Stickman Readers' Submissions March 14th, 2006

Truth And Consequences

By James Harrison

Forward: I previously lived in Bangkok as the son of an expat for several years. During that period I learned to speak Thai fairly well, but as a youth never experienced the “nightlife”. I also learned some of the Thai culture, beliefs,
and their traditions. Now more than 15 years later, I had the opportunity to return on business as a man, and was exposed to a side of Thailand that I have never before experienced. What I learned from my trip is in my opinion worth posting, as
an FYI.

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My first night back I was thrilled with the enticing prospects of the legendary Thai nightlife. By the time I got to my hotel it was 3:00 am and all the bars were closed, no action. I was cajoled by an aggressive taxi driver to an after-hours
bar that seemed to me was no more than a holding area for desperate prostitute wannabes who could not do well in the gogos or only went there after hours. I met the mamasan and sat for a bit very nervous about the whole affair. I was visiting
Bangkok briefly on business so I was entirely alone and frankly a little guilt-ridden with the whole episode. Eventually my hormones overtook my guilt and I selected a girl who came over and sat by me while we made polite conversation in Thai.
I did not have a large amount of money with me for the trip so I certainly didn’t want to blow it on pricy mamasan fees and whatnot so I gave the girl my hotel number and told her to call me after she left work. Ultimately she did and we
hooked up and went to a different, more accommodating hotel, and checked in. To make a long story a bit shorter and for propriety’s sake let me just say that we spent the next 24 hrs together. But what resulted during and after that 24
hr period was not at all what I expected, and I feel it my duty to warn all who read this site to beware.

The sex was fine, although it was extremely obvious that she gained no pleasure or enjoyment from the episodes whatsoever. The annoying moaning noises she made ‘for my benefit’ were so contrived that they actually made me feel
uncomfortable. Those moments were few and sparse when compared to the long periods of time spent feeling guilty for supporting an industry that ruins lives and injures the psyche of Thai women. As I spent time with Aoy I felt more and more like
she was so young and innocent, and I was taking advantage of her desperate circumstances that she would never put herself in if she did not really need the money. It made me feel dirty. She, however, talked about how great a person I was and how
she was not going to work the entire time I was in Bangkok because she wanted to be my girlfriend. So, within a day of arriving I was sick with myself for having done what I had done.

I know many people post about the deceit of the infamous bargirls, and how they are calculating lying tricksters who are just out to suck as much of your money as they can, but please remember that they are only that way because they were
corrupted to become that way by foreign pigs who see them as nothing more than entertainment. I know my tone is terribly hypocritical but suffice it to say that I now vow to never engage in that type of activity / support that industry again.
I did not know how to handle things with Aoy, as she seemed emotionally attached to me, and every time I looked at her I just felt guilt about using her for sex, so I eventually moved to another hotel. The rest of the following week I conducted
my business by day and avoided going out to party areas at night. As time passed however, I decided that perhaps I was being too prudish about the whole thing and so I went to Soi Cowboy on my final night in country.

I was immediately flocked on either side by two young Isaan girls who liked me because I could speak the language. One of the girls, Oow, was visibly nervous and hated when her assigned time to go onstage arrived. She was quick to return
to my side and I guess she felt sheltered by my not being overly aggressive or groping. The whole time I am making polite conversation in Thai and she is growing attached to me. In the end I could not imagine having sex with this girl, as she
was emotionally very young, and in my mind it would have felt more like rape than anything else. I decided to make my way back to my hotel.

On my way back I was enticed by an attractive girl (Em) who was sitting with her friend about to have a meal from the street vendor. I flirted a bit in Thai, asking what she was doing out so late, not entirely certain that she was on-the-job.
(She was wearing long jeans and a shirt, not typical whoreware) She was far too shy to out and say it, she kept saying that she was unemployed, but then why was she out on Sukumvit at 1:30 am? After some time chatting (she was a college student,
did not work the bars, but had once before been hired by a German fellow, basically an opportunist freelancer) I came out with the details, how much, where do we go, etc…

We ended up at a short-time hotel and she left the money thing up to me. When it came down to it, she was very nervous and was apparently doing a poor job of letting go of her sense of decency. Based on the guilt I felt from the week previous
I had no intention of having sex, but really wanted to just be close and spoon a bit. She did not know this. She started trying to undress me, but was extremely shy about it all and I did not let her get very far. I eventually told her that I
did not want sex. She was shocked and visibly relieved. This was an education to me, and it underscores my point of writing this posting; that many Thai women suffer a great deal of guilt and anxiety for their chosen profession, and their line
of work destroys their sense of self worth.

After spending the next two hours talking, Em told me much that she never would have told me if we had had sex. This included her real name, her email, her circumstances in life (really a student) and that she was in love with some German
guy who did not call much anymore. She did not want to be a prostitute, but really needed the income so she could focus her time on her studies. She never asked me for money, and I don’t expect her to, because by not engaging in sex I moved
from her mind from the “just a source of money” column in her mind to “potential prince charming who will rescue me from this third world place by marrying me” column. Why the whole farang prince charming complex exists
in the mind of Thai women is a subject for another post on another day. My point is this…

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I think that most Thai bargirls begin as Aoy, Oow, and Em. They struggle with the fact that Thai culture demands decency, and that their profession is an embarrassment to most Thais who abhor the practice. They struggle with having to so
fully re-program their behavior, and they never fully lose the sense that they are evil for doing what they do. If farangs complain because they are lied to, robbed, etc… then they need to wake up and admit to themselves that they don’t
deserve anything less. It is all so clear to me now as I reflect on my week. I have grown to detest the sight of older white men walking with their young Thai toy in-tow. The idea that this is acceptable because the Thai government and culture
accept it is also a bit untrue. In Thai society the bar girl is the lowest echelon of society. Their attire is an affront to the Thai sense of decency. So, the bargirl when she takes the job knowingly accepts her lot in life and her sense of self-worth
must be on par with that of a slave.

My experience I am sure is far different from others. I think this comes from my ability to actually communicate in Thai with the women and have a sense of understanding of the environment they grew up in. I am not trying to convince anyone here not to go to Bangkok or engage in the fabled nightlife. I just thought that readers who are considering going should know that it is not all pleasure and no consequence. That there is the danger of a real human connection, and that though you provide some desperately needed funds to the Thai women, you also aid in the degradation of her self worth and her station in life. My experience taught me much about myself, and though I sound like a terrible hypocrite by saying the things that I say, I hope to possibly inform all readers of the realities of the legendary sexual Mecca. At the very least, treat the women with the highest respect, and know that they are sacrificing far more than you.

Stickman's thoughts:

Interesting thoughts. I agree with what you say to some extent but I do think it is all a lot more complicated than this summary.

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