Talking to a Foreigner in Rayong about His Sex Life

I haven’t spent much time with other expats in Thailand since giving up alcohol seven years ago. It is not that I try to avoid these people – it is just that I have no interest in going to bars, and this is where expats like to socialize. I’ve also tended to live in areas where there are very few other foreigners – or at least I did up until now. Last month we moved to Rayong, and there is a substantial expat community in the local area. The other day I met one of my fellow expats, and it turned out to be an uncomfortable experience.

waving thais

Flashbacks to Sitting on a Bar Stool

In an old post on here I discussed the dilemma of acknowledging other westerners in Thailand. I tend to smile at anyone who makes eye contact with me, but there are many expats who do not like this type of acknowledgement from other foreigners – it’s all a bit strange.

The other day I was on my walk when I happened to make eye contact with another foreigner – instinctively I offered him a smile. He was good enough not to return my acknowledgement with a blank stare, and we ended up having a conversation. We’d barely said hello, when he launched into this long story about his sex life. He filled me in about his exploits with prostitutes in Pattaya and about how he had moved to Rayong in search of a “good girl”. He was using words that I hadn’t heard in years – words like ‘short-time’ (going with a prostitute for a few hours) and ‘bar-fine’ (the money that punters pay to the owner of a bar to take away one of their bar girls).

I would have dismissed this guy as some kind of sex-nut, but I remembered having had thousands of similar conversations like this. During my drinking years, this would be the main topic of conversation among expats. I remember 12 years ago arriving at my first teaching gig in Bangkok, and the first words out of the mouth of the other foreign teacher was to invite me to go along with him to a brothel during our lunch break. I said ‘no, thank you’. I was far from a perfect teacher, but I knew that such school-break activities went well beyond unprofessional. The odd thing was though, that at the time his request didn’t seem that strange – I’d already become used to expats talking openly about their sexual exploits.

Maybe I’ve turned into a prude, but it just seems odd to me that other people would be so open about their sex life with complete strangers. My guess is that most of these guys would not behave the same way back in their home countries because there is a taboo about against paying for sex. I suppose the thing that bothered me most was the fact that this guy just assumed that I was the same as him – that I was another sex tourist. I found the conversation to be embarrassing, and I was just happy to get away from him in the end. I’ve no interest in being reminded of the type of conversation I had while sitting drunk on a bar stool.

Sexpats in Thailand

There are many people who come to Thailand for sex, but it would be wrong to suggest that this is the motivation for most expats. I’ve talked about this before in another blog post (People Move to Thailand to Escape Dissatisfaction and Not Just to Have Sex ), the sexpats tend to burn themselves within a couple of years, and they will then return home with their tail between their legs- that guy I met on the beach yesterday sounded like he was on his last legs in Thailand after just one year.

Update – I met one of my foreign neighbors yesterday evening, and he turned out to be quite a character. We had barely started chatting when he asked if I would give him the password to my WiFi – I said ‘no way’.

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19 thoughts on “Talking to a Foreigner in Rayong about His Sex Life

  1. How recognisable, these people are approaching you on completely different wavelengths, but remain fully ignorant just because they perceive you as one of theirs.
    Hopefully in your new town it will turn out a bit like with the local tuk-tuk drivers or massage/bar girls; once they know your face and know you never use their services, they stop bothering you.. 😉

    1. Hi I-nomad, I’m only here a month and already I’ve managed to alienate the sexpats and the people looking for free Wi-Fi. I’ll have no friends at all at this rate 🙂

  2. What you describe is a serious problem. Trat is a pain like this. There are bars where these people go, and their conversation is just tedious. I never go in the evening but sometimes feel a bit guilty not trying to socialise – not often though. One of the bar-owners is a friend. She is totally hypocritical, smiles, takes their money, prices are high, Buddhist so is civil to me, and has become a friend. I was visiting her late Thursday afternoon, and met one of the better drunks. He drinks so much that even when he is sober he has often lost it. Over the last four years three of these drunks have died in Trat. They have just drunk themselves to death – LITERALLY, I tell this guy he is one of them but he denies it; maybe? However there are times of lucidity with him, and he met me on the beach Friday. But I arrived too late – 2.00pm. He was already out of it, and rambling. Luckily a polite way to escape is to say “time for a swim” so I went for a long time and got back when they were leaving. I walked away depressed. There is some good quality to this man, but it is all eaten away by the booze. TIT – that’s life in Thailand.

    1. Hi Bill, I sometimes find it hard to believe that I was once able to sit on a bar stool day after day and have the same boring conversations. The problem with spending all of your time in a bar is that you stop being able to see anything beyond those walls. When I was drinking myself to death I would console myself with the knowledge that I was part of the in-crowd – what a joke. Some of us manage to break away from that shitty life but too many remain trapped and die – it is hard not to feel depressed about this situation.

  3. When I first came to Thailand, I was unfailingly friendly and polite to my fellow farangs. Ten years later, I totally avoid them because losers, deviants and predators are hard to shake off. They are poison.

    1. Hi Friday, I don’t feel that I’ve missed out on anything by not having any expat friends. My guess is that the ones that I’d get on best with don’t socialise much.

  4. Hi Paul. Glad to hear you are making inroads with the local western expat club! Just kidding. I do think that maybe the majority of single expats who come to Thailand go through that phase of excessive drinking and womanizing. Looking back at things, when I lived in Thailand 15 or so years ago, it was there that I learned to really “graduate” from youthful partying-type drinking to adult alcoholism. It was of course a nice counterpart to my fascination with the naughty nightlife too. I guess a lot of guys just never leave that phase… Its a real shame since its such a great place to be sober.

    1. Hi Tan, I bet there are many of us who were cured of our womanizing by our increasing obsession with alcohol after coming to Thailand. Mind you, I don’t see much difference between trying to fix myself with sex than trying to fix myself with alcohol.

  5. It is astounding how different a man’s experience is in Thailand versus an expat woman. I never once had any of the kinds of conversations nor met the types of characters you’ve described in your article – both the sex guy and the freeloader. I hope Rayong isn’t filled with just losers and you actually connect with a real friend. This is what I would miss most is a real friendship.

    1. Hi Amy, yeah, I don’t think that this is the the of conversation that men will usually have with women. I don’t think Rayong is anywhere near as bad as places like Pattaya.

  6. Paul you haven’t turned into a prude and one just has to choose one’s expat friends carefully. Easier if you’re a female expat making friends with other female expats. Unlike Amy, I’ve listened to many a conversation like those you describe…very tiresome and repetitive.

  7. LOL, just read Amy’s comment. She’s actually a friend who I worked with for a couple of years about six years ago before she moved back to the US.

    Have to say, though, she definitely must have met a higher caliber of ‘farang’ when she was in Thailand than I do. 🙂

    I’d say, even though the western expat men (and it’s always men) I meet in Thailand are actually quite polite to me for the most part, I’ve also seen and heard them in groups with other western men and, yes, it’s the same talk about sex, bar girls and booze. Must be a terribly depressing life. And no, I have no interest in becoming friends with them.

    Like you, Paul, I don’t drink (well an occasional beer, and by ‘occasional’ I mean once every few months), so I’ve no interest in the bar lifestyle either. Plus, can you imagine the amount of money they spend!

    BTW, nice to hear you’ve moved to Rayong. It’s nice down there. And, yes, you know me from AC 🙂

    1. Hi Cassandra, nice to hear from you again. I hope things are still going well for you. I still come across your posts occasionally, and I do wonder what you’re up to 🙂

  8. Hi Paul, I found your blog via a post on Reddit. It’s great stuff.
    I’ve visited Thailand more time than I can remember over the last 10 years, and yes – the first few trips were as a sex tourist. Back home in Australia, I had fallen in love with a nice Thai girl that ended up being married! So I decided to go and f*ck the sadness away. As we all know, that doesn’t work.. And despite having a great time, I came back more depressed than before.
    Eventually, I cleared my head and started visiting again as a ‘proper’ tourist, and traveled far and wide. What an amazing country! Maybe the tourist slogan is right?
    I ended up living in Khon Kaen for half a year, and Pak Chong too. Teaching in Thailand was a unique experience compared to Taiwan and China (where I am now). The Thai students are so creative and happy compared to the spoiled brats here. I can’t wait to go back!
    Anyhow – sorry for the rambling..
    2 years ago, I met a nice girl working in a factory outlet mall. We first met online, and I traveled to see her a few times, ending up staying for a few months each time as extended holidays. This March we welcomed a baby girl into the world, and will be married in August (I know… the Thai people frown on this, but her family like me and accepted the birth before marriage situation).
    We have a house and car in Nan province, and I’ll be moving there when my contract finishes in China. I’m looking forward to settling down and setting up a home, doing some part time teaching and being a Dad. I hope that I meet someone like you in Nan, Paul. Keep up the great blog.
    Short version: Yes, there are sex tourists in Thailand, but some of them grow out of that phase, and end up long term residents, with a lot to offer.

    1. Nice to hear from you Jim. I have in-laws working in Nan – beautiful area. I agree with you 100%, the important things isn’t why we came to Thailand but why we remain here.

  9. Well, i was often there as tourist. Often for over 4 weeks and with my european wife.
    At anytime i liked to socialize and to communicate in english (not my native). To find Thais outside of Bangkok for a nice communication is mostly impossible in case of their english skills and/or their society. With most other foreigners it was also not possible to have a nice smalltalk – the topic you described – except on saturdays the topic footbol.
    Ironicle funny that partly the male expats thought that i am gay, coz i not “used” any girl.
    I felt also often not well by the speach ” come on you are here for the same reason “.
    Even my comment, that i am german and not american whom would be able to get a fuck for 25 Euro in Frankfurt coz of legalisation by the german goverment – gave no hit in their brains.
    But sometimes you can find some expats for a nice conversation. Seems such guys need to have their 10 years Thailand behind them, like a swedish guy which i met between Rayong and Chanthaburi around ten years ago – after his “thai career” of alcohol , women, marriage in Pattaya, Bangkok area.

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