Never Have I Ever… (2013)

191758__ender-amp-39-s-game-girl-lake-water-lying-fog-tear-leaves-hair-face_p

I collect moments so I can look back at them when I am old.. but which are the moments that we really remember?Which do we keep on recounting over and over again?

Upon request from one of my readers to write about Swiss men, I have decided to share a fairly old story about a Swiss-German guy I met while working in Panama. The reason I didn’t write about him write right away is for some reason he didn’t stick in my mind. There are men I have had the most romantic experiences with, only to forget them as soon as the wheels of the plane took off the ground. While others, like my friend Franko, still make me sad with every Facebook update.

Anyways, requests from you guys are important to me, so here goes…

The rainy season wasn’t coming for a month, so in order to conserve electricity and not use up the so needed AC, Panamanian workers received a week off from work. When I realized I would get a four day long weekend, I quickly decided to head back to Santa Catalina for a break. There was an international surfing championship happening there, so lots of parties to look forward to. Two busses and a long walk later, I arrived to the surfing hostel with two new friends I made on the bus – one Australian and one German.

The owner of the hostel was away so in charge were his two pot smoking young Brazilian sons. One, Gabriel, was gorgeous. I stared at him on my way in and he at me. He couldn’t have been older than 24, so it was a definite no go. Still, the attention he showed me was really flattering. When I asked him a question about why there was a closet full of surfboards instead of a bathroom as the sign showed, he stared at me for ages before coming out with a response. And ok, he might have been stoned, but he also looked mesmerized by me, which felt great.

That night, the German, the Aussie and I headed to Chili Rojos. If you read my Argentinian story, you will know that was the same place I met Pablo. We stood in front of the bar, when a car came to a halt in front of us and a blond boy with a very German face leaned out of the window.

“You know vere zer is good place to eat?” he asked in a very thick accent.

We directed him to where we were going and soon enough, ended up joining his table. He was with two other guys and a girl with cropped hair, who later turned out to be his brothers and sister.  Being very German in behaviour, the guys were very nice, but quite robotic and awkward around me. Erich seemed to be the fun and loose one of the group. When we played a game of “Never Have I Ever”, he seemed to be the most experienced one. He was also the most flirtatious with me, and of course quickly established himself as the leader, being the oldest.

After we headed to another bar, where I felt more awkward by the second as the brothers surrounded me and flirted with me. They were all over me, hanging on to every word I said and instead of flattering it began to feel slightly creepy. Flirting is definitely not the Swiss-German forte. Nor the German. Instead of the natural fluidity of the Italians or the Spanish, Germans are stiff and uncomfortable, which makes you equally so.  Once the brothers realized I was into Erich, they grew visibly sad and just stood there even more awkwardly.

Erich offered we go for a walk to the ocean, which was about a twenty minute hike in absolute darkness made only lighter by the bright stars that covered the sky. During the walk, he kissed me and we kissed the whole dark way down to the water. Once on the beach, our little adventure got crazier.

He removed my clothes, and almost ordered me to get into the water. With his thick Swiss-German accent, it actually sounded quite dominant, so I obeyed. Curiosity tends to get the best of me as I always long for adventure and new experiences. Well, this was definitely an interesting one. Naked, and emerged in shallow water, with him over me and melodic trance playing far off in the distance, I felt weightless and carefree.This is when he scooped up mud and began ‘drawing’ on me. Yes, I am not even kidding. The whole thing was surreal but I enjoy people with a sense of creativity and this Swiss boy had more than enough of it.

Never have I ever lied naked in the water with a stranger covered in dirt and here I was. Mr. Artisto decided to stick his cell phone in my bag and hang it across himself.  It wasn’t a surprise when it fell in the water and died. By the end of this adventure, we were both shoeless, (as our flip flops got carried away with the tide) and dirty.

We walked barefoot to my hostel, laughing about the whole thing, only to find out that there was no water back at my hippy place and we would have to sleep dirty. Using the only towel I had, we dried ourselves off, or rather – scrubbed the dirt away and got into bed.

I shared the room with another girl who slept off to the other side. However, we ended up having sex in that same room, and then Mr. Commander decided he wanted to try it on the balcony until the rail almost gave out and we had to step away quickly. Otherwise, they would have found two muddy, naked people lying on the grass underneath the window.

Why did I have sex with Erich the first night? Well, he was definitely inventive and there was not a dull second with him. And even though he definitely had a few slightly crazy ideas in his head, I fully trusted him. The guy spent majority of his twenties in a serious relationship. Now, he wanted to try something new, to experiment, to have crazy moments in his life. I felt we both wanted the same thing. Not even the sex itself, more an adventure to share.

The_Beach_at_Santa_Catalina,_Panama_(8369739920)Early that morning, we walked down the beach in search of our shoes and praise Jesus, there they were! Rejoicing, we hugged and kissed. He went back to his hotel and I went back to get some breakfast. He told me he would contact me that evening.

Meanwhile, Gabriel, the Brazilian kept on throwing longing gazes at me. I wasn’t really into anyone. If I really fell for Erich, I wouldn’t have noticed anyone around me, but I was bored. Life in Panama didn’t give me what I wanted – feelings. And if I couldn’t get feelings, I would compensate for something memorable.

“Are you going to the party tonight?” Asked Gabriel.

He was behind the bar serving drinks and he looked gorgeous – curly hair, full lips, that bronze tan that comes with life on the beach.

“I think so.”

There was a surfing championship end party happening that night and the whole hostel was going. Apart from me, there were only a handful of girls staying at the surfing hostel and as flattering as the attention was, ten guys to two girls ratio got to be a little much. The Swiss brothers, the Brazilians, men everywhere. You could probably smell testosterone a mile away from Santa Catalina. That and horniness.

I wasn’t sure how, but I wanted to have something with Gabriel, even though Erich texted he would see me later. I drove to the area with Gabriel’s brother and soon we got a group of Panamanians dancing to reggaeton. Neither Gabriel nor Erich were anywhere to be seen. Suddenly, as trance began playing, I could see a group of blond Europeans charging our way, their fists pumping the air.

One of them was Erich and his brothers, who now actually began to act coolly around me. I hugged him to me and we all began dancing. An hour or so later, he had to drive everyone back.

“You will wait for me, Mia? I will be back in twenty minutes!” he told me.

“Sure” I said. “I will wait.”

At first I danced by myself, feeling quite awkward amongst a crowd of people I didn’t know. Then, I saw Gabriel. We talked a bit, then began dancing – closer and closer until his breath was on my face. He seemed nervous as he leaned in to kiss me, but relaxed as I reciprocated. We kissed and kissed, until I realized it was time Erich would be returning. Like a complete bitch (I still feel kind of bad for it), I told Gabriel I had to go to the bathroom and walked the other way.

Just in that moment, Erich saw me. One second earlier and he would have seen me with the Brazilian. I jumped into his arms and he hugged me tightly to him. I thought I saw Gabriel looking at us, though I wasn’t so sure. We danced, then went further on to the wooded area to continue dancing barefoot until he forgot where he left his shoes. Again. We searched for them until even the police themselves decided to help us out with a flashlight.

After the dancing, we drove to the beach where he played commander, part two. He took me in his arms and asked me to lean backward on my hands as he kissed my body. I don’t even know why, but I was relaxed and eager to try all these things with him. Never have I ever done acrobatic tricks on the beach, and here I was, completely out of my body, not thinking… and as an over thinker, that was a refreshing sensation.

Never have I ever had sex in a car” I offered as we got into the comfy minivan.

He eyed me. “We can arrange that.”190342482_552ad209ac

We drove into the woods, ‘parked’ in a ditch and moved all the seats back.  The windows got fogged, as if we were both in “Titanic” (except without the hand imprint), when the police decided to check up on us. They thought something might be wrong with the car. Erich, his hair discheveled and his face flushed, opened the window.

“No, todo bien. Gracias” he said in his broken Spanish.

I killed myself laughing.

Later, we sat naked on the floor of the car with the door slid opened, naked, my head on his shoulder and talked about life in general. I wish I could remember what we said to each other, but time erases memory, leaving only the most significant conversations in your head. Next day, I was leaving back to Panama City and he told me he would visit me before he left back to Zurich.

Last time I saw him, he took a taxi to the old part of the city just to meet me a couple of hours before he had to leave.  He spent those hours giving me a massage and did not even instigate sex until I lunged at him, which showed to me I gave him more than just a great sexperience. He lay next to me, caressing my face until it was time to leave and after kissing me softly, closed the door behind him.

I asked him to mail me some Swiss chocolate.

We wrote each other back and forth until we had nothing more to write about. I will be honest – I hardly ever think about Erich and had it not been the request to write about a Swiss guy I never would have mentioned him.

There are guys we can have the craziest, most amazing few days with, but not remember, and there are those we barely know or exchange one kiss with, but that is the one kiss that we keep on reverting back to over and over again. I’m glad I did those things I have never ever done, and wouldn’t have if I didn’t meet Erich, but real feelings are so much more important than just a sum of experiences.

When you like someone, really like them – every look is meaningful, every touch is electrified and every sense is heightened. And even the most regular experience can take on a new meaning. It is not the moments I tried so hard to collect, thinking ‘that would make a good story’ that I recall, it is those that I lived and breathed through, the ones when I really lived in the present.

Believe it or not, but never have I ever been in love. I write about dating, I make videos about dating.. but I have yet to feel an overwhelming emotion. And that, my readers, is the biggest irony of all!BeFunky_970981_409179255857516_1613477559_n32.jpg32

Please share with me any story of mine that really caught your attention and tell me why. Thanks for reading and keep asking for requests!

Advertisements

The Virgin (2013)

forty_year_old_virgin_ver2

Never get involved with someone for the reason of “helping them”. 

When he walked into the club, he stood out. First of all, he was tall. He also had an attractive face and I swear I could feel his European-ness a mile away.

We were in a fifties style club, for a friend’s birthday. He seemed to know all of my friends. Everyone, except for me, which wasn’t a surprise – I pretty much just got back from Panama.

I waited and waited to be introduced. This is my new tactic – relax and let things happen. When I realized I might wait the whole night like this, I reverted to my old technique – make the move. I walked up to my friend and got him to introduce me to the guys, which he did with a sarcastic grin on his face.

Lenard, the chubby shorter guy was the chatty one. Theo was the one I liked. Both were from The Netherlands studying for their masters.

Theo was cute. With dark blue eyes, light brown hair falling in strands over his forehead and a nice built he looked as if he had no trouble getting girls. But when he talked to me, I didn’t sense his interest. His eyes did not gaze into mine with meaning. He seemed detached, completely disinterested and not in the least bit flirty. He talked and talked, but never actually took the time to slow down, smile and really look at me. I figured he really wasn’t interested and I was just wasting my time. So I reverted to my new technique of not giving a damn and excused myself to go to the bathroom. In addition, he was only here for the remaining month and I have been through and over this with similar consequences. Another guy who would leave. Another, whatever it was. I was getting quite sick of it.

I spent the night dancing and fighting the urge to initiate conversation. My new motto was: if someone wants you, they will make it happen. Especially if you already took that extra step. His friend and he never danced. They simply walked around talking to people and when they left, he walked right by me without saying bye.

The next day I noticed that he added me on Facebook and I was slightly surprised. I guess waiting did pay off in the end. When he began chatting to me online,  I figured he must be somewhat interested.

I didn’t hear from him for a couple of days and let’s be honest here. I didn’t really care. I thought he was cute, yes, but was I really attracted to him? He seemed to miss a presence, a spark – something that would really get my heart beating faster.

A few days later, I got a text message out of nowhere asking me if I wanted to grab a drink. I got a bit excited until I realized – his friend was coming too. When we met, I noticed that Lenard was much more engaged in a conversation with me, while Theo never gave me a prolonged stare to show his interest. He talked, surely enough, but there was no extra attention. It didn’t disappoint me as much as add more water to my already melting interest. Also, I didn’t appreciate the fact that I was treated like one of the guys. They had this rule that each person would buy a round of beers for the other two. I thought it was a ridiculous rule, given that I am a girl, but went along with it.symw-beers-joe-via-thebrokenheeldiaries-dot-com

Either way, they were both fun, more so Lenard who was very opinionated and cracked jokes about everything, including his love of sexual innuendos Theo seemed uncomfortable with. But Theo was good-looking and European and I suppose, it made me feel good to walk around with him, as shallow as that sounds.

The next day we met for the Rugby game and after, joined a rooftop party my friends invited me too. They were very surprised to see the Dutch boys there and threw me a couple of inquiring looks. I stayed with Theo the entire evening, slightly interested in him and flirting as much as I could, touching him constantly, but there was no sexual energy between us. Again, he stood out of the crowd, with his big hands moving his unruly hair back every so often, so much that all the girls seemed to drink him up. I felt a sense of pride at this, knowing he really was interested in me. I felt it, though he has made no move up to this point.

By the end of the night, as they walked me back, I really gave up. I have had enough of both of them, inseparable, and Theo who was too chicken to make a move.

And so continued a couple of weeks. He would write to me and invite me out, always accompanied by his best friend. I began to get irritated and bitched to my guy friends about his lack of initiative.

“Maybe he only likes you as a friend?” suggested one of my female friends a little smugly.

“Well why does he keep on inquiring about my day, what I do, where I am?” I almost yelled at her in frustration. I hate it when people turn the problem around and make you sound like you are inventing problems. And they make you feel almost guilty for being so arrogant to assume that someone actually likes you!

My guy friends found this hilarious. I couldn’t care at this point. It was getting ridiculous and I was too old to deal with childish behavior. So, one night when he invited me over to his house to watch “Die Hard”, I told him my perfect Saturday evening did not involve watching an action movie with two guys. Get the point there, mister!die_hard_two_ver2_xlg

But as I was walking down the street the next day, I ran into the Dutch guys by some weird stroke of .. luck? Theo looked me up and down, but let Lenard initiate the conversation for most of the walk. We were going to the same barbecue as it turned out.

It was a freezing August night and I didn’t bring anything to cover myself so as I stood on the street, he offered to “keep me warm”. Keeping me warm consisted of hugging me and awkwardly and tapping my back, as if I was a male buddy and not a girl he was actually interested in.

“Theo” I said “That’s not how you hug a girl!”

“Let me hug you again” he offered awkwardly. I swear to God, good looks can go to waste when someone is that insecure.

This time the hug lasted longer, but just as I began to relax and actually feel he was treating me like a woman, he tapped me again.

ARGH.

Towards the end of the night, we stepped out of the bar. My friend let me borrow her shawl and I put it on to keep me warm for my forty minute walk home. Theo hugged me again, this time with no tapping and I found myself learning into his warm body as he gently caressed my shoulders. Leonard looked us up and down. I suppose we looked really intimate.

I figured Theo would say goodnight and join his inseparable self, but instead he asked me if he could walk me back.

“It’s a thirty minute walk” I said, both challenging and warning him.

“It’s OK” He looked me straight in the eyes uncomfortably.

“You don’t have to” I emphasized. I didn’t actually know if I wanted him to agree or disagree. We have never been one-on-one for longer than ten minutes and this might have gotten awkward as I always felt around him. After seeing he would not give up, I shrugged with a smile. OK, let’s go.

We walked hugging each other all the way back and I think that this physical closeness made it easier for us to be honest.

“So” I asked “What do you think about Dutch girls?”

“How is this related to our conversation about people?”

“Well girls are people. This is merely for anthropological purposes” I added.

He stalled. “I don’t really have much experience with girls.”

As if I couldn’t tell at this point.

“I mean, I know what to do.. I am just too shy about actually doing something” he continued, afraid to look at me.

“I can see that.” I said “You just don’t know how to make a move.”

“The thing is I know what to do. I just don’t know how to get around to doing it. I get nervous”

I looked at him. “Are you nervous right now?”

“Yes” he said looking straight ahead.

I stopped in my tracks and he looked at me questionably. Then I did something I haven’t done since my early twenties, when I thought that making the first move would at least rid of the awkwardness of having to wait for the guy. I leaned in and kissed him. The thing is,  he needed this. This would be the only thing that would make him feel more comfortable and it was long in coming. Poor Theo was not a good kisser. He wasn’t bad, but he was really nervous and that made the kiss unnatural and awkward. I felt like I was kissing a boy and not a twenty-five year old man. His birthday was in a few days. He would be twenty-six. The age when a man has normally experienced a string of dates, one-night stands, relationship(s) and possibly even a threesome.

“That was awful” he admitted after we stopped kissing. I shrugged it off and said “practice makes perfect”. We walked back a little more comfortably and when we were in front of the condo,  I asked him if he wanted to get some water.

He jumped at the opportunity to come up, so we did. Once he got some water in him, I told him he could technically stay but..

He didn’t let me finish the end of that sentence, saying that it was late and he would much prefer that to the hike back.

I offered him the couch, but figured he was harmless and let him sleep on my bed.

Do I look like I would make a move? He confirmed for me and I actually felt sorry for him.

But surprise of all surprises came when he pulled a what I call “Italian” on me and his hands started wandering. I could have stopped him, I know that, but a part of me felt bad. The poor guy needed this. The other part was intrigued. The last one was kind of horny. After all, I was in bed, half naked with a good looking guy. And his kissing was progressing at a fast rate.

“You know” He told me “I really have limited experience. This is as far as I have gone”

I was shocked. I really didn’t know what to say to that. So, I didn’t say anything. I half expected it but to actually hear someone was a virgin at the tender age of almost 26  was unbelievable. The worst is, he was way better looking than Lenard, yet Lenard seemed to have almost a porn star experienced compared to his.

However, I stuck to my rule and did not have sex with him that night. I don’t think he even wanted to. He was still dazed from being in bed with a naked girl. It was amazing to watch his expression as he ran his hands over my body. It was as if he was a sculptor observing a beautiful sculpture he had just molded.

We slept together and the next morning he had to go home, since I was having a barbecue, inviting all of our now collective friends. Had my guy friends found the guy I bitched about in my condo, they would have never let it go.

During the barbecue I ignored him mostly. Being around him was slightly awkward and Lenard with his annoying remarks that got under my skin didn’t help matters. All the winking and giggling made me feel like I was back in high school.

My girlfriends who now saw him for the first time expressed their thumbs up and told me to “go for it.” He was “so cute”! Even when I pointed him out to my brother, he dropped his mouth. I guess I wouldn’t have believed it either. But the reality was, he just wasn’t my guy. Eloquent and confident as he seemed, he lacked fire and sex appeal. So I ignored him until I started to feel bad and then led him onto the balcony and kissed him.

“Just sleep with the guy” offered my brother. “I mean,  it won’t be a big deal for you but it would mean a lifetime for him.” Yes, in reply to your answer. My brother and I talk about everything.

I pondered this thought. Yes, he wasn’t really for me, but I have been with quite a few unworthy guys and here was one who really deserved it. I could change his life. I could be his Stefan (read the German). I have never been anyone’s first.. Not that I have wanted to be. I prefer experienced guys.. but hell. Why not?

I think I was really bored and have not felt anything for a while. It is really sad that I did this for such shallow reasons, because it did not make this ‘thing’ any more memorable.

I suppose a part of me wanted to feel a power that Stefan must have felt when he made me a woman. The other part felt sorry for him. No one should feel inadequate for being a virgin at such an age. Having lost my virginity late in life (two weeks away from my twenty-third birthday) I knew what that felt like. Theo would lose his at twenty-five. I wanted to help him. Hmm, maybe I could also put that on my resume. Teacher/virgin helper.

He stayed over that night and early in the morning, as we woke up and started getting kind of worked up I offered it to him matter of factly. “Soooo.. Theo… you wanna have sex?”

“Um. Yes?” he finally got out. I could have laughed then at how well his serious face concealed the emotion. Ah, good old Northern Europeans!

So we did. It was less awkward than our first kiss and actually not bad at all. Afterwards he took a shower and sat in the living room with his hair wet and an entranced expression on his face. Finally he got up and said he had to go but hoped to see me before his birthday.

He had a week left in Canada.

I guess I was so set on being some perverted form of Mother Theresa that I didn’t bother thinking about the ‘what would happen’. Theo  began to see me as his girl. It was obvious to both of us he was leaving but he was fully set on returning in four months. He didn’t bother me, send me love letters or cry at my doorstep but I felt his need for me.

birthday_cake

Kind of like that. Except I am not blonde

I saw him on the day of his birthday that he was celebrating on the lake shore. I didn’t bring a present. Actually I told him that was his birthday present after sex. I told him no one else would bring such a great one. Not even Leonard.

When he actually paid for my drink and began offering me more, Lenard looked at me in awe and said “You made a Dutch guy un-Dutch.”

All of my friends realized we had a thing going on and made hilarious faces behind Theo’s back. The joke centered around how I made Theo a man. Little did they know how close to the truth they were.

I realized how much Theo changed when on Saturday, who, while we were at a Greek restaurant had walked in wearing a new collared shirt, with his hair freshly washed, smelling of deodorant. There was a Greek festival on the street and everyone was dancing in circles, so he jumped in and began dancing in a circle. When I met him he seemed deadly afraid of dancing and now he was practically turning Greek. When we entered the Latin club, he offered me drink after drink, even though I knew he would normally not do that. In fact, he once mentioned he would never pay for a girl. Then, he asked me teach him salsa and actually turned out to be a great dancer.

Not quite as great

Not quite as professional

When I couldn’t stop laughing at this sudden change, he looked at me and said “You woke me up. You know that, right?” I told him that was probably the most romantic thing anyone has said to me. Seriously. It sounds like a line right out of the movie. I almost answered with “You had me at hello”.

The sex has gotten way better and I quite enjoyed lying next to him as the freezing August weather made it too chilly to go outside. He was so much more relaxed, so much more open and more of a man too. Apparently, having spent lots of time in front of a computer when he was a child, he felt socially awkward for quite a while. I hoped what I did would help him. On the flip side, it could also hurt him and close him off even more. I didn’t want a future with him and he began talking about coming back to stay in Canada indefinitely.

The last night I was at his place, we were watching movies on his couch and I got quite pissed off at him not having bought a bottle of wine. I sat there quietly and he broke the silence, saying he felt really guilty. Then he finally took initiative. He ran out and went to buy a bottle. When he came back, he offered to take me out for Mexican and then he took another one. He paid. (A guy who said he would never pay for a woman. Praise Jesus!)

q

The sex didn’t quite look like that either

The last morning he told me I was the best thing that has ever happened to him. I guess it was a sweet thing to say, but I was his first.  Of course I was the best thing that has ever happened in his life. I gave him the gift of SEX.

The last day was very hard for him. Not only was he leaving me, but he was leaving the closeness that we shared and he wasn’t sure he would find it again. After all, it took him years to find me. By that, I mean a woman willing to de-virginize him.  As we kissed goodbye, I could still see him on the other platform – his eyes red. I was upset for him, but I wasn’t emotional. In a way, I was happy to be rid of him.

Theo was a great guy, he would be a good boyfriend and maybe he would definitely make some girl happy. But for me, I need someone with presence, someone with passion, someone who is strong and who knows how to take initiative. I was still on a quest to find him however long that would take and wherever he would be from.

exposedFor now, nothing is better than settling.

PS. I recently ended it with him and he wouldn’t listen when I told him to remember life is full of pain and disappointment, but you have to take risks. For me, I learned that people need to help themselves. Sure, I made him a MAN. But it doesn’t mean I made him happier. And I surely didn’t make myself happier nor more powerful. The only thing that can make me feel is actually FEELING. 

What’s a Girlfriend Got to Do With It? (2013)

surfer

Does culture dictate what is acceptable for men or are there simply assholes regardless of their country?

I was in Panama for a teaching job I found accidentally. You can’t imagine my happiness at leaving behind freezing Canadian winter and heading off to the land of sun, beaches and Latin dancing!

Before I started my job, I decided to take two weeks to travel the country and got a volunteering gig as a hotel helper in a surfing town of Santa Catalina. Basically all I had to do was lie in a hammock waiting for guests, reading a book or sometimes dozing off after a day at the beach.

lazy life in the village

lazy life in the village

I worked alongside a very nice but quite smelly and unattractive bearded American guy Rick who had a crush on me. For the lack of any other company, we would go out at night to one of the few little bars followed by the owner’s dog Darly. The dog would run alongside us, barking at anyone who would get close.

I have spent a few days in Santa Catalina and loved the little village atmosphere, the endless fruits on the trees and the lush nature, but I was bored. So, so bored. The bars closed at ten p.m. so that the surfers could wake up at dawn to do what they do best… Surf.

One night I walked into Chile Rojos pizza bar with Rick, and a bit fed up at spending all my time with him (as well as tired of his arm-pit smell) I joined a table of four guys. Two guys were serious blond Fins, and the other two dark shaggy haired Argentinians.

Chile Rojos

Chile Rojos

One, Pablo, was the most attractive one. Rather, he exuded a mix of confidence, easy-going charm and ruggedness all in one. With a sleek body covered in a few tattoos, he was shaggy haired and slightly bearded. I didn’t fall for him, rather he won me over with his easy demeanor.

At first we became something like friends. We got along perfectly and understood each other’s sense of humor, even though we spoke only in Spanish. That night, as the electricity died in the bar (which was a normal occurrence in Panama), us and the Fins plus Rick and Darly walked to the beach. Pablo and I walked together and he sang me songs in Spanish. Cheesy maybe, but he made everything seem natural.

“That was so lame the way he kept on trying to win you over. He just wants to get into your pants.” hissed angry Rick as we walked home.

“Pablo?” I laughed. “I am not taking him seriously.”

I really didn’t. Pablo was fun, relaxed and sexy. And that was enough.

The next evening I saw him again. He was sitting with his friend Pato (who spoke even less English but was the nicest person) in Chile Rojos and was very excited as I came in. As we started talking, he went over the list of all the guys I know and began quizzing about me about who I found attractive, clearly sorting out through the competition. First came the Fins, then Rick. It was a big bold NO for all.

“What do you think about me?” he asked me in his sing-song Argentinian accent. A little knowing smile on his face.

I avoided the topic and looked a bit uncomfortable, so he gave up. At least for that night.

santa catalina2

I didn’t see him the next day, so I started to miss him a little. He didn’t show up to Chili Rojos for a couple of hours, so I sat there with Rick and another guy hoping and wishing he would come through the door. And just as I was about to give up, in he came with that relaxed grin on his face and that shaggy hair of his sporting a regular attire of T-shirt and surfer shorts.

He sat down near me and began flirting mercilessly.

“So is it a yes?” he asked finally, in a cryptic voice.

“It’s a maybe” I finally uttered, unable to keep on prolonging this any longer.

He seemed to take it as a yes and as we began to part, he offered to go to the beach. Rick thankfully declined and Pato came for a bit, then with a not-so subtle look from Pablo finally said he had to go sleep. As he left, Pablo decided to romance me the Latin way and put on some romantic Argentinian music for me. And he even sang along to it.

We started kissing and then he began to kiss my breasts. I was going to say no except it has really been a while and at this point, who really cared? We went further and further.. until he wanted a blowjob.

OK, so my rule with blow jobs is that I only give one after sex.  After all, I don’t know where his penis has been! Why would I put some unknown object in my mouth? Kids are taught not to do that.

I told him NO. And what did he do? He stood in front of me with his penis sticking out and his arms on his sides. He even tried to grab my hand so I could touch it. And believe me when I say, there was not much to grab onto there. But that’s beside the point. Exasperated, I told him I was leaving. He followed me, now with his penis in his pants, thankfully. We were also accompanied by Darly, who jealous or angry began jumping on me and biting me, seeing as how some unknown boy was all over me. She wouldn’t leave me alone, so Pablo tried to calm her down.

“I want to stay the night with you. We are not going to have sex” he said firmly, holding the dog with the other hand.

I shook my head. “You are not”

“I am. I am coming”

“No. I said you are not”

“Yes, I am grabbing my things”

“Pablo! No!”

“Ok, wait for me. I am coming”

The forest

The forest

And apparently this pushy Argentinian logic worked since the next thing I knew we were walking to my place. By place, I mean an attic in the middle of nowhere. Downstairs lived Rick and if you climbed the ladder up, you would have to sort of walk/crawl through my wooden door. Thankfully Rick never tried it.

“How long has it been since you had a girlfriend?” I asked him.

“Hmm.. Long time” he said as he held my hand through the woods.

I missed sleeping near a guy and living in a little village with woods on both sides of me didn’t help matters. It was really nice to have this shaggy haired VERY PUSHY Latin man with me. Even if he did just stick his wiener in my face.

Pun intended

Pun intended

After we got heated up again, he gave me oral and asked me to reciprocate (which I admit, I hate. It’s almost like ‘I do you. You do me’). I told him about my rule.

“You have some stupid rules” He said. I should have been mad maybe, but it was kind of funny and in fact, maybe he was right. I ended up giving him one. But on second thought, personal rules are good to have and no one should ever argue you out of them or you lose your sense of integrity.

We slept in each other’s arms and in the morning, he rose early for surfing. I looked up at him a bit bewildered. I have never spent the night with a surfer/hippy/tattooed guy. But I figured that was one experience that would be interesting.

To be frank, I avoided him the whole day. I mean, OK,  I wanted to see him but that would entail something else. I couldn’t continue sleeping with him and not having sex. I also couldn’t just walk away. Rather, he probably wouldn’t let me.

That day, however, I didn’t see him and though relieved, I began to wonder – maybe he left!? What if he left? What if I never saw him again?

However, the night after I was walking home when I saw him and Pato strolling towards the beach with a surfing instructor Ronaldo. They asked me to join them and I succumbed. Besides everything, I loved spending time with them. They were funny, friendly, playful and so easy going. If it wasn’t for the almost sex I was having with Pablo, we could be great friends.

Sitting on the beach, Pablo didn’t try to caress me or kiss me in front of the guys.. So when Ronaldo offered me a massage to “relax me”, I saw it as okay. I didn’t see it as anything else. Pablo, who was gone for a few minutes, came back to see Ronaldo massaging my back. Clearly irritated, he offered Pato to leave the beach and when I looked at him quizzically, ignored me.Beach_Bonfire_by_anarsil1

“It’s great, I will drop her off” offered Ronaldo.

“No, no!” I protested “I am coming with you, guys!”

As it turned out on the way back, Pablo did in fact get jealous and could not understand why I would let another man massage me. I couldn’t understand how a massage turned into something so serious? After all, he didn’t act like we were anything more than friends/almost sex partners.

Ronaldo followed us on a bike, clearly thinking he still had a chance but Pablo would not let that happen.

“I am staying with you” He whispered to me. No please. No maybe.

Ronaldo’s face fell and Pablo’s brightened as we walked away together. As we lay together that night (without sex still) we began talking about our lives. He opened up about his life, his mom dying.. And then he uttered my favorite phrase which at the time seemed so genuine but now I have no idea.

“You are my perfect girl” he whispered “I mean we have fun, you are hilarious, pretty.. Everything I want. Would you consider coming to Argentina? We could try dating.”

We could dance tango

We could dance tango

I don’t know if that worked its magic or maybe I was just horny, but we ended up having sex that night. The sex was nothing special, I think it was more the closeness I craved.

That morning was a soap opera. Rick, for some unknown to me reason, decided to practice yoga under my attic window.. meaning Pablo couldn’t get down or he would be seen. I climbed down and tried to distract Rick. I offered him to go surfing so he could finally leave and when that worked, told him I would meet him halfway. Pablo during this time, was browsing through my underwear collection and smirking. This went on for an hour, until he finally climbed down my window and we arranged to meet on the beach.

That day he taught me how to surf and acted as the sweetest guy ever. He only bit my ass twice, and was excited every time I got on my board. “Agarra el tablero!” He would yell on top of his voice and cheer me on as I shakily managed to stay on long enough. You see why I am still of a good opinion of this Argentinian boy.

Oh yeah, a pro like me

Oh yeah, a pro like me

That night, however, he never came and as it turned out later, spent the night on the beach. I left for another place the following day, having cried a bit as I walked home the night I didn’t see him.

Bocas del Toro was comprised of three islands, and close to the border of Costa Rica. I was there for four days when  I saw him randomly strolling down the street. On Valentine’s Day of all days.

bocas

Sure, I was still mad he didn’t come, but to hell with it.. I thought. We spent the day on the beach and the evening eating pasta and flirting furiously. People turned around at us with smiles as we fought and made up playfully within a matter of minutes. His hair was tied up in a small ponytail and he looked a bit like Orlando Bloom from Pirates of the Caribbean. At least that’s what my new friend thought. The poor girl didn’t speak any Spanish and had to spend her dinner listening to us bickering in a foreign language.

We spent the night dancing. Actually, he would stand there distracted watching surfing one second. The next, he would press me to the wall with his body. He told me I was like “a thousand girls in one” – meaning I was that amazing and energetic.

He rented a motel room that night, but for some reason I felt cheap. Especially when coming out of the bathroom, I saw him fully undressed lying on the bed waiting for me. The sex was average once more.

The morning after was my last day in Bocas. I had to return to Panama City to start work. That day however I met Giles (See the French) and since I was extremely attracted to Giles, I later on hid from Pablo in the club.

And good thing, because this is the conversation Pablo and I had two weeks after.

“So Pablo, what are you doing? Are you coming to Panama City?”

“Oh I don’t think so. My girlfriend is coming tomorrow so we might go back to Santa Catalina”

“…Girflriend?”

“Why, does it matter?”

“…YES!?”

“Well I didn’t think it mattered. You never asked.”

“I asked how long has it been since you had a girlfriend. I didn’t assume you actually HAD one.”

Thus the story ends, with a little insight on Argentinian culture, in which it is apparently normal to have an open relationship and cheating is considered as normal as peeing. Who knew? It was my first experience and it shocked me.

Corazon

Who has any similar experience with Argentinians? I would love to hear your stories!

Real Life Stereotypes

  1. How you going, mate?

It’s one thing to call your guy friends mate. That means man, amigo, dude, tio in Aussie-speak. But calling a girl mate, especially when you are trying to hit it off with her is just weird.  This summer I met an Aussie guy who kept on calling me mate. Like “how you goin’ mate? Whatcha doin’ mate?” Do I look like your rugby playing friend? I kept on emphasizing. “I have boobs!”  but he didn’t seem to get the point. When he made a move on me, I figured OK, he should be smart enough to stop with the whole mate nonsense. Guess what? Even after we shared a  romantic kiss on the beach, he would still refer to me as mate. “You taste like saltwater, mate” he would quirp in that annoying Aussie voice of his. And the funniest thing? He thought that his obnoxiousness was somehow attractive to me. To his surprise, we never ‘hooked up’ and I ended up meeting a French guy who never in his right mind would call me something as asexual as mate.

2.   Going Dutch

I am assuming the term “going dutch” came from Holland. For those who don’t know, it is paying for your own share of food or drinks and personally the idea is repulsive to me. I would rather offer to pay for the guy than split my own side of the bill. In reality though, I am old-fashioned and truly believe the man needs to pay, at least for the first year or so. And after, just emotionally.

Last summer I met a Dutch guy who was great –  smart, funny and cute. I had a thing for him and he seemed to really like me. At least he was so nervous around me, I assumed he did.  He wanted to prove he was somewhat of a gentleman so he could ‘score’ so he asked me if I wanted a drink. I don’t think he thought I would say yes, but I did.   I could practically see the wheels turning in his head as he debated whether or not it would be worth it to get me a drink.  Would we have to pay two point five euros each? How would we make it work? It took him about forty minutes as we went from bar to bar, to finally find a cheaper place and scrape enough cash to treat me. When he did, he felt as proud as if he presented me with a bottle of Dom Perignon. He never did score, so maybe I should mail him a check for my part.

3.  I am from Roma!

Seriously, Italian men just love the fact that they are from Italy. So much so that they call all their cities by their Italian names. “I am from Firenze! I am from Milano! I am from Roma!” Possibly it’s because they cannot speak any English, but most probably it is because they have to play their role of the Italian stallion, the passionate seducer. Think about it – have you ever heard a French guy say he is from Pari? Or a Russian one that he is from Moskva? Italian men are so full of it, I can write a novel on it. The best is when they pause significantly before saying they are from… (insert drum) ITALY! The land of love and seduction. One guy actually presented me with this line after kissing me. “I am leaving for Roma (!!) in one hour. But if we go to the beach right now, I can be your man for this whole hour!” To which I replied “I cannot believe my luck! What did I do to deserve this?” to which he of course replied “What?”

4.  French – the greatest lovers?

Ok, so the first time I kissed a French guy was actually this New Years, so I wouldn’t say I have years of expertise here. However, he was one of the most amazing kisses I have ever experienced. Slow, sensual, made me feel crazy tingles. So, after this I thought “Wow, are all French men like this?” No, they are definitely not. But I gotta say, they are damn sensual and pay a lot of attention to you. The last French guy I was with was a terrible kisser. He was more like a pecker. I felt like I was kissing a relative. However, he was one of the best “lovers” I have ever had (though I’m surprised I even got there with all that pecking). Once again, sensuous and slow and made me feel like I was the center of the world. After which I never heard from him again.

5.  Begging Brazilians

Whoever said that the Brazilians are the best ‘in the sack’? I wouldn’t know, because I never got there. Reason why? They are so damn horny and so bad at hiding it that it can get pretty repulsive. A few years back I went out with a Brazilian guy I kind of liked. I loved our kiss on the first date. He seemed classy. By the second date, his hand was almost in my underwear. I told him no. But why? He asked. It is nice weather. I like you. This is nice. When that beautifully expressed proposal didn’t get the response he desired, he still tried over and over. Maybe I should have  been more firm, which I am bad at, but at one point he started saying ‘please!’ ‘come on!’ ‘ the sky is beautiful. You are.. pretty!’ And then he almost took his pants off. In the end, I never found out how amazing he was in the sack, but he would make a hell of a beggar.

6.  Lying Latinos

Oh the things that Latin guys will say to you to get you in bed! But a lot of us have a soft spot for Latin guys. They are supposed to be the romantics, the lovers, the passionate seducers. Great husbands though? A few weeks ago I went to a Latin Festival, where I ran into a Colombian guy who asked me for my number about a month prior to that, before I left for vacation. He recognized me and asked why I didn’t answer his calls. Distracted,  I kept on looking at the little girl on his arm. His sister, maybe? Then, a short Latin woman joined him with another little kid. My daughters, he mumbled before I smiled to the family and politely excused myself. But clearly I haven’t had my share of Latinos yet, as I met another guy at the same festival. He was cute, tall, Chilean and we had a great spark. He eagerly asked for my number, told me he wanted to see me that week and I was convinced he was very interested. Next day, I found him on Facebook. Not just him, but a woman who was kissing him on his profile picture. Wearing WHITE. And he had a separate album for his DAUGHTER. Yep, two lying Latinos in one day. How is that for a Monday?

 7.  Simple Brit Lads

I love generalizing, really, because obviously there are British guys that are definitely full of it, cocky, arrogant pricks. However, what I have noticed is that British boys have one great quality – they are simple and straight to the point. Many women are simply not attracted to the Brits because they lack that passion and fire that more Southern men tend to play on. However, though dry and seemingly less romantic, they are honest. At least the guys that I’ve met. They will not try to use cheesy lines or lame, overused names like ‘bella’ or ‘hermosa’ that are as a rule tried on every single girl. Or even man (bello). They will say it as it is, but in the end, when they tell you they love you, they will mean it more than the men who use a lot of flowery language to get you into bed.

I have had a little fling with one English lad and up until this day, he still writes to me and asks how I am doing. Meanwhile I have not received even one message from the passionate Latin and Italian men who threw a lot of words around. So, don’t underestimate the power of the Brits. They did make the history!

8.  Oh Canada!

Oh, Canadian boys. I will be very mean and say that I have not once met a Canadian boy I really wanted to date. Many are cute, many are smart and even funny, but for me personally, something is missing. While there are exceptions to any rule, most have no depth, no charm, no culture. I cannot begin to describe how many times I have cringed at their responses. “Cool”, “awesome”, “nice, nice”.. How can everything be cool or awesome? Seriously?

Please prove me otherwise. I have lived in Canada all of my adult life and have yet to find someone who isn’t arrogant, doesn’t have ADD (because he cannot make conversation), doesn’t say the most typical things in the world and has some class or charm. You know where to find me.

9.  A Wife for an Eastern European

Eastern European men are spoiled. At least the ones that reside in Eastern Europe. Russia, Croatia, Serbia, Ukraine are full, and I mean full of gorgeous, model-like, skinny, perfectly dressed and feminine women. And since there are more women than men, guess what? Men can expect anything and get it. The man looks for a woman who can cook, clean, and manage to stay beautiful.

This I experienced first-hand with my first serious Russian boyfriend, who used to complain I didn’t help him clean his floors. I would see him maybe twice a week and he would ask me why I never helped him clean. “Because this is your house?” I would reply. Had I been in Russia, I probably would have gone into the bathroom to start soaking the sheets in detergent.

I guess this is why so many men prefer Eastern European and Asian women. They turn around and BOOM, their socks are clean.

10.     Are Germans Cheap?

Yes. And yes. I have many, many stories about the generosity of Germans, but one of them is really quick and special! It isn’t about me, but a friend of mine who was going out with a German guy for four years. After they broke up, she received an envelope with a letter inside. “Hmm” she thought “Maybe he wrote me a romantic letter about his feelings or a note to say bye.” Instead what she found was a bill for every single thing he has ever bought for her. She would have to pay it all back. How is that for romantic?

* Just as a side note, these are all generalizations or notes from my own experience. If you believe that Canadians are super charming and classy or the Dutch are the most generous men in the World, feel free to share!

Hosting Avec Benefits (2012)

Here I recount a funny experience of CouchSurfing with a guy I was attracted to.

I was bored out of my mind. I was at work, supposedly creating school curriculum, though slacking off most of the time and looking for traveling jobs for the summer. It was May and I was once again tired of the same old.

I needed a little getaway even for just for the weekend. The idea popped up in my head as I sat in front of the computer and I discreetly opened up the CouchSurfing website (if you don’t know about it, it is used to find a host in another city/country) to see who I could stay with in Montreal. I could have stayed with a friend, but I just wanted something new and someone new to get to know. Scrolling down the list of available hosts, one name popped out at me. Florent. He was well-traveled, a  teacher, eloquent in writing and cute. And he was from France! Looking very much an artsy French man(those who smoke cigarettes in a cafe in Paris) he seemed tall with dirty blond hair and big light blue eyes. What the hell? I thought. I might as well write to him. It seemed like we would have a lot to talk about.

Maybe ze vine? Or ze museek?

He answered back almost right away in his slightly broken English and we decided on the next weekend. Don’t think that I picked him because I wanted something, but I will admit I was kind of interested in staying at his place. Some girlfriends told me I was ridiculous, though one classified it as a ‘very interesting and long date.’

I would go with the latter.

I arrived in Montreal slightly nervous. It was warm and breezy and I was wearing a sweater and jeans, my hair (and face)all messed up from the bus. I finally located his apartment, with a swirly staircase that went up to his door. I buzzed in, my heart thumping a little bit.

Finally he opened the door looking just like his photo. Tall, wearing a t-shirt and jeans, his dirty blond hair messy and his eyes bright, big and blue, smiling widely.

“Welcome!” he smiled to me and helped me carry my luggage in. “Come in!”

He showed me around the apartment and told me I would be sleeping on this huge mattress he bought ‘just for me’ as he recently moved in. We sat on the couch and I talked way too much, as I was slightly nervous and felt like I had to fill in the space with all my chatter. He smiled and nodded his head, answering with a typical French accent that seemed to form a lot of sentences into questions.

“So” he said “it is up to you if you want to hang out with me? If not, you can do what you want? But if you like? We can go to the park and tomorrow I show you some sights?”

“Sounds great actually.”

“Yes, it is a nice day. So we can grab some bikes and blankets and talk? If you like?”

“Yes, really that’s great.” I said. “I’m going to quickly take a shower and then I’ll join you.”

“Ok then. I bring you towels and everything? Oh and I give you a separate key if you like also?”

He clearly wanted me to feel comfortable and I actually did. Within minutes, I felt like I have known Florent for a few months.

I changed and put on some makeup and we biked to the park where we spread out a blanket near a fountain. I went to the store and got us some beer and some weird tasting nuts. We lay and talked for hours. About everything: history, politics, relationships, people, life in general. It was great to actually meet someone who was so well-rounded and who I could talk to about anything. Florent wasn’t a typical guy. He didn’t think typical thoughts. He didn’t try to be un-typical. He was just himself, with his own formed view on life, with his own opinions and a huge set of very random interests. For instance he did boxing and sang in the choir. He played the piano, wrote articles on politics and had a cat. Seriously. There was none of that ‘macho’ wannabe or any pretentiousness that I was so used to. The guy was actually just very comfortable in his own skin. I looked at him from afar, lounging in his black t-shirt and jeans, his hair all messy. He had that something. Definitely a French artist thing, though he didn’t smoke.

Montreal’s La Fontaine Park

He was very careful not to flirt with me, as I felt that he saw himself responsible for my ‘comfort and security’ so I decided to subtly flirt with him.

“You are my first” I told him coyly.

He seemed to process it in his head.

“I meant my first CouchSurfing host” I added with a laugh like it was a mistake. Oops! He laughed with me, feeling a little more relaxed.

At one point as we sat in the park I saw his eyes sparkle with that hint of male interest, but he quickly returned to being friendly. We biked to a restaurant where he urged me to try Tartare (which is basically raw meat). There we talked some more. Seriously, we never seemed to run out of topics.

Tartare

Tartare

It’s not like I was interested in him per ce, but I gotta admit I was a bit jealous when he began paying attention to our waitress. His bright blue eyes burned into her as he asked her questions in his beautiful fluent French and she flirted with her Québécois accent. Oh come on, I wanted to say. She is not even that good-looking and she is so young she is wearing braces.

Once we got home, rather his home, he asked me if I wanted to join him for his friends’ party. Of course he added that I didn’t have to if I didn’t want? But if I did? Would I like? And so on. Wiz French accent?

Of course I’ll come, I said.

As I was changing, he locked the door very soundly, which made me burst out laughing.

“You don’t have to do that!” I yelled through the door.

“No, I want you to feel comfortable!” he yelled back.

How very adorable.

I wore black skinny jeans and a sparkly golden top. He walked out of the other room looking at me up and down very quickly, then grabbed the keys. “You are ready?”

The party was deadly boring. It was a bunch of very French people, mostly married or in pairs, engaged in a (very French) conversation. The fact that I spoke about two percent French didn’t help matters. I gotta hand it to Florent who made me feel very comfortable by introducing me to everyone. However, I didn’t want to inconvenience him by clinging on to him, so I walked around and talked to anyone who spoke English. Everyone actually turned out to be very welcoming; especially his best friend who flirted with me and then while talking to Florent in French mentioned how jolie I was. I understand that, I told him. I know, he smiled and gave me a wink.

One girlfriend of Florent’s actually nudged him and winked at me as she wished us ‘a GOOD night’. As if it wasn’t awkward enough staying at a guy’s place who you were kind of attracted to and who seemed attracted to you. And even if he wasn’t – there was a girl in his apartment! He didn’t even have to ask me to come in so I could ‘see his beautiful view’.

One of his gay friends suggested we head to a lesbian club. Why not? I said. Let’s. Yep, it was a little strange and I actually got hit on by a beautiful girl, which I must admit was flattering! The best part is that she walked up to Florent and told him she was interested in me.  I beamed for hours.

We danced close to each other, but I felt awkward beyond belief. This wasn’t a guy I met in a club, or a friend. He was someone I had to stay with! OK, I already mentioned that, but I’m emphasizing it just so you get the strangeness of the situation. Granted, I put myself in this situation willingly.

When we got back, I put on my t-shirt and short shorts and sat on the bed-mattress combing my hair out. I swear I wasn’t trying to lure him in or anything. Maybe just a little bit. Florent looked me up and down and not very discreetly this time. The French seducer seemed to be waking up in him.

tam tam TAM!

tam tam TAM!

“Ok, so I go take a shower?” he said. “Good night?”

“Yes, good night” I smiled, continuing to comb my hair.

“Ok” he nodded to himself or me and shut the door.

Minutes later he stepped out of the bathroom and wished me good night again. “Ok, so good night, Mia”

“Good night, Florent.”

He closed the door behind him only to emerge minutes later.

“I forgot something?” he smiled to me and awkwardly shuffled into my ‘bedroom’ to get ‘something’. “You are okay?” he asked. “Did you have a good night?”

The whole thing was starting to get pretty funny, but it was still quite awkward. I wanted him to make a move already, but how could he? He didn’t know if I was interested and it was my ‘safety’ that was at stake after all!

“I had a great time. Thanks.”

He mumbled something or other to himself or me and wished me goodnight again. I chuckled and lay down on my humongous mattress to sleep. The light was off in the room and I was assuming he went to sleep. Wouldn’t it be funny, I thought, if he came out again?

And as if on cue, the door opened and Florent emerged. He smiled apologetically at me.

“I forgot to get my water?” he murmured and shuffled past me.

This time I couldn’t stop smiling. It was getting hilarious.

I'm just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her

I’m just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her

For some reason or other, this really reminded me of the movie “Notting Hill” and the scene where Julia Roberts comes into Hugh Grant’s room at night. This is why I randomly blurted out:

“You remind me of Hugh Grant.”

Why Hugh Grant? It was the weirdest comparison as the guy looked nothing like the English actor. At this point though, I think I could have told Florent he looked like Jackie Chan and he still would have acted as if that made sense. All he wanted to do was stay in the room. That was obvious.

“Yes?” He said and paused near me. “Okay, if you could pick one actress that looked like you, who would it be?”

Was this the conversation we were having at 4am in the morning?

“I don’t know” I mumbled. “Who do you think I look like?”

I was just as much of a retard as him. Someone clearly had to make a move here.

We went back and forth like two mumbling fools in a land of retardation until I couldn’t do it anymore.

“Florent. Did you really come to get water?” I awkwardly smiled to him.

“Why?” he asked.

“Nothing. Forget about it.”

“No, what?”

“Forget about it.”

“If you are referring to what I think you are referring to?” he looked at the lamp on the table. “Then, yes, I did want to? Kiss you?”

I wish I could describe just how adorably French and awkward he sounded at the moment. Especially the kissing me part.

“But” he continued “I was scared you feel strange and want to leave?”

“Well, I’m not going to leave if you kiss me” I smiled.

“Okay then” he smiled and finally put his damn water down, leaning in to kiss me. We kissed and kissed, over and over again and I was getting those pings of excitement at the bottom of my stomach.

“I propose” he said after a while( Yes, I actually made out with a guy who says “I propose”) “That you sleep in my bed. We will not have sex just, you know, sleep together?”

“No, I’m okay. I’ll sleep here” I said. I was exhausted and tired and the last thing I wanted to do was share a bed with anyone. So he wished me goodnight, for real this time, and went to sleep.

He woke up before me the next day because he had choir. No comment here. Anyways, I woke up later and cooked some breakfast in my underwear. Then, I went to explore Montreal and think about whether I wanted to have sex with him or not. Normal people just do it spontaneously. I had to talk to myself about it first. My reason told me no. I told me no. Everything told me no. I mean I didn’t even know the guy and I wasn’t smitten with him. Sure, I liked him. I had a wonderful time with him. But I wouldn’t go so far as to say I wanted to rip his clothes off. In conclusion, it was a no.

I nervously walked into the apartment and saw him lounging about, reading a book. He asked me how my day was and whether I was interested in going to eat with him that evening.

“But if you have any other plans, it is okay?”

Nothing at all about last night. Leave it to me to leave coy and subtle out the door since I have no patience for it.

“So do you feel awkward about last night?” I asked. Nothing like a question about awkwardness to make it feel more awkward.

“No” he looked at me. “Why, should I?”
“No, no. You shouldn’t”

He waited a beat.

“Well I do now a bit. Do you regret it?”

“No!” I exclaimed. “Of course not”

“Ok, then it is not awkward” he smiled.

We talked some more. He played me the piano. I sat on his bed while he made me listen to opera. Then he sang me something in French. I made him feel my diaphragm as I breathed, just so he could finally make a damn move as I couldn’t listen to anymore opera and singing. Then he leaned in and kissed me. Suddenly he was on the bed, my legs wrapped around him. We kissed and kissed.

Très romantique

Très romantique

“Okay” he said when he caught his breath. “Let’s go eat something?”

It was raining outside and he held my hand as we walked down the empty wet streets. Before that, he asked me what my favorite color was so that he could ‘wear it?’ I burst out laughing:

“From CouchSurfing to a relationship, Florent? How did we get here?”

He got us a bottle of wine and we ate in a loud Italian restaurant. He kissed me under the rain. Afterwards, we sat in a bar talking, as he caressed my knees. It really felt like we were together. Not like we met yesterday. I could talk to him for hours about anything. I loved that he would never answer with a standard response like ‘cool’ or ‘awesome’. Instead he would think about it and give his own opinion on it.

When we got home, I put on my ‘come hither’ shorts though I wasn’t technically planning on having sex with him. We did hang out in his room. And on his bed. So really, I could have just thrown my careful and well planned out resolution out the window by this point.

And then he put on the cheesiest romantic French music ever and I burst out laughing.

“Where is the champagne and the Eiffel Tower?” I asked.

“It is Joe Dassin. You do not like?” he asked.5099752049127

“How many girls do you use this on?” I asked him, raising one eyebrow.

“Just you actually” he smiled. “Ok, I will turn it off”

“Please do. I’m not sure I can keep a straight face if you are trying to romance me to French music”

He laughed. “You know if I met you in a bar, I would have come up to you. It was just very strange situation having you here. One of my girl friends was very uncomfortable when she stayed with a guy? So when I saw your photos and told her I found you very attractive, she said to not do anything at all. So I didn’t. Until now, I mean”

And yes, okay, I ended up having sex with him. And it wasn’t the romantic French music that seduced me. I’m not sure if it was his wonderful seduction skills either. I don’t really know why I had sex with him. Was the sex good? Yes, but I felt like I jumped into it a little bit fast. I’m not sure if real attraction was there or if I just loved spending time with him. The thing that threw me off was when afterwards he turned to me.

“Were you nervous?” he asked.

“What do you mean?”

“ I do not know. You seemed very uncomfortable. I thought you would be a little bit crazier.”

Excuse me?

fifty-shades-of-grey-cac1d39d5bb5c20810b1314bcbf61dee35d8219b-s6-c30What do you say to that? Maybe, it was because I just met you? Or possibly because I wasn’t that sexually drawn to you? Or maybe, just maybe, you mister are no Christian Grey in your seduction skills?

Instead I should have gotten an Oscar for the next performance. I felt disgusted with myself. Why act instead of saying the truth?

We did end up spending the night together this time and finally got out of bed sometime during noon the next day. He took me to get us some typical French brunch and then I kissed him goodbye.

“We will stay in touch” he smiled, but I wasn’t so sure about it.

I will be honest in saying that he didn’t contact me when I got back home. Instead I wrote him a message and he wrote one back. He was leaving for Europe for the next two months, so we wouldn’t see each other for some time, he said, but maybe in the fall?

By this point I was so mad that I didn’t want to stay in any contact with him. We will not see each other in the fall, I thought. Here we were, so close to each other and now we were polite strangers who could barely exchange two words.

Yes, this entry was going to have a negative ending and a little note about how French men are assholes.

But life is life and people are people. Instead, he wrote me a message recently saying he wanted me to accept a job in his city so I could be near him. And I ended up inviting him to visit me.

This is not romance nor is this a long distance or rather quite a short distance relationship. This is just something. A nice time to spend with someone who means something to you. What that something is,  I still don’t know. And who ever knows? Maybe this time the sex will not be ‘so uncomfortable?’ or maybe I will kick him out before we even get to it. But I do think that in life, we have to at least try. Hey, if it fails, at least there would be a great story to share.

And oh, I got one great review from Couchsurfing!

* Even though the story has developed since I last wrote this post, I decided to add a little ‘note’  instead of designating yet more space for this since I do not believe this guy is worth it. After Florent came to visit me and we spent quite a few nice days together, we decided to maybe work something out in the future. However, his ‘feelings'(I put them in quotation marks because I no longer believe he is capable of them) escalated so much and so rapidly, he decided to refer to me as his girlfriend. Then he began looking for teaching jobs for me as a way to lure me into Montreal. Ok, he wasn’t necessarily luring me since I wanted to move, but he definitely was the interested party.

After his second visit to Toronto, I realized that not only did I have little feelings for him, but he was quite cheap and not much of a gentleman. He wasn’t a bad guy at all. But he didn’t believe in doing one nice, romantic thing for me.  After he left and I didn’t get the desired job in Montreal, he began pushing me to come visit him. At this point I had no money since as you may have guessed – I was and am an unemployed teacher. He never offered to pay and when I mentioned that, we got into a row about money, which in my opinion is just tacky. In his opinion, if I wanted to see him I could have asked him to ‘help’ me out, not assume he would offer. While I could see his side of the argument somewhat, I also realized then and there that I needed a gentleman not someone who would argue about money with a girl. My stupid move came when I did in fact go to Montreal to visit him.

How did the weekend go? Well.. in short it was miserable. He didn’t take me out to ONE real restaurant and when I suggested eating out he acted surprised and mentioned that we would be eating dinner at his friends’ place at 7pm. This was 3pm. We only ate breakfast. And went boxing. My clothing was ‘too short’ (even it would almost reach my knees) and he would constantly point out ‘elegant’ girls, one of whom sported purple pants and brown boots. He would get offended at everything and when he didn’t want to have sex with me on the second day of my stay (out of three), I’ve had enough. This was not romantic. It wasn’t beautiful. I didn’t feel like a woman. We had completely different interests. He would prefer someone in running shoes   camping with him in the woods. I would prefer someone who would take me to a hotel in Hawaii or yes, also someone I could backpack with.. But that’s all I would ever be with Florent – a backpacking buddy he has sex with, where money is split equally, and I may as well be a man. His deep thoughts and analyzing that I initially found so charming and ‘French!’ has now shown me he was critical, difficult and set in his mind. He wanted me when I was happy and fun. He couldn’t take any sort of disagreement and confrontation. He watched me become upset and literally stepped away. He couldn’t even hug or kiss me.

We ended it then and there, not without some crying from me, even though now I cannot understand how he even deserved any of that. The funny thing is, even though we wrote each other a handwritten letter at the end, he has not contacted me since.

So this is my advice to you girls: if a guy shows you a trait that you ignore, believe me, it will come to later bite you. Florent didn’t speak to me for four months after we had sex the first time I met him. Afterwards he never even asked me how I got home. Lesson? This would and did repeat. A man always shows you who he is. It is up to you whether you accept it or not.

By the way, do you still think French men are so damn romantic?

The One Minute Dating Survey!

Are Japanese men really that timid? Is it true that French know how to romanticize a woman or are Scandinavian men really so uptight? Do Persian men spend all their money on you while the Germans are very economical? What do you think of these stereotypes and what has your personal experience been with each culture?

Open up the following survey. It only takes a second to answer each question!

http://miakovleva.polldaddy.com/s/new-survey-1

 


The Sexy Bartender (2009) – The South African

I was twenty-four and traveling across Europe with a Contiki tour group. In a month we were supposed to cover around eight countries: from England, to Spain, to Switzerland, to the Netherlands.

I instantly bonded with the girls on the trip and made two friends: Demi and Diana who were both from Australia. Demi was a friendly blonde girl who clearly went to Europe to let all her inner devils out as she was constantly drunk to the point of stupidity or unconsciousness.  Diana was a slightly insecure brunette, who always seemed to crave approval. Too white and too curvy, she always compared herself with me, who was ‘too dam’ tanned and skinnay!’

Oh God...

Oh God…

At certain times, I got along with her perfectly; other times she made me feel like I was on the episode of the Hills with all the ridiculous drama and gossiping. Her insecurity became especially evident when it came to ‘who liked whom’ and she later came up with a rule that whenever one of us ‘claimed a guy’, mostly her, no one else could steal him away. The hilarity of it was that Demi went along with it happily, until one night she ended up having sex with a boy Diana already ‘claimed’. After this night, I stopped participating in their girly nonsense and became friends with a couple of hilarious guys from the group.

our Chateau

Besides the initial connection with the girls, I felt zero attraction to all the guys on the tour. I was quite disappointed when at the first group meeting in London I have realized that there was absolutely no potential in the group. The guys were okay, but they were not someone I would ever go for. Most were loud and obnoxious Australians who drank constantly. None were my type.

Our second stop was Bordeaux – a beautiful wine region in France. The bus swerved along the green hills until we stopped in front of a gigantic imperial Chateaux. This is where we were supposed to sleep for the two next days. That is until sleeping turned into partying and water in the sinks turned into puke.

We unpacked and quickly changed into our bikinis. I wore my bright orange one, hoping to show off to the boys from the other group. They definitely had more selection than we did. In comparison to all the Aussie girls I was the darkest with my deep tan and dark hair, so tanned in fact that I literally always get mistaken for Latin.

While in the water, I suddenly spotted a group of guys in red shirts standing by the railing some distance away. One, a very cute blond one was looking my way. A few minutes later, they disappeared just as if they never stood there.

Gollum-lord-of-the-rings

Precious!

After the pool there was the wine tasting. Constantly our schedules were filled up by one event after another, which was a lot of fun unless you were sick or tired. Later on in the trip I was practically forced to walk around Rome feeling like I was going to pass out. And believe me, when you are on the verge of collapsing, no amount of statues or Italian men can make you feel better. On top of it all, I now have lost my voice and couldn’t speak. When I did speak I sounded like the Gollum from the Lord of the Rings.

The bed with no railings!

I came in late for the wine tasting. An average looking plump guy was talking about wine, and then another guy took his place. That was the cute blond from the pool. Broad shouldered and athletic, with short hair and light eyes, he was funny and well spoken. And by the look of the drooling girls in the crowd, I wasn’t the only one who thought so.

Marla, the red-headed girl from my group looked smitten by him and as soon as he finished the speech, walked up and flirted mercilessly.

“This is disguising” I whispered to Demi and Diana. “Could she be more obvious?”

“Actually” I continued, eyeing Marla as she walked away. “There was one question I wanted to ask…”

groupie

Ugh

Breaking my very serious resolution to not approach this guy, simply because I hate feeding someone’s ego and I being yet another groupie, I walked up the table and directed my attention to the plump guy.

“I have no voice” I whispered “is there anything you can give me to cure it?”

The blond cutie laughed. “How about O de V? A shot of that would probably make you feel better. Even if you don’t get your voice back”

“Whatever helps!” I beamed. Demi and Diana were beaming too, a little too much. They were definitely making me feel like I was part of some boy band fan club. At least they had enough decency not to lift up the shirts so he could sign their breasts.

The blond boy poured all of us a shot from a bottle that had a worm swimming in it and we toasted. He introduced himself as Myles and the plump boy as Sam. Myles worked as a bartender at the Chateaux for a few months, but was originally from South Africa. He had the most beautiful accent I have ever heard. We talked a little bit and I could sense that Myles was interested in me. He paid some attention to the girls, but most of his conversation was aimed at me who still tried to be as flirty as I could be while sounding like a scary creature.

“There’s a party tonight” he said “I hope to see you all there.”

“Sure” giggled Diana yet again “We will see you there!” she twisted her shoulders in order to appear sexier. It made me nauseous.

Our walk back to the Chateaux was filled with the most girly talk you can imagine consisting of he’s so hot and who does he like, finishing with whoever he likes, that’s who gets him. I agreed with the plan, because I was pretty certain he liked me.

The basement bar was filled with people from our group and many from the other bus. I spotted Myles at the bar and he smiled to me charmingly. I took a deep breath. He was really gorgeous in that beach boy kind of way.

I positioned myself in his eye view and danced, turning back every so often to check if he was still looking at me. I noticed Marla on the other side of the room also throwing glances his way. I was not exactly jealous of her, but I felt that if I did not do anything soon, she would. So I inhaled deeply and walked up to him.

He seemed genuinely interested in talking to me and actually asked me personal questions about my job and my life. The conversation was going very smoothly, until Demi, who was standing to the side of me laughing with Sam and drinking, simply collapsed to the floor. She did not look sick nor did she prepare herself for the fall. She literally collapsed like a sack of potatoes, killing my conversation immediately.

I was scared for her but also angry at her for ruining my night. I rushed to her side immediately, screaming “Demi!” but she wouldn’t even budge. Myles offered to carry her to our room and Sam helped him, while Diana and I walked alongside them. Once in the room, Demi gained consciousness, but at this point I couldn’t exactly leave her alone, so I nursed her back to health. Myles and Sam left back to the bar.

After Demi stopped throwing up and started laughing like her usual self, I decided to head back. I tried to talk to Myles, but he was distracted, so I went back to dance. Soon, he came to join us. Slightly drunk, he danced close to me, but for some reason I felt uncomfortable getting really close, even though I was extremely attracted to him. Marla, however, did not hesitate a bit. She was suddenly all over him. Wanting him to realize that I was classier and would not slobber all over his body, I held back. Torn between the two of us, Myles looked like a lost child. The top part of his body leaned my way, but the bottom wanted an easy lay.

The bottom half clearly won as soon he disappeared through the door. Marla followed him. The rest of the evening I sat on the windowsill and cried with Cassie, an older girl from my tour.
“Why are guys like this?” I asked. “Do I have to be a slut to get someone?”

“No, you don’t.” Answered Cassie. “You only have to be a slut to get someone for one night and that’s what Marla will get.”

Obviously Myles wasn’t my soul mate and clearly we were not meant to be together, but it hurt to be rejected like this. My pride held me from chasing after him and I would not go against myself in order to attain someone. In order to have meaningless sex with someone I barely knew? Still the picture of them two in bed was depressing. Here I was, trying to be coy and playful and all she had to do was follow him out the door. How is that for subtle?

I went to sleep in tears. Thankfully I didn’t fall off my bed with no railings! Otherwise I would have been crying in the vineyards.

The next morning I have decided to try another strategy. After all, we still had one more day. At this point it was my self esteem that needed a lift. However, I didn’t see him until the early evening. During the morning we had to go for a picnic to the vineyards. Marla was there with her little clique and I still remember how much I loathed her. Every laugh I saw, every smile just made me imagine her in bed with Myles. And I was extremely jealous.

The picnic was torture. It was extremely beautiful: rolling green hills and a variety of fruits along the way, but all I wanted to do was get back to the Chateaux so I could see him again. I knew I shouldn’t even talk to him again after what happened, but I could not let it go.

I saw him later on when we went down for dinner. He was behind the bar, but paid very little attention to me. I was so conscious of him being there that I could not concentrate on anything. I absentmindedly listened to people talk and smiled at appropriate moments. Why wasn’t he paying attention to me?

I was so miserable and felt so insecure that I have even changed my clothes and put some makeup on so he would notice me. However, that changed nothing. So I sat there furiously until I thought enough is enough and went up to my room.

I sat on the bed feeling dejected when Demi walked in the room.

“What’s wrong?” She asked me.

I ended up telling her how disguising I felt about the whole situation. I was still obsessed with a guy who was ignoring me and has already slept with another girl.

Demi sat on the bed. “Mia” she said in a conversation I never forgot to this day. “You are the most beautiful girl on this tour. Not only are you pretty on the outside, but you have an incredible personality that goes along with it. So start believing in yourself.”

The fact that Demi could comfort me without a touch of jealousy or girly cattiness literally wowed me. In that short speech she had lifted my spirits so high I felt like I was on top of the world. It is incredible what a surge of confidence can do to your appearance and how people start looking at you.

I changed into my heels and a sparkling yellow top and walked out the door – my head Wonder-Woman_Animatedhigh. Every step I made was filled with  confidence. I am pretty! I do have a great personality! And I am confident! I thought as I walked down the hall. Who is he or Marla for that matter to make me feel insecure?

Suddenly, I felt as if everyone became so utterly insignificant and here I was – radiating with confidence.

Diana caught up with me in the hall and stared at me with even more insecurity and some confusion as she followed me down the stairs. Immediately, I walked up the bar stand.

“How are you?” I asked Myles playfully. His face literally lit up. I could control him like a puppet, I suddenly realized.

The power that confidence can give us is truly incredible as he no longer treated me as invisible. In fact, I was more than visible as he literally could not take his eyes off of me and my new found confidence.

“If you turn on some Latin music” I offered “ I can teach you how to dance salsa.”

“Deal” he smiled and we shook hands on it.

Minutes later he ran up to me saying he could not find any Latin music, but we could still dance to something else.

“Let’s get some air instead” I offered.

I'M-SEXY-AND-I-KNOW-IT-песочница-114840He followed me up the stairs commenting all the while about my fit legs and how often I must go to the gym. We sat on the hill outside the Chateau right underneath my window and talked. In reality, maybe because he was drunk or tired, or possibly because he really was not my ‘type’ we had not very much to talk about. Our conversation was quite hollow and very dull. In fact, I felt as if I was slowly being slaughtered.

Suddenly we heard voices from the window above us: “Just do it!” Turned out afterwards, it was the girls from my room who, much like me, could no longer handle the agony of this painful conversation.

“Well, I should go” he suddenly said, but did not move.

“Let’s go then” I said, pissed off at him and stupid me for trying to ‘entice him’. I think I even tried my Russian accent on him, which is usually my last plan. And which generally works quite well. I began picking up my shoes.

“I should tell you something” he then said. “I am very attracted to you, but I already hooked up with one of the girls on your bus. And to be honest, I didn’t really like her.. She was just there and I went for it.”

His honesty took me back a little. Ok, so at least he had the decency to let me know.

“I know” I told him. For some reason I exclaimed that Marla wasn’t even attractive and muttered about how sad it was to chase after a guy like that. Even though, technically, that’s exactly what I was doing.

He stared at me for some time, then realizing I was not angry and was still interested, leaned in to kiss me. We kissed for some time, though I felt cheap, as if I was still the second best. Here I was, putting down the girl for sleeping with a guy, yet still taking her hand-me-downs.

After we kissed, he had to go back to work and I went back to answer multiple questions from girls. When I came up to the bar, Marla was there, but he was smiling to me. It felt amazing. However, it clearly infuriated her and she tried to get his attention any way she could: she flirted and danced with another guy in front of his face, but he did not seem to care.

Later, Demi and I as well as a few other guys from our group, sat on the couches outside of the Chateau. Myles came out of the door of the building and awkwardly smoked as he stared my way until I picked up my shoes and walked towards him, through the hooting of “he’s dreamy!” that a few guys started.

e372d92cMarla eyed us as we walked into the doorway and I definitely felt a lot of pleasure from her watchful gaze. He led me into the Chateau where he pressed me against the wall and kissed me passionately. He would tease me by kissing me deeply then pulling back and running his hand over my neck and stomach. The bastard knew what he was doing as every time he pulled away from me, I wanted him even more. I swear it was incredible.

However, I would never be someone’s second best.

“I will not have sex with you” I smiled to him. He seemed a little bit thrown off, but continued kissing me as if I haven’t said anything. He told me he would close the bar and find me.

He may have come out looking for me, or I may have created that illusion to console myself, because when he did come out again, Marla joined him. I was incredulous. “Does he expect me to go there with both of them?” I asked Demi. I looked, but I couldn’t move. They sat side by side talking and suddenly disappeared in the doorway.

I guess his lower half won again.

I was disgusted with both of them: with her because she knew he was with me and yet had no pride to say no to him, and him because he had nothing besides his penis to think for him. I sat on the bathroom floor crying, then finally sobered up. Who was he to cry over? I created an illusion out of a guy, simply because he was ‘my type’. A guy who constantly fooled around with eager girls passing by Bordeaux, hoping to have their little fling in the vineyards. Marla and I were just one of many.

I never told Marla about my side of the story after we became closer friends. Apparently the night with Myles also meant a lot to her as it was the first time she ever had a one night stand and I didn’t want to ruin on her parade. It was kind of ironic how much I hated her when in reality it was him who made the choice.

1de113708cdf75ebeec48b601e6b4925-d2y5bshI realize that this is a pretty insignificant story. However, for one reason or another, I still remember this player boy from time to time,especially the thrill I felt while being kissed against the wall. And isn’t it what we all want – some passion? Even if it is followed by some tears in the bathroom!