Travel makes everything more exciting. Even ordinary activities, such as getting lunch or taking public transportation, are more exciting when you’re traveling. You can feel the new culture surrounding everything you do. Of course, the adventure seeker’s dream is the abroad romance. But sometimes cultural differences make a romantic night challenging, or even just odd. I spoke with a few of my friends about their best sex stories from abroad.
Jenna the Gym Rat:
I was abroad in Argentina for the summer and going to the gym every day to stay in shape. The gym in my city was not as nice as the gyms I’m used to—the decor wasn’t particularly aesthetically pleasing and there weren’t little TVs to look at, so working out was a little dull and dreary. I was toughing it out on the treadmill one Wednesday when this beautiful older man started using a weight machine near me. We locked eyes, a few times, but I realized I was too nervous to make a move.
Luckily, he wasn’t afraid to approach me. He walked up and started speaking to me in Spanish. I must have looked confused, because he followed up by saying, in English, “you’re very beautiful.” Caught off-guard, I laughed and said thank you. He followed up by asking, with perfect pronunciation and fluency, “would you like to go out sometime? I need to practice my English.”
That Friday, we went out. I realized he was in his early thirties, and I felt very grown up and cultured as we sipped our beers from the only local brewery. We spent hours that night discussing literature and culture and love. At around three in the morning, we grabbed a cab so that he could make sure I got home safe. We started making out, and I almost came from just being fingered in the back of the taxi. I was convinced that I had found my dream man. I felt like the study abroad romance champion. But then I realized something—he had a ring on his finger.
“Are you married?!” I shouted.
“Yes,” he told me.
I must have looked stunned because he added, “It’s common here to do this, even when you are married.”
I got dropped off pretty soon after that. I’m still not entirely sure how true his “cultural norm” was.
One of my goals while studying abroad in Morocco was to strike up a romance, preferably with a local. Despite my expectations, I started dating another American from my program. He looked exactly like white Jesus, with long blond hair and pale blue eyes. The two of us stood out like sore thumbs.
Much like Jesus, my abroad-boyfriend loved to preach, mostly about the ills of society. He believed that society was way too uptight about sex, and that we should challenge those norms by acting sexually in public. Mind you, this is Morocco, with much more restrictive cultural norms around sex than the United States.
One day, we got coffee in a busy part of town. We got in a bit of a squabble, then we made up. To solidify our reconciliation, he took our “goodbye hug” a step farther than usual. While standing on a crowded street he grabbed my butt, started kissing me, and dipped me backward, holding the pose for at least 15 seconds.
We attracted a bit of an audience, and, although flattered, I was embarrassed. He starts to head in the opposite direction, but before he gets too far away he turns around and shouts “it’s a shame we’re not having sex tonight!” in English. I think he thought no one around would understand, but I noticed three or four faces shocked, giving away their comprehension. Out of fear and mortification, I basically ran home.
Disco Dana, the Dog Lover:
While I was studying abroad in London, I spent a weekend at a hostel in Spain. I headed there alone, just to see how it felt to solo travel. I met a bunch of other young travelers, including one French guy. He was probably around 26 or 27 and had a serious indie vibe. He was staying in his own room in the hostel, since he had been there for a while. He invited me over one night to hook up. Just as we were getting started, I hear a whimper outside the door.
“Oh, hold on, it’s just the dog” he said. He got up. I expected him to shoo the dog away.
Instead, he let the dog in. It’s giant—a Rhodesian Ridgeback.
“He belongs to the owner. He won’t bother us,” he tells me.
We proceed to have sex. In front of the giant dog. I wasn’t a fan.
In the morning, we woke up and started getting dressed. He pulled out his phone and started playing French disco music. I danced a little.
“Do you like this music?” he asked me.
I shrugged and smiled. “Sure, it’s fun!” I said.
We danced some more. Then he stopped me, looked me straight in the eye, and told me, “you are now a girl of the disco. From now, to the end of your life, you will be a girl of the disco.”
To this day, I am still a girl of the disco. To this day, I still feel weird around Rhodesian Ridgebacks.