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Sensual Brazil: A Dad’s Eye View

April 23, 2012

From the viewpoint of a dirty old man, Brazil is amazing.  Female sexiness is rampant.  Driving the streets, going into a grocery store, or visiting a public park, one can glimpse dozens upon dozens of the most beautiful women in the world, often dressed as provocatively as one could possibly hope.  The pants are tight and low cut, many with the whole belt loop level sliced right off, leaving just the tattered “fraying” that made cut-off jeans so sexy back in the 1970s.  Maybe 85-90 percent of the tops are belly shirts that, when coupled with the low-riding bottoms, mean that one can easily flirt with overdose on the volume of tight, flat abs and exposed hip bones.

Dark-skinned, light-skinned, blonde, brunette; they’re all everywhere, effusing sensuality 24-7.  Looking to gape at a gorgeous hard body jogging in a sports bra and short shorts?  No problem.  Give me ten minutes to drive you around the town and we’re guaranteed five or six.  Seeking to drool over a freely-exhibited female bellybutton piercing sported by a perfect 10?  Piece of cake.  I’ll have you within a few feet in no time and will throw in an extra 3-4 inches of taut exposed skin below the ring gratis.  Interested in strolling behind barely-covered, all-over-tanned muscular goddess booty for 2-3 kilometers?  Three blocks to the park and we’ll have you striding and staring in a heartbeat.

From the viewpoint of a father who believes that both the inner and outer beauty of his daughter is boundless, Brazil ain’t so hot.  I rejoice in the expectation that my darling girl will turn heads throughout her life.  I want my daughter to feel as pretty as I believe she is and will be always.  But, I also want her to have no doubt that she can do whatever she wants with her life.  I want her to never experience even a moment’s lack of confidence regarding her innate ability to make decisions for herself and choose her own path.  I want her to be proud, self-confident, and independent.  Yes, I want her to feel pretty, sexy, and fit, but I just as strongly want her to feel smart, fulfilled, and capable.  I don’t want her to be pulled into a mentality that would convince that her value is based largely on how much male rubbernecking she can inspire.

From the viewpoint of a father of a boy on the verge of puberty, Brazil also gives me pause.  I look forward to watching my son’s evolving discovery of girls.  Thinking about the coming onset of his stuttering curiosity and eventual unlimited teenage horniness makes me smile.  At the same time my boy gains an appreciation for hotties’ hotness however, I also want him to develop a respect for women as colleagues, friends, bosses and co-workers.  I want him to see individual women in the most positive way as tough competitors for his job, counterpoints to his debate, and philosophers/leaders whose views he should consider before choosing his own path.  I want him to be excited about actual sex (and the often even more thrilling “possibility” of sex) throughout his life, but I don’t want sex and sexiness to become like Lay’s Potato Chips for him.  (“Hey, that was a damn good chip!  I think I’ll just reach over and have another.”)  No matter how many women my son “has relations” with in his lifetime, I hope it will always be a meaningful event for him.  I don’t want him to view sex as he would a pick-up basketball game at the gym; fun, enjoyable and a good workout but still just one more pick-up game much like yesterday’s and tomorrow’s.

Yesterday, after I had returned from seeing Matrix Reloaded at the cinema with my son – and from having been unable, as usual, to not notice the hordes of drop-dead gorgeous, desirable Brazilian Eves oozing sensuality like sweat from their pores – my wife mentioned to me a conversation she had had earlier in the day with a Brasileira friend of hers.  The friend, a mother of three preteens, was lamenting what she termed the promiscuity of the culture her kids were exposed to everyday.  In her words, too many Brazilian girls learned to dress “sexy” from the time they were mere babies, a tendency we have experienced firsthand via our discomfort at some of the clothing our grade-school daughter has received as birthday presents from her Brazilian classmates.  My wife’s friend went on to bemoan that, from her experience, even the word “flirting” in Brazilian Portuguese (paquerar) no longer was understood to suggest playfully alluring behavior but had come to imply doing the deed.  She argued it wasn’t the word but the behaviors themselves that had evolved.  Sex had become casual.

As I listened to my spouse share her friend’s concerns, my own first thought was quite honestly along the lines of “Damn, I wish I could have lived in Brazil when I was young and single.”  However, my next thought was “Damn, that’s not what I want for my kids.”

Before deeming me a self-righteous prude, please note that it isn’t about being some chastity-demanding conservo-dad.  It’s about not wanting sex to become routine and un-special for my children.  And, damnit, it really is about discomfort with the objectification of women IN THEIR OWN MINDS, which is what I often sense in Brazil.  (Note: No claim to be “enlightened” here – I’m simply the blessed father of a beautiful and amazing daughter.)

So, my final thoughts, in no particular order:

●  A little bit of Puritanism is a good thing for a pubescent boy.  Why?  Because when he is then lucky enough to get that occasional coveted glimpse of bikini-clad girls at the beach, or that bend-over blouse front opening, or that Sports Illustrated bathing suit issue, it’s COOL and exciting, with the added thrill of naughtiness.  It does not become routine.

●  Upon becoming a woman, my daughter – and everybody’s daughter, for that matter – deserves to be both and concurrently respected for her brains and character as well as worshiped for her beauty.

●  Sure, I want my son to be able to enjoy a slack-jawed, brain-freeze, blood-rush reaction to the Brazilian eye-candy smorgasbord should he be lucky enough to come back here later in life.  In between the ogling however, I also want him to feel uncomfortable with a culture that seems to tell women that they exist to please men.  I want him to not want his sister to be exposed to that culture.

●  The thrill of Brazilian women’s deliberate sexiness and open sensuality cannot be fully appreciated by Brazilians, who take it for granted.  Only lucky dudes visiting from more modest societies/upbringings can truly experience and enjoy the paradise of female exhibitionism that is Brazil.

●  I’m glad to have experienced Brazilian sensuality firsthand; it is damn exhilarating.  That said, I am gladder to be moving my preteen kids out of Brazil before they hit puberty.

– Brasilia, Brazil, May 2003

From → Family, Ideas

  1. Someone might say this is really sad about Brazil, but your thinking is right.

  2. As the father of an 11 year-old pre-teen, I found this post exhilarating and a bit scary. Is there a companion piece on how it worked out for you and yours?

    • No companion piece, but 13 years later I can say I am pretty happy with the way things have worked out for my now 20-somethings. The road has not been without the occasional bump but the beauty of hindsight is the ability to see that, while it didn’t always seem so, the trip has turned out to be pretty smooth overall.

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