Friday, June 22, 2012

Why Must You Write About Such Shameful Things?

(from Idleness, Bangkok section)

1. family hotel

Bangkok’s Malaysia Hotel: sex tourists and sex maniacs, dope fiends and dealers, whores of every stripe, and – Scandinavian families.  Always.

The restaurant at the Malaysia Hotel at midnight is like a porn convention double-booked with a twelve-step meeting.  And, there in the corner, is a beaming blonde family, rattling on in Swedish, the braless mother, the beer-drinking father, and two teenaged children getting their first look at the world.

What guidebook sends them here, year after year?  Or – is this some part of Scandinavian culture I just don’t know about?

I imagine the Mom and Dad, home at the end of the day in Stockholm, discussing the kids, “Olof is fourteen now.  And Pia will soon be thirteen.  Isn’t it time we introduced them to elderly queers in white spandex shorts and busty transgendered hookers?”

2. giant

The immensely tall Swiss man with the long blonde ringlets would like me to know that he is, in fact, a giant.  Not just figuratively.  Officially.

“Anything over six foot six is a giant.  I am six foot seven and a half.”  Not only that, he’s kicked his smack habit and possesses a sizable inheritance. 

He’s 45 or so, goes to the sauna every day, drinks beer, smokes pot, and gets laid about every twenty minutes.

It’s good to be a giant.

3. excuse me

I’m breakfasting with the giant and he says, “Oh, there’s my dealer.  Just a minute.”  He circles the pool a few times, then sits back down in a huff.

“Well!  If he didn’t go into the ladies toilet it’d be a lot easier to follow him inconspicuously, wouldn’t it!”


The orange-haired queen who delivers room service has let the giant know that, for him, all services are available and free of charge.

The giant, for his part, enjoys wearing floppy faded old blue shorts and watching everyone at poolside freak, then attempt to guesstimate – if he’s that tall, and it goes that far down his leg. . .

It is conceivable that I, too, have a wistful puppy-begging-at-the-table type look on my face as well.

“Sorry, I’m as bad as any gay guy.  Worse, maybe.”

“Shallow as a birdbath,” says the giant, with a grin.

5. the voyeur

An update on the mad voyeur: he is still there, as he has been for more than a decade now, his gaze fixed upon the pool at the Malaysia Hotel.  His cloud of white hair and coke bottle glasses remain immobile, and he continues to stare, no matter how many newcomers stick out their tongues, or flip the bird, or even shake their fists at him.

Nowadays, the mad voyeur’s thing is giving shows.  (Is it true that all voyeurs dream of being exhibitionists, of possessing, for themselves, the same great force that smites them when they catch a glimpse of flesh?)

The mad voyeur hires two young men and leaves the curtains open.  The young men strip down, the voyeur positions them beside the window, and places between them, on the windowsill, a can of soda with a bendable straw. 

He sucks one young man’s cock, has a sip of soda, sucks the other.

This happens more or less every day in the window with the best view of the pool at the Malaysia Hotel.


“Why must you write about such shameful things?” decent people have asked me, again and again, through the years.

I thought I ought to have an answer printed on a card, which I could then pass out.  Think of how convenient it would be at family events!

There are many reasons. 

Firmly in the lead, however, is:
“Because I have an abiding interest in what is actually going on.” 


The trouble with going to bed mindful at sober at 10:30 pm is that I wake up at 3, boy-scout-ready to volunteer for any depravity whatsoever.

I guess I should be grateful that there’s virtually no sin available at this hour.

Though I suppose I could order something deep-fried from room service.


In my opinion, it’s amazing that Bangkok manages to have any gay sex-for-sale industry at all.  Little wonder that its public face is pretty much confined to stubby Soi Twilight.

You’ve got to figure – it’s a totally different scene than heterosexuality.  Most everyone is obsessed with giving it away for free every chance they get.

Do the math.  Thousands of horny guys have flown thousands of miles, and spent thousands of dollars, to come have sex.  If they don’t succeed at least six times a day – note the pharmacies on every corner – they are going to feel cheated, deprived, and upset.  Every hotel in Bangkok is full of these sour-faced queens – fussy because they only got fucked twice today.

Even if you’re only average, you’ve got to figure – the place is full of addicts, with quotas to maintain.


Being queer, it seems to me, is a profoundly anti-capitalist activity.  It’s one crazed worldwide queer potlatch: everybody just giving it away.


Someday gay men may succeed in convincing straight men to please -- let us take care of that problem for you.

(It should be noted that millennia of concentrated effort have failed, as yet, to yield this goal.  Though we have convinced more or less everyone to worry about their abs and put gel in their hair.)

Should we ever succeed, it is likely that the economy of Thailand would be destroyed.  Followed by that of the world.

Governments would no doubt intervene against this crucial act of insubordination, the gravest since Gandhi marched to the coast and demonstrated that the ocean is full of free salt. 

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