Dating Dilemma: WHEN Should You Have Sex With Him?

Of all the problems that the world of dating throws up, the one that’s possibly the most difficult to actually find a solution to is: WHEN is it appropriate to have sex for the first time with the person you’re seeing?Because, you know, too soon, and you might be coming on too strong (and you’re secretly a little worried that he will think you’re promiscuous). Leave it too late, and you might just lose interest in each other.

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But, ladies, worry no more, Time Out has the answer – 3.53 dates is it!

No, they don’t mean 3 dates, or 4 dates – and not even 3.5 dates. It has to be very, very exact. And luckily for us, NYMag tells us exactly how to go about figuring this out: you need to be carrying a stopwatch on each of your dates, measuring their duration exactly, and then doing some crucial mathematical acrobatics to arrive at The. Exact. Moment.

But the problem for us Indian ladies is a little different, and goes beyond mere maths and measurements. These are the questions that are still left unanswered:

1. What do you do if you are, at that precise moment, in the middle of a meal or a movie? Because you know, in India, you can get arrested for PDA.

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2. What if you plan this better, but then get stuck in traffic? Because that is a very real possibility. We’re not sure having your chauffeur as witness to your first time with him is a great idea. And if either of you are driving, then it is a wee bit of a safety hazard to be going at it at the same time.

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3. Also, if you guys don’t have privacy at home, and are planning to do this at a hotel, but the receptionist won’t let you check in because you’re not married to each other? Because, trust us, we’ve been there, and this actually happens.

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4. The survey is a little unclear on whether you start the process at 3.53 dates (foreplay, undressing, etc.), or if you have to be actually, uh, doing ‘it’ at that precise moment. Who will answer this question for us?

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5. The biggest problem: how do you EXPLAIN the 3.53 concept to him? Do you tell him in advance, or just jump his bones without any warning? (Forwarding him the link to this piece might help with this one!)

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If you guys have solutions to any of this, we would be grateful for them. And, of course, if you can think of any other challenges – let us know – we can’t promise answers, but you will get oodles of sympathy and understanding from us for sure.

Images: giphy, tumblr

This story first appeared on, March 2015. Reproduced with permission.

10 Things Every Single Woman Hears As Soon As She Turns 30

There comes a watershed point in every girl’s life – and that’s the big three-oh. Because, you know, Indian society would (still!) have us believe that 30+ is the wrong side of 30. It’s the age when you step over the line from “youth” to  “maturity”. In the case of the single woman, of course, it means you’re transitioning from “young thing” to “on the shelf”, with absolutely nothing in between. Your 30th birthday brings with it not only dessert that’s more candles than cake but also a horde of “well-wishers” who are really, really worried about you. And here’s what they have to say…

1. That there is something seriously wrong. With you.

No, Rina Mausi, I swear I don’t have an infectious disease! No, not even B.O.

2. That you really aren’t dressing right!

What? You think my bodycon mini is responsible for my dire straits? Why didn’t you tell me before?! single at 30 2

3. That it’s high time you got those greys dyed

And do further damage to my rapidly thinning hair? I don’t think so.

4. That you should get a more “relaxed” job

Yes, sure. Why don’t I just give up on my career and GO HOME, right? single at 30 4

5. That you need to think about your parents

I do. Constantly. About the fact that they tell me how proud they are of me.

6. That you really should quit those bad habits

You mean this glass of whisky in my hand ain’t doing it for you? single at 30 6

7. That those rishtas are going to dry up soon…

Thank goodness! Will save my parents the awkwardness of trying to explain to people that they’d rather I choose a partner than force random mundas down my throat.

8. That it’s time to settle down

You mean: time to lower my standards and “settle”, right? single at 30 8

9. That you have to think about long-term financial security

Should I be prepping for a divorce with a big, fat alimony cheque already?

10. That your biological clock is ticking

Tick-tock-tick-tock! Yes, I hear it too – it’s telling me to end this conversation and get the hell out of here right NOW. single at 30 10 Images: Tumblr

This story first appeared on, April 2015. Reproduced with permission. 

Five characters on TV I wish I hadn’t watched last week

1. Camryn Manheim playing the worst role of her career on Criminal Minds. What happened to that whole praying-mantis-girlfriend thing? Wherefrom sprang Mama Horrible?

2. Alexis‘s papaya-steak boyfriend. Are things so bad, Castle scriptwriters, that you had to steal Canvas from Anger Management?

3. The Mother. Seriously, people, the person Ted has been waiting to meet for eight seasons is Brunette Lily?

4. The kid who got shot in Uganda so that Maggie could change her hairstyle and have one-night stands and become a Serious Reporter.

5. Kelty. Why, MasterChef, why?

Five shows on TV that I’m not watching right now and feel very upset about

1. Castle, wherein Castle still has a writing career, and Beckett still cares about the fact that her mother’s killer continues to remain on the loose.

2. Bones, wherein Zack re-invokes Gormogon to dispose of Pelant so that everyone can get back to regular programming.

3. Suits, wherein Jessica returns her current wardrobe to the Ladies’ Knitting and Tatting Society and fires Rachel for spending company time in writing college applications.

4. New Girl, wherein Nick gets a haircut and some new clothes and begins to look like the Nick-lookalike from Betrayal.

5. Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

How not to impress a publisher

Note: None of the following is fictional or exaggerated. These are all things that I have personally encountered in little more than a year at a publishing house. Letters, emails, phone calls, strange parcels, some mild stalking. Queries full of bad grammar and spelling come in all the time, but these are some that truly stand out.

  1. Your father calling four people in the office every day and telling them about his ‘intimate relationships’.
  2. Sending unsolicited emails with baby pictures of yourself and details of how and why they were clicked.
  3. Sending, as proof of writing ability, 24″x18″ framed printouts of your excruciatingly bad digital art.
  4. Having your agent send them swear-word riddled emails saying that their Booker winner is a crap book.
  5. Addressing them by the name of a rival publishing house.
  6. Asking them personal questions. Again and again and again.
  7. Asking them to commit to publishing without sharing manuscript because you’re afraid they’ll steal your idea.
  8. Saying ‘XXX is a fictitious and psycho thriller story. It contains 71 pages, 26,190 words, with 105,496 characters.’
  9. Picking up email address from their submissions guidelines page and asking them to mail you submissions guidelines.
  10. Asking them to mail you academic qualifications so you can judge whether they’re fit to evaluate your work.
  11. As follow up to query letter, sending updates regarding property purchases.
  12. Abusing them because they don’t remember your first name and ask for surname and name of manuscript.
  13. Asking for mobile number in order to call post work hours so that they can concentrate on your book alone.
  14. Sending query letters about the same manuscript seven times in two days.
  15. Offering bribes to editors when you’re told that they are not a vanity publishing outfit.
  16. Beginning a query call with the words ‘I want to tell you about myself.’
  17. Saying ‘You are duty-bound to publish my book because I am also a Bengali like you.’
  18. Clogging their inboxes with photographs of your ‘scenic’ tour of Kerala’.
  19. Asking them to commission your idea without revealing what your idea is.
  20. Calling every day and ranting about how their rejection has ruined your life.
  21. Calling to say ‘I have a book idea which will be a bestseller. Can you tell me how to write the book?’
  22. Offering to stay awake for two weeks in a row and recording your thoughts in order to publish them as a novel.
  23. On being told that your book is not something they feel strongly about, yelling ‘But that’s YOUR problem!’
  24. Asking them to create accounts on social networking services just so that they can be on your friends’ list.
  25. Sending them details of a rival publisher and ask them to forward the hard copy of your manuscript to them.
  26. Telling them how you’ve been published online and linking them to your blog.
  27. Asking for money to send them your manuscript.
  28. Sharing anecdotes of your visit to a monastery once graced by the Dalai Lama and why this makes you special.
  29. Calling them and asking for phone numbers of other publishers and literary agents.
  30. Asking if your manuscript can win a competition.
  31. Responding to ‘I wasn’t able to take your call because I was ill and out of office’ with ‘You are lying’.
  32. Saying ‘This book has been greatly appreciated by the target readership. My wife and daughter really liked it.’
  33. Telling them how your manuscript could not be auctioned off at the London Book Fair because it was under consideration with them.
  34. Having your father’s minions harangue them day in and out saying ‘I’ll be fired if you don’t say yes’.