There is nothing that could compare to the life in your twenties. Most people in that age group are fresh out of college or lingering somewhere in the lower rungs of the organization that they aim to conquer one day. Like Buzzfeed writer Gayatri Jayaraman wrote in her article about the urban poor, these kids are mostly broke and hungry.
The idea of living-in is one that has been romanticised in the news, media and amongst experimental individuals alike. Professionally hailing from all the three categories made me feel like it is my duty to explore what it’s like to live with a man. Also, I was broke, desperately needed a roommate and my experiences living with random women haven’t been that pleasant. I was even more interested in uncovering the mysteries of how the mind of the opposite sex works, so I engaged in a platonic live-in with a random boy who I met off one of these social media flatmate groups. But before we explore this idea, let me put it clearly what I mean when I say a platonic live-in. I define it as ‘living with a person of the opposite sex without actually engaging in any form of sexual behavior.’
As fancy as it may sound, a platonic live-in pretty much a complex affair.
Because of what we are taught as gendered categories of society, we tend to perform our gender in the minutest of ways that we wouldn’t realize until someone pointed out. Prachi Sharma, who works in the area of strategies for international health, draws a clear parallel between the performative styles of two most discussed genders:
The major difference between living with men and women is in their lifestyles. Women certainly are more responsible when it comes to household work. Men on the other hand are not going to do much in the house. Also, living with men (in my case) was less interfering. However, there is a familiarity attached to the living with women which is definitely more comforting.
My experience was a tough one to crack. There were good things, there were great things, and there were things that screwed me over! The guy wouldn’t quibble much, nor did I find myself in a situation where I had to deal with an individual whose every response seemed like some sort of a coping mechanism developed against oppression. We shared a bed, but the banker didn’t use the night’s darkness or subconscious sleep as a cloak for his desire.
Call me elitist or whatever other label that you might like, but I definitely couldn’t stand the stench of his pheromones all over the room! Studies show that women are highly sensitive to male sex-scented hormones, but it’s not really fragrance if the guy in question is someone who you are not attracted to!! Sharing a room with someone from the opposite sex, that too when you are a girl in your twenties could bring its own carnal troubles with it. It’s exactly like being a gay guy in a heterosexual marriage- the partner is trying hard, you know for sure that you don’t want it, yet you find yourself doing the wearisome task of dealing with the complexities of a partnership of mutual existence.
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