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Dating & Romance

For guys, Russia can be a hell of a shock – there are loads of women, and a lot of them are very, very good looking indeed, and charming with it. Just look at the huge number of marriage and dating agencies on the internet if you are in doubt.

There is no feminist culture to speak of in Russia, and girls try hard to dress (or rather, undress at times) to impress men – or at least it seems this way. The population is actually female-heavy (mostly because men die earlier). This means girls have to go the extra mile to get husbands, and given the number of beautiful women around, competition is even harder. Many people say WW2 is also still a factor – after 1945, there were very few men left, so girls had to compete hard for them, and attitudes have been passed on.

Either way, dating girls here is like shooting fish in a barrel, and this goes for Ukraine and Moldova too – and the Baltic States where there are large Russian populations. Girls quite often like to date foreigners even more than Russian men (they’ll be the first to tell you what they think of Russian men, in many cases). Inevitably there are passport-hunters, but a lot of Russian women just like foreign men more, if only because they have more money and drink less.

Russians are often pretty direct people too, and appreciate expressions of emotion. It would definitely be wrong to say all Russian women are “easy”, but if you can’t get a date here, go home and forget about it forever.

Prostitution is pretty widespread in Russia, especially in Moscow and other big cities. They tend to congregate in the sort of places foreigners are found – hotels, clubs and bars. If a beautiful girl in revealing clothing does start making eyes at you in a hotel bar, it’s safe to assume she’s not just being friendly because you look nice.

If you do get any action, remember that HIV is spreading here in a big way. Around half the prostitutes in St Petersburg, for example, are thought to carry HIV. Cases of foreigners getting drugged and robbed by hookers are also fairly common.

For foreign women, Russia is not so great. There are cases of foreign women finding Russian men, but given the competition from the hordes of Russian lovelies, it’s hard work, and most Western women wouldn’t want to bother anyway.

Male-female attitudes tend to be rather old-fashioned, by European standards. Men do men’s things, girls do their stuff. Girls expect men to pay for things, and expect men to approach them for a date if they are interested.

Howard Gethin

Now resident in Moscow, Howard works as an editor and still makes occasional forays into places where men carry guns and mountains are nearby.