My interview series continues. I recently met up with my friend Gilmar Santos, a Brazilian guy whom I’ve known for some time. I’ve learned a great deal about social dynamics in Brazil from listening to his incredibly detailed breakdowns of the dating scenes in different parts of the country. Gilmar is also a man of broad knowledge and deep introspection, a combination that is becoming unfortunately all too rare these days. His insights on the impact of social media on the dating scene in his country, on physical fitness, and on spiritual development are valuable, and worth our careful attention. During our last meeting, I asked him if he would be interested in sharing his observations on Brazilian game and other topics with the Return of Kings readership. What follows are the highlights of our conversation.
Quintus: Glad you could join us here at ROK, today, cara. I know things are busy for you these days in Parana state.
Gilmar: No problems, Quintus. Thanks for having me here. You guys at ROK have been on a roll lately [laughs].
Quintus: But all fortune is fleeting, right? [laughs]. So, you’re living in the city of Cascavel now, right? Give our readers a little information about your background.
The city of Cascavel
Gilmar: I was born in Sao Paulo and spent most of my childhood there. I lived in Portugal for a few years in my teens before returning to SP for college. My current job gives me plenty of mobility inside the country, so every 2 or 3 years I am given an opportunity to relocate. This was, in fact, one of the reasons I took the job, and because of this I got to live in the Amazon region for a couple of years, and am now in Parana, a state in southern Brazil. If all goes as planned, my next stop will be Minas Gerais.
Quintus: I remember being really impressed with your English abilities when we first talked. You probably speak it better than most natives.
Gilmar: [laughs]. Well, I have my moments. There is no such thing as an easy language.
Quintus: How does your current city where you live compare with other Brazilian cities you’ve lived at in the past?
Gilmar: Brazil is a big country, so there are a lot of cultural and racial differences according to region. Broadly speaking, the further north you go, the more African and Indian blood will you find. On the other hand, the population in the southern states descend from European immigrants (Italian, German and Polish, mostly). The city I’m currently living in is a medium sized one in Parana. Lots of blondes and redheads. Blue and green eyes are common. If you like European type girls, you’re in the right place, but you won´t find the postcard Brazilian morena.
Another view of Cascavel
A suggestion I would like to make for foreign guys going to Brazil is to get off the beaten path and skip big cities like Rio, Sao Paulo, Salvador, Florianopolis and such. Try going to second and third tier cities, and even small towns. You will probably have a better time with the women and will get to know the real Brazil.
Quintus: Absolutely. That’s been my experience not just in Brazil but in other countries as well. One of the topics we’ve really mulled over is the impact of social media on game in Brazil. I remember only five years ago in Brazil, a regular cell phone was good enough. Now it’s all about Tinder and smartphones. What changes have you seen in the male-female dynamic recently?
Gilmar: The relation between the sexes is clearly becoming more westernized at a rapid pace. As a matter of fact, I look to the USA as a sample of things to come in this arena. I’ve observed that the media is pushing the same feminist, girl power agenda, and it looks like this is happening on a global scale, the same strategies being used everywhere. Social media such as Facebook and Instagram have given women a lot more power when it comes to dating up and having a wide range of choices in men with minimum effort, or no effort at all.
Here in Brazil people started using Facebook in 2010, which was when I noticed girls had suddenly become a lot pickier and flakier, their attitudes also having changed for the worse. I guess the best way to describe it is that there is now a big push for both girls and guys to construct this whole fake (or quasi-fake) identity revolving around social media. Guys are relying more and more on these “virtual identities” they’ve created for themselves, rather than putting in the real work of self-improvement.
It sometimes feels like all my hard work on self-improvement and personal knowledge has become obsolete with the rise of fake social media, smartphones, and online dating. It’s hurting the old-school game severely.
For me this is the key point: the mania to create this false social media “identity” that has no bearing on reality. And for some reason, the girls are just oblivious to it. It seems like the fakers are able to get by on their faking. I’m seeing a lot of guys with no game posturing on social media. Women, they’re just not that self-aware. But I have to say that most guys are as much to blame as well. Too much bad game out there, too much kissing ass.
As you know, I put a lot of effort into my appearance and I’ve been lifting for many years. I’ve also experimented with many different approach styles. But it seems like girls are becoming more and more fixated on the electronic game than anything. Guys with bad game are now able to flood the market and bring down the general level of game for everyone. Heck, when I was in college I used to ride a bicycle to class and there was no shortage of cute girls to pick up.
Quintus: I suppose I should tell readers here that you are an impressive physical specimen…[laughs]. Very muscular dude, good job, and good appearance.
Gilmar: Flattery will get you nowhere, QC [laughs].
Quintus: So, how have you had to adjust your game to deal with these changes?
Gilmar: Well, most guys in Brazil are playing the social media game, which is basically posing as if they were rich and famous in their online profiles, as well as taking loans to buy luxury cars and status items to impress girls. I am not liking it. I’ve tried to talk to some of these guys, but I’m at the point now of just letting them go. Either they get it or they don’t. I get the sense Roosh has reached this point too.
But I am doing the opposite of what the trends are here. I think game should be genuine and come from within, so my choice has always been to focus lately on holistic self improvement, which is basically cultivating mind and body, as well financial independence and internal values such as confidence, masculinity, and things like that. Your writings reflect a lot of the same values I have.
I don’t consider myself a master of game and my goal isn’t to bed as many women as possible, but to enjoy good relationships with quality women as part of a meaningful life. The older I get, the more I see that the ultra-player lifestyle is part of a man’s sexual adolescence, and that a mature man is naturally inclined to start a family and become a patriarch on one way or another. But it does take two to tango. The fact is that there is a shortage of women who are relationship material, so guys are forced to choose between celibacy and pumping and dumping.
Quintus: I agree with that, and it’s a difficult issue to deal with. Our natural instincts are being distorted by social trends. How do you see feminism on the rise in Brazil?
Gilmar: Of course, it definitely is. A few years ago, girls with tattoos were rare. Now they’re becoming more mainstream. We’re seeing more deliberate uglification. Luckily our culture emphasizes personal appearance more than, say, the US or England, but the general trend has been a relaxing of female standards. Which always hurts men.
The current party in government, called “PT” (“Workers Party”, of Marxist ideology) has been pushing this feminist agenda since they rose to power.
Many feminist laws were passed, abortion is now practically legal in Brazil. A woman has only to fill in a form stating she was abused in order to get an abortion… no further questions asked. Lately the government has been financing a “rape awareness” campaign, just like the one in the States. Like I said, the same strategies are being used everywhere. And of course, men just sit there and do nothing.
There are still interesting girls, though, although rare. I’ve come across blogs and internet groups created by Brazilian women who are promoting traditional values. If you think about it, this is crucial for them too. Like us, they have no healthy role models to look up to nowadays, so they must look back to the past if they want to remain feminine and become worthy of a relationship.
Quintus: And that’s the paradox, isn’t it? Their blind rush to embrace feminism contains the seeds of their own disintegration as women. They’re being seduced by liars, frauds, and social misfits. But I am doubtful that most of them really understand this.
Gilmar: Isso, cara. I can’t disagree with that.
Quintus: How old are you now, and what aspects of your game have you been working on lately?
Gilmar: I’m 32 years old. Weight lifting and healthy nutrition have been a part of my life for a long time now. I try to surround myself with positive influences not only through friends and acquaintances, but also by reading good books and listening to quality music. Travelling is also very important to me, as it opens the mind to different ways of living and helps overcome negative patterns of thinking. I rarely watch TV and have recently deleted my Facebook profile.
As you know more than anyone, the cultivation of spirituality is an essential part and perhaps the basis for all self-improvement. As strange as it seems, I’m also working on developing a genuine connection with women nowadays, and also trying to look at them with compassion. This of course doesn’t imply being a simp or a lackey. The truth is that the relationship between the sexes has turned sour, so we’re all prisoners of angst and hatred from time to time.
I find that these emotions are ultimately destructive and it is necessary to maintain good spirits even in our current social climate, and that’s where spirituality has its importance.
Quintus: I know. It’s like this transition period we’re in between the collapse of one moral system, and the congealing of another. What other self-improvement moves have you made recently?
Gilmar: Well, my latest was deleting my Facebook profile [laughs]. Perhaps a small thing, but it has freed up a lot of time that was wasted in a non-productive activity. Facebook is like a virtual drug. It’s simply a bad influence to have on your mind. There’s no point in having a profile unless you’re famous or have a business you want to promote.
I’m also switching my focus to day game, as I think it gives access to women of better quality both in terms of looks and personality, and you also get to engage them without their façade of arrogance. You’ve always been a big fan of Japan day game.
The fact is nightclubs are becoming bad places to pick up women in most cases. I’ve noticed that they are going there more for social validation, not to meet guys (unless you’re the DJ or the owner). Also, as a guy who has a lot of diurnal activities, focusing on night game is too much of an energy drain for me. This is not to say I don’t go out at night, obviously. I just don’t put all my energy in it.
Quintus: Yeah, I’ve been seeing this more and more in Rio. We both share an interest in physical fitness and spiritual questions. Do you find that these opposite interests complement each other, and help your overall game?
Gilmar: I do. In my view, physical fitness serves to care for the body through exercise and diet, while spirituality and philosophy focuses on the care of the mind through the cultivation of beneficient internal values, while also structuring one’s priorities in life. I see MikeCF as a big proponent of this. Nowadays it’s easy to fall prey to nihilism and depression, which are in the end very self-destructive.
That’s when you drop your standards for women and start banging anything that moves. That’s when you bang just for the sake of banging. Wrong. You’ve ripped into other guys for doing this, and rightly so. These periods have never been fulfilling and have instead led to depressing experiences and a lot of wasted time. Behaving like an animal has never been the answer for me, but I’m no saint either [laughs]. I guess I’m trying to find a middle ground.
Quintus: We’ve had some great talks about how to deal with life’s big questions. Have you been getting more into philosophy lately? What explorations have you made into the country of the mind?
Ayahuasca in the Amazon
Gilmar: I’m a big fan of ancient philosophy, particularly that of the school of Platonism. I’ve also recently started studying Vedic philosophy [from India] and was surprised by how similar it is to the teachings of the Platonic school. It’s like they’re saying the same things with different words. I don’t agree with the modern materialistic worldview, and I think it inevitably leads to nihilism.
Quintus: I agree with this, of course. There has been a lot of cross-cultural influences over the centuries. It’s not easy to say who influenced who. Now, what is theurgy?
Gilmar: That’s a question that begs further explanation. As you know, I lived in the Amazon for a while in close contact with native tribes. The real treasure I gained from my time living in the Amazon were my experiences with the substance called ayahuasca. And by the way, ROK writer Runsonmagic wrote an article on this as well.
To cut to the chase, ayahuasca is a shamanic brew that enhances perception and serves, according to Amazonian Indians, to purify and align body and mind. When ingested in a proper ritual setting, with prior individual preparation, following a traditional shamanic ceremony it will lead to the perception of higher worlds or spheres of reality. My initial skepticism was eroded by numerous such experiences.
And what’s more: ayahuasca is one of the many doors to these mysteries. I’ve found, after study, that these higher spiritual worlds are known by different cultures, although the names used to describe them differ from place to place. Theurgy is the work accomplished by accessing these divine realities and progressively setting one’s life priorities straight.
Quintus: I’ve roughly familiar with these doctrines. Theurgy is touched on in writers of late Neoplatonism, in the late classical period, such as Iamblichus, Porphyry, and Proclus. They’re not well known outside of specialist fields, unfortunately. How have these studies helped you personally?
Gilmar: They have granted me a deeper insight into my own nature, as well as that of different aspects of reality and life, such as the roots of philosophy, the original meaning and intent of medicine and health, the natural roles of men and women, the importance of carrying oneself with dignity and humility. They gave me a clear sense of right and wrong, so that I now know when I have to change my attitude and thus have more responsibility for my actions. Although these studies give you a more profound view of things, they also make you humble, because they show how small and shallow our knowledge of the world is. Your mind is really blown away when you start experiencing these things instead of just reading about them.
Quintus: Absolutely. I’m glad you’ve shared these experiences with us, Gilmar. I hope other guys can get a taste for what is really out there. How can you be contacted?
Gilmar: I am a member of the RooshVForum, although not as active as I’d like to be these days. My username is “Brazilianguy.” Anyone wanting to contact me can find me there.
Quintus: Brazilianguy. Well, that’s original…
Gilmar: Behave yourself, QC.
Quintus: You’re going to join us again soon, right? We want to hear how the next Amazonian trip goes.
Gilmar: Of course. Thanks for having me, man.
Read More: The Life Of A Location Independent Traveler