What Men Want
We gathered six single men, ranging in age from 24 to 37, from Parsi to Gujarati, Sindhi to Marwari, and polled them on everything from the Indian male’s dating expectations to how they get picked up. We’ve only edited for brevity and clarity, and left their conversation largely intact. To protect their identities, we’ve withheld their names (the colours correspond to their names) and faces from the photograph, above (one man is missing from the photo, and we’ve referred to him as Purple). Edited excerpts:
Okay, so what’s the worst thing a girl has ever done on a date?
Blue: Not brushed her teeth before…
Red: Refused to go home after I said I didn’t have my driver so we need to get a taxi.
Green: The black and yellow thing is a big one.
Blue: So what happens…everything is happening when you’re standing outside the place, and all of a sudden, you’re like honey, ‘I don’t have a car, let’s get into a black and yellow’. Does she leave you and go?
Red: She tried two other options but they weren’t available to take her home..
How do girls in Mumbai try and pick you up?
Blue: By saying something stupid.
Orange: There was one girl…I was having a conversation with a guy, she was standing next to us the whole time, she overheard and interjected a few times while we were trying to talk. Finally she was like ‘Can I get your number?’ I said sure, but give me yours. So she gives me her business card and said ‘Business and pleasure are the same for me.’
Yellow: The stupidest thing and easiest thing is when they say a friend of mine dared me to get your number.
Blue: Or I think I’ve seen you somewhere.
Yellow: Facebook–chicks will add you on FB all the time.
Green: Sometimes you’ll not know who they are.
So do you still add them?
Green: Then you gotta find out.
Blue: You write her back saying how do we know each other. You ask a couple of more questions.
Even if they’re hot?
Green: No way because you know they’re stalkers. It could be a dude.
Red: I’ve had a girl say to me, ‘What do you see in this girl you’re hanging out with?’ I said actually she’s a pretty nice girl, so she was like okay and walked away.
Yellow: I’ve actually been flagged down in a car before.
If a girl sleeps with you on the first date, what are you thinking? Do you think “slut”?
Yellow: Score. I don’t think slut. I don’t think people should think that way.
Blue: I think she’s a cool chick.
Would that stop you from seeing it as something serious?
Blue: That would depend on getting to know the girl a little more. She would just have to say ‘I’ve never been attracted to someone this much before’.
Red: But they all say we’ve never done this before. Balls. Yea sure honey.
Green: For effect.
Red: Indian girls do this a lot. If they hook up, they have to drill it into your head ‘I don’t normally do this, I’m not that kinda girl’, and they just piss you off by doing this.
Green: It just ruins the moment.
Okay, so what about BB pins. You’ve just met a girl at a party, you’re chatting and she says give me your BB pin. What do you say?
Orange: I used to say yes.
Red: I’ll say no. I’ll say I don’t find you hot, or no thank you. Or I’ll take it and delete it.
Green: I never say no to a BB pin. If someone want to find you, they will; they can add you on Facebook. It’s up to you whether you respond to it.
When does a girl have to put out by?
Blue: Within the first month. For sure.
Yellow: Ten dates.
Blue: Five dates.
Red: Three months is okay.
Do you think Indian girls are prudes?
Blue: They pretend to be prudes.
Yellow: Socially, in front of other people, they pretend to be prudes.
Red: I think it takes time, but once you hook up with them, they’re the horniest out there. Once they know you’re not going to talk, and you’ve got them on tap, and assure them you’re not going to talk, and you’ve done that first hook up…
Orange: But it’s true of all repressed cultures.
Blue: You’ve got to prove you can keep your mouth shut.
How young would you guys go?
Blue: If there’s grass on the field, you can play ball.
Green: I’ve always played by the mathematical equation half your age plus seven.
Yellow: But there’s a hotness factor involved.
Blue: It depends on emotional maturity.
Red: How old are you?
Red: You’d go for an 18 year old?
Orange: Yes, if she’s old enough to hold a beer, she’s old enough to hold mine.
Indian men tend to have a hang up about dating, shall we say, “big” girls.
Yellow: I don’t think that’s just Indian men.
Would you date a girl bigger than you?
Green: I have no problem unless it’s unhealthy. If it’s unhealthily fat. If they’re really lazy, they don’t want to do anything about it that’s one thing, but if they’re just big boned, what are you going to do?
So if a girl stuffs her face on a date, would that put you off?
Red: It wouldn’t bother me if she was dhaboing and a size 8. I find girls these days love food.
Green: I get irritated the other way. If we go out for a nice meal, and she orders a salad, it pisses me off. Or she’ll have a starter as a main course. But I want a starter, main course and desert.
Do Indian girls have high expectations about paying?
Blue: That would depend on their upbringing.
Red: All girls say ‘Can I pay?’ We’ll say no and maybe they insist.
But what if they don’t even offer?
Blue: That’s a huge turn-off.
Red: If they don’t try the first time and second time they also don’t try then that annoys me. First time chalo teek hai.
Blue: If you go out three times, and the girl doesn’t offer, nobody is expecting anyone to pay. At all. But at least put it out there, because she has to be smart enough to know he’s going to reject it anyway.
Red: At least if they put their hand in their purse a little bit. We need to see that.
You all know girls who at some point have been called “easy”. How would you define that? Someone who sleeps around a lot?
Yellow: I genuinely think that’s absolutely wrong. I think it’s wrong that a guy can sleep around as much as he wants but a girl can’t.
Orange: I think it’s [a case of sleeping around with] too many people. It’s not that I would have a problem with that, but that’s what I would classify as a slut. A girl who’s sleeping with too many different people. Not [someone who does it] too soon.
But you think it’s fine if a guy does that?
Orange: I don’t think it’s fine. I don’t think it’s not fine if a girl does it either.
But you wouldn’t want to go out with a girl who’s slept around too much?
Orange: I don’t know. Depends if I know the guys she’s slept with.
Green: The problem with Bombay, it seems quite big, it’s actually very small. Right? You go to the same 20 places and same couple of thousand people go out, so whereas in other countries you have a big scene where it’s not so much of an issue, here I think if a girl has slept around, you probably know a lot of people she’s slept around with. And that for me generally, not Bombay-specific, that’s bit of a double take.
Orange: It shouldn’t matter if it’s a girl or guy. It doesn’t for me.
Blue: The girl would have to be super cool for me to accept knowing five or six people that she’s slept with. You would have to seriously be attracted with her.
Yellow: What about the girl? She knows you’ve hooked up with four or five of her friends. Does she label you a slut?
Blue: It works both ways.
Orange: There’s the kind of girl who hooks up with a lot of guys because she doesn’t feel good about herself. And there’s a girl who just wants to hook up with guys.
Yellow: That’s what I’m saying. Why is it [more] bad if a girl does it than if a guy does it? That’s bullshit. And the reason why we complain about Indian chicks being prudes is because this mentality is enforced on Indian girls.
Blue: I don’t think it’s India specific at all. It happens everywhere in the world. I lived in New York City for six years, and it’s the same conversation. Every guy would say oh she’s a ho because she slept around with ten guys.
How do women here show you they’re interested?
Orange: Boob rubbing.
Purple: It’s full on in Bombay.
Yellow: I think Indian women need you to make the first move.
Red: I think you know when a girl’s interested in Bombay, whether you’re at a wedding or a sangeet. She’ll make it apparent, she’ll spend time with you. She’ll laugh at your jokes, I’ve never experienced the boob rub to be honest.
Blue: Because in Bombay very few people actually end up continuing something with a random person they met outside a bar. But the one thing that certainly works is just to have a conversation. And the guts to go up to them and talk to them.
Yellow: In Bombay it’s not as much the boob rub as it’s flicking hair initially. Here, someone you’ve just met is not going to put her hand on your leg, it’s going to happen during the course of the night.
Green: I always think it’s the eyes. They’ll give you a glace across the bar.
Purple: If you catch them constantly looking in your direction, it obviously means you’re looking in their direction.
Red: You get a tell sign from the girl when you’re in a more comfortable scenario like a house party or sangeet where she knows you know people and you’re not some random guy at a bar. Easier to get a tell sign from these places than from a girl at a bar.
Yellow: That’s actually big for a girl here, references.
Red: So I’ve been at house parties I’ve looked at her, she’s looked at me, and the second time she’s looked at me, I’ve seen her huddle around and talk to a few people to probably get a reference check about who’s this guy and if I get a positive review back, five minutes later she’s next to me.
Green: And that’s the biggest thing they do, it’s all a reference market, so what they’ll do is ask someone about you.
Red: And the key to get them is to be close to the ten people they know.
Has a girl here ever asked you out?
Purple: Not in Bombay.
Yellow: But they don’t phrase it as a date.
Green: Okay, here’s the problem, the problem with Bombay is you never know whether you’re on a date or not. They take your number and you’re like either hanging out for coffee or they say ‘Why don’t you come join my friends here?’. You don’t know whether it’s a date or not.
Red: I’ve been with a girl, three times, one on one dinners and she never classified it as a date.
Blue: I make it clear.
Purple: When I went out with a girl five times I didn’t consider myself dating her. Would you?
Yellow: Would you define it by your interaction before the date though? When you’re messaging her or talking to her, you’re making your intention fucking clear.
Blue: You just say it’s a date.
Red: You say ‘Listen, I fancy you’.
Do you think girls here don’t get the concept of dating? They think date two, and bam, you should be married soon after.
Blue: They have no idea. Zero idea. The words “hanging out” maks no sense to them. What does it mean? It means you hang out, go for dinner, and after a while, see where it goes. Then there comes a point in time when you know whether you want to hang out with each other more or not. If you do, then it’s called dating; if you don’t, then c’est la vie.
Yellow: But I think it’s because Indian men go in with that attitude because they think I’m not going to get ass unless I tell her I’m in love with her. Make your message clear from the start.
Red: Indian men do that a lot; they get too intense too soon also. I met a girl yesterday, she’s single, and this is what she said: I’m single, Indian men don’t want to date, they just want to mate, and she’s just moved here from out of town.
Are indian girls clingy?
Purple: I don’t think so. Not overly so.
Yellow: I don’t think so at all. They’re not dumb, they know what’s going on. As long as you’re not muddling your message up, you can’t blame the chick for getting the wrong message.
Red: Yea, you can’t tell them I love you.
Purple: I went out with this girl once and she offered to buy my costume for a party. I had gone out with her once, and I had told her I was going to this party, and she messaged a day or two later, saying “have you figured out what you’re wearing?”. I said “no I’ll go pick up something or whatever”. She said “I’m in Phoenix Mills, should I go pick up something for you?” I said “no, I’m fine”.
Red: Were you weirded out by it?
Purple: Yea. It was nice, but not necessary.
Green: I think you find both ends of the spectrum, you find a girl who wants to introduce you to her parents the next day. And you’ve got the other one you date three or four times, and she still won’t even let you drop her to her house. Because she doesn’t want to be seen with you.
Yellow: Don’t you think no matter what kind of girl she is, as long as from day one you’re saying look I’m not looking for a long-term relationship, I’m just looking for fun and you make it absolutely clear, she gets it.
Purple: I agree.
Red: Sometimes you can be straight up with a girl, but she freaks out.
Blue: They’ll always see that 10 per cent window of opportunity. Unless you slam it down shut.
Yellow: Then don’t call her again. You tell them ‘sorry, I don’t want to date you’. I’m saying internally she still wants to develop a relationship but as along as you are 100 per cent honest and up front and say ‘I’m not going to be in a relationship no matter what you say’, then she’ll get it.
Purple: Not all chicks get it because they’re not on the same plan as you.