Readers' Submissions

Narrow-Minded Opinions

  • Written by Phil Ross
  • March 10th, 2005
  • 14 min read

It is always amusing to read a rather contentious opinionated submission on the Stickman website, then wait a few days for the inevitable torrent of replies to contest the original controversial piece. This happens from time to time and is always good for a chuckle. In most occasions nobody is definitely right or wrong and the authors of the submissions are usually arguing over personal opinion rather than fact. Still it is more fun to tune into the “friendly” exchange of ideas than catch up on CNN.com. Iraq and the Middle East just doesn’t seem as relevant to me as Dana’s latest opinion on ladyboys.

One can generalise in a positive or negative way about any group of people in society including the kinds of people who log on to and read the Stickman website. The interesting thing about Stickman readers is that they tend not to boast and say things which are blaringly untrue, the submissions are based on factual events or genuine opinions rather than imaginative fantasy. Secondly, due to the anonymity of the internet, Stickman submission are generally quite upfront, straight forward and honest. Stickman readers really do put their heart on the line and tell it like they see it.

Stickman readers are a peculiar lot and it really doesn’t take much brain power to find fault with some of the idiosyncrasies of this group of people. Generally speaking they have all at one time or another gone to a semi third world country and paid for sex with underprivileged local women (myself included). This is nothing to be proud of but nor is it something to be ashamed of. In order to maintain a fair and balanced website it is important to welcome and include reader submissions that criticise and find fault with this kind of behaviour so that we can all look at ourselves and reassess our moral beliefs and value system. We should not be afraid to re-evaluate ourselves and out actions from time to time in order to improve ourselves as human beings.

There have been some submissions to the Stickman website that pass judgement on the average Stickman reader (and his Thai partner from upcountry) that are emotionally driven, poorly written and lacking in any kind of merit or conclusive argument. I would happily welcome and thoughtfully consider any person’s submission condemning the behaviour of the average Stickman reader provided they are written by a person with some intelligence who is not mouthing off some emotionally concocted drivel. At least some of the authors of recent contentious submissions had the intestinal fortitude (guts) to supply their email address with their submission and I respect that at least.

Well everyone’s got an opinion so I guess I’d better stop rambling on and offer mine. To the collective authors of the recent controversial submissions:

You may not like dark skin, illiterate Thai women in skimpy outfits from a rural background in Isaan but I do.

You may find pale skin Chinese Japanese Koreans and Thai/Chinese from an affluent and educated background attractive but I don't.

That is the wonderful thing about individual taste (and believe me I can have any woman I want).

You may think most single men go and live in Thailand for constant cheap sex but if you read the submissions more carefully you will see a recurring theme that after a short period of time most men get bored of the meaningless sex and settle down with one woman. The men that continue to get drunk and sleep around year after year are generally in the minority and often admit to being quite unhappy and unfulfilled in their lives.

You may think that men who choose to live in Thailand cannot make it in the West. This can certainly be said for a minority of individuals but I know I couldn’t make it as an expat in Thailand so I respect them for finding somewhere they can be successful that makes them happy. They are lucky. Choosing to live as an expat in Thailand is a lifestyle decision. It is a choice about happiness and it is not because you have been rejected by Western society. I would say it is easier to live in the West with healthcare, social security, honest law enforcement & justice systems and no language problems. Day to day life can be a struggle in Thailand and you have to really want to be there in order to be successful in Thailand. It is an obvious fact that an expat will be in some circles admired by Thai people and in other social setting they will be looked down upon and despised by Thai people. Western expats certainly are not as alluring and fascinating to Thais as they once were a decade ago.

The idea of having a relationship with a former prostitute repulses you and I can completely understand your point of view. I don’t drink or smoke or chew gum or drink coffee and the idea of somebody drinking or smoking or chewing gum or drinking artificial stimulants such as red bull or coffee repulses me. I have had a relationship with a former prostitute and it was not an easy thing to come to terms with. But I guess the difference is that I judge my partner and respected her for how she related to me, not for lifestyle decisions she made in the past for whatever reason. Personally, if a woman chooses to sell her body for whatever reason, she is no less worthy of respect than a woman who remains virtuous in that regard. For a woman to choose to sell her body is a very hard decision for her to make and it is a life changing decision. I will not understate the significance of it but I will put it into perspective in the sense that there are so many other sinful things that people do in their lives that I cannot get hung up on the fact that she sold her body. I can understand if other men cannot get over a woman’s past but they must accept that she is no less deserving of respect as a human being than any other woman. I have had many hundreds of sexual partners over the past 15 years since I lost my virginity at the age of 17. I don’t want to be in a relationship with a woman who can count her sexual partners on one hand. It is as much a mismatch between partners as trying to date a woman who cannot speak a word of English. If a virtuous woman is for you then good luck to you, but I don’t think you should look down on women who are not.

Dirty filthy unclean cities such as Bangkok repulse you. Clean sterile soulless cities such as Singapore repulse me (but I do respect the efficiency and productivity of the place). No doubt about it, Bangkok is a foul, grimy city and this may surprise you but that is why I feel so at home when I stay there. I like the congestion, the pollution, the heat, the smog, the concentration of people, the happy people, the angry people, the smiles, the scams and everything else that makes up life in Bangkok. I particularly like the random unplanned nature of the city and I particularly hate the current government's attempts to deal with the social problems of the city with a stick rather than a carrot (the stick is a short term solution and never works in the long term). Singapore on the other hand is an exercise on how to create the “perfect” city. Singapore is so perfect that it is simply unliveable. But again that is a matter of opinion and I respect those who can find happiness living in Singapore rather than look down on them.

The author of one recent submission said he was Aussie Asian. I too am from Australia. When I walk down the street in Australia and see a dark skinned Asian woman walking with an Australian man I do not automatically assume that she is a prostitute or a girl from a poor background simply trying to social climb and make money. And I do not automatically assume that the he is a loser who cannot get himself a Western girl so he settles for “buying” a poor Asian ex-prostitute. I cannot understand why you would feel compelled to automatically make these assumptions. You are not alone. Certainly there are many people both in Asia and the West who choose to make the same assumption that you do. This speaks more about their own character and prejudices than it does about the Asian / Western couple. It is very difficult to have a successful relationship between to cultures and I admire anybody who can manage it. Most Western men do not take on an Asian partner as a “cop out” because they are “easier” than Western woman. Most Western men take on an Asian partner because for whatever reason they find Asian women attractive and a better all round prospect than Western women at that time in their lives. It was noted in the recent submission “racist knobhead” that Thai women regard financial security very important when choosing a partner. It is obvious from all submissions that Western men regard mutual love as very important when choosing a partner. Perhaps they are both fools?

One submission suggested that Western men only go to dirty Thailand for women because they cannot make it in a powerful sophisticated respectable Asian country. The simple reason western men go to Thailand for a partner and not Singapore, Malaysia, China or Japan is because Singapore is richer than most Western countries, Malaysia is Muslim, China is communist and Japan is xenophobic. These are obvious facts and I don’t know why you chose to even mention that in your submission.

People who choose to live in Thailand on a permanent basis are making a lifestyle decision. They are doing it to try and find happiness and fulfilment in their lives. A few couldn’t make it in the West but most probably could, they just chose not to. Living life as an expat in Thailand is certainly not my idea of a good way to live my life but I accept the decision of those that do and if they find true happiness then they are lucky people indeed. I can’t really see why authors of recent submissions feel the need to describe single male expats as rejects and losers from their own country. They are just guys trying to find their place in the world and right at this moment in time the place for them is not in the West. In my view that does not make them rejects or losers.

I think 80% of expats would stay in Thailand if prostitution was banned or the prices for the company of BGs was made equivalent to Western standards. I think cheap sex with prostitutes may have been a determining factor in the initial move to Thailand but it is not the reason most expats stay there long term.

The fact is that authors of recent controversial submissions have a stereotype in mind of the average Western expat / sex tourist who travels to Thailand for cheap sex. You have formulated this stereotype to serve your own purpose of convincing yourself that you are somehow better than this group of people. It makes things all fit neatly into your narrow-minded, short-sighted and contorted perspective of the world. But the reality is that this group of people is really nothing like what you presume them to be.

Take a really good look around next time you walk up Sukhumvit Road at 10pm at night. You will not find Bill Gates or Rupert Murdoch or Cindy Crawford but you will also not find an enormous proportion of fat bald smelly old men in singlets and thongs either. The majority of Western expat / sex tourists are reasonably well dressed, hard-working, decent, honest and respectful individuals. For the most part they look to me like they could make it back in their own country and they certainly don’t appear to be morally degenerate misfit rejects of the West. They also don’t look like paedophiles either but who knows what goes on behind closed doors and evil lurks in the hearts of men. In my 18 visits to Thailand over 13 years I have never seen anything that resembled paedophilia and I have discussed the issue with many expats & sex tourists. I have found that most men show a strong disgust for people who engage in these kinds of activities. I guess they could be lying to me but I highly doubt it. I also note that whilst some men may choose to take home a BG for the evening who is somewhat younger than them, I find that when they eventually settle down with a BG she is usually a lot closer to his age group and this is probably because there is not much in common with a 21 year old pretty BG in a tight skirt other than sex.

I tent to screw around for the entire duration of my time in Thailand and I never settle down. I rarely take the same girl twice. But I know for a fact that I am in the very small minority. Most men screw around for a few days then get sick of meaningless sex with multiple partners and they settle down with somebody their own age. The conclusion I draw from this is that the proverbial sex tourist that feminists despise so much is a myth and doesn’t really exist. It would be far more accurate to call them relationship-tourists because that is exactly what they are.

And finally let’s look at the fat, bald, old farang dude who has worked hard all his life and comes to Thailand to spend his life savings in retirement. If he has found happiness then good luck to him! Happiness is hard to find and those that truly find it are the lucky ones, wherever it might be. Baldness is hereditary and fatness is about metabolism exercise and health. Physical attire is up to the individual but other factors are largely out of their control. Lighten up and don’t be so judgmental of the old dudes. It is easy to ridicule fat, old, bald people but one day you might get sick and cannot exercise, you get fat and your hair eventually goes grey and falls out. I promise I will not be looking at you walking down the street with your white-skinned Asian wife laughing at you because I simply don’t see what is so amusing to ridicule you about. I don’t drink or smoke and I maintain a very high level of physical and mental fitness. I operate a very successful business but I do work far too hard. I guarantee you that I am better looking than you, I am fitter and have a better body than you and I make more money than you. I am lucky. This does not make me a better person than you and I do not look down upon you. The reason I don’t look down upon you is because there is always someone better looking and richer than me and I don’t want that person to look down on me.

I could be wrong but it seems to me through what is obviously a narrow minded view on your part that you are the one who is either not a very happy person or you have a very big chip on your shoulder. It is plain to see that you feel the need to belittle others in order to satisfy your own ego. You need to open your mind and be more accepting and accommodating of other people's opinions and points of view or you are going to be a very unhappy and conceited individual indeed.

I would like to add that I noted with some amusement the opening paragraph of Johnny Smith’s recent submission where he made a frank apology for offences his previous submission made to any other readers. This is the only time in my memory of the Stickman reader submission forum that a reader has had the strength of character to apologize and withdraw unfair comments.

Stickman's thoughts:

It is interesting to read between the lines of certain submissions and try and work out what the writer's agenda is, or may be.