Well Barbiere’s article (16/9/2003) sure drew an angry response from some Stickman readers so I thought I might add my thoughts to the cooking pot.
Barbiere asserted a number of generalisations which upon careful consideration, simply did not ring true to me.
Firstly, whilst gogo bars are of a Western creation (god bless the inventors), I was always under the impression that Asian men made up the majority of patrons. Now I could be wrong but whenever I go into a gogo bar, particularly down Patpong way, I notice a lot more Asian clientele than I do Western. In Australia we have our only gogo bar district in Sydney called Kings Kross. And guess what? You don’t find any Aussies patronising there but you will find Asians, Indians, Pakistanis and Arabs watching Aussie girls dance naked of their own free will. I would also add that I don’t have any moral or ethical problem with this in the slightest.
Secondly, I assumed that the reason many Asian men do not sweep bargirls off their feet and take them back home to marry is because of face. It would be shameful and frowned upon to turn up in Seoul or Taipei with a Thai bride to welcome to your family. I have always considered Western societies a little more opened minded and accepting the idea of Asian brides. I also have yet to find a stupid farang man in Thailand. Whilst farang men might fall in love / lust with Thai bar girls, I generally find that the farang is smart enough to know he is playing with fire and know that the bar girl is probably lying to him and two timing him but he sends the money anyway because he gets off on having his own little tilac waiting for him on the other side of the world in paradise. It is a pretty lonely life sitting in an office all day in front of a computer making lots of money and it is a small price to pay for a dream. Most farang men I have met are totally in touch with reality and know what the score is. They know why a beautiful 22 year old Thai woman stays with a 50 year old farang corporate executive and they don’t have any problem with it.
Thirdly, I always look around gogo bars and discos at the farang patrons and I can’t possibly generalise or categorise them. They are young, old, tall, short, handsome, ugly, rich, poor etc etc etc. I have got into many conversations over the years with fellow farang sex tourists and whenever they talk about farang women it is never in a resentful tone that would suggest feelings of animosity. In fact the only common theme I get from farang men is that they are in Thailand because they are sick of having sex with women with fat arses. They fly 10,000 kms for a skinny arse! The only generalisation I will make about farang men in Thailand is that in my opinion 95% of them could easily find a farang woman for a partner in their home country if they so desired.
Barbiere’s submission to the Stickman website was obviously laughable, absurd and lacking in merit, but it did touch on some views that a number of ignorant people share in common. Many ill-informed people like to cast wide generalisations about the Thai sex trade. I guess their lack of understanding makes them feel uncomfortable about the scene and forming such generalised views about it makes them feel more secure and in some way superior.
Hard to disagree with any of this.