***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?