In a country that simply oozes sexuality, sensuality, and a fun-loving spirit, dating in Brazil can be relatively easy. While casual hookups are pretty straightforward, making it last long term can be a bit trickier. But if you’re looking for a holiday romance, it’s hard to imagine a better place than Brazil, where the passionate residents will make you swoon. Here are some things to know about dating in Brazil.
Gay literature in Brasil is still relatively young, with the earliest known texts dating back to the late 1800s. However, the literary life of gay and bisexual brasileiros is incredibly rich, and this blog aims to provide a glimpse into this category of Brazilian literature.
*Unless otherwise noted, all translations are performed by me, and this blog will be update monthly.
**This site actually began as a journalism project exploring the gay brasileiro community of Los Angeles. As a result of the COVID-19 Pandemic, that project shifted into an examination of the gay literature of Brasil, eventually leading me to incorporate the entirety of my work with gay literature. A special thanks to Dr. James N. Green, Helder Thiago Maia, Luís Capucho, João Silvério Trevisan, and Dr. Alexandra Neel, all of whom contributed to the original project.
Julio Azevedo’s novel Moletom tells the story of Pedro and Lucas, two young men who share a relatively brief but intense relationship. Both men are fleeing from their pasts, living in a new city where Pedro meets Lucas at the coffee shop where Lucas works. As their relationship develops and eventually reaches a natural end, the two both confront the issues from their past, providing a brilliant example of a romance in which a “happily ever after” is not the sole purpose.
In his novel Anatomia da noite, Márcio El-Jaick immerses the reader within the world of gay nightlife, bringing to life scenes of unrestrained homoeroticism. The story is told through the eyes of Henrique, and it follows him and his friends as they experience a night filled with alcohol, music, drugs, and sexual-encounters. However, the hours following leave much to be desired, leaving Henrique living in almost two separate worlds.
As a text which falls into the category of HIV/AIDS literature, Lucas Rocha’s novel Você tem a vida inteira tells the story of three young men whose lives are affected by the appearance of HIV in their lives. While one of the protagonists—Ian—copes with the discovery of his positive HIV status, the other two—Victor and Henrique—struggle to mend their relationship after Victor is blindsided by Henrique’s revelation of his own positive HIV status. Throughout the text, Rocha provides insight into the ways in which the virus can alter the course of a person’s life, offering a message of hope among the misunderstanding and cruelty which has plagued the epidemic response.
With all of us staying at home to protect our fellow humans as we wait for the COVID-19 vaccine, what better gift to give this holiday season than a book. Check out this list for some recommendations of gay literature to add to your holiday shopping list and do your part to help diversify the voices in someone’s reading experience.
Written by Lúcio Cardoso, the novel Crônica da casa assassinada tells the story of a wealthy family shattered by the arrival of one woman. Suicide, adultery, and incest are only a few of the topics tackled by Cardoso in a work considered one of greatest contributions to Brazilian literature of the 20th century. Containing an expansive cast, one of the standout characters is Timóteo, a cross-dressing gay recluse who brings a stunning performance to the final act of the novel.
In Vitor Castrillo’s novel De todos os motivos, the protagonist Pedro Nogueira uses the internet to explore his attraction to his best friend and roommate Bruno Henrique. Posting anonymously on a forum, Pedro participates in a well-established tradition of LGBTQ people using the web as a space to explore and understand their sexuality, gender, and desires. While the novel primarily traces the development of the two’s relationship leading up to Pedro’s decision to seek advice online, the digital aspect of De todos os motivos is what makes it uniquely relatable to modern LGBTQ youth.
Struggling with self-confidence at the start of Vitor Martins’ novel Quinze Dias, Felipe undergoes a massive change over the course of 15 days. In his journey, the reader is exposed to several issues faced by gay men not often depicted in mass media—struggling with weight and self-esteem, seeing a therapist, and finding one’s social group.
Adolfo Caminha’s novel O bom crioulo is not that unusual—a kind of gay Romeo and Juliet story with a whole lot of navy and sailor jargon. Yet, much more is at play in this text beyond this classic story line.
Publish in 1999, Cinema Orly is a novel that unashamedly provides a glimpse into the gay sex life of Rio de Janeiro.
Reading Gay is independently run, and thus I appreciate any support in paying for operating costs. Literature, education, and access to both are essential, and the purpose of Reading Gay is to provide everyone with greater accessibility to the gay and bisexual men’s literary canon, which is often left out of mainstream educational structures.
Tinder is a big deal in Brazil: it has one of the largest markets of users in the world, second only to the United States. While Tinder is by far the most used dating app, others are still commonly used such as Bumble and Happn. There is no stigma at all attached to using dating apps in Brazil so don’t feel shy about downloading them and searching for a date. Dating aside, it’s also a great way of practicing your Portuguese.
Facts about tinder
How many people are using Tinder in Brazil? A recent survey conducted nationwide shows that the country has 10 million registered users and a total of one million matches per day. While São Paulo has the highest number of Tinder users, Rio de Janeiro has 7.3 percent more matches than its southern sister-city does. In other words, Rio de Janeiro officially has the highest number of active users, with more people using Tinder here than any other place in Brazil. A study of 150 interviews of active users in Rio de Janeiro showed that 72 percent of men used Tinder as a platform to find casual sex, whereas 48 percent of women used it for casual hookups.
Gay dating apps
Just over eight percent of the population of Brazil identify themselves within the LGTB group and using dating apps is a popular way of meeting others and dating. For finding relationships, casual dating, or something with the hope of being long-term, Tinder and Happn are the most popular.
Dating apps for sex
Tinder is used for both casual hookups and those seeking a more lingering romance. On the gay scene, dating apps geared towards meeting someone for sex tends to be more common. The most used sex apps are Hornet and Grindr. There are also apps that target a specific kind of man, such as Scruff. Scruff is specifically for finding ‘bears’, which is the term for big, hairy men.
Dating at carnival
For casual hookups, there is no time in Rio quite like Carnival, where kissing and casual flings are all part of the celebrations. It is also a time when there are higher levels of infidelity among relationships, which is something that is largely accepted as part and parcel of the party, although this isn’t the case for everyone. To meet people at Carnival, simply join a bloco (a moving street party) and feel free to mingle, flirt, and enjoy.
Dating at gay pride
While places such as Rio de Janeiro certainly have the picturesque scenes with an oceanic backdrop, it doesn’t compare with the number of people that gather for Gay Pride in Sao Paulo. Around five million people flock to Sao Paulo’s streets to take part in this famous event which brings all the same levels of debauchery and fun that Carnival is famed for. In addition to being an unforgettable party in a safe environment, it is also an ideal moment for meeting others and dating.
Paying the bill on the first date
You meet a potential lover and you go on the first date to a hip bar or a fancy restaurant. What do you do when the bill comes? There isn’t really any rules in Brazil for paying the bill on the first date and it varies. Quite often, the man will insist on paying for the woman although that isn’t a given and shouldn’t be expected; you should always offer to split the bill. For gay couples, it is normal to split the bill and pay half each.
Sex on the first date
Again, there are no set-in-stone rules for this and it’s equally fine to wait as it is to sleep with someone on the first date. Whatever you decide to do, don’t be surprised if you end up at a pay-per-hour motel. As it is common for Brazilians to stay living with their family until later in life, dating couples often rent a motel for a couple of hours in order to get some privacy. Motels in Brazil are designed specifically for sex and many come complete with a hot tub, sauna, condoms, and mirrored ceilings.
Places to meet a date
Overall, Brazilians are pretty sociable people, and it’s easy to strike up a conversation in bars or clubs. It is more common for men to approach women than the other way around, and as a foreigner, you may find you get a lot of attention. São Paulo has a huge variety of nightclubs and outdoor street parties, creating an exciting dating scene. There are also several spontaneous gay ‘bear’ parties and underground sex parties that spring up randomly. If you are not keen on dating apps and the bar scene is not your thing, then head to the beach; it’s an excellent place to find a date.