COMMENT

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20 responses to “COMMENT

  1. Sawadee ka Khun Kaewmala,

    I read a few of your posts and enjoy reading them.

    Your explanation about Thai terms, such as [arn-mai-awk], [arn-mai-dai], etc, are very clear.

    It’s nice to have a native Thai, who has a deep understanding about Thai language and culture, answering questions that foreigners have about Thai culture and things.

    Thanks to be here and I wish you the best!

  2. Hi Kaewmala,

    Thanks for this insight into Thai women. Yours is the most informative site I have encountered. This blog hasn’t answered all my questions but it has put many things into perspective.

    Thanks for the effort

    Ciao

    • Thanks Thailand Breeze and Peter for your comments.

      Peter, I cannot and will not pretend to have any ready answers for anyone. All I can offer is a perspective of one Thai woman who also tries to understand the same things as most of my readers. If a reader thinks my perspective is worthwhile, then I’m already happy. 🙂

  3. Dear Kaewmala

    Your ‘chart’ was posted by a friend of mine on facebook and created a lot of buzz and comments. Me and other girls at first thought it was a ‘satire’ and found it pretty offensive…the men defended it as some ‘harmless fun’…

    Can I ask you whether you meant this in a satirical way? Or do you really believe it’s fair to categorize the women of your country in a sort of ‘dog-breed’ way by social class in order for the average dirty ‘farang’ to have a dummies-chart to pick from?

    I cannot imagine that an intellectual woman like you meant this… but with my maybe ‘ignorant western’ mindset this is what I see…

    Please could you clarify your scope and intentions to me in posting this article…

    Thank you

    Alessandra, London

    • Hi Alessandra,

      I sort of expected that sooner or later a question like yours would arrive at my door. 🙂 Your and your girlfriends’ reaction is understandable, especially if the chart was posted alone (without the article that came with it or any context from which it arose – http://www.thaisextalk.com/looking-for-love.htm).

      I had some qualms about that chart but decided to post it anyway – it was done in a tongue-in-cheek way but not without some seriousness. From an outsider perspective, classifying women according to class, education and status might seem distasteful – though “dog breeds” or not is a matter of perspective. I certainly did not think of dogs when I was designing the chart. No do I think of them now, now that you’ve mentioned the comparison.

      The chart was designed, not for foreign women, but for foreign men who have little idea of the diversity of Thai women. It is intended to remind them that the (presumed) “one” female type that is Thai woman/women they had in mind is actually not singular but plural.

      Surely, many wise foreign men would have no need of the chart, but from what I’ve seen even many of the intelligent ones, when they come to Thailand, seem to have forgot their brains at home.

      I have talked to foreign men on this topic for many years – not so successfully at first – but I have learned over the years that if you want someone to listen to you, you speak their language.

      Perhaps if you’d read more on my website and my blog here, you might gain better understanding, esp. these articles: https://thaiwomantalks.com/category/ask-kaewmala/love-relationship/

      And thanks for your question.

  4. Thanks for your promt reply Kaewmala – I will pass it on to the friends we were discussing this with – and I will read the other posts you mention to understand the context better.

    Best,

    Alessandra

  5. I have a better understanding of Thai society with that chart. I think is also answers some of the misunderstandings that are cultural. In the US we Hide our class prejudges as it is not socially acceptable (nor wise) to openly voice them.
    The question is what discussion would a man have with an educated Thai woman about sex?
    What is the role of the “little wife” in Thai society?

  6. I bought “Sex Talk” when it first appeared on the shelves of Chiang Mai’s Gecko bookshop, and have only just come across this post. Oh boy, do I wish you’d written the book earlier, and published this follow-up article shortly afterwards! It may be ‘tongue-in-cheek’, but several years on, I can testify to your insights as being spot on in so many areas. I was on the ‘rebound’ after my wife’s premature death and despite having the opportunity for a relationship with one of your ‘group 4s’, ended up in the superficially sensual clutches of the bar girl scene. One ‘unexpected’ child later, and despite serious misgivings – not about fidelity but about my partner’s psychological stability – I find myself wondering how to put an end to a relationship that is, in the cold light of day, an unmitigated disaster.

    I do know of some relationships with bar girls that have worked pretty well all things considered, but as you suggest, these are rare gems.

    The psychology of the bar girl is a real obstacle to a successful relationship. Thai society, the family, will always look down on those involved, and the girl is conscious of this, or at best the doubt and lack of self-respect is at work somewhere in her subconscious. This, in my experience, means that the ‘easy’ option for the girl, when problems emerge, is self-blame, self-disgust, and running away; because in her mind she is not worthy of a successful married life anyway.

    Coupled with this is another factor, which at first might seem to be somewhat conflicting… i.e. a slightly ‘aggressive’ element to the psychological make-up of those who enter the profession in the first place. There’s no denying that there is often alternative work available, even if it’s menial and low-paid. So what type of girl in the poorer echelons of Thai society says “to hell with it, I don’t care what people think, I deserve better and will do whatever it takes – even sell my body”? Is there a wilful type with a stubborn streak, independent nature, who is more likely to find themselves working the bars? Leading to a more fragile psychology with the above two elements in constant conflict, perhaps?

    I think possibly so. I’m not trying to pigeon-hole every bar girl as reflecting my experience, but both in my relationship and in a number of others I’m familiar with, I have sensed both of the above, to a greater or lesser degree.

    I now find myself, at an age when my thoughts should have been turning towards a relaxing retirement in a few years’ time, instead looking after a very young child while my wife is back in her home town, undergoing treatment for manic depression, or bipolar syndrome as it is commonly called these days. Good shrinks are not easy to find in Thailand, and after three months (I’m in Europe temporarily), I’m starting to realise, with the added perspective of distance, that the combined treatment of targeted drugs and therapy doesn’t seem to be working. So my advice to all expats, green or otherwise, going to or already in Thailand, is look at the odds. They are strongly against you finding a lasting relationship with a Thai bar girl, if that is what you are hoping for. Kaewmala’s chart may be tongue-in-cheek, but combined with her book and other articles, it is telling you what you perhaps don’t want to hear. You’ll need a lot of luck, patience, flexibility and empathic perception for it to have the slightest chance of working. Not to mention a very solid degree of financial stability!

    • Dear Robert,

      Thank you for sharing your first-hand experience. I am sorry to hear your predicament. We all make mistakes, some more difficult than others.

      I wish you the needed strength, patience and compassion in facing your difficulties. Yes, and also luck :), in finding a satisfactory resolution. I believe that sometimes bad and painful things can lead to beautiful things, among them the emotional maturity and wisdom that will help guide us towards a better, happier path in future.

      Best wishes,

  7. I sent you one e mail today concerning personal questions around your purpose ..As I said I had many difficulties about questions of understanding and today I want to know if I am right or wrong…When I read you, I realize that it’s possible I finished to understand long time later and after the beginning of my relation but I never feel really sure…I ask one more question : “Are Thai ladies generally faithful? “(I mean more than in farang civilization)even when they stay as in my case far for from man a long time…..
    I forgot to ask you this question in my e mail and I am sorry.
    Thanks by advance for your answer.
    Your web site is great : good to find and study !………
    G.DUPONT

    • Dear G. Dupont,

      Yes, I did receive your email. I’m not sure if you have read the ABOUT page, where I disclaim that I do not provide couple counseling. Your questions are quite personal in nature and with insufficient information I would be hard pressed to give any useful answer, if I were qualified to answer, which I’m not.

      Anyhow, as to your more general question “Are Thai ladies generally faithful?”, I will give it a try but you might not be satisfied. Here it is: I don’t know if Thai women are generally more faithful than Western women, for I don’t know this tendency about Western women, if there is one. Even if I could give a definite answer, either yes or no, how useful would that answer be in your case? You gave me some idea about your lady in your email but I am reluctant to make any judgement or even a guess how faithful she is likely to be to you since I don’t know her personally.

      I don’t think it’d be fair to judge her one way or the other. Different women are different, and I don’t believe nationality has much to do with it. On the other hand, a woman’s true character, her circumstances, how strongly she cares about you, and/or her attitude about sex, would more likely influence her actions. Additionally, long distance relationship is always hard for a woman, or a man, of any nationality. Physical distance is a difficult test in faithfulness for anyone. If you examine yourself and her deeply and honestly enough, I think you’ll find some answers to your questions.

  8. I thank you for your answer…Sure this is a good one ! I feel a little bit stupid when asking questions like this…But the story began in 2005 with a form of romanticism that continue after because my lady didn’t stay in Pattaya city…If she stayed it would be impossible, it would be same hell !
    Everytime I call my lady she stays with family , every day so I have a good reason to believe she’s faithful…I help her too..But you know a brain is not made for sleeping but working for thinking ! When you stay so far, this sort of paranoia is working strong(sometimes a madness) because you remember some bad words you could hear when some farangs spoke together in Pattaya city !!! (if you don’t know, me I know but I don’t want to tell anymore about this !)…So , nobody is perfect: farang countries stay a little bit with a “man culture” and I worry we have to fight about these questions today in modern and free countries…Thailand is sort of “lady culture” I don’t mean “power to lady” but I feel ladies need to “control man” and the consequences are not good too…My ladie can angry me one full day for northing because I said “no” to something supposed to be important for her….She strongly feels she lose her face !
    But I think if she does with me like like, maybe this is the best prove of love and faithfulness she can give or show…ISN’T IT ?
    THANKS
    G.DUPONT

    • A woman may have been born into a culture but it doesn’t mean what she does always has anything to do with the culture. And Thailand is NOT a “lady culture” as you put it.

      Just one question, would you put up with her if she were French and behaved in exactly the same way as this Thai GF? Love, respect and honesty are basic human values and aren’t all that different in one culture as opposed to the next.

      Good luck.

  9. Just discovered your blog through extemporaneous internet pathways and have to say, “Wow!” A big wow, for sure. Your mind is flexible and fascinating, always shifting gears and adopting big perspectives. Your English skills are superior to almost everyone I know. I will surely seek out your other work. I live in Thailand, have been seriously grappling with the language for a couple years now, and I’m in a long-term relationship with a Thai woman. Even the small amount that I’ve read from you has given me new insight into all of these realms. Thanks so much!

    Nate

  10. Sawadee khup kaewmala khun hru !

    I listened to your radio interview about your book and the nuances of sexuality in Thai culture.

    It was comforting to hear you say that farang should simply treat a woman special and unique..above the stereotype.

    I fought against this in my earliest conversations with my love interest.. (yes who just happens to be from Thailand)

    I think that the fact that I am a Musician..coupled with being a Farang made her weary and understandably scared at first.

    Fortunately through my explanation that all farangs aren’t “cowboys” and all musicians are not Playboys…I think that we broke the barrier that you refer to. About falling for the stereotype…when the special and unique person is here in front of you.

    Although quite late (betterlater than never) I found some beautiful terms of endearment in your Valentines Day article…Korp khun krap khun kru..

    I really like your writing and I will purchace your book. You have obviously mastered the English language…and you sarcasm and wit are socond to none.

    So thank you again.. I look forward to reading much more of your writings.

    Nikk

  11. ‘The anti-amnesty whistle-blowers are photogenic, but listening more closely to their words one realizes that appearances of intelligence and education can be deceptive. Inside the elevated mood of the street demonstrators fester an elevated sense of self-righteousness, shallow slogans, and nauseating narcissism.’
    This is from your recent Asian Correspondent piece (Nov 11).THANKS for saying that, Kaewmala! Somebody needed to say it and you said it so well. I couldn’t agree more!

  12. Hi there. I just wanted to say thank you, really. I’ve been reading your blog and have started reading your book. I have become interested in Thai culture since I started talking to the people who run the Thai restaurant that I have been going to for lunch for years here in Switzerland. They are wonderful, middle-aged women who laugh and smile and flirt all the time, and they work with such dignity and grace. I am beginning to appreciate that they come from an amazing culture, which is why I want to learn more about it. I’ve also just fallen crazy in love with one of them, and – wonder and joy – she with me. We speak to each other in English and German, but I hope soon to invest in at least some beginner’s lessons in Thai – enough to be polite when I visit her family at least. And of course enough to properly pronounce some terms of endearment for my lovely new friend.

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