Readers' Submissions

Sex Tourists, Enough Already

  • Written by Mark Byrne
  • December 31st, 2003
  • 6 min read




Enough of the sex tourist postings, already! Am I the only one out there who is fed up with guys posting ‘I came to Thailand and I got drunk and I slept with hookers and it was great’ stories?

Good grief, guys. Have you no shame? The two worst offenders are Dana and The Londoner who now seem to be posting every other day. For those of you who’ve managed to miss them, Dana is an elderly American with a health problem. His chances of getting laid in the States are slim to none. The Londoner is a youngish working class guy. He’s black, which means that most white girls in the UK wouldn’t go near him (racist, I know, but a fact nonetheless), and most black girls prefer to date black guys with money (racist again, but it’s true). Both Dana and the Londoner find a sexual Nirvana in Thailand. But please, do they have to write about it with such obvious glee? Guys, you are sex tourists paying for sex. You might as well tell us masturbation stories, or how much pleasure you get picking your noses.

I think I understand Dana’s motivation; he’s a frustrated writer who can’t get into print and sees the website as a way of reaching a wider audience. The Londoner, I guess, just can’t believe his luck in finding a place where a young black guy can ride motorbikes that he couldn’t afford to insure in the UK and have sex with girls who wouldn’t give him a second look in London. I think he just wants to tell the world about his good fortune.

Does it matter, free speech considerations and all? I think it does. The more these sort of stories are posted, the worse Thailand’s image becomes. And it makes life harder for those of us who live here. I’m the wife of a Thai woman (going on twenty years, and yes, I paid a dowry) and the father of two Thai children. I have a daughter aged 18 and a son aged 15.

My daughter has inherited her skin colour, high cheekbones and black hair from her mother, and her eyes and height from me. She’s a stunner and is a model – you’ll have seen her in one of the high profile mobile phone advertising campaigns. I’ve lost count of the number of times farang women have glared at me as I walk along Sukhumvit with my daughter. Thais are savvy enough to recognise my daughter as a luk kreung, but farangs aren’t and they assume the worst, that my daughter is a prostitute and I am her customer. Why do they assume the worst? Because of sex tourists like Dana and the Londoner.

And I’ve lost count of the number of times sex tourists have eyed up my daughter, winking and leering. She looks more Thai than farang and they’re not smart enough to see the difference between a normal girl and a Patpong hooker. My family doesn’t go to Phuket any more. It’s too embarrassing. All decent Thais gave up on Pattaya years ago. My daughter is cool about the sex tourist morons who come on to her, and I’m proud of her for that, but it sickens me that guys like Dana and the Londoner assume that all Thai girls are like the prostitutes they meet in the red light areas of Bangkok, Pattaya and Phuket. Dana tells of sitting next to a girl on the skytrain and wondering why she didn’t respond to his advances. The Londoner boasts about following a girl in the street for no other reason than that she was wearing a short dress. This is the behaviour of a sexual predator and they should be ashamed of themselves. They seem to think that merely because they are in Thailand they are free to behave in a totally uncivilized and unacceptable manner.

I wonder how long Dana would last approaching women in the streets of an American city the way he approaches them in Bangkok and Pattaya? Certainly a black man soliciting girls in London wouldn‘t last two minutes before having the error of his ways explained to him by the boys in blue. Their behaviour would not be tolerated in their own countries and I don’t see why it should be tolerated here.

I read the Londoner’s last posting with a mixture of fascination and disgust. His idea of fun is getting drunk and driving a high-powered motorbike around Phuket without a crash helmet. That and paying for sex with prostitutes. You know, back in the UK, we don’t actually consider that either activity constitutes acceptable behaviour. Dana’s idea of a perfect vacation seems to involve transsexuals, prostitutes and pouring scorn on local traditions. Neither is the sort of tourist that this country wants or needs and their postings just make the situation worse. Potential sex tourists read about Dana and the Londoner’s ‘adventures’ and rush over here to follow their example. The country is awash with them.

What really annoys me, though, is when the likes of Dana and the Londoner start preaching about the ‘Real Thailand’. Guys, you know absolutely nothing about a) the real Thailand and b) real Thais. A hooker takes you up country to meet her parents and you think you’ve found the Holy Grail. You get taken to eat food on the street and you think no other farang has ever eaten a Thai meal. A Thai shows you kindness and you are like ‘wow, there’s a whole side to these people that no one else sees’. Live here for ten years, learn the language, work with Thais, live with a Thai family, visit places other than red light areas, then maybe, just maybe, you’ll have earned the right to tell me or anyone else how Thailand works. Until then, every time your fingers touch the keyboard you show your ignorance.

I am probably one of the few farangs who applauds what Prime Minister Thaksin is doing. Yes, let’s make it harder for long-stay sex tourists to stay in Thailand. Let’s cut the sex industry back to an acceptable level (I’m enough of a realist to know that they’ll never be able to get rid of it completely). Let’s shut down the hell-hole that Pattaya has become and turn Phuket back into the family tourist resort that it once was. Let guys like Dana and the Londoner behave like animals in their own countries instead.

Anyway, I just wanted to get that off my chest. Free speech and all…

Stickman says:

I can see, understand and in many ways even agree with your frustrations, but I do not know how worthwhile it is pointing the finger at the likes of Dana and the Londoner. Thailand has allowed this sort of carry on and has paid the price by suffering from a less than positive reputation for some time. Well, the Thais seem to finally be acknowledging that and it seems that they are implementing certain policies that will contributes towards making Thailand less desirable as a sex tourist destination. And for all Thai people as well as the hundreds of thousands of farangs living in Thailand already, that can only be a good thing.