things that would make me happy, addendum

24. Never, ever having to lay eyes on another sexpat ever again.

I had to go to Thai immigration today, which always means coming face to face with large numbers of foreigners I would never want to let into my country. Inevitably, I will get hit on by African and Middle-Eastern men, there will be men who think that bringing a prostitute to translate for them at a government office is a good idea, there will be men there who think that a leather vest constitutes “dressing politely”.

I conducted my business quickly, and climbed into a songtheaw going back down the street to Sathorn road. Behind me climbed an elderly Englishman and a 40-ish Issan woman with a hard face, who were together but didn’t seem to know each other that well. He sat on my skirt, twice, and blocked the entire back of the truck with a giant suitcase. Songtheaws are great for quick trips down the road, but are not good for carrying big items of luggage — taxis are usually the way to go. The Issan woman suggested a bus, but he waved her idea away dismissively with her hand. Classy.

Montreal is a huge sex tourism destination, too apparently, but you’d never know it. There, the guys who visit prostitutes are content to go to a strip bar, or order up an escort to their hotel room, and then go back to their normal lives. In Thailand, there is some weird and bizarre phenomena where guys come here specifically to date and (sometimes) marry prostitutes and then they insist on taking them out in public into all kinds of situation normally reserved for civilians. It’s as if you paid your therapist to come to all your parties and pretend he was your friend.

I would like to go to my local grocery store without seeing a 60 year old white man with a 20 year old Thai boy — the old man pays for their groceries at the cash, the young boy keeps the change. I would like to go renew my passport without having to sit next to a bargirl straight out of Patpong in her day-off-clothes, applying with her trashy boyfriend for a marriage visa. I would like to go to a party without some friend-of-a-friend showing up with a rent-a-girlfriend he’s trying to pass off as a civilian. I would like to sit down in restaurants without overhearing the strained conversations of these thai-farang couples who married for money and pussy, and now obviously hate each other.

It makes me sad because many Thai women love these men, that’s the worst of it. Thai women who are educated abroad and have some exposure to foreign culture tend to have the same opinion about these guys as I do (aka *losers*), but many times when I talk to Thai women with little or no experience of foreigners, they gush about men I’d kick to the curb in two seconds flat — angry men, rude men, alcoholics, men who make my skin crawl just to see them, women-hating men, guys long past their expiry date, guys who would be at the bottom of the pile back home. It’s like someone being happy to eat out of your trash — you’d look at them with a combination of disgust and pity.

Not all foreign men here are like that, of course — I’ve met some cool guys through Barcamp, for example, and I’ve worked with some cool guys that weren’t like this — but just like free trade manufacturing zones in China don’t often attract employers interested in workers’ rights and safety regulations, hordes of compliant, poor young women desperate to improve their lives doesn’t often attract egalitarian, decent guys.

So yes, in 2009, I would like to never have to see another sexpat ever again. Fuck all the hookers in private you want, but could you please stop taking them to my grocery store? Ps. Marrying hookers is trashy. KTHXBYE.

9 Responses to “things that would make me happy, addendum”

  1. 1 Natta January 20, 2009 at 8:39 pm

    Wow, this should be my favorite blog post of all time! I really, really LOVE how you express your opinions. Maybe because I also think the same.

    I’d never understand sexpats who want to marry hookers, either. Are they perhaps mentally challenged? Are they really in their right mind? Are they really THAT desperate?

    But I don’t know where you get the idea that Thai women love those kind of men you mentioned above. I’m most certainly not one of them. Those are not men, those are losers (to put it very mildly).

  2. 2 julielavoie January 20, 2009 at 9:39 pm

    Hey Natta,

    thanks for your comment! It’s good to hear the perspective of a Thai about this. I will change my post, as I think you are right — not all Thai woman like guys like this, and it’s good to hear someone say it. πŸ™‚

    But I’ve encountered many that do, and it makes me sad. :-(Let me give you two examples: one is a Thai woman who rents apartments in my building. She’s intelligent, and educated, and she has a decent job. She was telling me about a farang guy that she sort of had a crush on, that she rented an apartment to. She had promised she would try to find a remote control for the air-conditioner for him. (She was telling me this story, in a “isn’t he so adorable?” way). The guy comes home piss drunk at 4 am, and PHONES HER UP, YELLING “where is my remote control?” — for me this would be a big red, flashing warning sign saying “never talk to this loser again” — for her, she thought it was *cute*. Her affection was unchanged.

    One of my Thai teachers at school, again an intelligent, educated woman, went on vacation to an island, where she worked in a restaurant where her friend worked. There were many bars with bargirls there, and one night a farang guy, chatted her up, and essentially asked her something like “what is your price?” — instead of slapping him in the face, she was *flattered* — and they continue to talk, he visited her every day while she was there, and now she is hoping he might become *a boyfriend* — which BOGGLES MY MIND. Because — even if you ignore the insult in his *asking her price* — even if he now knows she’s a normal woman — he went out that night *looking for a prostitute*. And I’m sorry, how is that boyfriend material?

    I think sexpats are desperate, and kind of sad. They are usually guys that no one wants at home, but in Thailand they feel like kings. I guess they must be happy for any attention, even if they have to pay for it.

  3. 3 Natta January 20, 2009 at 10:37 pm

    your stories make me shudder!

    I also have my story to share about this what-is-your-price you’re talking about. This is what my friend did when being asked by that question.

    My friend, who is also a university student, was waiting for the bus in the afternoon (repeat: afternoon) when a Farang guy approached her, asked her name, and what music she was listening to. She thought it was pretty weird so she answered that her name was Mickey and was listening to Cambodian music (some made up shit). That farang was reluctant a bit then finally asked her “how much per night?” She wasn’t sure if she heard it right so she said “Pardon?” He repeated the same question “I asked you how much per night if I want to sleep with you?”

    My friend was really shocked but recovered herself quickly enough to say “I’m not that kinda girl. Why don’t you go fu** your mother?”

    And I was nodding hysterically when reading your comments about sexpats. I may be wrong, but I don’t think having paid sex is something you can do in Western world comfortably along with people’s acceptance like how you do it here.

    But in the end it all comes down to money, doesn’t it? I think those sexpats just seal their eyes shut for all those fake affections from hookers. I don’t think they even care whether it’s real or fake as long as they get what they want. I sort of sympathize them actually.

  4. 4 julielavoie January 20, 2009 at 11:24 pm

    Hi Natta,

    haha, good answer from your friend! I mean, seriously — the nerve of some guys here is just amazing. You wonder what planet they are from where their behavior is considered acceptable. I mean, in the end, I think they end up dating hookers because hookers are the only one who will put up with their complete lack of social skills. (Then they complain thai women are greedy … lol)

    (I once had two farang guys try to chat me up while I was walking down the street in my old neighborhood. They asked me if I was French (my face is pretty typically French-Canadian, if you know what to look for) and then when they found out I live here, their chat-up-efforts culminated in asking me “do you know what the easiest way to get to Pattaya is?” — HOT DATING TIP GUYS: if you want to pick up chicks, asking them for directions TO THE BROTHEL is not the way to go. I mean, wtf???? I told them I had to go, and then they asked for my number. W.T.F.

    But yeah, you’re right. Paid sex is *not* socially acceptable in any way in the west. It’s kind of considered the mark of someone too unattractive to get it for free, or maybe a one-time experience you might try out of curiosity, but it’s nothing like the *lifestyle* guys seem to make out of it here. There is *zero* way these farang guys would or could behave like this at home. If you brought an obvious prostitute to a social event, everyone would shun you completely. You wouldn’t even get service at a government office if you brought one with you, as I see many guys do here with immigration, or the hospital.

    When my teacher told that story in class, I was the only female student with 5-6 male students. All of them laughed with these great hyena laughs, and they all made jokes and catcalls at the teacher, they were almost slapping each other on the back, they were so happy to be confirmed in their idea that Thailand is just *one big shopping mall* for them, everything is for sale, even the people, and I just wanted to throw up.

    Yeah, it’s all down to money as you say. I don’t even really care what they do — if the women are happy and they are happy — then whatever, good for them. But I wish I just didn’t have to see them everyday because they are ugly and they hurt my eyes. πŸ˜›

  5. 5 Sashette January 21, 2009 at 5:51 pm

    Wow! this is AMAZING!!! It’s like you could see into my MIND!! I’m in Bangkok frequently, as part of a Woman’s Outreach Program, and these sad LOSERS make my FLESH CRAWL! They hit on me too, because I’m young enough to be their daughter and Asian-looking. I wish the Thai Government would enforce a LAW that got rid of these pests once and for all, Most of them are DISEASED in body as well as mind and are escaping from God knows what CRIMES back in the West. As A CHRISTIAN I know Jesus would forgive them, but I am unable to control my feelings of REVULSION for them, and PITY for the young girls who are ENSLAVED by their desires. I work intimately with many of these girls and it is HEARTBREAKING. For us, the presence of ex-pats (I call them SEX-PATS too!) is ugly and inconvenient – for the girls they ABUSE it is LIVING HELL!!

    THANK YOU for writing about this subject with such PASSION!!

  6. 6 Natta January 21, 2009 at 5:53 pm

    Neither do I. Well, it’s not my business anyway, but seeing sexpats and hookers is really an unavoidable thing in Bangkok. It is literally everywhere! Every time I see them walking together in public places like BTS, shopping malls, etc, there is always a BIG question mark popped up in my head cuz I just don’t understand why.

    And everyone, or at least someone who is familiar with Thai society, can tell that they’re with hookers too. I thought they would at least feel humiliated by that!

  7. 7 julielavoie January 21, 2009 at 10:01 pm

    Hi Natta,

    yeah, it’s true everyone can tell. I sort of wondered too why they didn’t feel embarassed — I mean, isn’t a walking advertizment for the fact that no one will date you for free? But I think some of them really *don’t* care how they look in public (which is kind of obvious when you also look at how they dress, take care of themselves, don’t have any manners, etc)

    And then I think the reason some of them aren’t embarrassed is because they’re in denial about the girl being a prostitute — in their mind, it’s like a real wife or gf, they don’t want to think to themselves that the girl is in it for the money.

  8. 8 Sashette January 26, 2009 at 2:35 pm

    Hi! I thing a LOT about what you write, cos it impacts on my life. From my experience these guys do NOT think of prostitutes as wives but as SLAVES. They don’t want the commitment of a wife all they want is SEX on DEMAND. They weould NEVER get this from a wife OR a girlfriend (if they had a chance of getting one lol!) back home but in Bangkok they can AFFORD to keep a full time prostitute as a SEX SLAVE. I am in the process of setting up a refuge for girls with my partner somewhere out of Bangkok. It will be WOMEN ONLY and there will be a strong Christian emphasis with Bible readings and prayer meetings also VEGETARIAN. I am inspired that so many women are beginning to think like us! remeber ALL MEN are “SEX PATS” at heart, no matter how they look or dress!

    Yours in Sisterhood for Jesus

    Sash XXX

    • 9 julielavoie January 26, 2009 at 11:58 pm

      Hi Sasha, thank you for your kind comments, I am glad that you enjoy my writing.

      I’m sure one of them will rear his ugly head and make me regret defending him, or at least trying to present a balanced point of view, but here goes… While I don’t think well of them, I don’t think all of these guys want a full-time sex slave. I’ve met a lot of them, and talked to some of them, and in my experience they run a full spectrum from guys who have no qualms about admitting to being total sleezebags (I talked to one guy who told me he once made a contest with himself to see how many young men he could sleep with in two weeks in Thailnad – he managed more than one a day) — to guys who really do want to be in real relationships, but have these attitude problems or unrealistic expectations that make it impossible to be date anyone other than a prostitute or some kind of golddigger — because no one else is willing to cater to their expectations or put up with their bullshit.

      While it’s certainly easy to feel like all men are pigs in Bangkok, I must respectfully disagree that all men are sexpats. I know many fantastic, sexy men (sadly, most of them live in Canada :-P, who would never *dream* of sleeping with prostitutes — because they genuinely want to be loved and desired by women for who they are, not for their wallet, who love women and respect us, and want all people to be equal, not to take advantage of someone’s hope for a better life in order to get laid.

      I respect that you would like to help these women, but at the same time I think we should be cautious, when helping others, that we are acting out of true compassion and generosity of heart, and not just using help as a excuse to impose our own values and way of thinking on them. Maybe they would like a better life, but do they necessarily want to become Christian and vegetarian?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


A blog about culture and technology in South-East Asia.

my Flickr


%d bloggers like this: