So what about the gangs and drugs in Thailand? Well, there just wasn’t any that I could find. I don’t even hear stories. I’m not saying they don’t exist, I’m just saying that from my experiences these two problems are mostly irrelevant to the prostitution situation. What about diseases? Fortunately, not all Thai politicians are useless. One such politician, who calls himself “Mr Condom” made the country aware of the AIDs epidemic and made condom usage culturally acceptable to Thais. I’d even encourage you to check out one of his chain restaurants – good food, and interesting decorations.
language notes: The Thai word for condom is the same as in English, kawn1dawm3 คอนด้อม. Another popular word is tung5 ถุง or tung5 yaang1 ถุงยาง, which basically means bag or pouch. You can also use the slang word yaang1 ยาง, which means ‘rubber’ (also just like in English).
So is Thai prostitution ‘good’ and US prostitution ‘bad’? Well, unlike in the US, Asia in general has a serious problem with trafficking and forced prostitution. And child prostitution. Money given to these criminals will of course result in more kidnappings and such. I also see mothers sending their 3 year old girls begging for money alone in the red-light districts, making my heart sink. And it funds corrupt politicians and police officers, which lead to other societal problems. My friend Lek does it voluntarily; that’s her choice and I respect that. But you will always find ‘bad people’ lurking in the darker side of any country. By being a customer you risk funding their ‘bad’ activities.
Anyway, we all have our own beliefs of what is and isn’t moral, I’m just explaining to you the cultural aspect from my own experiences.
Shifting the subject a bit, I once posed a question to these ‘working’ girls: what do you consider to be the perfect guy? I honestly thought they’d have a long list of ‘requirements’ given their lengthy experiences with men. But their unified answer shocked me: “I’ll take whoever is willing to marry me.” I’d ask, ‘well, what about skin color? Or education? Or what country they come from? Or money?’ They said if they could choose, they would, but they’ve long since given up on that. They’ll take whatever they can get.
So whatever happened to Lek? The last I heard from her, she messaged me from Britain telling me she married this British guy. She had no interest in talking about him, and so I understood what that meant.