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…