The Morality of Mongering
What I love about the current inquiry and debate amongst some readers about the ethics and morality of men's pursuit of available sexual pleasure in Thailand is how conflicted men's souls are about it all. The scale runs from 'nil' to 'agonizing guilt' in the range of feelings, some men's passions running high at the suggestions of others who seem to accuse other men of misunderstanding their position, or being insensitive to the women involved in the business, or incapable of a normal range of human emotion. But there is one standout feature amongst all of the writing: there is hardly any attempt beyond male personal opinions or emotional projections about what women feel about 'the business.' On the other hand there is a great deal about feelings and guilt (or lack thereof) delivered in our male sex's direct and linear way of what we believe to be rational thought. We make arguments from what we know but what we aren't really certain what we know because none of us is a woman and none of us looks at life from a woman's point of view. Many of us have been so soaked in our upbringing by the wet blanket of the Feminist mantra of 'sexual equality' that we believe we and women actually think along the same lines. And yet, we males, well nearly all of us who are not yet socio-paths, have a small spot within us that has been buffed up within our nature that leads us to believe we must protect women, especially women we identify through our own mysterious mental and emotional processes, as vulnerable-the word 'young' is nearly always in the equation.
I have no over-arching philosophy or set of guidelines to offer my fellow men on the issue of morality/ethics in paid for sex though I have much experience with the topic. All of it, however, has only led to ask more questions of myself and made me wonder about the life that men and women seem to want to share.
To begin with, it is my observation that in the modern world there is, in fact only a single morality remaining and it has hemmed men in, especially in the Western world. It is sexual morality. We go to war for reasons unclear to us, participate at a distance in the mass dislocation and death of people we hardly know for reasons we don't understand, live apart willingly from the fathers and mothers we should honour. Everyone lies, governments, banks, employers, even friends. I know that sex between men and women is natural and it has the purpose of preserving the human race, a very great good, but why is it imbued with more rules and provisos than an excursion to war or banking regulations? And why aren't they universal, easily understood and implemented across the world? I'd really like an answer to that.
And I'd like to know who devised these rules. There are rules that are based in law and others that seem to have the force of law through social sanctions with their own penalties, but only for some. Mick Jagger can have all the girlfriends and wives and children he likes but your neighbour in your small town can't even if he has the money. You can sleep with as many women as will accept you, but you can't have more than one legal wife. It's OK to have sex with a female aged 14 in Peru but not in New York. Both laws are equally valid but it just depends who you are and where you are. You can have a wife and a mistress and be thought of as a man whose privacy should not be intruded upon by civilized society (Francois Mitterand) until you're dead, but the same doesn't go for Prince Charles. So, who decides these things and what are the 'good things' they are intended to achieve between men and women?
I'd like to know that when a man says he loves a woman and the woman says she loves him back, if they are using the same word with identical meaning. In fact, I'd like to know if men amongst themselves have the same meaning of the word. What's the difference between infatuation and love, an easy definition we can all understand?
All sexual research I have read about males and females tells me there is an imbalance between the ability of men and women to achieve orgasm. The famous late 20th century orgasm described as the female 'G-Spot' has been found to be a myth by researchers in the UK (who better to do it, right?) Men's sexual pleasure is easily understood-there is even evidence it has occurred, but women's…unknown. So, what we have then are the seeds of a classic bargaining situation imposed by Nature in the matter of sexual satisfaction. Keep in mind that this imbalance is natural, not sought by either sex for advantage. One sex does not get in equal measure from the other and that means there is a possibility of equalizers being brought to the table. This imbalance exists in all relationships between men and women, between what men term 'good women' and 'fallen women.' (Notice I said what men term). Who do you think decides what those equalizers will be and who must agree they are sufficient? The easy question is, who wants what for what?
I always wondered why it is men who give to women. Women do not give anything other than themselves to men while men give shelter, support, adornments, and protection to women. Tell me, and this applies to all intimate relationships between men and women, the proper loving ones and the temporary, shall we say, low emotional content ones, what are women's obligations towards men-what do women owe men in this life as a sex.
When most men think about the short term satisfaction of their natural need for self expression of their sexual nature, an expression with a female that has low personal interaction and virtually no enduring content, why do some us have such guilt attacks about our behaviour with the woman and our effect upon the woman? Why is it usually 'young and attractive' women we have these attacks of the heart about? You hardly ever hear of anyone having such experience with an older woman. Where does all the concern about 'damage' come from in the male heart? Do women have the same feelings about damaging men? Yes? How do you know?
Most writers focus on the money as the reason women enter the The Game as it is known in England, and men, on average being the greatest money earners in this world (to provide the resources for self and women and families), use it sometimes to exchange for short time sexual relief. Why, if women care about men, do they not engage in such activity more frequently with men for no cost and no attachment, in the interests of peace and harmony for both the sexes? I mean women know men are attracted to them-they can see it in our eyes. They soon know what effect they can have upon us, curing us for a few days of our affliction. Why would they not want to help us out of the goodness of their hearts? Why must men give? Would our guilt go away without handing over money? Would our wives react the same if, in the morning after a really good session the night before in our marital bed, we pressed money directly into their hands and thanked them for their cooperation instead of letting them go shopping on our funded credit cards?
When a naive girl from the country becomes embroiled in The Game with, usually white Western males from the cultures of the world that are not only the richest but have produced every know innovation to a comfortable life a person of any nation can have, do you think she is repulsed or attracted to what she must do to acquire some of it? Is sex with a lot of men to the woman's liking a disgusting thing? Is it disgusting only with some men-I mean men not like us? Is it disgusting for men to have a lot of sex with women to their liking? Do you think an inexperienced girl might be curious about sex with white skinned men, never mind the remuneration? At least until the men begin to become bored with them or fail to deliver on their promises of a future and love and all that?
Well, I could go on but there are far more questions men must ask themselves about themselves and women before they begin to approach an understanding of both 'proper' and 'improper' intimacy and all the possible outcomes from that. The questions and the way the answers apply to each of us is virtually unlimited.
Let me leave you with a curious story I read not long ago in MacLean's, a Canadian newsmagazine.
A Canadian model, 20 years old and married to her 21 year-old husband, gave up her modelling job in Europe and the two set off to Japan for some cultural adventure. The girl obviously had looks and experience in a legitimate occupation but she decided, with hubby's agreement, to work in a Japanese high-end hostess bar patronized by business executives-Thaniya Plaza would have something of a whiff about it, but just a whiff. Now this Tokyo bar was not a sex bar. It was a place where senior Japanese executives would go after work or for an evening and relax with drinks in the company of hostesses, away from their wives and demands of their jobs. Bar patrons could take girls on shopping trips and days away on their Singapore moored yachts, but sex was not on the cards. The girl said all she really did was pay attention to her customers, take care of their drinks, laugh at their jokes and listen to them. She even mentioned that, aside from the odd trip, she really didn't make huge amounts of money from either her salary or her drinks tips and share. After about three months, she said, she felt like an emotional prostitute and soon after that she felt pretty much nothing more than boredom and something verging on contempt for her customers and she soon left the business.
Now, there has been a lot of talk about damage to young women in the bar scene in Thailand and how soon it occurs. I like this story because it holds men's behaviour with women up to a non-sexual, apart from the flirting aspects, light. It made me ask myself how women really perceive us men. Are we, apart from our riches and foreign looks, exciting for women all the time, interesting guys that get them panting to get us into bed? Do women use their looks and guile to exploit our loneliness and fake us into to some space where we feel, even for the briefest of time, that we are accepted for who we really are as personalities? Do we always have to be in the position of givers to get what we need from women? Do 'good girls' treat us this way, managing the imbalance between our two natures to get what equalizers they need? Is there a power arrangement between the sexes that few of us males understand until we have enough experience? And if there is, which sex has the stronger bargaining position? Sure about that. Sure that the money is the root of the problem? What about time? Time is the great leveller in the intimate relationships of men and women, time to have and get the things one perceives are essential to a full and proper life, be they material or spiritual, but time is not meted out equally to men and women, is it? Makes you think, doesn't it?
Oh, it is all so complicated and worthy of a life long quest for every man which can lead, invariably, only to personal answers and accommodation. There are no schools or universities to offer courses, no maps, no personal trainers to help us. This quest is at the very heart of the meaning of life itself.
All of those questions would take a lifetime to answer.