certainly do better than our sadly inferior local counterpart Cicakman who probably gets creamed by a insecticide spray. Just have to take up some form of martial arts, find a reasonably fitting spandex costume and then get down to the dirty back alleys for a bit of random guerrilla fighting.

Perhaps some of the gay boys in Body Combat could help out! Surely some of those punches and lunges learnt during gym classes could be translated into something strikingly lethal on the streets.

Wonder what my codename would be.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Portable Closet

Surprisingly it didn't take very long for Mercurial Marshall to settle all his transfer arrangements to paddle across the Big Puddle. Stickler for rules that the boy is, Marshall wanted to make sure that he arrived just a few days shy of the actual date - even wrote an official letter explaining his unfortunate tardiness, written at great length with exhaustive details about each and every hold-up that interrupted his meticulous preparations.

Me, I just sent an instant message to my then unknown colleagues. Yo, will be late.

Used to such tiresome bureaucratic red-tape impeding speedy transfer, ye patient folks over on this side of the Big Puddle are far more forgiving. Hell, they don't expect anyone to make an appearance anytime earlier than two weeks after the suggested date.

But Marshall managed the impossible and made plans to arrive early. No doubt he could place the blame squarely on his luggage for causing the near unforgivable delay.

Marshall : I'll be coming by this weekend at the latest. Can I stay over for a few days?
Paul : No problem. Clothing-optional so you don't have to bring too many clothes.
Marshall : Funny.
Paul : Well I promise the orgies won't be.
Marshall : Haha. I actually have two huge bags.
Paul : Two?
Marshall : Each large enough to fit me, I think.
Paul : Did you move all your ex-boyfriends over?
Marshall : Well, maybe their entire wardrobes.
Paul : You could ship it over, you know. 
Marshall : I can't be away from my clothes! And these are only the ones I'm going to wear this week. I'm shipping the rest!
Paul : OMG how many tanktops do you have!

Certainly not to be parted, gay boys and their clothes! Reminds me of Charming Calvin and his alarmingly overfilled suitcase for a brief weekend getaway. Change of clothes four times a day?!

Umm... two bags for a week is too many? 

Can pretty much guess that Marshall isn't that much different.

In fact Marshall can't even bear to be apart from his snazzy club shirts for more than the two hours of flight over here! Forget about important life necessities such as food and water! The boy desperately needs his tight tank top / chino pants / gladiator sandals combo outfit! Trying to talk him out of bringing the entire spring / summer Topman collection took the better part of an hour. Even then, I only managed to bring him down by a three shirts.

Why do I have the funny feeling that the major portion of his luggage is taken up by endless quantities of colourful designer underwear?

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Beauty in the Beast

Once you think about it, fairy tales aren't all that bad after all. At least the monstrous Beast had the knowledge that he was heartbreakingly beautiful once upon a time - and there was the glimmering hope that with a true love's fleeting kiss, he might as easily regain what was once lost.

Which is more than what I can say for the grotesque Beasts in real life - where even the most potent, magical SKII lotions fail to help them transform into comely prince charmings. Without wicked witches with their powerful brews or plump fairy godmothers with their magical wishes, we're all doomed to remain in our misshapen mortal shells.

Apart from a prodigious spell of plastic surgery.

So yes, being labelled a Beast can be a bit of a hobble for our straight brothers out there in their relentless search for love - but still relatively manageable since the discerning ladies have always had keener sight to see past what lies only skin-deep.

Which is not the case when it comes to the prancing gay princes out there. Turns out there's an unwritten homo rule that says pretty princes shall not date the lowly beasts - and vice versa unless the Beast expeditiously happens to come along with a shiny Ferrari, a swanky Bukit Tunku mansion and that unlimited Platinum card. Happily ever after wouldn't have come along if you imagine the Beauty & the Beast scenario in the shallow, superficial world of shiny gay boys with their gym-toned muscles and perfectly teased hair.

Beast : Can't we be...
Boy : Just because your dad made me come here doesn't mean we are friends okay! I'd rather date the talking mirror. 
Beast : You know that's only your reflection.
Boy : Yeah but it looks way better than you.
Beast : A kiss is all it takes to turn me into a gorgeous hunk! Serious. 
Boy : You gotta be fucking kidding me, right. Move aside, creep.
Beast : I don't have much time left. Can't you just spare me a kiss!
Boy : And get some infectious disease from those monstrous warts? Hell to the no. 
Beast : Pretty please.
Boy : Go guard a bridge, you fucking troll. 

Tale as old as time, our poor gay Beast would never have had a chance.

Dammit you mean father is making me date this freakish troll?

Which is basically what happened to a particularly homely friend of mine who got rejected for being a Beast just last week. Turns out the pretty prince was actually quite a prick. Wounded him enough to leave the poor Beast wandering in a dull disconcerted daze for the next few days.

Reminds me so much of Trendy Trey and the similar rebuff he received years back.

Though I'd be categorized as a Beast myself, I don't find it at all a tragedy. Sure it would be nice to resemble the hot strapping likes of Choi Siwon - but alas I've looked at myself in the mirror often enough to know that ravishing beauty simply isn't on the cards for me, not even with a complete surgical overhaul! Already pretty pleased enough that the unflattering mirror doesn't simply shatter into a million pieces when I scurry by!

But I know my self-worth - fortunately not solely based on the superficial depth of my sadly below-average looks - and that can't be as easily captured by the vagaries of a mere looking glass. My wit, my intelligence, my wickedness, my passions, there's so much more to me than only my vapid reflection - so even without an enchanted mirror, I can see the beauty in the beast.

Hope my friend finally sees that as well.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

The Secret Language of Gay Men

So are you a zero or a one?

Most of us would immediately deny the zero vehemently but that doesn't seem to be the case here. Oh yes, some background on that before I get to that cryptic comment...

With the rise of the monotheistic Abrahamic faiths during the past millennia, rampant homophobia has taken root in almost every corner of the globe with practising gay men being constantly villified and forced into hiding. Repeatedly the wanton destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, supposedly for the abominable sin of homosexuality, has been used as a whip to flay those who transgress against their rules.

Which is why only in the past few decades have gay men started to creep tentatively out of their darkened closets. Even then out of necessity, gay men have invented ways of communicating with each other publicly - without the ever-present risk of accidentally outing themselves - through various clandestine methods; from the infamous hanky code to the colourful ever-changing euphemisms in lavender linguistics.

Argots that change with the region and the language spoken - which is how our Malaysian Singaporean community has even given birth to such gay terms as PLU and AJ. Seriously, they couldn't have found more troublesome monikers! PLU of course stands for People Like Us while AJ comes from Pig Latin for gay - aygay - with the guttural g softened to a j. I kid you not.

Let's not even start on the pandas and prawns.

Felix : So waitaminute, are you a zero or a one?
Paul : Fark. Lemme check the gay dictionary.

Of course as I become progressively more open with my sexuality - out to my friends and family, I find myself identifying with the words homosexual and gay without the need to fall back on such identifying euphemisms. Not that I ever used them much.

Which is why I find myself endlessly baffled when faced with such au courant terms in gay speak. 

Felix : He asked if I was a one or a zero. 
Paul : Was that an insult of some sort? 
Felix : I have no idea. 
Paul : Perhaps a binary code? 
Felix : I thought the same till I looked at the numbers. 
Paul : Oh. Ingenious. 
Felix : Yeah, what happened to the good old days of top and bottom? 
Paul : So what number would indicate versatility? Infinity?

No doubt a term popularized by the Chinese-educated comrades amongst our gay brethren.

Yī hào/líng hào (一号/0号) - (literally one/zero) "top/bottom", the active/passive partner in gay male anal sex.

Monday, July 02, 2012

Breakfasts at Pemberley

Over here across the Big Puddle, it's quite impossible to have certain meals at different times of the day. Almost obsessively British in their respect for certain mealtimes with their respective menus, the eccentric locals dedicate particular dishes to fixed hours of the day.

For instance, don't even dream of having piquant laksa in the sultry evenings unless you painstakingly make it with your own hands. Or even thirst-quenching cendol at the break of dawn.

Since no one would even consider partaking of those dishes out of their appropriate mealtimes. I've been repeatedly assured by the society grand dames that laksa was specifically created only for the mornings, so having a bowl anytime after two in the afternoon would be an unforgivable social faux pas.

Imagine the raised eyebrows at such a peculiarity. In fact anything wildly irregular being served out of their place would probably forever disrupt the social order as they know it! Wouldn't surprise me if the locals had such an arcane edict about their peculiar customs noted down for posterity in their Rulebook of Dining.

You mean I can't have this for tea?

Archaic rules our Charming Calvin obviously has no qualms about breaking - albeit a safe distance away in his Pemberley estate. He's a wild man, that one. Certain that none of his judgemental peers here would ever hear of his inappropriate behaviour, Calvin has turned almost capricious in his carte du jour.

Paul : French Toast as dinner?
Calvin : Oh yes we offer all day breakfasts here.
Paul : How shockingly unconventional! What next? Tea and scones for dinner? 
Calvin : Maybe!
Paul : Followed by bacon and eggs for supper? Gracious! What would your people think!

What would his mother think would be more likely. No doubt any radical behaviour on his part would be entirely blamed on me.