Who’s The Loser?
I’ve seen the term ‘loser’ so often on this website, that I felt moved to give you my take on it.
In my opinion, not one western guy in Thailand is a ‘loser’. The reason – because whoever and whatever he is now, there was a time when he got off his backside and said, ‘To hell with this, I’m going to do something about it – I’m going to Thailand!’ – and that is not as easy as it sounds. To make that decision, you’ve got to think outside the box, take a risk, face your fears and overcome them.
When my marriage broke up I took to spending as much time as I could in the South of France – Cannes to be precise. I liked it so much that I bought a studio apartment there. OK, it was on the West side of Cannes, not the expensive East side – but it was 100 metres from the beach and had a balcony with a sea view. That’s enough to show you that, though not rich by any means, I was no ‘loser’ in the financial stakes.
I wanted to improve my French, so I enrolled at the nearby College International de Cannes (highly recommended). My French didn’t improve much, because languages have never been my strong point, but it improved my love life no end (so I’m not a loser in that respect, either). Languages are well known as a ‘girlie’ interest, and true to form, about 70% of the students were female. However, I did not find any of my relationships satisfying. Let me give you an example which explains why.
At the welcome party for one of the summer courses I was approached by an attractive thirty-something woman whose opening line was, ‘I’m glad to see I’m not the only oldie here.’ She was referring to the fact that the majority of the students were university students taking the opportunity to improve their language skills during the summer break. I was amused by the term ‘oldie’. I don’t consider myself ‘old’ (at 50 something), and to me she was just another ‘young thing’. We ended up spending a lot of time together, and I would have continued to see her except that I didn’t want to be part of her agenda. Thirty-something is a dangerous age for some woman, especially those who have concentrated on their career, and suddenly decide to do the marriage and maternity thing. It was clear that that was what she wanted. However, as a recent divorcee with half a lifetime of family commitment, it was the last thing I wanted.
To be honest, I wanted to be with the younger girls – not so much because they were younger, but because I liked their hedonistic attitude to life. Their usual routine was to go to a nightclub in Cannes or Antibes, party all night, and sleep it off during lessons next day. Of course – you know what’s coming next – because of the inherent ageism in our society, the young girls wouldn’t look at me – not even as ‘just a friend’ to go dancing with. In fact, they would have found the idea of a fifty-something guy at a disco to be, in their parlance, ‘pathetic’.
I had long since known about Thailand, and not just from the internet, as I had friends who had been there. I had considered going to Thailand even before I started going to Cannes, but to be honest, I was scared. Looking back, it seems hard to credit it, but it was a very real feeling at the time. So what was I scared of? This is the list:
Paying for it – I had been brought up to believe that only the most desperate loser would pay for sex, and that such a transaction was so mechanical as to be meaningless. What I had heard and read about Thai bargirls ameliorated this to some extent, but it was still a huge barrier to overcome.
STDs particularly AIDS – I know now, from careful internet research, that though AIDS is a reality, it is over-hyped. The main culprits are the PC-lobby who want to convince us that we are all equally at risk, when in reality the highest risk groups are homosexuals and drug addicts. Also, feminists who want to restrict male sexual freedom, and Christian fundamentalists who want to ban any sexual freedom. Oh yes, and governments, because they love any scare story which they can use to control us. I realise now that anyone who uses a condom is more likely to get struck by lightening than catch anything – the statistics prove it. Anyway, at the time, I believed all the scare stories and thought that if I even so much as held hands with a Nana Plaza bargirl I would break out in nasty pimples.
Other diseases – I didn’t like the sound of dysentery, beri-beri, dengue fever, hepatitis A and B and malaria. Especially the latter, because you can’t be inoculated against it. Which is why, when I finally did pluck up the courage to go there, I was stinking with an over-generous application of anti-mosquito cream!
The stigma – it soon became clear from this website and other media that the sex tourist is one of the biggest hate figures of the PC brigade, particularly feminists. He is caricatured as an aging, fat, balding loser (surely it is wrong to judge people by appearance, anyway) who exploits poor girls who have been trafficked into brothels against their will.
So I had all that to overcome, but in the New Year of 2002, I finally faced my fears and decided to go for it. I booked a flight for the summer, booked a course of injections at my doctor’s, threw away my French textbook and bought one on Thai, and started doing extensive research on this and other websites.
When I got there my fears melted away one by one. The girls were so sweet that most of them were nicer than the ‘real’ girlfriends I had had – and guess what – I didn’t meet a single one who had been trafficked! And they were so clean and fresh, and so careful about condom use, that I didn’t have to worry about STDs. As for my fears about the other diseases, I cleaned my teeth with tap water during a moment of forgetfulness and lived to tell the tale.
What about the stigma? Well, in a funny sort of way, I almost like it now. I like it because it is a sign that, for once in my life, I have beaten the system. Instead of working overtime to service a wife and a mortgage, recycling my rubbish, paying Ken’s congestion charges, and generally being bossed about by a Politically Correct nanny government, I am actually having a bit of fun.
Of course, it can’t last. Control freak governments don’t like their citizens to have too much fun because they might start thinking for themselves and question government policies. It’s a close call which will be first – a strict limit on long distance flights (and/or heavy taxes) on the excuse of saving the planet, criminalising men who pay for sex, first in the UK, then UK/EU citizens worldwide (if certain feminist pressure groups get their way), or eBorders profiling – a system which is designed to catch terrorists, but will doubtless be used to catch and punish ‘sex tourists’ and anybody else the government doesn’t like.
But whatever happens, I know that for while at least, I tasted freedom – as has every other guy who has faced his fears, overcome them, and boarded that plane to Thailand. No – the real ‘loser’ is the guy who can’t break what Blake called ‘the mind-forged manacles’ and stays at home to get bossed about by the girlfriend, the do-gooders and the nanny government.
Excellent. I could not agree more with what you say. There are so many controls and limitations placed on us in the West these days that Thailand IS refreshing and invigorating. Yep, once one has tasted the freedom AND is aware of the controls in the West, Thailand looks better and better.