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Russians, on the other hand, aren’t going to let a little thing like your disinterest keep them from being your boyfriend.

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

But I’m not going to lie: Part of me was turned on. ”Suddenly, I wished my women’s studies professor from Sarah Lawrence were there.

After the punching finally stopped, Anton walked up to me shirtless and sweaty, caked with blood and dirt, his arms outstretched in an unmistakable gesture of victory. Pistols at dawn seemed a ludicrous symbol of male egotism, and I longed for men in tailored suits, who solved arguments with Woody Allen jokes and New Yorker references.

I speak the language, I celebrate the holidays, and when I go back to New York after visiting relatives in the motherland and hand my Russian passport to the Russian customs official at border control, watch him quickly flip through it, and then haughtily sneer at me as he asks “, where’s your visa?

” it is with the greatest relish that I slap my American passport onto the desk and yell “That’s my visa! I was born into a crumbling communal building in St.

The American teachers at my language school had a phrase to describe dating Russian men.

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.

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.

I was standing on a dirt path in a Russian country village, holding my boyfriend Anton’s torn, bloodstained T-shirt.

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