It is important to realize that Thais are not obsessed about sex like we are in the predominantly Christian, Anglo-Saxon West. Thais are brought up with Buddhist precepts to appreciate what you have and to keep your desires in moderation. This includes any strong emotion, drinking, money & possessions, and sex. Sex in Thailand is ‘just another sport’. Some people enjoy it, some people are good at it, other people are not all that interested.
Many of the men (and perhaps a few women) are leaving behind a wife (or husband/boyfriend) where the relationship has died… They’re looking for a new life, not only leaving behind the old life, but also the wife/girlfriend/spouse. For many people, it isn’t feasible to go through with a legal divorce. The children might already have left home, but more likely it’s about property and money (and the legal costs of drawing up a settlement). Most people just prefer to remain married legally, but live a ‘separated’ life. And then take up with a Thai girlfriend, not thinking at all about getting married. (The Thai girl will be wanting to get married, and that’s another whole story, which I’ll deal with in a special article.) Some men have already divorced and don’t like the idea of dating (or starting a relationship) with a Western woman. They want to start afresh, this time with a more docile, loyal and loving Thai girl (who hopefully won’t be argumentative).
Some couples are either already in relatively open relationships (because the passion has fizzled out) or are actively seeking some kind of swinging scene (or threesomes, usually with a single Thai girl) or both partners will tolerate the idea of the other having a lover. In Thailand, it can be a relatively discreet relationship (called a “kik”, which could be a platonic friend, or an actual lover) or it can be a more formal arrangement (known as a “mia noi”, minor wife), where the girl shares the home with the husband and wife. She will often be a kind of general servant for the real wife, and the husband’s concubine. Only the wealthier Thais can afford this (otherwise they settle for a “kik instead). Similarly for expats, you will need to be able to support both women comfortably – otherwise there will be jealousies and recriminations around money “the reason why we can’t afford — is because she is living with us”. You’ve got to be able to buy off each woman’s happiness with treats, expensive presents (cars, iPads, clothing, furniture, jewelry) and exciting, romantic holidays. Be warned!
Why do you want to live in Thailand?
The ‘cheapness’ of Thailand might not be such an important factor when it comes to choosing whether to settle here or not.
Indeed, the quality of life, the friendliness of the people (Thais and expats alike), the availability of women – and the ease of having a meaningful relationship – and the convenience & quality of food, and easy access to nature… these are the things that are most likely to appeal to you, whatever the cost.
The fact that virtually anyone can afford it, makes it doubly attractive. If you are already comfortably well off then you can live like a millionaire in Thailand – with a beautiful house (or mansion) in the country, a smart car (and your dream bike: Harley, BMW, whatever) and a beautiful woman (or two), enjoying the finest cuisine (French/Italian/Japanese restaurants and international buffets at the 5-star hotels), etc.
It really is a dream life.
For men, that is…… 😮
For single women, it’s quite different but not impossible. And if you are the wife/girlfriend tagging along then moving to Thailand will test your relationship to the limit. But if you keep a relaxed and open (i.e. tolerant) mind – as do the Thai women when it comes to their men – then you will enjoy Thailand far more than your home country.
It’s not quite so easy to find a meaningful relationship for single women. Part of the problem is their own fussiness: many foreign women want their man to be all things, intellectual, compassionate & attentive, clean, hard-working, as well as macho and commanding. Thai men are none of these.
The other problem is that most foreign women are simply not attractive to many Thais: we tend to be bigger and fatter than Thais, so the Thai and foreign men aren’t going to be so interested in foreign women when they have the pick of slim, petite women who are attentive and demure and tolerant of the man’s weaknesses and foibles. Saying that, I’ve noticed a recent trend in the appearance and mindset of Thai women (and some men): they’re getting considerably bigger and fatter and in many ways lazier (or unambitious) and are more and more simply looking for someone to “take care” of them. A Western woman is often perceived as being more independent and ambitious and self-motivating.
I do know of some not-so-slim foreign women who happen to have huge breasts – and that certainly helps them to pull many a Thai man and gain the interest of several foreigners too! Nevertheless, Thais are not necessarily attracted to your appearance… certainly the Thai women will see past our beer-guts, graying hairs and crooked teeth. Thai men need to be handled a bit differently (I can show you how!) – they’re a bit like children, even the intellectual ones, and can be quite gentle and devoted to you. But they won’t clean & wash up, and they’ll spend a lot of time working or out with their friends (and maybe the occasional Thai lover). If you can speak Thai reasonably well then you’ll have a much better chance of finding a good catch – even if your boyfriend is fluent in English or says he wants to improve. Thais love their own culture, their language and their Thai friends. If you can speak Thai then you will be included in these aspects of your man’s life – otherwise you might feel a little left out.
Nevertheless, women who have been successful in finding a good relationship either hook up with an intellectual Thai man (who has lived overseas and can speak English fluently, and who might also have his own kik on the side, just for the fun of it) or find a young submissive Thai man she can ‘train’ to be a kind of toy boy. Many Thai men are quite effeminate and unassertive. So if she tells him what she wants he will usually comply willingly – in return for an easy life. Thai men are – in general – quite lazy and many live off their women (wives, girlfriends or mothers). So the same financial considerations apply: the Western woman must have sufficient income to cover her and her boyfriend/kik’s living and entertainment costs.
Other than that, there are other significant benefits for women, the prime one being that it is generally safe for women to travel or walk about alone at night and in isolated areas. Many women also find it meaningful to be involved with charities or community development programs – and there is a great deal of camaraderie with the people involved.