Game of Bone(r)s

Seeing as almost every expat or foreigner in Georgia has a rock hard (HA!) opinion on sex in this country, I think it’s about time I laid (HA!) down my own thoughts on the matter. Let’s try and get through this with as few bad puns as possible.

If you’re my regular reader (do I have regular readers? My stats say I have people from Norway coming here a lot. Welcome, friends, I had a wonderful time in Oslo) then you’ll know I once had a girlfriend here called Nino, before I met my wife, Natia. As you may know, after so much meaningless bullshit relationships in Britain, when Nino and I finally became a couple I was rather more interested in the romantic side of things rather than sexual things.

However, when she unexpectedly started to talk to me about sex over Facebook before I flew out, I wasn’t exactly disappointed. She told me she was worried that she wasn’t experienced, but seemingly willing to learn, which was all to the good in my book. I was more than happy to jolly her along if it came to it, but as I say, it wasn’t really what I was after. Getting laid in England is easy. Buy a girl a drink in Britain and she’ll ride you like Seabiscuit.

So when I was alone with her for the first time I was a little surprised when she said she couldn’t sleep with me. I didn’t mind, much; I just wanted to know where we stood. Truth be told, the way she and her friends dressed and acted you’d think they were perfectly at home with their sexuality, but she was very rigid and nervous. I tried to reassure that I didn’t care if we couldn’t have sex (she didn’t believe me) and if she wanted to take things slow, or not take them anywhere at all, that was fine by me. Even more perplexing was when she got home and texting sexy things to me. You can imagine how a chap was a little confused.

We broke up after two months and I went back to Britain broken-hearted, but I returned soon after for Natia and I’ve been here ever since. As I lived here, I learned more about sex and the culture that surrounds it here in Georgia and started to understand where my Nino experience was fitting into place.

If you also read Neal’s blog, you’ll know a thing or two about Georgian men and what they can be like around women. When I first moved here and noticed everyone was staring at Natia, I began throwing them against the walls demanding in no uncertain terms exactly what the fuck they thought they were looking at. This, however, was not quite the way it was done in Georgia.

Neal’s blog gives a fair run-down on men here, what with how staring is totally normal here, and men are (in most cases) expected to be sexually experienced and women virgins when the time comes to get married. His stories of hymen reconstructive surgeries and all the other sordid details aren’t untrue, but I don’t really want to exclusively talk about males here, since it’s been done to death and usually comes across as ‘all-Georgian-men-are-sexist-rapist-pigs’. I can’t speak for tales of taxi drivers proposing marriage to American girls or Georgian host families groping their American-teacher tenants; my own interactions with foreigners are limited (I only have two foreign friends) but it doesn’t seem totally unrealistic or inconsistent with some unpleasant characters I’ve come across.

Talking about Georgian men seems unavoidable, but I’ll try and including the girls, too. According to some of my Georgian friends in their early twenties and late teens it’s possible to go to nightclubs and pick up girls who will be willing for a shag, on the whole I’ve found that girls are happy to string men along by wearing the same slutty clothes as their Western counterparts (don’t think I’m saying it’s a bad thing…) and talk all the talk, but (for the most part) won’t do a damn thing in the bedroom.

This amount of cock-teasing would drive any man insane, but at least in Britain or America you can just shrug and try it on with the next girl with low self-esteem who had a ‘complicated’ relationship with her stepdad. Not so much in Georgia. I daresay if I’d been raised here I wouldn’t have turned out much different from the blokes here. I think it’s probably something to do with them being unaware of what signals they’re giving off. Five years ago, a girl called Tiko was flirting with me for a good three hours until she chose to reveal she was married.

Is it a struggle for girls who’ve studied in Europe or America and come home to Georgia? I have no idea. I have a met a girl, Mariam, who had lived in New York attended Colombia University for years before coming back home. That must have been quite a transition to make…but what I’m really wondering here if anyone who’s reading this has an opinion. I’m not entirely sure, only making guesses.

That’s the one type of Georgian girl, anyway (although we are generalising in the extreme here…). The other is that of the girl pining to be a traditional Georgian lady, virgin, clean and pure. What they seem to be unaware of is that this ‘look’ isn’t the sexiest, but it does mean they get an unholy amount of attention for a very Georgian method of seduction.

This has happened to three of my friends so far, and I know men who’ve done it to others. It seems the bloke tells the girl he’s in love with her, that he’s never met anyone like her, that she’s the one. After a time, he’ll say ‘Look, darling, I love you so much and find you so attractive, I’ve been thinking about…things…and considering we’ll definitely get married one day anyway, why not get it out of the way…?’. In all the cases I’m personally aware of this hasn’t lasted too long; the bloke has got bored of her and starts again with someone else a little while after.

I mentioned it happened to three people I know, but the worst case was definitely Tata’s. She was with this gormless-looking twat called Lasha for about two years. He was at university, planning to go to Prague to work as an architect. For those two years, she spent half of her monthly wage (250 Lari) on Czech language lessons. Eventually, she was persuaded into shagging him, then he dumped her (she’s an Abkhaz refugee from the ’90s war and her brother died of cancer this year. Is there a God? It’s about time He gave her a bloody chance).

Anyway, I said we’d talk about Georgian girls, not Georgian men. A problem I’ve had with both Nino and Natia is they hated the idea I’d been with other people. Nino described me as being ‘used’ by others and Natia has given me God alone knows how many arguments over people I used to date I’m now friends with. She called all of them ‘whores’, by virtue of them being my past girlfriends. The worst thing was, mostly they were lovely people who were happy for both of us. But the fact is, I refuse to apologise for the way I’ve lived my life.

To me, it seemed that it was far healthier to explore sexuality and live my life rather than go to to church in the morning and wank myself stupid at night. Boys will be boys, they say; and for good reason. No smoke without fire, after all. Sex is natural and healthy. I still feel awkward when people here describe their friends as ‘whores’ for sleeping around during their teenage years; it sounds so uncomfortably familiar, though I suppose they’re only really describing a normal and healthy way to live. My argument is that the perfect Orthodox Christian world of no sex before marriage is a) a fantasy (and not the good kind) and b) ridiculously unhealthy.

But you know, I’m not launching an all-out attack on Georgian men here. Neal did that, and I didn’t agree with him on everything. It seems to me that saying ‘Oh, it’s terrible, they’re so horny all the time! I would never be like that!’ is a tad hypocritical; we’ve not been in their shoes, growing up in a society where the Patriarch makes speeches every other day about how dirty your own thoughts are. We had the house parties, the bars and the clubs where getting a girl is as easy as scratching your arse. Asides from the ‘I love you I love I love I love you let’s have sex thanks goodbye’ approach, I can understand Georgian men to a degree. If sex was a taboo subject in Britain and getting laid was the social equivalent of finding the Holy Grail, maybe I wouldn’t be so different. I don’t know about sexism; I doubt it’s a lot more prevalent here than it is anywhere else. How many times do you read in the newspapers in the West that men are paid more than women in certain jobs? Lyrics in certain styles of music are also pretty inconsistent in societies that apparently value equality.

To be honest, you take as you find. Of course, not all Georgian men are sex-crazed nutters, and not all Georgian women are cock-teasers or Queen Tamar wannabes. I know plenty of Georgian people who have a healthy attitude towards sex and relationships, it just makes me sad that they have to live this sensible lifestyle in the shadows.

If you’ve read any of my previous entries you’ll know I love this country, and I love Georgian culture, and am dead-set against any kind of Americanisation. But this is something that could really do with modernising a bit.

So, tell me your experiences if you’ve had any. Or talk to me about Megan Fox. Either’s good.

 

End of broadcast…

About tcjogden69

Former soldier, current boxing trainer/student living in Tbilisi.
This entry was posted in Georgia, Tbilisi, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Game of Bone(r)s

  1. Hmmm..... says:

    Me again! I have a break from my summer duties, thank god…

    Anyways, I think Georgians in general are more “flirty” than Brits/Americans/several other European nationalities. This is only true, however, if we feel comfortable around a person or if we’re trying to get in their pants. For Georgian women, it’s usually the first choice and for Georgian men it’s usually the second one. Basically, unless you’re a creep, dangerous, or downright weird we’ll be a little “flirty”- but this is not taken seriously by Georgians, only by foreigners. I think your definition of “flirty” is just what we call “being friendly”. Ever notice how many smileys Georgians use in chats and facebook? Even with just friends, family, and family friends? That’s why.

    And as for being friends with your past girlfriends – this is NOT OK AT ALL for Georgians. Neither men nor women like it; in general if you were involved with someone sexually, romantically, or anything other than strict friendship then you should not still be talking to them while being involved with a new person. “How do I know you won’t cheat?! Why are you still talking to him/her anyways if it’s over between you two?! What more do you want from them?! If you love me and want to be with me you’ll cut it off with them since it means so much to me” <—That's the reasoning, from both men and women. It's more acceptable for a man to cheat in Georgia than it is in Europe/America, and a lot do, so that line of thinking is, in my opinion, very reasonable for a Georgian girl who's lived there all her life. In addition, it doesn't matter if a woman is "nice" or not- she can still be "nice" to her ex-boyfriend, act happy for him and his new girl, and still convince him to cheat on his girlfriend/wife – it happens and Georgian women know that it happens, hence why they don't like ex's.

    About Georgian men; I could write a whole book on that. Maybe later though…

    What do you mean when you said that Nino "dressed and acted as if she was fine with her sexuality"? I haven't noticed Georgian women dressing in a "sexual" way. It might be a cultural difference, but I'm curious to hear your side…

    • tcjogden69 says:

      haha, it took me a while to appreciate Georgian cultural differences, but I adapted pretty quickly and it was two years ago when I was still a relative newcomer. I respect Natia’s opinion of my past partners, I can completely understand how at the time I was being a tad insensitive. My problem with her argument wasn’t the cultural standpoint; I was more than willing to admit that I was a little ignorant of the Georgian romantic scene. My gripe was that I was admitting to my ignorance, but she wasn’t acknowledging hers. The girls she was swearing about and cursing to high heaven and calling ‘whores and sluts’ were far from it, and that’s what got to me. She’d say to me ‘you don’t have a clue’, and my argument was trying to get her to admit that she didn’t, either. In the same way that foreigners need to appreciate the stereotypes of Georgians when it comes to sex/relationships can be misleading, so too do Georgian people need to understand that not all foreigners are sex-mad whores who would as soon as fuck each other as bid them good-day. Nino was guilty of that, too, thinking all I cared about was sex, which simply wasn’t true. As for Nino herself, that’s a longer story, I’d be happier writing to you in a personal message about that mess😉

      • Hmmm..... says:

        Oohhhh ok, now I get it! I think it’s just pride; not wanting to admit you’re wrong. “Saving face” is a very strong part of our culture.

        I DO want to hear that story! I’m so curious now!😀
        I can tell you where I’m from too, but I just don’t want to do it here- too many Georgians on the Internet. You can write me on the email that shows up with my name and we can talk there.

      • tcjogden69 says:

        Certainly I’ll email you, that would be my pleasure🙂

  2. Hmmm..... says:

    Ahh sorry, that should have said “…where I live in the U.S. too…”

  3. Pingback: The Obligatory “Gender in Georgia” Post « Cookies and The Caucasus

  4. panoptical says:

    Here’s where I comment on a ten-week-old post and admit that I’ve fallen behind somewhat on reading your blog…

    Anyhoo, I’ve had issues with the thing where Georgians don’t like to meet their predecessors. It’s annoying because one of my best friends in Georgia is a girl who I previously had a thing with and my wife is really not cool with it, so our friendship has suffered somewhat. That said I get it – there’s not a dating culture here, and it takes a few times even for most of us Westerners to get comfortable with being around your SO’s exes, and so Georgians just don’t get a reasonable shot at learning how to cope with their jealousy. Add to that the idea that people who aren’t virgins are stained or damaged and, well, you see what you get.

    As for my all-out offensive on Georgian manhood – I’ll say to you what I’ve said to many others who apologize for Georgian men’s behavior: I understand *why* they are the way they are quite well, but the primary purpose of my writing is to describe how they are, not to pass judgment on them one way or another – and justifying their behavior by making recourse to the repressed patriarchal society they grew up in is passing judgment just as much as condemning their behavior because I personally don’t like it.

    • tcjogden69 says:

      I’ll reply to you in a second, I can’t remember what on earth I wrote here. I change my mind on this stuff like the wind, give me a minute haha.

    • tcjogden69 says:

      Yeah agreed on all points here. I’ve found it most difficult when it comes to exes and past experiences etc, although unlike you I only have Nino as an ex here, and Natia and I both hate her guts anyway. It was mostly about female friends back in Britain (most of whom were really just friends and not exes). Like you just so rightly said, Georgians have got no experience of dealing with jealousy, but I’ve made myself blue in the face trying to convince Natia there’s fuck all to be jealous of. At first, for me it felt like she’d be totally justified in her rage if I was cheating on her or flirting with other people, but I couldn’t quite understand it since it was all in the past. The tricky thing for me is drawing the line between sucking it up and saying ‘Okay, this is your culture, and I do live here after all…’ and ‘I’m not from here, I come from a different place and I refuse to apologise for the way I’ve lived my life’. Whenever this particularly issue has cropped up in the past, I always ask Natia; ‘What would you rather? That I hadn’t done those things back home and was like a Georgian man?’. I think a sore point for Georgians as well is that all of this is just a product of this uber-conservative Christian culture, which on the one hand they’re so proud of and on the other is preventing them very exploring sexuality etc. I still find it shocking the way the gay community is kept so underground, there must be some pretty confused kids out there at the minute.
      I wish I had a penny for every time a Georgian in his late 20s or early 30s has lamented that the up-and-coming generation doesn’t adhere to the Christian culture as much as their elders do, but I think it’s all to the good if it means the staring will become less sexually aggressive. Hell, whenever I put my shorts on I feel like a slut.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s