Monday, October 18, 2010

About A Whore


All right -- the last story about Thailand. A bit more proselytizing than usual here, I know, but it's a charged topic.


Bangkok -- 1995 and 1999.

Prostitution is wrong.

So is murder. So is war. So is thievery, gluttony, and greed. So is torching the rainforest, fucking up the ozone layer, and using rude language.

Boycotting Thailand, or Thai products, because there are prostitutes there, however, is also wrong. And stupid. Prostitution is NOT legal in Thailand, and the age of consent is 18. Child prostitution is most assuredly not legal.

There are fewer prostitutes in Thailand than there are in Taiwan or Hong Kong, just to name two places, and Bangkok's red light districts are positively wholesome compared to those of Germany. There are underage prostitutes, undoubtedly, but it's probably no easier or more difficult to find them than in America and England.

There are sex tourists in Thailand. A good deal of them. There are also sex tourists in Russia, Brazil, and Kenya, and practically every other nation of South-east Asia. And sex-tourism is not just a solely-male pasttime -- Female British tourists go to Jamaica to bang big Rasta dudes, apparently, and I know plenty of Russian girls who went to Turkey looking for lovers and husbands. Hell, there were even some expat chicks in Thailand who liked the adrogenous long-haired Thai boys.

In 1995, I went to the go-go bars around Nana Plaza with my colleagues about once every three weeks or so. It was always fun, and the girls in the bars never seemed particularly unhappy or exploited. No more so than strippers in any bar I'd ever been to in America, and considerably happier than most. We drank beer and joked around with the girls, danced with them, played Connect Four. It was a popular bar game, Connect Four. Man, some of those chicks were really good at it, too.

As far as I know, all the girls were over eighteen. They were supposed to be, anyway.

I don't know when the idea of actually paying for sex began to appeal to me, but it happened all at once, I know that. Before I had been positively adverse to it. But on my 26th birthday, I decided I wanted to go with a prostitute.

My favorite was a girl named Oh, who worked at the Club Hollywood in Nana Plaza. She danced with a wild exuberance and passion that stirred the soul. She was lovely, lithe and slim.

And she had two crooked front teeth. I mean, they pointed in two different directions.

I don't know why, but I found that incredibly endearing.

Oh spoke no English beyond a few words. "Pay bar fine?" and "You go me?" were two she did know. You had to pay the bar to take a girl out, and whatever price you paid her for sex was up to her. I think the bar fee was two hundred bhat, which at the time was about $8. I did so, and took her to the cheap hourly hotel down the street. I gave her 500 bhat, which at the time was $20. I think she usually charged 1000, though.

Fade out.

I don't know why I was expecting sex with a prostitute to be different than with anybody else, but it wasn't.

In fact it was pretty great.

I was a customer to Oh, of course, but for some reason there seemed to be real tenderness there. As much tenderness as money can buy, you may scoff, but it was real tenderness nonetheless.

As I said, she could speak no English, so it wasn't like I was going to get to know her too well, beyond the obvious Biblical sense. When she was there at the bar, she was always glad to see me. I often gave her money just for sitting and drinking with me. I had sex with her I think about four times in 1995. She was meticulous about hygiene and protection, but passionate and . . . well, the word tender pops up again. It was fun.

The months wore on, and she seemed to be around less and less. She reappeared after a lengthy absence with brand new braces on her teeth. As Christmas approached, she always seemed very unhappy when I saw her. My Thai never advanced well enough to find out exactly why.

I saw her the week before I left for Korea in 1996. She wanted me to pay her bar fine so she could go home. I asked her if she would go to the hotel with me. "Next time," she said.

"No next time," I said, and explained I was leaving. She hugged me sadly and said she had to go.

So that was that.

Or so I thought.

Cut to 1999. The boys didn't go to the go-go bars much anymore, but we made a trip down there for old times sake. I was warned to stay out of the Club Hollywood, though, which had become a bar full of transsexuals.

Nonetheless, I stuck my head in there and had a drink for old time's sake. It hadn't changed too much, but there were indeed quite a few transsexuals around.

I had one beer and was one my way out when a hand fell on my shoulder.

"Don't I know you?"

I turned around and saw a beautiful girl. He hair was dyed reddish purple now, and she had a tattoo of a flaming heart on the small of her back, and it took me a minute to register who it was.

Beautiful Oh. Teeth now straight and suddenly able to speak English.

Whoa.

We eagerly sat down and had a few beers (that was a new habit too -- she hadn't drunk before) and finally I was able to hear the story of who she was. We talked for about two hours.

Her story was sad, of course. Her mother was an alcoholic, divorced from her father, and the mother's boyfriend was always trying to have sex with her. Mother wouldn't stop him so she moved to Bangkok to live with a grandmother. She got a job as a waitress in a cafe near Nana Plaza.

A lot of the bar girls went to this cafe to eat before and after work, and Oh eventually became friends with one of them. The friend told her what good money she could make working at the Club Hollywood, and Oh eventually did it.

The money piled up. She said in an average month she made about $1000 -$1500. (My salary at the time was about $800 a month, and the average Thai waitress of cleaner made about $100 - $150) She had a lot of men who gave her money and gifts just for sleeping in the same bed and holding them. Quite a lot of men either didn't want sex or couldn't get hardons.

Around Christmas of 1995, Oh's friend had been critically injured in a motorbike taxi accident. Before she died, she asked Oh to promise that she'd finish high school and try to get a real job.

Oh had done so. (And obviously gone to a high school with a good English teacher.)

Alas, however, the economic bubble had burst in 1997 and Oh been able to find no job that offered her even half the money she could make having sex with four or five men a month at Nana Plaza.

(This is one reason it's absolutely retarded to boycott legitimate Thai industry.)

I asked her about her social life. She said she'd had a Thai boyfriend for a while, but he'd hit her once so she left him. "It was only once, but if a boy does it once he'll do it again," she said. She'd recently tried to make up with her mother and moved her down to Bangkok and rented a house for them, along with a younger cousin. She had a lot of expenses now.

Oh suggested we go to the short-time hotel that night. I told her I only had about $8 left and I needed some money to get a taxi home.

She shook her head. "You Americans are always so worried about money."

She gave me a freebie.

I wish I could say we had beautiful earth shaking sessions of love-making, but frankly I was too drunk. Nonetheless we had a very pleasant hour on the sheets there, and then took a hot shower together.

I saw her a few more times before I left Bangkok for my next job, but that was the last time I had sex with her. The night before I left I gave her a gift of 1000 bhat. (About $35 at that time.)

I wish I could say we'd kept in touch, but it would have been nearly impossible -- this was before email and text messages were common.

I hope she's well. I hope she met a nice guy to marry who gave her a comfortable life. She was beautiful and charming and intelligent, and I don't think she was stuck in that world forever.

So yeah, having sex for money is wrong. But I think most people have done it for worse reasons. Boredom, drunkenness, desire to make someone jealous, etc.

And I think of, for example, the cleaning lady at the school. She made $150 a month, worked six days a week ten hours a day and her duties included taking coffee to the owner of the school, at which times she was expected to prostrate herself almost to the floor. She was married to a drunken tuk-tuk driver, who spent all his money on amphetimines and -- on hookers! And these hookers weren't the bar girls of Nana Plaza and Patpong -- these were the places where girls were chained to the bed and forced to service twenty men a day. Run by Thais FOR Thais. It's pretty doubtful he used condoms.

So which woman was getting the short end of the stick here, the gainfully employed married one or the whore?

Another name added to my list of long-lost friends who I wish well:

Beautiful Oh.

9 comments:

Chan rak khun nan leu said...

English Teacher x actually showing a humanistic side, that's a genuinely nice story. If it's any consolation, i'm sure she thinks back fondly of you too !!!!!

Anonymous said...

http://www.tourismandaviation.com/news-4209--SEX_Tourism_About_A_Whore_

Eve Lopez said...

Touching story. When I saw the title, I started laughing - I'd expected some comedic tale. You always surprise me. I'm sure Chan is right - I'm sure Oh thinks of you fondly as well. I'm kind of surprised that you think prostitution is wrong, though. I actually think it's an honest living for women who choose it (I'm not talking about the chained girls). At any rate, it IS always nice to see your human side.

stevie austin said...

Yes, I was disappointed as well to see the semi-defensive posture assumed in writing about prostitution.

For some of the reasons you elucidated (1500 a month) and then some for girls in more affluent countries, it's a vocation that doesn't need any justification.

Unless you're afraid of virginia wolfe.

English Teacher X said...

well, let's just say, in a perfect world, women wouldn't have to make a living in such an invasive sort of way. . . but you could say that about a lot of things, of course. . .

English Teacher X said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I want to know if you have a degree?

Magallanes said...

in a certain scientific experiment, they taught some group of chimps the concept of money. . cannot remember the actual paper- but certainly after that - the first primate prostitute appeared.
Prostitution, no matter how you combat it - will persist.
Harlots will be around as far as human nature is around. So is it a wonder when God of Israel did not condemn the "act of harlotry" itself (only being a harlot and being a priest's daughter) but correct me if I am wrong in that statement.

SO ET X
This article- this cuento - sure is a masterpiece- yup it is hard for these american princesses to understand the situation of these prostitute (i know a few myself being from a third world country)
But in fact these retarded American bitches are worse aren't they? those prostitutes pretty much had no choice - they were stricken by poverty. on the other hand the same Gringas locas who condemn Asian whores are in reality "SLUTS". They fool around for free and they fornicate for the most selfish reasons like boredom, fetish, or simply being tired of beta hubby. So these American sluts have no right to judge these harlots. I honestly would never marry a harlot, that being said however I might as well MARRY A HARLOT before I marry an American slut

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