Thai Women, The Sex Paradise Myth
THE SEX PARADISE MYTH
Let’s face it: Thailand is still being publicized worldwide as the ultimate sex paradise. Our aim is to prove that this fable conceals an unappealing truth: at his most, Thailand could be defined as a cheap and greasy McDonald’s for poor, primitive, alienated sexuality. This myth of Thailand being a sex paradise has been absorbed into reality, creating an ‘ ideology’ of Thai woman, as being the most desirable, erotic-oriented, uncomplicated and sex-willing being on the planet… The core fact that Thailand has the highest rate (official and unofficial) of prostitutes in the world (not in absolute terms, but related to the population) should already be a sign of the fact that, at a relational level, something is basically, structurally wrong in this country. Widespread prostitution has always been a fundamental part of the Thai approach to sexuality. Prostitution empowers a one-dimensional sight on sexuality and reflects the massive flattening of human values and diversities, which is consistent with the general one-dimensional thought and behaviour, which forms the specific Thai way of living and thinking.
Sure, you can find lot of sex McDonald’s in Thailand. Sure, you can release your surplus of sexual tension, if this is what you want. But there is a huge difference between gastronomy and survival nutrition, just as there is between ‘genitalism’ and sex, and between sex and eroticism. Let’s postulate a hierarchic structure, let's say a pyramid: at the base you will find the genital urge (let’s call it genitalism). In the middle you will find sexuality, which is the genital urge but enriched with a certain degree of emotion-consciousness plus individuality-related skills: at the top of the pyramid you will find eroticism, which could be defined as sexuality enriched with your whole personality, all your emotions, all your being.
So, in a schematic way: genitalism…sex…eroticism.
Inside this schematization of human sexuality, we could postulate that Thailand is stuck at the first level; and that, at least in relation to foreigners, Thailand could be described as a uniform supermarket of sex merchandizing at the first level, genitalism.
But we are convinced that genitalism is not only a trademark of the sex-for-money trade, but a trademark of Thai sex culture in its whole. In other words that the primitive, genitalistic view on sex found in the sex business basically reflects the primitive, genitalistic view on sex in Thai society as a whole.
GENITALISM VERSUS EROTICISM
“For me sex is like food when I am hungry. When I am hungry I eat. When I feel I need sex, I have sex. After sex I do not like to stay with a man, like I do not like to stay in a restaurant when I am done with eating” (Noi, Bangkok, 27 years)
This localization and contraction of libido, this dramatic de-eroticizing of the sexual experience, this tragic desublimation of the love playing is common goods in the Thai concept of sex. What we called genitalism is the role model, the norm. Genitalism could be defined as the lowest (evolutionary) step of sexual experience, at a level where no involvement whatsoever of the individual and his personality is required: genitalism is mechanical, interchangeable, de-individualized aspect of sexuality. This aspect of de-individualization of sexual experience is often very strong among Thai females:
“Basically when I feel horny, I do not care about which man I will get. It does not mean I am cheap: the man must do it best to get me. I am not a hooker.” (Da, Bangkok, 31 years).
‘Men are all the same. I do not care about them. They have to take care of me” (Jennifer, Rayong, 25 years)
This practical, cynical administration of libido is common goods among Thai females.
Its mean features are:
– genitalism versus eroticism. Genitalism is basic an autarchic function, needing only the ‘functional’ connection of the sex act itself, but nothing more. We could say it is the most autistic level of sexual experience, the level where the less ‘ exchanges of meaning’ between partners is required. It is an horizontal dimension, whereas eroticism is a vertical one.
– Need versus culture. The view of sex is based on ‘need’, not on ‘ expressing’ or even connecting. Instinct is need, culture is expressing those needs in a human, cultural context. Genitalism is need, eroticism is culture, communication.
“I hate those men who want to talk talk talk before and after sex. They give me only an headache” (Baat, Khon Khaen, 29 years)
The accent is on the passive, on the mechanical, not on the creative, on the active.
Genitalism is the sexual experience of the idiotic, one-dimensional woman, of the depersonalized individual, standardized, emptied of his individuality. It does not requires a real connection between two individuals. Maybe, this idea of sex as a connection between two individuals, and thus of an exchange of meaning, is a typical western one: even when they are looking for a money-for-sex experience, many foreigners are still, consciously or unconsciously, looking for some kind of human connection: for an exchange of meaning between two individuals.
“ Every time I asked her a question, she smiled and said nothing. I got crazy, I could hit her…” (Mark, American, 44 years old)
-Reassessment of her personal values versus communication. This autistic attitude, hidden behind a veil of apparently empathetic, warm courtesy, is one of the topics driving most foreigners crazy. This sense of disconnection, linked to a genitalistic view on sexuality, involves all categories of daily life, creating a typical ‘ Thai pattern’.
‘I can never get close to them. If I stay with one of them for one day or one year, it does not matter or makes any difference. You never really get connected’ (Anton, Holland, 55 years).
Genitalism is in some way the de-eroticization of life and all its aspects through a philosophy of dire needs fulfilling. But we have to introduce an important nuance:
This rude, hopeless and horizontal de-eroticization of life is apparently in contrast with the urban eroticization of every aspect of life, which we can view for instance in Bangkok or in Chiang Mai or any major Thai city: and also in apparent contrast with the hypersexualisation of the urban female, apparently constantly obsessed by the sexualisation of her appearance. Fact is that the apparently refined hyper sexualised appearance of this urban Thai female prototype seems to contradict her primitive, genitalistic view on sexuality:
‘When I saw Noi, looking and moving like an experienced model, I thought I had found the ultimate epitome of feminine refinement. Nothing appeared to be less true.
Once in bed, she wound up to be childish, inexperienced, apathetic, and almost uninterested in what was happening. It was like if she was not there. It has been a somehow weird experience” (John, Canadian, 47 years).
And thus: the message sent by the woman is contradictory: form and content do not match. The typical dualistic pattern we find in all aspects of the Thai female daily life…
THE DUALISTIC PATTERN
In Thailand a concept, a social pattern, a problem usually reflects itself – upside-down- in its opposite. As in Alice in Wonderland, everything reflects and eventually MEANS its opposite. Sometimes this mechanical ‘ upsidedownization’ becomes too predictable. It is a mechanism of the mind, but also of Thai society as a whole. Most of the initial charm experienced by foreigners in their first recognition of Thai daily life rests on the ignorance of this duality: experienced expats, on the contrary, feel often bored and entrapped in the replicable character of this specular game, even if sometimes they are not conscientious of it at a rational level.. The problem is to recognize the pathological, functional (for the surviving of the ‘patient’) aspect of this simple mechanism. Let’s notice that often an external feature finds its updownization in a correspondent ‘ internal’ one, and vice versa. So, to refer only to a few examples:
– Hypersexualisation of the appearance… updownization… Lack of a stable sexual identity, feeble and insecure ego, low libido, passivity.
“When I started to date Bella, she looked as a self-confident, sexual, warm woman. But once we slept together, I discovered a totally different woman: insecure, passive, frustrated, childish and not interested in sex at all .My disappointment was huge…”
(Eric, Belgium, 51 years)
-Barriers to communication…updownisation…nothing to communicate at all
“… Once we started to live together, she became less and less talkative, looked bored every time I tried to start a conversation. She felt in a kind of apathetic lethargy. I started to think she had some problems and did not want to involve me. But after a few weeks I was sure that this apathy did not veil anything else. I think it is her real nature…” (Patrick, Scotland, 59 years)
-Fear of not looking spotless…updonwization… feeling of being impure, dirty inside.
“ She spent more time in the bathroom than she spent for any other activity. Sometimes I lost my patience and called her in a somehow rude manner: The way she looked at me, I think she could have killed me…” (Francois, French,33 years)
– Anorexic appearance…updownization…strong desire to in globe, oral unfulfillment and character, repressed aggressive feelings.
‘She always had the feeling she was too fat, no matter how little she ate, no matter her weight dropped under 40kilos.This made her more tired, more apathetic, more disconnected with me. Her energy level dropped dramatically. But when we were in a shopping mall, she had the urge to walk in there for hours, and buy lot of unnecessary things. If I said something about that, she got angry, almost aggressive…” (Marc, USA, 61 years)
If many Thai females have a genitalistic, primitive approach to sexuality, lot of them seem to be stuck in a pre-genital phase of their sexual development.. The dominance of the oral and anal phase is often rampant. Oral and anal phase characterize the age ranges between 0 and 3 and between 3 and 6 years. Sexual feelings are there, but not yet genitalized. It would be a somehow too easy shortcut to state that the childish character of the vast majority of Thai women is reflected and supported by this pregenital pattern. However, lots of signals are out there to support this hypothesis:
-The incredible number of transvestites, gays, lesbians, half gays, half lesbians, and a huge army of amorphous, androgynies, undecided creatures with an apparently undefined, uncertain or at least unspottable gender definition…No country in the entire world where the sex gender definition is so fluid. No country in the world with such a high rate of gays, lesbians, transvestites. No country in the world where the feminization even of the ‘ regular’ man is so developed, encouraged, massified (I want to stress the fact that this spectacular feminization en masse has nothing to do with the culturally correct and fancy western valorization of the hidden ‘ feminine’ inside each man. This process in western culture aims to temper somehow the rudeness and the aggression of the male, whereas in Thailand this is absolutely not the case)
It would be easy to state that they are all stuck in an oral phase of their sexual development, where the dominance (of the total lack) of the relation with the mother-figure plays a central role. The need to be fed through the mother, the totemization of the role of the mother, which is sacred, whereas the father is often literally not there or playing a marginal, insignificant role, is typical of the oral phase of a child development.
-The absence of the father or of a father figure in the first years of a child is almost a cliché in Thai culture. Usually an army of grandmothers, aunties, female relatives, even female neighbours follow the development of Thai children in their early years. It is until a certain extent a matriarchal pattern. With a huge difference with other matriarchal patterns, in which the man may not be at home often, but still involved in activities of productive nature linked to manhood: activities reinforcing the ‘cultural‘ need for a manhood presence within the activities of the family. In Thai culture (especially in the country side) the man is just absent, not there, insignificant, not productive, not educating, not fulfilling any significant role in the eyes of the child. This of course reinforces the ‘ oral’ dependence of the child from the mother figure: mother, or auntie, or female neighbour, it does not matter. The total absence of a father figure is also a decisive factor in disrupting the sexual identity of the Thai child. Feelings of frustration, uncertainty, revenge, lack of a cantered identity formed by the balanced presence of a father and a mother in the children years, all that is a dramatic and common prerequisite for the clumsy, contradictory and often apparently illogic , pregenital or mere genitalistic approach to sexuality of the Thai female later.
-This unresolved issue of the oral predominance phase in children years could also explain why Thai females are so obsessed with food. And explain the huge, obsessive importance of food at all levels of Thai life and culture. This emphasis on food becomes pathological when the consequences bring the individual in an anorexic or bulimic pattern.
‘Basically, every time I want to make love to her, she want to eat something first.’
(Roland, Norwegian, 49 years.)
It is well known that anorexia and bulimia are typical of individuals stuck in the oral and/or anal phase of their sexual development. Aside from the individual, the social pattern emphasizes an anorexic type of beauty. In the anorexic pattern the power of will plays a central role; this constant attempt to ‘control’ the instinctual need for food (and thus for gratification and pleasure) is typical of the schizoid personality, always scared of losing control about his/her image, and more widely, to lose control on his/her life. This fear of losing control about her appearance is quite obsessive in Thai women, and the anorexic pattern just fits into this model.
‘ I know I am not too fat. But if I eat I have the feeling I lose control on everything. I want to stay in control. I want to be the boss” (Joy, Buriram, 41 years)
-Main feature of the anal phase is a compulsive, pathologic need for acquiring, possessing, accumulating. The spending drift of Thai women is almost a legend: inadequacy in budgeting, total lack of capacity in discerning what is necessary from what is redundant, childish tendency to immediate fulfilling of a buying drift…All attitudes typical of the anal phase, when the child, between 3 and 6 years, not more focused on his basic survival needs, becomes territorial and tries to expand his boundaries and tease the parental authority in order to do so (of course the foreigner in this case becomes a substitute for the parental authority and the huge commercial centres in Thai cities become the trenches of this extenuating battle…)
THE MEDIUM IS THE MESSAGE…
The strong boundaries experienced by Thai women in their communication skills, quite childish and primitive to say the least in the field of verbal and written communication, implies a shift in those same communication skills. It is an obvious fact that it is impossible, even at the most passive level of existence, to not communicate. Silence is a message. Apathy is a message. Shutting down the in and out-put ports of basic human communication is a message…Each level of communication implies a certain amount of aggression: a desire to expand, to go beyond the boundaries of the individual. Thus, this desire is often entirely ‘somatized’ by Thai women: they carry their messages within the boundaries of their sole appearance. Clothes, make-up, the often fixed and apathetic expression of their faces, the calculated sexualisation of their outfits, the almost autistic commitment to their mobile (the most tragic and symbolic extension of their lack of communication skills), this all IS the message. Tragic and sometimes comic embodiment of the well known adagio: the medium is the message…
“One day, trying to discover a little bit about her character, I asked her: tell me what are you feeling now, at his moment. She looked at me with her usual, empty expression and she said: nothing. I am thinking nothing. I am feeling nothing.
I said to her: it is impossible to feel nothing. Now, we are crossing a bridge: how it looks like? She looked at me and answered: it looks like a bridge. Just a bridge.
I gave up asking…” (Frederich, German, 49 years, talking about his Thai girlfriend)
This total de-sublimation of reality is sometimes driving foreigners crazy. The core and sole appearance of a person becomes thus the ONLY message this person is able to carry: the sense of a depth, of some kind of meaning behind the daily stream of daily occurrences is totally wiped out: life becomes an horizontal hopping from point to point, with nothing do discover, nothing to experience, and where of course nothing needs to be communicated, for the simple reason that what needs to be communicated is out there, inherent to the circus of human appearance, inherent to the boring unfolding of daily events…
So, basically, Thai women have nothing to say because their sole appearance is supposed to tell enough about themselves: just as, from their point of view, the sole appearance of a foreigner is supposed to ‘ carry’ all the messages needed for basic social communication and/or interaction of meanings. Hence, categorization becomes rampant, and each sense of individuality is grossly wiped out at the very beginning.
THE ALMIGHTY CATEGORIZATION OF LIFE
Because the message is out there, inherent to persons, events and even objects, and because of the absence of a ‘ vertical’ dimension, allowing to analyze, deduct, ponder,
categorization of all aspects of life becomes imperative. The anarchy of what is communicable is exorcised through a strong, precognitive categorization of all aspects of life. This categorization is of course no matter of personal choice but is the result of familiar, environmental and social manipulation and control. Communication, as an effort to discern the rationality behind the events of daily life, is wiped out; or, better said, no more need for it: there is no need to communicate anymore , even at the most private level, in a world where the meaning of everything has already been categorized. Everything has already its place, its meaning, making reality not confrontational any more: still harsh, may be, but in some way logical, and because logical not communicable. A paradox? Not for those who know the universe of Thai women. Communication with a Thai female becomes then ritualized, following some pre-recorded grooves: no matter how hard a foreigner will try to lure a Thai female to new insights, perspectives, or even feelings. The armour of categorization is there, invisible.
“I can never have a discussion, or even a basic exchange of opinions, with my Thai girlfriend. This is why each of us wound up having his own circle of friends and social habits. No possible exchange between them. As a foreigner you have to accept to have a very basic relationship with a Thai woman, with no communication, no dialogue, no interaction. This is not due to the fact that we speak different languages: I speak decent Thai and her English is excellent” (Robert, Swiss. 38 years)
It is obvious that this armouring formed by obstinate categorization is not only a cognitive one, but involves also the emotional level. In fact, if at a cognitive level we can speak of a fatal cognitive distortion scientifically encouraged by a strong repressive society, where freedom and manipulation are strictly correlated, at an emotional level we are talking about ‘ symptoms’ linked to an alienation which has all characteristics a schizophrenic model.
Furthermore, categorization ‘ blocks’ the personality at her present level, making any improvement or change impossible. In fact this categorization moulds the person since her children years, and this could explain the relatively childish character of Thai women, and the often pre-pubertal level of their intellectual, emotional and interactive skills.
‘ In fact I had several girlfriends here in Thailand, and I consider them all as children.
This makes them more easy to manipulate, and in some way makes them less dangerous, because you can know in advance what they want and the way they will act. They are predictable, and this relaxes me; in some way all of them are much easier to handle than my former German wife, who was neurotic, weird, and very intelligent…’ (Franz, German, 55 years)
THE PERPETUAL SLEEP
We could define ‘sleep’(being awake) as a total lack of ability at looking inside yourself: lack of introspection, of attention, of focusing on feelings, emotions, life. This is of course not the real sleep, which is pretty the same for everybody, but the kind of sleep people experience while they are awake. Full consciousness to the actual moment, a Buddhist concept…Well, I have never met people so disconnected from the capacity of focusing on the actual moment like Thai women. Disconnection is like a sleeping-state in the day, an armour defending people from the full impact of the daily experiences. This ‘sleepy state’ beyond sleep is something that all foreigners having a relationship with a Thai female have experienced: she is there, bodily there, but it is like she is not there, like she is not fully ‘connected’. When she looks, she looks through a veil, when she talks her words do not come from inside, from the emotional connection with the factual world: even when she makes love she is not fully there, present, vibrant, but she is in some kind of not-relatedness with her self and with the environment…This perpetual state of non-relatedness explains the usual disproportion between an external stimulus and the emotional/rational (or better: the absence of emotional/rational response) of her response. This disproportion can have different characteristics:
-Delayed answer. This is maybe the most common ‘symptom’ of this disconnection, of her non-relatedness. The answer to a specific stimulus, or input, comes ways too late than expected. This explains the’ comic’ character of verbal fights between foreigners and Thai females: the delayed answer of the woman can come hours or even days after the ‘ input’ or stimulus of the foreigner. Sometimes the foreigner misinterprets the answer, just because he cannot put it ‘ in context’: the context being not there any more !.Let’s notice that this phenomenon of delayed emotional/rational response to a stimulus is typical of schizophrenic individuals.
-Apparent absence of direct answer to a stimulus. Quite common, too. Looks often as an autistic shut down from the outside word. This autistic shut down can be quite gentle, soft and friendly like, and therefore misleading. A smile, for instance, being often interpreted by the foreigner as a status of connectedness/consensus, and being in reality a sign of total disconnection with the factual and the actual. A smile in Thai women can often be a symptom for an autistic disconnection with the environment; whereas obviously for the most foreigners it carries a different meaning, due to its relatively rare occurrence in western daily life…
-Inconsistency in relatedness with environmental stimuli. This inconsistence can express itself in the form of under relatedness or over relatedness. Like in a dream state, the relatedness with a stimulus is often ‘ distorted'. When we wake up and we recollect our dreams, we often feel surprised by our inconsistent response in a dream situation (for example: in a context of danger our legs seem heavy as lead at once and we cannot move): the same feeling of inconsistency or not-logical distortion of the response overwhelms the foreigner founding himself in a conflict situation with a Thai female. Notice that we are not stretching the lack of logic (which can be quite common good in a fight situation between men and women under all latitudes) in a controversial situation between a foreigner and a Thai female, but the lack of consistency, the unrelatedness of the response on the side of the Thai female. The lack of logic in this kind of situations often follows an ‘ own’ pattern which is quite logic inside the universe of perception of the two fighting poles, even if it appears ‘ absurd’ to one of them. Lack of consistency and unrelatedness often does not follows any traceable pattern, at least at the Thai female side, even afterwards, in situation of conflicts with a foreigner.
Under relatedness could be described as a state of communicative anorexia.
Over relatedness as a state of communicative bulimia.
In both cases, the response to the appetite stimulus, and the response to an external emotional stimulus, no proportionality and no logic will be found. Whereas in situations of fights between partners (not involving a Thai woman ), there will almost always be a sense of proportionality,(even if no logic will be found) at least afterwards, this sense of proportionality will often remain undetectable in the case of fight with a Thai female. It is this lack of proportionality, and not its mere illogical aspect, which unveils the pathological aspect of the unrelatedness of Thai females to external stimuli.
Another paradox in the semi-autistic world of Thai female: because of her genitalized view on sexuality, often in pair (paradox within the paradox…) with a hyper-romanticised, pubertal and inconsistent with reality, notion of it, the quality AND the frequency of her intercourses will generally be dramatically low.
They make love seldom, but they make it bad…Statistics show, for instance, that a Brazilian woman , on average, makes love 83 times a month! A Thai female averaging this score on an yearly basis would be viewed as a nymphomaniac, a museal rarity, or at least a human oddity.
It is quite common, for young Thai females (we are obviously not talking about hookers of course, neither about a very small minority of urban, hysterical, hype-addicted, routineously half-nymphomaniacs who also characterize the Thai scene) to abstain from intercourse for months, years, and even decades! This curious sexual abstinence, however, is not the result of a pondered choice, the outcome of a life style , of a philosophy of life, but merely the outcome of a local blend of passivity, inability to communicate feelings and thoughts, lethargy, passive acceptance of group-control and social manipulation on individuals, depersonalization, total disconnection with their own feelings and with the external inputs causing them.
This endemic, pathological sexual abstinence is the outcome of ancient and modern Thai culture, with its widespread, mandatory internalization of emotions and feelings.
Obviously, this internalization of feelings(the ‘ keeping inside’) does not serve the purpose of fine tuning or understanding them, but in the long term aims to just suppress them. Because it is impossible to suppress sexual feelings, but only to relocate them somewhere else in the structure of (un)consciousness, this sexual abstinence will unavoidably reappear somewhere else in a distorted, pathological way. Obviously, because of the lack of experience in the art of seduction and love making, most Thai women lack the ability of discerning those skills in others; it is curious and sad that the art of SEDUCTION is totally non existent in Thai culture.
Seduction presumes the ability of fine tuning two different personalities and characters: it is a cultural and human skill requiring a certain knowledge of your own character, personality, human skills. To be able to seduce you must, until a certain extent, be connected with yourself but also with your Self (your true being), and not only with your Ego; and of course you must, until a certain extent, be able to recognize the true Self of the person you are interested in. All this requires a certain degree of self-connection , connection with the others, and connection with the environment ,which all are dramatically lacking in most Thai females.
Some kind of pubertal, standardized romanticized notion of love serves as ideological rationalization for the total lack of the abovementioned human skills. Sometimes this lack of basic human skills reaches tragicomic proportions, preventing a woman from even recognizing the sexual identity of her ‘target’:
“I was interested in him for more than 5 years. I helped him when he was sick, or just when he needed me for something. I really was in love with him, even he never showed any sexual interest in me. One day he was hospitalized after a motorbike accident. When I went to visit him in the hospital, I found him with a boy; the boy was crying: he was obviously gay. A friend of mine, who came with me to the hospital suggested that they were a couple: I refused to believe her. I went to the toilet, and I cried. But after one hour of observing them, I had to admit the evidence. The man I was trying to get close for more than five years was just gay…” (Yoi, 29 years, Doi Saket)
It took Yoi five years to realize that her potential target was gay! Five years of lethargic loneliness, of no communication, no sex, no friendship, no human gratification, no memories, no future, no present: five years of apathy and human misery…In the same span of time a Brazilian woman, on average, would have scored a magnificent 4980 points in the game of love, excitement, communication, (maybe) happiness…
‘ I cannot have sex with a man I do not love. If I am not one hundred percent sure that I love him and he loves me, no way to share a bed. I am waiting for more then 6 years for a man who really loves me, and that not only is with me because he wants sex with me. But until now I did not find anybody like that. I am tired of looking. I feel no energy anymore. I do not care anymore…” (Oi, 23 years, Chiang Mai)
The story of Oi is the story of million of Thai women. A romantic, pubertal view on love from the side of Thai females is often duplicated by a desublimated, quite immanent and mechanical conception of love matters. It is here, in the core of this very paradox that the sublimating attitude of the romantic/pubertal notion of love meets a cynical, mechanical and man hostile view on those same love matters. The more unrealistic/romantic the approach, the more cynical/man hostile the consequent attitude will be. But this contradiction is only superficial: in fact the very process of idealisation (romantic and pubertal view on love) forecasts and foreshapes the rationalizations of disillusion: thus shaping the cynical side of the same medal.
In fact the romantic/sublimating pole can justify and promote a quite promiscuous attitude, quite close to cynical indifference. because all men ‘ want the same and are the same’, it is a waste of time to try to find the real one. The landscape of flattening individual differences and perspectives is the landscape of anticipated disillusion:
‘I had quite a few foreigners , and came to the conclusion that they all want the same. Now, I do not care want they want or do not want. I just hope to find a man who will support me, that’s all’ (Nid,36 years, Nong Khai)
Illusion (which is in some way disconnection with reality) shapes disillusion (which reinforces with its feedback this disconnection, thus creating new illusions…).And disillusion of course generates a cynical and detached attitude towards reality. Cynicism and detachment flatten the ability to judge, fine tune, experience and enjoy diversity: the world of love becomes dramatically one-dimensional, flattened, static, contracted. This static attitude of Thai females in their view on love (outward and inward) often clinches with the more ‘ dynamic’ vision of love propagated by foreigners. We are not advocating the superiority of the dynamic (foreign) model versus the static (Thai) one. The dynamic model, with its pretensions of changing and fine tuning mutual goals, characters, needs, can be as unrealistic as the static one: and often is WITHIN a Thai context: but at least it offers sometimes the joy of a challenge, the beauty of uncertainty: and the thrill of a chosen destiny.
THE PERPETUAL INFANTILIZATION
Thai females: victims and actors of a new kind of despotism: not more tyrannizing women through direct man-domination, as past despotisms had done, but rather tending to gently infantilize them: keeping them irrevocably fixed in a state of perpetual childhood. Marcuse stressed the concept and importance of a “ resurgence of pregenital ,polymorphous sexuality” as a ‘ protest against the repressive order of procreative sexuality’. Bingo! Take off the protest, of course. Take off the consciousness. Take off the disrupting, revolutionary power of eternal childhood versus the burdens of eternal self-consciousness, where adult (farang!…) seem to be confined: and you will get a world where irrevocable and ubiquitous childhood leads the game. The word ‘ childhood’ of course is quite ambiguous and is not per se negative in an adult context: there is of course a huge difference between a hippie-like, ideologised pursuit of an half-Nirvana state of pregenital ,polymorphous sexuality (a phase which can free new meanings, new ways of being, news ways of perceiving reality): and the Thai way, which is the result of ubiquitous social and latent ideological manipulation, lack of identity, and of course unresolved conflicts in childhood. The first is based on an ideological broadening and enrichment of human experience in an hedonistic perspective: whereas the second one is based on a dramatic narrowing of perceptions and thus experiences. The first is the outcome of choice: the second of necessity. Both are, indeed, ideological. We have to notice that the confusion between those two perspectives is widespread among foreigners living in Thailand; they tend to ideologies the rampant infantilism of Thai women, giving it a not deserved cultural dignity, referring often to the Buddhist cliché’ of ‘ immediacy of experience’ and other inadequate ‘ buddhisation’ of this widespread phenomenon .We will not deny that, until a certain extent, this generalized infantilisation of life has an ‘ ideological’ aspect, however we think that the pathological aspect of this infantilisation is much more relevant than the ‘ ideological’ one. In other words: infantilisation is the necessary by product of a totalitarian ideology and not the outcome of a philosophy of life choosing for nature, not- mediate self-consciousness, free expression of own feelings, and so on. Thai women are infantilised by the system, they do not choose infantilisation as a self-conscious mean to oppose and/or escape it. It is NOT an enrichment of the adult, rediscovering the child within, but a role, an unresolved fixation in childhood which never developed into an adult dimension.: the first is a journey into the Self, whereas the second is more a trip into the manipulated reflections of the Ego.
The first is a calibrated, philosophical and conscious trip in childhood values from an adult perspective: the second never left, by matter of speaking, the childhood dimension. Of course, the desperate need for infantilisation bringing many foreigners to Thailand is a fertile breed for the most tragic and sometimes comic misinterpretations and misunderstandings between them and Thai females. We could say that this misunderstanding is, maybe, THE CORE , the essence, the key which opens the doors leading to understand what goes wrong between them and their Thai counterparts. Searching for immediacy, and of course reassurance of their ‘ value’ at the market of intersubjective connectivity (a value strongly depreciated in their country of origin…), foreigners, tragically enough, find it, at least at the very beginning of their search for love and communication here in Thailand.
‘Women here are so easy. They never reject you: even if they do not want you, they will give you a polite smile. They will talk to you, show interest in you. This is so different from the rejecting, hostile attitude of women at all level and all ages in my country…” (Peter,58 years, Holland)
This first, easy victory will lead them to the devastations of a Russian campaign, in the steppes of total disconnection with the enemy (their ‘ folie de grandeur’ equals the Napoleonic one…), eventually leading them to alcoholism, depression: and to the apathetic acceptance of their unavoidable defeat.
‘At first I was enthusiastic about them. They seemed all available, they never had a rejecting attitude. I was thinking I was in paradise. Now, after 3 years, I feel more alone then I was in my own country. Behind their smile, their courtesy, their apparent availability there is nothing: not even hate for us. Just total void…’ Francois, French, 55 years.
The flattening of time dimension is typical of the schizoid personality: this one-dimensional reduction of time into the brackets of an eternal present works in two directions: it absorbs the past in the present, but also the future into the present.
It works like a sponge, absorbing the creative dimension of time into the uncreative horizontality of an eternal present, voided of past and future.
It is in some way important to make a distinction between the Buddhist concept of ‘ being fully aware of the present’ and the escape from this very present, flattening it into a boring, one-dimensional, close universe. This distinction is fundamental, many foreigners tending to give some ideological consistency to this pathological ‘ timeless' dimension enclosing the universe of most Thai females.
The Buddhist concept aims to dephten the experience of the present, consciously isolating it from the mental burdens of the past and from the anticipated projections of the future: it intensifies the present by conscious mental exclusion of the past and the future, whereas the timeless universe of most Thai females excludes those dimensions by avoiding any attempt whatsoever to intensify the experience of the present. It is quite the opposite of the Buddhist concept, and the difference, once more, is huge. Furthermore, the flattening of time dimension unconsciously operated by most Thai females goes in pair with a superficial categorization of time superimposed by social norms and clichés within Thai society. This could explain why so many Thai girls in their mid-twenties will categorise themselves as ‘ old’.
Another curious phenomenon is what we could call the ‘ double categorisation’ of age-classifying: where a Thai female aged let’s say 25 years will be viewed as relatively old within a pure Thai perspective, a Thai female aged 40 will be viewed as relatively young and desirable within a foreigner perspective…This curious double categorization shapes a curious double ‘ market-value’ related to Thai females: wherein the market value of the same female within a Thai perspective will be consistently different from her market value within a foreigner one…:
‘Sometimes, when I see the kind of women offering their services in bar, I have the strange feeling that we, the foreigners, get only the outcast, the waste: the ones who have little to no value anymore for the locals: they have children, they are not young anymore, they are often stuck with financial and emotional problems: exactly the kind of women Thai men will avoid at any cost… ‘ (Johnny,47 years, Canadian)
Let’s notice that categorisation of age-related matters is some kind of a prerequisite for the flattening of time-dimension within daily life: this very categorization forms a ‘ frame of thinking’ in which, and this sounds as a paradox, time plays no role anymore. The schizoid personality acting, thinking, perceiving within this very frame, will live in a kind of timeless dimension where things, human beings, experiences, will have a fixed, unchangeable place. The fixation of experiences in a non-consequential world deprived of time, and thus deprived of development, places those very experiences in some kind of ‘ temporal vacuum’, where the sequential logic of before/after, cause/consequence, and the very concept of time consistency are often grossly altered:
‘One time my girlfriend had a sudden outburst of anger: she started hitting me for no apparent reason. Only after she had managed to calm down a little, I discovered that what had caused this outburst of apparently inexplicable physical anger and aggression was something which I happened to have said some 2 years before…’
(Jean, 53 years, France)
As often noticed in the frame of a schizoid personality, the intensity of a given emotional stimulus (and its often distorted features) does not change with time or circumstances, because time factor is not-existing or heavily distorted within the schizoid personality. Grossly said: the way a Thai female will experience and view the world will almost never change with time. It will be static, because deprived of the feedback mechanism allowing people to evolve in the dimension of time and experience: allowing people do dinamise their life.
Static, a temporal, childish, not-sequential, horizontal, enclosed, timeless, one-dimensional: all features linked to this schizoid escape from time.
The a priori unchangeable intensity of a given emotional stimulus will disrupt also any possibility of logical, sequential interpretation of it: emotional reactions will not be logically prone to any consistent reading, simply because emotional reactions will be linked to experiences/facts/stimuli which will be:
1. Remote, unspottable.
2. Remote and/or not relevant in an actual context
3. Remote and/or not relevant in an actual context and/or apparently not-significant in the sequence of events where they take place, where they happen.
This deep feeling of illogic, not-sequential, not-causal connection between the elements of any given sequence of facts, is often driving mad even those foreigners quite used, in their home countries, to a certain degree of illogic behaviour from the side of their female partners…
Are thus Thai females more ‘ illogic’ than their western counterparts?…The answer is maybe related not to the (until a certain extent measurable) degree of irrationality of their behaviour, but to its pathological aspect. And the pathology of their behaviour can, until a certain extent, be measured by its degree of predictability.
Every pathological deviation from a pattern can be measured and the (sociologically) rational character of its irrationality can be schematized and reduced to certain patterns, and classified.
There's rather a lot to digest there and it is hard to comment, suffice to say you make some interesting points.