Rule #2: GET YOUR HEAD ROUND IT
If you’re a “wing it and see” type, like my friend, Ron, you’ll just go, do it, and feel the guilt later. If you’re a “Neanderthal” type, like my friend, Barry, there’s nothing to get your head round, and if you’re an “Old Asia Hand”, like my friend, Dennis, it’s western values you can’t get your head round. But many of us will worry about being labelled by the wokerati (and perhaps by our consciences) as:
- A paedophile. There is a lot of hype about underage girls in Thailand and The Philippines and even those who are not under age look it, due to their petite bodies (though perhaps, now that their bodies are less petite, that misunderstanding is less common than it was).
- A sex trafficker. They believe that bargirls have been “trafficked” and that, by participating, you are supporting sex trafficking.
- A “John” – a man who pays for sex. Even your mates down at the Old Bull and Bush will tell you that paying for it means you are a loser.
- An exploiter of third-world womanhood, which they will exacerbate with the term: “colonialist”.
- Someone who is likely to catch HIV, AIDS or another STD and pass it on.
- A despoiler of the environment – two many long-haul flights each year.
- Unethical – cheating on your wife or girlfriend.
I had known about what goes on in Thai gogo bars since a Hong Kong business trip in 1992, when a Hong Kong client, who was giving me a tour of Hong Kong’s bars (just looking, because the prices were sky high), recommended Bangkok as a cheaper and better alternative. He and his colleagues, he told me, often went for a “golfing weekend” there. Some even took a bag of golf clubs to reinforce their alibi.
By about 2002, my marriage had started to go pear shaped and I seriously considered a visit to Thailand, but couldn’t get my head round it for the reasons listed above. By 2005, after a year of drought in the bedroom, my id finally overcame my superego (to put it in Jungian terms) and I decided to go for it. I booked a flight for the summer, booked a course of injections at my doctor’s, and started doing research online.
When I got there in May 2005, my fears melted away one by one. The girls were so sweet that most of them were nicer than the “real” girlfriends I had had – and, guess what? – I didn’t meet a single one who was under 18 or who had been trafficked! Nor did I feel I was exploiting them. Rather, it felt like a fair transaction between consenting adults, and, to balance things out, there are plenty of stories about bargirls who exploit farangs (read the rest of this site!).
In any case, it is not us mongers who are the real exploiters of third-world womanhood, but western capitalists using globalisation to reduce salaries and increase profits, as I try to explain in this poem (the “you”, is Wan, my former Pattaya TG GF):
After ten years
In a sweatshop making clothing
For a multinational to sell at a profit
Funded by your low wages,
How can I disapprove
For taking the highway
To another kind of hell,
Where fat farangs
Watch girls on stages
Parade their flesh
Like so much meat for sale.
At least I paid you well
For what you gave me –
More in four days than they paid
In four weeks, though you gave me
What money cannot buy – a little love
That helped to save me from the revenge
My western ex-wife wreaks.
We helped each other somewhat –
That is why
We’re not the villains
In this sorry tale.
I had also thought of a solution to the ethical problem – adopt the ethics of Utilitarianism. This is explained in this dialogue between John Stuart Mill and Jim, in my novel/treatise, Philosophy in the Gogo Bar:
JIM: What about my idea of a GFE in Thailand?
MILL: There is no reason why not, as long as you remember…
JIM: …the Harm Principle. But what about the harm to the girls?
MILL: Do you think they are harmed?
JIM: Er, let me think. From what I have read on the Internet, I believe that they are paid well – very well, compared to any other job they could do; they have made a free choice to do the work; and there is always the chance that they will meet a ‘knight in shining armour’ who will marry them – but what about the moral harm?
MILL: Moral harm? – remember my Utilitarian test?
JIM: Oh yes! The greatest happiness of the greatest number. Well, if other men are like me, the girls will give untold happiness to thousands. Then there’s the happiness of the families who receive the money they send home, and I guess that many of them are happier working in a bar than slaving away in a rice paddy or a sweatshop for a dollar a day. Of course, there’s the girls who get hooked on yaa baa, drink too much or end up with a broken heart.
MILL: But overall it sounds like a situation in which the sum total of happiness far outweighs the suffering.
But what about the environment; climate change, etc.? Well, that plane was going to go anyway, so I might as well be on it, and, to make up for it, I could try to reduce my carbon footprint, for example, by buying an electric car – if I could afford it – or replacing my gas central heating with a heat pump – I can’t afford that, either! (and I’ve read that they only work in Summer). I could buy carbon credits, but I’ve heard that some are bogus and I don’t want to get ripped off. However, there are things I can do myself: turn off lights and devices on standby, insulate my home, recycle my rubbish, take public transport, etc.
What about the disapproval of the wokerati? Well, in a funny sort of way, I actually like it. I like it because it is a sign that, for once in my life, I have beaten the system. Instead of working overtime to service a wife and a mortgage, recycling my rubbish, paying exorbitant council taxes, being told what words I can and can’t use, what my attitudes to social issues ought to be, being accused of racism for all sorts of irrelevant reasons and generally being bossed about by a Politically Correct nanny government, I actually got to experience a bit of freedom and have a bit of fun – and, in the process, came to see that there are other ways of looking at the world, or the relationship between a man and a woman. In any case, the wokerati don’t worry me in the least now because of an idea I developed in about 2007, when I got into Philosophy: BECOME AN ETHICAL MONGER – see Rule #3, next week.
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