The Secret to Retaining Your Virtue in Seychelles

The Secret to Retaining Your Virtue in SeychellesBy Louise Pool
Yesterday I got hit on by a toothless guy in a wheelchair. I was minding my own business, about to enter a small boutik malbar to buy my daily packet of Mahe Kings, when he wheeled over to me at breakneck speed. “Miss, you so beautiful.” he said, wheezing and coughing as he offered me a cigarette. With a smile on my face (I'm not really nasty and I'm not actually beautiful.), I politely declined. He became more insistent and then asked me for my phone number.

Now, if I had been in another country, I might have assumed this was just a lonely guy looking for a chat to brighten up his day. But this is Seychelles. The land where every man thinks he's God's gift to woman. Any woman. So I had to become a little more strident in defending my virtue.
The islands are often called the islands of love after the national emblem, the coco de mer. Locals lovingly call it the love nut. I get the association; you just need to take a look at the outsize double coconut to see the resemblance to certain parts of the female anatomy. And the male catkin is nothing to sneeze at either. Scientists are still trying to find out how exactly the female seed gets pollinated, but it's no mystery to the Seychellois. It's obvious to all islanders that they come together at night to make love. After all, it's what everyone on the islands from puberty to doddering old age indulges in on a regular basis. The legend has it that if you see two coco de mer palms making love, you will drop dead on the spot. Decomposition happens quickly in the tropics and, from time to time, people do disappear...

If you go to Seychelles on holiday (and if you live here, you already know this), bear in mind that you will be hit on. It doesn't matter what age you are, whether you have your better half in tow or whether you you look like death warmed up; you will be approached. I'm a middled aged, fairly attractive woman (although not too hot in the early morning when sneaking off to the shop before I've had my caffeine boost) and I get propositioned by young men in their twenties. My 24 year old daughter was approached by a lecherous 12 year old offering to do things to her he shouldn't even have heard of.

It may be flattering for the first couple of weeks, especially if you're not Salma Hayek, but it gets old pretty quickly. This is especially true if you've been here a few years or, heaven forbid, have had to put up with this your whole life.

On the plus side, the guys are pretty easy to fend off. I always try the polite approach first and it usually works. No need to bruise egos if it's not necessary. If this doesn't work (and, sadly, it often doesn't), try the ego bruising version of being a little rude about his attributes. And should the “gentleman” in question be impervious to subtle insults and still drones on about getting your phone number, go for the ego smashing all out direct insults. Being quite the cowardly custard, I haven't often resorted to using the latter approach.

So how did I fend off my toothless admirer? Two words. And he did...


  1. Presumably you're quite safe if you're with your hunky boyfriend / fiancé / husband?? Or about to get married?

    Our experience of Mauritius was only good! People were friendly and polite.

  2. You're safe if you actually have him by your side 24/7. ;-)

  3. i was planning on going to live in seychelles but..
    im not sure i want to bring my wife there anymore..

    1. If you can't trust your wife, it's definitely a bad idea.


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