epiphoney Luxury

Self-definition for dummies

Metrosexual is so two-thousand-and-late — here’s a quick primer to find where you belong, men

When Homo sapiens started growing and spreading as a tribe, they were quick at executing one thing: eliminating any species that could pose a threat to their existence. And so it was that the other species of humans — Homo erectus, Neanderthal, Denisovans, among others — soon disappeared, after having successfully walked the Earth for hundreds of thousands of years. Homo sapiens, who very conveniently christened themselves ‘Wise Humans’, have been around for no more than 10,000 years which, frankly, is not even a speck on that existence chart.

And yet, we have done more to define and dissect ourselves than imaginable. We group ourselves based on our beliefs, our proclivities, our ideas, our principles, our timepiece preferences, and there is also a classification for those who don’t wish to be grouped. The classic Russell’s Paradox, if you will.

First came the moniker metrosexual. Ignorant people’s terminology for any man who could tell a good manicure when he was given one. Not meaning to belittle (and yet, doing it passively), graduating from brute and uncouth to grade-A metrosexual was still a positive for most men. But then, in typical democracy style, everyone took it upon themselves to dissect further and come up with more categories to classify men. So we had:

Sapio-sexual: Someone who is obsessed with learning, or the idea of learning, a philomath. Said person thinks it’s important to look good, but considers it second to the garb of intelligence. Nobody wants to seen in public with them.

Lumber-sexual: A man whose idea of looking or sounding good is limited to wearing flannels and jeans, and sporting a beard and ‘stache, and possibly even a man-bun. It’s like a hipster, but with some serious axe skills. Literature? Camp fire fuel, they say.

Über-sexual: A metrosexual, really, but with a bit more macho thrown in. Like Coke Zero or Pepsi Black, this nomenclature was created purely to appease men who thought metrosexual was too limp-wristed a title to go by.

Retro-sexual: A metro who likes it old school. Mind you, today, old school doesn’t mean not having the latest smartphone, it just means carrying it in a hand-made leather case from a firm that still has its office on Bond Street. It means cuff links and collar bones, and a strongly-worded “no’ to pre-knotted ties.

Techno-sexual: Someone who likes technology. I say, show me a grown man who doesn’t feel the intrigue of a new electronic thingamajig and I’ll show you what catatonia looks like.

Andro-sexual: Relatively new, comes from the EMO set, nurturing the notion that we must look and act gender neutral. Then we shall become attractive to other androgynes. The minute they turn 25, they start graduating to the Blue Whale games and what not. Consequently, I don’t know anybody above 30 who looks gender-neutral out of choice.

Eco-sexual: What a tree-hugger writes on his Tinder profile. They wear hemp-fabric, mock you for your leather obsession, drive hybrids, and claim to love the land and all creatures in it more than they’ll ever profess for you. Thankfully, most of them die single without any possibilities of propagation through procreation.

I don’t know where I belong. I thought I was metrosexual before I learnt of retro-sexual. I may be for sustainability, but am never remotely eco-sexual. For a while I could have tried über or lumber-sexual but I bruise easy and hair left me long ago to try any styling options. I guess I am just confused. Anybody for joining me in starting the incertasexual clan of lost, unsure souls?

This column is for anyone who gives an existential toss.

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Printable version | May 27, 2020 3:30:34 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/luxury/self-definition-for-dummies/article22325075.ece

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