Russia, July 12, 1999
Why do you think all the Russian women want American husbands?There is a Peace Corps joke about the difference between the Russian men and women. When (not if) the male PCV's would run out of the dozen condoms that the Peace Corps issued to us, they could simply ask the nearest female PCV for her unopened pack. After hearing that joke, I asked the female PCV's if it was true. To a woman, yes.
After two years in Russia, I have yet to know more than a handful of expat women who have Russian boyfriends or husbands, but I know way to many expat men with beautiful, painfully young, Russian women. Why is this?
Russian men, in general, are the ultimate frat boy, without even the facade of culture most American frat boys at least try to project. Russian men enjoy themselves, drinking with their friends long into the night, ignoring their women, unless they are hungry or the dishes are dirty. Many cheat and/or beat on their wives, treating them like they should be happy they have a man at all. The strange thing is, the women are happy just to have a man, for men are rare here.
After the revolution, World War II, Stalin, and the KGB, Russia has a serious male/female imbalance. I do not know the exact ratio, but I have heard anywhere from 45/55 to 35/65 as the male to female ratio over the past 100 years. Men are in an enviable position, there are more women than men, so they can be jerks and still have a line of women waiting for them.
The imbalance, and resulting attitude, shocks the expat women here. They are used to men like myself, who prostrate ourselves to please them, not the Russian men who laugh when they ask why the man needs to drink with his friends every night of the week. Most expat women try to date a Russian man, but usually only once. After that experience, they resign themselves to celibacy, as the least painful route.
The imbalance also affects the male style here. The men dress like men all over the world would if they could. Black shirt, pants, shoes, and coat (so it will not show the dirt of a week with a wash), all day, every day. The same suit and tie for a week straight, with only a clean shirt ever other day. Bad hair as a rule, and I mean not touched by a comb in 48 hours bad hair! Just plain uncaring. I am amazed that they are let out of the house they dress so bad some days!
Of course this is a generalization of Russian men. I know some gentlemen, like Sasha and Dima, and even one man who's wardrobe I envy, Andrey, but I am hard pressed to find a Russian man who I would call a role model for the next generation. Russian men are frat boys because they can be, and to an extent, I am jealous.