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In assuming most men going on holiday alone to Thailand, are going to have sex with prostituted women or men?

(770 Posts)
Grennie Sat 15-Feb-14 13:52:03

It is estimated that about 1% of Thailand's GDP is earned through sexual exploitation tourism.

In 2003 (the last year for which full figures are available) some 545,000 British residents arrived on visits. If you remove the children, and the British citizens visiting for business or reasons other than a holiday, you arrive at about 489,000—314,000 men and 175,000 women. That is 139,000 more British men than women coming to Thailand for a holiday—a gap of 28 per cent.

In no other international holiday destination, is there such a big difference in the number of women and men travelling there. There is no obvious reason for this apart from prostitution.

ApricotExpat Sun 23-Feb-14 08:44:26

I did say a lighter note!! Come on!!!

mathanxiety Sat 22-Feb-14 17:57:10

So a small sample of one man and one flight makes you cast doubt on the figures? I don't think you can make any assumptions based on that..

ApricotExpat Sat 22-Feb-14 14:55:14

On a lighter note...! On a plane from Hong Kong to Phuket this week, I mentioned this thread to my husband. 70% etc - and his response was: well, I am a Caucasian, englishman and I'm going to Phuket to have sex - with my wife!

So in an airbus 380 I spotted literally only one person who could fit into the category you are debating. BUT, that's an assumption, and if this thread shows us anything then surely an open mind is better than assumptions!!!

mathanxiety Fri 21-Feb-14 23:59:36

There are a few interesting points on prostitution in Superfreakonomics. One thing that stood out to me was that customers of the Chicago prostitutes studied for the book didn't distinguish among the women according to appearance or manner, as if they were all part of a bunch of bananas.

And yes, I realise Superfreakonomics isn't the Last Word on anything. But I thought that insight was interesting.

normalishdude Fri 21-Feb-14 16:05:28

I think it's probably due to the kinds of people I was mixing with rather than anything else.

TunipTheUnconquerable Fri 21-Feb-14 11:22:38

You mean you met a few who admitted to it.
I'm sure many of those who didn't were telling the truth, but bear in mind that there are men who do it and go around boasting and men who do it and keep it quiet.
When a bloke I knew admitted to me that he'd paid for sex (Amsterdam, not Thailand) I was the first person he'd told - the only other people who knew were the friend he'd travelled with and the woman herself. No-one who knew him would have guessed.

normalishdude Fri 21-Feb-14 11:16:58

I have spent months in Thailand and never had sex with a local. I met a lot of blokes who also never had sex with a local and met a few who had. But they were certainly in the minority.

livingzuid Fri 21-Feb-14 11:13:45

Sorry haven't read thread but I think it's too easy to say the vast majority of single Men go to Thailand for sex. It is really quite disgusting to see these hideous older western men with girls young enough to be their teenage daughters. Often with not just one girl but two or three. My brother was astounded when we went at how often it seemed to go on.

But it was older men predominantly. The young guys were there to travel, for the lifestyle, diving etc. I don't doubt that some younger men use prostitutes either but I find that the men who are with these women in the main are there because no sane woman the age of these girls would go near them with a bargepole back in the western world.

It's very sad. They hope these men will offer marriage and move them to a much better lifestyle than they have. But more often than not they are used, abused and dumped at the end of the holiday having served no more purpose than for some randy idiot to get his end away and boost his ego for a week or two. It's all also part of a cartel so you also have the added icky of the fact that if you're availing yourself of their services you're funding serious organised crime.

There are of course couples who are married and live very happy lives together because a western Man was working there and fell in love with a local girl. But thats very different from the seedyness I know.

Personal experience in my family makes this a subject very close to home!

itshardthinkingofanickname Fri 21-Feb-14 11:00:19

That was the essence of the debate last night.

It got very heated.

TunipTheUnconquerable Fri 21-Feb-14 10:58:39

I think that 400 000 will include an awful lot of women who don't want to be there.

If it was really true that legalisation brought everything out into the open and ended trafficking and abuse, I would be willing to support it, but all the evidence shows it is just not a magic bullet in that way.

itshardthinkingofanickname Fri 21-Feb-14 10:49:10

So what do you think about the mega brothels in Germany?

400,000 sex workers in them.

Grennie Fri 21-Feb-14 10:47:33

I think those who have had good experiences only, like Belle Du Jour, are relatively privileged in the sex industry.

They are of course entitled to their views and to talk about their experiences. The problem arises when their experiences are seen to represent the usual experience of women in the sex industry.

itshardthinkingofanickname Fri 21-Feb-14 10:39:41

You're probably right - but it was interesting to hear the sex worker talking about her views.

Grennie Fri 21-Feb-14 09:50:32

Speak to women who have left prostitution. They almost universally condemn it. Some of them say when they were in it they too said positive stuff about it, as a defence mechanism.

Although poverty is part of the picture, it is not the whole picture. Largely it is men who pay to use women's bodies for sexual pleasure. That is because men are taught they have a right to use women's bodies for their own sexual pleasure. And women are taught that men need sex.

Prostitution is a symptom of the inequality of women.

itshardthinkingofanickname Fri 21-Feb-14 09:20:31

The Newsnight report.

About 20 minutes in.

FreudiansSlipper Fri 21-Feb-14 09:14:36

while i understand that people have different attitudes towards sex and some may not want the emotional involvement we need to get rid of this attitude that men have to have sex and people can be bought and sold to please mens sexual desires

and how many women enjoy what they do (their voices seem to be far louder ... or are they just more interesting to read) and how many have gone into it thinking they would be ok and it has been very very damaging for them and then there are far more who have had no other choice they have been forced to either by pimps, partners, family or to earn money to feed themselves and their family

itshardthinkingofanickname Fri 21-Feb-14 08:39:03

There was an article on Newsnight last night which made me think of this thread.

Attitudes towards prostitution vary across Europe. In Germany, it's very relaxed and they even have large mega brothels. The owners build them near the borders so men have easy access. They provide a place off the streets for sex workers.

A well known sex worker from the UK was arguing that she has been doing sex work for 20 years and there's nothing wrong with 2 consenting adults paying for sex. She even brought up the service she provides for disabled people. OTOH - someone made the point that men should not have to pay for sex and sex work is wrong.

Apparently the number of sex workers in Germany has doubled to 400,000. Some claim there's been trafficking - others claim it's a free market and the money is good - up to 1000 Euros per night.

So - if we take out child sex tourism, is there anything wrong with men going abroad to have sex with a woman who is willing to prostitute herself or do people think the women aren't willing to do it but they have no choice?

Sex tourism happens in Europe. 400,000 sex workers in Germany. That's a lot.

Beachcomber Thu 20-Feb-14 17:54:00

Oh please.

Yes, female sex tourists exist too. And your point is what exactly? That that somehow erases the abuses of the men who travel to Thailand to pay to fuck women and children?

We all know that more men pay for sex than women. We all know that more women and girls sell sex than men and boys. We all know that female sex tourists are less violent and abusive than male sex tourists. We all know that this whole subject is highly gendered.

Do you think there are many female sex tourists who get off on paying to penetrate underage boys?

HighlanderMam Thu 20-Feb-14 17:53:36

Are you off to tell the vegetarians that animals eat people too?

It's not funny in the least, but grin

HighlanderMam Thu 20-Feb-14 17:52:07

Make sure you keep your fingers in your ears and your blindfold firmly clamped over your eyes so you won't have to face the truth.

This ^ is about the long and short of it for many.

FloraFox Thu 20-Feb-14 17:51:27

Haha, bye then. Are you off to tell the vegetarians that animals eat people too?

mathanxiety Thu 20-Feb-14 17:45:55

That's not what you did. When you state that 'women do it too' you are implying some equivalence.

Are 4.5 million women travelling to Thailand annually to buy sex?

Make sure you keep your fingers in your ears and your blindfold firmly clamped over your eyes so you won't have to face the truth.

Technotropic Thu 20-Feb-14 17:41:29

Woah, vapours for simply stating the fact that women buy sex too. How refreshing.

Your reaction(s) speak volumes about your ability to engage so I'm going to respectfully bow out of this one smile

FloraFox Thu 20-Feb-14 16:30:47

"It is also awful that some of our mothers, sisters, aunts, friends and even Mumsnet members may have paid for sex too."

Wow. The cognitive dissonance in your posts is startling Tech. Whatever it takes to get you through the day, eh? Applying a feminist analysis is challenging and can be difficult to accept that all is not lovely and rosey in the world. It's often easier to pretend things aren't as bad as you think by applying false equivalence.

Blistory I agree with all of that.

mathanxiety Thu 20-Feb-14 15:22:04

'Depressing yes, but fortunately we are at least one of the better countries for decent men so maybe we don't know many men at all who visit prostitutes.'



(And where is the clamour for stats?)

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