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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