Chiang Mai University social and environmental researcher PO GARDEN approached Citylife on idea to write a story about his no-longer-so secret fetish for nurses. The article was supposed to have been in Citylife’s inbox last October, but Po’s list of nurses to be interviewed kept lengthening.
Jane pondered, then asked me if the patient had an IV line attached to his.
Leveraging all the editorial pressure a free publication can amass, Po’s request for a further six month extension forrequest for a further six month extension for ‘research’ was denied, and here is his unabashed report on Chiang Mai’s sexy nurses…and how to chat them up.
I finally met a nurse at a bar! It took six months of asking every girl on a bar stool. What I had in mind was a medical fetish fantasy, one which I have finally (visually at least) fulfilled – I had met a real live nurse. I was bursting to get the sponge bath issue out of the way, so I mustered up all of my courage and popped the question, “Let’s say your patient was a very handsome guy and you are, of course, single, Jane, how would you sponge him?”arm.I was stunned. Despite having carefully and methodically reviewed fetish websites, the question of the IV had never arisen. But ok, I am flexible; the patient has an IV line. I try to keep calm, but inside I ambursting for all the sensual details – thesponge bath is certainly one of the mostexciting of genres in this literotica field! What you are about to read, ladies and gentleman is reality TV!
Jane was kind enough to play along and she described, in detail, the ins and outs of a sponge bath. She narrated a complicated set of procedures that involved many clever maneuvers which meant that the patient, at the end of the cleaning treatment, never even had to get out of bed: patient cleaned, bed sheets changed, new gown put on and the IV never leaving the vein. I listened, rapt, as Janemagicianlike, described her trick.
Sadly, the story ended up being as erotic as a technician’s brief on the operations of a tumble dryer.
Still determined to get the juicy details I was after, I decided to approach the issue fromthe patient’s end. Mr D who has recently recovered from cancer got me all excited about sponge baths. “It is an important time in your life,” Mr D said, “when you are lying helpless, thinking of what to do for the rest of your life, and you surrounded by nurses.” He described how a team of nurses sponged his arms, his body, his back, his legs…and? What happens after that? “Oh, and one of the nurses go shhhhhhhhhhu…” Mr D made sound of water being squeezed out of a sponge while gesturing the motion right over his beer glass.
“The point is when you’re at that stage life, it is important to be surrounded by quality nurses,” Mr D doggedly ignored my hints, sipping beer from the glass that filled with the imaginary sponge water.
Indeed, after having read a few papers on the subject, I’ve discovered that it is a proven fact that having more nurses care for youmeans spending less time in hospital. Mr D moved to Thailand partly forthat reason – after all, it has been more than a hundred years since the first nursing school was established here in 1896 and a baccalaureate degree programme has existed since 1956. On the educational front, modern nursing in Thailand holds its own.
Back to Jane. Her nurse’s cap perches pertly on her head, held in place with just two hair pins (I asked) as she tells me that she has delivered babies; patched people up from mangled car wrecks; saved lives as well being there when people face their final moments. And that is just an average workweek.
“Is it O.K. to hit on nurses?” I asked tentaively, mesmerised by her stories and bright smile. Jane reminded me that I was doing just that, under my guise of an interview. I blush.
I will let you in on a secret. Every nurse I talked to told me that the most memorable experience for them as a nurse- a kind of rites of passage – was the delivering of their first baby. From this I deduce that talking about babies is a sure conversation starter.
Nurses generally work odd hours, they have a busy workday and are constantly expected to work overtime. I read in the 2004 International Nurses Council report that this is a global problem and it is particularly serious in Africa and South-East Asia. The majority of nurses in Thailand are trained by the Ministry of Public Health and in order to pay rack their debt, are generally sent to remote rural areas right out of school. The general rule of thumb is therefore that the younger the nurses, the further they are from urban areas. Strategically speaking that means that out of town guys get a head start.
Once they move into town, as they climb their career echelon to become more specialised and to work in bigger hospitals, the odd hours mean that they are more likely to socialise with people whose working hours are equally odd. A nurse told me that many of her friends end up dating people in the same workplace. What about doctors? Are nurses especially attracted to doctors? She told me, “A doctor is just like any other guy but he generally has less time and more money.”
Jutaporn Chunrithai works at Nakhon Ping, one of the busiest hospitals in Chiang Mai. She went to a nursing college in town which is run almost like a convent – a serendipitous collision of two of my fantasies. Students have to be back in their dorm by six in the evening and curriculum is rigorous – tests every other day. She also described a nun-like uniform, black and white, with white shoes. After she graduated she was posted in Omkoi District where she worked in the town’s hospital as well as trekking in the jungle, scaling cliffs, and rafting along rivers on missions to eradicate polio from the face of the earth.
I asked Jutaporn the baby question, “It is like that scene from the movie Alien, when the slimy thing jumps out,” she said, “but instead of everyone being scared there is a mixture of amazement and delight.”
“So you think a patient might have a chance?” I felt stupid as soon as I asked the question as she works in a male ward and there are more than thirty guys lying about, some on respirators and others caught up in a spider-web of tubes and other medical devices. As a chorus they wheeze in and out a grim melody of an anti-smoking campaign. “Most of the people here either smoke or drink too much,” she said. “There is really not much chit-chatting going on.” I was going to go on but her friend whispered that they had a date with a DJ in town. I asked for her mobile phone number (for further research purposes) but she gave me her office line instead.
So, back to Jane. There is a beautiful and practical way about her as she put my romantic jest in context: “if I come home at midnight will you have dinner ready for me and will you stay up to spend time together?” Jane asked. “Will you drive me to work at five in the morning?” Courting a nurse is a difficult process, she said. Making life and family function around the nursing schedule also requires extra efforts. “When we get sick, it is not like we don’t need anyone to care for us. Sometimes it is not the medication, it is the understanding. Men sometimes don’t understand that. We care, but we also need to be cared for,” she said letting out another gorgeous smile before asking me, “Are you the caring type?”
You see, the word ‘care’ has a special meaning in nursing. Many research papers in the field (I have read them) discuss it in great details. I picked up a journal article on cultural theories of nursing, Kikuchi 2005 in Journal of Nursing Scholarship, there it said that in Thailand, there is a difference in the concept of care, as the nurses here extend it to family, the community, and whoever else that that may influence to help the patients to get better. In short, if you end up in a hospital and want to get on Jane’s good side, be attentive to the person you are visiting and extend the kindness appropriately to other people in the ward who may need it.
When Khan, Jane’s friend from Korat, came and joined us, the surprise was so pleasant that if I was a woman, I would have gone to the rest room to powder my nose. After the introductions I happily learned that she is also single. She works at a hospital on the edge of town and enjoys spending her afternoons with good coffee and good people. I asked her about those up country guys who have a head start. Khan laughed before confirming that men, just like me, did not understand a lot of things. She explained there are still many men who are intimidated by nurses. As a group of women, they are professional, financially independent, and proud. She said that these are just a few attributes that we machos will have to get used to.
This is a sad moment for me, as this article is coming to an end… So, here is a toast to you nurses, your patients, and the suitable men that may come! I started this article chasing a fantasy, and now that I have met the reality, I think that I will step up the chase.