But what I mistook for a smile was actually a grimace. But then Anton hugged me, heat and sweat rising from his torso, his arms wrapped around me in a promise of eternal protection, inhaling me in that way men do to show they’re grateful that you’re safe.

And in that strange and romantic moment I thought, “One day I’m going to put this in a story to explain my convoluted relationship with Russian men.”I should preface this story by saying that I am Russian.

It was “No Means Yes, and Yes Means Anal.”Not surprisingly, the attitude toward rape in Russia is still depressingly medieval. That’s life,” my mother would say with a shrug as she heard about a recent rape victim on the news.

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Only a few minutes ago, we’d been standing together drinking beer, when the other guy made the dubious and drunken decision to put his arm around me.

What happened next was awful, confusing, and I wanted it to stop.

The second thing you’ll notice is that Russian men are patriarchal alpha males, and, whatever your feminist textbook might have told you, this is initially a huge turn-on.

Evolutionary theorists and Freudians alike would argue that women are subconsciously attracted to men who give off signs that they will provide for them.

I’ve had male suitors who kept calling for years after I stopped picking up the phone.

I’ve heard of guys crawling through windows and appearing naked in bedrooms.A great many of them confessed to dreaming of moving to a beach in Bali, roasting barbecue all day, and copulating furiously with island women.This is why teaching ESL was booming there; for anyone who had any semblance of ambition, the goal was to learn English, the golden ticket to getting out.And when I say “provide,” I don’t even necessarily mean in a monetary sense as much as in a paternal one.This sense that they are obligated to look out for you, not because you’re weaker or feeble-minded, but because you — as the fountain from which life springs forth — are precious and valuable.But I’m not going to lie: Part of me was turned on.