Lessons from Brazil – A Woman’s Gaze


I’ve said it before, but I’ll mention it again. It’s kind of difficult to get a woman’s attention here, in a non-verbal way. The hardest part is when you’re out on the street and walk by a woman that steals your attention. Go ahead, have fun with it and try to just stare at her the whole time. In most cases, her gaze won’t meet yours. Why? In few words, Brazilian men (not all of them) have screwed it up for the rest of us. They make cat calls and say suggestive things to just about any woman that passes. In the least, they just sit there and stare. What do women learn to do? Ignore it!

When I get a woman’s gaze on the street, I’ll be sure to report back to you…


Actually quite easy to get a woman to look at you. I’m not sure what to say. Men look at women and women look at men. Of course, if we’re talking about an interested gaze, then that’s a bit rarer, but an interested gaze can’t happen if there isn’t an initial gaze. And this is the difference between the US and Brazil: the initial gaze is easy-peasy back home.

For another take on things, check out Eat Rio


14 thoughts on “Lessons from Brazil – A Woman’s Gaze

  1. The behavior is probably a regional thing and I’m sure it varies by city size. I have not once- in 5 months- have a man cat call or say something suggestive. I also do not see this happening to other women. This includes Ariquemes, Buritis and Porto Velho.

  2. Cat calls, etc are stronger in Rio than in other cities. In terms of the main topic (getting a woman’s attention non-verbally), it’s across the board, the same in the several cities I’ve been to.

  3. I can confirm this, I’ve seen women (including my wife) endure pretty full-on treatment from guys here in Rio. She pretty much ignores anything verbal but will react with ‘furious anger’ (a la Samuel L Jackson) if a guy grabs her ass (it happened once on a night out in Lapa).

    I also know what you mean about the eye-contact thing, but have noticed an exception. However, I have to save it as I’ve been lining up a blog post on the issue! (by the way, of course I’m in no way interested in catching beautiful womens’ attention anway)

    • Blast! Ok, ok, I’ll wait for your post!

      I’m thinking of have an attention getting walk, like the Ministry of Silly Walks…then surely they’ll take notice, right?….right? : /

  4. That makes me think of some song I think I’ve heard once or twice…

    Oh, but he watches so sadly
    How can he tell her he loves her?
    Yes, he would give his heart gladly.

    But each day when she walks to the sea
    she looks straight ahead
    not at he.

    Tall and tan and young and lovely
    the girl from Ipanema goes walking
    and when she passes
    he smiles
    but she doesn’t see.
    She just doesn’t see.
    No, she doesn’t see….

  5. It’s true here in Ipatinga too. I don’t mind the cat calling and the talking so much…but I HATE the full on stare. It is really uncomfortable. So you’re right, I barely look at men, much less give them the time of day. (Not that I would since I’m married, but I can understand why this would be frustrating for you!)

  6. Well, you didn’t ask, but if I may offer some advice? If you want to flirt, don’t worry about catching their eye. Men have charmed me all over the world by giving authentic attention with depth and presence. In Starbucks, in the Kapili Charshi in Istanbul, on the subway in NYC, on MUNI in SF, on the street in Barcelona.

    Not referring to appearance is refreshing and being real works otimo.

    If the women in Rio are being harassed as much as it sounds like they are, a real man with confidence, depth and adult behaviors would be a breath of fresh air. That childish-intimidation-rape behavior leanings really ruins it for the rest of you. So start talking to the other men, and tell them to knock it off.

    • Well-said Jennifer! I get the impression that a lot of the women I meet in Rio are really tired of the macho pushiness which seems to prevail. As you (and Adam) say, it’s messing things up for the good guys.

      • That *is* interesting! I wonder why that is… The favelas are one aspect of Rio I really feel I need more first-hand experience with. I see them from afar, but have only ventured in once or twice. Time to get involved and start exploring I think!

  7. Pingback: Should you put a ring on it? » eatrio.net

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