Are We Being Unfair to TeeQ?
A few days back a young chap under the name of TeeQ posted a submission entitled “Advice About a Bargirl”. Stick’s response, which mirrored my own at first sight, was that TeeQ, who had taken pride in how the girl had attached herself to him without payment because he was so marvellous and good-looking, came over as a total wanker and self-obsessed arsehole. (I'm English, you see.)
I’m not saying Stick was wrong. Did he come over as a self-deluding wanker? Yes he did. Can I put my hand on my heart and say I was less of a self-deluding wanker at the age of 23? No I can’t. And why did he come over as a self-deluding wanker? Because he was obsessed with how wonderful he was. And why did he think that? Because a Thai bargirl had worked her spells on him to convince him he was utterly wonderful. That’s what they do best. Can we blame him for that? Not at the age of 23 we can’t.
I hope TeeQ has not taken fright and decided to avoid Stickman in future. He’s got a fair bit to learn, but who hasn’t? There are one or two farang preconceptions which we just have to learn to lay aside when we come to East Asia. I expect most of us reacted with the same disgust as Stick when TeeQ wrote that he refused to give his girl even the price of a meal after spending the night with her. But this one is easy to diagnose. TeeQ is clearly under the spell of some of the stupidest words in any language: I NEVER PAY FOR IT.
This idiocy has been refuted several times by Stickmanites, but the point bears repeating: THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS FREE RUMPY PUMPY. I, for example, did the proper moral thing and married the girl I’d fallen in love with; I could have a Bangkok Sandwich every night for the rest of my life for less than the cost of the subsequent divorce. You always have to pay, and the sooner we all realise this, and that there’s nothing disgraceful about it, the better. OK – in the West she doesn’t usually ask you for fifty quid in the morning. But that’s because a) she almost certainly has a regular income the same as you do, and b) because she’s usually hoping that she’ll get her hooks into you more firmly some time in the future. b) may also be true with Thai girls, but a) isn’t. Some of us simply prefer to pay as we go.
Thailand, like most East Asian countries, has great poverty, high unemployment, and no welfare state. A girl who is a bargirl or freelancer is living from hand to mouth; she has nothing to fall back on. So sex without payment is not part of the normal package. Yes, TeeQ, she may like you a lot, enjoy the sex and have long-term hopes, but if you don’t pay her she’ll have to sleep with a lot of other guys who will. The etiquette, after sleeping with a girl who hasn’t demanded money, is as follows: if she leaves before breakfast, you offer her money for a meal; if after breakfast, you offer a taxi fare home. What you give her, of course, is not 20 baht for a bowl of som tam, but some approximation to the going rate for sexual services. But this approach allows face to be saved on both sides, and means that, if you really must, you can still pretend you haven’t paid for sex. These girls are a great deal poorer than you are – even if you’re a backpacker you’ve still been able to pay the airfare without beggaring yourself – and so don’t be so stupid as to tell yourself they’re engaging with you on a fully equal basis, even if you do look like Brad Pitt and fuck like a rabbit on Viagra.
If TeeQ is still wondering whether his lady is screwing other people in his absence, he shouldn’t be. Of course she is. What’s she supposed to live on? It doesn’t mean she’s a “bad girl”. Women need to be provided for in this part of the world.
And I saw in TeeQ’s submission evidence of another delusion. He says she got pregnant and miscarried their child, because they had been having unprotected sex. Firstly, she didn’t miscarry it. She realised he wasn’t going to support them, so she had an abortion. Believe me, that’s the truth. Unless, of course, the pregnancy was an invention in the first place, as one more desperate move to extract money from the tight bastard. Once she realised it wouldn’t work, she dropped it.
Secondly, I suspect that, having established in his own eyes that he wasn’t paying for sex, TeeQ thought that that fact would render him immune from contracting a sexually transmitted disease. I’m amazed at how many people I meet who believe that HIV can only be transmitted by sex for which money changes hands. Believe me, it ain’t so. As I said earlier, if TeeQ isn’t paying her anything, she’ll be going to bed with people who will. That’s what bargirls do. I’d get yourself tested, mate.
So, TeeQ, it might be a little unfair for Stick to call you names, as we’ve all been pig-ignorant and full of ourselves at some point, but it wasn’t inaccurate. If you want to come and play in Thailand, know the rules and pay and play accordingly. If you really place value on being able to tell yourself “I never pay for it”, then indulge this delusion if you want, but you’d better keep the hell out of East Asia.
TeeQ came across as an aloof fool, but at 23 – or any age, I guess – that is forgivable. What really did it for me was that he got her pregnant and then suggested that why the hell should be even consider a relationship with a bargirl. That part was just so God damned cruel and nasty.