Women sitting alone together in a cafe would not give most observers pause, but in Russia, a group of women alone acts as a reminder of the country's deficiency in marriageable men. Lonely Russian women are commonplace in Moscow and other major Russian cities where men are dramatically outnumbered by the opposite sex. Mothers and daughters alike bemoan the lack of options available to them romantically. Men are not only scarce, but a good one is next to impossible to find.
Men in Russia are prone to alcoholism, unemployment, and abuse. Generations of women in Russia have witnessed the decline of the Russian man. Complaints about men's rudderless existence and poor treatment of women have become a mainstay for gatherings of women, whether at home, at work, or in a social setting. Wherever women gather, the subject of men is not far behind. Some of these women have taken to dressing the part of the jilted lover awaiting rescue, donning dramatic gowns, complete with stiletto heels as they await their knight in shining armor. A knight that few Russian women continue to believe in or have any hope left will actually materialize.
Most women regale past experiences with men with very few pleasant memories. Even women that have been fortunate enough to be involved in a romance, the love quickly sours and is often replaced by resentment, disillusionment, and unhappiness. Russian women wish to be wined and dined and made to feel special. However, even promising men disappoint these notions, causing women to grow hardened as their hope of love and happily-ever-after slowly fades.
The first experience with men a Russian woman remembers is usually her father. Unfortunately, most of these fathers were of no better than the men available for dating at present. Russian women are often raised bearing witness to drunken fathers, heavy drinking, financial insecurities due to lack of motivation to work, and verbal and physical abuse against their mothers. These formative memories create the foundation for a lifelong distrust of men in general, and each subsequent undesirable male encountered is further evidence that the female opinion of Russian men is justified.
To answer the demand for good, decent men, clubs have been emerging across Russia to provide women with the means the experiences they have long craved. One club, Marusia, has taken the concept a step further. Many clubs will have male-based entertainment for women to enjoy. Marusia offers services for women to be in close proximity, if not actual contact, with a desirable man. Women may pay between a few hundred to a couple thousand dollars for the privilege of cuddling with male employees for the experience of closeness and physical connection they cannot find elsewhere.
Starved for affection and love, some patrons of Marusia will request men to spend time with in private rooms. 50% of Russian women are single, with few prospects of a lasting relationship on the horizon. Marusia and clubs like it help these women fill a void, even for a few hours before they resume their search for men that can step into the role of lover, partner, and provider.
Many Russian women consider their future bleak, as the hopes of marriage and companionship become less likely. Some critics believe that these situations are, in some part, created by the women themselves, citing that Russian women are too obsessed with finances and fairy tales. It could be argued in their defenses, that as the lonely fates of these Russian women looms over their heads, cynicism increases and practicality prevail, and the romantic ideals of the past morph into merely desires to be cared for.
Russian women have begun to turn to mail order bride sites to find a husband . Companies like A Foreign Affair have been capitalizing on the demand for marriage minded husbands. Every month they bring groups of men to Russian and the Ukraine. The women attend what A Foreign Affair calls a social, hundreds of young beautiful Russian women attend these events with the hope to get the chances to meet one of 25 or so men that have traveled from the USA or Europe. 23 Year old Olga from Odessa says, "I have given up looking for a man in the Ukraine, I have no problem finding a date, but finding a man I would want to be the father of my children is a completely different thing. I want a man my children can admire and respect. I want a man that will be by friend, my soul mate and my lover"