Koenraad Vermey foto
Koenraad Vermey
Jasper de Roos
Jasper de Roos
Bart Peters foto
Bart Peters Fotograaf

Going Dutch

Dutch people tend to consider themselves open and direct. What better way than to reflect on these national values by asking four gay internationals about their viewpoints. What are the best and worst things about dating Dutch gays? Although they didn’t want to generalize, Kevin (Germany) Mehrshad (Iran), Fabian (Honduras) and Samuel (Switzerland) were all pretty clear about the pros and cons of dating Dutch guys. We sat down with pancakes and had a lively discussion on gay life in Amsterdam, dating and sex.

I totally keep dating Dutch guys. I’m a masochist I guess

Kevin: A lot of Dutch and German guys don’t look for their own nationalities. Especially in Amsterdam.
Mehrshad: I have the same thing though. I never ever date guys from Iran or the Middle East.
Fabian: Me neither! With Latinos I’m like, okay, you are too predictable. I know how it works.
Samuel: But I hardly go on dates with the ‘typical’ Dutch guy. I’ve never really been attracted to the typical tall, blond guys, blue eyes, bleak skin. If that’s what you call typically Dutch.
Mehrshad: I do it once in a while to be honest. But then I’m always, ‘argh, I was right’.
Samuel: It starts already with ‘going Dutch’. It’s like with paying the bill, you just go for your own thing and you stay true to your own thing. But what’s the point of going out with you then?
Fabian: I totally keep dating them. I’m a masochist I guess. (Everyone bursts out in laughter). I really like them! Physically I like them a lot.
Fabian: What I really like about Dutch guys… they’re really polite, they travel, they do sports. You’re always going to find something to talk about with them. But when the date is finished, they’re like “Okay let’s do it again”. But I figured out that if he doesn’t reply or is acting a little bit cold, he doesn’t want to meet you again.

Mehrshad: And even if they like you, they don’t make a move. The worst flirts I’ve had with Dutch guys. No emotion, no flirt.

Kevin: In terms of dating Dutch guys I see similarities with German guys. Being polite, not hurting a person. It’s exactly the same.



So much for Dutch guys’ directness then! Maybe they are just playing hard to get?

Mehrshad: No no! They’re just insecure and don’t know how to do it. Hard to get is something else to me. That means you make people fantasize about you. They are not!

Samuel: I don’t think they’re playing hard to get but they just don’t know what they want. They try to keep everything open, looking for who’s best.

Mehrshad: Everyone is waiting for prince charming. But someone else is also waiting for prince charming, so move your ass!

Samuel: Is it a lack of commitment maybe? The coldness could also be they miss the passion.

Kevin: Dutch guys, like Germans and Swiss and Austrians and northern Europeans… they are just not so passionate.

Kevin: Of course there are exceptions. But French guys, Italian guys, and Spanish... they tell you earlier the way they feel. They show more interest.

Fabian: Latinos are more open. A Latin guy can be texting and calling you every time. And tells you he wants to do this and this and this with you…

Mehrshad: They want you! Whisper in your ear! I love that.

Everyone is waiting for prince charming. But someone else is also waiting for prince charming, so move your ass!

Fabian: You know, in work Dutch guys are really direct.

Mehrshad: Exactly. In general that’s what I like about Dutch people. Either they like you or dislike you. They don’t act.

Fabian: But then, when it comes to personal relationships… It’s totally different. Latin guys, they always tell you if they like you. It can be annoying too, they want to know everything about you. Here in the Netherlands, you have to figure it out yourself.


You seem to agree on a lot of the negative sides! What are two good things about Dutch guys?


Kevin: My two good points are basically not about their behavior but more about their body. Having a big dick… Being tall.

Mehrshad: I totally agree! Big dick and being tall, that’s the only good thing about Dutch guys.

Fabian: I like them physically. Tall, their hair is always perfect. They’re really realistic... They know what they want… they are ambitious. That’s cool.

Samuel: Another good thing is that you never have to worry they will be late really. Maybe 5 minutes, max 15. But you know they will be in time. And yeah, their ambition.

Kevin: Their priorities are more on themselves and on their career, but not on relationships. Guess it’s our generation also.



Sounds like it’s not completely hopeless. What could Dutch guys do to improve themselves?


Kevin: The negative parts are really about their emotions…. Which they could change! The good things they can’t really influence.

Samuel: Maybe they are looking too much at other people.

Kevin: Open up! And think of your priorities.

Mehrshad: Be more passionate about your dating life! And it’s 2015... Still people are living in a small world. Get out of your small nightclub and mix with people…



I'm hopeful! Because I know there's a heart somewhere, down there...

Fabian: Yeah socialize more. Be more open to other people outside your friends’ circle…

Mehrshad: But you cannot solve the problem if you can’t see it.

Fabian: I still have hope!

Mehrshad: You’re the masochist one...

Fabian: I’m hopeful! Because I know there’s a heart somewhere, down there



Interview SHAUN PALMER- Expat life in Amsterdam

- Interview: Jasper de Roos


We go to parties together but also help people who have questions about De Belastingdienst


The gay expats have their own group on Facebook called ‘Gay Expats in Amsterdam’ with more than 1200 members already. This year they will participate in the Canal Parade for the first time. A good moment to have a chat with Shaun Palmer, who started the group, to ask him some questions about gay expat life in Amsterdam and their boat.


How did you come up with the idea of a gay expat group?

I started the group in 2008 when my ex-boyfriend and I decided to move to Amsterdam. At the time we didn’t know anyone here and to build a social network in Amsterdam we thought: why not start a group that’s focused on the international LGBTQ community? We thought that would be a great way of meeting people who are in the same situation as us.

Could you tell us something about who the members of this group are?

Despite our name, Gay Expats in Amsterdam, we are not only gay: all kinds of people from the international LGBTQ community in Amsterdam show up to our events. Surprisingly enough, a lot of Dutch people, and even straight people, are among our most active members.

What is the function of the group for expats in Amsterdam?

A lot of expats are overwhelmed when they come to live in Amsterdam and want to make new friends. It can be hard for expats to penetrate some of the pre-existing social networks that many Dutch people have formed over the years. Ideally, the gay expat group can fill the void that a lot of expats feel when they come to Amsterdam, just as it did for me. The group is however not meant to escape from Dutch life because a lot of us have settled down in Amsterdam, have Dutch partners, work for Dutch companies or even speak Dutch. It’s interesting to see that I started the group largely for myself to meet new people and now it has broadened far beyond what I originally thought it would be. Besides the regular social events, it has become a way for people to advertise for parties, to look for roommates or job prospects, but also for people to ask questions of the larger group about Dutch services like De Belastingdienst.

You have been living here for 7 years now. What do you think of Amsterdam as a gay expat city?

I think Amsterdam is a really diverse and international city, but in terms of scale still small and manageable. It has a lot to offer to gay people: there are bars, clubs, bookshops and festivals. I hear a lot of people talk about the decline of the gay scene in Amsterdam, but I think it’s important to have a little bit of perspective here. In comparison to other places in the world, there’s still a lot of diversity in Amsterdam's gay scene. People in the Netherlands are open and friendly to gay people. It’s not perfect: I have had a few negative experiences here being a gay man, but most of the time I feel really comfortable and safe in Amsterdam.

It’s the first time the expats will be on a boat during the Parade. Exciting! What will your boat look like?

We have been trying to get in for a couple of years and this year we were fortunate enough to be selected. I can’t give away too much, as we still want to save something for the big day, but it’s safe to say that our boat will very much showcase how international and diverse we are. There will be images from some of the places we are from, but, at the same time, there will also be a Dutch touch. We have had a lot of fun during the creative process and I’m really looking forward to August when everyone can see the final product!

Koenraad Vermey foto
Koenraad Vermey
Jasper de Roos
Jasper de Roos
Bart Peters foto
Bart Peters Fotograaf