Stickman Readers' Submissions October 7th, 2009

Breaking all the Rules

You are not that young anymore, and you are not necessarily that handsome either. You might not break mirrors, but you don’t stand out in the crowd. Chances are you may be a bit on the porky side, and a bit follically challenged. You have run out
of marriage in the west, and quite possibly you have run out of a career too. With a bit of luck you are reasonably cashed up.

So there you are, forty something or fifty something, and you make that 21st century rite of passage trip for your generation to Toyland. Thanks to the internet you did your homework before you came. You know the what, the when, the where,
the how and the how much of the place. You’ve read all the stories and the warnings. You’re a grown up, not a baby. You want a bit of fun to pep up your otherwise lacklustre life, and some distance from your usual environment to
reflect on what might have been. You want to feel young again. You want an adventure. Maybe you want to start a new life. Maybe you want someone to start a new life with. Where better to provide all of this for you than Toyland with its dusky

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Most people in your situation start checking out the toys in Toyland within hours of arriving. This alone can provide hours, weeks and months of endless amusement. Where else in the world is ‘entertainment’ a euphemism for ejaculation?
Some of your kindred spirits enjoy this part of their journey so much that they never get past this point.

Maybe you are different and you do pass that point, and decide that you would actually like to have some long-term company, a proper relationship to replace the endless merry-go-round of short-term liaisons that Toyland offers. As Jimmy Hendrix
once famously said, “loneliness is such a fxxxing drag”.

It is not at all hard to find possible candidates to fill the position of your new companion in life, in fact most of the partners you have met from short-term liaisons would love the chance of having a more predictable, longer term relationship
with someone exactly like you.

You’ve read all the stories, you know to take a partner from Toyland is fraught with danger. But the facts of life are that you have reached that stage in your life where nobody is going to come drooling over you because you are young
and handsome. Nobody’s knees are not going to turn week at the sight of you. Nobody will love you for who you really are, even if they bothered to find out about you. No matter! You are in Toyland. They are interested in you anyway! Why?
It’s simple. There is a remote possibility that you could secure some poor family’s future.

Dear mister forty something, fifty something, with your emotional scars from your previous life in the rich west, have you any idea what it is like to be poor? Really poor? Most of us have had that sinking feeling in our stomachs when we
have struggled to pay the bills at various times in our lives. But which of us has ever not been sure where the next meal is coming from? Imagine living at the arse end of society in Toyland. Toyland has a big arse-end, where life’s safety
nets are only provided by your family, all of who are dirt poor. Do you know what happens if someone you care about gets really sick and can’t afford the treatment they need? They die! It’s that simple! Now look at yourself. There
is nothing about you that even looks like that you know anything about poverty. That’s why to many of Toyland’s citizens, you are attractive, sexy and interesting.

At some point the time seems right and you decide to take the plunge. Maybe you bought into the Toyland fantasy too fully and fell in love. Maybe you went into this decision with your eyes open. You start to work on a relationship where you
provide all of the where-with-all in return for long-term company in order to deal with your loneliness and your boredom. It’s a relationship in which you hope you will find all of the trimmings that you were used to from relationships
in the rich west, and it will certainly provide you with the emotional rollercoaster ride that many seem to yearn for. Goodbye Toyland. Welcome to Thailand! And by the way, good luck!

Now we all know that she is not really a good girl, and that she is not really ‘different’ either, so please don’t try to tell us anything else. Maybe, wisely, you realised that maybe you are not that good either. But
then everybody deserves to find happiness. She is your lottery ticket in the game of life, and you are hers. Can you win? Did you ever win in the lottery? Probably not, but then again, somebody has to win sometime, don’t they? Get some
more sage advice and do your homework. If this one doesn’t work out then you can always throw her back into the pond. Who knows, the next one might be right.

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What should you be asking yourself before your brains get fried? For starters, do you genuinely like each other? You wouldn’t be talking to her unless you found her interesting for some reason, but does she really like you?

You started as one of her customers. The sex was hot! You may be changing your status from a regular short time customer to a long-term customer, but deep down, for her you are still a customer.

Xenophobia and the world-class education system that Thailand fails to provide its citizens with guarantees that most Thai working ladies will see their customers as an almost alien life form. You are not Thai. She can’t even begin
to comprehend where you come from emotionally, culturally, not even geographically. So you come from Canada. Wow, where in Europe is that close to exactly? You look different, you have a different outlook and different ways of behaving which to
her will seem very strange. Just like an alien. If you cut yourself shaving in front of her, your new friend might even be surprised to see that you have blood, just like hers.

Don’t forget, the fact that you are no longer young and handsome makes you even stranger to her. You and your odd ways are tolerated because you are her means to make a living, and you will be paying. She will be pleasant and polite
to you but that doesn’t necessarily mean that she really likes you. How can you know? The problem is you can’t and you won’t, maybe not for a few months and an awful lot of baht. In the meantime your brains continue to fry.

Could you start as friends? Maybe, but surely not as close friends? Do any of your friends like you just because you are paying? And do you keep on jumping on your friends every time you get the urge? Hopefully not! Chances are your friends
would still be your friends if you were broke and physically incapacitated. How long would your new lady stay with you if you were suddenly impecunious and un-functioning? Seconds? Minutes? Hours? Days? Certainly not weeks!

Talking about money, can you actually afford each other? Can you afford to pay her what she is used to earning with her legs in the air so that she can devote her entire attention and energy to you? Could she afford to accept less, and would
it be fair to expect her to take less? Probably not.

The amounts you will need to pay her may be substantial. A highly professional strapping young pole hugger in her prime may be making a small fortune each month. Up to 60 to 80,000 is not unheard of. A top draw freelancer with a swathe of
mobile phones full of customers can make up to 40 to 60,000, and an attractive and popular soapy massage lady might expect to make 30 to 40,000 a month. Why should they take less to be with you? They shouldn’t. In fact, maybe they should
take more.

Why? Well don’t believe that you are ‘saving’ anybody from anything. Being with you may actually not be quite as sanook sabai for your new friend as if she stayed exactly where you found her. With her job as
it is she has a stronger sense of being in control of her own destiny, a strong sense of freedom. That sense of individual freedom goes to the core of what being Thai means. She has her work friends, they keep each other company, they eat together,
and they will help each other when someone has a problem. There is a strong sense of community, just like being at home in the village. It's also possible that she finds the prospect of going to work knowing she is going to be bonking, but
not knowing exactly who she is going to be bonking, just a little bit exciting. Being able to catch a customer, particularly in a slightly competitive environment, gives many of these women a great sense of empowerment. In ‘saving’
her, you are about to take all of this away. What do you mean you want her to stay at home and go back to school? How boring!

What ever the figure you both settle on is, make an extra allowance of an extra 25% to take into account going out together, shopping, going on trips etc etc. Did you really think she was going to split those bills with you? Are you kidding?
She wouldn’t spend much of her own money on that sort of stuff. After all, she understands poverty, and you don’t, not really, not deep down.

But anyway, you do some kind of deal…

Now you expect her to devote her entire attentions to you, but can you really trust her to stop working? How much time, how much money, and how many trips to the gold shop will it take for you to show her that you are sufficiently committed,
and that she can really depend on you to keep on providing security for her?

Well, the short answer is probably a lot. One reason is that even if you aspire to sainthood, she will struggle to trust you. Why? Well, where did she meet you? What is her view of men like you, from the many men like you that she has experienced?
Imagine her trying to tell her friends about you. Well, he is different…!!! After they have finished laughing behind her back they will all be taking bets on how long it can last, and asking her about how much money she can extract from you
before your attention is drawn to somebody even more alluring. And be 100% sure that if she doesn’t trust you, she will have absolutely no qualms about cheating on you.

How long do you realistically think it will really take for her to feel safe enough to sever her ties with her place of work, or to remove all of those past ‘boyfriends’ from her mobile phone(s)? And if you have half a brain,
how long do you think it will take for you not to have that deep sinking sense that she is not playing around behind your back if you have to leave her alone for a few days, weeks or months. Mutual trust is going to be a huge issue in this new
and wondrous relationship of yours. If you think she is cheating on you, she probably is. Are you still up for it? You are a very brave man.

But you throw caution to the wind and you give it a go anyway.

You started your relationship with her in a horizontal position, and the quality of your sex life together will have been a major factor that forgives transgressions, renews your determination and softens any of the doubts that you might
have had about the sanity of this relationship. Will hot sex between you endure?

You are at the age where you are beginning to be scared about losing your sex drive, so the answer to this question for you is very important. Finding someone who makes you feel horny is a major factor in making you feel young. Fortunately
for you, various chemical enhancements will ensure that you can probably keep going with this feeling until you are ready to pop your clogs.

But what about your new friend? She clearly knows how to push your buttons, but does she really enjoy and need sex as much as you do? If she shares your hunger now, it's partly because she is a lot younger than you, and also she knows
that she needs to keep you happy. Otherwise you might go away, and quickly. Everybody, including her, knows that hot sexy ladies are two a penny in Toyland.

Ask yourself this. What would happen if you told her she had a complete free choice between horizontal fun with you and watching a TV soap, what do you think would win? Really?? Heaven help you if the Thai TV networks put soaps on all day
and all night!

In reality, her fascination with sex is likely to be a lot lower than yours. If she was capable of being completely honest with you, she might even tell you that she is not that bothered about it. When it’s a job, it somehow loses
its magic. There is a big difference between bonking and making love. She is an expert at bonking. And it may take quite some time before she makes love with you. Worse, even if she seems hot and horny now, as she gets a bit older her interest
will decline a lot faster than yours will. Right now the chemical enhancers available to men of a certain age are not available to ladies. You think you will still like her when that happens?

Getting past sex, is there a meeting of minds between the two of you? What, if anything do you talk about? When you have less than 100 words of Thai, and she less than 100 words of the languages you can speak, communication and sharing of
interests may be a bit limited. Never mind! Since your whole journey through this stage of your life is based on blind optimism, you can always live in hope that there will be a meeting of minds between the two of you, eventually!

So what mutual interests have you got? Have you developed an addiction to Thai TV soaps and Thai gossip magazines? Do you love going to the disco or to karaoke? Well, you look great on the dance floor, and no, you don’t look too fat
or too old or too stupid, at least not very! What about her? Will she ever develop a fascination for what ever it is that interests you? World politics? Philosophy? Mongolian rubber doorknob collecting? Luton Town? Come on!!!

You may not be a rocket scientist, but even the most average western education will have provided you with the means to think through problems and the ability to analyse and question pretty much everything, apart, or course, from this new
and wonderful relationship that you are in. She has between six to twelve years experience gained from a system that discourages any form of thinking. Don’t analyse and question! Mai kit mak! Only her ‘school of hard knocks’
experiences gained from the ‘making money with farang’ working environment gives her an intellectual edge over you in this new and wonderful life of yours.

But by now you think you love her so on you go…

Next you meet her friends and family. You may assume, having heard her tell you endlessly that Thai men are no good, that her family will welcome the farang boyfriend with open arms. When you eventually do get to meet them, they will certainly
be polite, particularly if you are continually putting your hand in your pocket for a big night out or even a new pick-up truck. Your largess and your overall capacity to be generous will be pondered and debated by them, hopefully with some awe,
and the trinkets you dispense, even when large and expensive, will be received gratefully, but then their source quickly forgotten. Don’t expect much, if anything in return from them. They have little if anything to give you beyond their
acceptance of you, and that acceptance may be a long, long time in coming.

If there is a problem between you and your new love interest, don’t expect her relatives to be sympathetic, or to be objective. They will be as thick as thieves with her for fear of telling you anything that might compromise her relationship,
and stream of income from you. Even if you become obnoxious and difficult, they will put pressure on her to stay with you. Certainly don’t expect any of them to come and blab to you about her Thai boyfriend or the real reason for why the
farm is in hock.

And her friends? Will you like them? They are likely to come from the same stable that you found her in. Conversations about silicone tits, tattoos, weird guys from Iran, why Indians smell so bad and are such cheap Charlies, and other fascinating
insights concerning their work a day lives and the sexual peccadilloes of their clients, interspersed with insights on where you can get the best som tum may be fascinating for you at first, but may get a little tedious eventually.

You might think you have really arrived when you are made privy to conversations concerning how much money those friends of hers are making. Be cautious when this happens. Being told that her best buddy is fleecing a German for a not inconsiderable
fortune each month is most probably a not so gentle hint to you that you should be matching his Teutonic largesse.

On your side, your newfound farang buddies in Thailand will probably tolerate your new friend, so long as they don’t actually witness her making you unhappy. After all, many of them, like you, will be paid up members of the Lost Boys

In the event that you are a high earning expat, expect your work colleagues, particularly your Thai work colleagues, to shake their heads sadly and knowingly, and to avoid you until you see the error of your ways, and turn up with someone
who is more ‘respectable’.

And what about your family back in Farangland? Hopefully your new friend is highly presentable, charming and clearly besotted with you. If she isn’t and has considerably more tattoos and piercings than you, and also looks younger than
your daughter, prepare for your family to be in shock horror and disbelief mode. She might as well have been a ladyboy! They would probably have preferred it for you to announce that you are gay!

Still hanging on in there? You are either very brave or very stupid.

The next hurdle to building a life of conjugal bliss with your new friend is to establish whether or not you can become a good enduring team to face life’s challenges. Will you continue to make each other happy and have a relationship
that endures?

Let's assume the money doesn’t run out, and you can endure the odd tantrum, sulk, and other cultural misunderstanding, and that terminal boredom doesn’t set in. You both know that this wonderful relationship is not and
will never be based on shared values and beliefs. It is based purely on complimentary needs. Yours for company matched by hers for economic security. No matter, maybe it will still work. What if it doesn’t?

In the rich west, if a significant relationship develops problems, there are an army of counsellors and psychologists on hand to help fix the problem. In Thailand, life is simple and hard. One of you will eventually walk away. The fact is
that the one of you who makes the lowest emotional contribution to this wonderful relationship is also the one likely to hold the balance of power in it, who can determine whether it works or not. This will be the one who walks away, and the one
who gets hurt least. Dear mister forty something, fifty something, God and Buddha help you if that one is not you. Be careful out there.

Stickman's thoughts:

Oh so many excellent points made. If only guys would actually listen. I loved the line asking whether the gent is very brave or very stupid!

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