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I swear, finding a man in Cape Town must be the most difficult thing, besides saying “no” after a couple of drinks; so much for the “Gay Capital of South Africa!” A while ago, after exhausting (with very little success) all my man-hunting attempts, I decided to try unconventional ways to explore the mysterious world of online dating.

I did my fair share of good old ‘macking,’ and to be honest, my ego can only take so much rejection. Nothing is worse than leaving the club alone after spending the night seductively licking your lips and winking at the hot guy across the dance floor. Even the classic smirk and fluttering of eyelashes becomes draining after trying it countless times in vain.

It took me quite a while before finally deciding to try online dating. I am a very old fashioned man so I like following traditional methods of living. I still say grace before a meal instead of posting it on Instagram and I prefer real hugs and kisses to ‘XOXO’. Besides, I have heard a lot of scary tales about picking up strangers on the Internet.

However, seeing many of my friends getting lucky at the click of a button gave me hope. I could almost see the end of my lonely days and frustrated masturbation. So I signed up with a popular gay dating website and my search began. I expected the whole thing to be quick and easy, as was promised by the website. I was in for a surprise! Each potential bae’s profile came with a very intense criterion of requirements and I found myself doing a lot of scrolling and heavy sighing, coupled by a semi-permanent eye roll.

I noticed that most of the guys on the website had two common things in their list of requirements; they were interested in a no-strings-attached sexy time, with a svelte “straight acting” man. Some even went as far as stating the waist size of their ideal sex partner, with size 28 and 30 being mostly on demand. All of the requirements concluded in all caps and bold NO FATS & FEMS. Meaning, feminine guys with plus size figures can either scroll down and hope for better luck, or carry on masturbating and dreaming about a guy who can see beyond their flab and broken wrists.

Now the thing about me is that with my Sharon Osbourne voice and Naomi Campbell walk, I am not even remotely close to what I assume to be a “straight acting” man. In fact, I don’t even know what a straight acting man is but I am pretty sure that they don’t slap their thighs as much as I do when they talk or wear nail polish. Plus, no corset or spandex can ever disguise my beer boep and man boobs or my voluptuous thighs with their orange peel texture. So being a size 28 or 30 remains a long-term goal for now. It will probably remain so for a couple of years because they haven’t announced the degeneration of cows and pigs yet.

Anyways, I started chatting up a few guys despite their clear requirement for no fats and fems. The flirting was enjoyable until it came to the part where we had to exchange pictures. Refusing to think about the future, I had to be very strategic at this point. “Yours gets mine” was always my response because based on the amount of times I got blocked after sending a picture; it was time to play smarter. I first sent one guy a mug shot of myself after he sent me his half-naked picture with his abs drenched in an oily substance. I was clearly oblivious to how chubby my cheeks are because he replied with a heavily traumatised, “ARE YOU FAT!?!” I immediately knew it was time to move on to the next one.

I did come across one or two guys who did not mind my effeminate nature or big curves. But they made it clear that they were only interested in very discreet shagging. Aren’t they so considerate! I’m kind of a late bloomer so in my late 20s I still haven’t exactly warmed up to the idea of casual sex, especially if I’m not allowed to talk about it afterwards. So naturally, after countless unsuccessful attempts, I gave up.

This made me realise that my little success in scoring a boyfriend through my initial conventional methods was probably also due to my femininity and my weight! And it also hit me; my friends were a bit more successful than I am because they are only half cursed – they are feminine but not fat.

Perhaps something can be done about my weight and I can un-fat myself because once upon a time, I did have a visible ribcage, I could feel my hipbone and I could see my dick without having to lift up my belly. However, very little can be done to un-fem myself. I mean, I could learn to walk like a dude and start wearing more masculine clothing but I doubt there’s even an existing surgical procedure to modify my unmistakably feminine voice.

Clearly, there is not much I can do to change myself to meet the demands of the gay community. Does that mean I will die alone? Maybe. But will I die of sexual frustration? Not while I still have my fat and fem hands.

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