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  1. Thai Ladyboys and Buddhism: a complex relationship

    It’s been something that has fascinated me for a long time, and I’ve enjoyed exploring the topic deeper for this article.

    Through this exploration, I want to shed light on the diverse experiences of Thai ladyboys within the context of Buddhist teachings and practices. As I delved into this topic, it surprised me how Buddhist principles both challenge and support the identities and experiences of Thai ladyboys and how deep and complex the relationship between the two has become.

    A Relationship Dating Back to Ancient Times

    The history of Buddhism in ancient Thailand can be traced back to the 3rd century BCE when Theravada Buddhism spread from India to Southeast Asia. As Buddhism became entrenched in Thai culture, it shaped societal attitudes towards gender and sexuality.

    Ladyboys have been noted in Thai society for centuries, with their presence documented in ancient texts and art. The role of kathoeys in ancient Thailand was multifaceted; they often served as entertainers, spiritual healers, and even warriors. This historical recognition and integration of kathoeys into various aspects of society demonstrate Thailand's long-standing acceptance of gender diversity, influenced by the teachings and principles of Buddhism.

    Buddhism and the Concept of Gender
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    Buddhism in Thailand embraces the concept of impermanence, acknowledging that everything is subject to change, including one's gender identity. This holistic approach encourages empathy and non-judgment towards those who identify as transgender or gender non-conforming. The religion's core teachings, such as the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path, emphasise cultivating wisdom and ethical behaviour, which fosters a more inclusive environment.

    Despite this inherent openness, cultural and societal factors can still contribute to discrimination and marginalisation of ladyboys. For instance, traditional gender roles and expectations might limit opportunities for personal growth and societal integration. Furthermore, misunderstandings and misinterpretations of Buddhist teachings can hinder true inclusivity.

    The Third Gender in Thai Society

    In line with Buddhist teachings, Thai society's recognition of the "third gender" demonstrates a unique cultural understanding of gender diversity. However, there needs to be some clarification. Like many, I was under the firm belief that the word kathoey was a term that referred to ladyboys and their status as a unique gender. I was surprised to learn that the word actually refers to a broader spectrum of non-binary and gender non-conforming identities. Ladyboys, the most visible and prominent group, have become synonymous with the term kathoey, but its true definition does not mean transgender female.

    Despite the wider acceptance, influenced heavily by Buddhist belief, the acceptance of ladyboys in Thailand is not uniform. The experience of ladyboys in Thai society can differ significantly based on socioeconomic status, family support, and regional attitudes. Additionally, ongoing prejudice and discrimination can impact their education, employment, and healthcare access.

    Ladyboys and the Monastic Life
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    One of the most revered aspects of Thai culture is the monastic life, with many young men expected to become monks for some time as a rite of passage. However, for ladyboys, this experience can be fraught with difficulty. While some temples may be open to accepting transgender individuals, others may not, which can lead to feelings of exclusion and marginalisation within the spiritual community.

    Despite these challenges, some ladyboys have found solace and support in monastic life, even becoming respected spiritual leaders. An example of such a trailblazer is Phra Maha Sompong Talaputto, a transgender woman who became a revered Buddhist monk and teacher.

    The Power of Compassion and Understanding

    Thai society, like any other, is constantly evolving, and many individuals and organisations are working to promote greater acceptance and understanding of transgender individuals within the Buddhist community.

    One such organisation is the Anjaree Group, which works to create a safe space for LGBTQ+ individuals to explore their spirituality within a Buddhist framework. By fostering open dialogue and understanding, organisations like Anjaree Group are helping to build bridges between the transgender community and the larger Buddhist society.

    The relationship between Thai ladyboys and Buddhism is a fascinating and intricate tapestry, reflecting Thai society's diverse and ever-evolving nature. While there is a level of acceptance and understanding rooted in Buddhist teachings, it's essential to acknowledge the challenges and discrimination that ladyboys may face.

    The Buddha once said, "Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the candle's life will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared."

    For the dating ladyboys in Thailand we recommend joining Thai Friendly which has hundreds of Thai ladyboys listed.

    For dating ladyboys globally we recommend joining My Ladyboy Date which has attractive ladyboys in many Asian and Western countries.

    For ladyboy escorts in Asia and Europe, make sure to try Smooci.

    • Apr 28 2023 09:13 PM
    • by admin
  2. How Social Media Changed Ladyboy Culture

    The Power of Visibility

    One of the most significant impacts social media has had on the ladyboy community in Thailand is the increased visibility it offers. Whereas a decade ago, most Thais didn’t own a smartphone or have regular access to a computer, today it’s estimated that 80 of the country regularly uses a smartphone. Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Line, and TikTok, are now extremely popular in Thailand, with many ladyboy users sharing their experiences, showcasing their talents, and expressing their authenticity. This increased visibility has allowed for a much better understanding of the ladyboy community by the wider public, fostering empathy and breaking down stereotypes.

    Influencers Breaking Barriers

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    Social media platforms have given rise to ladyboy influencers who are not only breaking barriers in terms of acceptance but also creating opportunities for financial success. Through their social media presence, these influencers are challenging conventional norms and redefining beauty standards. They also inspire other ladyboys to embrace their authentic selves and pursue their dreams, regardless of societal expectations. Notably, ladyboy influencers include ex Miss Tiffany Poyd Treechade, self-made billionaire Ann Chakrapong, and comedienne and actress Jenny Panhan.

    Fostering Community and Support

    Not only has social media provided Thai ladyboys with a platform to share their lives, but it’s also allowed them to connect with each other and build supportive and powerful communities. Through various groups, forums, and online spaces, ladyboys can share their experiences, offer advice, and find camaraderie in the face of adversity. This sense of belonging and support is crucial for the mental and emotional well-being of individuals within the community. It has helped many find confidence and pride in who they are. Pantip.com has been a hugely popular forum over the last decade, and through social media, it has created a lot of discussions dedicated to LGBT topics.

    Advocacy and Activism

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    The power of social media extends to advocacy and activism, as it provides Thai ladyboys with a platform to raise awareness about the issues they face, such as discrimination, violence, and limited access to healthcare and legal rights. By sharing their stories and advocating for change, ladyboys are fostering a dialogue that can help drive policy reform and social change. Such organisations and groups as The Thai Transgender Alliance, TransFem, and The Sisters Foundation, have been able to use social media to educate and support the wider community.

    Changing Perceptions in Thai Society

    As Thai ladyboys continue to gain visibility and share their stories on social media, perceptions within Thai society are gradually evolving. While there is still progress to be made, the increased exposure to the lives and experiences of ladyboys is helping to challenge preconceived notions and promote understanding. In recent years there have been considerable breakthroughs in trans rights within Thailand, including seeing the first Trans lecturer employed by a Thai university, and the progression of same-sex unions edging close to legalisation.

    Social media has undeniably played a significant role in the increased visibility and acceptance of Thai ladyboys. The power of connection, self-expression, and advocacy that social media offers have catalysed change in both the ladyboy community and Thai society at large. As social media continues to grow and evolve, it will undoubtedly play an essential role in furthering acceptance and fostering a more inclusive world.

    For the dating ladyboys in Thailand we recommend joining Thai Friendly which has hundreds of Thai ladyboys listed.

    For dating ladyboys globally we recommend joining My Ladyboy Date which has attractive ladyboys in many Asian and Western countries.

    For ladyboy escorts in Asia and Europe, make sure to try Smooci.

    • Apr 26 2023 01:33 AM
    • by admin
  3. Meeting Thai ladyboys: The Dos and Don’ts

    Whether you are curious or sexually attracted to ladyboys or just wish to talk and learn more about an individual, it’s essential to be culturally sensitive and communicate with the utmost respect. As you immerse yourself in the captivating world of Thai ladyboys, it is crucial to remember that, above all, they are individuals deserving of the same courtesy and respect as anyone else.

    Don’t: Assume every ladyboy works in the sex industry

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    One of the most common misconceptions surrounding ladyboys is the belief that they all work in the sex industry. This stereotype, perpetuated by various media and misinformation, is inaccurate and harmful. Like any other group, ladyboys hold diverse roles in Thai society, ranging from hospitality to retail, education, and beyond. It is important to approach each interaction with an open mind, recognising the individuality and unique experiences of the person you are engaging with rather than relying on assumptions or stereotypes.

    Do: Approach with respect and an open mind

    When interacting with a ladyboy, approach her with the same respect and courtesy as any stranger. They will have their own interesting story, passions, and ambitions. Exhibiting warmth and a sincere inclination to learn about their lives as unique individuals can create an inviting ambience. Keep in mind that ladyboys, as a marginalised community, often confront considerable obstacles and discrimination. By cultivating an atmosphere of compassion and acceptance, you can aid in dismantling stereotypes and fostering mutual comprehension. Showing kindness and genuine interest in getting to know them as individuals will help create a positive atmosphere.

    Don't: Be aggressive or pushy

    Aggressive or pushy behaviour is typically viewed as improper across cultures, and this is particularly true in Thai culture. Refrain from pressuring someone into conversations or activities they might find uncomfortable. Opt for a laid-back and amiable attitude, exhibiting patience and understanding. Be prepared to amiably accept rejection or disinterest if it arises, and recognize that respecting personal boundaries is essential for fostering positive interactions in any social setting.

    Do: Be mindful of cultural norms

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    Thai culture highlights courtesy, reverence, and conflict-free exchanges. Remain conscious of these principles when encountering ladyboys in bars. Additionally, it's crucial to avoid subjects like politics, religion, and the monarchy. These topics can spark controversy, and many Thais perceive discussing them with outsiders, who may have differing views, as discourteous or even insulting. Strive to maintain a harmonious and respectful conversation, adhering to local cultural sensitivities.

    Don't: Touch without permission

    Respecting personal boundaries is essential in all social interactions. Refrain from physical contact with anyone, ladyboys included, unless you have their clear consent. Unwarranted touching may be perceived as intrusive and discourteous. Especially avoid touching someone’s head, which is considered highly offensive to a Buddhist. Always remain vigilant of personal space and boundaries, and be aware that cultural differences may affect individuals' perceptions of appropriate physical distance. Demonstrating this level of consideration can foster a comfortable and respectful environment for everyone involved.

    Do: Relax and have fun

    While this list of do’s and don’ts may come across as a daunting list of rules and a minefield of etiquette looking to catch you out, it really isn’t the case. As with all Thais, ladyboys believe in giving and receiving respect. The way you treat a Thai will often be reflected back at you, so entering with a warmth, kindness, and respectful attitude, will usually see it paid back to you. Enjoy getting to know someone and allowing them to also get to know you. Most of all, remember to be friendly and have fun.

    For the dating ladyboys in Thailand we recommend joining Thai Friendly which has hundreds of Thai ladyboys listed.
    For dating ladyboys globally we recommend joining My Ladyboy Date which has attractive ladyboys in many Asian and Western countries.

    For ladyboy escorts in Asia and Europe, make sure to try Smooci.

    • Apr 26 2023 01:24 AM
    • by admin
  4. Phuket, Thailand Escort Scams

    That said, there are specific scams and traps to be aware of. Here are the most common escort scams in Phuket, Thailand (and how best to handle them).

    Phuket Escort Agency Scams

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    Bait and switch: This is when the escort in the photo/video isn’t the one who turns up in your room. You see a stunning slim, 21-year-old model on the agency website, but she is not the girl you’ve been dreaming of when you open your hotel room door. Bait and switch is highly unlikely to happen when using a trusted, well-known Phuket escort agency.

    What to do: Fortunately, this isn’t common in Thailand. If it does happen, address it immediately and try not to let the escort into the room. Stand your ground, but remain calm and don’t get aggressive. If there is drama, call the hotel security/reception swiftly.

    Photoshopping: This is a far more common Phuket, Thailand escort scam. Heavily edited escort photos aren’t unique to Thailand; this is an issue with escorts far and wide. It’s similar to the bait and switch, but instead of a different person showing up, it’s the same person, but they don’t look as good as in the photos.

    What to do: It depends on how heavily the photoshopped images are. If the person looks nothing like the photos and you don’t find them attractive, it’s best to follow the advice above. If the escort seems a little different, but you still find them attractive, it’s best to overlook the issue and see how the chemistry works out.

    Fake Reviews: This is something we work hard to eliminate on Smooci. Sadly, many escort sites don’t have a suitable method or system for spotting fake reviews. So, you see some glowing reports on an escort offering certain services and experiences, but when they arrive, the experience is nothing like the glowing reports and recommendations described.

    What to do: This is tricky as you tend not to realise you have been misled until after booking. You also have no proof they had anything to do with the possible fake reviews. The best advice is to play it cool and mark it as a learning experience. Getting upset, angry, or refusing to pay after the booking can lead to unnecessary drama.

    Phuket Escort Freelancer Scams

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    Stealing: It’s not common, but you hear stories of escort clients being robbed by escorts, usually having things taken from their hotel rooms. Again, this is more common in other countries and big cities, but you should always be wary of it.

    What to do: Whenever taking an escort to your room, always request they leave their ID with security/reception. This will help you in the unlikely event they steal from you and discourage potential thieves from trying. If you catch someone stealing from you, keep calm and get them to return the stolen items. Make sure not to be aggressive or confrontational or give them a reason to create drama and play the victim. If you realise you’ve been robbed after the fact, immediately inform the hotel reception and they will help you report it and hopefully catch the thief.

    Pickpocketing: Pickpocketing occasionally happens when clients cruise for freelance escorts on the streets. This usually occurs when the escorts are in darker streets, such as along the beach at night.

    What to do: We advise against purposely looking for street escorts; it’s not necessary in Thailand. If you do it, make sure not to carry any unnecessary items, don’t wear any expensive jewellery and watches, and limit the money you have on you. Be wary of where your phone and wallet are at all times. If you get a bad feeling or see something suspicious, leave immediately.

    Fake IDs: One Phuket, Thailand escort scam you should always be conscious of, is the fake ID scam. Every Thai person should carry their government ID card, which will usually be needed to enter bars, clubs, and hotels. However, it’s not uncommon for an escort to borrow her friend’s ID, so don’t always take it as given that the ID matches the person holding it.
    What to do: This is usually done to hide the age or gender of the escort. If you have any doubts or suspicions that the escort you are with isn’t the person in the ID, or they seem younger, or possibly not even the gender they say they are, address it. Be friendly and calm, and ask them about it. If you still aren’t happy with their answer, ask for other proof or simply walk away.

    Other Phuket Escort Scams

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    Bar and massage touts: Touting scams are when someone on the street or a taxi/tuk-tuk driver tells you about this amazing bar/massage with the hottest girls and raunchiest action you can imagine. But when you get there, you find something far less desirable and considerably more expensive than the other bars and massages all over town.

    What to do: Some bars, clubs, and shows will use touts, but it will usually be the girls/ladyboys who work there trying to draw in customers during quiet times. They will also be very close to the place (no need to get a taxi and be whisked away). There’s never a real reason to follow a tout; if you can’t see the place they are talking about within view, it’s a big no. If you find someone giving you the hard sell, say no thank you, smile, and keep moving.

    Joiner fees: This is a Phuket, Thailand escort scam you hear about. Joiner fees aren’t a scam in themselves; while there is an excellent selection of guest-friendly hotels in Phuket, some hotels charge a joiner fee to take a guest back to your room. However, this becomes a scam when the hotel allows you to bring a guest back for free, but a security or staff member takes advantage and tries to charge you a joiner fee.

    What to do: We always advise getting the hotel guest policy before your trip (this can be done via an anonymous email). If you think you shouldn’t have to pay a joiner fee, question it, especially if it happens at an odd hour during the night shift. If they insist you pay, ask them for a receipt and tell them you will double-check with the main reception. Standing your ground will usually cause most opportunists to back down.

    Thailand is a beautiful and safe country; most people are very friendly and helpful, but always keep your common sense. There are other Phuket, Thailand escort-related scams and common tourist scams and traps you should look out for, including the notorious jet ski scam, which you should read up on in advance.

    For the dating ladyboys in Thailand we recommend joining Thai Friendly which has hundreds of Thai ladyboys listed.

    For dating ladyboys globally we recommend joining My Ladyboy Date which has attractive ladyboys in many Asian and Western countries.

    For ladyboy escorts in Asia and Europe, make sure to try Smooci.

    • Sep 02 2022 10:37 PM
    • by admin
  5. How to find tops, bottoms, and vers ladyboys

    Over the years I have developed a kind of feel for how to find tops, bottoms and versatile ladyboys depending on my mood. Sure you could always just come right out and ask a ladyboy if she throws, catches, or switches. Most ladyboys are cool and open to those kinds of questions at the appropriate time. But why not just narrow down your choices right from the beginning, especially if you're going to pay for it?

    When you are paying for it, it seems like the world if your oyster. With cash in hand you're much more likely to find ladyboys who will at least say they are vers. Since they're out to make money, the working girls will tell you what you want to hear to snare you in as a customer. And they'll usually deliver too. This isn't out of the norm. The human body can respond to all sorts of stimuli. Just ask any of the guys who go gay for pay!

    Now when you meet “regular” ladyboys in everyday life you will find that a lot more of them seem to be bottoms. This makes sense if you really stop and think about it. These are people born with male genitalia who feel like they are actually women or at least part of a third alternate sex. A part of being a woman in traditional roles is being the receiver, and maybe even passive. So a ladyboy who goes through everything a transition involves will probably want to be treated like a lady. This is true in my experience with regular non-prostitute or semi-pro ladyboys.

    Of course culture aspects and practices can come into play too. In many parts of Asia it's still not out of the norm for guys to take care of their girlfriends or even their casual sex partners. So a ladyboy at university in Bangkok could have sex with you because she genuinely likes you but still sort of expect that you would grab any bills that pop up. And even then she might still be a bottom only. It's not always a buyers market when you're not even in the market at all!

    I've also noticed that some ladyboys in some places just seem to be hornier and up for more than their sisters in other places. Filipina ladyboys almost always seem primed to go either way when it comes to bed. I've even had some appear like natural bottoms only to later ask me if I could “help them” when their little erections wouldn't go down.

    A lot of Cambodian and Chinese ladyboys seem like they can go either way too, even when they're not working in the entertainment industry for a living. Meanwhile most of the ladyboys I've meet in Vietnam and Myanmar were much more like “natural” ladies and I couldn't imagine them getting hard let alone topping. Quite a few of them didn't even want me to see their ball bags hanging down when I was banging them out from the back.

    For the dating ladyboys in Thailand we recommend joining Thai Friendly which has hundreds of Thai ladyboys listed.

    For dating ladyboys globally we recommend joining My Ladyboy Date which has attractive ladyboys in many Asian and Western countries.

    For ladyboy escorts in Asia and Europe, make sure to try Smooci.

    • Dec 27 2019 06:14 PM
    • by admin
  6. Thai vs Filipina ladyboys

    But it's also something those of us who have traveled to both Thailand and the Philippines and been with both in the flesh could really consider. I think it's worth discussion.

    There is really no question that Thailand is home to both the highest number and the highest percentage of ladyboys in the world. But the Philippines shouldn't be ignored as a ladyboy center either. The ladyboys you can find there are unique and great in their own way. They're not all that rare either. There are definitely more ladyboys in say Manila or Angeles City than you would find in most other cities around the world, Bangkok and Pattaya not withstanding!

    In general you could probably finder hotter and more ladylike ladyboys in Thailand. There are a few reasons for that. The first and most obvious is that there are just more ladyboys in the Land of Smiles. So it follows that you would find more good looking ladyboys. But there's more than that.

    There's a whole ladyboy or kathoey culture in Thailand dating back ages. You can read some about it in great books like “The Third Sex” by Richard Totman if you're really interested. The long and short of it is that anyone born with a penis who feels like a lady or ladyboy doesn't have to start from scratch in Thailand. They see ladyboys around them, and they can easily find ladyboy mentors who help them transition and learn about everything. In the Philippines the ladyboys are much more relegated into the shadows and they might be scared to ask or even talk about their feelings due to the social stigma.

    Finally, there is the money aspect which is something that definitely comes into play. Overall Thailand is a richer and more developed country than the Philippines. So ladyboys on average should have more access to money. On top of that there is the whole industry of paid sex in Thailand that ladyboys can easily take advantage of. Even an average looking ladyboy can bring in a decent income by Thai standards with a bit of activity. That money can then interact with the culture aspect since there are all sorts of plastic surgeons in Thailand who are used to helping ladyboys get breast implants, ass implants, facial remolding, sex change operations and more.

    Ladyboys in the Philippines have less opportunity to make money if they want to go the sex work route. They are also less likely to have money from any mainstream job or their family. Even if they get money, they don't have as many options for surgery or people they can reach out to for help in their transition. But with all that said, I must say that there are some things I find Filipina ladyboys to be much better at!

    First, most everyone in the Philippines can speak English. It's not nearly as easy to find English speakers in Thailand. Second there's a cultural aspect. With the Philippines being more westernized, it's easier to converse and related with Filipina ladyboys. Next there are the looks. Frankly, I find that Filipina ladyboys can be hotter than their Thai sisters in a lot of cases. Especially when it comes to their units. I much prefer the cut Filipino sausage to the sheated Thai hot dog. But that's just personal preference.

    Finally there's the sex. I just find that the Filipina ladyboys are more into it and more adventurous. And most every ladyboy I've met in the Philippines can be either a top or a bottom depending on my desires. So I visit both places and have fun. Depending on my mood though, I might choose one country over another. How about you?

    For the dating ladyboys in Thailand we recommend joining Thai Friendly which has hundreds of Thai ladyboys listed.

    For dating ladyboys globally we recommend joining My Ladyboy Date which has attractive ladyboys in many Asian and Western countries.

    For ladyboy escorts in Asia and Europe, make sure to try Smooci.

    • Dec 27 2019 06:14 PM
    • by admin
  7. The best ladyboy action is now online

    But that Asian chick looked good in the club. I didn't really click fully until I was in the taxi and the driver was giving me strange looks. I guess I was naive. And later I felt a bit strange. But as time went on I embraced my love of ladyboys and moved on to greener pastures, which of course meant Thailand!

    Some younger guys might consider me an old timer. When I hear the term I think about the guys who were here before me. But on the other hand I understand where they are coming from. Anyone with more than a decade down in a place could be described as an old hand.

    In any case, a lot of guys new and old alike have been talking about the good old days and how the bar scene has been getting worse. And of course I have noticed a kind of decline across the bar board myself, though it really depends how you measure it. Without question there are now more ladyboy bars than there have ever been in the past. Especially in cities like Bangkok and Pattaya! But things like the number of ladyboys, their looks, their attitudes, and of course how much money they want also come into play.

    So we end up with a situation where new bars seem to open all the time but still some guys complain about the action. And I totally understand where they are coming from. At the same time I understand where the ladyboys are coming from too. Ladyboys are now more accepted than ever and the Baht is high against many major currencies. Add that to the internet and you get ladyboys who are prettier, more accepted, and have more options than any transsexuals in the past. So we shouldn't be surprised at all if this new generation of ladyboys doesn't want to be subject to the discipline of working set hours for set wages, right? After all, this is the age of the gig economy.

    At the same time, we don't have to stay home or just make complaints either. The internet has in fact made it a lot easier for guys like us who love ladyboys too. If you're in most major cities in Southeast Asia or even Europe, you now have more or less immediate access to a whole bunch of ladyboys who are looking to make relationships or just some money. So why not take advantage of it? Even for an arguable old timer like me that's easy to do these days!

    First we've got Tinder and other apps like it. Then we've got all the dating sites and apps, which includes a bunch of ladyboy specific stuff. There are ladyboy dating sites and then there's the massive Thai friendly with members all over the country and world who can be sorted by gender, including the “third gender” or ladyboys!

    Finally when we want that on demand action, we have more options than ever thanks to the online ladyboy escorts agencies and the centralized Smooci site where Thai ladyboys of all sorts can post profiles. I've even found Thai ladyboys on Smooci in cities like London! How's that for convenience and availability?

    For the dating ladyboys in Thailand we recommend joining Thai Friendly which has hundreds of Thai ladyboys listed.

    For dating ladyboys globally we recommend joining My Ladyboy Date which has attractive ladyboys in many Asian and Western countries.

    For ladyboy escorts in Asia and Europe, make sure to try Smooci.

    • Dec 27 2019 06:10 PM
    • by admin
  8. The 'F' Word

    The word Farang (pronounced with a drilled ‘r’ and often mispronounced as ‘falang’), is the widely used Thai term for a white or Caucasian person, or someone of Europe ancestory (though African-Americans will sometimes be referred to as 'farang dam’, simply meaning ‘black farang’). You’ll hear it used in all parts of Thailand, from the taxi driver who greets you at the airport, to the college students at the mall, you’ll even hear it spoken by the locals you’ll befriend and socialize with. For any white foreigner heading to Thailand there is no escaping the word ‘farang’.

    From where does the word originate?

    The origin of the word ‘farang’ is widely disputed. Some will tell you it simply derives from the word ‘Farang-set’, which means ‘French’ in Thai, with the French having a very strong presence in the region from the 16th Century. Others will tell you that it comes from the Arabic word ‘farangi’, which means white skinned people. There are many similar theories with a number of countries having a similar sounding word for white foreigner or westerner.

    It’s likely that there is some truth to all these theories, with the general academic belief being that the word for ‘farang’ and other similar words come from the Persian word ‘farang’ or ‘farangi’ meaning ‘Frank European’. This in turn came from the Old French word ‘franc’ which was their name for the powerful Frank Western Germanic tribe which ruled much of Western Europe during the early part of the Middle Ages, and from which France derived its name.

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    A fruitier explanation

    To complicate matters a little, ‘farang’ is also the Thai word for guava fruit (with no difference in the pronunciation), which was first introduced by Portuguese traders around the turn of the 18th Century. In the Isaan / Laotian regional language a ‘farang’ fruit is called a ‘mak sida’, with ‘mak’ meaning fruit, while a ‘farang’ foreigner is often called a ‘bak sida’, with ‘bak’ meaning ‘male’. Though as you can imagine, there is as much (if not more) controversy surrounding this word.

    You’ll also see the word ‘farang’ used to describe some food imported from the West, such as ‘man farang’ which is a type of potato, and ‘mak farang’ which means chewing gum.

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    Is the word ‘farang’ racist?

    What most ‘farang’ really want to know is whether the term is racist. I know several expats and regular travelers to Thailand who take offence to being referred to as a ‘farang’, and some who find it amusing, playful, or even charming, but whether or not the word is an insult or racist depends on the context in which it is spoken.

    ‘Farang’ is in essence a very common and neutral word and one which is used so widely (especially in big cities and touristic areas), that it even appears in many Thai language dictionaries. If you overhear shop workers talking about you and referring to you as a farang you shouldn't instantly feel offend, in most cases it is done so with all innocence and in some cases they may even be complimenting you or referring to you in a very positive manner.

    Things get a little more tricky when someone directly calls you a ‘farang’, i.e. if someone asked you ‘where are you going, farang?’ that could be taken with some offence, as in the same way asking someone in English ‘where are you going, foreigner?’ could be taken as an insult, but in general, being referred to as a ‘farang’ by someone such as a taxi driver or street vendor is not likely to be meant as an insult.

    On the other hand, one may feel offended being call ‘farang’ by the staff or a nice restaurant or hotel. It could be seen as a lack of respect in an establishment which should offer more sensitivity and caution towards a word that obviously offends some people. The same goes for work colleagues and friends, while it is most likely not be meant as an insult, being referred to as a ‘farang’ by such people may seem impersonal.

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    The Thai view

    Ask most Thais and they will tell you the word isn't racist or meant as an insult. And they are mostly right. ‘Farang’ is a word most Thais have grown up hearing, being used to describe white foreigners in a matter of fact way. There is no evidence of oppression, hatred, or racism to be found behind the history of the word, no matter which theory of its origin you choose to believe.

    Some Thai people who feel uncomfortable using the word ‘farang’ may try to use words such as ‘kon dtahng bpra-tayt’, or ‘chaw tang chati’, which both mean a person from another country, and both of which are clearly quite a mouthful – and so the word ‘farang’ remains the short, simple alternative that the majority of Thai people use.

    When a Thai refers to a foreigner as "farang khi nok" then it’s probably time to start taking offence. 'Farang khi nok' is actually a variety of guava fruit, but it also translates to mean ‘bird shit Foreigner’.

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    A need to be accepted

    Many of those who take offence when being referred to as a ‘farang’ are expats or those who spend a lot of time visiting Thailand. The offence they take from the word may be somewhat down to a bad experience or the frustration of not being accepted as a resident rather and still being called a foreigner. However, the truth is that one can never change his/her heritage or ethnicity, only embrace it, fight it, or accept that it’s only an issue if you make it one and being a ‘farang’ in Thailand can also be a positive and enviable thing.

    Many foreigners in Thailand not only accept the word but embrace it, with foreign run communities and businesses using the word as a means of recognition, connection and identity, such as Der Farang, a popular German language newspaper for expats, Farang Properties Services, and a number of shops and bars run by and for expats living in Thailand, using the word ‘farang’ in their business name and marketing copy.


    For my 5 baht’s worth, Farang isn't a racist word. It isn't even a unique word to Thailand. In Malaysia and Cambodia white foreigners are referred to as Barang, in Vietnam it’s Pha-rang, in Turkey, ‘ifangi’, ‘firinji’ in Arabic, and even Greek people refer to Westerners as ‘frangos’, and in none of these countries is it primarily used as a racist or insulting term.

    However, as with many words it can be used in a racist way if so intend, and in some cases a foreigner will be called a ‘farang’ in a negative way. Being offended in such a way once can cause some to develop a negative reaction towards the ‘f’ word and often this is where talk of it being a racist term often develops. My advice is, despite any past experience with the word, you should always be aware of the context in which it is spoken, assuming no offence unless it is clearly given.

    Written by: Moo Yung

    • Apr 04 2014 08:55 PM
    • by Moo Yung
  9. Hey New Guy: It's Not Because You're a...

    Ever stop to wonder why so many girls and ladyboys work in bars as bar girls, i.e., prostitutes?

    I know a few of you are out there reading this and thinking, "Wait, what? It's because I'm a handsome man, right? After all they tell me that every time I walk down the soi." Well, while veteran ladyboy lovers know this isn't the reason – I know, difficult to believe, right? – it may be good for those new to scene to learn just why the girls have chosen the world's oldest profession.
    After all, knowing the motivations behind your temporary bedroom friend/adversary can help you avoid some missteps, as well as providing some empathy and respect – without having to walk a mile in her high heels (which wouldn't be easy, but not for the reasons you might think).

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    Tolerated Yes. But Accepted? Only to a Point

    Before we delve into why, let's explore a tangential aspect of bar girl life in Thailand, one that's often portrayed inaccurately in tourist guidebooks about Thailand. This pertains to bar girls and prostitution in general in Thailand and ladyboys in particular. One often hears that Thai culture is much more tolerant than those of the west – transgendered women, or ladyboys as they are called here, are an accepted part of society, and it also turns a blind eye to prostitution, being more open with regard to sexuality.

    This is, to a certain extent, true. But that's not to say that Thai people don't look down their noses at both ladyboys – particularly those in the play for play game – and girls who work in bars. But unlike in the West, where prostitution is seen as much more of a moral issue, in Thailand it's a class issue.

    If one is forced to work in a bar and "go with customers," to employ the local vernacular, one is of low economic means, and therefore considered by others to be of a lower class, socially. While there is no caste system here per se, there is a definite social distinction between well-to-do middle class Thai people, the elite rich, and those of little economic means, which here typically means those from rural areas. This is why so many girls who work in bars that cater to foreigners are from Isaan or other rural areas in central or northern Thailand.

    This is why you'll hear many rural Thais talk about "Bangkok Thais" with a mixture of envy and disdain.

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    So your average middle class Thai person living and working in Bangkok may not see anything wrong with a girl or ladyboy from Nong Khai coming to work in a bar in Nana Plaza to support her family back home on the farm. After all, one is expected to take care of one's elder family here.

    But that same middle class Thai person isn't going to be inviting that ladyboy to join them for afternoon tea anytime soon. Furthermore, in terms of the social strata, farmers in particular are seen as being on the bottom in Thailand. Nowhere is this more prevalent than in Thai media, where farmers and those raised on a farm are typically portrayed as ignorant and stupid – what we would call rednecks.

    Ever wonder why there is such a preoccupation with white skin in Thailand and Southeast Asia in general? Because if you have dark skin that means you must be an uncouth rural denizen forced to labor in a field – most definitely not hi-so.

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    Sorry Cheap Charlie, I Got Mouths to Feed. Really

    Which brings us to the primary reason the girls and ladyboys we love work in bars: most of them have families to support. It may seem strange to a Western foreigner, but in this deeply traditional Buddhist culture, children are expected to take care of their parents and grandparents, including financially. There is no social safety net here; a family's children are the elders' safety net.

    Bear in mind too that the average farm family in Thailand makes $3,600 a year (U.S. Dollars, according to 2008 United Nations survey). Granted, the cost of living in Thailand is much less than in the West, but still, Thai farmers ain't getting rich; there's no such thing as a gentleman farmer here. In fact most are debt these days, because of the cost of fertilizer and recent natural disasters like the floods that plagued Thailand a few years back.

    So ask any girl working in a bar where she's from and the odds are good it will be from rural Thailand, commonly somewhere in Isaan. Ask her why and the answer will often be two-fold. First, she's helping support her family back home. Often times the older siblings will go to work to put the younger ones through school as well – this is particularly true of ladyboys, who still have fewer prospects in the workforce, even with a degree, than a younger brother or sister.

    Furthermore, for a girl from a poor rural family who can't afford her to send her to university, working in a bar in Bangkok or Pattaya -- among many friends and making more money than she could back home -- while avoiding the backbreaking work of rice farming, is an appealing alternative. Slog away day after day in the hot, muddy fields of Phitsanulok or dance in an air-conditioned go-go in Pattaya, going out partying with your friends afterwards? An easy choice for many girls.

    Sure there are a few girls out there who aren't doing it because they have to support their family financially, but because they enjoy the lifestyle and the easy money. But the vast majority of them are in the former category: they are the primary breadwinners for the folks back home.

    So keep that in mind the next time you get annoyed that a girl is pestering you for a lady drink or balks at your low-ball offer for a short-time price. She may literally have mouths to feed.

    And when you're doing the so-called walk of shame back to your hotel? Grow some balls and turn it into the walk of fame. Take her hand and show her – and more importantly, let her show other Thais – that you aren't ashamed to be seen with her. Your lady, be she GG or ladyboy, will appreciate it – she likely comes from the bottom rung of the social ladder, after all.

    Written by:
    Ladyboy Lust

    • Apr 04 2014 08:33 PM
    • by Ladyboy Lust
  10. LoS in Translation or Ladyboys – What Do They M...

    On noticing your distress, they may deign to talk to you, but only on their terms, and only in that curious tongue known as Thaiglish, a mixture of Thai and (some kind of) English. Fear not, dear reader, for this handy guide is here to help you.*

    Just for the sake of clarity, I’ll use a simple phonetic (faw-NE-tik) style to help you with the pronunciation. You probably won’t see any of the guide in writing, but you will hear it.

    OK. Where to begin? The basics of LB Thai would seem as good a place as any.

    Loom: The scene of the crime, as it were. “We go you loom or sho’t time loom?”

    Teelak: Darling, or boyfriend. An honorific bestowed only upon the most distinguished and respected of foreign gentlemen. Or someone who has just bought a ladydrink.

    She go out: She’s already been barfined, dummy – get here sooner next time!

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    Bak wan: literally, ‘sweet mouth’; said of you when you tell them how beautiful they are. Basically, you know you’re talking shit, they know you’re talking shit. But now you know that they know that you’re talking shit. But it’s meant in a nice way, so that’s all right.

    Bak wan, kon pee-ow: literally, ‘sweet mouth, sour ass’; said of you when you tell them how beautiful they are. Basically, you know you’re talking shit, they know you’re…well, you get the picture. But it’s NOT meant in a nice way. It means you are two-faced. White man speak with forked tongue…

    Hee-foooo: Ladyboys will simply adore you when you point to their crotch and say VERY loudly “OO-EE, you hee-FOOOO!” In much the same way that we all enjoy complete strangers pointing out that we have a visible erection in public... For that’s what hee-foooo means: a hard on.

    Oo-EE!: An exclamation of surprise, shock, or excitement. A literal translation into English might run along the lines of ‘WTF!’ For instance, the correct response when a ladyboy playfully punches you in the arm with all the force of a young Mike Tyson delivering a knock-out punch is not ‘Jesus Fucking H Christ - that HURT, dumbass!’ but the rather more neutral, and therefore less confrontational ‘Oo-EE!’ It’s used…well, everywhere, really. And you will probably find yourself using it when you get back home, much to the consternation of your friends, who will probably think you are having a stroke. You may be THINKING of having a stroke, but that ladyboy’s cock is now several thousand miles away. Oo-EE, indeed.

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    Wow pin yaaang: There’s Thaiglish, there’s barglish, there’s ladyboy barglish. And then there’s Isaan. Many ladyboys come from Isaan, to which you must reply ‘A-ha! I think before you come from Isaan – most beautiful lady come from Isaan.’ To which they will reply ‘Bak wan.’ Your comeback could be ‘No pompem,’ or ‘My pen lie,’ both of which mean ‘No problem.’ But if you REALLY want to impress the lady(boy) from Isaan, you must use the Isaan form, ‘Wow pin yaaang.’ Ah, how they will love you when they think you can understand everything they say…and it won’t push the price up by more than 50%. No, sir.

    I lub you too mutt:‘I love you too much,’ or, in literal translation, ‘I need more money for shoes.’

    A-loy mak-mak!: Tasty – very tasty! Especially to be said of a ladyboy’s ass or new boobs. You cannot go wrong in complimenting a ladyboy on her ass or boobs. Unless she doesn’t like them, of course. There’s only one way to find out, tiger…

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    You mow mak-mak: You are very drunk. Perhaps now you will barfine me, fall asleep, be awakened by my unashamedly fabricated tales of your startling sexual prowess, then pay me more for watching TV until the wee small hours and scoffing the entire contents of the minibar.

    You like smoke?: “Do you want to suck my cock?” Be careful when you get back home, and your friend asks if you want to pop outside for a quick ciggie, for if he says ‘Smoke?’ and you blush, then the game may be up.

    My flend have pompem, mutt go: “My friend has a problem, and I have to go and help her.” Usually, this is in response to the pre-arranged phone call from the Thai boyfriend and literally means ‘I’m bored, and this long-time barfine just became a short-time barfine. As compensation, the original price still stands, but there will be no extra charge.’ Lucky old you, eh?

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    You no too mutt:‘You know too much,’ or, in literal translation, ‘You’ve been reading Pattayanista’s guide to ladyboy language, haven’t you?’ Usually said with an air of exasperation after you have used ‘hee-foooo’ at just the wrong time. You swine.

    This short guide is by no means all-encompassing, but should serve as a useful tool in helping you to negotiate the minefield of miscommunication out there in LB barland. Good luck, hansum maaaan!

    *(Note: the author cannot be held responsible for any inaccuracies contained herein, nor for any arguments, slaps, stabs, or near-death experiences caused by unsupervised use of the above guide.)

    Written by:

    • Apr 04 2014 07:58 PM
    • by pattayanista