The Argentinian man turned from the bar where he had been laughing with his friend to give me a slow, body length scan. “You shouldn’t smoke,” he replied with a smirk in his thick accent, as he took a long, hard suck from his cigarette, and then handed me one from his pack.
I was 25, newly divorced, and on a six week backpacking trip around Europe by myself. I had always been a good little Christian girl. My husband was the second person I ever had sex with. Now – well let’s just say I had seen more of Europe than the museums.
When I landed in Vienna with my temporary, Australian travel partners, Adam and Martine, I announced that I might just take a break from men in this city. “Really,” Martine asked skeptically, over our schnitzel dinner the first night.
At that moment, Argentina blew into the restaurant. He was exactly my type – grungy, foreign, dark-skinned with a perfect 5 o’clock shadow, veins down his muscular arms, and long curly hair knotted haphazardly on top of his head.
Adam and Martine turned to look at me simultaneously. “I dare you,” goaded Adam. “I will buy your drinks for a week.” Not the most noble reason, but a reason nonetheless.
In less than 30 minutes, Argentina and I were huddled together in the narrow doorway of my hostel, smoking again. He tilted his head towards the rainy night and said in his deliciously irresistible accent, “Do you want to get wet?”
I laughed at the corny line, but before I could respond, he pulled me for a hard kiss, then began leading me into the street by my arm. “Wait,” I said, “Do you have a condom?”
“We don’t need one,” he replied and drew me in for another kiss.
“Yes. We do,” I insisted as I pulled out of his embrace. He sighed and rolled his eyes. That should have been my sign. “Just let me go buy one from the machine in the bathroom. Wait here.” He nodded reluctantly.
In another moment, we were in the alley next to the hostel, in the rain, behind a dumpster. Classy. As he slipped my panties off from under my cotton dress, a car drove by. It was thrilling.
Then he put the condom on and things got, well – soft.
“Please,” he pleaded, “We don’t need a condom. It is much easy for me without one.”
“Yes,” I said firmly, getting a little annoyed, “we do. I don’t even know your name.”
“We will be fine. I am safe. And,” he added, as though this would convince me for sure, “I always use condom with prostitute.”
“Ooookaay,” I said, pulling my dress back down. “I’m out. Nice meeting you, Argentina.” I walked quickly out of the alley, leaving my Cassanova standing in the rain.
“Wait!” he called after me. “ I still have your panties!”