Gentle Giants

The other day, as I was walking through an alley between a cemetery and a rundown factory at 2 am, by myself, in my club outfit, I was thankful that I don’t have to have any fears of being sexually assaulted in Taiwan. That’s partly because of a low crime rate, and partly because I’m an “unattractive” dark-skinned American girl who’s taller/weighs more than most of the men here.

 

That got me thinking about some of the compromises one makes to live in a particular country. Every place has its pros and cons, of course. I’ve noticed a pattern in the places I’ve stayed; it’s often been a choice between safety and romantic excitement.

 

In Taiwan and Thailand, for example, I don’t find many people attractive, and I don’t receive a lot of interest, either. I feel about as attractive as a burlap sack sometimes, no matter how I try to remind myself that I’m experiencing the subjective opinions of a small slice of the world’s people. But on the bright side, I can do whatever I want, whenever, wherever, and with whomever, without feeling even a twinge of danger approaching.

 

In places like Turkey/Brazil, where the men are much more aggressive and exude a lot more masculinity, it was almost like a buffet of attractive men. And I also (for the most part) enjoyed the endless attention that I got there. But on the dark side of that, I experienced a lot of apprehension about my personal safety in situations where the attention became unwanted and did, in fact, experience attempted assaults in both countries.

 

This may just be my personal battle, since I’m attracted to very tall, large, and macho men. But it’s something I found interesting to think about, and it got me wondering what country the “gentle giants” reside in.

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