The Crimes of Angeles
When I read the submission of RandytheRake with the irritating title "The Death of Korski" I had a strange feeling. The crimes of the Angeles tourists he decries follow closely the footsteps of an old Asian tradition.
It was in the January of 1965 that I first visited Asia. Not as a tourist but on business. I was overwhelmed by the politeness of my Asian counterparts. A culture new for me but admirable. In the evenings, after dinner, I was introduced to or engaged hospitality girls. They despised condoms and urged me to stay with them all the way to the end. The first time I was introduced to this practice I nearly panicked and felt terrible. All my life I had learnt that it was the obligation of the man to draw back. And now I was invited to the contrary. I said it was no problem for me to draw back in time, but my partners in pleasure told me they would feel like a loser if I did this. Who was I, a guest in the East, to question local customs? At that time the pill was a bestseller and all STDs could be cured by newly developed antibiotics. In my six weeks in Asia I enjoyed togetherness more than in the preceding thirteen years.
The carefree ways of the East also became popular in the West. In the city of Dusseldorf – home of the white washing powder "Persil" – there opened half a dozen sex clubs, where you paid a fixed fee at the entrance, undressed, took a shower and were led to a room full of naked women in their twenties. The business idea of these clubs was that you joined one girl after the other as long as your libido lasted. No condoms, unrestricted release. Those were the halcyon days of the joy of sex, which ended when in 1981 the first cases of AIDS were discovered. In Haiti and in San Francisco. The German novelist Stefan Heym claimed the virus had escaped from an American laboratory for biological warfare. I do not follow his theory, but it is more believable than the version that a man in Central Africa was infected by the blood of a chimpanzee, whom he slaughtered, and transferred the virus in 1966 to a visitor from Haiti. Three years later a Haitian jobseeker allegedly exported the virus to the American east coast, where it lived and multiplied without being noticed for the next twelve years.
No question: the appearance of AIDS changed our perception of casual sexual encounters. Our instruments of pleasure could turn into possible weapons of deadly destruction. Austrian TV produced a movie in which a man who had been infected at a party visits all participants of that party and shoots them, in order to be sure he kills the real culprit, whom he cannot identify.
The AIDS virus moved in 1984 to Thailand and mutated to an extremely dangerous subspecies called HIV-E. As the number of its victims among the bargirls rose, the combination of intercourse and condoms was postulated.
In the early '90s most Bangkok mamasans insisted that their girls, who were now perishable goods, used rubbers. Still there were voices who played the risk down. The columnist of the Bangkok Post, Bernard Trink (the Nightowl), wrote even at the beginning of this century that it was impossible to acquire AIDS through old fashioned copulation. Well, well, well, well. I have seen statistics, that a healthy male might sleep 360 times with an infected lady without anything happening. But one shag more, and he lives on death row.
Now to the crime scene in the beds of Angeles City. And maybe not only there. The crime Randytherake condemns, is actually not one crime but two, which can be seen together like a pair of shoes. The left shoe (bareback riding) represents the crime of killing people, the right shoe (depositing in bargirls) the crime of creating people.
I am the son of a judge, and my father always told me, a crime is a crime when committed. In the case of our two shoes, there exists no immediate proof of wrongdoing. The virus and the human embryo both have a long breeding time span. The traveller disappears behind the seven mountains. When shall he ever know?
And when shall his victims know – if there are any – that he did it to them?
There exists one precedent, that the state can write a law that prevents citizens from irresponsible behaviour. The law against drunk driving. It saves lives, if applied seriously. But still a lot of people drive when intoxicated. And in most cases nothing happens.
Is it possible to apply this measure to bareback riding? I do not think so. To me the best solution seems to be the Thai way of enlightening sex workers of the clear and present danger of their occupation, so that they never skip a condom. That would automatically drop the second shoe.
It is my personal impression that the judiciary in South East Asia is not very eager to help sex workers to obtain child support. This in itself constitutes a crime. But it will never be prosecuted. In Europe they have a similar phenomenon. Police and the courts do nothing to stem the trade in sex slaves.
Without child support children do not get a decent education and cannot rise to the middle class. That perpetuates poverty and prostitution.
Bareback riding is widespread and a real problem. I wish there was a solution but I have no idea what it is.