As unfathomable as most might think it is, western men marrying Thai bar girls or prostitutes in Thailand isn’t an uncommon occurrence. For a large percentage of western men in Thailand, whether on vacation or living here, the only Thai girls they meet and date are bar girls from the local sex industry. Some western men even marry Thai bar girls only to discover there are so many problems, they shouldn’t have. If you’re a western guy, or know one, who’s seriously thinking about dating or marrying a Thai bar girl, consider the following problems that will occur.
Most Thai Bar Girls Want Money– First of all, don’t fool yourself. The vast majority of Thai bar girls or prostitutes date or are in a relationship with a western man for the money. Where a majority of Thai men make low salaries, western men, even the poorly paid ones, usually make more money. For Thai bar girls who come from poor backgrounds, they know that means if they marry a western guy there’s more chance he can help them and their family rise out of extreme poverty. So, if you think your Thai bar girl is in the relationship for love, think again. They’re usually not.
Most Thai Bar Girls Have Other Men – Many western men come to Thailand on vacation, and meet and fall in love with a Thai bar girl. On return to their own country, these men send money to their new Thai girl friend every month. Often the Thai girl will call needing more money for “a sick father” or because the family’s “buffalo died” (seriously, this is an excuse some of the girls use). And the guy will send money for that too.
What the man often doesn’t realize is the Thai girl has several other western ‘boyfriends’ too. Boyfriends currently living in other countries who also are sending money every month to the same girl, believing she’s their girlfriend. Some of the girls do this for years, even managing to save enough money to buy themselves or their parents a house – all funded by the poor unsuspecting western ‘boyfriends’.
Educational Differences – Another problem western men experience with Thai bar girls is the huge difference in educational backgrounds. It’s difficult enough being married to a Thai and dealing with all the cultural differences. But, western men discover once dating or married to a Thai bar girl who’s had a poor education, they have little in common. The girl doesn’t know much about the world outside Thailand and would rather spend her time in front of soap operas or gossiping with her friends. If the guy tries to have a more in-depth conversation about political or social issues, or even just normal news, the girl has little or no interest in doing so.
Your Reputation, While Dating or Married to a Thai Bar Girl – While Thai men may have sex with prostitutes, few if any respectable Thai men would ever marry a Thai prostitute. In the west, western men also wouldn’t consider marrying a prostitute. Yet, when they come to Thailand, possibly because of the way the Thai bar girls look (slim, elegant, exotic and beautiful) the reality the girl is actually a prostitute seems to evade these men. So, they marry the girl.
What men don’t consider though is dating or marrying a Thai bar girl will damage their reputation and their future career prospects. Thais are not stupid. Just about all of them can spot a Thai bar girl a mile off (the way they dress, the way they speak, the way they act), so when they meet a western man who’s obviously dating or married to one, they lose respect for him.
Being married to an ex-prostitute can also impact a western man’s ability to get a good job. Much of Thai society is based on appearance and respect. If a western man, with a wife who used to be a bar girl, applies for certain jobs, there’s not much chance he’ll get it. Not with a Thai ex-bar girl as a wife. He’ll be ridiculed at work, by both Thais and westerners, and laughed at in public. Even those western men who married respectable Thai women will look down on him.
Don’t get me wrong. Thai bar girls aren’t any worse a human being than the rest of Thai women. Some of them, in fact, are better. But dating or marrying a bar girl is only going to set you up for many problems down the road. Ones you simply wouldn’t have with a respectable Thai girl. And don’t kid yourself, telling yourself “My Thai girl is different”. A lot of men do this then realize, months or years later, she’s not.
Of course, there are exceptions to these pure generalizations about Thai bar girls, but they are few and far between. In all the time I’ve lived in Thailand, I’ve only met one western guy who’s still happily married to his Thai ex-bar girl wife (and she’s a lovely girl, by the way). The others I know are all either unhappily married with far too many problems, or separated or divorced from their Thai wives. Not a nice prospect to look forward to.
photo copyright Wikimedia Commons/Chris O