Bruce Marshall was born in England but quickly escaped to Australia. After first visiting Thailand in 1991, he was a regular visitor for 15 years, and finally moved here in 2006. Bruce writes candidly for Naked Farang about his travels, observations and experiences in Thailand. Here he interviews an old friend.
Khun Santi Chokechai has been a close friend of Naked Farang’s GNP writer Bruce Marshall for the last two years. Khun Santi has lived in Australia, the United Kingdom, and the U.S and has degrees in economics and literature. He currently works as a marketing director in Bangkok. Bruce’s interview with Khun Santi follows
BM: Gay and bi-sexual farangs who come to Thailand have preconceived ideas about Thai men. Namely that Thai gays are only interested in sex for money. How do you feel about that stereotype?
SC: I am pretty sure that this stereotype is also applicable to other poor countries in Southeast Asia like the Philippines, too. And this stereotype was, to my own judgment, only valid in the past. The economic situation in Thailand is much better than in the past to the extent that money is not the main factor for Thai gay men to come into contact with gay farangs.
BM: I have heard many horror stories about farangs who have fallen in love with Thai men, and ended up losing their homes, and money all in the name of “love”. What advice do you have for any farangs who may have been smitten by the Thai love bug?.
SC: I am delighted that many farangs fall in love with so-called cute Thai gay men. I know many farangs who have had honest, sincere, genuine relationships with them. But my serious warning is that Thai gay men are nowadays very sophisticated in ‘trapping’ farangs into relationships. So, please keep asking yourself if you are really serious in having a deep relationship with any Thai guy. And it is highly necessary to do your best to double check ‘stories’ you have got from your potential ‘lover’.
BM: There are many “tricks” that some Thais will use to extort money from farangs, can you give some examples (if any)?
SC: The most common and effective ‘trick’ as far as I have ever heard of again and again is that ‘my mother or my family back home has serious financial problems resulting from various serious problems within the family’. And this trick has been practiced continuously by many Thai gay men who, I strongly believe, share their experiences among themselves. They might think that they have nothing to lose if they can’t get sympathy from farangs. But they still hope for the best.
BM: We have preconceived ideas about Thai gays. What preconceived ideas do Thai gays have about farangs?
SC: Those preconceived ideas might include
a. every farang is rich;
b. most farangs are willing to try something new in their life in different places (countries);
c. sexually speaking, many farangs always engage in hot, and exciting sex sessions without any inhibitions.
BM: Do you know of many successful relationships between Thais and farangs? If so please enlighten!
SC: Sadly, I know only a few cases which still remain in relationships. The common factors behind that fruitful relationship, I think, are the same age range, the relatively same educational background, and most importantly, the financial independence of each other.
BM: What do you think is the secret to a successful relationship between people of vastly different cultures?.
SC: Let me list some as follows:
sincerity, mutual trust, and most importantly respect for each other.
BM: You have lived in a few different countries. Are there many differences between farangs from different countries? If so, what are they? Any favourites?
SC: Based on my casual contacts with many gay white men, I rather admit that English gay men are slightly more demanding and arrogant in the first few contacts than Australians and Americans. Once you know them better at a later stage, English gay men tend to be more caring and genuine. I don't claim that this is the overall generalization of them. It is merely my observation based on who I have come into contact with in the past.
BM: What do you think the survival rate of a relationship would be between say a Thai and a Singaporean, compared to say a Thai and a Brit?, or even a Thai and a Thai, is there a difference?
SC: The survival rate of a relationship between a Thai and a Singaporean is relatively minimal compared with a relationship between a Thai and a Thai or a Thai and another farang. I myself have never heard of any relationship between a Thai and a Singaporean. Generally speaking, Thai people regard Singaporeans as being relatively arrogant due to their financial strength and better standard of living. And in the context of the so-called “farang or foreign lover”, most, but not every, I emphasize, still aim for the Caucasian gay man.
BM: Ok, we have been beating around the bush here! I would like to know about your own personal experiences with farangs, good and bad.
SC: Definitely I have had both good and bad experiences during my contacts with many farangs both in Thailand and abroad. The fact that either they are good or bad has nothing to do with the country from which they are from, but purely their PERSONAL thinking. Those bad farangs share the same bad habits, characteristics and attitudes as other bad people; e.g. being selfish, self-centred, exploitative, judgmental, arrogant etc. I think I don’t need to mention too much about the good farangs, for once they are good, they can be good forever. I must admit that I am quite fortunate to have come to know many good farangs who inspire me to turn those bad experiences with bad farangs into precious lessons for dealing with many other bad farangs in the future. And if possible, it is my determination to share my experiences, especially the bad ones, with other Thai gay friends so that their views and perspectives could be broadened to some extent.
BM: What advice would you give to any Thais contemplating a romantic partnership with a farang?
SC: A romantic relationship, to me, should be based on trustworthiness, honesty, mutual respect and compromise. Some might find it very difficult to find all these components in any person. But I still strongly believe that these are fundamentally basic factors to start, nurture, maintain, and consolidate any romantic relationship.
BM: Anything else you would like to say?
SC: Being proud of being gay is very important to yourself. Loving being yourself is also important. There is no necessity whatsoever that you must have a ‘relationship’ in your gay life if the timing is not right yet. Being sensible and practical could also be helpful in many aspects. Many cases of relationships have ended in grievances, sadness, or even worse, tragedies.
Khun Santi Chokechai was talking to Bruce Marshall – January, 2008
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Have your say...
30 Mar 2011, 20:56
i looking for friend maybe more than friend..
28 Nov 2015, 04:08
Hello Peter,It didn't get me at least in Grand Palace, Thai Temples,
National Parks to name a few. Yes some national Parks do accpet work permit
but there are few who don't and there is no way you can complaint about
them. I tried sending email to DNP but no response.