Friday, April 17, 2009

Discrimination of Fat People

Something I find offensive to a great degree on Internet forums about Thailand and in writing on Thailand in general is this continuing reference to the fatness of _insert_group_to_be_insulted_here_. Usually comments are made in the genre of "it's disgusting how those fat Germans/queers/old men/farang women hang out with those young, slim, cutey beauties," etc., etc.

I find these comments hypocritical, immature, and ignorant to a high degree, assuming a number of contradictory things about the [fat-hating] speaker's position in Thailand and the position of the overweight visitor/resident in Thailand. I think these comments are also more insensitive among gay men, who have to worry about their appearance a lot more typically than straight men.


Contradictory to the assumptions of many immature individuals, larger (and older) persons are desired by a number of young men not only in Asia but also other countries of the world. There are whole bars devoted to this pursuit in the main cities of Japan [not to mention about half of the gay mags], and any larger person who's lived in Asia any length of time will have his admirers (often more than he can peacefully cope with!) Personally speaking, I've dated guys in every country I've ever lived in who had appreciation for, let us say, a man with something to him. I wouldn't have it any other way- I won't date guys I'm not sure are attracted to me (a good way to tell: check out his movie collection or porn, if any- lots of big guys? You know he's for real- one of the last guys I dated would go to any John Goodman movie that came out).

So, not only is the fat person NOT undesirable to this larg-ish group of chubby-chasing people, but they wouldn't give a second look to some skinny, middle-sized pretender.


Having demonstrated that we DO have a bit of a market, I hope it's obvious how this assumption is wrong. However, it displays a bit of additional arrogance and hubris on the part of the speaker- who seems to think that his being slender means he WON'T pay for sex- a common mistake on the part of those without much experience here. "I'm such a handsum handsum man that even the hookers won't charge me." This may happen- but very, very rarely.

I got very angry reading Cleo Odzer's book about prostitution in Patpong, for instance, because she seemed to imply that something was so "wrong" about the relative differential in beauty [judged by her] between the tourists and bargirls she saw, while she was engaged in the very same types of behavior [but it was "ok," because she was slim, blond and "beautiful."]


Not to lots of folks! However, this is the feeling that comes through many posts referring to the weight of people. Aside from lacking the simple maturity of the realization that "there's someone for everyone" [and thank god for that], this is offensive and wrong. I think it comes from being hypnotized by Hollywood's message about what people should "look like" in movies and commercials. Ever noticed how the people Thai folks think are attractive (the "types" in movies that get repeated over and over) don't match with the kind of Thais that farang like? Ever wonder about how this might work in reverse? If not, perhaps you need a bit of deprogramming from Hollywood.

Anyway, just a starting point for discussion, and if nothing else, perhaps I'll have given some folks a reason to think twice before using "fat" as a generically negative classification.

Disclaimer: I'm a pretty big guy- tall, and I definitely qualify as fat, though I'm still fit enough to jog for half an hour or cycle a fair distance. Have always been, no matter how much exercise I did or how I tried to control my diet. I don't have trouble fitting into Thai chairs, but I'd never be able to fit into Thai clothes!

Frankly, my ex-bf always wished I was much bigger!


Saturday, April 4, 2009

Filipinos are even more emotional and unrestrained than Thais

I've known a number of Filipino gays and had a Filipino bf for a few years. There are MANY, MANY gays there- I'd say it's on the same order of frequency as in Thailand if not more. The Catholic repression is there, as Cathy says, but it doesn't seem to stop 'em.

In the big cities, the gay subculture is (fairly) obvious to those who are looking... in the smaller towns, there aren't any gay bars or locations, but it's not hard to tell if someone's interested in you, and just as in Thailand, they're not going to start a fight if there's a misunderstanding.
Personality-wise, I'd say that Filipinos are even more emotional and unrestrained than Thais (compared, of course, to Americans). Filipino guys are generally very warm and emotionally open, but also jealous and moody at times.

Physically, Filipino men are stockier and broader-built than Thais, on average.

Of course, these are all generalities, but what more can you do when speaking of entire populations?

If you want more info, feel free to ask more specific questions.


Friday, April 3, 2009

Living with a Thai Boy - My Experience

The first big crack in the relationship was Valentine's Day. He gave me some big lie about how he had to spend the evening with his friends because he'd already promised some time back (really? like over three months when we became boyfriends?) he'd have dinner with them. I wasn't buying it- 'cause I knew how important these romantic holidays are to the Thais, even the Western ones.

He DID come by in the morning and give me a nice framed photo of himself and some flowers, but it wasn't enough- I wanted his presence- and in the evening (which I spent alone at home in my apartment, far outside the Bangkok city limits) I couldn't reach him on his cellphone- it mysteriously malfunctioned [he later claimed battery failure] which it had a tendency to do when convenient for him.

Speaking of the mobile phones, they evolved considerably while I was dating him. He started off with a fairly expensive-looking Nokia model with a color screen and a slightly musical tone. Suddenly, one day he showed up with one of the top-of-the-line Panasonic phones (the big console-looking ones with built-in camera that can even do E-banking for you securely). How did he get the money (probably about 20,000B) for this? "I have a friend working at a store so I got a discount." Wrong answer!

To make matters worse, during this period he ALSO picked up a portable CD player to the tune of 10,000B including fancy rechargeable battery system, and fancy 3000B headphones. Finally, he LOST the expensive phone (left it in a cab)! So he got yet ANOTHER phone, to the tune of 8000K. Just one month later his friend broke that one, and he showed up with yet ANOTHER phone (with built-in camera again) that probably cost about 8000K.

As if all that weren't fishy enough, I noticed the following expenses, which he made no effort to hide from me:

1-2000B a month sent home to mother
500B a month life insurance policy (payable to mother)
Shares in TWO apartments running about 4-5000B a month
Expensive habits, like riding in taxis and eating out, seeing movies in theatres with his friends, drinking at bars (where he kept bottles in his name), etc.
Frequent purchase of trendy clothes and accessories- seemed for awhile like every day he had something new from MBK.

After a bit of calculation, I finally figured that he was spending over 50-60K a month during the time that I knew him (more than my salary!!!) And yet he was an unemployed student.... right.

Eventually, even my friends noticed that he was too rich to be telling the truth. Even the nice Thai man who introduced us told me he thought something was wrong- probably that O. was getting income from other farang. I knew I couldn't let things go on like this.

Why not? some may ask. Why not live in style on the money of a fairly well-off kept boy boyfriend who costs me little/nothing and even buys things for me? Why rock the boat?

The reason is O's first change in my life- I was truly, deeply falling in love with him, more so than I had ever been with any other partner. How was I going to feel if Mr. Moneybags from Switzerland showed up one day demanding that my cutie run off with him for years or forever? Emotionally, this was a losing proposition, and I had to find the truth or give him up.


I don't pay for the Thai Bf's Thai Wife and the Thai Bf's ThaiBf

One of the saddest types of stories I've heard from my friends here is about the couple which consisted of:

the farang
and his gay Thai boyfriend
and the Thai boyfriend's Thai wife
and the Thai boyfriend's Thai boyfriend

all living in the house which Jack built (but the boyfriend owns).

I tell every new boyfriend candidate (after a suitable period of time) this story, and emphasize to them that *I* will not be in the role of that farang. So far, the one guy who became my "official" boyfriend for awhile (my ex) didn't believe me [eventually found out he had 2 or 3 other farang plus maybe a Thai bf and one or two Thai girlfriends, too]. I added him to the story of what I don't put up with in serious boyfriends, for the benefit of future candidates. Remains to be seen if any of these candidates will understand I am serious from the start!!!