But I’m not going to lie: Part of me was turned on.
Here was a guy protecting my honor, placing himself into bodily harm on my behalf.
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.
And in that strange and romantic moment I thought, “One day I’m going to put this in a story to explain my convoluted relationship with Russian men.” I should preface this story by saying that I am Russian.
I had female friends who had no idea they were apparently someone’s girlfriend.
The American teachers at my language school had a phrase to describe dating Russian men.
Only a few minutes ago, we’d been standing together drinking beer, when the other guy made the dubious and drunken decision to put his arm around me.
What happened next was awful, confusing, and I wanted it to stop.While all men like a challenge, the average American man tends to stop pursuit once you indicate that you are repulsed by his presence.Russians, on the other hand, aren’t going to let a little thing like your disinterest keep them from being your boyfriend.You do not meet a Russian man, you are chosen by one.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.These insurmountable standards of beauty can largely be credited to the fact that there are more women than men.