In response to several single ‘ex-pat women’ articles over the years, and the tension, bordering on animus, that is sometimes noticeable between western men and western women in Thailand, I decided to write a counter article. On a Friday night I interviewed five men, living in Chiang Mai, all of whom have disparate personalities and vocations. Citylife footed the bill, while The Irish Pub played host.
Introducing the five participants:
Dave “I’ll go with anyone”, 40, engineer, England.
Ben “We get along fine now we are separated (ex-Thai wife)”, 41, electronics technician, Canada.
Karol “Sex is the same but I only date Thai girls”, 31, computer programmer, Czech.
Tony “I like students”, 34, tennis coach, England.
Bob “Paying for sex and dating a girl is not strictly different”, 34, teacher, Australia.
So guys, what do you think about all the vilification and negativity that surrounds you in this city? It is apparent that many western women are not too keen on the western male’s dating proclivities.
First person to speak was Bob, enthusiastically he chimed, “I do date western women, it’s just Thais are cheaper to take on a date.” Everyone laughs and he adds, “The reason I date western women is because I know they are gonna leave.”
“For me it’s only Thai, I guess I have Asian fever,” says, Karol, the handsome Czech, “I think they are more attractive and I like the challenge.”
“Same goes for me,” says tennis coach Tony, “aesthetically Thai women are head and shoulders above westerners and I love the challenge, like Karol … I mean, with a western women sex is always on the cards,
you have to work at it with a Thai girl. It adds more spice and competition.”
“Only the posh ones,” interjects Dave, “the others put out easy enough. It depends where you go out and which birds you are trying to sleep with . . . I’ve never had any problems getting them into bed.”
Ben sat reticently in the corner of the room. “Ben, what do you think?” I asked. “Western women expect too much, they are programmed by TV to think of some kind of Barbie/Ken relationship. If this doesn’t work out they file for divorce. That’s just too much.”
Then Bob surprises us all.
“To be honest, I have never dated a Thai women . . .” “What! Never even slept with one?” everyone seems to ask in unison. “No,” replies Bob. “Not that I don’t think they are attractive, they’ve definitely got nice bodies.” Bob then expatiates on love, philosophy and the bible for ten minutes, so I’ll condense. “Western women think western men are taking advantage of the unequal power that is ostensibly intrinsic in the farang/Thai relationship. It’s just not true. Thais are more traditional, and men miss that. In the West it’s a power struggle for women, they want to treat you like shit when you meet them in a bar. It’s like they think it’s their right to be bitchy. Men miss the traditional relationship.”
Tennis coach Tony: “Some women look down at men for being in a relationship where his finances obviously play a major part. But look at so many western girls dating hill tribe tour guides and rasta guys. They are doing the same. The guys aren’t calling out ‘hey, pretty girl’ from dingy bars, but still, it’s all about the cash.”
Look, says Bob, as if frustrated by the conversation, “If you have a Ferrari in the west, girls are going to go for you; this is not exclusively Thai. Women are just pissed at men for getting sex so easily with Thai women. A man pays for sex, actually pays for the act, or he pays for it in a lifetime of instalments. If it comes easy,
that takes some of the western woman’s power away. They don’t like seeing men getting it easy and getting it from svelte young women] It leaves them powerless.”
Ben: “Is that our fault, that we have sex with beautiful young women? What man wouldn’t want to do that?”
“As for age,” loquacious Bob says, “women are more fertile at a young age, it’s just a biological necessity that men go for younger girls.”
“Ben! and you are the one who only dates westerners?” “Look,” he says, “with a Thai I can’t enjoy the subtleties of language and irony. I’d be a nervous wreck anyway, with all the misunderstandings. It’s hard to talk to Thais on a deep level.”
“What if you were fluent in Thai,” Tony asks. (Tony is fluent in Thai and makes good use of it). “Well, that would be different” replies Bob.
Dave: “Come off it, people don’t meet up in the UK for intellectual relationships, they do it cos they are insecure and mostly f**ing stupid. Sitting in watching mindless soaps everyday – you may as well be shagging a beautiful girl. For me it’s sex and that’s it. And to add to the last point; yeah it’s all about money, why do you think the Sultan of Brunie is sleeping with all the models?”
The crowd are starting to get agitated. Dave strikes in again with a bit more rancor. “Don’t marry a Thai woman, you have nothing to gain. Some Western men come here who can’t pull back home and they get married to a poor girl within a month. They are losers, they get married and get ripped off. I am lucky I know what I am doing.”
“What, you’ve never been ripped off?”
“Well, I was robbed once, but that’s fine, goes with the territory.”
“So, then who is looking for a traditional subservient wife?” I asked.
“I’ve been married, and we broke up after 7 years,” Karol says, “But it wasn’t cultural, it was just personal. Our relationship was mostly good for a while. Would get married again but I don’t want a subservient wife.”
“I do,” says Ben, “I mean she can be independent, but I like the way Thai women look after you. Funny how you never hear the good side of Thai western relationships.”
Out of the blue Dave digresses from the current topic, “Oral sex is better with/from a Thai girl. Sex is just sexier here.”
“I know what you mean. It’s not that the act is better, it’s the psychology. It’s more exotic, more of a turn on. And because it’s such a cultural faux pas and a bit rebellious, it feels so much better. I am not talking about prostitutes.” Tony says, and you can see he’s virtually forming images in his mind. “Once you’ve tasted Kobe beef you aren’t going to go back to McDonalds.”
“Does anyone pay for sex?” I asked.
“Sure,” said Tony, “if I have to. There is something exciting about paying for it.”
“Look, we all pay for it James, why even ask?” retorts Dave. “The good girls, as they say, just don’t put out easily.”
“Speak for yourself,” says Tony – Karol also seems to think it’s not so difficult to find a ‘good girl’.
“Thai women are more financially dependent but more emotionally supportive, I like that, so I date Thai women. That’s the last thing I’m gonna say,” Ben says confidently.
Bob: “Western women here should think less about sexual politics and competition. It’s not all about power, they are obsessed with this power/competition thing. Feminism has worked against women m the west, it has put massive chips on their shoulders. Women are more masculine and men are more feminine. And that’s a main reason that some men enjoy Thai women so much. A western woman would think she is losing power by cleaning and cooking, that’s just BS. Thai and western women could learn a lot from each other.”
“If I want intellectual stimulation I have my friends, if I want marriage I will wait until I am old. Right now I want fun and sex and fit (def: cute – U.K) women.”
“Thai women compromise more in long term relationships. That’s important, says Karol.
“The way I see it, women in the west and women here are the same. They are clever in relationships, while men can be stupid. Women are like monkeys, jumping from branch to branch for something better,” adds Dave philosophically. Bob agrees, “Women have it all planned out. It’s no different here than back home.”
“Men set themselves up for a fall, they are easily hoodwinked,” says Ben.
“Especially when they are ugly,” Dave joins in.
And it was with that last comment that I closed this conversation. All six of us went out into the night for a bit of a shin dig, but it’s worth pointing out that we all went our separate ways!