2 x 4 (dos por cuatro)
Regresando El Tango

The men, The men..what about the men...Revisted!

***Editor's note:  I never meant for this to turn into such a rant. I know that it could seem quite harsh to people who have not been here.  One thing, please understand I dearly love the men I am friends with. This is completely different from the men you try to have a relationship with.  I guess all these angry women set me off.  But still, I cannot tell you how many foreign women email me in a week wanting to know if they come here, will they find true love? Barf!****

These Argentine men, I don't know how any woman could go out with one of them,let alone date one. Michael accuses me of being a man hater, which is absolutely not true.  Anyone who knows me, knows that I am still boy crazy and I probably always will be.

I am always amazed at the way these guys act or don't act for that matter.  They try to tell me it is because I don't know latin men.  Right, I was the Bay Area Welcome Wagon for Latin America when I danced salsa.  I have had boyfriends from almost every country and NONE of them have ever treated me like these Arggies do. Social class has nothing to do with it, so don't go wagging that tango dancer finger at me.  I don't go out with tango dancers.

Now it wasn't like I didn't know this when I decided to move here.  I love my Argentine men friends. But for more than friends, I was not sure.  Now I am very sure.  NO WAY!!  I am sure that there is one or two out there somewhere, but I have yet to find them in my trials as a serial dater.

Lest you think I am alone, Sunday was perfect testimony.  Two of my American women friends came over at different times to visit with me. One friend is half my age and adorable.  She is madly in love with her Argentine boyfriend, but she is still complaining.

It is the sex thing.  The 80s have not hit here yet, hey, even the 70s.  The idea that a woman is more than a pleasure machine has not sunk in.  I laugh and say they subscribe to the 3 Cs. Chupe, coja, y chau.  (The Spanish version of wham bam) Some of them don't even try. Some of them think because they have had sex a million times with no complaints (your requests gently asked are considered complaints)they are wonderful lovers.  Then others no matter how many times you ask, show, explain, just don't get it.

I listened to my young friend complain.  I could offer no advice.  I had been there way too many times myself here, and had not found a way to get a guy to respond to me. It was not for a lack of trying.  How can you tell someone to get married to someone they don't enjoy having sex with? Or the sex is major major boring?  Or you feel like you are just there, and coincidentally the guy is having sex with you.  I have not had these feelings since I was in my  early early twenties.

After my young friend left a couple hours later my other friend dropped in.  I adore her.  She is from LA and so we have the same mindset on many things.  She also dances tango, but unlike me, she dates those guys.  She wanted to talk to me about some of her recent experiences.

Aside from the sex, which again, we alll agree on she asked me about some other situations.  It is hilarious when you stop to think about it.  Here we are independent attractive women.  All three of us in different decades - one in her 20s, one in her 30s, and me in my 50s.  We all have the same complaints.  In the U.S. we had our issues with men, but nothing like this.  You almost wonder if American men have created this fiasco so that American women would appreciate them more! ( Do you think the CIA sent advisors here to set us up?) We all said we would never complain about American men again!

In the U.S. and Europe too, men have a sensitivity towards women's needs that is just not here. Granted, California is the leader.  You get boiled alive for being politically incorrect.  But even Chris who is staying here now from Iowa cannot believe some of the common courtesies men here fail to do for women.  He thought it was because he is in Latin America.  Jen and I almost screamed at him "NO WAY".  We told him we both had dated many men from Mexico, Peru, El Salvador, and none of them had ever ever treated us the way the Argentine men do.

OK, there are all the jokes about Argentines.  The other latinos say they are arrogant, rude, etc.  They think the world revolves around them.  I have to say, that I find people here to be wonderful, warm, open.  Rude?  Well, not exactly, they are just not as polite as say Mexicans, who I believe to be the most polite of the latinos.

However when it comes to dating, male-female relationships that is another thing.  Yes, a different culture.  But check this out.  Jen told me that when she came here she had the number of her bosse's family.  She had been good friends with her boss.  She called this fellow when she first got here.  She introduced herself to him.  He invited her to go out on his boat.

While they were out on the boat, he went downstairs.  When he came up he was completely naked and ready to have sex with her!  She was horrified.  He had never mentioned sex to her, she had not come on to him.  She asked him what the hell he was doing.  She said she was terrified he was going to rape her.  His attitude was she was the crazy one.  After all, why was she going out on a boat with man she didn't know!  He thank God did not touch her, but the whole back tried to make it her fault and make her feel bad.

Lest you think this is a singular experience.  I remember that I once invited a guy who I had dated up to my apartment.  We had gone out 3 times.  Rather than have him wait for me, I told him to come up.  He asked to use the bathroom.  When he came out he was naked!  I was shocked.  I did not have to worry a bit, in fact this weenie waver was the one who had to worry. I have a 65lb pit bull as my roommate who is oh so sensitive to my moods.

After I recovered, I asked him what the fuck he was thinking.  Same response, "Well why did you invite me up to your apartment?"  I have since learned to invite NO ONE up to my apartment. Not until I really know them.  Hence the only men that I have dated that are invited up are from other countries, Spain, Australia, Peru, etc.

In our way of thinking, even if a man did think that what we wanted was sex.  That we didn't understand the cultural difference, what would drive him to do an idiotic thing like take his clothes off and present himself?  Hello?  I mean what happened to trying to kiss you first?  Then what are you supposed to do, tear your clothes and say "COME GET ME?"  I mean under other circumstances it could be fun, but not when you don't even know the guy.  Jeesh in California that would get the guy landed for sexual harrassment, abuse, and maybe attempted date rape.  Here they make it your problem!

The thing is we have to live here.  What are we supposed to do?  I try to date foreign men.  I have a nice group of guys who work here reguarlarly from other countries.  They are delightful.  Well educated, well mannered, and happy to have intelligent dinner conversation.  While all this is nice, it does not solve the problem if one would like to have a long term relationship.  Jen says she wants to live here forever but is consigned to never having sex again here.

When I compared more experiences with her, mine have not been nearly as horrifying as hers.  She has had the classic run ins with these guys.  You go out with someone a couple times, have sex, and they never call you again.  Go out for coffee after a milonga thinking it is them wanting to get to know you, when what they were really inviting your for was sex.  They give you their phone number and say call anytime, when you do, they act like you are some kind of maniac.  You make plans to have dinner, they say they will call and confirm the time, the day you make plans, they do - at 10:30 at night.

So one night I sat Roberto, Dany, and Marcelito down. I had questions and I wanted answers. WOW! First of all I found out that when a guy asks you out you need to tell him no at least 4 times, 5 is better.  That way the woman can feel that the guy is really interested in you.  The guy then doesn't think you are desperate.

Us Americans don't play those games. ( We play other games...)  We either accept or not.  If a guy asks you out twice in California and you say no, he never asks again.  You would have to ask him, if you wanted to see him.  When some guy kept calling me here to ask me out after I kept saying no, I thought he was a stalker!  I asked them how you let a guy know you don't want to go out with him or not interested if you always say no anyway?  The concept of a woman not wanting to go out with them, was lost.  Especially on Roberto who thinks they all want him. (What do you expect, a tango dancer.)

I already knew about the coffee thing.  I learned that my first trip.  You just tell them "no, gracias. tal vez un otro tiempo." (No thanks some other time.) As time went on, they stopped asking.  They knew this extranjera wasn't going to go there.

Then the sex thing...well the double standard exists.  Oh duh.  Men are supposed to have as much sex as possible.  Women are not.  Just like saying no 6 times to a first date, you are supposed to take 3 months to say yes to more than just kissing.  Can you believe?  Well, you have to. That is the way it is.

What to do about the quality?  That cannot be overcome.  I find it interesting that all the foreign women I know complain about the same things.  Granted the American media has barraged men with female sensitivity.  It just has not gotten here yet.  What to do?  I don't know.  Could you imagine a call-in radio show?  Dr. Deby?  Where is Dr. Phil, Dr. Ruth or God forbid Dr. Laura when you need them?

Comments

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Terpsichoral

You have my sympathies! I have to say, in defence of Argentine men, that I do have two close friends, both of whom have boyfriends who are warm, loving, fun, intelligent, faithful, sensitive (in a good way) and fantastic in bed. And Argentine. (My friends are, respectively, US American and Swedish). But I fear they may be the exceptions that prove the rule. I've heard so many stories of liars, cheaters, creeps and crap lovers and encountered so many narcissistic guys, especially among professional tango dancers, that I can fully believe your stories. Of course, there will always be honourable exceptions. But, although I live in BA, my two last boyfriends were foreigners, so I have no personal stories to tell.

www.tangoaddiction.wordpress.com

Angela

Deby,
You are so right! You have summarized my complaints about Argentinian men very well. In fact, you have been too nice and have left some out.
I was born and raised in Buenos Aires and at some point in my early twenties I decided I was going to date foreign men who didn't give me the kind of crap Argentinians were giving me. And it worked! I found that men from any other country would treat so much better than Argentinians did.
In my opinion Argentinian men are ugly, don't want to spend any money on dates, they want sex the way they want it and don't care about how you feel about it at all. In other words, they want free whores.
My message to Argentinian men is: Yuck! I am so glad I got rid of you!!

T.M.

This post is humorous. The author makes it seem like Argentine men are the only men in the world who have sex as a top priority and all other men in the world are these very well-mannered, innocent, mamaboys who are happy to simply respect the ladies, just like mama taught them....hahaha. Argentine men are no different than men in other countries, they just don't buy into feminist-culture...is that so wrong? Yes, Chauvinism is alive and well in Argentina...and while American men will soon forget how to be men, Argentine men will still carry the torch of manhood. A docile, respectful, and sensitive man is great to bring home to your parents, but that's all he's good for.

carlos

I disagree that most argentine men would perceive american women as annoying, disgusting and irritating... I don't know who you speak for but I myself am an argentine male and find them to be the exact opposite. As a matter of fact, it is the argentine women who are notorious for being annoying, irritating, disgusting, etc... not to mention unfriendly and sexually repressed. Where do you think their 'histerica' reputation comes from? Give me a break... I'd take a nice american girl over a stuck up porteña any day...

RUben

I´m a Mexican social anthropologist who has lived in Mexico, the US, and Brazil. It´s clear to me that the author of this blog post was experiencing the Negotiation Phase of culture shock. If stays longer in Argentina she will eventually understand and grow accustomed to these situations.

Believe me, there is nothing wrong with Argentine men, you just experienced simple cultural differences.

If we took an Argentine man to the United States, he might perceive American women as annoying, disgusting, and irritating just like it happened to you with Argentine men.

Your concepts of "sexual harassment", "stalker", etc. are not universal and you should try to understand that fact. You cannot impose your beliefs, ideas, and concepts on other cultures, it does not work that way. You should try to understand the differences and adapt to them.

I don't know if you're still in Argentina but if you are you will gradually go through a process of cultural adaptation unless you continue rejecting the culture.

However, if you continue feeling uncomfortable in Argentina I'd suggest you leave and look for a place where people share your values, ideas, and beliefs.

El Paparulo

Silvana: sos una reverenda pelotuda. Y la histeria de la que vos hablas es la tipica histeria femenina, y cuando es masculina, hablas solos de los nenitos bien que son floggers, metrosexuales y demas. Pura basura de feminista resentida que proyecta en el hombre sus propias falencias.
Andres y Paula, realmente en el clavo, especialmente Paula, quisiera ver si el machismo argentino alcanza como en otros paises a lastimar o incluso a matar mujeres casi por joda.
Debby, yo te amo, aunque consideres a los mexicanos peruanos y demas mejores. Los que solo hablan lindo y dicen poesias cursis, se quedan en eso, en poesias cursis.
Debby, TE AMO (platonicamente).

aukena

Too funny! I just read something I posted about a year ago about my Argentine boyfriend! HA! We're still together but what a rollercoaster ride it has been! I think it's just dealing with the difference between men and women....not so much our cultural differences...He's still sexy as hell and keeps me on my toes. I wouldn't trade him in for the world.....He's my worst nightmare LOL

julio

i just wonder if you'd still be a single woman in her mid 50's en the states, you would be blamining it on american men.

and the proper thing to say it's not " no, gracias, tal vez un otro tiempo" but "no gracias,tal vez en otro momento". just a friendly remark.

but seriously you should be a little more picky.

it would also be very simple to encapsulate you in a cliche but, even though im argentinian i have, at least, a little class


La Verdad

http://www.theonion.com/content/node/34198

Genny

Hello,
I live in San Diego and I really enjoyed your blog! I have been dancing salsa for some time and I know you did as well. Could you recommend a place in Buenos Aires where I can go to? Of course, I will see Tango there, but I also want to meet salseros in Argentina. I would love to be part of a Salsa Congress there!
Thank you! Genny

maria

haha..find your blog highly entertaining!! but, alas I am madly in love with a dear Argentinian man.....I'm Irish...they're not ALL bad!

Jenny

Ha! This stuff is hilarious! I am thinking of moving to Buenos Aires to learn some espanol, apparently, I should avoid the local boys. ;)

But can I just say that I had the most amazing weekend, just hanging out with a Mexican guy and I have not felt so adored in a long time? Ah, affection...

Jenny

Ha! This stuff is hilarious! I am thinking of moving to Buenos Aires to learn some espanol, apparently, I should avoid the local boys. ;)

But can I just say that I had the most amazing weekend, just hanging out with a Mexican guy and I have not felt so adored in a long time? Ah, affection...

Ali

I love this blog. Just what I have been looking for. I have been dating an Argentine man for 3 years. We have run the list of emotions during that time from mad passionate sex to screaming fights. Yes, there are trememdous cultural differences, and he likes to play that card when he is losing an argument. But he also is very sweet and entertaining and a great dancer. Like any relationship, you have to find the right match. There are good and bad people in every culture.

Marcelo

I'm a male.
Was born and live in Argentina.
I have manners.
I don't show my balls in front of a stranger.
I don't treat woman as a pleasure toy.
I can love and I do it regularly.
I am a human with feelings and not a sex machine.
I am not the only one this way.
I feel sorry for you Deby and the guys you had to deal with in the last few years.
They were a bunch of perverts, where do you meet that people?
Why do I get to feel that maybe you're transmitting a wrong idea of the argentine specimen, because there are no general rules in this love game and the fact that you have not had luck in love lately does not justify your attitude.
It's unfair, I'm not what you say.
Maybe ~I state~ your words are not totally wrong, but unexact.
You said:
"I love my Argentine men friends. But for more than friends, NO WAY!!"
Girl, that hurt.
and:
"I try to date foreign men [...] They are delightful. Well educated, well mannered, and happy to have intelligent dinner conversation."
Correct me if I'm wrong but that's prejudice.
Why should you put the blame on every argie guy because of four or ten psychos you met only god knows where.
Come on, give local men another chance, you will find a partner only if you want to, but you won't go very far with such a negative attitude.
By the way, I found very interesting your words and I got really fun reading it.
I agree with half of what you say.
The other half are misconceptions and probably a little of prejudice being that you did not have the same opinion of men in other countries.
Besides, your monologue on argentine men was based on your knowledgement of the porteño without taking into account that Argentina is such a big country with people spread across a wide amount of cultures and territories.

marco

jajaja, conoces el chupe, coja y chau!
tanto tiempo viviendo en tokyo que ya me habia olvidado esa frase.
La verdad como portenio que decirte, solo me toca reirme, tenes razon en algunas areas y en otras no,
un saludo de un argento en tokyo

single-girl

Lol, I have to say this has been an eye-opening read! I have recently made an Argentinian male friend online and he has a veryyyy healthy ego and has stunned me a few times with his attitude as well. The info. you mentioned here really fits with what I'm seeing! You pooooor girls! lol ;)

Aukena

My boyfriend of 8 months is an Argentine although he has lived in the states since he was 12 ( now 36 ) Anyways, I've been insecure with him from day one! I've never been with a man that attracted SO much attention from women! Yes, he's beautiful. Tall, dark, handsome with green eyes but there's something else there?! The way he talks, moves, the confidence....I've been his first "REAL" girlfriend in 4yrs. since then it's been a very long string of conquests and mostly with tourist since we live on a resort island ( he's very open about this and warned me about "hearing things" regarding this manner) Anyways, I'm trying to be confident since we've grown to be very close friends as well as lovers. But I'm worried the Argentine male in him will creep up and eventally crush me! I don't know if this blog made me feel better or worst? However, I found it very interesting! Here's the issue, I'm in love with him . But, I'm tired of having my stomach in a knot all the time!

anonymous

I just read your blog a month too late Deby! I just dated an Argentine man in the US and totally fell into the trap of the warm openness that I thought was a genuine connection with ME. He totally said I could call anytime and jumped my bones the first time he came over (on our third date)... Reading this made me realize they are like this with any girl they set out for. Shoulda done my hw first. So what are they like when they really do fall for a girl? Anyone know? Because we had a great intellectual spark and he was an animal in bed and I would love to snag one just like him forever.

jez

Hiya! I love reading your blog, it is so informative! The other day in SD I met an Argentian guy and within 10 minutes he started on my hair (i'm a blonde too), you are very beautiful blah blah blah, and it totally freaked me out, but then I thought back to your entry on how it's like a cultural thing to come out with such comments about your appearance. It was very reassuring and I stopped worrying he was going to make a pass, and it was all fine. Had I not read your post I would have freaked out, so thanks for keeping us all clued up!!!

DANDY

Estimadas EVA y SILVANA : Lamentablemente no me queda otra alternativa que salir en defensa de los hombres argentinos.Esto me dispara una pregunta:¿no estarán uds.entre los 30 y los 40?
Justamente quienes se encuentran en esa franja etaria (despues de los 40 se relajan y disfrutan sin tanto rollo)se dan cuenta que el reloj biológico las corre (leáse maternidad) y todo ese juego de seducción que a los 20 les encantaba ahora les parece detestable.
Las mujeres seguras saben diferenciar el sexo del amor.
Uds. lo plantean como una transacción comercial: para acostarme con vos me tenés que garantizar una relación de mínimo 6 meses.
Suena a extorsión.
Como bien saben los hombres somos básicos.Cuando encontramos una mina que nos copa nos quedamos calentitos en casa y nos dedicamos a echar panza.
Poner la culpa de nuestra insatisfacción en los otros (en este caso los hombres) es una simplificación.

PD : Deby.Perdonáme que escriba en español pero expresar esto en inglés se me complica.

Silvana

Argentine men are harassing animals

Dear Deby,
I am a thirty years old Argentine woman who has traveled extensively and lived abroad many years, and yes unfortunately argentine men are very repulsive when it comes to dating them. They are very harassing and constantly seducing you. They overdo it. They love to objectivize you and it is very difficult for them to see you as a person.

The ironic and funny thing is that being so sexual on the surface they actually end up having really little sex. They just scare women away. They are like sex hunters; all they want is to achieve a prey to then brag about it with their male friends. If the prey is difficult, it is more exciting for them, and that is when they develop the stalking attitude.
If the pray is easy, once they have achieved their goal (sex) they move into the next one. But think about it, how many preys do they get a year? Not many…so, like I said before, they end up having little sex a year, and that makes them more unsatisfied and desperate.

I think that the histerica pathology developed by argentine women is a direct consequence of the men behaviour. No women want to fall into the easy prey category (that is to say having sex and never being called again) so they know they have to play games and play it difficult with the hope of not being treated like disposable garbage. In the months that go by playing those games (which can be draining specially if you are a woman that has other things in your life like studying or your profession) the man can actually develop some sort of sensitivity and start seeing you as a person. That’s when a relationship can occur. But the games you have to play are so extenuating that if you are very busy in life you might decide not to date at all or to date foreign men.

And why are Argentine men like that? One theory could be…that because of the socio-economic crises that has been going on for the past decades, men feel very insecure, resentful and frustrated. Their lives are quite mediocre and they can not brag about professional, academic, or material achievements, so all it is left is brag about women conquests. As you might have noticed…there are many men in their thirties still living with their parents because they can not afford to pay rent. They might even be professionals, some of them with postgraduate degrees but unfortunately they still can not have an independent life. All their frustration and anger they take it against women.

Eva

Hola, yo creía que todos los hombres del mundo eran así, claro, no conocí otros que los argentinos. Ahora estoy contenta de saber que otras mujeres en el mundo tienen un mejor destino. En la Argentina sólo es posible que un hombre se preocupe por vos en la cama si está loco de amor, y tampoco es seguro, porque cuando está loco de amor empieza a padecer de celos insoportables. O sea, hay que esperar, hay que saber manejar los tiempos de una relación, no hay que acostarse con un hombre argentino antes de estar segura de que está loco por vos. Si el tipo no se cansa de esperar y si no se aleja, si te sigue invitando a pesar de que aún no se ha acostado con vos, entonces puede ser que vaya a satisfacerte. Es una porquería el sexo en Argentina para una mujer. Me alegro de que hayas hablado. Un beso grande.

juan

Hi Deby
I loved your blog it is really funny
I have sth to say that maybe helps to solve this conundrum.
Argentine men, classify women in either two groups, being this a key to their behaviour towards them
The two groups are:
1-Women that one would marry
2-The more vast group of the commonly called "atorrantas"
I am afraid to say you qualified in the second group, Deby

Andres

Just a few notes from an Argentine who has lived in the US for some time and has had the chance of seeing the differences from another point of view:

1- As a rule Argentine men DO NOT have friends who are girls. There are exceptions to this but that's what they are, exceptions (and happen only when there's a mutual physical antipathy, so to speak). An Argentine girl knows very well that if she tries to befriend a guy, she'll be approached sooner than later. So if a girl accepts to go on a boat alone with a guy, it is understood that she would expect something to happen (not the sudden nakedness, mind you). Argentine men don't stand still, and neither do Argentine girls when they like a guy. A good friend got the surprise of a girl he was starting to date asking if she could take a shower at his house while they where there. No, I'm not kidding. She finally did take a shower.

2- Sex and seduction is much more prevalent and open in Latin America than in the US. Thus the way people dress everyday and why it's commonplace to see PDAs (public displays of affection) and such. Sex is not a taboo, quite the contrary. This is most likely one of the reasons there are no individuals that fit in the most strange "stalker" typology in Latin America, since things are dealt with in the open and not repressed.

3- Argentines have little fear of rejection (for various reasons). Some girls play the "no" game and expect guys to play the "convince" part. Other girls don't. In any case, guys who are given a clear NO after insisting a few times are expected to stop asking. Argentine girls are very able to deal with these things in an elegant way (and not so elegant if the need arises) and they many times have fun teasing men and taking this as part of the flirting. American women usually have little training in these issues, and understandably feel uncomfortable and find them bothersome.

I for one have always had beautiful experiences talking, dating and being in relationships with Argentine women. I absolutely adore them, I have learned a lot from them and hope I have given in kind as much as they have given me.

Nope, I haven't married yet but I am looking forward to it.

An Argentine.-

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