Ladyboys and Ping-Pong Shows
I lived in the red light district of Thailand for six months and it was an eye-opener, to say the least. Every day, I saw sleazy old Russian men groping 13- year-old local girl’s arses while they walked down the hectic streets or sat at dodgy bars pretending to understand what each other were saying.
As I became an expert on these repulsive relationships, I began to understand perfectly.
Young Thai girl thinks: I’m going to fake laugh at all your jokes because you will give me money to feed my family if I let you use my body, you fat idiot.
Male scum thinks: I can’t understand her but I don’t care because she’s the only person who seems to be attracted to me at this stage of my sad, perverted life.
I know that sounds harsh, but fuck – the world isn’t fair. The sex industry in South-East Asia makes a goddamn killing. It seems like half of Australia’s, America’s and the UK’s youth go to Thailand to gawk at ping-pong shows and lady boys.
During my time there, I befriended Thai women who worked as prostitutes, visited a shop and café where everything was made by rescued sex slaves and became increasingly more intrigued in the matter. I heard a UN officer make a speech about the facts and figures of human trafficking and sex slaves in Southeast Asia and the story has stuck with me ever since.
He found a 5-year-old Cambodian girl working in a brothel during a police search. She was hiding in a dark corner, shaking with fear at the sight of more men. When he told her he was there to help her she clung to him and begged him to get her out of there with the horror and desperation of an adult who understood they were living a life of hell. The officer said he would come back the next day after sorting an arrangement out with the police to take her out of there and find somewhere else for her to live. The next day he went back and she was gone. The people in charge of the brothel pretended she was never there.
Sure, there are those people around the world who enjoy selling themselves and entertaining others sexually. But come on young men of the world: do you really think they all want to be there?
In Asia, many girls in these situations are sold by their families to work in the industry. The girls are usually managed by a pimp who abuses their human rights, often beating them and forcing them to take drugs. Other young men or women move to the city from rural areas in search of work and find themselves desperate enough to become involved in the industry. It’s a matter of survival. Human trafficking is another reason, which proves more common than people think. People from rural Asia come to the cities and find someone who promises to get them a job. They are tricked into working in the sex industry and are promised pay at the end of their work. They stay for the prospect of the money and freedom, and are threatened if they try and leave.
There are many organisations around the world trying to combat the problem of human trafficking and sex slavery, however the industry and countries are extremely corrupt and getting involved becomes dangerous and complicated.
If there was not such a high demand for sex workers in Asia, then it could be kept under control. And it starts with you. A lot of the sex workers on the streets of these red light districts have empty eyes. They are numb. They are acting out of desperation.
Have an awareness of what’s beneath the done-up, entertaining sex industry workers and don’t support the ping-pong shows, bestiality shows or girls on the streets. Think of your sisters, of your mothers and your daughters.
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Grace Burns is a contributor and social media dabbler for Global Hobo. She channels her inner Gemini and levitates around the world, teaching yoga, writing and floating on a magical carpet of pure wonder.