I will start with the self-evident reality. Men are HOT in Brazil. They invest time and effort in taking care of their bodies, they smell nice, they know how to flirt and say exactly what a woman wants to hear, they are extremely confident (even the ones that would have no obvious reason to be), they know how to dance and use this skill in the bedroom too! Really, not much more you could ask of a guy. Maybe just some… fidelity?
Constantly being on the lookout for positive vibes and people to talk to (‘constantly’ might be an overstatement as it’s been constantly raining lately and I haven’t gotten out of the house much, still..) I’ve engaged in some very interesting conversations with men and women, locals, visitors and long-term ‘gringos’ like me, most of which ended up talking about the same topic: the way men and women interact in various parts of the world in comparison to what we’ve experienced in Brazil. The keywords here are, again, ‘cultural differences’ and ‘sex’, lots of it!
In the land of dance, passion fruit and passion in many other physical activities, sex is like breakfast, lunch and dinner – would it be too much to say it’s like oxygen or water? I think not! It is perceived as an equally simple yet necessary daily activity, a ‘goes without saying’ sort of thing. Everything can be an excuse to have sex or can end up in having sex!
We had such a fun day at the beach – let’s have sex too!
We have such a good chemistry in dancing – let’s have sex too!
You’re good looking – why don’t we have sex?
Oh, you breathe! – let’s have sex!
…merely some examples here, hehe!
Everything can translate into ‘sex’, or ‘love making’ – the second only being another way of expressing the former in order to seduce, usually women, still sounding so nice! After all, there is a popular saying in Brazil that goes along the lines of “Women fall in love with what they hear. Men fall for what they see. That is why women wear makeup and men tell lies”. This I was told by a prince charming who after knowing me for just a few hours, looked me deeply in the eyes and said in a whispering voice “You will break my heart..” Well, he could have had another part of his body broken if he’d be messing with me a few months back… I spared him (and me) the hassle and moved on, only to hear the same line “you will break my heart” from the next guy I happened to meet. Are these hearts made of porcelain? We’ll never find out!
So, when the goal is to end up in bed with the desired person, it’s acceptable (maybe even expected) to use any means to lure and seduce them or, if you’re a good judge of personalities, you’ll go for the raw approach ‘let’s just have an affair!’. Assuming all parties know how this game is played, Brazilians seem to be living a heart-breaking fairytale with every one of their lovers, albeit for a few hours!
I was talking to a Brazilian friend of mine who didn’t seem to understand why this girl he had been on vacation with for 5 days in a local tropical paradise, having fun and sex and hugging and posting selfies and the whole shebang, was treating him as if they were a prospective couple! No prior sex-buddies agreement or anything. They liked each other and decided to spend time together. Then they returned and he didn’t feel the need to contact her again while she kept appearing wherever she knew he would be and tried to initiate any talk whatsoever, which obviously annoyed him. I guess that’s an example of two people not playing the same game. Happens ALL the time!
On another note, here’s a dialogue I had with a random guy one of the first times I attended the forro dance night (about two months ago):
Don Juan: You are very beautiful
Me: Thank you very much.
Don Juan: Do you have a boyfriend?
Don Juan: Can I stand in line to be your boyfriend?
Me thinking: in the line, where’s the line(?!) but saying: Thank you, but I am not looking for a boyfriend.
Don Juan: Oh, then if you want we can just have a sexual affair?
Me thinking: how tempting… is there a line for that too (?!) but saying : No, thank you.
Same guy asked me to dance last week again. Here’s our dialogue this time:
Don Juan: I love your short hair.
Me: Thank you very much.
Don Juan: Did you find a boyfriend? cause if not, I can stand in line.
Me thinking: they really must be taking a pick-up/flirting class at school, but saying: No, I was not looking for one, but thank you.
Don Juan: What are you doing after dancing?
Me thinking: there we go again… but saying : Going home.
Don Juan: We can go together if you want
Me: I will go alone, thank you.
Don Juan: I am here, if you change your mind!
Brazileiros hold one of the top spots on the worldwide leader-board of the ‘Passionate in Bed’, as is the case with most things they love doing (football, sea sports, dancing or capoeira to name a few) and appear to have taken love-making to another level. They are extremely confident and charming but not arrogant, rather patient and caring and don’t mind putting the effort and giving their all to please their partner, which seems to give them equally great satisfaction. It’s a matter of pride, I guess. I was told that the worst you can call a man in Brazil is ‘corno’ – a man that has been cheated on by his wife or girlfriend. It’s the ultimate disgrace for a man for his partner to seek pleasure from another man, as if he is not good enough for them. On the other hand, it is acceptable or, better, expected that men will not be loyal to only one female. Although they are not the typical hunters, maybe partly because of their pride or the availability of women around them, they will never let a chance pass them by. I mean, you even see men holding their girlfriend’s purse for crying out loud…! I remember once my aunt in Poland had seen a guy walk with a girl and holding her purse for her and she said “Well, that’s the end of the world as we know it!” Yes, cultural differences… I can only imagine the look a Greek guy would give to his girlfriend handing over to him her handbag to carry… hahaha!
Brazilian men. They don’t waste any time and cut directly to the chase, if the circumstances allow for it. I guess it sort of goes without saying that if you spend more time talking at a party, or accept an invitation to dinner, you are expected to also take the next step, sex. The look some men gave when they realized they were not getting lucky that night… priceless – and a bit scary..
Every person I spoke with about this agreed that Brazilians respect their partner in bed and are very attentive to their desires, but also that they expect them to work for it too (even if only for one night). There’s no laziness in bed and definitely no taboos. It also seems to me that Brazilians are very open to everyone having whatever sexual preference they want. Everything is equally acceptable: straight, gay, everyone is free to love and be loved.
And all the above lead to babies. Lots of babies and lots of DNA tests (quite popular here!). Families of 10, 15 or even more children are in no way a rare phenomenon in Brazil. My neighbor, for example, was very proud to tell me he has 7 kids with 7 women and a few days later introduce me to his new girlfriend. Oh, and he’s in his late 30s… not some 60 year old man. They get pretty busy pretty early in their lives. When I told this to a non-Brazilian friend of mine, he commented “and you’d think people learn after the third time..”. Maybe. Might also be the case that they don’t believe you need to ensure college education and ample material goods for a child in order to decide to have one. In my 3 months in Brazil I have not once seen a parent yell at their kids. On the contrary, I see happy children, playing carelessly at the beaches or neighborhoods, and laughing and having fun.
What I am still to understand is how they can combine having multiple partners and being so deeply religious…
Although only a few months back I’d be the first one to shout out that that kind of behavior is shallow and too direct and unacceptable and where the hell did they get the idea to assume sex is up for grabs just around the corner(?!), I realize I keep on changing as a person in so many ways; and by changing I mean being able to see things in a different way, to accept such an approach to sex and life and human relations, and to understand behaviors that would until very recently have made all my red lights turn on. I’m stepping even further away from my initial, narrow, view of those earthily issues. From believing my sole purpose in life was to get married and be with that one man for the rest of my life (any other option of living one’s life sounding like a Star Wars scenario), to accepting that people can actually be together and create a family without getting married, and now realizing that we are only human and in most cases we don’t grow old with that one person we chose to marry (lucky are those who do, but let’s be realistic). I used to have what I now see was unrealistic expectations of people without considering our human nature, the instincts and vulnerabilities no one can escape.
I guess I’ve grown more during 6 months of travelling than during any other 6-month period in my life. Am I wiser, more open-minded or more experienced in life? Maybe a bit of everything. The only way for me to measure ‘growth’, if any, is to compare myself to my previous self and see how I feel about it, and I very much like the progress I’ve made so far.
In no way is the above an exhaustive opinion on the entire Brazilian population – how could we know? :p
I’m only sharing the views of a mixed group of people, with an extra touch of salt and pepper to spice things up. Having said that, we all strongly believe that this is reality and it happens everywhere in the world, whether we want to admit to it or not, whether it’s acceptable or not. There is good and bad in everything, yin & yang, whatever this means to each one of us.