Stickman Readers' Submissions March 20th, 2004

Middle Aged Farang Men And Young Thai Girls

Some comments on various topics in recent submissions. “In Thailand you can buy the illusion of love..” This is true, remember the tee shirt with a cartoon of a Farang and a Thai girl walking on the beach in Thailand. What they are both thinking is shown in capsules, the one for the guy shows rising heart symbols for love, the one for the girl show rising $ signs for money. That neatly encapsulates the normal Farang / bar girl relationship. Sure lots of bar girls like their Farangs, they try to choose a ‘good’ one, i.e.. generous, clean, well behaved etc, but they don’t go into the bar business to find love. Farangs can enjoy this illusion of love just so long as they remember who they are and that it’s an illusion. After all it’s much harder to buy this illusion in Farangland.

I’m a 55 year old Brit, fairly typical guy, but myself I don’t go for bar girls, why do that when there are plenty of normal women around who are also available. And I’m not that romantic so I don’t care about illusions of love. I’m very straightforward with women, I find it’s better that way. However my saving grace with women is that I have an unstoppable sense of humour, that seems to work very well with Thai women. I can speak everyday Thai, which helps. When I do go to bars, I've got lots of stupid sayings which seem to amuse the bargirls. I say it’s okay to lie if you're joking. Then I say I’m always joking! If they ask me what I do for a living, I tell them I’m an assistant in the Post Office, I help people to lick stamps. I tell them I have a mia luang (main wife), a mia noi (mistress) but that I’m looking for a back up (2nd mistress). Then I’ll discuss with them how much salary they would charge me to be my mistress (30,000 + baht per month!).

He Clinic Bangkok

One recent topic was discussing the “ins and outs” of relationships between middle aged Farang men and young Thai women. I think there's much misunderstanding by Farangs of Thai culture and Oriental culture in general. In lots of senses Thailand has Victorian values. In the older generation, most marriages were arranged. Marriages were not on the basis of love but of mutual benefits from family and property tie-ups. Women sometimes think of their body as a property. That's why it’s almost acceptable in some sections of society for women in certain circumstances to be prostitutes. Thai people think that a women should not give her virtue away for nothing. So if she's down on her luck, abandoned by a bad husband with family to support, then it’s okay that she sells her body. Nowadays this attitude is counterbalanced by the knowledge that prostitution is much more dirty and dangerous because of HIV. What Thais don’t understand very well is why western women sleep around and give away their bodies for nothing! Remember that a lot of these attitudes are to do with public face. Some outwardly respectable Thai women will sleep around but they work very hard to keep it secret.

Farang men are often thinking that young Thai women in general are like western women, i.e. seeking a partner of their own age group to marry for love. Sure, that's what most individual women want, but family, culture and society influences their thinking and decisions. In the normal Thai economy the difference between the earning power of women and men is significant and women are usually subservient to men. So women are much more reliant on men in Thailand than in western countries. Western women have gained power and have been liberated by their increase in salary earnings. Thus in Thailand, Philippines and other oriental countries, it’s quite acceptable for younger women to marry much older men, or be their mistress. These relationships can work very well. It’s just that a lot of middle aged Farangs don’t know how to treat their younger partners. You got to know where the lines should be drawn. Maybe it sounds hard hearted, but this is how older Thai guys relate to their mistresses. Actually a lot of Thai men go too far the wrong way, e.g. beating or mistreating women. It’s got to be a balance of treating her well but letting her know the limits. You can love your young mistress, but don’t spoil her too much. Make sure that she doesn’t take advantage of your love. If she's unfaithful or too difficult, when all’s said and done, you've got to be prepared to dump her. This is what you would do in the west, so no difference here.

Also I've noticed that Farangs don’t know how to treat servants. In Oriental countries, you don’t have to be so rich to afford servants. Servants are much cheaper to hire than in western countries and are fairly common. But basically, you've got to keep a close eye on your servants and be a bit tough on them. If you're not careful they'll steal from you, put things in your food, abuse your kindness etc. A lot of farangs have socialist ideals and think it’s good to be buddy buddy with servants, waiters, waitresses or local workers etc but generally it’s misplaced kindness, can cause you lots of trouble !

CBD bangkok

One interesting point to note is that the influx of foreigners to Thailand during and after the Vietnam war, and the vastly increased wealth of richer Thais in recent decades means that earning power of prostitutes has significantly increased to the point that they earn more than anyone from their own background, men or women. This has unbalanced Isaan village culture. So real the Thai boyfriends of bargirls have to accept their girlfriend sleeping with Farangs for money and will usually cadge money from their girlfriend, so in the process they are more or less becoming pimps. It’s very similar in Philippines.

Stickman says:

A lot of interesting thoughts.

nana plaza