Stickman Readers' Submissions January 28th, 2014

How Can Something So Bad Feel So Good?

I am walking along an area of Thailand tourists are known to frequent. It could be Sukhumvit, Bangla Road, Walking Street right off Beach Road or a number of other places. I see ladies dressed in outfits designed to turn a man into a
beast. But at least they are not repressed beasts. At least here a man can take comfort knowing he can end up with one of these angels. They dance seductively outside the gogo bars tempting you to come in. They call out to you like sirens.
It sounds so sweet and adorable. I do not speak Thai. All I hear is ‘kaaaa’. Those who have been to Thailand will understand what I am referring to. Maybe not understanding Thai adds to the exotic atmosphere.

‘Where you go?’

mens clinic bangkok

The limited English spoken sounds a combination of cute and funny. I take a sigh of relief knowing I am free from the mayhem of my life back in the west. I am in a different world and my western problems are literally non-existent here.
‘Wow, what is this place!’ I think to myself. There are gogo bars, beer bars, clubs and massage parlors.

’But I shouldn’t look.’

‘These girls are working.’

‘They are being exploited.’

‘This is wrong.’

What a time to take the moral ground. I really do not want to exploit these angels, or anyone for that matter. But like many from the west I feel an overwhelming sense that something is lacking.

As humans we all have a spark inside of us. It is what makes us alive and connects us to one another creating a feeling of unity. But in the west I am so busy with work, with making money, with the superficial and buying materialistic
things I do not need I end up losing that spark.

wonderland clinic

‘The things you own end up owning you.’ – Tyler Durden

But here in the land of smiles that spark is alive. Many of these ladies offer to go home with me. Their voices suggest they really want to. But I was not born yesterday. I know these ladies are here for many reasons. They are after better
lives. Many are trying to escape a life where all they do is work in a farm for the majority of the day with very little prospects.

I cannot go with them. I just cannot… even though I would really like to. Even though I want to hold them and whisper sweet things to them… protect them – I cannot. It does not feel right paying a girl for love. I will not use the
word ‘prostitute’ to describe them. That will ruin the romantic image. In addition they are not ‘prostitutes’ in the western sense of the word. There are men who would not dream of going with prostitutes back home
but would fall head over heel in love with these girls. How can something so bad feel so good?

I do not want to hurt anyone. It is just that I am after what everyone deserves. I am after the feeling of being appreciated and loved. I am after what I could not find in the west. Even though I have been out with many girls in the west
it is just not the same. I do not want to throw insults to my western sisters like many western men who come to Thailand do. I am not blaming them. I do not know whether the west has failed me or whether I have failed the west. I do not know
whether the changing culture or feminism is to blame. But I do know that with our western sisters it is just not the same as it is in Thailand. I like our western sisters but that is what they are to me – sisters… not lovers. No insult

That is a major reason why many come to Thailand. They come to find that connection. The stereotypical image of evil sex tourists or pedophiles is blown out of proportion and is not based on the whole truth. Although such tourists do
exist they do not represent everyone. Many tourists are decent human beings looking for love. But I do not want to exploit the angels of Thailand.

‘Handsome man! I go with you.’

I turn and smile but I walk ahead. I hope the girls are taken care of. I hope the girls end up with decent tourists where both their needs are met and they are both taken care of. The atmosphere is lively in ways I cannot explain. But
even if I could, the explanation will not capture the energy that is felt when one is present. I will not judge people who choose to go with these girls, nor will I judge a girl who ‘chooses’ this profession. I use the word ‘choose’
very lightly. But my heart goes out to all those who lack love and seek to find it as well as those who lack finance and seek to find it. Even if it means doing things that one may not want to – as long as there is a mutual understanding
between the parties involved. Based on that I ask myself ‘is it so bad?’ I walk down the soi with an unsure smile on my face enjoying the atmosphere and lively spirit that can only be found in the land of smiles.

nana plaza