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10 PlanetRomeo situations that highlight gay confusion

Mikee dela Cruz writes about PlanetRomeo statuses he encountered that highlight, for him, “how baffled we gays can be/can get” – from “Position: Top only; Fucking: Bottom only”, to penis sizes, to accepting friends only if they passed stringent qualifications.

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PlanetRomeo

Remember that oft-cited statement about Playboy Magazine being bought not because of the photos of naked women, but because of the well-written articles contained in it? Well, for me, gay hook-up sites are somewhat the same. Yes, the torso pics and the dick pics are titillating (Hello, I’m a stereotypical gay man!); but I tell you, these sites are also treasure troves of stories yet to be told.

And lately, particularly with my frequent visits to PlanetRomeo.com (a.k.a. GayRomeo.com), one such hook-up site, I have been encountering confusing statuses that highlight – to me – how baffled we gays can be/can get.

And here are the top 10 PlanetRomeo-related confusions I encountered (so far!).

  1. Position: Top only; Fucking: Bottom only.
    Or vice versa.
    Some users, methinks, do not know what they want to do in bed, claiming to be “top only”, but would like to “bottom only”. And we’re not talking “top AND bottom”, or even “more top” or “more bottom”; instead, it’s the above, leaving me baffled what – exactly – the user wants to happen in bed. I think I’ll bring pick up sticks or jackstones if/when I meet such a user just to be on the safe side…
  2. Bi but will only have sex with men (“And girls?” I asked one such user, only to be told: “Yuck!”).
    I’d say PlanetRomeo is a window that provides us glimpses of how so many gay (you read that right: GAY) Filipinos are confused with sexual orientation versus gender expression, thereby misconstruing bisexualism as being “straight-acting/looking”. Guys, you can be as butch as Rocky and still be gay; or, for that matter, be as “soft” as licorice stuffed in a glass of vodka and still be het.
  3. Married with women, sex with men.
    This one is, for me, actually among the saddest.
    In HIV work, there’s a term used: men who have sex with men (MSM), referring to men who do not necessarily identify as gay or bi, but still have sex with men. There are PlanetRomeo users, though, who are not even really into women, but marry them because it’s what’s expected of them. And then they have fun with people they really only want to do it with – i.e. other men.
  4. Malamya ang boses.
    Okay, I admit, I have a girly voice. When people call the office and I answer the phone, the person at the other end almost always address me as “Ma’am” [I was once asked: “Ma’am, is Mikee (that’s me) your son?” ARGH!]. So this one sounds like a defense of my high-pitched voice. But note how so many won’t want to talk to you ever again if, after hearing your voice when they give you a ring, you don’t sound like Mike Enriquez or Ted Failon.
    C’mon guys, meet the person – you’re not fucking my voice!
  5. L. XL. XXL.
    I get it: male domination has long been associated with penile size. But guys, rulers/tape measures do not vary no matter where you may be – that is, the measurements remain the same. So when you claim it’s XXL, I better see an appendage like Chad Hunt’s or Rocco Siffredi’s or Nacho Vidal’s or Rocco Steele’s. That way, I can start running the opposite direction (AS IF!). Otherwise, call a spade a spade. There’s no shame in that. After all, I’ll still be seeing/testing it for myself for real if/when we do meet, so you may as well come clean even early on.
  6. Friends – with qualifications.
    Perhaps this exemplifies how judgmental we can get? So many PlanetRomeo users are looking for people they can be good friends with – to watch movies with, grab coffee with, travel with. And then the other requirements they add are stressed; and they are often numerous – that he should be in the 18-23 age range, taller than 5’6”, have average to good looks, should drive a car, has his own place, must be top (or bottom), must have big dick…
    I say this: And you wonder you don’t have friends?
  7. Mature-seeker – but preferably under 23.
    PlanetRomeo is – for some – a place for BF-hunting. And that’s okay. But funny how there are those who want to find more matured guys: that he already attained his goals in life, he is well-off, he has traveled the world, he has his own house/condo/car, and so on.  The catch? They then demand that only those who are still kids, like them, respond to their profiles.
    I say this: No wonder you’re still single!
  8. Clean-looking means disease-free.
    Many PlanetRomeo users post their more recent HIV antibody test results – which is good and well, since at least they are getting tested (even if some touching on anti-PLHIV sentiments – a topic for another write-up). But then many also offer “tips” when identifying disease-free sex partners, including choosing someone with clear skin, not too skinny, beautiful teeth, and so on and so forth. For those who “qualify” based on their looks, condom use can also be negotiated. A change in perspective is truly needed here.
  9. Ethnicity: Mixed.
    Yes, I get it: Most Filipinos are obsessed with the tisoy, and the non-tisoys are not always the first choice. I don’t necessarily agree with it (Heck, when you go to a Western country, everyone wants to be as tanned as Filipinos!), but – yes – this shit is “real”.
    But just because your surname isn’t Batungbacal does not make you not Pinoy. Claim it. Own it. There’s no shame in being one.
  10. Looking for relationship… but accepts payments now.
    I know there are people with good hearts – or as some may call them in BitchLand, “SUCKERS!” – who will hand out support to total strangers in pick-up sites, but if your concept of finding a meaningful relationship is finding someone who will finance you, that’s not necessarily gonna fly. NOT, I’d say, that there’s anything wrong with that – if your arrangement with your partner is vis-à-vis an exchange of something, that’s something you two decide on. But whoring, my dear (while I’m all for it), isn’t the bestest way to start a relationship. Not everyone can be Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman!
    Related to this is the merging of picking up with… begging.
    If you expect me to go out in the middle of the night to find a store so I can have P20 loaded into your mobile phone number so you can send me text messages so we can discuss how you can take a cab that I will pay when you go to my place… my dear, you’re in the wrong site. Begging is so… unsexy (unless you have a dick made of gold, HA HA!). Let me talk to the taxi driver, instead: I’ll give him the directions to PCSO.

Truth be told, I myself had D’UH! moments in gay hook-up sites. But (recognizing that I could be the first to receive heavy rocks thrown my way if I act holier-than-thou) I am not here to throw stones, so don’t feel defensive now. Consider these as mere observations, and sources of LOL moments that need to be (re)visited.

And so… happy hunting. At least until I see some boo-boos again I can’t stop myself from ignoring.

Love Affairs

Making an impression using pick-up lines

92% of people agreed that the wrong pick-up line can be enough to put them off someone and swipe left. This means there is a need to know what kinds actually work.

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Photo by Thiago Barletta from Unsplash.com

Due to nationwide lockdowns, more singletons than ever have turned to dating apps to seek a partner, often resorting to dodgy pick-up lines and dreadful jokes in the hopes of scoring themselves a date.

But which one gives you the best chance of receiving a swipe right? 

ManySpins.com did a research on this.

In the hopes of digging deeper and finding out why some pick-up lines are more effective than others, Manyspins.com surveyed 4,320 users to uncover their views.

To start, when asked ‘Do you like pick-up lines?’, 86% of participants said that they do and only 14% disagreed.  This goes to show that your dating success is down to your choice of pick-up line.

Now, 92% of participants agreed that the wrong pick-up line can be enough to put them off someone and swipe left. This means there is a need to know what kinds actually work.

What kinds of pick-up lines are the surveyed users most likely to swipe right on? Consider the following response:

  1. Cheesy/corny (77%)
  2. Romantic (71%)
  3. Funny (62%)
  4. Straightforward (56%)
  5. Dirty (34%)

Taking a range of pickup lines that fit into these different categories, Manyspins.com then took to Tinder to see which is most likely to get a response.

As stated, if you’re looking for a new pick-up line for your dating app bio, Manyspins.com found that old cheesy classics work best. The pickup line that receives the most matches is “I’d say God bless you, but it looks like he already did maintaining an impressive response rate of 80.4%.

With more people taking their search for love more seriously, using the classic “I think I’ve seen you before. You look a lot like my next boyfriend/girlfriendappears to work a treat as this pick-up line leads to a respectable 79.4% success rate. 

It seems that pick-up lines hinting of a potential future, are a hit when it comes to securing those right swipes, the profiles that used the pickup lines “So, when our friends ask how we met, what are we going to tell them?” and “You don’t know how many swipes it took to finally find you” had a 77% and 70.6% success rate, respectively. 

Not all pick-up lines work, obviously.

It’s clear to see that pick-up lines hinting towards sex are off-putting. The pickup line most likely to hinder success is “Let’s have a who’s better in bed contest. I’m hoping to be a sore loser”. With a success rate of just 20.6%, it may be too early to speak about the bedroom.

The pick-up line “If you were a booger, I’d pick you first” is another you may want to avoid. According to Manyspins.com’s findings, it had a beatable success rate of 32.8%. This could be due to the idea of being compared to a booger or the picture it paints of a lack of hygiene, but we’ll leave that up to those using it to find out. 

Another popular pick-up line that didn’t bode well with users was “Your parents will love me, but your neighbors won’t”. With a success rate of 34.2% it’s clear to see that once again laying it on thick may not be the way to go. 

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Love Guides

Importance of a pre-nup for high net worth individuals

To reduce any ambiguity and the risk of someone secretly ‘marrying for money,’ a prenuptial agreement puts down on record what was agreed to before the marriage. This establishes the thinking at the time of the marriage, which is useful in and of itself.

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For people who are just beginning their business journey but have already gained millionaire status, with the prospect of growing wealthier over time, there’s a need to protect themselves. Marriage being a legally binding contract, it opens up the potential for a loss of business control in a contentious and poorly managed divorce proceeding and subsequent settlement. 

To reduce any ambiguity and the risk of someone secretly ‘marrying for money,’ a prenuptial agreement puts down on record what was agreed to before the marriage. This establishes the thinking at the time of the marriage, which is useful in and of itself. 

Why are pre-nups vital for wealthy people?

Where Does the Money Originate?

Some men and women are independently wealthy before they marry. They may have inherited money from family or built a successful business early in life. Either way, they probably want to protect their money in the event the marriage breaks down in later years. 

Divorce Proceedings? Let the Mud Slinging Begin

Divorce proceedings tend to bring out the worst in people. Dividing the assets is not romantic and when there is bad feeling on both sides, it can soon get ugly. Previously friendly communications can quickly degenerate into false accusations as a negotiating tactic to force a higher settlement.

A negotiated prenuptial agreement for high-net-worth individuals should be a priority. Whether as a businesswoman or a businessman, it’s important to preserve the business interests by avoiding a necessary breakup of the corporation. Also, it’s preferable to have any children become the eventual beneficiaries rather than someone leaving the matrimonial union. This is often best achieved by limiting the financial exposure of a potential divorce through a negotiated prenuptial agreement. 

The Validity of a Negotiated Pre-Nup

As a will gladly tell you, it’s become increasingly common for people to attempt to get out of a pre-nup they signed. The most common reason cited is that they were “coerced into signing it” in an attempt to invalidate it. The situation occurs far less often when the person bootstrapped a business or was self-made. In which case, there’s far less of a wealth disparity between the divorcing couple. Yet when marriage was the main wealth creator for one of the parties, their divorce can become extremely difficult to resolve. 

A good resource to find a lawyer is using a directory like lawyers.findlaw.com. However, if you are looking for Lawyer in Salt Lake City, you might want to consider Hepworth & Associates Law Firm as they have considerable experience drafting legally binding prenuptial agreements. It makes it likelier that any pre-nup will be litigation-proof and far less likely that spurious claims used as a negotiation tactic will be taken seriously. 

For anyone who is already wealthy or even expects that they might become so, it’s worth getting a pre-nup before walking down the aisle. Otherwise, they’re literally putting it all on the line with a contract that has a 50/50 success rate, at best. If that were an investment, they’d surely pass. Yet marriage is a special case, so special protections are required to do it right. 

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What makes a happy couple, a happy family?

Being mindful and emotionally flexible in tough and challenging situations not only improves the lives of individuals, it might also strengthen and enrich their close relationships.

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Photo by Maico Pereira from Unsplash.com

“Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way,” Leo Tolstoy wrote famously in 1878 in the opening lines of Anna Karenina. Turns out the Russian author was onto something.

Cohesive families, indeed, seem to share a few critical traits – psychologists agree. Being emotionally flexible may be one of the most important factors when it comes to longevity and overall health of your romantic and familial relationships.

That’s the finding of a new University of Rochester meta-analysis, published in the Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science, which statistically combined the results of 174 separate studies that had looked at acceptance and commitment therapy, mindfulness, and emotion regulation.

The researchers’ aim was to clarify how mindful flexibility – on one hand – and inattentive, mindless, and rigid inflexibility on the other – were linked to the dynamics within families and romantic relationships.

“Put simply,” says coauthor Ronald Rogge, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Rochester, “this meta-analysis underscores that being mindful and emotionally flexible in tough and challenging situations not only improves the lives of individuals, it might also strengthen and enrich their close relationships.”

Psychological flexibility versus inflexibility

Psychological flexibility is defined as a set of skills that people use when they’re presented with difficult or challenging thoughts, feelings, emotions, or experiences. Such skills encompass:

  • Being open to experiences–both good and bad–and accepting them no matter how challenging or difficult they might be
  • Having a mindful attentive awareness of the present moment throughout day-to-day life
  • Experiencing thoughts and feelings without obsessively clinging to them
  • Maintaining a broader perspective even in the midst of difficult thoughts and feelings
  • Learning to actively maintain contact with our deeper values, no matter how stressful or chaotic each day is
  • Continuing to take steps toward a goal, even in the face of difficult experiences and setbacks

The opposite – psychological inflexibility – describes six specific behaviors, including:

  • Actively avoiding difficult thoughts, feelings, and experiences
  • Going through daily life in a distracted and inattentive manner
  • Getting stuck in difficult thoughts and feelings
  • Seeing difficult thoughts and feelings as a personal reflection and feeling judged or shameful for having them
  • Losing track of deeper priorities within the stress and chaos of day-to-day life
  • Getting derailed easily by setbacks or difficult experiences, resulting in being unable to take steps toward deeper goals.

Psychologists consider the rigid and inflexible responses to difficult or challenging experiences dysfunctional, ultimately contributing to and exacerbating a person’s psychopathology.

Photo by @suzylee from Unsplash.com

How flexibility shapes interactions

Through their analysis, coauthor Jennifer Daks, a PhD candidate in the Rochester Department of Psychology, and Rogge discovered that within families, higher levels of various forms of parental psychological flexibility were linked to:

  • Greater use of adaptive parenting strategies
  • Fewer incidents of lax, harsh, and negative parenting strategies
  • Lower perceived parenting stress or burden
  • Greater family cohesion <
  • Lower child distress

Within romantic relationships, higher levels of various forms of psychological inflexibility were linked to:

  • Lower relationship satisfaction for themselves and their partners
  • Lower sexual satisfaction
  • Lower emotional supportiveness
  • Greater negative conflict, physical aggression, attachment anxiety, and attachment avoidance

The results suggest that psychological flexibility and inflexibility may play key roles in both couples and families in shaping how individuals interact with the people closest to them, the researchers write.

The meta-analysis, also commonly referred to as a “study of studies,” cements and adds to the findings of Rogge’s earlier work in which he and a team tested the effects of couples’ watching movies together and talking about the films afterward. In that work, Rogge and his colleagues demonstrated that couples could bring mindful awareness, compassion, and flexibility back into their relationships by using movies to spark meaningful relationship discussions, leading to both immediate and long-term benefits.

That study, conducted in 2013, found that an inexpensive, fun, and relatively simple watch-and-talk approach can be just as effective as other more intensive therapist-led methods–more than halving the divorce or separation rate from 24 to 11 percent after the first three years of marriage.

Being mindful and emotionally flexible in tough and challenging situations not only improves the lives of individuals, it might also strengthen and enrich their close relationships.

“The results suggest that husbands and wives have a pretty good sense of what they might be doing right and wrong in their relationships,” Rogge said about the earlier study. “You might not need to teach them a whole lot of skills to cut the divorce rate. You might just need to get them to think about how they are currently behaving. And for five movies to give us a benefit over three years–that is awesome.”

Watching and discussing movies with your partner that feature onscreen couples can have a positive effect on your relationship, Rogge recently told People magazine. It’s an easy exercise that “could be a lifesaver during quarantine,” he says.

Which movies work? As Good as It GetsFunny GirlGone with the WindLove StoryIndecent ProposalThe Devil Wears Prada, and Father of the Bride are a few of the films Rogge and his fellow researchers used in their 2013 study of couples.

Looking for some LGBTQ recommendations? Rogge suggests The Kids Are AlrightThe Wedding BanquetThe Birdcage, and episodes of Grace and Frankie.

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Love Affairs

Problems in your relationship? What can you do about them?

Understanding how to tackle a problem is just as important as the problem itself, so if you don’t know how to approach this issue, keep reading.

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Relationships aren’t always rainbows and butterflies. At some point, something is going to go wrong. There is no such thing as a perfect relationship, meaning that there will be a problem at some point that you’re just going to have to deal with. But do you know how to do this?

IMAGE SOURCE: PEXELS.COM

Understanding how to tackle a problem is just as important as the problem itself, so if you don’t know how to approach this issue, keep reading down below. Here, you are going to find some of our advice as to what you can do when there’s problems in your relationship. 

Talk About Them

The first thing that you’re going to need to do is talk about them. When there is an issue, encouraging open and honest communication is the very best thing that you can do to tackle whatever it is. If you think about it, how is the other person supposed to know that there is an issue if you’re not willing to talk about it? You know that if your partner has a problem, you want them to discuss it with you so that you can work on it. Without this communication, you’re never going to get very far in a relationship.

You need to trust that you can have an honest conversation about your feelings. If you think that you can’t, then you’re not in the right relationship.

Seek Help

If you feel as though talking isn’t solving the issue and you’re unable to fix the problem yourself, then you can always seek help. There are professionals out there that deal with this kind of thing for a reason, and it’s because it isn’t always easy to see certain things when you’re the one in the situation. So, you might want to think about something such as sex therapy counselling if you think that this is where the issue is. Or, if you’re married and having multiple problems, general marriage counselling might work out better for you. Just remember that there are professionals to help should you need them.

Find A Solution

The final thing that you need to do is find a solution. We know that it isn’t always this simple, but it becomes far easier when you change your outlook on a situation. You need to remember that it is you and your partner vs. the problem, not you vs. your partner. Once you realize this, it becomes far easier to come up with a solution that suits everyone because you view the problem from both sides. A relationship will only work for as long as you are both trying, so keep this in mind and give it everything that you’ve got.

We hope that you have found this article helpful and now have a better understanding as to some of the things that you can do when there is a problem in your relationship. Do at least one of these things, and we’re sure that you will find a way to get past whatever the problem is right now. We wish you all the best.

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Love Affairs

How to have an intimate wedding

If you are having to rethink your wedding this year, or have always been attracted to the idea of a small and intimate wedding, here are some tips to help you pull it off.

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Unfortunately 2020 has meant that many couples have had to rearrange their original nuptial plans or cancel them altogether. For those that had been dreaming of their big days for months or even years, this was a devastating blow. While this kind of disappointment can be heart-breaking, changing big wedding plans to something more intimate does have its perks, and some couples would prefer this kind of celebration altogether. 

If you are having to rethink your wedding this year, or have always been attracted to the idea of a small and intimate wedding, here are some tips to help you pull it off.

Limit the Guest List

Deciding who to invite to your wedding can be one of the harder parts of the planning process. Of course, every bride and groom want their immediate family members present, as well as their closest friends, but then you need to think about aunties, uncles, cousins, colleagues, etc.

Although you might be worried about offending people if you want an intimate wedding you need to cut the extended family members and colleagues from the list. Only those you have a close relationship with should be present at your wedding.

Choose a Personal Venue

Grand manor houses and fancy hotel ballrooms are all great options for wedding venues, but they don’t exactly scream ‘intimate’. If you want your wedding to feel truly personal to you and your partner, choose somewhere that means something to you both.

Where did you go on your first date? Is there a cute B&B where you spent your first weekend away together? You could even get married at a family home in the gardens if you wanted to, and you could hire bartenders from a company such as eventbartenders.com and caterers, too.

Handmade Décor

For further personal touches to your intimate wedding (and to help you save some pennies!) consider handmaking some decorations for the special day.

Simple candles and flowers always make gorgeous centerpieces for the tables matched with the best selection of bulk lace table runners, and you could spruce up a plain notebook or photo album to transform it into a pretty guestbook, or fill mason jars with twinkly lights and petals for some elegant, rustic lighting.

It might take a little more effort on your part, but with the help of some friends and family, you can create pretty, unique decorations that will add to the romantic atmosphere.

Menu

A menu of simple yet delicious dishes is perfect for keeping things low-key on your big day. Italian cuisine is always popular and a great crowd-pleaser if you are opting for a sit-down meal rather than a buffet. If you want more of a festival vibe for your wedding, which seems to be a growing trend, hire a few different food trucks for your wedding instead, and give your guests a choice. 

Consider a Registry Office

If you want to save money and keep things small, marry at a registry office and head to a bar or restaurant for your reception. It might not sound very grand, but this is perfect for intimate weddings and allows couples to relax a little more on their big day. 

For the perfect intimate wedding, think about the points above and whether they could work for you.

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Love Affairs

Safety precautions to take on your first date

So, how do you stay safe when going out with someone for the first time? Here are some tips.

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We all have a perfect sequence of events lined up in our minds when going on a date. You definitely want to be sure you have made the right choice, but you also want your first date to be a memorable one for the right reasons. Unfortunately, dates can be a nightmare. Apart from dealing with an obnoxious or rude date, reports of date rape have risen by 450% since 2016. This means that without taking the right safety precautions, you may end up being assaulted or worse.

IMAGE SOURCE: PEXELS.COM

So, how do you stay safe when going out with someone for the first time? Here are some tips.

1. Keep your friends and family informed

No matter how much you trust your date companion, it is best to keep your friends, family, and loved ones in the loop about where you’re planning to go and when. Ensure that they have necessary details like the location, contact number, name of your date, and the day and time of your date. If you make any sudden changes concerning your planned date location, let your loved ones know immediately. Also, ensure that your smartphone’s location services are always on.

2. Meet in a public place

First of all, pick your preferred location and ensure that it is in a public place. Also, make sure that your preferred location is as close to your home as possible. You may want to choose a romantic restaurant that meets your fancy, but it might not be the best option if it is too far away from home. Instead, you can go to a local restaurant, a cafe, or a park close to home. If you’re meeting someone for the first time, please avoid following them to their homes immediately. It would help if you also took time to research social distance date ideas to protect yourself during this pandemic. 

3. Provide your transportation 

It feels romantic to have someone pick you up right from home, open the doors for you, and hand you a rose. But that can wait for now, as your safety is the most important thing at the moment. If you’re planning on meeting someone you don’t know very well, go with your own transportation. There have been several instances of people being picked up by strange vehicles and not making it back home. If you own a car, drive yourself to the location. Alternatively, you can use an Uber. 

4. Leave when you’re uncomfortable

If your date makes you feel uncomfortable in any way, then it is time to leave without hesitation. There are times when you need to trust your intuition and instincts, and when it comes to your safety, one red flag is more than enough. Pay attention to signs like your date’s body language, demeanor, and the kind of things they say. For example, if they’re being too physical or trying to invade your personal space, then that’s a no-no. 

Finally, before setting off from home, put your investigative hat on and conduct a thorough background check.

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