Depression abroad is a funny thing. It’s what kept me sleeping all day in the IKEA-esque Buenos Aires apartment I shared in the city’s second richest neighborhood, yet transformed me into some type of sexual Kool-Aid man in the evenings, thirsty for the good stuff but willing to cleanse the palette of any passerby I laid shaky, over-sloshed eyes on. Oh yeaaahhh.
Tinder in Buenos Aires was wholly unremarkable in its inherently Argentine offerings. The women (for a queer like myself) were shockingly forgettable, and the men were one baby-oil purchase away from a free bottle. For as sexual a region as the South American city may have been, the dating app proved to be all talk and no action. It was bravado, not machismo, that reigned supreme. I chose instead to bust through walls by clubbing, netting myself two strange-as-hell hookups in the process.
I’d give a shoutout to the man I lured to bed my first Friday in town… if I could only remember his name. The college kid was a true gentleman, negotiating with my overprotective doorman and going down on me once his whiskey dick lulled itself to sleep in a wadded-up condom. The mystery man left a few hours after our tryst because he had a test to take to finish out his summer semester. Thank god he didn’t sleep next to me.
The second hookup was a firm display of just how awkward of a lady lover I can be. My ultra-effective pickup line was preceded by pawing at the object of my affection’s shoulder before asking if she was a lesbian in what I’m hoping wasn’t offensive Spanish. The fact that I lured her off the dancefloor within 10 minutes suggests I was speaking her language.
In between these encounters, I took to Tinder to practice my Spanish. It was a bit of a hypocritical move given that I never got laid in Japan because each match turned into a language lesson, but hey, I now know the Argentinian Spanish word for “straw.” Watch the fuck out, Jeopardy!
Here’s the best of the worst I could find in the southern hemisphere, featuring lots and lots of Leandros. I think a group of them is called a “bushel,” but, you know—in Spanish.
There really is no better place to showcase your one-man sausagefest than on Tinder. The Argentine art of asado probably didn’t need to be enhanced by a shirtless man giving a thumbs up while burning his pecs on some fiery hickory. Leandro’s two-word bio leaves a lot more to the imagination than his lean, mean grilling photo. Somos nosotros pretty much means “we are,” which is like the MadLibs of dating profiles. By contemplating the piss-stained door setting the scene and lingering just a little too long on his photos, am I doing something more meaningful than swiping? Or have the multiple personalities take over? Please let it be the latter.
2) Leandro Too
Oh, yes, just what I missed from my brief Tinder experiences in the American South—photos of men holding fish like a particularly proud toddler picking up a pile of manure on a trip to a petting zoo and showing it off to his daycare instructor. This incarnation of Leandro looks like he’s either auditioning for MacBeth or waiting for the fish he most likely photoshopped to steal his soul the way a Mennonite family fears the flash of a camera might. Bonus points for solid depth of field, though.
This is the most desexualized back I have ever seen. It’s as if someone got ahold of Fefe’s prison docket, cracked that bitch open, and flipped to the photo appendix logging every single one of his regrettable tattoos. A mulleted and actually unidentifiable Simpsons character thrashing his ax on the verge of orgasm isn’t exactly what I’d call metal, but then again, this profile isn’t what I’d deem Tinder-worthy, either.
Apparently I got “superliked” by a low-rate Carrot Top and an egg at a luau. Nothing in Javier’s profile helped me determine whether I’d be exchanging shoddy Spanglish messages with the rojo wonder or the neon dream. Life is a grand mystery. Javier, even more so.
5) Another Goddamn Leandro
Where do all these Leandros come from? Are they hatched amid the grunting breath of gym rats, spawning between weight plates and unfortunately-sized athletic shorts? Never in life have I required gloves to perform a topless task. It’s not like once the tits come out I’ve gotta be careful or my hands will chafe. This is the most purely representative shot of Tinder in Buenos Aires, minus a few gallons of baby oil.
When I started this worldwide circle-jerk of trying to find love abroad way back in June, there was no part of my thirsty, thirsty soul that thought sexual satiation would be accompanied by any semblance of love or learning. Tinder as a tool is pretty weak shit in the States. And yet abroad it served as a means of networking, growing closer to my fellow travelers (none of whom bought me a pizza—thanks for nothing), and forcing me to confront my own insecurities in what it means to hook up and let loose.
With every date I passed off for work, I rediscovered why I like writing about weird shit online. For every drunken tryst—especially with the straight white male contingent in my group—I learned to set boundaries and that my worth was far more than an awkward conversation about pirates drinking their piss. Sure, I fucked up, like with the interrogation douche who thought I was using him for the Power Rankings (rap game self-fulfilling prophecy), and I certainly felt overly obligated to put myself out there even when I didn’t. But I’m glad to have done it.
Oh, and my commiseration with a good friend low-key helped me fall into the relationship we currently share. Nothing like swapping stories of wanting to torch your phone/Tinder date to make you fall in love with someone just as curmudgeonly. Keep swiping, kids.
Photo via Gisela Giardino/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)