There’s no room or place for birds and bees under Maduro’s dictatorship. Yes, I know it’s a minor problem and I should count my blessings, but I find it ridiculous and enraging that chavismo is cockblocking us all.

Out of boredom, I went back on Tinder; or rather the deep, dark, horrible corners of what’s left of Tinder in Venezuela. The dating pool got thinner, unlike chavista officers now borderline obese. This is what I found: 33.3 % guys who you can just tell are enchufados, 33.3 % guys who look like they’re tindering from an iPhone they just stole in traffic, and 33.3% guys I’ve already dated or I know they’re married, because I’m friends with their wives.

I find it ridiculous and enraging that chavismo is cockblocking us all.

I matched with a handsome, heterosexual male a few days later. Turns out we both have good jobs, so we could afford to go out for dinner, drinks and a movie. I gladly picked up the check several times, because I’m not #blessed nor am I #thankful; 3 million bolivars for burgers around two months ago, 5 million for sushi (sounds fancy, but it wasn’t; Bonsai Sushi y de vaina). Last week, we paid 6 million for two movie tickets and a popcorn-soda combo, and I paid 10 million bolivares for a pizza, four beers and a standard rum soda with a twist. It wasn’t Santa Teresa 1796. It was Carta Roja, I think.

Yes, you can be romantic, but it’ll cost you 2.5 minimum wages.

A friend is an actress in the only TV series that’s being produced in Venezuela right now. She makes 50 million bolivars a month and can’t afford to be on the pill; she’d have to save money and pray really hard to the Rosa Mística that the price stayed the same for a few months.

Scratch that, I found a cheaper option online because I’m not naive enough to go to a pharmacy and ask. For almost ¼ of her salary, she can be a responsible adult. Kudos.

Yes, you can be romantic, but it’ll cost you 2.5 minimum wages.

If you live in Venezuela, a woman’s right to choose means that she can choose between paying for groceries or preventing pregnancies. Neither of the women I talked to were on the pill because of patria related reasons, the most common being that they couldn’t find it. Ages 28-35, all of them with college degrees and good jobs, earning a lot more than minimum wage, from 50 to 100 million bolivars.  

Over 80% of our country is poor. A successful actress can maybe try to perform a miracle every month, but how many people can? Minimum wage is not even two dollars, come on!

Well, at least there are condoms… just not really.

“I have because a friend left the country and left some behind,” said a friend. Yes, when our friends move, we inherit condoms instead of TVs.

“I bought some tapa amarilla brand a couple of weeks ago and I’ve been using those. It’s kinda scary, but having sex with my girlfriend is the only distraction we can afford. Her parents left the country but she has to graduate, so we have the place to ourselves, thankfully.”

A dear friend came over for dinner and told me: “My boyfriend left the country and gave me his condoms because we made a deal: While we’re apart, we get to have sex with other people. It breaks my heart and I haven’t done it, because I really don’t want to. I’m in love with him, entiendes? I agreed because I rather offer him the liberty to do it and hope that when he does have sex, it won’t mean anything. So far, he says he hasn’t slept with anyone, and I’m praying he won’t, really. Does this mean he doesn’t love me anymore? Does this mean he wanted to break up with me but didn’t have the balls to do it?”

She started crying.  

Fuck you, Nicolás.

Well, at least there are condoms… just not really.

Let’s say you’re one of the lucky ones. You found a date, you could take her out for drinks, dinner or a movie. You weren’t robbed, your car still has all its tires and battery. You both defied the night, the odds, the city. You lived. You, reader, are wealthy and lucky. You wanna get even luckier tonight. You found someone who wants to sleep with you! Yay!

But where can you go? Where do you have sex?

When I was in high school and college, people could, you know, make out and stuff in cars in certain Caracas neighborhoods. Everyone had a favorite spot, and you’d trade info on locations like Panini trading cards. There was always a friend who lived in a street where they had security checkpoints to get in, we felt safe and just had to look out for neighbors. But we’re in our 30s now, we’re too old and Caracas is too dangerous to have sex in the car.

Another friend makes 25 million bolivars a month. “Thank God I’m gay, because I’d be soooo pregnant,” he says. “Did you know many motels turn you away if you’re gay?”

I’m sorry to say I did. It’s infuriating that en pleno 21st century, the LGBTQ community has to deal with this kind of stuff all the time.

“Thank God I’m gay, because I’d be soooo pregnant.”

“The last guy I dated took me to a nice one, though. It was 5 million bolivars, like a month ago. I was actually relieved when it ended shortly afterwards, because I can’t afford to take anyone to a motel. I’m barely making it to the end of the month as it is.”

I live with my mother, as most of my friends do, and I love her too much to ask for permission to have a guy spend the night because it would basically kill her. She’d have a heart attack and come back as a ghost just to yell at me. She’s old school. At least six of the men and women I interviewed said the same thing. Our parents are old fashioned, and these are their houses, their rules. Yes, we could sneak around, yes, we could wait ‘til they go to work, yes, there are workarounds, but we are grown-ass adults who shouldn’t be having this problem, see?

A bed and breakfast in Galipán costs 17 million bolivars, a little less if you get it from one of those coupon sites. Five minimum wages. The decent motels are anywhere between 14 million and (you won’t believe this number, please sit down) 92 million bolivars for six hours. NINETY TWO. It’s sexpensive. Get it? Sex + expensive. There you go, crappy jokes and communism, the reasons I won’t ever get laid.

So, in order to get laid, you need to be enchufado or chavista, too?! I’m assuming nobody gets carnet de la patria discounts here. How horny do you have to be to spend that kind of money?!

Nobody has rights, nobody is paid fairly, so I guess in Venezuela we are the worst kind of equal: equally fucked.

In any other country, we’d be able to afford rent. In any other country, we’d live in a crappy studio where we’d blissfully make the rules and break them. In any other country, we’d meet our next boyfriend in a bar, because we wouldn’t be terrified to leave the house at night. We’d be able to afford Nutella when our hearts are broken by that asshole from the bar. We’d be able to choose where we’d have make up sex, his place or mine. We’d have options to buy nice anniversary gifts or save money to pay for our own weddings and go on a kickass, instagrammable honeymoon. We’d be able to choose vegan, kiwi-mango-pineapple flavored, cranberry scented, glow in the dark, ribbed for her pleasure, non-latex condoms. We’d be free to bring home as many one night stands as we wanted to, we’d switch to another pill in case of breakouts or any other crappy secondary effect, we’d be rushing to the pharmacy for plan b after accidents, we’d be on the streets protesting for legal, safe abortions for every woman who needs one, fighting any legislation that wanted to go all #HandmaidsTale on our bodies, we’d join the LGBTQ+ community in their fight for the right to marry the person they love, we’d be rallying up in marches for equal rights or equal pay.

But we’re here.

Nobody has rights, nobody is paid fairly, so I guess in Venezuela we are the worst kind of equal: equally fucked.

I don’t get laid, but chavismo fucks me over, every day.  

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40 COMMENTS

  1. Loved it! Great writing.

    Every bit of it in the category a friend of mine called, “You just can’t make this shit up!”

    • I’m not saying what i’m about to say is moral, optimal, or simply acceptable, nor i shall or would try to defend such oppressive government. I will just try to advice on that given situation.

      1- Lower your standards. A date night does not have to be a commercial onslaught. It’s capitalism at work. Open air and having no distraction other than each other is the best way to spend the night with your special other/ interest.

      2- Condom shortage… That’s simply cruel. Not only because people that do not know when to nut, also because having the looming shadow of STD’s. Be it casual, be it a new relationship, on that you cannot feel safe.

      3- A Place to date: I have been living on my own since i was 17(even when it’s close proximity with my parents). So that i cannot relate.

      Turns out, only my first “point made” has any value. Sucks to be you. We are next. With love, from Turkey.

  2. Why don’t you immigrate to the USA, put a sticker on your bumper that says, “A Woman’s Place is in The Whitehouse,” vote for every liberal democrat you can, and in ten years you and your millenial friends can turn this country into a third world shithole just like Vz.

    But, hey, in the meantime you are free to fuck your brains out, and that is the important thing in life.

    • I find it interesting how alike Muslim extremists are to Christian extremists on the subject of sex. Neither of them can tolerate the idea that someone, somewhere might be enjoying purely recreational sex.

    • Lorenz, I bet you got a hard on reading the article. Go a please yourself (also know as rayado de yucca) with a picture of Hillary Clinton when she was about 40 ears old. Then anal-yze what you wrote and go to the corner for 5 minutes to think what you did wrong.

    • Interesting concept… Chesterton’s Fence.

      However, sometimes the original reason for a custom or a taboo gets completely forgotten. A good example is the Muslim and Jewish prohibition against eating pork. Try to find a definitive reason… there are various theories, but nothing you can hang your hat on. But, that taboo still hangs in there.

      Eventually, someone has to test whether a seemingly irrational prohibition is still valid. In the case of recreational sex, like eating pork, most people do it. And the world as we know it has not come to an end.

      • Hello Roy,

        I think Chesterton and you agree, reason should be applied to a prohibition, the thing is that too many are shallow thinkers and follow the crowd. For example, my parents generations all smoked while my generation rarely does. I doubt anyone thought much about it, but the fashionable habits of the crowds had real consequences on the health of the generations.

        Talking about recreational sex, it does not seem to be the milk and honey paradise that was promised to us. I would point to the #metoo movement as an example on this subject, which could be seen as boorish men trying to get some.

        Moreover, I’ve read a few articles that describe a common dissatisfaction in young women. Sex is not the problem, for these young women, settling down and having a husband and a family is way harder in millennials. Some attribute this problem to the disconnection of sex and marriage by which men ‘just wanna have fun’ while girls ‘they want to settle down’.

        • You are uncomfortable with accepting reduced reproduction rates as normal. However, historically and statistically, as any society becomes prosperous and stable, reproduction rates drop. This has been true for a long time, regardless of anti-conception technology.

          This is nature’s way of making sure that we never get too complacent and that we keep evolving and improving ourselves and our civilizations. The only thing constant is change itself.

  3. 92 Million B’s? at 3.5M Bs that is only $26 for 6 hours at the Hotel Notel?

    Sounds about right

    • Not in a country where the minimum wage is dollar and half per month. The distortions of the economy here make direct comparisons to normal countries useless.

      • Then the Hotel Notel will lower its prices for the 6 hour nookie especial, or go out of business because they cannot meet their costs at a price that enough customers can afford.

    • Comedy is comedy, and I take the piece as successful satire of really bad conditions. So Lorenzo might be satirical, too, or maybe he has an opinion of his own that isn’t molded by current drift. People who pretend to be so liberally enlightened jump up and slam down any opinion not their own. How the heck can you plan for a family in today’s Venezuela? A Ouija Board? Tarot cards? How are gays or lesbians going to have children? I feel sorry for both or either.

      In my experience, fast love is like fast food. Sometimes, it’s not worth it, sometimes it is, but it certainly isn’t owning a restaurant and casino and hotel. But hey … a lot of people go for it. And a lot of society and social order is breaking up like a ship on rocks. Maybe that’s what they mean by, “Whatever rocks your boat”.

      I went shopping yesterday in a b-i-g supermarket, and could not stop thinking about Venezuela and what I read here and other places the day before. This place had food from all over the world. Prices anywhere from five to a hundred times what you’d pay in dollar equivalents in Venezuela. One or two odd items were sold out and not restocked, but they’ll get around to it within a few days. Twenty different brands of sauces, too many varieties of salad dressing to make any sense at all. Buying toothpaste is confusing, there are so many choices. They did not have one item I wanted, and I was actually angry for a moment … then I thought of Venezuela.

      On one aisle, I passed a couple of women who were chatting excitedly – in Spanish – about something or another as they struggled to make a decision between one brand of chocolate cookies and another (I guess). I didn’t listen, really, and couldn’t tell the accent, but it wasn’t Mexican, and it wasn’t Argentinian, definitely not from Spain. Maybe Chilean. Sometimes I can’t follow two American women talking to each other, especially not if they get excited. Can’tquitefollowthetrainofthought … shesaidshesaidthatifand … oh!butthatwasyesterdayandyouknow … hernaislsweresobeautifulweren’ttheydidyounotice …. Women. I just enjoy the sounds, giggles, laughter. I think women somehow change modalities when they’re talking to men. Almost as if they pause to enunciate for men’s benefit, kind of slow it down so we can understand. Unless she’s Latina, and angry at you, and then … you’ve had it, boy! You have to know your history of the relationship, and use it, as well as be there.

      I stopped by a deli. Bought a roast. While I was waiting, I noticed some coconut shrimp. Bought that. Got a tongue sandwich. It came with chips and pickle. Got some coleslaw. I was about to get some cheesecake, debating between that and some pastries, when the guy came up with the roast. I’ll get some pastry tomorrow I guess. This is capitalism and free markets, the straight white males. Yeah, I know we’re not perfect. We fart, and complain about shaving our faces every day. Some of us give up and grow beards. Some of us are just not funny, no matter how hard we try. Thing is, we deliver product.

      • If I was aiming for comedy, I would have said 6 hours is at least 5 hours and 45 minutes too long. But, that would show my age.

      • Gringo, my mouth was watering reading about your adventure. Tongue sammich. Man oh man I bet that was good. Served with a dill pickle?

        Maybe you guys do realize, maybe you don’t, but this place is barren. Walk into one of the few stores still open and there’s nothing there. The local chinese guy is hanging on but I’m not sure for how long. His wife made her yearly visit to China over a month ago and hasn’t returned. I won’t be surprised to hear one day that he’s called it quits. Just him and one employee running the place now. I bet the had a dozen working back in the day. The other Chinese merchant left here late last year.

        Talked to guy from Maturin yesterday I hadn’t talked to in 5 or 6 years. He had an air-conditioning business there and his family (several brothers) were each in the furniture business with their own shops. All closed. He said it was just impossible to keep the doors open. His kids are all in Miami studying there. He’s trying to get out as well.

        The country has been gutted, but then, you all knew that.

          • Ricardo, while I occassionally question myself like, “dafuq are you doing in Venezuela son”, for some odd reason I have no desire to leave here, to start over somewhere else, not in the States, not anywhere.

            I retired at a young age, 47, after 20 years of very hard work in the oilfield. I never realized until I handed the keys to the new owners that the work I loved so much, the company I’d built, was also extremely stressful. Doubtful I’d have made many more years before dropping dead of a heart attack or stroke had I stayed with it. I had great parents but inherited lousy genes.

            I vowed I’d never put myself under such stress again, and I haven’t. Perhaps there’s some inner awareness today that starting over somewhere else would be just as stressful?

            And, there may be another odd component to my current insanity. Growing up I heard all the stories from my dad about what it was like growing up in the Great Depression, he having been born in 1926. Fascinating stories indeed, and nothing like the land of milk & honey I experienced as a child and young adult. Always wondered what it was like to survive, and even proper as his family had managed to do under such terrible conditions. I now have a pretty good idea.

            Venezuela today is obviously in a great depression, arguably worse with the political situation. Maybe I’d feel like a coward to flee now and leave family behind? Maybe I couldn’t survive the move? Dunno.

            One thing I do know though is that, relatively speaking, I’m thriving and thank God for it.

        • MRubio – I know that. I wrote for the contrast, and possibly inspiration of proof positive that most people here in the capitalist world can freely shop just as I did. I did not intend to gloat and ridicule. It is just the way it is here. And people complain! (The dill pickle was very crisp, actually so dill I got a tiny touch of stomach upset, wolfing the sandwich.) And I added one more set of plastic fork and knife and napkin to my collection. They may come in handy some day.

          My cover, if you will, my moral shield in all this is that I saw it coming in Venezuela back in the 1970’s, as I’ve mentioned before. Some other people saw it too, Venezuelans as well as foreigners. It was probably easiest for the foreigners to see it, but they couldn’t do much, couldn’t vote, couldn’t hold political office. Some of the people I called friends, or worked with, very probably still live in Caracas – and their kids, and their kids’ kids. Girls got married, young men became immersed in their jobs and companies. Maybe by now, many of those have left, but I know some have not.

          People have an odd ability to look away from tragedies, and to distance themselves from tragedies which befall others, and I’d be dishonest if I did not say that those people I knew (many of them no longer with us), are really the focus of my feelings. And the foreigners who worked there, and left, who saw their work wasted. Some much more recently – GM, Clorox, Bridgestone, Kellog, Schulmberger. Ordinary people, emptying desks and gathering personal belongings, saying goodbye to friends and associates, homes.

          Some here have hinted that you might consider leaving, at least until the storm blows over, but it seems you’ve clarified your reasons for not leaving. We’re doing what we can here to roll back the socialist menace in the U.S., and hopefully we will succeed. Perhaps the most valuable thing any of us have is our freedom of choice, to make decisions, and I’m not about to challenge yours. It is not bad generic advice to have a plan “B”, an escape hatch if the cards turn cold. Hopefully you would not have to use it. I’m not sure we have one here in the U.S. – where is there a place left to run to?

          You guys will win, in Venezuela, eventually. Cuba itself will be a mess for a while, but will turn capitalist. This isn’t political, it is simply the way things work. Tourism dollars for Cuba. Investment zones for Cuba. It’s the only alternative they have, that I can see. And in time, the investment zones will spread and the remaining socialist enclaves and structures will disappear at the stroke of a pen. That will leave many communist loyalists wondering what to do, wondering what happened. So they’ll go out and find jobs and actually get paid. They can drown their rue in rum and find peace in sleep – until the real world begins to make sense to them.

          In Venezuela, the majority want free markets, I believe. They want better lives, and the transition may be more abrupt, more like Russia than China. But eventually, it will transition. It just isn’t possible to run an evil empire for long, there’s no future in it. People grow weary of “fighting” only to see things worsen, then service becomes lip service becomes silence becomes fed-up protest, and change comes.

          • Very well-said Gringo, insightful actually, very insightful. Sometimes I feel like I’m holding out to witness the coming change firsthand. Usually though, it’s a matter of hoping I live that long.

            Dill pickles! They don’t do dill pickles in Venezuela. Have never had one here. Didn’t eat them everyday by any means when in the States, but certainly meals just call for a dill pickle.

            However, I shall not be defeaed and die before eating another dill pickle! Thanks to CC member John, I now have dill growing in my garden. And he’s sending me some pickling salts so that I can make my own damned dill pickles……………assuming I can find some cucumbers. LOL

            This place is a trip. What a disaster.

          • i think you have it wrong.

            The united states will swing to the socialist left much earlier than Venezuela will change to liberalism. In fact, many countries will, just see how Amlo won in Mexico and Colombia and Spain are at the edge of the abyss with Petro and Podemos, its only a matter of time for both to fall too.

        • MR
          When your package arrives, your meals will taste a lot better!
          One of the things I wanted to tell you before we were disconnected is that the bottle that says Paricalcitol is the prescription that Crystal needs. My dentist wrote 2 or 3 refills. That should be enough until they get to Spain. I will send the other bottles before that one runs out. Probably in 2 weeks.
          Other things that you may want to share with Crystal’s mother that are in the shipment is liquid acetaminophen and liquid Diphenhydramine (Benadryl).
          The Epi-pens will last a long time. They are for severe allergic reactions and extremely important to have available. I think there are 120, 500 mg. Amoxicillin capsules. More to follow in the next shipment. Dissolving some in a syrup will create a suspension for pediatric doses and last much longer. Depending on the illness, many pediatric doses are 500 – 750 mg. per day.
          I have tried calling back about 10 times. If you put my email address in the line where a phone number would go in a text and text me (texting to my e-mail). It will go to my e-mail and I will have the Movilnet gateway address. This will allow me to correspond with you by texting from my computer to your phone. Vicky has been unable to grasp this concept and I have given up trying to explain it to her.
          The packages missed the flight today. Maria said that they will either go out Tuesday or Friday. It is frustrating. The postal clerk said that they would make it to Miami by today. They were just too late.

  4. This comment thread reminds me of the old Motel 6 advertisement, “We put the Ho in Hotel” …

  5. Hoo Boy! Excuse me all to hell but I just cannot empathize with a 30+ year old woman, still living with her parents, whom she considers SO old school, who is whining over the fact that she can’t get laid as often as she likes. Life really is a bitch!

    • Either one of two, either you are some old fart who made a fortune way back then and must think living alone is just as easy as it was in the 80s or maybe you are another clueless gringo that thinks everyone else has gringoland standards of living.

      Almost all professionals in their late 20s, early 30s live with their family still. Even those who earn in foreign currency since rents in good neighborhoods are pretty high even in dollars and that money usually goes to support the entire nuclear family.

  6. Nina, really enjoyed your shtick, especially the hotel Nutella (boggles the mind/imagination). Wondering, however, if you’re getting any in Bogota, since you seem to be transplanted? Anyway, millennials in CCs do seem to be getting it on in CCS, judging by secondary school female classes often 30+% pregnant. Maybe it’s NM’s additional bonus for pregnant women, maybe it’s no parental guidance (50+% couples never officially married), maybe it’s that poor old granny usually ends up trying unsuccessfully to bring up her daughter’s kids while she works/jumps from leaving man to leaving man, maybe it’s because the stairwells in Caricuao Bloques provide the free venues, maybe it’s because observing Bernal’s rabbit in-home conucos provide the example/stimulation, maybe–but, you get the idea, although in Bogota it may not be so exciting??

    • she is talking about the upper middle class who still have standards. The poorest people don`t care, they will practice incest and screw with their partners with their parents beside them in the rancho where 20 people live. For them is also easier to move out, they just find an empty lot to squat in and screw their eyes out in the middle of the jungle like all the other millions who live in guettos

  7. Well maybe you should date like normal people instead of an STD app. Maybe you should go to PLAFAM and pick up some condoms for free and then you can bang the rest of the losers from the barrio you haven’t already. I am sure some of them could afford to buy you mango kiwi vegan shake or whatever the fuck you were talking about. If there is one thing this crisis has not taken away from us it is the chance to get pussy(or cock)left, right, and center.With families being broke apart you have horny lonely wives and husbands up for some fun.Don’t be such a Debbie Downer

  8. La gente todavía consigue levantes y tira y todo eso en Vzla. Todos los días veo mujeres jóvenes preñadas en la calle. Quizás porque eres gorda y sobretodo pretenciosa, te cuesta mas.

  9. Great writing. But I’d like to comment on this part:

    “A dear friend came over for dinner and told me: “My boyfriend left the country and gave me his condoms because we made a deal: While we’re apart, we get to have sex with other people. It breaks my heart and I haven’t done it, because I really don’t want to. I’m in love with him, entiendes? I agreed because I rather offer him the liberty to do it and hope that when he does have sex, it won’t mean anything. So far, he says he hasn’t slept with anyone, and I’m praying he won’t, really. Does this mean he doesn’t love me anymore? Does this mean he wanted to break up with me but didn’t have the balls to do it?”

    She started crying.

    Fuck you, Nicolás.”

    Sure, fuck Nicolas, every day and twice on Sunday. But in this case, it’s not Maduro’s fault that your friend’s boyfriend is such an asshole. Fuck that guy. He’s obviously a worthless coward. Maduro and communism didn’t turn him into an asshole; he was born that way.

  10. Its no use. Tinder is full of kidnappers looking for intel , married enchufados and desperate people wanting someone who would pay for everything, (basically, the legal way to prostitute yourself, finding a sugar daddy/momma)

    You can get laid still if you don`t mind gold diggers and possible extortionists but if you want a healthy relationship in equal terms with someone on your own economic and social standing you are screwed. Anyone that remotely looks worthwhile just wants to use you while they fgure out how to leave the country or use you so they can leave and then get rid of you or simply, hang out until they do leave on their own. Meaning that even at best case scenario is still short lived

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