The Trouble with Brazilian Men

At first I thought it was just me. My self-esteem had never been so high. On a near daily basis, while I was traveling in Northeastern Brazil, I got compliments on how linda, or beautiful, I am.

But then I started talking to other female travelers. It turns out that every foreign woman is gorgeous in Brazil. The compliments come from women as well as men. It was only slight a letdown, to find out that every other female traveler I talked to was having a similar experience: being told that she was linda, linda, linda.

Now I am back in Rio, though, and almost wistful for those days. I remember Carioca men as being incredibly aggressive, and that’s certainly their reputation. But I have noticed now that there are downpours and droughts. It’s hard to know why men don’ t serenade me any more–maybe I am giving off a jaded, inaccessible vibe now. Maybe I stopped meeting their eyes.

Brazilian men are legendary for their passion and persistence. It’s exciting to feel so wanted, their eyes can be so insistent in a way that North American eyes don’t have the courage to be. But on the other hand, it becomes hard to understand why you want to marry me when we met only fifteen minutes before. Their passion seems so ephemeral, and at times, almost insultingly generic, like they are passionate about any foreign woman.

Being blonde takes the experience to a whole new level. “Being blonde in Brazil means you never have to wear jewelry,” my German, blonde friend Teresa said to me one day, and I knew she had hit the nail on the head–I had stopped bothering with earrings. I have never felt particularly exoticized as a type before.

When I went home to Rhode Island in April, I dyed my hair a slighly darker blonde, verging on brown. Perhaps that’s why they are less drawn to my honey.

I talked to my friend Marcello about the Brazilian penchant for passionate, urgent overtures–he explained that when Brazilian men feel something, and they want to express it, even if the depth of their feeling seems kind of bizarre.

I used to compare San Francisco men to Brazilian men and wish that San Francisco men were more forward, but now that I have seen the flip side, I’ve grown appreciate the subtlety and slowness with which American men say what they are feeling–they say less, but I trust them more.

Then again, my ego is missing the outrageous flattery from Brazilian men now that I am not getting it. What can I say? I want it all! There’s so much that I like about Brazilian men in general: they’re generous–always quick to pour the beer first for everyone else at the table; helpful to a fault; fun; optimistic; funny. Where can I find a passionate, genuine man? More subtle and trustworthy Brazilian men are rumored to exist. Is he here, or in Bali (where Elizabeth Gilbert–and soon in the movie version, Julia Roberts–found her ideal Brazilian lover in Eat Pray Love?)

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33 comments on “The Trouble with Brazilian Men
  1. Betânia says:

    Hey, I´m brazilian and you´re kinda right.
    “Brazilian men are legendary for their passion and persistence. It’s exciting to feel so wanted… But on the other hand, Their passion seems so ephemeral, and at times, almost insultingly generic”

    When I was at some countries like Germany I started to miss feeling wanted like that. But it´s superficial most of times, and promiscuous, our men´s behavior. Sometimes a little unrespectful. I think men of other latin countries are more respectful in their comments.

  2. Carioca says:

    Linda, :)

    Seriously, thanks for the compliments and criticisms. As a Carioca, I’d love to prove you wrong, but you must be somewehere else by now.

    Peace and Good luck!

  3. Keylla says:

    Oh, dear, what can I say about it? Some brazilian really are just like the way you said, but there’s a lot of men so different… Unfortunately, they’re not so easy to find; you have to looking for. Most guys that go to you so easily are the wrong guys; the really good guys needed to be found by you, and it won’t happen “in the night” or “at the beach”.

  4. Greg says:

    Eat sh*t and die, gringa! If you can’t appreciate another culture for their costumes of threating women nicely, maybe you shouldn’t cross the Mississippi river. If you are so found of the San Francisco men honest feelings, good luck finding an electable straight man who is not a pothead nor a liberal nutjob.

    • Juan says:

      Typical Latin idiot that can’t appreciate a lighthearted article and gets defensive, assuming things she never said. In fact, she COMPLIMENTED these men and seems very appreciative of the culture!
      You are indeed the type of man no women around the world would care about.

  5. Leo says:

    I think Brazilian people regardless of gender, are more “hot blooded”, we express our feelings more often than Americans, but is not a rule carved in stone.

    I’ve been to the US several times before, and from a personal experience,I can say that the typical brazilian behavior, to show our feelings every so often, can come off as a bit creepy to americans.

    Even so, I can say I am a bit more reserved than the example you gave. Of course I’d try and approach someone to talk to, but I wouldn’t say I’m in love 15 minutes later.

    In general, brazilian men are said to be great lovers, but like anywhere else, some of them are just being all Don Juan on you just to get into your pants.

    We’re also very friendly people, which summed up with our expressive manners to show our feelings, can come off as either wrong or someone can misunderstand us.

    I’m not saying you’re not, I’m just suggesting; But be friendly, talk to them if any catch you interest. If they start with all the small talk, I suggest you to get away from that guy.

    All in all, even if you happen to be in a serious relationship with a brazilian man, he’ll often compliment a lot, maybe thats why it make so hard to believe. But who knows, it can also be from the bottom of his heart.

    Good luck

  6. faith says:

    I was born and raised in Brasil and people in general are much more willing to share feelings and passions than this USA, I now live in. I know Brazillian men are better lovers. I am just needing to go back to Brasil and find you!

    • mariana says:

      ola im mariana estafoleta im just wondering if you know where to find brazilian men in australia ive always wanted to meet a brazillian man ive never been fond of aussie men and what do they look for in a women

      • Helena says:

        If you’re in Sydney, just go to Bondi or Coogee. You’ll probably find them at the beach or in a party. But beware, they usually go really fast!

  7. Ulisses says:

    Hi, Sasha

    I will give you a little help to understand what we, brazilians, are. But you will have to make a little effort to translate it, because in my country, people don’t speak english as they wish to. So, let’s go:

    No Brasil somos quentes, receptivos, amigos, damos abraços, beijos, falamos com as mãos, pegamos nas pessoas, convidamos desconhecidos para conhecerem as nossas casas, apresentamos as nossas famílias… Somos assim desde o berço. Os nossos pais nos ensinam a abraçar e dar um beijo em quem nunca vimos na vida, e ensinamos a mesma coisa aos nossos filhos. E os nossos filhos vão ensinar a mesma coisa aos filhos deles. Essa é a educação brasileira. Se não formos assim, seremos considerados arrogantes e prepotentes e seremos rejeitados pela nossa própria comunidade. Não entendemos bem a separação por grupos e somos criados para ser gentis com todos. Somos preconceituosos, racistas? Certamente, muitos sim, mas não todos. Aqui, negros casam-se com brancos, com asiáticos, todos se casam com qualquer raça. Sabe por que? Porque temos origem nos portugueses, nos italianos, nos alemães, nos holandeses, nos índios, no mundo afora e somos simplesmente humanos. Acho que não existem os puramente brasileiros. Todos são mestiços. E assim, nós somos festeiros. Adoramos música, gente alegre e feliz. Somos violentos? Com certeza. Como qualquer povo, temos no fundo do nosso coração a agressividade que qualquer povo tem. Mas deixamos falar mais alto a simpatia. Gostamos de estrangeiros? Com certeza. Gostamos de nós mesmos e também dos estrangeiros. São tão humanos quanto a gente. Os olhos verdes e azuis chamam a nossa atenção? Sim, porque aqui há poucos. Mas gostamos também dos olhos negros, dos castanhos e de qualquer outra cor. Na verdade, vocês que nos conhecem como um povo amigável, talvez um dia cheguem a ser do mesmo jeito. Questão de tempo. Estamos praticando o nosso jeito de ser há mais de 500 anos.
    Mas vamos falar dos homens que conquistam as mulheres. Entre nós, brasileiros, falamos de mulheres mais fáceis e mais difíceis. Entre os Estados, a coisa muda para mais ou para menos. A nossa educação machista, nos ensina a galantear as mulheres, a conquistar, a sermos atrevidos, charmosos, elegantes, dominadores, protetores, assim como as mulheres são ensinadas a buscar homens que tenham essas qualidades, que protejam-nas, que as façam sentir femininas, ou simplesmente mulheres brasileiras. No fundo, para ser brasileiro tem de ser criado aqui, entendendo as nuances da nossa cultura e agir como todos estão acostumados. E os homens quem vem do exterior, estranham o nosso jeito. Acham as mulheres fáceis. Na verdade, as mulheres brasileiras se comportam com os gringos do mesmo jeito que se comportam com os brasileiros. São elas mesmas, porque são livres. Aqui, cada um fica com quem quiser e é responsável por isso. O problema é individual. Liberdade é fundamental. Talvez você pudesse viver mais tempo aqui porque, quem sabe, conheceria um pouco melhor da nossa essência, de liberdade, de fazer amigos livremente e ver nisso a razão para uma vida sem nenhuma complicação. Por isso, estrangeiros são sempre bem vindos e vão continuar a ser. Mas saiba que, antes de tudo, gostamos da nossa própria gente, que se entende, e nem precisa buscar explicação para isso. Os nossos braços sempre estarão abertos para quem vier, e seja de onde for. O Brasil não é só dos brasileiros, mas sim de todos que gostam de estar aqui. Beijo grande para você. Apareça sempre no Brasil.

  8. Christian Marques says:

    Don’t waste your time in brazil Sascha, I’m unfortunately was born in this ####hole and if I had an oportunity to live in US or Europe I would without hesitation, brazilian men (not all,but most) are only interested in sex, take it from me! and infidelity here is a commoplace, so be proud to be american! visit France, Germany,… countries that deserve to be visited.

  9. monica dusi says:

    I am Brazilian and have three male brothers in Brazil. They are loyal and dedicated husbands, much better than any American men I have met. I think it has to do with their mothers. Some of them spoil them. My mother didn’t do that to my brothers. I hate generalizations…

  10. Cecilia says:

    Brazilian men are hot. Specially the white ones… mmmm

  11. Fabricio Marques says:

    Well, I have to disagree at some points you described in your article, as a brazilian man I’m not the kind of saying “I love you” or “I want to marry you” at first sight, somehow I think I mix some behaviours that you mentioned to some more civilized behaviours that you did not, and to be honest, I’m living in Indianapolis for quite some time now, and could not find anyone here (and I’m really looking for it) that wants a serious relationship, so I tend to think that american girls are a lot more into promiscuous relations than one might think.
    Anyway, here goes my facebook profile: http://www.facebook.com/fabriciofortaleza in case you want to talk about it.

  12. Mya says:

    I’m dating a brazilian guy at the moment. And I’ve got to say they are the most affectionate and fun-loving guys on the planet. I have dated other guys of different nationalities in the past, but none can compare to a brazilian.

  13. Monique says:

    I have started dating a Brazilian guy lovely ran skin with light blue eyes…. a bit of a free spirit and not sure if ut will develop into anything but he is so fun and naughty the sex is awesome and flirting is fun. When with him he us very touchy and affectionate not so forward with compliments as you say but can be shy in some circumstances but very forward in others especially sex lol!! We have great conversations and he is very dynamic. He also loves animals pig plus!! He has admitted to cheating extensively with previous partners and his first sexual experience at 14yrs was with a prostitute. Hmmm definitely has major differences than my culture but I think I would love it in Brazil ….. I have found my niqich.

    • Georgia Peach says:

      Monique, a guy who lost his virginity to a hooker and admits to cheating extensively with several partners is not a catch..he sound like a walking STD…I’m certainly glad you have found your niche and hope those HIV antivirals start kicking in real soon

  14. Monique says:

    I have started dating a Brazilian guy lovely tan skin with light blue eyes…. a bit of a free spirit and not sure if it will develop into anything but he is so fun and naughty the sex is awesome and flirting is fun. When with him he is very touchy and affectionate not so forward with compliments as you say but can be shy in some circumstances but very forward in others especially sex lol!! We have great conversations and he is very dynamic. He also loves animals big plus!! He has admitted to cheating extensively with previous partners and his first sexual experience at 14yrs was with a prostitute. Hmmm definitely has major differences than my culture but I think I would love it in Brazil ….. I have found my niqich.

  15. Michelle says:

    Today, I was complaining to a friend about a Brazilian man on Match and she happened to find this article. I’m so happy to read it because it explains some behaviour that to me is “different”. I had one coffee date with him. That’s all, one hour. The next day he traveled to Brazil for a week to see family he hasn’t seen for 4 yrs. However, he is texting me twice a day, texts full of emoticons, calling me dear. The quick enthusiasm makes me nervous.

  16. brazilianlove says:

    I am a latina woman raised in nz. My view on brazilian men so far in my life have been different to what i thought they wer like. My partner is brazilian and he is the most caring, beautiful, strongest person i know. I have dated my far share of cultural men but brazilians have been the best in my eyes. I belive its the way you are raised. My partner was raised by a single mother. He belives if he was raised by his father he would be different. He could be wrong but its out ther. It took me years to look at him in a way wer he didnt look like a beautiful cocky man. But when i he spoke to me for the first time i knew he wasnt like i thought. He is shy, funny,smart,crazy at times but the most caring partner and loyal . He has been through alot with me and hasnt left my side. His love for me i feel hasnt changed over the years we have been together i feel that. But im worried about us moving to brazil. Its in my blood to be apart of the culture he knows its not what i know tho. Atm we are staying here for a few more years so god knows. . . . My point is even tho ive heard brazilian men are not the best men to trust and fall in love with. I followed my head and took a chance and fell in love with one. The best thing i have ever done. Im not saying all brazilian men and perfect. But all men are good and bad just like women. Its the person not the culture that makes the person who they are. I love my brazilian man and cant wait to see what life chucks at us next. . .

  17. Thainá says:

    Dear, there are two mistakes here…first, is not every foreign woman we think is Linda , so don’t feel bad, was just a coincidence x) and second, not every brazilian man is the same, exactly as any other place, man and women aren’t all the same in the whole world and there’s not a kind in every country haha, of course will be differences in the habits, customs ( I don’t know if it’s right to say custom , my english sucks hehe) but anyways…the “prince” have no right country, right continent…but if you like the brazilian ways, don’t stop looking…who knows right? x)

  18. Fernando says:

    Shut up about this image bullshit of hot latinos that we are. Brazilians guys agreeing with that are bullshitting also because they like the image of being a conquistador.

    1st of all, I can imagine you lived in Rio. Rio is not Brasil. Rio is Rio. Cariocas are cariocas. 2nd, yes there are some different flirting habits, but inside is not much different. The only difference is that brazilian men in average are less fearless to say shit to get a woman to bed. Doesnt mean they care at all or are in love, they just say whatever it takes and insist a lot to get the girl. This in fact comes from a sexism culture, the guy doesnt respect the girls space. Thats why brazilian grils re rude when a jerk comes by, they learned that they if they are not rude the guy will insist (even physicallhy) to kiss the girl. It is stupid and sexist. Anyway, “this kissing” culture is what you felt and thats all, doesnt mean anything much more than what it is a guy wanting a kiss and to have sex and nothing more than that. And as I told you Rio people are more known, in average, to grope and grab girls without any talk.

  19. princessa mex says:

    The best man I ever dated was Brazilian. He will be very hard to forget. Como sinto falta de meu brasileiro. </3

  20. TS says:

    I am an American and have been married to my Brazilian husband for over 12 years. Yes, they are very passionate and fall in love easily. He told me he loved me within a couple weeks but man he is the best husband and I couldn’t ask for more. He would take a bullet for me and our son, he’s a hard worker and I know he would never betray me. He makes it known everyday how special I am. They are so much more loyal than American men so even though they can be super passionate I would take the loyalty anyway! :)

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