Gay men find Thailand
to be a welcoming and friendly country, but there are some differences
to understand as you become involved with Thai men.
dating in Thailand, 101
Also read about Thailand's
life and customs
Basic travel facts
The Thai language
Making yourself understood
Mai pen rai: a slogan and a philosophy
Gay Thailand tour
Complete site index
Thais are friendly
people. They like Americans, and they're eager to introduce you to their
country. They're also shy, and most will hesitate to start a conversation
with a westerner. It's up to you to break the ice, but once you do,
the rewards are great.
Gay Americans are pleasantly
surprised to discover that regardless of their physical appearance,
they're likely to be considered more attractive by gay men in Thailand
than in the U.S.
If so, great! Play safe
and enjoy yourself. But as you get accustomed to this very different
world, it may help to ponder a few thoughts in advance.
to get to know the scene
Thais tend to be shy with
westerners. In a gay disco, cafe, bar, or sauna, many men may look
your way, but only a few - if that - are likely to actually approach
you - be it for a quickie, a date, or more. It can be tempting to
accept the first appealing offer that comes along.
This is your vacation.
Spend it as you like! But please let us point out a couple considerations.
First, the man who makes
an aggressive approach probably ends up with quite a few sex partners.
We hope you're taking all the appropriate precautions against AIDS,
but many other sexually-transmitted diseases are out there. Who do
you think is most likely to give you an unwanted souvenir of Thailand
- the guy who comes on strong, or the one who shyly smiles at you,
but waits for you to make the first move?
Second, a Thai man who
aggressively comes on to you has already adapted heavily to western
ways. Odds are, after quite a few American and European partners,
he'll have picked many of our customs. Nothing wrong with that, and
it could make your date go more smoothly. But if you're eager to see
and understand a different culture, you're more likely to get that
experience when you're the one to start up a conversation with a new
After two dates, you may
suspect that your Thai friend is hoping for a far longer and more
serious relationship that you are. That's not uncommon. Be flattered,
but in fairness to him, try to gently but firmly explain what's realistic
from your perspective.
By all means, exchange
emails if you'd like to stay in touch. Think twice before giving out
your phone number. It's a drag to be awakened in the middle of the
night (mid-afternoon in Thailand) by a former date asking for money
for an emergency.
Is he after
love ... or just money?
You've had several dates
with a man. He seems genuinely in love with you, eager to make you
happy, eager to be with you. Then, out of nowhere, he asks you for
money for some purpose. Is that all he ever wanted?
No. At least, not in the
vast majority of cases.
Here in the U.S., we
like things black and white. We draw a firm line between lovers
and golddiggers. In Thailand this distinction, like many others,
is far less clear. Chances are, all the emotions your friend has
shown were genuine and heart-felt. But you have more wealth than
he can dream of. In Thai culture, it's normal and expected that
the person of higher status will show generosity to a partner.
And honestly, is this
so different from how we behave in the USA? Suppose you met an attractive,
personable man, and had a few enjoyable dates with him. Then you discover
that he's fabulously wealthy and could support you in great comfort
for the rest of your life. Wouldn't your heartfelt feelings for him
get just a little bit stronger? Does that make you a golddigger?
Ultimately, romantic relationships
are always a complex mix of physical attraction, personal chemistry,
and some practical considerations. The mix may be different, or may
express itself differently, in Thailand, but that's no reason to break
off an otherwise enjoyable friendship. Show some of the generosity
that is appropriate in this context, and be clear, but tactful, about