Talking to Strangers: Plovdiv, Bulgaria
Nerve asks deeply personal questions to people we just met.
BY Martina Dechevska
What do you do for a living?
I work in a cannery.
What kind of women do you like?
The perfect woman for me is a redhead with green eyes. As a character, she should be a free spirit and enjoy walks in the forest.
Do you have a girlfriend now?
No, I don't. I broke up with my ex-girlfriend about a year ago.
Was she a redhead with green eyes?
No. She has long black hair, brown eyes, and a big smile. She's from the capital, Sofia, so one weekend I was going to see her in Sofia, one weekend she was coming to Plovdiv. We were both working during the week.
Why did you guys break up?
She broke up with me. I don't know why. One day she told me that she didn't feel anything and she wasn't interested anymore. But I don't believe that.
Were you in love with her?
When did you fall in love for the first time?
I think I was in seventh grade, and I fell in love with a girl from my class. Nothing ever happened though. Then I had a girlfriend for the first time a year later, in eighth grade. She was a very beautiful girl with ginger hair, green eyes, freckles. We were together for two months, but she was Jewish, so after her brother found out about us, he beat me up, 'cause I'm not Jewish.
Did you have sex with her?
Yes. It was the first time for both of us. I think that's why her brother beat me. She's still a friend of mine, but we haven't had sex since "the fight." She has a kid now, even though she's not married.
Do you have any crazy exes?
Yeah, once I hooked up with the mother of an acquaintance of mine. The mom was maybe twenty years older than me, and she wanted too much attention. I was twenty-two then. We had sex under the influence of alcohol. Then she started calling me every day, all the time, but I didn't want to see her, so I had to avoid places that we both frequented. I didn't pick up the phone.
How long did it take her to give up?
About a month. We'd been seeing each other and fucking for a week, but I wasn't feeling comfortable with her. I was feeling like a sex toy.
Are you looking for a girlfriend now?
Where do you usually go to meet women?
Rock bars mostly, and definitely places where the main thing is not dancing, 'cause I don't dance. That's a problem with most of my girlfriends. All the women want to dance, and I don't. I just don't feel comfortable moving in rhythm.
What's the biggest turn-off for you?
If she's racist, or if she's a fan of the "chalga" culture.
How would you explain the "chalga" culture to an American?
Very stupid lyrics with non-music. A Bulgarian-Turkish-Greek mix with ugly words.
Have you ever had a sex with a girl who's part of this culture?
No, but I would out of curiosity.
What do you think about one-night stands?
I fully support them, if the people are honest with each other. I usually hook up with girls twice a week. I usually meet them in bars and tell them straight that I want to sleep with them. I don't tell them that they're the most beautiful women in the world and I want to spend my life with them. I just tell them that I want to have fun tonight. Some of them say yes, some of them say no.
How many say yes?
Maybe forty percent. The girls like being lied to, and I don't want to lie to them.
NEXT: "Most of the men here are pussies. Cowards."
Where are you from?
I'm from Rudozem, a city in the Rhodope mountains, but I've lived in Plovdiv for six years.
Is there a difference between the men in Plovdiv and the men in your hometown?
I think there is. All the girls from my school there are already married with kids. They're more family-oriented. Only me and one other girl are not.
Are there any bars in Rudozem? Places for the young people to hang out?
There are one or two chalga places that totally suck. That's it. There aren't a lot of things to do there. There are almost no jobs for young people.
So what are you doing in Plovdiv?
I study chemistry and food microbiology.
You mentioned you play the gaida.
That's right. I've played it since tenth grade. I started in Rudozem very spontaneously. I played a lot on stage too, all over Bulgaria and in other countries.
Do guys hit on you when they see you playing?
All the time. There are these bagpipes contests in the Rhodope mountains every year, and the guys get really drunk, so they bother me sometimes.
Do you have a boyfriend now?
No. I broke up with my last boyfriend a year and a half ago. We were together only two weeks, though.
So you're not really into relationships, huh?
No, not at all. I think I'm kind of unserious and too demanding. I'm looking at the guys around and I'm just not interested.
So are you interested in women?
No, even though sometimes I think that with another woman things would be easier. But I have one lesbian friend from high school, and when she starts complaining, I think that maybe it's even more complicated. I don't know; I've never tried it.
I'm sure a lot of guys hit on you. What do you tell them?
I usually just listen to them and wait for them to sink into their own words. There are men I like, but they're too scared to make the first step, because they think that nothing will ever happen. The other type are guys who are very cocky. They come to me very confident and keep saying how great they are, but I find this very repellent. A lot of them say that I have pretty lips. I've heard a lot of things — like "you have a very pretty head," which is kind of weird.
What's the longest you've been in a relationship?
Three months. That was when I was twenty, here in Plovdiv. It was all good, until he started thinking that I'd cheated on him with his best friend and roommate. It was totally pointless jealousy — the friend was living in one room with his girlfriend of six years and they were together all the time. But he didn't stop being suspicious and it was too much, so I broke up with him.
Do you have one-night stands?
No. I've had them before, but I think I outgrew them. If there's a guy I like only physically, we can go out and have a drink, then have a stupid conversation, and then sex and never see each other again. I don't see any point in that. And if it was supposed to be a one-night stand and they start calling me all the time… it's just not worth it.
Do you think that when you lose interest in some guy, he starts being more interested in you?
Yeah. There's this sentence I have written on my door. It says, "When you lose something and forget about it, it becomes yours." I think that's very accurate, especially in terms of love. When you stop caring about some guy, he starts calling you.
Have you ever asked out a man?
Yes, but I try not to bother. I just ask how he's doing, because I've been thinking about him. Some guys feel bad when you don't call them. There should be balance in everything. But I think the man should be a man — he should lead the relationship overtly, while the woman should lead it "underneath." The man should make a lot of the decisions. I'm sorry that I have to say this, but most of the men here are pussies. Cowards.
What are they afraid of?
They're afraid to say what they feel, what they think. They're afraid about their friends, about the women they like, about themselves, about their parents. They try to escape all responsibilities. They want everything to go easy and smooth. The women shouldn't want anything particular from them. There shouldn't be any worrying, no problems at all. They just want to drink and have fun, to lead the life they had as single men, but to have more sex. That's what Bulgarian men generally want from a relationship.
So what's your impression of foreign men here?
Once I met two Belgian guys here in Plovdiv. They were really cute — big gentlemen with very interesting lifestyles and ways of thinking. They seemed to me very balanced and tranquil. We went out two nights just as friends and then they left, but I got a text from them inviting me to Belgium for New Year's. I don't know, I just found them much more emotionally stable. But they told me they noticed that most of the women in Bulgaria were afraid to talk to them. The girls here acted as if they have to choose whether they just should talk to these guys or sleep with them after, and these guys didn't come here for "sex tourism."
NEXT: "After a few sentences, I understand if this woman is going to be cool if I start saying that I want to fuck her."
What are you doing for a living?
I'm a copywriter, a manager, and an owner of a small bar, and I write articles for lifestyle magazines.
Wow, that's a lot of things. Do you think that being involved in writing helps you attract chicks?
Oh, definitely, yes. Girls like guys who at least look intelligent. The fact that you write for a magazine, even online, places you higher in the girls' eyes, compared to guys who install windows or air-conditioning systems for a living.
What kind of women do you like?
Women who are able to lose and find themselves, and are free spirits. I mean, the kind that don't limit themselves, don't change to others' opinion. Women who aren't too vain, so their vanity doesn't hinder them being themselves.
Do you have a girlfriend now?
No. I ended a two-year relationship three months ago.
We weren't on the same stage of life. She was nine years younger.
Do you think that the age matters?
No, I think that what matters is how people get along together and how they feel each other. For me and this girl, the problem was that I'm busy with a lot of different things and she's just a student — she didn't even have a hobby or anything. I think that gave her an inferiority complex.
Did you break up with her or did she break up with you?
She provoked the talk, but we both made the decision.
Do you miss her?
Are you more often single or in a relationship?
Well, this was my longest relationship ever. Before that I had some "relationships" for few months, but usually only for the regular sex.
What's your biggest turn-off?
Hairy pussy. Period. Once I met a chick on the seaside, and when we went to her hotel to fuck and she took her clothes off, I saw that she had hair on her pussy, so I put my clothes on and I left. This is a big turn-off for me. Also, in sex in general, I don't like girls playing with my ass.
What age were you the first time you had sex?
I was fourteen at a high-school party and this girl, five years older than me, invited me to sleep at her place, because it was way too loud at the party. Then, she started making out with me and we had sex. I came in maybe a minute and I never saw her again.
Do you bartend at your own bar?
So do you think that the girls are attracted to bartenders?
Oh, yeah. For other men, starting a conversation is flirting. For bartenders, it's part of their job, so the girls don't feel how they get hooked!
What's your special skill to get a girl?
I really pay attention to her body language. Bartenders are psychologists, so they have already different "templates" for different characters, and they know how to deal with each one of them. After a few sentences, I understand if this woman is going to be cool if I start telling her directly that I want to fuck her or to lick her pussy.
What body movement will tell you that this chick want to have sex with you?
If she plays with her hair, if she don't want to look directly in my eyes 'cause she's afraid that I'll understand what's hiding behind them, the crossing of the legs, covering of the naked parts of her body, 'cause she already feels naked in front of me.
Have you ever got a girl drunk at your bar so you can fuck her later?
No, I don't need to. At least in Bulgaria, the girls who decide to sit on the bar are more active, and they look for a contact and a talk with the bartender. The three classic fucks for a woman are bartender, DJ, and lifeguard.