With the re-election of Vladimir Putin as the President of Russia on Sunday, my thoughts turned to my last visit to the beautiful city of St. Petersburg. Putin was born there, after all and, beyond Moscow, it is the most populous and culturally significant city in the country.
Many men are drawn to Russia for its beautiful woman and also for its traditional, some might say patriarchal culture. But like everywhere, things are changing. St Petersburg in particular has a somewhat hipster vibe, and beards and smoothie bars are legion.
However, as it is somewhat tricky to get into Russia—you need a visa for entry—it isn’t overrun with Western tourists. And because of its famously nationalistic bent, which subdues outside influence, societal change is slow. You shouldn’t underestimate the power of social media, however.
So what is St Petersburg like as a destination for meeting girls? In short, fantastic. The women who live there are frequently extremely attractive, well-dressed and well-educated. On the whole they tend to be far better presented than your average American or British girl (although the scourge of McDonalds and KFC is present there as it is in the West). Of course, it all comes down to personal taste, but for me the classic Slavic look—high cheekbones and wide eyes—is perhaps the most appealing in the world.
That said, here are 6 things I learned about St Petersburg and its dating scene when I visited at the end of 2017.
1. There Are More Women Than Men
This naturally differs somewhat between age ranges and locations. But the bottom line is that girls outnumber guys. And the hottest girls are drawn to the big cities.
This demographic oddity is the case across much of Eastern Europe where the scourges of war and alcoholism have both taken a hand in decimating the male population.
2. Russian Girls Are Not Universally Happy With Russian Men
Get talking to most Russian girls and it won’t be long before they start disparaging Russian men. The stereotype is that the guys are overweight, alcoholic and lazy. I’ve also had several girls tell me that men feel they don’t need to ‘make an effort’ with their appearance or grooming or anything else, really, to get laid.
Of course, as with all stereotypes it is only partially true. In St Petersburg and Moscow there are plenty of handsome, rich men who are well turned-out. But as a general rule you are dealing with a lower level of competition than you would be in locations like London or New York. On several occasions I noticed girls walking along with their boyfriends giving me very obvious IOIs (indicators of interest), which really brought this home for me.
I’m not saying you should go to Russia looking to steal peoples’ girlfriends. That would be a very bad idea. But it is encouraging to discover a playing field that is tilted somewhat in one’s own direction.
3. You Have Exotic Appeal As a Foreigner
As a foreigner in St. Petersburg you naturally possess a high degree of what is sometimes called ‘exotic appeal’: you stand out, in other words.
I personally don’t believe that I look any different to the average Russian person walking down the street, and in the past I have been told that I look Russian. But clearly something is going on, because on my visits to Moscow and St Petersburg I have received a disproportionate amount of interest from random women on the subway, in stores, and elsewhere.
If you are well-groomed, well-dressed and take care of yourself then as a foreigner your chances of meeting girls are high. Add in some game skill and you will be flying.
4. Day Game Approaches Are Easier
Day game feels easier in St Petersburg than in, say, London, because the girls are on the whole friendly and more receptive. This makes approaching easier, because you don’t have to worry too much about harsh blowouts.
The whole city is very pedestrian-friendly and so you can day game anywhere, but the key areas are the main shopping street Nevsky Prospect, and the Galleria shopping centre. The latter is particularly good in the winter and even into the spring (St Petersburg is still being buffeted by snow even now).
My experience was that even when Russian girls are not interested they still appreciate the direct confidence of a good day game approach and they will stop to chat. It is also relatively easy to get phone numbers—girls use WhatsApp, although not everyone is on Facebook as they tend to prefer the Russian platform VK—but, like anywhere in the world, converting those conversations to dates is not always so easy.
For me personally the ‘English gentleman abroad’ schtick tends to work very well. I dress nicely, and always have an expensive-looking coat or jacket. Appearance matters and will take you a long way, and it is definitely worth thinking about what your angle is before you approach, since many girls will be interested in knowing why you are in Russia in the first place.
5. Tinder Is Off The Scale
I am an exponent of ‘holistic game’, which means that I use all available game avenues in order to fill up my dating pipeline, whether it be day game, night game, or online game. Tinder is my least-favourite method of meeting girls. But whether or not you are a fan I can tell that as soon as I set my searches to St Petersburg my matches went through the roof.
Tinder is a very different beast depending on geography. In one city you may only match with a few divorcees if you’re lucky. In other territories, depending on the local dating market, you could be more fortunate. In St Petersburg, for whatever reason, I achieved a large number of matches and went out on dates with the most attractive girls I clicked with.
Even if you are Tinder-agnostic it is worth swiping in advance of reaching a new city just to get to know the lay of the land and what the dating market is like there. When visiting St. Petersburg, where many of the girls use it, it is a great way to augment whatever other pick-up strategies you choose to employ.
6.Dating Is A Process
Dating, however, is still a process. Russia is a conservative country and outside of the cities women are married with children by their mid-to-late twenties. In St Petersburg and Moscow things are, of course, a little different. But don’t go there expecting some sort of sexual free-for-all. In general you will need to go on at least two dates before anything happens. Which of course has a knock-on effect in terms of how long you stay. I was only there for five days in December. Next time I will go for a fortnight or longer.
I did end up sleeping with a girl who came back to my Airbnb apartment on the last night of my trip by telling her that I was leaving Russia and so it was now or never (in actual fact we have since spent more time together in Berlin). But I suspect this was something of a fluke. If you want to visit St. Petersburg and get the most out of your trip I would recommend staying for at least a couple of weeks if you can.
St. Petersburg is without a doubt one of the most beautiful cities I’ve ever been to, with stunning architecture and rich cultural experiences such as The Hermitage, The Church of Spilled Blood, and Dostoyevsky’s former apartment, which is open to visitors. It is also friendly, has more of a European feel than Moscow (it is very close to Helsinki, Finland) and is easy to navigate with a great transport system. Uber and AirBnB both work fine there, which makes everything easier.
The only other advice I can give you is not to drink the water, as it will make you sick. Buy bottles from your local shop. Oh yes, and did I mention that the girls are beautiful, too?
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