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WHEN EXPATS DATE

Online dating sites are a convenient forum, which people use to escape from humdrum or to actively seek romantic or sexual relationships. Here are some intense experiences involving expats in Delhi

Dating websites can be an exhilarating platform for finding a compatible partner. Some use these portals to indulge in sexual liaison, others think of it as a medium through which they can connect with like-minded people, while being open to intimacy. Some expats have also found their life partners in India through dating sites. Apart from Tinder — the most popular online dating site — there are many other platforms exclusively for expats, like internation.org or newdelhidating.expatica.com.

A young French lad in his mid-twenties, who recently graduated from an engineering college had a paying job in Delhi. Tall, broad framed with boyish features, he’s one of those party types who feel that a weekend is meant to get wasted on the dance floor. He was active on Tinder, but fairly selective.
He had some incredible experiences and was of the belief that Indian girls are very intense and beautiful. On a winter night last year, he settled for a young girl, who was still in college and lived with three of her friends in a shared accommodation in Green Park. The plan was that they will meet at Hauz Khas village and party. And after the bar closes, they’ll go to her apartment for a private party.


Everything went according to the plan, only to the surprise of the Frenchman, when they reached her apartment, there were two more girls. They joined them for drinks and then it was decided that they too will participate in the fun. He was too drunk to object, but wasn’t comfortable. They took turns and went down on him. He stood there wonderstruck. “I didn’t believe it was happening to me,” he recollects. He was reduced to a toy that three girls were readily sharing. He wanted more, to copulate. They refused. “Indian girls know where to draw a line,” he was told. So, they went to sleep, or at least tried to. But one of the girls, insisted on some alternate sexual experiences. He refused but they forced it on him. “You will like it,” they insisted. He was traumatised, “I wanted to stop them, but just couldn’t utter a word.” That was the end of his Indian adventure.

Then there are these charming Indian men who are ambitious, and sleeping with white women becomes a greater quest in life. They are smart, articulate, suave and say all the right things. They are not entirely looking for sexual pleasure, but believe in creating a sort of network amongst the expatriate to generate business for their projects. The flip side is also true. There are some European men, also some from the dark continent, who have a convenient relationship with rich Indian women. They don’t want any sentimentality or ownership, and are happy to support the stay of these men, mostly financially. They insist not calling them a gigolo.

A tall, blonde girl from Germany in her late twenties, who is an intern with an international organisation, started dating an Indian man in his early thirties. They met on Tinder. He is a documentary filmmaker who has travelled places. Curly haired with a conical face and a charming smile, he is looking for contracts for his nascent production house.

They were together for some time, and she introduced him to her friend circle. In the very first gathering she realised that he’s more than friendly with her boss — a woman in her late 30s, who looks much younger for her age. Soon he was dating her boss. He dumped her without furnishing reasons, “Let’s not argue about it. Can we be friends?” They often meet at parties, and he seems to know more Germans in Delhi than she does. Last heard, he had got a cushy contract from a German agency. “He slept with a middle-aged man to get it,” told the dejected German girl.

This is just a representational case study and not to cast aspersion on people of a particular country. There were some women in their late twenties and thirties from Scandinavian countries, residing in Delhi — nearly of the same age group–were also dear friends. One of them is Jane (name changed). They were in Delhi for more than six months and were pursuing serious business, like writing, a job in the social sector, or on a grant for doing some research. All three of them were on Tinder. Their pastime was to figure out which of their Indian friends were there on the dating site and gossip with their friends, “Do you know so and so has a profile on Tinder?”

And of course, they were looking for experiences, but would call it as some sort of an online sociological study. They have had considerable and varied, some fairly kinky, experiences back home. Despite this, their relationship status has remained single for long. Indian men are exotic to them but given the dubious reputation of Delhi — unfriendly to women with all Indian men seen as potential rapists – the thought seems intimidating. They never got immune to being stared at. So, hunting for India men, for friendship or courtship, was as thrilling as diving into uncharted waters.

They picked some men that made them an odd couple. Their definition of a desirable man is certainly at variance with the popular perception in Delhi. Some of them were passionate lovers, but weren’t interested in a committed relationship. These Scandinavian girls formed a a cooperative. They would exchange notes about the Indian men they met online. Things like: How lousy was he in bed? He was dumb but turned out to be unexpectedly good–the silent campaigner. Then there was a list of some who made great promises but frittered.

An Indian in his early 30s, working in the marketing sector, endearing and desirous, came in touch with Jane after having slept with another girl in her group. He was absolutely oblivious of the fact that the two Scandinavian girls were connected and his performance was being scrutinised.

An online conversation ensued like a bait. Later, when he became expectant, Jane informed that the two are connected and she knows he’s a lousy fellow and no good in bed. The door was slammed on his face. A nicer way would have been to just say ‘NO’. But this need to tell the natives that they are ‘no good’ gives some sort of power to women like Jane who have been repeatedly deserted in their home country by their potential partners.

Jane, a very nice person otherwise, has had her share of nasty experiences of use and throw’ in Delhi. She met a few men online in Delhi, and they gelled beautifully together. It was wonderful to be with them and when she felt the need to continue the association, they used to block her from their profile without citing a reason.

Even at the risk of generalising, Indians, barring a few exceptions, have a fetish for fairer skin. Having sex with a white woman is fairly aspirational as the rates of white flesh trade would indicate–three or four times more than that of native women. This fetish also manifests itself in online dating .
The online world has real effects and, more often than not, it’s difficult to keep sentimentalities at bay. For many, it’s a pool of opportunities, while others treat it as a route to escape the mundane.