Dear Zad: Ghosting, skinny problems, and a bad BO beau

Author: Josh Mayhew


Dear Zad is a comedy write-in column where readers can seek advice from their trusted Zad on all their gay dilemmas. Please note that Zad is not a licensed or qualified counsellor, but is qualified in not sugar-coating your petty dramas when you are having a full meltdown. You can find him shit-posting on Insta at @joshmayhewnyc.

Submit your problems to Zad anonymously using the box below! 


M****t in Jonesboro writes:

Dear Zad,

I had been talking to this guy online and when we finally met in person it was great… he looked and seemed just like he was on the internet. But his cologne? Unbearable. I had never accounted for this being such a considerable issue when dating someone, but it makes me physically ill and he has worn it each time we have gotten together. Am I supposed to say something? I’m worried that mentioning it will make him think I’m already “trying to change him.”


First off, give yourself some credit right off the bat. As a little sweetie gayby, you have a pre-ordained sensitivity to all things aesthetic. Wanting to be around pretty and pleasant things is part of the gay agenda, just like frozen margaritas from a machine or being buried in credit card trip from a trip to Greece. Now, I know that this is 2021 and even a single ingrown hair can be a deal breaker for the gays, but remember: he is probably trying to impress you just as much as you are trying to impress him! 

So here is what you’ll do: the next time you meet up, bring him a sample of a fragrance you find really sexy (typically you can get these online or in the stores.) Tell him that you came across it while shopping and it made you think of him, and you wanted to bring him a few splashes to try! Not only will he feel super touched that you were thinking of him, but he won’t feel pressured to lie about liking it since you didn’t technically shell any money out for it.  

If he loves it, SCORE… buy him a small bottle as a “first gift.” Like clockwork, you’ve eradicated the problem and appeared super thoughtful in the process. And if he doesn’t like it, and continues to smell like what I’m imaging to be be a nursing home cafeteria, then mysteriously “drop your phone into the toilet” and never respond to another text again.

There are other fish in the sea, and they don’t smell like literal fish. 


Your Zad, @joshmayhewnyc


G****ld in Dallas writes: 

Dear Zad,

No matter how hard I try, I cannot put on muscle. I constantly feel like I’m too skinny and don’t “meet the standard.” Every time I go out, I wear baggy clothes to try and disguise my twig legs. Even though I’m sure no one cares, I somehow feel like people are judging me or talking about it. I’ve eaten the protein, followed the workout regimens, but I just don’t think my body is built that way. What am I gonna do?


Hi, handsome! 

I’m not going to sit here like your fairy god f**got and tell you that muscled bodies aren’t annoyingly thought of as “standard” in the community, or that the physique you desire isn’t often viewed as attractive. But the operative word here is ALSO, not INSTEAD OF. 

You use the descriptor “too skinny” when referring to yourself, but why not try to re-frame these words a bit more positively? Instead of “too skinny” maybe you’re simply lean, or chic, or glamorous, or statuesque. Is it a curse, or is it a timeless appearance? That’s not to say having body goals isn’t important, more that we literally ALL have things we’re unhappy with about our appearance – and you have to love the skin you’re in too, honey. 

I think working toward a goal is a positive thing and all, sure, but only if you are not also selling yourself short in the process. Body confidence, just like muscles, is not just an overnight thing… you’ve got to train your mind to love you. First and foremost.

You may just find that by accentuating some of the qualities that you are nervous about, your confidence can be equally as attractive as a couple extra inches of bicep. Show the waist off, bit*h! Wear the fu*k out of some skinny jeans while stumbling to close that concerningly high bar tab. You may be surprised by who ends up being really into it. But most importantly, you’ll be into it.

Good luck, and ya look great!


Your Zad, @joshmayhewnyc


D***is in San Antonio writes:

If it’s happened once, it’s happened a million times to me. Ghosted again. I know I’m not special in this, and I’m sure many of your readers complain about getting ghosted. You’ve talked about it before in your column – and I know that this seems to be a pretty common dating pitfall – but every single time I still feel like total shit about myself for a good week or two. Any new perspective?


Hey hey,

Not that it will make you feel any better BUT… misery does loves company and you should probably know that I get submissions from ghosted sweetie babies more than any other kind. So yeah, you definitely aren’t alone. I totally get that it sucks a fat one, and not in the Pride-weekend-in-a-stranger’s-6th-floor-walkup kind of way. But because the silence after getting to know someone can leave you embarrassed and disrespected. And why they vanished can range from a loss of interest to them realizing that you would be a better partner than them.

I ain’t gon sit here and act like I know why being ghosted is so triggering or why it awakens trauma, etc. I literally don’t even know how to update my address with the post office. It is pretty safe to assume, however, that the actual ghosting part is about them and not you. Their inability to communicate is def a flaw on their part, and quite frankly a red flag that probably would have manifested again later once things had already gotten really complicated. Them exposing their emotional unavailability says nothing about your worth.

Open up to a friend about this if you haven’t already. Choose one who you don’t have to worry about making you feel unsexy or not self-assured if you share. I’d be willing to believe they might also have a shitty story or two about being ghosted by some pencil-dick tool who talked a big game, which then completely de-materialized. Relating to others about such a common topic could be therapeutic and make managing the feelings a lil less intense. 

Before you know it, another piece of sh*t douchebag will come along who could ultimately become your soulmate piece of sh*t douchebag, and there is something really beautiful about that. 


Your Zad


For more from Zad (aka Josh) himself, he’s on Instagram right here Submit your own dilemmas in the box below…