Stickman Readers' Submissions January 17th, 2004

Commercial Sex Vs Casual Sex


Much has been said about prostitution in Thailand. Many people condemn the sex trade in Thailand, or scorn at the prostitutes for selling their flesh.

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Why is sex trade so rampant in Thailand? Lonely Planet's guidebook offers an insight. According to the author(s), prostitution is the legacy of polygamy, practised widely in the kingdom until 20th century. (Europeans, on the other hand, started promoting monogamy soon after they embraced Christianity.) After polygamy was banned, Thai men turned to prostitutes to satisfy their sexual desire.

Stickman's guide to "Naughty Nightlife in Bangkok" gives us another clue. In this article, we are told that,

"Thoughts of getting [a regular Thai girl] into bed quickly should be cast aside as it can be a long, protracted affair and though it is certainly possible to do it quickly, it's not the norm. Quite simply, a lot of Thai girls wait for marriage before giving up their virginity – or at least giving it to the fellow that they truly believe that they will marry. "

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Prostitution misleads many to think that Thai women are promiscuous, but this is not true. To many unmarried Thai men, commercial sex is about the only way to get laid. They may, however, continue to visit brothels after getting married.

The sex trade of Thailand is often condemned by Westerners. We may ask, "Don't Western men engage in commercial sex?" We all know the answer already. The red light district of Amsterdam is world famous. (This is the only FAMOUS red light district in the world. All
others are INFAMOUS.) Prostitution is also legal in some parts of Australia and the state of Nevada, United States. When I worked in Southern California a couple of years ago, some of my male colleagues went to the brothels in Tijuana, Mexico. Not to be forgotten are the farangs who frequent Patpong, Nana Plaza or other red light districts in the Land of Smiles.

Of course Westerners don't visit brothels as often as Thais do. After all, if they can get laid for free, why bother to pay? Sex between unmarried couples is much more common in Western countries. Many teenagers, below the age of consent and who hardly know romance, go to bed with someone they may or many not love. Their attitude of casual sex is unthinkable in Thailand as well as many parts of Asia.

Westerners criticize the sex trade of Thailand because they see it from Western point of view. As an Asian – non-Thai, though – I personally find commercial sex to be more acceptable than casual sex, provided that the sex workers are not underage or forced into prostitution.

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I believe many Thais would agree with me.

Stickman says:

I agree with your reasons as to why the trade exists. What I personally have against it is in no way moralistic as I couldn't care less what people do in a moral sense. But one sees many of the girls involved in the industry suffering and that is a sad. For the girls who are not suffering / who are genuinely happy then hey, I agree, it is a good thing.

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