Monday, 11 May 2009

Not-so-secret affairs, or proud Azeri males

A long, long time ago, I fancied a boy. He had the longest eyelashes I had ever seen and was sexy in the way Prince used to be (in his younger days) - slender and slightly feminine, but somehow, definitely not gay.

That by itself was not the problem.

The problem was that I also fancied his best friend.

The friend was very different, quite manly and strong. They were both attractive-in different ways. Eventually, after a few months of glances, flirt and innuendoes, I started going out with the boy no 2. However, this interest towards the first boy with long eye lashes did not just go away. That’s how, one day, a year later, we ended up in quite a complicated situation that almost led to me cheating on my boyfriend with his friend. So as you can imagine, not a good situation.
Fortunately, (for reasons that lie outside this posting) nothing happened then.

And now, many years after, I met the eyelashes boy for lunch, back in Baku. He looked pretty different now: older, wiser, with less hair. Of course, I myself looked pretty different too: older, larger, and definitely,wiser.

It was nice to catch up with the ghost from the past. We had a chat about life, our children and spouses. About his business in Baku, and about plans for future.

It was all very pleasant and civilized. A kind of chat I would be having in the UK. However, not quite. Knowing what Azeri men are like when it comes to relationships and married life, I asked him if he had a mistress. He has an expensive car, his own business, and he lives in Baku- a set of attributes that almost guarantee he has some naughty stories to tell.

But my old friend reassured me he was not a "typical Azeri".

He reminded me, that for a successful Baku businessman like himself, not cheating on his wife was almost embarrassing. His business partners and friends might think he is gay or an impotent. (or bring him a goat). So, for ten or so years of being in a happy marriage to a very pretty young lady, and having fathered a few children, he managed to remain faithful, he claimed. Despite many challenging situations he had to work hard to get out of.
As I chewed on my steak, nodding away, and contemplating whether to believe his story, he added casually, that he did, however, have an experience with a Chinese prostitute last time he was on a business trip.

So we ended up talking about Azeri men and cheating. Come on, he said- you surely don’t think only Azeri men cheat?!

I assured him I was not that naive. However, the difference is: where I live now, it is not a sort of thing married men casually chat about.

I tried to imagine two businessmen at a game of golf somewhere near us:

- Nice weather, isn’t it, Andy? (has to start somewhere, and English people famously discuss weather all the time)

- Yes pretty good, pretty good indeed… Let’s have another beer…

- Cheers… How did your trip to China go last month?

- Oh, great. The flight was good and the food was pretty decent… Had some time to do some sightseeing and oh, yes…had a prostitute visit me in my hotel room one night. It is good to be back home though.

- Oh, great, good for you. So what are you guys up to this weekend?

Hmm…No…Not working.

Of course, cheating happens everywhere. However, what amazes me is the ease with which some Azeri men brag about their “secret” affairs. The pride they take in it. What part of its complicated past made Azeri society so tolerant of the whole thing? Surely, it is not the strict Soviet days where every naughty husband, whether it was drinking or cheating he was guilty of, was facing an open shaming and firing procedure in front of everyone at work. And it can’t be the religious traditions that are not too keen of such behavior either.
So how come it is the norm for Azeri men to do (and then happily discuss!) something a lot of western men only fantasize about? Or, at the very least, bother to keep a secret?

I am pleased nothing serious happened with either of those boys from a long, long time ago. The one with long eye lashes thinks a Chinese prostitute does not quite qualify as a serious cheating, whereas the other one, unfortunately, died in a nasty car crash. I heard he was with his mistress at the time, while his heavily pregnant wife was waiting at home- just another typical story with a sad ending.


  1. It's a "macho" thing. Macho's are the same everywhere. Very sad really.

  2. This is VERY sad. I work with a women's bar association here in Baku and it seems every day I hear another story about how women are marginalized: sexual harassment, domestic violence, unfaithful husbands.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. I see you were in Baku recently - hope your trip back to London went smoothly. I look forward to following your blog!

  3. Me and my grandma had this kind of conversation a year or so ago, and her summary of the issue was that "a man can't come home to the same dinner every day." Because, apparently, womens' tastebuds automatically (for want of a better word) 'recharge' themselves.

    Interesting article, as always :)

  4. 1)If they want a different dinner every night I suggest they don't hire a cook but eat in restaurants. (If they can afford that lifestyle!)

    2) Really? Do they "recharge"? :))))

  5. haha 1) I like that :) "eat in restaurants"


    2) I wish.

  6. do azeri guys cheat a lot?
    i thought depends on person, dont know about the culture very much, would like to know.
    i met an azeri guy few months ago, still keep in touch.
    i like him, but little bit afraid..

  7. @Eblin:

    Hi. I think in some cultures it seems to be more acceptable. And I think Azerbaijan might be one of those cultures. Remember that I am generalizing here, of course. So, your man might be different. :) I hope he is.
    what else are you afraid of? :)

  8. Thank you
    i just want to know the way azeri guys are in relationship
    there may be culture differneces,right?
    Do they show their feelings alot like western guys?
    His email there are some weird questions.
    So mamy questions i would like to ask you hehe

  9. Eblin,

    You can always email me @

    and tell me what weird questions he is asking you!

    He might be a lovely guy. Some things are very difficult, to me personally,about Azeri men- in general. But there are some very nice things, too. So just email me and explain in detail. Take care.

    1. Russians have different viewpoint on azerbaijani (and also talysh) men. Those of them who were\are in marriage with azeri men have noticed that they have money related issues. I mean when money finishes disturbances concerning this begins and it leads to psychological problems and so on.

  10. hi eblin again
    thank you
    i was looking for the site to get information about azerbajan, but there were few sources i could get.
    is it ok if i ask you a lot about azerbajan?
    this country makes me excited.
    are the azeri guys normal like westerners? i mean the way of thinking about girls or dating with girls.. cause the guy i know he says he is player but i felt he didnt have dates a lot with girls....

  11. First time I have heard of this complaince.Thats probably true but we should't characterize all azeri men like personnel with no feelings.Belive me that was just an bad instant.Like every nationality have got same problems.

  12. @Anonymous: Of course not all of them are like that. But you have to be aware that in some cultures, affairs are kind of more socially acceptable than in others, surely. In Azerbaijan, there is often this bravado amongst men who have money; and it is almost a shame for a successful businessman to refuse to attend a sauna, or some other "business" arrangement. Just because you think that might not go on, does not mean it does not. :)

  13. Coming from a (unmarried) male, my experience has been that unmarried men who are in a relationship brag about cheating all the time regardless of their ethnicity. In fact it's not really bragging as much as it is telling a cool casual tale like you went out fishing and caught a big fish sort of thing.

    I've never heard a married man brag about cheating though, Azeri or not, but I suppose I'm not the best crowd for that sort of talk either. Isn't cheating only for rich businessmen anyway? I can't really imagine a working class lad getting his rocks off with a different girl every week...

  14. Oh crap I thought this was a new blog, silly me :<

  15. @Kaweh: It does not matter, you can still comment on the old blog. :)
    I have definitely heard of some working class cases, but of course, it helps if you have the money. There was an article in the UK about that a few years ago, where they said if your man makes a certain amount, if he works with females, if that and if this...the chances are much higher.
    Back home it is a cultural thing. A truly wealthy businessman is supposed to support a mistress as well as a family. Sad, but true.

  16. @Kaweh: Also, I am wondering if this bravado comes easier back home because in case the cheater is caught, he does not have that much to loose- financially. In the UK, he can end up not only divorced but also poor. Back home, women don't have such power.

  17. So the article concluded that rich men who work a lot with women are more likely to cheat. The author must've been a genius.

    I don't think the amount of cheating is any more or less to be honest, bragging may be more, the amount of cheating is probably the same.
    Also, one would think it'd help if there are legal consequences to cheating, but it doesn't seem to stop cheating in the Netherlands one bit!

  18. My husband is a military officer who attened sauna together with his combat friends,plus mistresses.And as he admitted they bragged about doing so in front of each other.He didn't even feel guilty or embarassed when I asked and said it was something everyone did.I couldn't imagine before how many whores live there.Mohnatie blyadi. I ne menee mohnatie blyaduni.
    I feel almost empty.

    1. I am so sorry to hear that. And why would he tell you-on purpose? To cause pain?

  19. No,İ pushed him to it. Feel terrible now. İ wish İ didn't.

  20. Dear Ladies;

    It is a great topic for discussion here... thanks!

    I admire strong ladies above, who had to face the wrath of Azeri man... But I assure you, you are not alone, and you wil be rewarded for your patience and endurance... there is not happy marriage, there is not perfect couple, there is no deal union between men and women... there is only effective communication on all channels and levels possible, to communicate existing intentions and emotions intelligently.... We only try.... as women, we can only try and go on anyway, no matter what...

    If Azeri ladies can tame and Azeri man: an admiration to those ladies... ! :) And if anyone of you can tell me how to tame one, and how to make a hard-shelled-nut Azeri young man to crack to be in love with forever.. I wld be very very happy to read that blog, and lean from you dear friends... Thank you in advance! Sophie

  21. Hi, I was looking for info about dating azeri men and came across this blog. I recently started dating an Azeri guy, I am Canadian (very, with some french background) and I am concerned about the cheating aspect of azeri mens' lives.
    Before we started dating, he told me he had never really had a true girlfriend because he would cheat on them casually as he didn't respect them enough or feel like it was a real relationship.

    He claims this is a real one for him. But its a little unnerving. He has slept with a prostitute also which is definately unnerving.. but apparently most of his friends have?!

    I was just wondering if i could get some info about customs and culture differences. I do really like the guy but these things poke at the back of my mind every once in a while just because he said it so casually.

    also, im not allowed to meet his parents... especially not his mother. ive met his father but not formally as his girlfriend.

    help anyone? lol i know thats a lot of info

    1. It is true about azeri men and there affairs so be very careful unless hes very humble then your very lucky ;)


  22. Hmm...i am more concerned about not being able to meet his parents. Is he extremely traditional? Either that or he is not serious about you. I was not that traditional so my mother met all my boyfriends and it was like in any normal" family. :) but i never got to meet my very traditional first boyfriend's mum. Mainly because he was worried she would not have approved. So watch out for that one. As for the cheating...everyone can cheat to be honest. Yes, cultural,y i personally think azeri men do it more. But rich men do it more, too. Would you have to then marry someone poor? :) probably not. Just trust your heart and give it time and see if you love the guy enough to take this risk.

  23. Hey guys, I am an Azeri guy myself. I live in London now. Yes, unfortunately that is true that Azeri guys are womanizers, me included. It is kind of culture may be. If you go hundred years back, you will see men then had few wives. Personally, my great great grand dad had 12 wives. that is true. my grandfather had 3 wives.
    my other grandfather also had mistress who was a famous azeri singer in Soviet time. so, all this is kind of true. I am sorry to say. But if azeri guys love, their love is different from western. They love as crazy. and then trust me they won't cheat. so, make sure he loves u! good luck.

  24. Dear Azeri,
    I am also an Azeri women but from Iran. I am from Tabriz. I read some posts from your blog out of curiosity to see how much culturally we share. I find some aspects very similar but on some cases we are shockingly different. I was shocked with this blog post not because of rich men cheating on their wives (this happens everywhere). Not even for bragging about it. This is common across the whole middle east. The shock came from your own question. I can never imagine asking even my kinsmen about something so private as sex life, let alone an old friend whom I have not met for years. Forgive me for my bluntness but in our culture this will be interpreted as intrusiveness. Is it common to ask such question in Baku? I apologize again. Tabrizis are famour to be straightforward! This is our cultural signature along with fine carpets and constitutional movement

    1. Hi,
      Dont think I was very serious when Iasked him that. :) we were joking and laughing and messing around and sometimes i also ask weird questions. It is probably just me eing a bit odd rather than a cultural habit of Azeri women in general. I was possibly just pulling his leg but it turned into a serious discussion.

  25. Belive me Azeri women are just as bad. I know a number that are blatantly having affairs The only
    seem to favour western men, maybe
    with the hope of gaining a western passport? These women know the men have wives back home.
    Sadly the western men are so cruel they lead the local Azeri women to believe they will leave their western wives. As soon as their contracts end the men are never seen again as they go home back to their unsuspecting wives. I have sadly seen this so many times.

    1. It is no different to western men having affairs with western women and lying they would leave their wives for them. They barely ever do, and they all lie, all over the world. It is just what happens usually, so whether the affair is between an azeri girl and a western man or the other way around…the lies are pretty much the same!

  26. Azeri men are big liars. I've got an azeri boyfriend since about a year now, he used to lie about stupid things. Listen, not long ago he said " my brother in law gave me his computer, he doesn't need it because he's got another one! " I got in the car and found a bill " computer- 200£ " I just don't get it, why does he lie about things like that?
    Then one day a girl called him on his mobile, I was sitting next to him, " Who is it?" I said. " a girl, don't know who she is " , so I took the phone and spoke to the girl, and he was insulting here, I was telling him to stay calm, she put the phone down. That girl then added me on facebook and told me she had been speaking to him for about 2 weeks, he said he didn't have a girlfriend or anything !" so then anyway he said he would'nt speak to her again. he even gave me his phone for the night. I learnt the next morning that he called her to apologize... he told me the reason, apparently it was because I was not showing any interest in him for days. that's why he did all that. I'm still with him, he's stopped lying he says( ha ha ha). I always tell him to get lost, not to speak to me, but he always comes back, buys me flowers, jewels ( that he then takes back, because I looked at a man! hahaha). I can tell you, I have never cheated on him. Thanks for reading,

  27. Things I didn't like or even found disgusting on your post:
    - Generalization
    - The fact that rich would have sex just to be accepted by his "company"
    - Valuing materials more than emotions

  28. hi,
    I just want to ask if Azerbaijan Country would allow to marry asian people and different religion (like christians)

  29. Hello, In my apartment building there is an Azeri man, we have said hello many times and waved at each other froma dristance but no conversation. One day a couple of weeks ago he asked if I wanted a drink adn I said no as I don't drink alcohol. Then last night he came to my door, brought me a belated Christmas present and asked me to be his girlfriend. Is this a common thing? I was hoping to get to know him before I was his girlfriend. Does this mean something different? Then he asked if he could come back last night and I said no as I got the impression that maybe he thought he could spend the night. Please help someone.

    Thank you,

    1. Hey Grace…
      Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. I think you are right, he most probably was assuming he could just get laid straight away. If he is a bit traditional, he would probably think you are easy because you are western. And no, nobody comes to your door with a gift and asks to be his girlfriend before even having had a coffee (or sex?) first. :)) He sounds weird. Keep away would be my advice. :) Happy new year.

  30. Hi,
    Thank you so much for writing this blog. I have been dating a Azeri Iranian man for about 8 months now. The information here has been very insightful. We knew each other for a few months before we started dating. I am not someone to have feelings for someone else quickly, but I uncharacteristically fell head over heels for him. He is so kind to me and he takes a genuine interest in my friends and family and their wellbeing. And, this past summer we went to Turkey to meet his parents, sister, grandfather, and aunt and uncle and stayed with them for about a month. They were so kind and welcoming. They made me feel just as loved as he always has. And, now we are talking about getting married. I couldn't think of anything that would make me happier than to marry him. But, some comments on your blog responses caused me pause. (1) A woman mentioned her significant other would lie about the most random things. My boyfriend did the same thing all the time when we first met. Never about important things, more about things that made him or his family look better. I would always call him out on it because honesty is the most important thing to me. He has since explained that he was afraid I wouldn't think he was good enough for me. Which I understand. But, it has always left a small hesitation in me, even though he no longer does it. Do you think dishonesty or twisting the facts about trivial matters is a cultural thing or is that something I should see as possibly indicating there will be issues in the future? (2) Everyone on here seems to be saying Azeri men inevitably cheat. Has anyone ever met a GOOD azeri man? I have never loved anyone the way I love my boyfriend (soon to be fiancé). But, am I being naive? I cant imagine that I found the one exception to a cultural normality, if it is a cultural normality. Part of me feels like I am just getting cold feet because I cant believe a relationship could be so good. Is infidelity seen as a given in Azeri/Iranian culture? I really appreciate any advice or thoughts you have to offer.

  31. i am dating azeri man, when i read this blog im a little bit afraid. but yeah.. i will always trust him.

  32. To be honest, from what I see around me, it has nothing to do with nationality. :) Just enjoy it and hope it works out.

  33. Hi! I'm Asian girl. I think I'm so in love with someone who's from Azerbaijan. He is postgraduate foreign student in my country. We study in the same university. His personality stole my heart and I always think of him. He is very good looking like a Turkish guy and so religious. Sadly, I'm Asian and maybe there is no hope for me to have him in my life. I had tried to forget him and stand on the reality but I can't deny my feelings. So I wonder If Azeri men interested to Asian girls? If you don't mind, please give your honest answers.

    Thank You.

  34. Hi, Asian girl.
    I don't think you being asian is a problem at all. Why would he not be interested? I married out of my culture and many others do, Azeris are not particularly crazy about marrying only their cousins like some other nationalities tend to. :) He may prefer someone Muslim if he is very religious though, that might be an issue. But again, you never know. It is hard to give advice without knowing you both. Do what your heart tells you!

  35. Hi am an African black girl, I met an Azeris man from Baku who claims to be head of heals for me,He said he dated a black girl once in Scotland where he studied but she chose her career over him... He kept on making promises of not hurting me...but I still have this doubt that he is not being sincere...

  36. I was seeing an Azeri guy, I got to know him and found out his family would never ever let him be with a girl from another culture. He spoke with his mother on several occasions and always got the same answer, 'do not bring this up again'. I had to leave as I couldn't be with someone who I see no future with.

  37. I need your advice. Im an american dating a man from azerbaijan. Do you have an email?

  38. Oh emotionally and financially independent women!