Stickman Readers' Submissions December 26th, 2005

Snow White, Brownie Points, Internet Dating And Other Choices

Snow White, Brownie Points, Interet Dating And Other Choices

Since submitting the first of my "Broken Man" stories to the Stickman site a couple of years ago I have corresponded with and made friends of a number of Stick readers and fellow contributors across the world from Seattle to Boston, from the UK to Thailand and on to Oz and NZ. They are all intelligent and well-balanced individuals who have expanded my perspective and have encouraged me to continue writing my strange submissions. My self-deprecating honesty about my abject failure with English women apparently prompts smiles of empathy from the guys who still live in the west and to those who left the west to live in Thailand, they are a reminder of why they did so.

Four visits to the Kingdom in less than two years has been a journey of discovery for me. The friendships made and the 15 Thai girls I have had encounters and even relationships with, had done much to restore my spirit and repair the broken man. I had caught Jasmine fever and genuinely prefer Asian women to Western women. I was beginning to mellow and speculate that maybe I have been too hard on western women. I have always considered myself a reasonable man and was getting uncomfortable with the constant reference to western “feminazis”. The ubiquitous mantra Thai girl good, farang girl bad was becoming too Orwellian for my taste. Conversely I was getting bored with the all-pervading “That Thai bitch done somebody wrong song”.

Then back in September I read the submission by Snow White and all my prejudices about the stupidity of western woman were reconfirmed in an instant.

To remind you of the salient features of that submission, she was allegedly an American woman working on assignment in Bangkok. She set the tenor by claiming to have gotten grief from a picky stuck up (sic) American guy. He was obviously over picky and stuck up because he had refused her advances when she threw herself at him. We then had the predictable rant about old geezers with young girls she had witnessed in Thailand, but the comment about staying at home and taking advantage of your granddaughter was as unnecessary as it was despicable. She was unbelievably disparaging of her husband, referring to him as pathetic even though he was at home taking care of their children whilst she indulged herself in Thailand. She was so self-centred she had considered leaving her kids for some Thai lothario. The derogatory comments about impressing her with a dazzling wit and that she deserved to be waited on was cringe worthy. Her allusions to anal sex with Thai men were childish. However the remarks “Grab me a beer bitch” betrayed her trailer trash origins. But what most annoyed me was the use of the expression “Duh!” I hear teenagers use this to imply they are conversing with someone mentally retarded. I find this so disrespectful and indicative of the descent into barbarianism we are experiencing in Western (particularly British) society.

I was incandescent with rage (well a bit piqued) and was surprised there was no subsequent correspondence or debate on the Stickman site. I felt like one of these retired colonels who feel the urge to write inflammatory letters to the London Times, so I sought the advice of “learned council” in the form of my pals Union Hill and Phillip in Bangkok. They suggested that the submission was maybe from a man and was probably intended as a wind up. They were amused at my naivety and suggested I should get out more often!

In realising they were probably correct, it got me thinking about a having a sense of perspective. It prompted me to take stock and ask how the hell did I get here? I am a 50-year-old professional engineer, divorced for two years but if I knew what I now know would I have ended up here? I am sure there are other readers of this site in the same predicament that have faced a similar dilemma?

A few years ago my job and profession defined who I was. I was Technical Director of a “Top 200” PLC, I had technical papers and articles regularly published in learned journals, I was highly respected and a pillar of the community. When I got up to give a lecture or after dinner speech I was listened to. It was somewhat disconcerting to realise that now I am more likely to be defined as someone who goes to Thailand twice a year and shags younger women.

On leaving school I did what was considered the sensible and correct thing. I completed my academic and professional education and made sure I had a secure job and money behind me before considering marriage. I also ensured I had completely sown my wild oats and was ready to settle down. In 15 years I had carnal knowledge of 36 British girls of varying shape, size and ethnicity before marrying an erotic Lulu look-alike just months before my 30th birthday.

But the journey of enlightenment begins when you discover the honeymoon period only lasts about 2 days and you begin to suspect wedding cake suppresses sexual desire in English women. Within a year her biological time clock had also kicked in. The overwhelming desire for children is a genetic predetermination in women over which you or her have no influence. As a young father you walk around in a state of permanent exhaustion smelling of vomit and excrement but worse still, you realise that once they have the offspring they desire, you no longer serve any purpose or interest to your wife. Once the seed is planted they can throw away the packet it came in.

There was a time when the economic imperative required a wife to maintain some interest in her husband but emancipation and the rather suspect activities of the Child Support Agency has changed this. As your children grow older you become conscious that your job is to keep supplying the cash and the gifts but stay silent and remain invisible. It appeared that no matter how many brownie points you felt you had gained by your actions you did not receive what you considered the commensurate attention, affection or heaven forbid, sex.

Before I continue I feel it expedient to discuss the concept of brownie points. Brownie points are the perceived rewards we feel we have accumulated for the series of good deeds and chores that can be redeemed with your wife/partner for favours and pleasures at some appropriate point. However I need to advise you they are illusions. Like lobster thermidore and oral sex you will never get them at home. To understand why brownie points do not work you must understand some motivational theory particularly Fredrick Herzberg's work on Hygiene and Motivation. Although his research was aimed at the world of work it is also surprisingly applicable and pertinent to the world of relationships.

Herzberg proposed that there is a clear distinction between issues that are responsible for dissatisfaction which he calls hygiene factors and issues that prompt satisfaction which he called motivation factors. Hygiene factors (dissatisfiers) in a work environment include security, working conditions safety, status relationships and money. Motivators (satisfiers) include recognition, achievement, personal growth and genuine interest in the task. The removal of a dissatisfier will not satisfy or motivate. Improving working conditions (soft toilet tissue in the office bog) may reduce complaints but not actually satisfy or motivate employees to greater effort or productivity. The issues that dissatisfy must be addressed completely before the motivating factors can begin to have effect.

Likewise mowing the lawn or cleaning the sink will not get you sex. Diligently shopping with her, missing a football match for her favourite soap putting the 27th set of shelves up for her makes no difference whatsoever. Brownie points are issued at the total discretion of the wife or partner and only exist in your imagination. Do not ask a woman why this is; her answer will always be a strident “because it just is!”

But I digress, for 18 years I remained totally faithful to my wife until two years ago she left me for another guy and we divorced. The biggest shock when a marriage ends is that you marry young and hope to grow old together but you suddenly realise you are going to end up alone or with somebody else’s old woman. You fear you are going to end up with someone who looks like your great aunt Gladys.

Another interesting and disturbing phenomenon is that of all the numerous couples amongst your many acquaintances you quickly realise that not one of them knows a single eligible woman they can (or are wiling to) introduce to you.

Alone at 48 what do you do? Unless you are rich like Donald Trump or Richard Branson or perfect genetic specimens like Colin Firth or Hugh Grant you suspect the choices are 1. Castration 2. Join a monastery (oops that’s what Thai men do) 3. Turn gay or 4. Marry someone who looks like your aunt Gladys.

This is the point when your friends and loved ones, fearing your state of mind, begin hiding sharp objects from you, making you shave with an electric razor and dispensing your medication to you one tablet at a time.

Well the first thing you probably did was get your old dancing clothes on and go night clubbing with the intention of pulling a young slim sexual goddess. Within an hour you realize the John Travolta/Saturday Night Fever burned out years ago and you look a prize Pratt. Hopefully the following day you burn those clothes, cut off your comb over hairstyle and ask yourself how did this all happen?

To explain this we need Charles Handy’s “boiling frog metaphor”. Handy proposed that if you dropped a frog in a pan of boiling water he would immediately feel the pain and jump out. However if you placed a frog in a pan of lukewarm water the frog would feel comfortable. If you then slowly applied heat to the pan, the frog, still comfortable would slowly acclimatise to the soporific effect of the slowly increasing water temperature until he is boiled to death. So it is with the changes in society, they are slow and incremental. They are so imperceptible you do not notice them until it is too late.

So you have had your Epiphany; you acknowledge you are invisible to young attractive women. If you can get a woman at all you are going to end up with a woman in her 50s or 60s. Although women in their 50s and 60s probably mean no malice per se they are post menopausal, they are dried up, they don’t want sex, they tut-tut at the things they see on TV, they arrange flowers at church, they have opinions and ailments and are high maintenance and bossy and wear hats. They feel it is their duty to compile comprehensive lists of your many faults and shortcomings and to make you aware of them at every conceivable opportunity.

Which is probably why you never see old women on a rich man's yacht

You feel there must be an alternative. And by good fortune you discover it. You visit the kingdom of Thailand, beautiful young girls put their arms around you and call you hansum and give you more affection and attention than you ever thought possible. A great joy returns to your life. The rest as they say, is “geography”

But knowing there is an alternative probably gives us a bigger problem regarding choice. The real problem we now face is one of aspiration; having sampled the delightful daughters of Issan the prospects of settling down with your aunt Gladys look-alike become less and less palatable.

I recently read a well conceived submission by George2 were he reiterated that we should cease using the paradise we perceive Thailand to be as the panacea for all our problems. His premise was that the answer to your problems lies within yourself and not in Thailand. A miserable git in the west is still a miserable git in Thailand. Although time in the Kingdom can anaesthetise the pain for a while.

But there seems to be a perfect match between western men who consider they are unappreciated and get no respect in their own countries and Thai women who give the impression they would be happy to find someone who simply does his job and hopes to come home to a pleasant family life after work. Most western woman would not want such a boring husband. A cursory glance of the personal ads in the Western media reveals women want a man who looks a certain way, has certain social skills such as dancing or clever conversation. They must be witty, interesting, exciting and seductive. Doing a job and caring for your family are merely hygiene factors and even the rest of the list are probably hygiene rather than satisfiers to western women in the prevailing climate.

I sense that generally Thai girls as with most women from developing countries, are happy to settle down forever with a man who is willing to hold down a steady job, be a loving and understanding husband and father. A set of virtues, I suggest, would get you exactly nowhere with a western girl.

So what real choice do we face? I believe it is dependent on the fundamental question of where do you intend to live? Do you intend to live In Thailand or remain in the west?

If you intend to live in Thailand there is no debate, you marry one of those wonderful feminine creatures called Thai girls. The choices we can return to later.

If however you intend to live in the west the choice is not so clear-cut. For this exercise imagine you have taken the metaphorical truth serum from my previous submission and I have engaged the services of my pal Union Hill to help me count the raised hands.

So, hands up those who genuinely (remember the truth serum) prefer Thai girls to western girls. Everyone? Even if I told you that from tomorrow the government has put something in the water to make western women fancy us again? Yes, even the young good-looking ones. (I know it's far-fetched but go with the flow for a minute). Well that’s a few hands come down now. Do you have enough money to bring your Thai girlfriend to the west and import all the strange foodstuffs she misses and when homesick support her trips back home? What about if I told you that within 6 months of bringing your gentle feminine Thai girlfriend to the west she will have adopted the “values” and expectations of her western sisters? A few more hands went down then. What if I told you every scumbag lothario in your hometown is going to think you purchased your sweet teeruk and she is therefore fair game. That’s quite a few hands come down now. Now having read 2200+ submissions to Stickman do you really think you can make the relationship work especially with the distances involved?

Remember Thai girls are expensive unless you actually live in the kingdom with them, are you happy to send sufficient money. I gather the expectation is at least 30,000 baht a month? <This figure is way highStick>

That seems to be most hands down now.

Wow! One hand is still raised. Sir, I admire your courage and would like to shake your hand. Oh sorry you are just trying to get your hand out of the straight jacket before your attendants return.

So if you intend to live in the west and visit the kingdom less than 10% of the year your only real option is western women. A daunting prospect isn’t it?

To quote the Irish philosopher Jimmy Cricket: “And there’s more!”

The next question is what age group do you go for if you are 50 (and not Donald Trump or Hugh Grant). You really must forget the western girls younger than 40, and pursuing girls younger than 30 is like watching a dog chasing a car, what on earth is he going to do with it when he catches it?

So we are agreed, no one under 40. Having tried the nightclubs and the pubs etc we now know our limitations. Joining amateur dramatics or operatic societies to meet respectable ladies is probably too large or long term a commitment and you suspect the only practical option is Internet dating.

But even a token perusal of the profiles submitted by the majority of women on the dating sites evokes a sense of despair. A recent one I saw stated, “All I want is to be treated as I think I deserve to be!” … Wow!

Generally their specification has strict requirements and expectation which include, epithets such as equality, communication, open and honest, sensitive, successful, sexy seductive and TALL not forgetting the ubiquitous “must have a good sense of humour”.

The prevailing and all pervading “because you're worth it” culture in the west has unrealistically raised women’s aspirations. Irrespective of what they look like, they will consider they have invested great effort preparing their profile so they deserve nothing less than Brad Pitt. A typical Internet dating profile for a 50 year old British woman 5’3” tall specifies a man 39-45, at least 6 ‘2 tall and of course must have a “good sense of humour”

Although women always mention they consider a sense of humour the priority in their choice of a man. I take real issue with this because the majority of western women wouldn’t recognise a sense of humour unless it came in a Harvey Nicholls bag.

I am reminded of the tale about Kevin Costner and Ken Dodd drinking at opposite ends of a bar in a famous London hotel. Ken Dodd is one of the funniest men in Christendom if somewhat challenged in the handsome department. Kevin Costner is a talented actor but not renown for his sense of humour, he could be described as taciturn (or more accurately a miserable git). However, there are no prizes for guessing, which of them was surrounded by a bevy of adoring beauties hanging on his every word and it wasn’t the one with the sense of humour.

Now the amusing thing is that women are still NOT happy even if they do find their perfect man. A talented female journalist exemplified this in a recent article in one of the leading Internet dating agencies. In this article a group of women discuss the “problems” when they do find a man who fits their exacting specification.

Equality, "He really threw me off on our first date," says this 43 year old "The dinner bill came, and first thing he did was calculate my 'share'. I'm a feminist, but come on … can't you support equal rights and still enjoy courtship rituals? If I'm in a relationship, I don't expect a free ride from my guy, but if you want a second date with me, you'd better woo me a little on the first, honey."

Communication, A 27 year old claimed "I rebounded from a 'strong, silent type' to this Guy". "If I ask him what he's thinking he'll tell me. And you know what? It turns out that a guy's every private thought isn't necessarily all that interesting unless you actually want to know how he thinks he could rebuild the lawnmower to move four times as fast on the same energy, or you share his deeply-felt convictions about artificial turf in professional sports."

Open honest and sensitive, "He prided himself on being 'in touch with his feelings,'" says this 22 year old. "No male-pattern repression for this guy; every date was a soul-bearing session. If I'd have had a tough day at work, or an argument with my mechanic, or whatever, his stock response would be, 'And how do you feel about that?' I need a boyfriend, not a therapy partner!"

Successful, "I take care of myself financially, so it really isn't about the money," claims this 48 year old. "But I need to see that a guy has found something to do with his life, that his profession is something he's proud of and is part of the way he defines himself. The trouble with him was his job was his entire definition of himself. At first it was exhilarating to be with someone so dynamic and self-assured … but he had those qualities only in that one arena. Outside of it, there just wasn't much there."

Sexy, seductive "My friends' mouths just hung open when they met my last guy, he was that sexy". It was only after we started spending whole weekends together that I realised how much time and energy he devoted to keeping up his looks. I'm not just talking hours in the gym I'm saying this guy spent more time in the bathroom than I do”.

Sense of humour "I wanted a guy with a sense of humour, someone who could make me smile or laugh out loud. And this guys wisecracking drew me to him at first," says this 35 year old." But I didn't bargain for a wannabe comedian who made jokes non-stop. Even when he wasn't using 'humour' to worm out of something, it just got to be too much after a while."

I imagine these insights and anecdotes are illuminating if not terrifying for mere men and confirm what we have always suspected, that women don’t know what they want. And don’t forget these are the classier women.

An amusing aspect to this, at some point the “vibrating rampant rabbit” just doesn’t do it for them anymore and occasionally they need a good physical servicing. Invariably for a variety of reasons that I once had explained to me by a female professor of psychology, rather than go for a respectable bloke they end up with a monosyllabic bit of rough often referred to as trailer trash (or scutters on our side of the pond) to receive the aforesaid physical service.

Most of these observations refer to classier reasonably educated women but there is a further choice. There is always the rough girl or slapper. Picture the girl from the underclass living on a sink estate instantly recognisable by that tied back hairstyle known as a Croydon facelift, misspelt tattoos and an exposed belly hanging obscenely over her belt. In my hometown Tipton we used to joke that you could tell when a local girl was having an orgasm, she dropped her chips!

A recent study by Imperial College London revealed that the number of men admitting to paying for sex in the last 10 years has increased from 2% to 4%, which is actually a doubling of the number of men involved. I am not aware if there is a Stickman style website dedicated to aficionados of call girls in British towns but I don’t imagine it would need much explaining why there was not.

But even if you meet a nice western girl, they still cannot relax. They seem to be waiting for failure and can not enjoy simple things. We cannot fail to believe the sight of a man enjoying himself is more than most women can tolerate.

Believe it or not I am not a misogynist, over the past two years I have met some lovely warm women in the UK, initially on the Internet who were feminine, intelligent, full of joy and great fun. However none were “western”, one was a lovely Iranian girl; one was African, and the other a delightful Chinese lady. I am currently in contact with a charming Polish woman and in a pub quiz team with a fascinating Swiss lady. Irrespective of the issue of language all have an enchanting sense of humour that English women could not begin to comprehend.

Although I have still to develop a final opinion I have some experience of Internet contact with Thai girls and to date, even allowing for the issue of language I have found it disappointing how shallow many of the Thai girls I meet on the net seem to be. They appear to have no interests, no hobbies or in complete contrast to western women, no opinions on anything.

Which leads me back to the choices we have if we make the move to live in Thailand. The principle difference is the age group we can attract. A 50-year-old guy clean and reasonably presentable can certainly attract much younger girls than he can in the west. But I seriously think attempts at a long-term relationship with a Thai girl younger than 30 is asking for problems. Although I do avail myself of young girls from the go-go bars on my visits to the Kingdom, I must admit I derive greater enjoyment from the Thai girls in their 30’s I meet. I am certain that within the next few years my next wife will be a Thai lady in her early 40’s.

With a Thai girl the pertinent dimension remains the bar girl, non-bar girl question. However bar girls do not have the monopoly on dubious intentions, as more and more “ordinary girls” appear to be adopting mercenary attitudes. I am certain that many bar girls are inherently good hearted and can be changed if you catch them early enough. The idea of the poor but virtuous person exists and is understood in many cultures.

One should only marry a woman who actually wants you, not just your money, but I suspect this is probably easier in the west and easier said than done anywhere in the world. We must acknowledge that the economic imperative remains the principle attraction and your ability to take care for them is fundamental. But you certainly need to be firm and insist they adjust to you almost as much as you adjust to them. They must respect you, but again easier said than done.

The attempt in a recent submission by Dana at classifying the different types of bar girl went a long way to explaining the wide spectrum of behaviour most of us have witnessed but could not articulate. However you must remember that most of the girls we will have contact with in Suhkumvit or Pattaya are mainly from the very poor parts of Issan and likely have had only a basic minimal education. They are likely to be low class or even what we would describe as underclass. But remember bad girls are not exclusively bar girls or from Issan.

Now we know all about girls from the underclass in the west, so why do we suspend our natural scepticism when in Thailand. There is however a subtle distinction between lower class and underclass that is not just about poverty. In the underclass it is the total absence of morality or a system of values. The analogy I present is that of gypsy types in the west or more accurately the people we describe as didicoies or scutters. These are the disenfranchised degenerates who would prefer to rob you than accept a gift. Like the tale of the turtle and the scorpion it is probably as much a genetic thing as the product of environment, the scorpion cannot help killing the turtle because it is a scorpion. In the west you would not come within a mile of one of these “pikey” women to purchase clothes pegs from them, let alone insert your member into them and to contemplate marrying one of them would be absolutely unthinkable. Yet many guys open their hearts and wallet to them and say help yourselves to the contents.

Changing the subject, no submission of mine would be complete without an account of one of my disastrous encounters with a western woman.

In acknowledging I am generally the architect of my own downfall this tale involves that most popular of paving materials on the Hades highway, namely good intentions and ulterior motives. It begins a few weeks ago when my younger brother’s girlfriend approached me with a proposition regarding a friend of hers who was sexually frustrated and claimed to need a good servicing. What she suggested was a no commitment sex session with me. Although I could not remember much about her friend other than she was a widow and highly respectable, apparently she remembered me as a fine handsome fellow (what are you all laughing at?). It had been almost six months since I had enjoyed the comfort of a woman and for a variety of reasons my customary November campaign to LOS had been postponed. With no horizontal activity on the immediate horizon, I agreed, arrangements were made and I picked her up on the following Saturday night.

It was only then I remembered she was older than me, only then I realised that she was 10 years older than me, and that she was 60. However she was not Joanna Lumley 60, Felicity Kendall 60, or Helen Mirren 60. She was pursed lips, nose sniffing, faint moustache and horn-rimmed glasses Aunt Gladys 60.

I took her around a few pubs in Dudley, she was pleasant enough but I was not attracted to her, her conversation was not particularly interesting and she had opinions. As the evening progressed I felt more reluctant for the job in hand and suspected I would require a little pharmaceutical assistance to complete the task. I had some Kamagra gel in my wallet from my June campaign in the Land of vertical smiles. In my Suhkumvit experiences I find it takes just over an hour to get into my system. So about 10.30 I went into the toilet of the pub and took a shot of the aforesaid gel. On my return I went to the bar to buy some drinks. The bar was busy so I was stood waiting there for a few minutes. This was no great hardship for in my line of view was a heart wrenchingly gorgeous Asian girl wearing a little black dress that displayed her fantastic legs to great effect. Without warning the Kamagra began to take effect, well ahead of schedule which considering the location was as embarrassing as it was unexpected. By explanation I think when in Bangkok or Pattaya the Kamagra effect has to compete with at least 6 bottles of Singha beer whereas that evening I had kept off the beer and was drinking orange juice. By the time I returned with the drinks I had the offending protuberance under control again and by the time we got back to her house it had subsided along with my appetite for the task. Over coffee I became aware that the rules of engagement had changed and she was now alluding to a relationship. I felt aggrieved that she had got me there under false pretences. I had by now completely lost interest and was starting to sympathise with what Thai bar girls have to put up with old codgers like us. When it came time to perform I professed a headache and claiming I had left my dick in my other trousers I made my excuses and left.

We have however remained friends and a few days later she apologised and explained she suddenly felt a temporary and irrational desperation that prompted the change of behaviour on that night. I am aware that experience is what you get when you were expecting something else and appreciate old age is a spiteful way of obtaining experience.

Keeping with the thought about desperation it struck me that Thai women need not have the monopoly on feminine flattery. Surprisingly I found American women (outside the big cities) more feminine and far less aggressive than their English sisters. I remember a few years ago I was working in Western Pennsylvania in the USA. There was a bar I frequented on a Friday night with fantastic live bands where middle-aged (allegedly lonely and desperate) American women would show a femininity and diffidence to the men that verged on sycophantic. Now in my opinion most of the guys were ill-mannered pigs (they kept their hats on inside the bar which is an anathema to an Englishman) but these desperate ladies even complemented them on that they did not have hat hair when they finally removed them. Their behaviour would have made a Pattaya bargirl’s hello hansum man look a model of modesty and restraint. I will not mention the town, as I expect a fair amount of correspondence from this, but the bar was the Prospect lounge in a well-known hotel in a town not 100 miles from the home of Rolling Rock beer.

Maybe a healthy dose of this level of desperation is needed to restore a sense of proportion in relationships between men and women in the west.

In conclusion it clear is that western women are no longer happy in the traditional role of wife and housekeeper. This state of affairs is unlikely to change unless the worst effects of emancipation are reversed and the natural economic imperative is replaced. Western women need to review and reconsider how they perceive the issues of financial support and the disposability of men, before the concept of the family and its influence on western society is irretrievably damaged. Women now have the rights they must also take some responsibility for their actions.

At present it is evident neither men nor women can cope with a situation where the dynamics of the relationship are still evolving.

In the short term as men we cope by either being reactionary, being in denial, moving to Asia or by writing submissions to the Stickman site.

Stickman's thoughts:

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And with Sex And The City as popular as ever, it won't be that long before the women of Asia start to go down the same path…

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