Our friend Chanelle has written an excellent article for $pread Magazine that would raise the eyebrows of most westerners. It is very much worth a read, and may change some misconceptions that many have.
Here is an excerpt:
It's Friday night and I'm sitting in a noisy dance bar in the northern Thai city of Chiang Mai with three local sex workers. Hip hop pounds out of the speakers. The bar is filled with mostly Western tourists and a few Thai folks. My three friends are students in the English class I've been teaching for Empower, a national sex workers support organization. We drink our whiskey and sodas, yell over the music, dance to the latest Rihanna hit, and scope the crowd. Sex workers frequently work in regular bars and tonight my friends may or may not be working, depending on whether they see any clients they find desirable. So I ask P. if she thinks anyone at the bar is cute. Yes actually! she says. Smiling, she points to three young English men, dancing in a manner I can only call spasmic. They're all drunk and dancing with their sunglasses on. Indoors. I look at her incredulously.Really? Yes! She nods enthusiastically. Those guys?! Mm-hmm! Another woman in our group shakes her head and tells me she doesn't like the young men. She prefers men with white hair and points to an older guy, in his late 60s sitting with a pretty young Thai (working) woman. She thinks they're more handsome and better clients. You mean one of those guys that everyone thinks is a horrible sleaze for hooking up with 20-somethings? Yep! That's the one she's referring to! I'm stunned and even more amazed by my own assumptions: Where exactly did I get the idea that Thai sex workers must dislike or resent foreign clients?
Read the rest of the article here.