If I had a daughter when I was a teenager, she would have been your age..
Reading your submission reminded me of myself fifteen years ago when I was sitting in a canteen of one of the most prestigious universities on the West coast in America in 1994 when you were seven. I was a few years older than you are now.
It was in the first months into my master’s program there, and the first months of my life in the US. I was with all my dorm neighbors having an early dinner one day and there were these flyers being passed around the tables in the canteen advertising salacious tour to Thailand, MY Thailand. I still remember a picture of a Thai girl in bikini lying suggestively on the beach with rows of coconut trees in the background.
Imagine how embarrassed I was at that table. I lost my appetite and wish I could just dissipate. My international friends, mostly Americans, noticed that I was upset and they tried to tell me that it’s not the majority of people who see Thailand that way.
It didn’t help.
For years since that moment I would just introduce myself as a Chinese from Asia, though I am of Chinese descent and can never be mistaken as a bar girl because of my skin color, mannerisms, education, and language.
I came back and worked in Thailand for five years after my master’s degree. I never had even the slightest interest to learn about our infamous nightlife areas. You could say I was not as inquisitive as you are, but to me the nightlife is just a whole different world I absolutely had no interest in. I had my own life and my own career among the “better crowd” of Thai society. The nightlife areas are no-go places for women like me. We never talked about it as if it never exists.
How do I look at sex tourists in Nana and Patpong areas? Even in my late twenties, I was not as angry as you are. I did not have anything that caused me to look so closely into the whole bar scene. I had never had my white guy stolen by a bar girl, put his arm around me on the plane, mistaken me for a hooker, nor was in a relationship with a white guy at all. They are here to get what they want and the girls get what they want. I did not like the fact that there were (and are) so many of these sex tourists in the country and Western people claimed it was our nation’s main revenue. I did not like them but it was not my place to judge them. It was none of my business. I was not fascinated with the industry or relationships between those ‘old, fat and balding’ men and their bar girls. Basically I could not care less about them.
Here I am, 16 years after the sex tour flyers incident, and back from another five years and a doctorate from the same university in America. I have been in relationships with white guys—real relationships. I have learned more about people in general. I have made a few good international friends in Thailand through my career. None of these people are in Thailand for the cheap sex like you think. I also have friends who are regular contributors to Stick’s site, and they are not what you think either. Like one of Stick’s comment about sex tourists are only one subset of the whole readership. I can confirm that. Many of the writers and readers here are highly educated and have their real jobs. If they come to Thailand for a vacation and get their feet wet a little, what is wrong with that? Some of the writers and readers are in Thailand for their jobs or career and are not even interested in the bar scene. You cannot put them all in the same basket. It is not fair for them, just like it is not fair for you that the fat guy on the plane thought you were a prostitute. Take you and me for example. We are both readers, and now writers, on here—a “sex tourists’ haven website.” What does that make both of us? People look for things to fill their voids. This is the ugly truth. You and I do that too, but it is painstaking to admit it.
I have learned a lot more about these Western men who have their fair share in the bar scene. I’ve talked to them. I’ve been in the bars with them on my ‘educational excursions’ my friends took me on. These people could be the next guy in your corporation who you never thought would go to the bars and barfine. Does this surprise you that they are THAT normal? I am sure there are many who think they and their girls are different and they could actually have a real relationship, but many of them are more pragmatic and do understand the reality of it more than you think you know.
Morally speaking, buying or selling sex is wrong, and for that I do not have respect for girls who are looking for a better life by selling their bodies. But is it really our place to judge these people? I think not. We are not in their shoes. We have
no idea what each of them has been through and why they do what they do. We could speculate but it is not fair to stereotype them. People deal with their issues differently and they do what make them happy. And you and I do the same.
You can rant all you want about things that do not concern you and you have no real knowledge of, but I am afraid your submission is going to change anything. The bar industry will remain there, and there will be men who grow pass the bars through their own experiences in their own times, and there will be more new men entering the bars. The cycle will continue..
You sound like a smart kid. My suggestion for you would be observe more, ask more, listen more, and be slow to come to conclusion and slow to pass on your judgment. And you’ll learn more and understand more that way.
That's a real mature and realistic way to look at things. (And before any readers ask me whether JTG is for real, I assure you that yes, she is. In fact I bumped into her in Panthip Plaza this week.)