Rise up, my brothers. No, not right now. Read this first.
I came across a video online recently – Love Me Long Time – Sex Tourism in Thailand. I was expecting a biased, critical hatchet-job on the disgusting sex tourists who head to Thailand as often as they can manage to shag bargirls.
Set on Koh Samui rather than in Bangkok, there was actually no preaching, just a series of western males and (pig-ugly, for some reason) Thai females talking to camera, interspersed with footage from the bars.
Justin, 33, hits the nail on the head:
My mum doesn’t seem to mind the fact that I come to Thailand. She knows that I have friends here. She probably prefers to leave it at that! My female friends seem quite amused by the idea. My female ex-girlfriends think it’s absolutely appalling, and aren’t I I’m a very sad man, and that’s probably the reason they’re not with me any more in the first place. But what the hell? It’s what I think that matters, anyway.
It’s easy (and commonplace) to dismiss western men in Thailand as being sleazy whoremongers, who are only in Thailand because they couldn’t attract women in their own country, couldn’t afford prostitutes in their own country, and have to resort to cheap prostitutes in a developing country in order to have any kind of sex life. And for some guys, it’s probably true.
But surely there’s more to this picture? Of course. Perhaps there’s one male English teacher in Thailand who’s here because he just enjoys teaching English to the Thais. Say hi from me if you ever meet him.
Joking aside, this is how we’re largely painted by the West. And it’s starting to really get on my nerves. So this is a semi-serious look at exactly what has motivated thousands of men to disrupt their lives and “up sticks” to Thailand – and countries like it.