Readers' Submissions

Apples & Oranges

  • Written by Anonymous
  • February 7th, 2008
  • 7 min read


Black Pagoda Patpong Bangkok


First, let me say that I use the term ‘girl’ as in ‘bar girl’ or ‘call girl’ only as the description of what these particular women do for a living and not to denigrate in any way the woman or her profession.

Second, while I am not and have not ever been a sex worker, I have no quarrel with those who choose to do so.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Recently on Stickman Bangkok, some contributors have been badmouthing western women and it’s got me shaking my head. Why the hard feelings, boys? Are Thai women really so much friendlier, nicer, happier, interested in sex, etc.?

When some of Stick’s contributors compare Thai women to western women, they’re not really comparing Miss Bar Girl with Miss Goes-to-Work, are they?

Are they??

I don't believe in comparing apples to oranges, so I did a (very) little research.

What I found is that the average Thai earns 7,015B/month. So if a bar girl earns 1500B for long time, that is approximately 1/5 of an average month's wage (plus drinks, dinner and breakfast) for one night's work. <And 1,500 long time would seem to be at the very bottom end of the scale paid these daysStick>

One doesn't magically become irresistibly hansum by getting on a plane, and I don’t think any of Stick’s men believe that the bar girls are sincere when they say ‘hello hansum man’ – or at least not any of the long-time readers. One becomes attractive because offering 20% of an average Thai’s monthly wage for one night's work is certainly a hansum offer!

Extrapolating the data (sounds so scientific), if the average western woman earns $3000 American dollars/month, 20% of a month's salary is $600 (about 18,000 baht). I think if it were common knowledge that this amount was on offer (plus drinks, dinner and breakfast) one might find more pretty, young western women available to western men of a certain age. Actually, there are lots of women who are available, and at more reasonable prices, in the back pages of many free weekly newspapers.

So one question might be: Why don’t western men avail themselves of the services of these women at home? I think we all know the answer – money! It costs so much more for a western man to avail himself of a western call girl that it becomes prohibitively expensive. Plus, it’s just not as much fun as going to a Thai bar.

The really interesting thing is that the men seem to expect the same "work" for the price of two drinks and maybe dinner from a western woman. Hey, if it's work for one woman, and a man pays her accordingly, by what stretch of the imagination should he feel like he should get it almost for free from a western woman? And why, because he’s not, does it make some men bitter and want to disparage western women? There's the real question….

But are Thai women really so much better? What would give a man that impression, money aside? Well, you could say that it’s a matter of looks. It is a biological fact that Thai women are generally smaller, and usually thinner, so they definitely have won the overall fit trophy. But “working girls” the world around are naturally better looking, skinnier and more amenable, because it’s their job, see? They get paid to do it, or paid because of it. So if all a man does is meet bar girls, the scales are definitely tipped.

Are Thai women really so much friendlier and available? Since many of Stickman’s contributors are talking about the Pattaya and Nana areas, let’s not compare Nana with K Street, mm’kay? A street or area dominated by bar girls would seem pretty friendly with all the ‘hansum man’ this, and ‘where you go’ that, and the bar girls are certainly available! Thailand’s government seems to take a laissez-faire attitude toward prostitution, allowing it to thrive, so what if a similar attitude was prevalent in the UK / Europe / US / Australia? Perhaps there would be areas or streets of western “working girls”. Would that sway an opinion the other way?

Further, one must take into account the culture difference. For example, Thailand is a Buddhist country, Southern separatists aside, and a key Buddhist tenet is ‘live and let live’. The Thais certainly take this one to heart. On the other hand, western / xtian religion praises hard work and punishes drinking. Ergo, while prostitution and drinking in Thailand flourishes, many ajarns are gnashing their teeth in frustration at the work ethic. You can either have the freewheeling bar girl scene or the workaday western woman. Here’s your cake – and here’s you not eating it.

Or could it simply be geography? A tropical locale permits fewer clothes to be worn at any given time. If the only women western men see in their northern countries are covered up in long sleeves vs. uncovered Thai women (meaning no sweaters or jackets or socks, but still modest) in Thailand, would that sway an opinion toward Thai women being more available and nicer looking?

A small factor, but typical Thai apartment dwellings are not as pleasant as western accommodations, and frequently crowded, so as a result many Thais are outside of their homes more of the time. More Thai women are simply around because of this, producing better odds for the farang gentleman.

In Thailand, farangs tend to congregate in bar beer sois and party locales, as do bar girls. If all you see are bar girls then of course they’ll seem friendlier than western women who just got off a full day of (legit) work. Try this, work a Thai woman for nine hours (western-style work, not “Thai-style”), then take her out dancing and see how long she lasts.

As an aside, if you took a western woman and plunked her down in Thailand, do you think she might loosen up a little? (Hint: the answer is yes.)

Sometimes I read an anecdote about this or that farang gentleman meeting a Thai woman off the internet for a fling in Bangkok. I don’t know who is kidding whom, but I think the only reason Thai women meet farang men is to try their luck at the wedding lottery. I don’t hear about Thai women going online to meet Thai men, and if they do, they certainly don’t shag them on the first date because it’s not their culture, and because there’s no percentage in it. <Correction, this is happening BIG TIME these days. Witness what is going on in Internet cafes on Ramkhamhaeng Road!Stick> Money drives most things in Thailand and the Thai woman online is interested in being with someone who has money, who can make life easier for her and her family, and she’s willing to give up her culture and struggle through conversations for the rest of her life because it’s easier than what she’s currently doing. Which says a lot about the poverty in Thailand, too.

So the idea that Thai women are so much friendlier, nicer, happier, interested in sex, etc. is really not very valid. The conclusion I draw is that farang men may very well meet Thai women who are friendlier, sanuk mak, and more available than western women but there is a variety of factors that makes it so, with the economic discrepancy in incomes between Thai and farang being the trump card. Take that trump card away (or apply it evenly to Thai and western women alike) and account for the differences above, and I think farang men would have similar experiences with women from both cultures. Innate ‘betterness’ just can’t be laid like a blanket over the whole of Thailand. It all depends on what you value, and every woman, Thai or western, is different.

Stickman's thoughts:

My viewpoint is that Thai women are generally more fun to be around but Western women may make better wives. It is not easy to live with someone for 40 – 50 years. No-one ever told us how hard that was going to be. I think the commonality a Western wife offers might help…but then Thai women have many clear advantages too… Choices, choices!