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The roots of Thailand's sex industry

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  Quote Reginmund Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: The roots of Thailand's sex industry
    Posted: 13-May-2009 at 11:25
Thailand's thriving sex industry is often a topic of some contemporary interest, for reasons intellectual as well as carnal, but what made Thailand into the sex paradise it is today?

Several explanations have been put forward. One holds that the large number of American soldiers who passed through Thailand during the Vietnam war, combined with Thailand's large number of poor country girls, resulted in widespread prostitution and established an exploitative pattern for the lower classes of Thai society.

Others would rather point to far deeper roots, suggesting that prostitution has been inseparably intertwined with Thai culture for centuries. In turn this has produced a society that is uniquely tolerant of prostitutes, and although these women still carry a social stigma it is in no way comparable to that in most other societies. For example, the treshold for selling one's children to brothels is comparatively low, and only the most conservative would think twice about marrying a former prostitute.

Regardless of which explanation is closest to the truth, if one considers the increasingly globalized nature of the world economy, was it perhaps unavoidable that Thailand would end up as the sex capital of the modern world, and will it continue to be so in the foreseeable future?



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  Quote Parnell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-May-2009 at 15:31
I'm not sure if prostitution is more acceptable in Thailand than anywere else. Could we say the same about Eastern Europeans nowadays? Go on to any Irish or British city street at night and it isn't hard to come across a Polish lady 'selling her wares'. Though admittedly thats more to do with the mafia's sex trade, or probably more accurately, the mafia's sex slavery industry.
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  Quote Constantine XI Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-May-2009 at 15:44
Originally posted by Parnell

I'm not sure if prostitution is more acceptable in Thailand than anywere else. Could we say the same about Eastern Europeans nowadays? Go on to any Irish or British city street at night and it isn't hard to come across a Polish lady 'selling her wares'. Though admittedly thats more to do with the mafia's sex trade, or probably more accurately, the mafia's sex slavery industry.


I must flatly disagree, sorry mate.

Living in a country in close proximity to Thailand, where many of our nationals do go to holiday, I can say the sex industry is far more open and pervasive and unabashed than in the UK. You simply cannot compare what goes on in seedy British districts to the blatant sex industry of Thailand, they are on two very different levels. Thailand is indeed distinct for its sex industry.
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  Quote Parnell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-May-2009 at 16:01
Hmm... seeing as I've never set foot on Asian soil it looks like I'll have to take you at your word. I hope your a man of honour!
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  Quote Constantine XI Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-May-2009 at 17:20
I have been flooded with shocking tales from friends who simply visited there. None of them claimed to be in search of sexual adventures, the sex acts and prostititution was simply pushed on them while they were in ordinary areas of tourist resorts and big cities. Seriously, it is not comparable to anywhere in Europe. It is pushed on you, you don't need to go looking for it.
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  Quote Seko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-May-2009 at 17:38
Hmmm, with all that 'pushing' going on I wonder how the rickshaw business is doing? Pushing and pulling. One gets confused under all the exertion. 
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  Quote Chilbudios Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-May-2009 at 19:50
Originally posted by Constantine XI

I have been flooded with shocking tales from friends who simply visited there. None of them claimed to be in search of sexual adventures, the sex acts and prostititution was simply pushed on them while they were in ordinary areas of tourist resorts and big cities. Seriously, it is not comparable to anywhere in Europe. It is pushed on you, you don't need to go looking for it.
I recently spent a week in Thailand and my experience was different. There are places where you have them all over you but there are some other places where it's not at all like that.

Edited by Chilbudios - 13-May-2009 at 19:52
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  Quote Paul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-May-2009 at 22:21
Originally posted by Reginmund

Thailand's thriving sex industry is often a topic of some contemporary interest, for reasons intellectual as well as carnal, but what made Thailand into the sex paradise it is today?
 
Once upon a time Thailand was the brothel of the world, as Singapore and Hong Kong had been before. Now the Shang Hai or Manila surpass it and soon Pnom Penn will too along with several other Chinese cities. There is a pattern here, wealth. With increased wealth in Thailand the age of sex workers has gone up and the amount of new girls joining the industry has decreased.
 
 
 
Originally posted by Reginmund


Several explanations have been put forward. One holds that the large number of American soldiers who passed through Thailand during the Vietnam war, combined with Thailand's large number of poor country girls, resulted in widespread prostitution and established an exploitative pattern for the lower classes of Thai society.

Others would rather point to far deeper roots, suggesting that prostitution has been inseparably intertwined with Thai culture for centuries. In turn this has produced a society that is uniquely tolerant of prostitutes, and although these women still carry a social stigma it is in no way comparable to that in most other societies. For example, the treshold for selling one's children to brothels is comparatively low, and only the most conservative would think twice about marrying a former prostitute.
 
Um no..... The Vietnam war explanation is popular but completely wrong. The first European travellers to Thailand in the 17th century found a thriving brothel scene no different from China or Japan of the age. Also the Bangkok sex industry boom was created when the Thai government outlawed opium and the Chinese turned all the dens into brothels instead. Few girls or children are sold to brothels as the industry is mostly voluntary no worse here than western countries, pimps don't exist. And it is difficult for a former prostitute to find marriage not easy.
 
As for the low class prostitution comment read my article on Sakdina on this forum, that addresses that.
 
 
Originally posted by Constantine XI

Living in a country in close proximity to Thailand, where many of our nationals do go to holiday, I can say the sex industry is far more open and pervasive and unabashed than in the UK. You simply cannot compare what goes on in seedy British districts to the blatant sex industry of Thailand, they are on two very different levels. Thailand is indeed distinct for its sex industry.
 
No worse or blatent than Amsterdam though, and that it is so public and open is why there is so little abuse and exploitation going on. Compare that to India where they kidnap women and hold tham prisoner in back streets.
 
 
 
Now here's my pennies worth.
 
Prostitution isn't one thing. There are areas with prostitution in major cities, tourist spots and border towns, but in the rest of Thialand it doesn't exist. Few Thais visit these areas so don't even know they live in a country which such a reputation and those who live in these areas view it as normality and are unaware the rest of the world is not like that.
 
Prostitution exists for the wealthy in the form of minor wives, mistresses, expensive clubs and massage parlours. Most are brothels  are owned by top politicians and seen part of the culture. They have been around for centuries. Tourist areas are contraversial but generate too much money to close, though they did try a few years ago when the economy was more healthy, but Thai politics belives in the magic of the market place and not interfering with business, same with drugs until Taksin came to power.
 
There is little morally wrong with sleeping with a prostitute, if a wife or girlfriend finds out she generally doesn't mind, a mistress of minor wife more serious. There is plenty morally wrong with being a prostitute however, this prejudice will never be vocalised. There is much less morally wrong with being a minor wife or mistress. Many girls in the prostitution industry rationalise that they are hired girlfriends, hiring girlfriends is seen somewhere between being a mistress and prostitute and has a long tradition going back centuries even European travellers would hire a mistress or wife for a few months hundreds of years ago and this hiring still exist in the tourism industry today, most prostitute apsire to do this.
 
Basically the Sakdina article covers it, Thai rulers see little problem with it. They also believe in libertarian economics and are greedy, very very greedy.
 


Edited by Paul - 13-May-2009 at 22:26
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  Quote eaglecap Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-May-2009 at 20:10
A friend told me he went to Thailand in the late 70's and got a girl in her late teens or 20's for five dollars. This was for the entire weekend and she took part of the money and took him dancing and to dinner. WOW- what a bargain. I hear the prices have gone up since then but I have never been to Asia - only Asia Minor in Turkey.

I have no problem with this as long as the girls/woman are over 18 and not forced into this and they are not children. I know the sex trade has drawn in all types of pedophiles and some have been arrested on their return to the USA. I saw a news bit about an American Dentist who was busted for doing this in Costa Rica. Now that Cuba is open will that area also develop a sex industry? Really, according to some articles I have read it is already there.

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  Quote Voskhod Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-May-2009 at 11:04
Generally agree with Paul's post above.

[quote=ConstantineXI]I have been flooded with shocking tales from friends who simply visited there. None of them claimed to be in search of sexual adventures, the sex acts and prostititution was simply pushed on them while they were in ordinary areas of tourist resorts and big cities. Seriously, it is not comparable to anywhere in Europe. It is pushed on you, you don't need to go looking for it.[/quote]

Depends on where you travel, I guess. In places like Pattaya, certain... views of Western tourists tend to dominate.
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  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-May-2009 at 07:19
There is an old article on this matter. I can't confirm the static reliability but it is interesting to read as it's regarding this thread. Would like to share with u guys:-

Thailand’s Long Tradition of Prostitution Modern Attitude Shifts vs. Huge Economic Benefits


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  Quote opuslola Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Oct-2009 at 20:47
It seems the word "root" used by the beginner of this list, says it all!
http://www.quotationspage.com/subjects/history/
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  Quote snowybeagle Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-Oct-2009 at 18:51
Sex industry in Thailand can only be deemed as being relatively more open to her neighbouring countries, but it is not necessarily bigger.
 
One of the main factor of its existence is poverty and economics, but the main factor for its openness is culture of tolerance and graft.
 
Thailand is a beautiful country to visit and tourism is a significant contributor to its economy.
Being relatively cheap, it is attractive to tourists from developed countries.
 
Some of Thai's neighbours were authoritarian regimes which severely restricted foreign visitors, e.g., Myanmar, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, until recent times.  Whatever sex industry existed in those countries had been severely clamped down.  Even though some of these countries opened up more in recent times, their lack of infrastructure and medical facilities made them much less attractive to visitors.
 
The other neighbouring countries like Malaysia and Indonesia had Muslim dominance, and thus sex industry could not flaunt itself too aggresively.
 
The Philippines' sex industry is probably just as thriving, considering that it had hosted 2 major US military bases for decades (Clarke's airbase and Subic's naval port), despite the country being nominally Catholic in majority with significant Protestant and Muslim minorities.
 
Singapore is one of the smallest country in the world, and though quite open to tourism and allowed prostitution, the government had been pushing for a clean image for years.
 
There is nothing exceptional in Thai's history about the current state of its sex industry.
Rather, it was probably events in its neighbours that made it stand out.
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  Quote Pytheus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-Oct-2009 at 09:14
Originally posted by snowybeagle

There is nothing exceptional in Thai's history about the current state of its sex industry.
 
 
Except of course half the prositutes turn out to have dicks.
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  Quote Cryptic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Oct-2009 at 06:27
Originally posted by Pytheus

Originally posted by snowybeagle

There is nothing exceptional in Thai's history about the current state of its sex industry.
 
 
Except of course half the prositutes turn out to have dicks.
Even that may not be exceptional in Thai history. It is my general understanding that the Thais have tolerated homosexuality and tansexuality to a higher degree and for a longer period of time than most countries.
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  Quote jafflen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Nov-2011 at 00:54
under indian law a muslim man can have up to four wives.
hindus are not legally allowed more than one wife, but in fact there are more polygamous hindus than muslims in india, in large part because there are about 1 muslim in india for every 10 hindus.
but thailand is so much nicer than india, and thai people are so much friendlier than indians, and although polygamy is illegal in thailand since 1935, it is still very widely practiced. and in thailand a non-muslim can have as many wives as he can find girls who will marry him. i read a news story about a man who has seven wives.


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  Quote Cywr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Jan-2012 at 08:19
Sex industry in Thailand can only be deemed as being relatively more open to her neighbouring countries, but it is not necessarily bigger.


Was going to post something along these lines. Was reading through some UN stuff a while back, that had estimates on the number of prostitutes in different countries, and Thailand in no way stood out, they just don't hide it.
Kind of like Amsterdam Vs London, relative to the population I doubt there are more prostitutes in Amsterdam, but its not hidden away like in London.
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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Jan-2012 at 08:28
Originally posted by Reginmund

Thailand's thriving sex industry is often a topic of some contemporary interest, for reasons intellectual as well as carnal, but what made Thailand into the sex paradise it is today?

Several explanations have been put forward. One holds that the large number of American soldiers who passed through Thailand during the Vietnam war, combined with Thailand's large number of poor country girls, resulted in widespread prostitution and established an exploitative pattern for the lower classes of Thai society.

Others would rather point to far deeper roots, suggesting that prostitution has been inseparably intertwined with Thai culture for centuries. In turn this has produced a society that is uniquely tolerant of prostitutes, and although these women still carry a social stigma it is in no way comparable to that in most other societies. For example, the treshold for selling one's children to brothels is comparatively low, and only the most conservative would think twice about marrying a former prostitute.

Regardless of which explanation is closest to the truth, if one considers the increasingly globalized nature of the world economy, was it perhaps unavoidable that Thailand would end up as the sex capital of the modern world, and will it continue to be so in the foreseeable future?
I think that it is possible because of all of those reasons put together. However I doubt if it can be said that such things are inevitable. There has to be driving forces all along for such things to happen.
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