Corrientes Gay is a changing but still very closeted culture. It is where this blogger started his visit to Argentina. Just an opening disclaimer: because of sad personal circumstances that do not belong to this blog, I had to prioritize my family and was not as adventurous as I should have.
Corrientes Gay context
Some information about the geographical context was already shared at the beginning of a previous post. If you have not read this blog previous entry, and do not know where Corrientes is located, please click on that link.
Let’s add here some contextual information that has to do with the broader Argentine night life culture and applies also to Corrientes Gay.
The night starts late here. People usually have dinner at 9PM and do not start going out before midnight. At midnight starts what is called “la previa”: friends get ready somewhere before going to the dancing clubs. “La previa” can be gathering at a home to share drinks, or also a trendy bar or restaurant. A very popular drink I have not heard of anywhere else is the “Fernet con Cola”.
Correntinos and Argentines in general like to dress to go out. The casual looks that are regular in America’s bars and night clubs are not well regarded in the local culture. Shirts must be tucked in, and you should look like you invested some time in front of the mirror.
Night clubs usually charge a lower fee (it is pretty much standard that cover fees include one drink) if you enter the establishment before 2AM. That time is when people start to arrive to the dancing clubs, you will be in a big empty salon if you decide to go for the discounted cover. About 3 AM until 5AM is the prime time. Most clubs remain open until 6 to 7 AM. These are not after-hours but the regular night life times in Argentina.
During the day, the times in Corrientes are different than in Buenos Aires. The “siesta” is sacred and most business close at noon to reopen after 4PM. Only supermarkets are open all day long. Plan for your shopping between 9 and 12 in the morning, and 4 and 8 in the afternoon. Banks are open to the public between 7 and 11 AM.
These times may be hard to get used to if you are coming from any big city. Even for people from Buenos Aires they are shocking. If you walk in downtown Corrientes at 1PM, it will be like standing in a post apocalyptic dystopia. The city is dead.
Corrientes is a beautiful city to walk around. The Avenida Costanera has beautiful trees and a magnificent view of the Paraná.
The traditional neighborhoods are also an entertaining and enjoyable walk. The city’s architecture is rapidly changing with new towers and buildings raising everywhere, but you still can appreciate countless examples of Spanish traditional architecture.
The city also has a thriving artistic movement and is generously decorated with murals and sculptures. Decades ago, one of the local arts schools brought from Mexico a few muralists to facilitate a workshop. That event seeded a local school of muralism that I doubt exist in other Argentinean cities.
If you are an urban explorer, you will have fun. Just one warning. Be careful when you cross the streets. Drivers are completely oblivious of pedestrians and can ride over you even when the traffic light is granting you priority. Be very careful.
My full time job does not allow me to choose when to take a vacation. If yours does, you may want to come here in February, when the local carnaval takes place. It is the most important Carnaval in the South Cone region, although just a shade of Rio’s.
I understand that there is still some street cruising in Hipólito Yrigoyen street, one of the first parallels to the pedestrian Junín street, between San Lorenzo and La Rioja. I did not adventure to explore this tip.
There are wifi services provided everywhere, just do not expect the same quality and speed you would find in Buenos Aires or in the USA. During the week end I rented an hotel room, almost always I had to settle in the lobby in order to actually be able to work online. The signal in the room was extremely low.
You must download WhatsApp to your smart phone. I am confident this app will soon be very popular in the USA, it is incomprehensible that it still is not. Everyone South of the Rio Grande and in Europe uses it intensively.
It allows you to text, share your location, make calls and videoconferences, exchange all kind of files, and create groups very easily. This app versatility and ubiquity in Latin America is probably one of the reasons why phone companies started to offer unlimited time in international calls.
Just one caveat. If you are able to write or speak in Spanish at a proficiency level that may pass as native, you may want to limit your whatsApp communications to your hook ups for free and your socials. Gay escorts have a double policy on prices, one for the locals and another one for he visitors, specially if you are American or European.
If you use your WhatsApp to contact an escort, they will immediately see your phone international prefix and will quote you their higher fee. I would try to use a local number for my communications with professionals, if I am planning on saving money in my hires.
Resources to maximize Corrientes Gay
There are not specific online resources for the local gay life. The ones I will share here are useful not only to search and enjoy Corrientes Gay, but also the broader national gay culture. When I move to Buenos Aires, I will add more resources, those who do not apply to Corrientes.
I tried four hook up apps. The most popular is indeed Grindr, a lot of guys are cruising there. The second one in popularity is Manhunt. You will also find a few guys using Planet Romeo, and even in Scruff.
There are plenty of personal ads websites, you will notice if you google for them. However, the most popular one in Corrientes seems to be contactossex.com. I found it not much better than the graffitis in a public restroom, but if you are a fish that swims comfortably in closeted men waters, it may be your thing.
Just one warning: do not pay for it. As I was going to stay for a month in Argentina, I thought of paying for a one month membership ($AR 200). However, when I was submitting my CC information, my browser warned me that it was an insecure form and I cancelled the operation. Use it if you want to, but keep your CC information far away from it.
Resources to maximize Corrientes Gay for pay
There is only one website that includes several professional mixed with regular male to male ads: skokka.com. It includes all kind of classified ads related to sex, gay and straight, so you will have to look for the paid providers.
A useful resource is the local version of the escorts discussion forums, escortsxp.com. It is a website servicing the national prostitution market, mostly women servicing straight men. However it has a section on male escorts that has been pretty helpful to me.
They do not include a section on Corrientes’ escorts, but I was able to contact a local forum member who shared some tips. Most of the guys he recommended were not my type, and I finally did not do anything with the pair of guys that did match my preferences. However, he was very generous sharing the information he had. I wanted to meet him and thank him in person, but he is married and closeted, and never accepted my invitations.
The providers that actually match my tastes were all available in Grindr, where they do not openly advertise their services. Several times I was asked for money by beautiful young men, unfortunately they were all tops.
Corrientes gay culture of “hombres discretos”
Please, consider the disclaimer at the beginning of this post, and the fact that I am just a visitor for a few weeks with very particular preferences. My experience here is probably not representative of what yours may be; and my opinions and impressions are completely subjective and should not be taken as a definite description.
I always understood the word “discreto” with its standard Spanish meaning: someone you can trust because it is not going to violate your privacy. However, I was schooled that in the local slang, it actually means someone who is masculine and straight acting, someone you cannot tell he is gay. Most hook up apps communications start with “Hola. Sos discreto?”.
During my first week here, until I set the filters for younger than 35, I got an overwhelming number of hits in Grindr from married man who would never show their faces. The closeted culture here, despite visible progress, is still strong and alive.
It is exciting going back in time to the times when most homosexuals men were in the clandestinity. It reminds me of very hot stories from decades ago. However, it is not my thing anymore. If you feel comfortable and enjoy this kind of culture, you will be very happy.
Corrientes gay culture of daddies and younger men
Consider that Corrientes city and nearby Resistencia are cities housing one of the major Argentinean public universities, the Universidad Nacional del Nordeste. Public colleges are for free and their enrollment is massive. There is abundance of guys in college age.
The unusual number of hits is probably explained by my “novelty” character, as a just arrived visitor to the city. As a matter of fact, after 2 weeks the contacts dropped to numbers much more aligned with my place of residence in the States.
I do have the impression, based not only in this trip but also in my experiences from my adolescence living in this city, and from my regular summer visits during the 20 years I lived in Buenos Aires, that younger guys into daddies are over represented compared to the USA and the Buenos Aires gay cultures.
Only two great successes in my Corrientes Gay experience
I met the Veterinary student through Grindr. He did not have a place, like most of these young men. Our first meeting was in a public park right across the street of the apartment where I am staying, which is also a few blocks away from his place and the School of Veterinary. We just made out and have some good old oral sex. It was not enough.
The following week end I rented a room in an hotel. In that room I had both of my meetings with Forbidden Apple (you can see pictures and video here), and my second and last date with the Veterinary student. If you want more details about what happened you can check the traveling log I am keeping in boytoy.com. I prefer not to share much details here about guys who are not professionals.
Plenty of failures in this visit
A lot of the guys I interacted with through the hooking up apps were clearly just into sexting. But plenty of them seemed to be serious about meeting. So what happened?
This blogger is pickier than most. Many of my friends think my expectations are just ridiculous about physical appearance. Many of the guys who were willing to actually meet were average to slightly above average looking, which is just not good enough for me. I am an ugly and demanding bitch, sorry.
Many others were a good match. With most of them the timing was just not good. Remember that I am prioritizing my family here, and unfortunately to me these guys were a hook up for right now and contacted me in bad moments . As they and I did not have a place, we would have been able to fuck given te possibility to plan when to meet and rent a room. The timing was just not good.
Another disappointment was a pretended male escort recommended to me by a a member of escortsxp.com. He is a police agent and I was very enthusiastic about such a prospect. However, his attitude was very unprofessional. He cancelled our appointment several times and our exchanges seemed more like a regular date than a professional appointment. I ended blocking him, you can also see more details about this situation in the traveling blog I linked before.
The Corrientes Gay I did not explore
This blogger has gotten used to the American times. It was hard when I first moved to Washington DC 16 years ago. I remember getting kicked out of the bars in Dupont Circle at 2 AM, when I was wired to start the real fun. I am not going back to Argentinean times, at least not in Corrientes; let’s see what happens when I go to Buenos Aires.
Therefore, I did not explore the one gay club that opens every week end: Castillo Robert. Based on the very little information in their page, they open every Friday and Saturday. After checking their pictures and videos I did not find the place worthy of going out at 2 AM.
I also heard about a monthly gay night that takes place in a night club in Resistencia, on the other side of the Paraná. I do not have much information about it.
Once again, my experience of Corrientes Gay has been very limited by my personal circumstances. If you disagree with anything I wrote in this post, if you have any experiences to add, please do not hesitate to add or contradict me by posting your comments.
Hasta la próxima pinga, amig@s.