First in an occasional series looking at books looking at Ukraine…
Perhaps a bit contentious to start with this, when Ukraine boasts such literary heavyweights as Ilf and Petrov, Gogol and Bulgakov, not to mention contemporary novels with a Ukraine theme such as A Short History of Tractors in Ukraine and Everything is Illuminated.
But, this year, Bang Ukraine has been the most talked about Ukraine-themed book without question, with its author Roosh V, real name Daryush Valizadeh, written extensively about in Ukrainian and international media, even invited on a talkshow to both be attacked, and defend his work. Roosh V is, as it happens, a 34-year-old American who’s authored over a dozen books on both pick-up and, as with Bang Ukraine, kind of pick-up travel guides. Roosh has stated his latest release, out in early 2013, is his tenth and final ‘travel guide’. Among the selling bullet points, the 103-pager promises to school you in the arts of -
- How you can hack the backwards Ukrainian mentality to get laid
- Description of the 3 types of Ukrainian girls, and the one you should go for in order to obtain sex
- How to develop a solid backstory so she doesn’t think you’re a sex tourist
- A detailed breakdown on how to pick up during the day, including opening strategy, conversation tips, pitfalls to avoid, and how to best answer their common questions about your visit
- The best nightclub pickup strategy that has ever been put into print for the country of Ukraine
- How to have a conversation with a Ukrainian girl who possesses bad English, with over a dozen topics and ideas to be used both for when you meet her and on dates
- What to do when a Ukrainian girl tries to extract resources from you in a long-term relationship
Bang sees Roosh, who started doing the Bang series back in 2006, admit that There is no game I have used in any other country that transferred here, and it kicks off in fighting form -
Ukraine is one of the strangest, most fucked-up places I’ve been to, and I’ve been to my share of shitholes. Everything is wrong with it except for one thing: the women. Ukrainian women are the most feminine I’ve encountered in the world—so feminine that I experienced femininity overload.
Roosh’s confidence in knowledgeability on the subject of Ukraine is perhaps surprising given his stay in the country was only 6 (‘tough’) months, 3 in Kharkiv, 3 in Odessa. In his Kharkiv time, on which Bang Ukraine is based, he stayed with several Ukrainians, through Couchsurfing, before going onto rent an apartment in the city. Roosh created a backstory for himself (something he views as essential) to explain his being in a city a little unusual to find too many non-sex tourists in, it must be said. So, to avoid that ‘sex tourist’ branding, the Bang man was a ‘real estate analyst’, working for a company in the States which buys property in Eastern Europe.
What he was actually doing, naturally, along with teaching English, was working on doing as much later-to-be-documented picking up as he could. To do so, Roosh believes a working knowledge of Ukraine’s background is essential, with his offering early on -
Understanding the Ukrainian people of today becomes easier if you understand their past. In a word, it was rough. Stalin’s abominable collectivization policies caused famines that killed millions of Ukrainians. Even the softer policies implemented after Stalin’s death still treated Ukraine as a sturdy whore meant to solely benefit the motherland. Sadly, Ukraine is so far behind the rest of the world that I don’t see how it could possibly catch up. Their dated infrastructure, belief systems, and business practices all but assure that it will remain the asshole of Europe for a long time to come. The only European country that Ukrainians compare themselves favorably to is Moldova, which for analogy’s sake would be the rectum of Europe.
How many have come here looking for a potted history, not to mention rather harsh assessment of Ukraine, is perhaps debatable. However, there’s no denying Roosh is sometimes right on the money -
Ukrainians look for quick fixes and shortcuts that give the appearance of beauty or success instead of working hard to improve the foundation.
During my stay I quickly wondered if Ukraine was made more for robots or something other than human beings. Everything is constructed to frustrate you. For example, in Kharkiv, a city of over 1 million people, there’s only one post office that lets you ship a package internationally.
Other pearls, I’m not so sure about -
There is no service with a smile. A popular sushi restaurant would give out one menu for every two people.
While true in some cases, it’s not that difficult to find service with a smile in Ukraine, just sometimes you need to smile first.
Another feature of the Ukrainian mentality was a complete aversion to taking risks.
Not sure where that came from, clearly Roosh hasn’t paid attention to what happens on Ukrainian roads, or the fishermen sitting out in the middle of rivers on small globs of ice in April.
A Ukrainian woman will absolutely not go out with a man who decreases her chance for a comfortable life.
Is that just Ukraine?? And of Kiev -
The prices are higher, but it’s the only city in Ukraine where I’ve heard reports of one-night stands.
Odessa is surprisingly dismissed in this equation, despite his having lived there. But then it’s unclear how much of Ukraine Roosh has actually been to, beyond the Kharkiv and Odessa he lived in, with his writing of Lviv: My correspondents lead me to believe the girls in Lviv are nicer while the ones in Kharkiv are hotter.
Of other cities, Roosh has this to say -
The three largest cities here are Kharkiv, Dnipropetrovsk, and Donetsk. These are industrial cities from Soviet times that are ugly on a scale you probably can’t fathom.
Way too hard – each of these cities possesses a certain beauty, even.
All those stories you hear of desperate Ukrainian or Russian women throwing themselves at foreigners don’t apply until you get to the late 20s and early 30s, but by then she’s past her prime….The sad truth is that most foreigners tend to get the older leftovers passed on by rich Ukrainian men.
Hard, but possibly true. Of Ukrainian women themselves, Roosh is ambiguous -
I’m not hating on Ukrainian women, for they are more than acceptable, but they cross the line of femininity to where they look less naturally beautiful compared to girls in Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, Argentina, Colombia, and Brazil. If you got girls from all these countries to line up naked without any make-up, Ukraine would be towards the bottom of the pack. But if you gave them time with a mirror and beauty supplies, they would rank up towards the top… Don’t get me wrong — girls from other countries in Eastern Europe rely heavily on beauty products too, but Ukrainian girls take it to a level I didn’t know was humanly possible.
I have doubts about this polemic, when applied to Ukraine as a whole. It sounds more like a theory developed from spending time in the bars and clubs of downtown Kharkiv (which is as Russian as it is Ukrainian in any case), rather than a template for Ukraine. Actually a lot of the book does read like Kharkiv super-imposed over Ukraine – The biggest problem with night game is that most girls simply don’t go out. That may indeed be true of Kharkiv, with its slightly unusual nightlife scene, but hardly of Kiev, Odessa, Dnipropetrovsk even. Equally, the following can be applied only to a certain category of Ukrainian girls -
Ukrainian women believe that a man should do all the work while she should simply look as pretty as possible. Therefore she rarely offers feedback to your statements and stories.
You start to understand why those Ukrainian women ripping into Roosh on his talk show appearance were so upset when you read his describing of Ukrainian girls as ‘corpses’, which he qualifies –
By calling Ukrainian women corpses, I don’t mean to say that they are inferior to other girls.
At least not inferior to dead girls then, presumably. Roosh builds on this somewhat bizarre, not to mention beyond derogatory, theme of Ukrainian girls being ‘dead’ by comparing them at length to the titular character of film Weekend at Bernie’s, who was of course very much a stiff. As hard as it can be to feel sympathetic for Ukrainian girls as a concept, what with their killer heels, looks, and all that leather and fur, Bang Ukraine achieves the feat of invoking that very emotion. Ukrainian girls have had to put up with a lot of branding over the years – from Natashas to husband hunters, hookers etc, but repeatedly referring to them as members of the deceased certainly pushes a boundary. Not to mention making our Roosh quite the necrophiliac.
Roosh admits to not knowing Russian that well, understandable given his short length of time in the country, and as you read through his descriptions of engaging with Ukrainian girls (you’ll have to endure blank faces and pathetic engagement in conversations where you’redoing over 80% of the talking as if you’re a stand-up comedian), it’s hard not to call to mind a fairly commonly seen scene here, that of a Western guy blabbering away to a Ukrainian girl who clearly has very little idea of what he’s on about.
On to the tactics for gaining what Roosh refers to as your ‘Ukrainian flag’. Firstly, Roosh has advised us to budget accordingly, quoting a figure of $500-1200 for a monthly apartment in Kharkiv, sums which could rent entire buildings as it happens. A required monthly budget of $1,750 for ‘flag hunters’ is quoted, giving away that much of the ‘flag’ must be bought. If this would seem to take away from the conceit of the book, probably not going to be bought by many going to Ukraine and making over three times the national average salary. Actually, Roosh recommends being an English teacher as one of the most effective methods of getting in about the girls, as it were. However, English teacher’s positions typically pay around $1000 a month.
Yet Roosh does urge – Since you’ll be expected to pay for everything, your best bet is to keep costs down as much as possible so she knows you can’t be taken for a ride. I can’t stress enough that even though you can afford to take her somewhere nice, you should not do it before sex. As this book is hardly likely to be read by many looking for anything more than sex, Ukrainian girls’ chances of getting to that sushi restaurant would seem remote indeed.
In any case, I’m unsure that Ukrainian girls are quite as open to the ‘walking in the park’, Roosh suggests, with occidentals, as their own. Not to mention the weather in Ukraine making this hardly possible for several months of the year. And pulling off convincing the object of your affections / sexual intentions that you the finances required to make you worthy of attention (something Roosh believes necessary), while not forking out the 7 or 8 dollars for a Philadelphia Roll, may be a tough ask indeed. Roosh’s financial figures are off throughout – a basic bar in the park where a beer is $3 (it should be $2 or even $1). But when the Bang man moves onto his advice for picking up interaction, it’s actually pretty good.
Correctly identifying that Ukrainian ladies like to pepper international interlocutors with questions pertaining to the whys of their reason for being in Ukraine and the whats for doing in the country, with each answer only generating fresh rounds of enquiry, Roosh seizes on a strategy of putting it right back on their toes -
Are you married? Why not? A lot of Ukrainian women marry very young.
When do you want to get married?
What are you studying? What kind of job do you hope to get with that?
He goes on to delineate the Ukrainian girls into 3 categories -
I noticed three types of Ukrainian girls in the wild: young students under 20, older students aged around 21 to 24, and professional women from 25 to 30. I did not interact with women over 30….. As for women over 30, why bother?
Fair enough, really, being a Ukrainian woman is a little like Logan’s Run, and few Western men under 50 are going to be interested in a Ukrainian girl much past mid-twenties. Getting past the ethical, moral, sexist, misogynist angle to the advice itself, when Roosh starts talking about how to crack onto Ukrainian girls, he knows his beetroots -
The best way to bang a young girl is to either get yourself into a social circle through a local guy who sees you as cool, or to go for a girl who is the loner type without a lot of friends. If she has a million friends and is busy on social networking sites tallying up all the likes to her modeling photos, forget it.
It will be far easier to bang university girls aged between 20 and 24…. her social circle has gotten weak enough that it allows you to easily set one-on-one dates. At this age, a girl starts to become more aware of the clock working against her. Since she thinks she would be a failure in life if she remains single at the age of 25…. Older women (25 and up) start to get desperate for men. They know they are out of their prime because they’re constantly reminded of their failure by female relatives.
Roosh vacillates between offering bespoke advice evincing a real knowledge of the score in Ukraine, and cut-and-paste truisms of the sort that he’s offered in many of his other works – spending some money on girls is good, spending too much is likely to cast you as a benefactor, etc.
Roosh’s targets of choice are the so-called ‘English groupies’, girls who just love speaking English. And it’s true, there are ‘bangs’ to be had there. If you don’t mind the mutual prostitution of that equation – you selling your culture and language, her selling her body. But then, if you are reading a book with the first word of the title ‘Bang’, you are probably cool with that. What Roosh wants is something more than a ‘fuckbuddy’, but something less than being classified as a ‘potential husband’. So, basically, simply dating, something it’s true much harder to find than in the USA of which Roosh is only derisive when it comes to womenfolk (American women are painful to talk to all the time).
He identifies the sweet spot age of a Ukrainian girl as being 22. In terms of meeting these ‘smoking hot’ 22-year-olds, Roosh assigns Ukraine an indice of 70, meaning you have to approach that 70 before getting 1. This puts Ukraine as much harder than Iceland, 40, Poland, 45, and tougher than Lativa, 60. The numbers game, and not taking umbrage at the at times icy locals, is key to Roosh’s strategy:
After you get her number, don’t stress if she disappears and fails to acknowledge you again — it doesn’t mean she lost interest. Work on other girls to get as many numbers as you can. If you go out on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights, along with daygaming, you should have at least five numbers come Sunday. Start text messaging the hottest girls you meet and then work your way down…
And it goes to rating the aesthetics of the ladies themselves:
Yuliya was an 8. She truly was beautiful…. but I was ready for the 9.
That thinking that what you have is never quite enough when casting your gaze around on the street, along with oculoplania, a common Ukraine syndrome. Roosh favours the face-to-face on the beat approach, over the internet which has become somewhat of a standard in modern Ukrainian girl meeting (interestingly, or tellingly, Roosh seems unaware that the Mamba.ru site he uses is actually, really, a prostitute portal). So, as well as the numbers, along the way, there are observations of Ukrainian ladies to make anyone who has spent a little time in the country chuckle:
Finding cute girls who were alone, not on their phone, or not in a rush to be somewhere was harder than I thought possible.
I found it hard to believe that a girl would “use” me for a date at a slightly above-average bar.
Similarly, imagining Roosh, a bearded man in his mid-30s, carrying out some of these approaches raises a smile:
Simply walk around (universities) like you are a confused idiot and ask girls where the foreign language office is. Your bait drop will be how hard it isto find a good Russian (or Ukrainian) language class where you “come from.”
Do you know where I can find a pet shop?…When it got late in the night, usually past 9pm, where asking for a pet store no longer made sense, I asked for a “large supermarket”
I thought of a plan to offer a bridge for girls who liked me. At the end of class I’d say, “And if you guys have any questions about what I taught you today, or want to ask something about English, please don’t hesitate to email me,” and then I wrote my email address on the board. But no one emailed me, not even the guys…
The writing of the book is actually pretty good. With no aspirations to high literature, it cracks along at a brisk pace. Roosh is a pen name, but hardly a pseudonym given that he’s out there in the open under his own name, on wikipedia and more, while doing interviews, YouTube and Twitter. So, I found the way Roosh portrays himself so unstintingly unsympathetically (She declined to order anything at all. My instinct was to force her to eat something, but then again the alcohol from the wine I ordered would be absorbed faster) to be quite refreshing.
He doesn’t stint from putting the boot into competitors either, notably savaging a Danish chap about to arrive to meet one of his targets (I could easily see on her face the damage my kamikaze cockblock had done, and I was quite pleased at my work… I have a program that says to destroy all competitors without mercy, and that’s what I tried to do. Only a day later did I realise I may have ruined her life.). It all reminded me a bit of the outrageous stories Kenneth Williams used to tell about himself in his writing, in which the only possible opinion to be formed was one negative of the author. These include Roosh coming out and fessing up that he essentially forced himself, caveman style, on several of his conquests.
That said, Roosh is, in his own way, more of a Sid James character, chasing around countries looking for all the rumpy-pumpy he can get his hands on. And, in fairness, whether he knows it or not, and from his descriptions, Roosh’s girls were generally doing him just as much as being done. There is an exception towards the end of his time in Ukraine, with our hero coming off as rather heartless in his breaking up with Yuliya, who seems to have been both lovely and devoted to him. In the break-up (at a picnic), he tells her: My mind is already on new places, new adventures. It doesn’t have anything to do with you. I rather have bad sex with a lot of girls than good sex with just one. This rather heartbreaking incident aside, his book is an entertaining romp through a Ukraine in which he did manage to find just that, however not of the one-night variety he had intended, with his coming to realising: I’ve come to the conclusion that Ukraine is best if you want a feminine girlfriend, not if you want to bang a lot of girls. In a YouTube video he’s uploaded, Roosh confesses to actually not having had a single one-night stand in Ukraine, despite his profound desire to have done so.
As for whether Roosh’s advice is the best way to go about getting this, I’m not sure. He does seem quite bound up in hard and fast rules and systems in a country where a concession to flexibility can be a considerable boon, if not entirely necessary. And while Roosh did certainly get some while in Ukraine, he openly admits there’s room for improvement – I never felt like a chump as many times as I did in Ukraine. Roosh is similarly candid about what he wants – As long as the girl is generous, pleasant, and happy, I don’t need her to entertain me or stimulate my brain….. Love was in the air, but I just wanted sex.
So, say what you will about him, at least he’s honest. Psychologists would doubtless have a field day on his self-confessed use of sex as validation of his own masculinity, masculinity per se. And his book does read rather like a letter to himself from back home in the USA – Writing this guide was actually a cathartic experience for me – with the things he thinks he should have known in Ukraine. All said though, I rather liked it, and I’d recommend reading it (comfortably do-able in one sitting) – but for entertainment rather than the other. I won’t give away his final number count, but no question Roosh left Ukraine feeling he should have done much more. He still writes about Ukraine frequently on his Facebook page, would clearly love to put the teachings of his book into practice, so it’s most likely Ukraine hasn’t been banged for the last time.
Bang Ukraine, along with Roosh’s other works, is available on his website, and Amazon.
Thank Andy Murray for 2013 (Part 2 of 2)
Ukraine in Film (#1) – Everything is Illuminated
The Right to Fight and Re-enter
The Highs and Fall of Orange (Part 2 of 2)
Ukraine and the Too Cools