REPRINTED WITH PERMISSION OF MAXIM MAGAZINE:
PROBLEM:Why should I kill myself trying to bag an American girl when there are reams of foreign babes eager to worship me in heavily accented broken English?
WEB TOOL: International Dating & Marriage Agency Romantica, "the Web’s premier introduction service" (you can find it lurking at www.loveme.com/.Featuring profiles of some 3,000 ighly motivated hwomen from the former Soviet Union, Asia, South America, and Europe, International Dating & Marriage Agency Romantica (AFA) allows you to meet your dream Tatiana without having to put on deodorant – or, for that matter, leave your house. As AFA president John Adams says, "For career-oriented guys without a lot of time for dating, it kind of cuts to the chase awful quick."
HOW IT WORKS: Adams calls the AFA Website an information broker – underlining his ultra-sentimental approach to picking up chicks. You search through the profiles, select your temptresses, then pay to have their home addresses sent to you by fax, E-mail, or regular post. The damage: one address for $10, five for $35, or (for those who want to take a shotgun approach) an unlimited three-month supply for $100.00 As in the real world, you gotta make the first move, and, since most of these women lack E-mail, that means writing an actual letter. AFA offers thoughtful tips, however, such as number 10: "Print Neatly: though most of the women on our service have a working knowledge of the English language, it is difficult for them to read."
PROS: It’s a snap to narrow the field. Though your typical guy won’t admit it, 20,000 women is more than he can handle. Luckily, AFA has made searching its voluminous database as easy as ordering a pizza. For extra freshness, check out "this Week’s New Profiles," which is updated every Wednesday with 36 to 72 new women. Specific tastes? Browse through separate lists of Russian, Asian, Latin-American, and European women. Wanna mix ‘n’ match? If you think Latvian chicks are cool but like ‘em on the fleshy side, go to AFA’s search form – which also lets you cross-reference your search by age, religion, weight, and height. Anchovies are extra.
These women are quality. Consider the lovely Helen, a blue-eyed, 31-year old Russian blond. Though she looks a bit dejected in her photo, her description says she adores sports, travelling, and "high speed," whatever that means. The only downside: She wants to live near the ocean – slow moving Kansans need not apply. Or there’s Yuliya, another sexy Russian. She’s 28, has a university degree, and likes to play tennis. Judging from her photo, she also owns a small, unattractive rodent she likes to hold in the palm of her hand. Though women like Helen and Yuliya (not to mention the rodent) don’t pay to be part of the service, Adams says, they must go through an application process, which screens out the older and less…downloadable women. Good old-fashioned service. Adams and company have clearly thought this whole thing through. For customers who’d rather be worshiped over the phone, AFA has cut a deal with International Telcom Ltd. For dirt-cheap long-distance rates. Guys wooing Russian women in the Saint Petersburg area (where AFA operates an office) can also have chocolates, long-stemmed roses, and champagne delivered to their beloveds. Plus, the company offers overseas group trips for hard-core one-stop shoppers.
It Works. Even the skeptical have found love through AFA. Richard Brown, a Texan who married a woman from Kiev after 10 months of correspondence, says: "The first time I saw [AFA], I said, ‘Holy cow, this is like Sears Roebuck thing where go got a mail-order bride, back in the 1800s.’ I said, ‘Nah, I don’t want anything to do with that.’ [But then I started wondering] what would happen if I sent these letters off.’ A whole lot of chicken Kiev dinners, we’re thinking: According to Adams, AAFA has spawned a couple of hundred unions since launching two and a half years ago.
CONS: Skimpy profiles. Not much more than raw data (name, location, age, height, weight, occupation, etc.) is given about each woman. The "self-descriptions" tend to run together in a platitudinous blur after a while – suffice it to say that every second Sevetlana is "kind," "hones," and "loving."
Hope you like women named Svetlana. Adams says that approximately 70 percent of the women on AFA are from Russia and other former Soviet countries. He attributes this imbalance to the fact that ""here'’ just been a lot of interest in that area from the gentlemen. Probably it’s because 10 years ago, with the cold war, you couldn’t even really go to Russia."
Shameless gold-diggers. "We can’t do background checks," says Adams. "but if a woman starts talking about how generous the man has to be and how much money he has to make, we know she’s just looking for that."
WHY IT BEATS THE REAL WORLD:Unless you work for the United Nations, your odds of being introduced to this many foreign women are a zillion to one. And with a round-trip ticket to Moscow running some $1,500, shelling out $10 for one woman’s address is a hell of a lot more cost-efficient. Bonus: fewer tedious discussions about the "relationship" when your fiancee’s vocabulary is limited to yes, sex, and green card!
Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999
With permision of Maxim Magazine