Ten Ways to Spot a Sanky Panky in the Dominican Republic
One of the biggest industries in the Dominican Republic is tourism. The country boasts beautiful white sandy beaches all around the coastline, and stunning tropical countryside in the centre of the country. Home to the highest mountain in the Caribbean, Pico Duarte, and the lowest point as well, the salt lake Enriquillo. Tourists come for all sorts of reasons; some come to dive, to play golf, family holidays, honeymoons, college spring breaks, and some come looking for love.
For those unable to find their special partner in their home country, the Dominican Republic is paradise indeed. Most Dominicans love the idea of having a foreign husband or wife, as beside the financial angle, and the opportunity to obtain a visa to travel overseas when they marry a foreigner, there is also a status symbol in having a partner from another country.
The vast majority of single ladies who arrive on the Dominican beaches will find a Dominican man ready and willing to become their boyfriend, whether they are looking for one or not. The problem becomes how to tell if this is a genuine man who wants a genuine relationship, or if he is what is known as a Sanky Panky.
A Sanky Panky is a man who is going out with a foreign woman with the sole purpose of extracting as much money as possible from her. Some will also be looking for a visa out of the country. Love does not come into it, and when the woman has outlived her usefulness, and the money dries up, she will be unceremoniously dumped for a newer and richer model, by which stage she will probably have spent thousand of dollars on her Dominican man.
So here are 10 ways to spot a Sanky Panky in the Dominican Republic.
1 What he does for a living. Most Sankies will work in a place where they can meet the maximum number of tourists. This could be in an hotel, or a tour guide, or shops in tourists resorts. The best at plying their trade tend to be what is called animation workers who are hotel employees who perform in the nightly shows which the hotel puts on, and who run activities for the tourists during the day, such as beach aerobics, pool volleyball and Dominican dance lessons. Their role is to keep the tourists happy.
2 What they look like. Sankies love looking good. It is usually their looks which attract women to them in the first place, so they make sure they are well groomed and many will have excellent and well toned bodies. They favour the latest fashions, usually paid for by previous victims. The latest brand trainers, classy jewelry, designer clothes.
3 The way they speak. Sankies waste no time, as time is money and as most tourists are only on holiday for a week, especially those from North America. They need to move quickly to ensure the woman is completely hooked before they leave, as it is when the woman leaves that the real money comes flowing in. They will usually declare undying love within a few hours of meeting, saying they have never felt like this before about anyone and say that they want to give the woman a baby, even if she is well past child bearing age. By the end of the holiday they will be proposing marriage. They will always be able to speak English.
4 During the holiday they will often ask the woman to come and meet their family. This is a clever ruse as it makes the woman feel special in that “he must love me if he wants me to meet his mother”, and it also tugs at their heartstrings as the family will always live in a poor wooden house, probably with no indoor bathroom and kitchen. The family will help with the whole entrapment process and be especially friendly and welcoming, and the woman will determine to help him when she sees how he and his family live and how nice they are to her.
5 During the holiday the clever Sankies will not ask for much money, although they will take the woman out to restaurants and bars where she will be expected to pay. They may ask for something small like a mobile phone so that he can call her when she leaves. Good Sankies have several phones, each one with a sticker on with the name of the victim, so that they say the right name when each of the different women calls. The less experienced Sankies will jump right in with requests for computers, Blackberry phones, and iPads which can set alarm bells ringing.
6 Once the woman leaves, the serious requests for money start. The first one is usually that the mother, who the woman has met, is sick and is in hospital. Often she has cancer and will die without a reasonably large amount of money. The Sanky will omit to say that public hospitals are free, and only medicine needs to be paid for, but will ask for around US$1,000 to stop his mother from dying. Following receipt of the money she will have a miraculous recovery.
7 He is in jail. This one usually follows the sick mother. He will call and say he has been put in jail for something he didn’t do and unless he pays a vast amount of money – US$2,000 to US$5,000 then he will be sentenced to 10 years and will never be able to call her or see her again. All she has to do is send the money and he will be out straight away.
8 He has lost his job and has no money. Some say they have lost their job as a direct result of having a relationship with a foreigner as it is against the rules. Some will say they can’t get any time off when the foreigner comes to see them so is best if they leave their job, and they will expect the woman to pay their wages. Whilst the usual wages are around US$200 to US$300 a month, they will be inflated to around US$1,000.
9 The foreign girlfriend needs to be very careful of supposed female ‘cousins’ or ‘sisters’. Many Sankies will have Dominican wives, women they live with, have children with, but are not legally married. Legal marriage is rare in the Dominican Republic, especially amongst the poorer people. The ‘sister’ will know all about the foreign woman and will usually be quite happy about the situation, especially if there is plenty of money arriving. She, along with the rest of the family, will help her ‘husband’ to play the game of stringing the foreign woman along.
10 The visa. The vast majority of Sankies will want to leave the Dominican Republic, believing that there are huge sums of money to be made overseas, much of which they can send back to their family and Dominican ‘wife’. The true Sanky will often arrive in their new country, and then walk out on their new wife, who has spent thousands of dollars to obtain them a visa, within a matter of days or months. They will often have more than one woman on the go at once, and may arrive on a visa arranged by one, only to go and join another.
Not all Dominican men are Sanky Pankies by a long shot. Many are good, kind and hardworking men with many great attributes. However, single foreign women coming on holiday to the Dominican Republic need to be aware of the dangers of falling in love, and being caught up in the expert web of lies and deceit practised by these men. If any woman thinks that their man might be a Sanky, they should just stop sending the money and see what happens.
Ten ways Sanky Pankies Use Manipulation
Firstly we need to decide what a Sanky Panky is. Now on the face of it is a Dominican man who has several foreign women on the go at the same time, trying to get money from all of them and also maybe trying to get a visa out of the country. However, I think the definition can be broader as the main thing about a Sanky is they do not care about you, just about themselves. They do not think about your feelings at all. They are what is known as having a narcissistic personality. You may have a Dominican man who is not your typical Sanky, as you are his only woman, but if he exhibits any of the behaviors below, then he cares for himself much more than he cares for you. This is very unlikely to be a healthy long term relationship as you are being manipulated for him to achieve what he wants, without any care as to how it affects you.
Sankies are brilliant at manipulating and they know that communication is vitally important in a long distance relationship. They also know that many of the women they are with are hopelessly in love with them so they manipulate them to their advantage.
1. Leading up to the question. If they know they are going to ask you for money, the first thing they do is to soften you up. The day before or a few days before, the calls will be very loving, long, emotional, lots of “baby” and” I love you”.
2. Punishment. They ask you for money or something they want and you say no. Probably as you can’t afford it or the reason for the money seems sketchy, or they are asking for more than you know the item costs. A school uniform for a public school for a child is maximum RD$1,500 so when they ask for RD$5,000 you know it is too much. Money to pay the monthly car payment can be significantly more and you should ask yourself how can a man who earns US$200 a month afford a US$10,000 car? Anyway, you say no, and they punish you by not calling or messaging for a week or more. You find yourself constantly checking Whats App to see if they have been on line, you leave messages, send texts and nothing. You are supposed to be so grateful that they are not dead when you hear from them, that you will give them the money.
3. Anger. Some of the more narcissistic Dominicans with anger management problems, and there are many, will respond when you won’t send money by becoming very angry. They will tell you to f**k off, and say things to deliberately hurt you. Yes they are angry, but this is their way of hoping you will relent and send the cash as you don’t want them to treat you like this.
4. Threatening. Again the money scenario, but this time they will threaten you by putting themselves in a situation where you will not be able to talk to them or communicate with them. Remember all of the Sankies talk to each other so if one has a successful strategy then it does the rounds. One that has been used for the last couple of years is the threat to run off and join a cruise ship. This means you won’t be able to talk to them, nor will you be able to see them – effectively the end of the relationship.
5. Anger when questioned. It is a normal part of any relationship to ask questions such as how was your day. Given the difference in culture there may be many things you don’t understand so you ask for clarification. Many Sankies and narcissistic Dominican men will become very annoyed at your questioning, however harmless it seems to you, and suggest you don’t trust them, when all you are doing is trying to understand. If they become angry the chances are they have something to hide.
6. Being unavailable. Remember communication is likely much more important to you than it is to them. I lose count of the number of ladies who are desperate to get hold of their man when they don’t answer the phone, even for only a day, let alone longer. Yes there may be a valid reason – no electricity for charging, telephone is broken, no signal, they forgot to take the phone with them, they were sleeping (and Dominicans can sleep for 24 hours a day). However this tactic is also used for manipulation, especially when they want a new phone, they just don’t contact you for a week and then they say that the phone is broken so you send a new one or money for a new one. Also be aware, that being unavailable for exactly a week may be because they are a Sanky and they are with someone else.
7. Facebook. The trauma of Facebook. The chances are your Dominican man has a FB page, although it is true that with the advent of smart phones, more and more are moving to WhatApp. If they have a Facebook page and will not acknowledge your presence on it, even when married, then to me that is a red flag. I know that those who work in animation or other hotel jobs have to be nice to the guests but I can’t see that extends to denying the existence of their wife or girlfriend on their Facebook page. This has caused serious problems in all sorts of relationships – and from memory, the relationships which worked, in all cases the man acknowledged their foreign wife or girlfriend.
8. The slow withdrawal. You have said no to money and you get no anger, just telling you that it is fine and they understand, but for the next few contacts you have less and less communication. Answers are a simple “Yes” or “No”, calls are short, they are too busy to talk to you. You are desperate to get back to the loving man of a few days earlier and so you give in and send the money.
9. Telling you about their problems. The conversation is always about them, never about you apart from a cursory “how was your day?” Obviously you have been to the DR and they have probably not been to your country so it is hard for them to understand. They will lay on thick about how you cannot understand the problems they have with their family, the roof leaks, there is no water, the kids have no food. How could you in your comfy first world existence possibly understand this? And the guilt sets in, and although you don’t have the cash, you know you have more than they do.
10. Never underestimate the lengths they will go to. A Sanky I know has a friend who provides plaster casts – hinged at the back and puts it onto the Sanky so that he can send a photograph to prove he broke his leg in a motorbike accident. He charges of course. Sankies know that more and more the foreign women are asking for proof and they are becoming more and more adept at providing it. If they don’t the chances are that you have been scammed. And of course when you ask for it they get annoyed at the questioning and say you don’t trust them.
Remember if any of these are happening to you, or have happened, the chances are that you are being manipulated to do what they want you to do, but because you want to do it out of guilt, desperation, a need to keep the peace or whatever. Please, try and keep a level head on your shoulders as a manipulator does not make a life time partner.
The Philosophy of Socrates
In my quest to try and understand why Dominicans act the way they do, and how to avoid conflict within a relationship with a Dominican, I asked my Dominican husband about why he changed. When I first met him he was hopeless with money and it was often difficult to get a straight answer out of him. He was a master at telling me what he thought I wanted to hear and on a ‘need to know’ basis. He would never tell me anything which he thought might upset me, or get him into trouble! So, we were having this conversation, and I asked him why he suddenly changed and now tells me everything and is much more responsible with money and the whole truth. He told me it was when he went to University and learned about Socrates. I know nothing about Socrates so he explained Socrates’ theory to me, and it really does make sense if you relate it to some, not all Dominicans.
Socrates was a Greek chap, born around 470 BC, so a few years ago. What he said was that people will always chose to do something which was inherently good. No one would deliberately choose something wrong or evil, and those that choose something which others consider to be wrong, do so, as they do not perceive it as wrong. He said that those who choose something ‘wrong’ or ‘evil’ have not been educated to see it as wrong, and in this sense he means educated in the widest sense of the word, not just school. So those who do ‘wrong’ need to be educated to understand what is right and what is wrong. Socrates believed that no one does wrong voluntarily. They just do not see it as wrong, and he says that we always choose what we think is the best or good for us. Interestingly he says that the wrongdoer thinks there is good in what they do even if others do not. As long as the wrong doer continues to see some benefit or good result for them then the wrong doer will continue to do the act, even if it is considered to be wrong by other people. When the wrong doer comes to understand and to know why the other people think of the act as being wrong and the wrong doer accepts that, then the wrong doer will stop doing that act.
Here is an example. Dominican man does Act X. He knows that other people, usually their foreign partner, think Act X is wrong or bad. But he does it anyway because it is good for him. It takes away a problem for him or brings him money or it brings him pleasure. He thinks Act X will benefit him and until he stops thinking of it as a good thing he will continue to do it.
So I asked how people would learn that what they were doing was ‘wrong’. He explained that if you have always done something in a certain way, and it became your custom to do it that way then the only way you could change was to be educated to show you that a different way was better. It could be better as, although the short term rewards were less, the long term rewards would be even more. For example I never understood why a Dominican professional such as a lawyer or a plumber or electrician would overcharge a foreigner as they thought they could, when by being fair, they would get much more business in the long run. It is because they think in the now and not the future.
So I am not sure what the answer is, but I thought it was an interesting theory by Mr. Socrates.
Addicted to Texting by a DR sister
I was a person who texted but did not live through communicating by my cell phone, but that drastically changed when I became involved with a Dominican man.
At first the texting was not out of the norm, a few texts a day. He would text and then I would answer when I had seen the text or I would text and he would answer, but after a few months I would find myself checking my phone more as I was anticipating his texts.
As time went on, we found apps such as Whatsapp and the texting grew as this was free with wifi or minimal pesos without wifi. This is when I found myself texting more and the frequency of our talking grew throughout the day and night. The texting became very important as this was our only connection. He lived far away, I could not see him daily, weekly or even monthly for that matter so I relayed on a relationship of texting and phone calls. This was difficult and I became addicted to the constant contact via texts as he did too. The affection and love was given via texts/calls. Later in the relationship he would sometimes not answer my texts for a day, not be online for a day. Of course I would worry and think the worse, wondering if something had happened. I would continue to send texts and call with no answer. The next day he would come online saying “hi love, I’m sorry, I had a problem with my phone”, or “I was so busy at work”. I would not be angry just relieved that I had heard from him and that he was OK. I would tell him I was worried and he would apologize. Then the time when I could not contact him would increase to more than a day and I would again go through a roller coaster of emotions. I would be looking at my phone waiting for a message; I would not be able to sleep, waking to check my phone. In all reality this was a game, he would not communicate and I would panic, thinking something was wrong, or he was doing something wrong, then I would get angry and then worried again. This was his way of seeing how I would respond if he did not talk. This behaviour grew as he knew he could control the relationship via communication.
As time passed, if we fought he would then use communication as a punishment or to get his own way and not answer my messages, calls or he would block me. I had given him the power and control because he knew I couldn’t go without talking. Why is this? For me the texting and constant communication became an addictive habit like a drug. Your relationship is built around it and you become dependent on it, need it. The addiction to messaging becomes hard to break even when you know it is not healthy.