This is why teaching ESL was booming there; for anyone who had any semblance of ambition, the goal was to learn English, the golden ticket to getting out.The second thing you’ll notice is that Russian men are patriarchal alpha males, and, whatever your feminist textbook might have told you, this is initially a huge turn-on.What happened next was awful, confusing, and I wanted it to stop.But I’m not going to lie: Part of me was turned on.You could be sitting in a banya, or at a café, and a man walks by, puts a fruit salad on your table, and gruffly says, “Enjoy.” If you eat the salad, it is a sign that you would like him to come talk to you.If you don’t eat it the salad, it doesn’t matter, because you have been chosen and he will still come talk to you since your compliance in the whole matter is largely unnecessary.After the punching finally stopped, Anton walked up to me shirtless and sweaty, caked with blood and dirt, his arms outstretched in an unmistakable gesture of victory. Pistols at dawn seemed a ludicrous symbol of male egotism, and I longed for men in tailored suits, who solved arguments with Woody Allen jokes and New Yorker references.But what I mistook for a smile was actually a grimace. But then Anton hugged me, heat and sweat rising from his torso, his arms wrapped around me in a promise of eternal protection, inhaling me in that way men do to show they’re grateful that you’re safe.
Dating a Russian man can sometimes be confusing, as cultural differences can interfere in what should be an exciting time for you both.Russians, on the other hand, aren’t going to let a little thing like your disinterest keep them from being your boyfriend.I’ve had male suitors who kept calling for years after I stopped picking up the phone.The American teachers at my language school had a phrase to describe dating Russian men.It was “No Means Yes, and Yes Means Anal.” Not surprisingly, the attitude toward rape in Russia is still depressingly medieval. That’s life,” my mother would say with a shrug as she heard about a recent rape victim on the news.