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It was a very Catholic setting, and people didn't believe in premarital or extramarital sex — not that it didn't happen, of course it still did, but birth control was not readily available and kind of taboo. It was aggressive and sort of indicative of other things I’ve heard about gender roles and machismo.

Woman A: I have a partner who is from here — we've been together for about three years.

We stayed together when I left for the Peace Corps and remained in a relationship for about a year and a half. S., and we were committed to doing long-distance ...

Woman B: I wasn't in a formal relationship with anyone but I casually dated a couple of expats while I was there — an American, a European.In government and nonprofits, people are always on short contracts and about to move somewhere else, so it's hard to get too close to people.This is my life.”Woman A: People are less emphatic about condom use, focus less on foreplay, and tend to have sex outside of the home, such as in a sex motel or even in a park — I think this has to do with the fact that most unmarried people in their 20s and 30s still live at home with their parents.Woman B: Well, the expats in general were more anything-goes than my friends at home — there was lots of drinking and sex and to be honest it seemed like a lot of it was unprotected, in both my personal experience and in talking to others.And expats ended up just dating and hooking up with each other too.

Woman C: A lot of really awesome Nicaraguan men are already in relationships — and -term relationships, so in a way it feels like all the good ones are taken. There is also the option to date other expats, which is sort of hard: a lot of expats are really transient, and since I live here long-term (I don’t have some end date in mind), it’s hard for me to feel like I can invest in anyone who isn’t staying here for at least a year. Woman A: I moved to South America five years ago from California when I became a Peace Corps volunteer.Woman A: I had a partner at the time I moved to South America.I now live in a very Catholic, socially conservative country and city.I think I always held a stereotype of Latinos as being sexual and flirtatious before moving here, but that is only half true — people can be very flirty and make sexual jokes out of anything, but when it comes to actually talking seriously or honestly about sex and having the sex itself, [my experience is] they tend to be quite conservative.I get frustrated by the conservatism and machismo associated with dating in South America, but there is also an emphasis on romance and really celebrating when you've found someone you love that I think it amazing. people are so often just not willing or able to invest in relationships in aid-focused expat communities. I’m not really a casual sex person, so I’m looking for someone who I at least enjoy being around and who can stimulate me intellectually.