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Thailand’s Prostitution Image Is Embarrassing

15 February 2013 :: 09:02:00 am [ 26,408 views ]


Prostitution has become so widespread in Thailand for so long that it has become world famous for it. Many foreigners in other countries associate Thailand as a place where prostitution is its major industry. Some even make jokes about it. But the reality is not that funny for the prostitutes.

It is well known that being a prostitute in Thailand is considered a scornful job by Thai people in every level of society. But some people may tolerate or even defend prostitution, or see it as something honorable to entertain people in an erotic way.

Although it is labeled as such a disgraceful job, Thailand has become famous for prostitution around the world. Or perhaps “infamous” would be a better word. Recently, the well-known American TV show, “Saturday Night Live,” had a short comedy skit, “Rosetta Stone Thai,” which insulted Thailand.

It showed foreign men wanting to learn the Thai language, because they wanted to visit Thailand to talk to Thai prostitutes and pay for their sexual services. So the comedy actors were learning Thai phrases like, “How much?” and “Is that for the whole night?” It is noteworthy that audience members were laughing very loudly, showing that Americans knew all about Thailand’s sex industry.

After that embarrassing episode, Mr. Sonthaya Khunpluem from Thailand’s Ministry of Culture sent a letter to inform the U.S. Embassy in Thailand. He explained that the TV clip really damaged the image of Thailand and requested that whoever posted it to remove it. The comedy clip only shows a one-sided view of Thailand, Mr. Sonthaya protested. More preferable would be a documentary with a more balanced view of prostitution, instead of treating it as a joke.

To be honest, prostitution is a reality in Thailand because of so many poor people who are barely surviving. However difficult it is to accept that reality, prostitution has always existed and not just in Thailand. There are many venues of prostitution, ranging from women selling themselves on the streets, or in entertainment centers, or even advertising online.

The question is, why has prostitution become so huge inThailand that it is now famous for it? Although it is illegal, prostitution is still going on nearly everywhere in Thailand, especially in the big cities visited by tourists like Bangkok and Pattaya. Surprisingly, Thailand is a Buddhist country, which makes it seem strange that prostitution would be allowed to flourish. Thai women love to be prudent, yet there are a still a lot of working prostitutes.

For the most part, when the prostitutes are asked about why they are in the sex industry, they tend to give similar reasons. They might say their friends persuaded them to be waitresses or bar girls. But soon enough they discovered that giving “extra service” could earn them a lot more money. Then they got to enjoy having a very good income, which they often send back home to support parents or their children with no father.

Most Thai prostitutes grew up in very poor families. So they had to struggle, and ended up working in the entertainment spots, which don’t require them to have any degrees or special skills. Prostituion is a shortcut for so many women, and can make them successful in a very short time.

Naturally, since visiting tourists come to spend their money on prostitutes, it has become so well known in cities like Bangkok. So the foreign media have portrayed Bangkok as a city of sexual pleasures. Most Thai people are embarrassed by this labeling of Bangkok as a giant brothel. But many Westerners completely see Bangkok in that way.

However, Thai people have to accept that prostitution in cities like Bangkok are not falsehoods that the Westerners are making up. It is the reality that we have to find the solution for, and start to do something about the shameful image of Thailand that began decades ago.

Thailand has become a desirable place in the minds of foreigners to have sex cheaply with attractive Thai females. On the other side of the coin, a growing trend for male prostitutes is emerging, with people in its inner circles knowing where such services exist.

As long as the laws against prostitution are not enforced, and no reasonable alternatives are available for poor women, Thai people have to accept the truth that prostitution will continue in Thailand and remain widely available all over the country.

Tags :

american, Bangkok, brothel, cheap, embassy, Entertainment News, famous, foreigners, industry, Language, Pattaya, pleasure, poor, prostitution, reality, sex, shameful, Thailand News, World News,

Photo : Internet   Category : Society

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len    2013-03-31 17:11:49    email :
Now it is cristal clear why AIDS is so widespread especially in Bangkok. What is more important, loyalty or integrity?
Just    2013-03-08 06:57:27    email :
Who is paying who to let bars and gogo open, a quick police campain and close al bars and gogo wil distroy the pattaya economie.
Brian    2013-03-06 13:08:39    email :
Most prostitutes in America are ugly, drug addicted, and probably have disease. I do not think there are more than in Thailand.

But all women want money, married or what. What is the difference?

The best hookers in USA are in Nevada where it is legal. Mai pen rai. Its the oldest profession for a reason.
khun    2013-03-03 06:22:35    email :
the gouverment doesnt why you do?
Koen Jochums    2013-03-02 17:53:09    email :
Thailand's prostitution image is embarrassing???? Don't judge what you know nothing off. So many people wrecked by society can find some happiness and acceptance by the Isaan girls. They are "poor" in physical wealth, because there mindset is different and they live day by day, never thinking or worrying by the future. But they are masters in giving love to people without the "required by society" physical looks. The real prostitution goes on in governments, businesses and courts. The lady bars are a place where people are great comfort and caring. Stop spreading these lies please.
Paul    2013-02-22 21:48:28    email :

I believe there are more prostitutes in America than in Thailand! Why Americans not laughing of that? I as a westerner come Thailand since decade ago for Holiday and today have many Thai friends...I believe 1 Thai girl is worth more than 10 American girls and more than 15 European girls. Western women envy "their men" give love to Thais...long live Thailand.
Theo Anggara    2013-02-22 19:27:21    email :
It's too but exciting, I get a girl pattaya. and I went going to pattaya hahaha ^^
Romolo    2013-02-16 12:52:13    email :
Nothing real in what you wright.... I come in Thailand on 1986 for the first time and now I work here from 1993.... Have a lot of place looking for working people and don 't need to have experience of be graduate, this because in Thailand is "IMPOSSIBLE" find lady for normal work, even if pay more that minimum salary... All my friend have the same problem, find lady for work is impossible. The lady that choose to be prostitute, at 90% make because them don't like to work. JUST THIS. In near country like Vietnam, poor more then Thailand, the prostitute are very few, just because the lady are more proud. Sorry to say because I love Thailand and Thai people, but if them choose to make prostitute dont defend them please....
Paul    2013-02-16 10:07:33    email :
And what about all the brothels for Thai men in remote areas where tourists don't go. That's where alot of them start before going on to tourist area's. I have seen many Lao girls up in the north east paraded in clubs and bars where I am the only farang.
Trying to blame the westerners for something that has gone on for many centuries here.
tomtom    2013-02-15 21:27:36    email :
Hahaha, so it's all about westerners having sex with thai prostitute.. What about the fact that 95% of customers are thai men? This isn't mentionned in this article.. You have still some steps to do to accept reality :-)
ajarn julian    2013-02-15 17:15:34    email :
although some experts offer a deep analysis of prostitution in thailand, we still read the same easy explanation about it.

thailand is a class society where money is essential. hospitals, schools, sinsot... in thailand, health, education and spouse depends on wealth. indeed, the impact of money in thais life is much bigger than in the western world. but the other part of it is the huge gap between "hi-so" and "low-so" thai classes don't mix and while one of them is overwhelmed by money and consumerism, the other one is kept out of the consumsion market. there are so many stories about school girls selling their body in order to buy the latest phone or tablet that poverty cannot be the only explanation. in fact it's the perception of poverty that creates this feeling. the only way to jump from the low class to the high one is money, and for uneducated people, the shame of being low class is much bigger than the shame of being a sex worker. there's no question why most of these girls come from isaan: any teacher who has taught in isaan government school knows how low the level is and isaan is the poorest area of the country. surprisingly, hilltribes and even illegal migrants are much less involved in the sex business (they are, of course, but it's still a mostly thai activity)

the tourists-orientated prostitution is a very small part of the sex business, brothels and karaokes can be found in any city nationwide. according the "thai fever" book, it's absolutely normal for thai men to have their first sexual experience with a prostitute.

the solution is economic, educative and also politic. as long as people with no education will have no perspective and will be looked down by the high class, nothing will change in the land of smiles.
Mikenyork    2013-02-15 13:06:33    email :
Thai prostitution is not now, nor has it ever been, limited to "foreign" clients. I live in the Rachada district. There are more than twenty large, highly visible "massage parlors" in my neighborhood. Most, if not all, are thinly disguised brothels. Although there are foreign clients (mostly from China), the primary market is Thai. Very, very few Westerners.