But I love you (2012)

A hilarious story of being chased down by an Italian guy in the middle of the night as he professed his love for me. Ah, Italian men.  It is a must try speciality on your next trip to Italy, followed by an aperitivo and tartuffo gelato.

Having heard amazing things about Sorrento, located in the Amalfi Coast of Italy, from my friend who met a beautiful Italian and had sex with him on a beach (followed by no more romance, clearly) I was interested to see what this place would be like. It is swamped by men, narrated my friend, her eyes lit up. You have to go there!

Amalfi-Coast

beautiful Amalfi coast

She was right about one thing, it was filled with beautiful men. Bronzed, toned and practically smelling of scooters and sex, they were everywhere. I even made it a game for myself to see how many guys I could consider sleeping with. The list made it pretty far before I gave up counting and considered myself a slut.

That night though, I didn’t meet anyone and was tired of sitting in touristy bars, scoping out guys, so I followed the girls from my hostel home.

Suddenly, I heard someone speaking in Italian behind me. I turned around. There was this pretty blond boy with light blue eyes and sculpted lips, a helmet in his hands, following me.

Baciami!” He pointed at his cheek, clearly wanting me to kiss him.

Vaffanculo!”  I gestured, happy I got a chance to use one of my favorite and perfected Italian phrases. Learning Italian has finally paid off.small-vaffanculo

The boy seemed to get the hint somewhat and disappeared. Minutes later, however, he reappeared right behind me.

Catso!” I exclaimed with my swear number two, though a part of me was strangely flattered. He was quite beautiful. Tall, tanned, sporting a light pink polo shirt and jeans. I knew there was only one reason he must have followed me this far and it wasn’t because he wanted to get to know me.

“What is your name?” he asked, coming up.

“What is yours?” I asked.

“I am Gabrielle”

“Mia”

“I can walk with you, Mia?” It wasn’t really a question. Rather a matter of fact.

“You look like you are too young for me” I told him, looking him over. He looked to be about twenty-three.

“I am not too young” he said.

“Just how young are you?” I pressed, not really wanting to know anyways. It was clear he was too young.

“I am twenty-one” he said. “Actually, I joke. I am twenty-four. Does it matter?”

“Yes, I am twenty-seven. You are too young either way.” I said and continued walking.

He ran up to me and grabbed my hand. “Come with me.” The girls continued walking in front of us.

“I am not going anywhere with you.” I said, trying to break my hand free. At the same time, a little intrigued and curious as usual, I thought why not? I might have a chance to write about him later in my blog.

Suddenly, he took my face and turned it to his. He kissed me so quickly, I didn’t even have a chance to react. But once he did kiss me, I pushed him away. “What are you doing?”

“ I like you” He said. “You are very beautiful.”

“You do not even know me!” I exclaimed with a half laugh. “What is my name?”

“Uh.. Maria?”

“There you go. You don’t even know my name. How can you ‘like me’?”

“Mia. Your name Mia. I remember names.” He smiled impishly.

I sighed. “Ok, nice to meet you. Now I’m going to go.”

“Where you go? I go with you.”

“You are not going to my hotel. My friends are waiting for me.” I pointed at the bored Australian girls who were standing a few meters away, talking and looking back every so often.

“It’s ok” he said. “Come!” he led me to a side street. I tried fighting him off, but it was quite useless. Probably because I didn’t really fight him off, rather pretended to.

Un baccio per favore!

Un baccio per favore!

There, in that side street, he took my face in his hands and began kissing me again, eagerly.

“Why you are not relaxed?” he asked. “Try to relax when I kiss you.”

“I am not relaxed, because I don’t want to kiss you!” I said. This was incredible – now I wasn’t relaxed when kissing him. The guy that literally forced himself on me.

“I help you find your hotel” He said.

“No”

“Si, we go together.” He stated as if I had no other choice. “I know everything in Sorrento.”

“You are not helping me find my hotel. I don’t even know you.”

“You do. I am Gabrielle. You are Mia”

I sighed loudly, exasperated. “My friends are waiting for me!”

“Is ok. They know where the hotel is, yes?”

Giving up and also finding this quite hilarious, I followed his lead. We walked around the dark streets speaking a mixture of bad English on his part and bad Italian on my part. Every so often, he would stop and say “Uf, I need a break.” Then he would press me to him and begin kissing me. At first I kept on pushing him away, but as the kissing continued, I finally gave in and began to enjoy myself a bit. He was a kid but a very beautiful and Italian kid and what better way to enjoy Italy then through a genuine Italian experience?

Just like that

Just like that

Finally, through all the walking and getting lost, my relationship with Gabrielle escalated so much and so rapidly that he looked into my eyes after kissing me and said the three words every girl wants to hear.

Ti amo

I burst out laughing. “You do not love me! What is it with you Italian men?”

“But I do. I love you.”

“You don’t know me!I just met you twenty minutes ago. You don’t even know what I do!”

“What do you do, Mia?”

“I am a teacher. And you?”

“I am studying to be chiropractor.” He answered. Having gotten that out of the way he pulled me into him again. “Kiss me”

There it was. Our first real relationship talk. Now we knew each other inside and out.

The next time we got lost, I figured he must be doing this on purpose.

“You better help me find the hotel.”

“Why are you in hurry?” He asked.

“I am tired, that’s why.”

“Why you are tired. Is early.”

“It is 4 am.”

“Early! Kiss me!” he pressed his eager lips into mine.

I sighed. There was no way out of this. He pressed me towards the fence and kissed me. He also pressed his erection towards my pelvis and I figured this time he wanted more than kissing. I guessed I was right when I heard unzipping.

This is when I squirmed out of his passionate embrace and practically ran down the hill. He ran after me.

“Mia, I am sorry.  Mia, wait!”

“I am not having sex with you.”

“No sex, just kissing. I love you.”

“Stop saying you love me already!” I exclaimed. He was being ridiculous. “All you Italian men are the same.”

“I am good boy. What are you saying?” He smiled impishly.

We walked around for a few more  minutes, until finally I located the road my hotel was on and skipped towards it happily with him following behind grouchily.

Entrance to the hotel

Knowing this was it, the end of our quick romance, he pressed me towards yet another fence and once again, I felt his hardness on me.

“Gabrielle” I said, once I finally had a chance to breathe. “ I am not having sex with you.”

“But you are twenty-seven. You are virgin?” he cocked his head to the side, genuinely confused.

“That’s not your business. But either way, I don’t go to Italy to have sex with all Italian boys” I exclaimed.

“But I love you.” He continued.

Exasperated I broke out of his embrace and walked towards the hotel. “Goodnight Gabrielle!”

Standing there, dejected he looked towards me as I walked through the door. “Ciao

And the strange thing is, he must have loved me so much, his heart probably broke from sadness, because I never saw him again.2

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Men in Rome (2012)

I’m going to Italy in two weeks and have decided to try CouchSurfing in Rome. For those of you who don’t know what CS is: basically you stay for free at someone’s house and they even take the time to show you around. The idea seems very strange to some people, but no, you do not have to host that person afterwards, and yes, it is safe. However, if a girl decides to stay over at a guy’s place, well, she should know what she might possibly be getting into. Even though, unless she wants to, technically sex is out of the question.

I’ve only done CS once, where I stayed with a guy but there is no way I would stay at a guy’s place in Rome. Really, that’s just asking for it! The thing is that while Italian men eagerly participate in CouchSurfing community, I think they have a pretty different notion of what it is supposed to be. “Oh, I heard. Is free dating website? Yes? But is better, because she is foreigner (meaning easy!), she stay at your house and then you never see her. I like very much. I sign up.”  Though he might try to make it romantic and show you Piazza Navona or the Coliseum before he gets down to ‘seducing you’.

Anyways, I posted my request to the only girl I could find in the whole city. She never replied. Instead, what I received were countless (over seventy! I’m not kidding) messages from men aged 18-50 providing me with multiple services and tours, all of which, I assume revolve around the bedroom/bathroom area.

itals1

Here are my chosen favorites:

Ciao Mia,

I saw your profile in CS and i’ve been fascinated by you, your body and your head.

If you are not able to find out something good for sleeping, don’t be shy and call me. If otherwise you succeed in finding out a good place to stay, call me to have a drink. I can show you some part of Rome out-of-commercial.

CiaO! Antonio

I didn’t know I had a fascinating head!

Ciao Mia, I Read your couch request, and you’re an interesting girl! as long as you like partying, talking and share experiences you’re more than welcome 🙂 about me, I have a clothes shop in the center of rome, so i know my city quite well so, i think I have a couch for you, i just have to check if my family is going to be in Rome, if not my house is your house!
Ciao, Marco
Ok, the clothing shop was a little difficult to pass up I must admit.
Hello I would like to  host you in my little house, after the fishing and cooking, the theater and ‘my favorite hobby ..
Which is…? Seriously, what is it?
Ciao Mia!
Welcome to ROME….welcome to eternal city…ROMA….!!!In any case if you need you need advice or a guide for visit the City (magic place), or to eat an ice cream special, or make a good aperitif-dinner, or eat the original Neapolitan pizza, or a night out for dancing(salsa, bachata, tango argentino, samba, lindy hop, disco music) or a drink, i’m available to accompany you and show you the city (Special places no tourist)….or anything else you should need not hesitate to call me …!! 🙂 Christiano
Only Italians can suggest such a grand tour. An American would probably go with   ‘and then we’ll hang out or grab some beer’
One Italian guy’s interest was actually sex. But at least he’s honest about it.
The point is, Italian men really know how to seduce a woman with wine, sightseeing, CiaoBella_PinotGrigioscooters and clothing.. too bad this only lasts until the first night!

Mistake # 3: Non Parle Americano (2011)

How are Italian men so good at getting you into bed and making you regret you got into it?

Being almost single, I joined my brother Alex and his twenty year old Sicilian/Canadian girlfriend Sandra on their romantic trip to the Dominican Republic, made less romantic by me tagging along everywhere and whining about my lack of love life.  Even though my brother and I were super close and shared all our ideas and even dating stories, I still couldn’t help but feel a little bit like a loner third-wheel on their ‘honeymoon’.

I was to be twenty-six within a couple of weeks and my life was in severe need of adventure and passion. Spending all my days teaching in a private school and coming home when it was already dark just added to my misery. To top it off, I started seeing this guy I met on a dating website. Dominick was a New Zealander who spent most of his life in Australia and has only just recently moved to Canada, where he was more miserable than me as he had never experienced any temperature below zero.

“Ahe these trees pehmanently dead?” he would ask me in a hybrid of Kiwi/Aussie accent and I would laugh. He pronounced dead like deed. And bear like beer.

He was a wonderful guy. Not bad on the eyes either. He was generous and kind, smart and successful. And I, for the life of me couldn’t understand why I felt absolutely nothing towards him. He seemed perfect. I could keep on listing his attributes forever. However, the prospect of dating him did nothing to lift my spirits up. If anything, it made me more depressed. Was I dating him because he looked perfect on paper? Because I was scared I would never fall in love? Or because I was lonely?

New Years

This trip was meant to be a little getaway, before the rest of my cold and monotone life would envelop me once more. I planned to spend it in total relaxation. However, I became very antsy when the first few days were fully uneventful. There was nothing to do, not too many interesting people to meet and most unfortunately, no cute guys besides the typical douchey baseball hat wearing and peacock strutting Canadians. They all looked the same and sounded the same. No matter how bored or desperate I was for some passion, I could not for the life of me lower myself to have a fling with one of these typical macho men. So I would keep up my boring routine of going to the beach, waiting in anticipation until it was time to eat, drink some more Mojitos and eat again. All the while I felt restless. Had I paid all this money just to lie around like a beached whale?

You see what I mean?

You see what I mean?

The next day after New Year’s has passed and by the time I gave up looking and actually started enjoying my vacation, I finally saw a guy. I was waiting near the reception with Alex, dripping water on the marble floor after my swim. The guy was standing in front of us, angrily cursing the wait up in another language. He was dirty blond with light blue eyes and a sporty build. I gazed at his passport Passaportoitaliano2006– red. He must be German, I figured.

After we left the reception, I was set on seeing the cute guy again. Sure we had only two days left, but there was finally something for me to look forwards to, besides the seafood buffet, and I would go after it. That evening, I saw him enter the restaurant by himself and observed him from afar like a spy. I reasoned he was by himself and who goes alone unless they are single and looking?

That night I was on a prowl. I generally prefer to be the one who gets prowled really, but I didn’t have a lot of time to spare for any sort of courting rituals. I had less than two days.

There was a show happening on stage and I positioned myself at the entrance, so I could see him if he would come in. There was nowhere else to be that night. And I already checked the bar.

Suddenly I spotted him sitting outside on the bench. He held a drink in his hand and seemed as bored as I was. Except probably less desperate, which wasn’t difficult. I slowly walked up to where he was sitting and pretended to watch the concert, my heart thumping against my chest as it always does when I try to make the first move.

“Horrible concert, right?” I said, not able to come up with anything more clever to say.

He looked up at me in some confusion. “Sorry?”

“I said this concert is bad” I smiled. He probably thought I was a complete moron.

“It is? Maybe is not so bad” he answered. “Sorry, my English is little rough.”

“That’s ok” I smiled. His English was pretty terrible, but somehow I always found a way to find a common ground. And sometimes my knowledge of Spanish helped.

We got to talking, if that is the proper word for it. Mostly, it was him looking uncomfortable and me guessing his words for him. He introduced himself as Rafael and as I realized the second he opened his mouth, he was not German, he was so very-a-Italian! Definitely what I never went for. However, this eased up my situation as I could now use my knowledge of Spanish to bridge the gap between Italian and English. Thankfully, Rafael also spoke some Spanish, which was of course mixed up with a lot of Italian words, but it somehow worked.pitalong

Rafael arrived to the Dominican Republic only a few hours ago. It took him fifteen hours to fly from the North of Italy and now he was staying for two weeks. Little did he know, he would be greeted by such a wonderful welcoming committee as myself.

He really looked Northern, as I have never seen an Italian with such clear blue eyes and light hair as him. And what set him apart from the others was the calm way he spoke to me. There was none of that Bella spiel that Italian men are so proud of. Really. Who wants to hear Bella yet again. Barf.

The bar

He suggested we walk to the seaside bar and we did, talking about God knows what but actually able to understand each other. The more we drank, the easier our conversation got. We spoke a mix of English, Spanish and Italian and somehow managed to get a full discussion going. Now, if only I could remember what the discussion was…

It was me who suggested ‘checking out’ the beach. And I suppose I was once again responsible for my own mistakes, if I should continue calling them that way. I did want to kiss him. Rather, I wanted something beautiful and romantic before my passion would come to a  screeching halt. I wanted to rebel against the safety of my job and the safety that Dominick seemed to embody. Dominick and I haven’t had sex yet, we haven’t even kissed and the lack of desire for either actually confused me. It’s been a while since I’ve had sex and I still didn’t want to have it with him. He was predictable, he was safe, he was boring. I wanted passion and excitement. And the Italian was sexy. He was unbelievably sexy, but that did not mean I wanted to have sex with a total stranger. At that moment, a kiss would suffice.

So we walked to the water, where I awkwardly positioned myself on a hammock as we talked.

“You are comfortable?” He asked me, a small smile on his face.

I waited a beat. “No”

He laughed and stood up. “OK, give me your hand.”

I reached for his hand and as I stood up, he kissed me. He was a wonderful kisser and we kissed for some time.

Then the Italian in him woke up.

“Come” he said.

“What? Come where?” I asked, confused.

“Come to my room” he smiled.

“I’m not going to any room, Rafael!” I said. Really? Did a kiss now mean I was ready to go to his place? Are all foreign girls considered easy? Me being Russian didn’t help matters.

They ruined it for all of us

They ruined it for all of us

“OK, how about your room?”

“Are you serious? We’re not going to my room”

“We will not have sex, Mia. I will not pressure you” he said and kissed me again.

“You think I’m stupid?” I asked.

“OK, so let’s just walk.” He offered and kissed me once more. We walked and kissed sporadically. The last stop happened to be near my building.

“So, Mia” he said. “Your hotel room is right here.”

“Thank you. I know.” The subtlety was too much to handle.

“Can I come in?”

So you would think that a girl who doesn’t want to have sex and is so explicitly encouraged, rather pushed by an Italian would have enough brains in her head to know that should she engage in this wonderful activity, she will then count to five to see how fast this Italian stallion will run out the door. And run out the door he will. Unless he wants to run back in for a quickie.

I don’t know what it was that came into my mind when I let him in my room. Number one reason was the crazy sum I spent for this one room, only to sleep in it by myself. Number two reason was that I was very attracted to Rafael and did not want to say goodnight to him just yet. And in reality, I was more than confident I would have enough brains and willpower to stop him before we got down to anything serious.

I was wrong.

As we came into the room, I began picking up the clothes that lay scattered on my floor.  He came up to me and pressed me to the wall, causing the clothes to fall back down. He pushed my hands to the sides and began kissing me, slowly,  then led me to the bed, where the passionate kissing continued.

“I’m not having sex” I kept on saying to remind not only him, but also myself I would not go through with it.

“Ok, ok” he kept on agreeing with me, knowing that actions speak louder than words. Especially when you don’t speak the language.

devil_angelIn my head there were two people arguing against each other. One kept on reminding me that I was as dry as an old lady and it made no difference to anyone if I had sex with this gorgeous man. It might even be good for me. The other one was prudishly screaming at me to stop. After all, I didn’t even know him. Tomorrow he would not remember my name.

And then he took off his shirt.

I am no longer sixteen to be screaming in glee at an image of a six-pack, but I have never before seen such a perfectly defined male body in my life. Rafael should have been sculpted, he was that perfect.

I work out

I work out

I kept on saying no, no.. and then I let it happen. He never turned the lights off which made a bit uncomfortable, nor could I fully enjoy what I felt was a mistake. Though others might call it a one-night stand.

He was masculine, he was dominant, he had an incredible stamina. The bed moved around, the bottle of water fell to the ground, I was exhausted. For a guy who spent fifteen hours on a plane, he sure did have some stamina. During sex, Rafael seemed to lose all ability to speak English or even Spanish for that matter. I think I actually learned a few Italian words, though not many that I can use on Italian men without similar consequences.

After it was over, he didn’t stay. He excitedly talked about heading to the gym first thing tomorrow morning. “I will go to gym tomorrow!” he exclaimed happily in his horrible English. I nodded and let him out the door, where he kissed me one last time. That is after I congratulated him on a wonderful start to a year. Ha.Ha.

I then lowered myself to the floor and took my face in my hands. I was a complete and total moron to let this guy convince me into having sex. But it felt good to let my guard down and actually do something so unlike me. Although, with the past two mistakes, it was strangely beginning to be like me.

The next morning, I ignored him as much as I could. After all, what would I now have to say to him? Besides ciao? I guess my face gave what happened away, because my brother and his girlfriend guessed it.

“Have you no self control?” Alex looked incredulous.

“Oh leave her alone! Let her do what she wants” Sandra came to my defense.

“Exactly” I said. “It’s not like it’s going to hurt me. I don’t even care for the guy”

Wrong again. As soon as I saw Rafael, I realized I wasn’t the only one avoiding him. He was definitely ignoring me. He, now having made some Italian friends, was completely oblivious to my existence. I didn’t want to speak to him first so we actually avoided looking at each other.

That evening, I dressed up and put on more makeup than usual. I was in a weird, anxious mood and no amount of makeup could erase that feeling.  Sure, one-night stands could be fun, considering you chose to sleep with the guy, but I felt used. Like I was yesterday’s news and today he would look for someone else. I urged Sandra to sit with me in the restaurant and waited anxiously until I would see him enter.

Soon, he came in with his friends and noticing me, came up to say hi. He kissed me European style and said hi to both me and Sandra. He asked if we were going to the bar afterwards. I told him we were. We will see each other there, he said. His English was far worse than I remembered.

Pretty much my expression

Pretty much my expression

“Mia, he’s very hot” said Sandra as we drank cocktails by the bar. “But I really think he’s a player. The way he looked me over, I don’t know, to be honest”

“I know” I lowered my head in my hands. “I’m so stupid. I told myself it wouldn’t matter, but it does. This really hurts.”

He came by the bar later on with another two friends. Two sat by my side, while he so conveniently seated himself by Sandra. I introduced him to her and my brother last night, but it seemed that he didn’t remember she had a boyfriend, as he talked to her with interest and paid almost no attention to me.

I tried to keep a happy face, but all I could do was glance his way to see if he was looking back at me. He wasn’t. Fully engaged in a conversation with Sandra, he not so much gave me as a second glance. His friends, interested in me, kept on asking me questions, but I was too upset to put on a happy face.

Soon, Sandra lowered her face to mine and whispered. “Leave him. Let’s go.”

I stared at her. I knew she was right. He was a jerk. A player. I needed to leave to preserve any self-respect I still had. Believe it or not, a huge part of me did not want to go. Had he offered to have sex with me again, I was not sure if I would have the guts to say no. So I had to leave.

“We’ll be back” I told them, looking straight at Rafael. He looked at me in surprise and confusion, probably wondering if he would have sex with me that night. Sandra and I walked around the hotel and talked. Most of this talk consisted of me crying in the bathroom.

“I am so stupid!” I kept on repeating over and over again.

“Stop blaming yourself” told me Sandra, caressing my hair. “There are many jerks like that. You just have to see them for what they are.”

There it was: a twenty year old giving a twenty-five year old advice.

When we came back, they were gone. Apparently, they sat there for an hour waiting, then figuring we weren’t coming back, left.

I hoped he would knock on my door that night, but he didn’t. Not knowing why it hurt so much, since I barely knew the guy, didn’t erase the fact that it actually hurt like hell.

I ignored him the next day, even when he tried to smile to me. However, right before we had to leave for the airport I couldn’t help glancing at him. He lay there, with his white Gucci shorts, and even Sandra gasped at how well-defined his body was. He looked like some sort of Italian God. However, he was definitely more like an Italian Douche.

At the end, I gave up trying to ignore him and wished him goodbye. Ciao, was all he said to me from his lounge chair. He didn’t even get up.

Ah Italian men. They are romantic, they are passionate, they know what women like and 7483765-an-italian-boy-on-a-scooterthey like women. They are hunters and they know that no many times a woman says no, she will ultimately say yes. The point, I know now, is to look at them with a bit of humor and to know that they will do everything to please you, but don’t expect them to be gentlemen after they have achieved what they came for.

And no matter what, don’t ever be the one who chases an Italian man!