The Stereotype of the Sexpat…

Good morning, afternoon, evening or night where or when ever this finds you in the world. It is just before 10 AM on a lazy overcast Sunday morning here in the Big Mango, and I thought I’d sit down and bang out another entry for your reading pleasure…or not as your tastes may be. Last night my partner and I departed from our usual routine and went out for a nice Saturday evening dinner. We visited a nice Thai restaurant called the River Bar for a nice meal. We drove across the impressive Rama 8 bridge/monument and had dinner on the Thonburi side of river. It was a very nice romantic dinner of baked fish, spring rolls, and sweet&sour pork. We don’t get to do those very often, unfortunately, due to my partner’s work schedule so it was a really nice thing for us to do together.

Anyways, I want to get to the topic in my head before it floats away into nothingness as things often do when they cross my mind. There is a ugly brush that is used to paint most foreigners living in Thailand that I’d like to address today with you. You see, there are a few assumptions or myths perpetuated by many if not most people ,both Thai and foreign, about us western men living here in Thailand:
1. The main motivation or factor for Western guys to move here to Thailand is sex and we only come here for the easy access to sex.
2. Western gay men are unable to be faithful and commit to monogamous caring relationships with only 1 partner.
3. Western gay men over certain age are only attracted to young dark skinned guys or girls.
4. Single western men have sex many times a week with random different partners for the purpose of one-night stands.
5. The sex industry in Thailand is caused by and used exclusively men from western countries.

So, firstly I for one did not move to Thailand for sexual reasons. I met my former Thai partner in the US while we were in school. We were together in the US for 7 years and I decided to give moving here a chance when the time came for him to move home. Also, I have another very close friend that moved here for a previously established relationship as well, and we have both agreed many times how these sort of racial stereotyping annoys us. To be perfectly honest, I really couldn’t even find Thailand on a map when i first met my partner, much less know about the sordid international reputation. Secondly, I know gay couples that have been together for decades and are just as happy being monogamous as some heterosexuals. The desire to step outside a relationship for sexual fulfillment is not limited to sexual orientation or race.

Thirdly, this idea in Thailand that all western men are attracted to very young dark skinned boys and girls is the biggest bunch of krap I think I’ve heard here. Everyone has different tastes in the world or else Baskin Robbins wouldn’t bother with 31 flavors. You don’t get to decide what your eyes find appealing so it is not fair to assume everyone of a certain age and race has the same tastes. Fourthly, I did not and have not ever engaged in a constant stream of one night stands on a weekly basis. This would apply here, home, or anywhere else in the world as my sex drive just isn’t high enough and perhaps I’m to picky. The randomness of meaningless one night stands has never appealed to me but I certainly wouldn’t throw stones when it comes to this point. To each his own, but my point is that it is just not me or my western friends.

Finally, I have heard many times over the years that the sex industry here in Thailand is perpetuated by the western male. This silly myth is easily dismissed by the presence of the massive structures used as “massage” parlors here in Bangkok around the ratchada area that cater almost exclusively to Thai clients. There is also a street called soi Thanaya here in Bangkok filled with “karaoke” bars that cater exclusively to Japanese clients seeking female short term companionship. However, I think westerners are more open when the frequent these type of establishments as it is not uncommon to see a westerner sitting in an open air bar with a “friend” on their arm for the evening. I think many Asian cultures are more private about such things, and thus the myth has been perpetuated that only westerners partake in such carnal activities.

I don’t know why I felt I needed to get that off my chest, but it is a conversation I’ve had with close friends very often. I wonder why it seems to be human nature to stereotype our fellow man? We are so quick to label one another as we pass in this world, but the world is a much more colorful place than we give it credit. There is a lot more depth of character out there passing you by, so next time you make an immediate assumption about someone I hope you pause to consider your thoughts again. Obviously, there are going to be those that fit your stereotype but not everyone wears the same size clothes, right? Anyways, I hope you enjoy your Sunday and will speak to you again very very soon. I’m thinking the next entry will be a video blog so make sure you stop by again soon!

Maids and Movies…

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It’s Monday morning just before lunch and i’m sitting here at home getting ready to enjoy my week of vacation. I think the best perk (there aren’t many) about being a teacher is the amount of vacation time you get a year. Now I know that there are some people in the world that think that teachers have an easy life, and that we get to much time off from work…blah, blah, blah! I’ve heard it before and I promise you that we fully earn the vacation time we get. It takes weeks of planning and spending 8 hours a day with a room full of 5 year olds keeping them happy, entertained, and learning all at the same time. Then on top of that add the work politics I’ve had to deal with lately, and you’ll understand why I haven’t shaved or showered but that’s what vacations are all about, right?

Anyways, I’m not planning on going anywhere this week special and will probably spend my time sleeping late, going to the gym, and playing WOW. I kind of wish i could go away, but I need to save my money in case there is a repeat of last month’s disaster at work. However, I promised i wouldn’t go into that so on a different note, I finally have broken down and hired a maid. It reminds me of when i was a little boy and on occasion I’d ask my mother to iron a shirt or something and what would she say…”What am I, the Maid or something?” I used to tell my Mom when i was growing up that I would have a maid some day to iron my clothes, clean my room, and do my chores. Well Mom…and i know your reading this…She’s cleaning the kitchen as we speak. I would never think of having a maid living in the U.S. but this is Thailand and it’s not uncommon. Most of the families with kids at our school have live in maids, nannies, and cooks to help out. So, I talked to my assistant at school and she new someone right away that would be good for the job…so I thought, why not?

Yes, yes…maybe I’m just lazy but it’s not like I spend all my free time laying on the couch, watching soaps, and eating Bon bons. I wash and iron the clothes, wash dishes, make the bed, and tidy up as much as i can. I think things just get dirtier here in Thailand than at home. Yeah…that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Finally, last night we had dinner at the Sizzler and went to a movie. Believe it or not, the Sizzler is considered classy eating to Thais. I know, as I was surprised when i first moved here as well and someone wanted to take me on a date to have a nice dinner there. We then went to see the movie “27 Dresses,” which has just released in theaters here in Thailand. I hadn’t actually heard much about this film before hand, and so I didn’t know what to expect going into it. However, I did hear that It was written by the same writer that adapted The Devil Wears Prada for the big screen so my hopes were up as to potential quality. I don’t think that it will be winning any Oscars but It was an cute way to spend a Sunday night with someone special. I’m not going to give you a full review however, because the New York Times did a far better job than I could hope, so go have a read for yourself.  So on that note I will bid  you a good week.  Will probably blog a few times this week, so make sure you check back for updates often!  Much love to all and enjoy…