You Are All Deluded, Me Too Probably
I have visited this website a few times in the past month and I have enjoyed the readers' submissions. I think it’s absolutely fine to pay for sex on holidays, so long as you don’t hurt anybody in the process. I am myself in Thailand, and perhaps I am unusual: I’ve been to a couple of massage parlours but I’ve never picked up a girl at a bar. I don’t really go to “bars”. I’ve been to Pattaya once… with my students, on a field trip. They chose the destination because, believe it or not, Thai people love the place too.
So here’s the bad (ish) news, based solely on my personal journey. Please correct me if I’m wrong:
1. Thai women love flirting, you can tell as soon as you set foot at the airport. BUT the flirting is cultural, it doesn’t mean they want you. It’s a way of treating foreigners. So don’t think they are all hot for you. They aren’t.
Westerners in Thailand confuse excellent customer service with love and admiration, and thus they swag about like neo-colonial overlords. But they are what they are: tourists with extra cash to spend or expats who teach, and this (let’s
face it) is not a sign of wealth. That’s how Thai people see them too. Nothing more.
2. Thai women are curious about farang, and some have “white fever”. But at the end of the day, Thailand is a very self-contained country. Language is a huge barrier and the culture is completely different. Many Thai women don’t distinguish between America, Australia and Europe: as far as they are concerned, farang come from Mars. A few women will only go out with foreigners but the majority of them, including the flirty masses, will play it safe and always choose a Thai man.
3. If you want to know what kind of men Thai women like, have a quick look at the soap operas on Channel 3: Asian, white skinned, tall and strong, extremely well groomed. You in your shorts and t-shirt, probably sweating and overweight, and too old to be riding a rented moped… just can’t compete with middle-class Thai men, who look young and fresh and who by the way these days drive brand new BMWs. And yes, many young Asians are as tall as you are.
4. In places like England, men walking around with Thai women routinely get looks from random people. Basically these people think the relationship can be traced back to a transaction at a bar in Pattaya. Guess what: it is exactly the same in Thailand. I have been to many a hotel with my girl (who isn’t a lady of the night) and I’ve had to deal with that. True, prostitution doesn’t carry the same stigma in Thailand. I went to this farang teacher’s funeral, and saw a few women there with tattoos coming out of their black dresses. Nobody cared, but they all knew.
5. And there’s nothing wrong with dating a bar girl, but think about it. You wouldn’t date anyone with a similar social status in your country. Even if there is love involved, it simply wouldn’t work.
6. Most likely your Thai girlfriend is ugly by Thai standards. I know you don’t give a toss, but surely it hurts your big white ego a bit.
My experience with Thai women so far has been as follows:
I have a girlfriend. I think she’s pretty, but some Thai people might disagree. She’s got a good job at a Japanese company. She earns more money than me actually. A few months ago I went back to Europe and she came with me. She bought her own ticket. I guess she really loves me. We live in different cities, so I pay for petrol when she comes over, and obviously I pay for dinners and hotels. For me this is a standard relationship, the kind of relationship I would have in Europe.
She doesn’t say it but I know she wants me to marry her, buy a house, join the family via dowry etc. And I’ve mentioned a few times that I will not do that. If I stay in Thailand, I will buy a condo and I will own it. If they don’t let me do that, I will keep on renting. As for the dowry, it’s such a foreign concept to me. Maybe in the future we will reach a point when love becomes a financial agreement. “We’ll see…” is as far as I can go. She says it’s OK, but I am certain that her culture is not flexible on this respect. I’ve met her mum. Almost two years together and no wedding bells: she is nervous.
A year ago my girlfriend and I had a fight and temporarily broke up. I dated a girl briefly. She was a MA student (not from my faculty), a very sweet 26 year old who turned out to be a virgin. This is rather common ― outside the karaoke bar scene. It was very easy to seduce her because she was under the impression that we would be together forever. I was not under that impression. I wonder how often this mix up happens in Thailand ― outside the karaoke bar scene. She was shocked when I told her about my ex girlfriend who wasn’t quite my ex girlfriend yet. Again, my behaviour would have been normal in Europe. Not in Thailand.
After this, in a week, I had two one-night stands: one with a lecturer I had been talking to for ages, and one with a woman in her late 30s who came back from Germany to visit her sick mother in hospital and was sleeping in my building. The lecturer was great in theory, well-read and open-minded. She knew my Western take on dating and she went for it. But the whole thing fell apart in a few days, when she began carpet bombing my life with messages and visits and phone calls. The other lady talked to me on the lift, then knocked on my door and said “Let’s do it the German way”. Thirty minutes later she was gone, didn’t even use the toilet.
I have mixed feelings about being with Thai women. I don’t think I should be with anyone if I am not going to play the game the way it is supposed to be played. If we lived in Europe it would be different, of course. I hear so many farang referring to “my Thai girlfriend”… But that label does not mean much over here, unless you’re dating a hooker or someone who mistakenly thinks you’re practically husband and wife. Or someone who can see through you and still enjoys the ride.
There's a lot of straight talking here and while I know some won't like what you say because it might touch a nerve, I always think it best to make every effort to understand local ways, regardless of whether you embrace them or not.