Western Men Move to Asia Because They Can’t Get Laid Back Home?
Thai gogo bar
You’ve probably heard the stereotype that only the rejects of the West expatriate to countries like the Philippines, Thailand, Cambodia, etc., because they ‘can’t hack it’ back home.
Either they’re social misfits, can’t get laid with girls so need to move to impoverished countries, or both. Possibly they’re even criminals on the run, sex tourists, pedophiles, into ladyboys, or all of the above.
How much truth is there to it? Definitely some – you’ll meet some weird people if you move to South East Asia. As you would anywhere. Some go off the rails once they get here, I’d count myself as one of those.
IMO there’s about 10% truth to the stereotype, then the rest is anonymous haters on forums / social media who are jealous of guys having fun in the sun.
But I can only speak from personal experience. Perception is reality and everyone will have their own viewpoint. But most guys I’ve met since moving here are perfectly normal well-rounded people.
In this post I’ll give myself as an example of why I moved to SE Asia as an example – or more accurately, why I stayed – and the types of expats I’ve met so far.
I may be a weirdo and ‘sexpat’ now – it’s not normal in the eyes of society to have slept with hundreds of prostitutes, as I have – but initially that was not my plan at all. I didn’t pay for sex until 2 years in.
I didn’t even choose Thailand or anywhere in SE Asia at first either. The thought never occurred to me.
Thai pole dancer
Finishing Uni – 2008
I graduated from Imperial College London, BSc Physics. It’s usually ranked somewhere in the top 8 or so universities in the world, and #3 in the UK. Requires two A grades at A Level to apply, I had three.
I was also in the OTC (officer training corps, called ROTC in the US, like the Territorial Army for undergraduates), and finished 3rd in my class. That military training is equivalent to an NVQ Level 2.
I was an Army cadet from 13 to 18, doing similar activities to the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award program. Then became an adult instructor (‘Cadet Force Adult Volunteer’ they call it now).
On paper I’m probably in the top few %, academically. My friends ended up going into investment banking or finance. So why did I end up working for an online poker site and having a blog about sex tourism?
I’d taught in the ACF. I’d also been a volunteer maths tutor at uni. I liked teaching and wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my life, so decided to do a postgraduate teaching course (PGCE).
They pay a bursary while you train, and there’s no obligation to go into teaching after. I thought about going into the ETS branch of the UK Army – the Education & Training Services.
That would combine my interests in the Army and teaching. You complete a PGCE in the ETS, if you haven’t already done so as a civilian.
I still wanted to be in London as a civilian for a bit longer though so I applied to the Institute of Education. I got halfway through a PGCE before dropping out.
What I realised is that I can’t stick to a normal sleeping schedule. At uni I hadn’t needed to wake up early, lectures weren’t mandatory, I skipped most.
One of the first Thai girls I met
The voluntary tutoring I’d done was in the afternoons, and in the ACF I’d taught in the evenings.
As a teenager I’d always found it hard to wake up in the mornings and though that was something I’d just grow out of when I was older and started working – a PGCE is mostly on the job training.
I didn’t grow out of it. My body preferred the routine of sleeping around sunrise and waking up in the afternoon. Waking up at 7 to commute to school as a trainee teacher was a disaster.
It sounds like just being a lazy bum but actually DPSD – delayed phasic sleeping disorder – affects 7 to 16% of adolescents and 0.15% of adults. A chronic disregulation of the body’s circadian rhythms.
Considering Other Options
I applied to teach ESL in Greece as they start teaching late into the afternoons and finish at night. They also paid quite well. This was in 2009. They didn’t get back to me.
While waiting for their reply I was browsing the 2+2 Poker forums. The online poker boom happened when I was at uni and I played a bit as a student, joining the poker society and really getting into it.
Mostly I just read the NVG and strategy sections, but one day stumbled across the travel section and found out there was a community of players in Thailand. One guy posted a pic of a $250/month apartment.
It looked way nicer than the tiny cupboard sized room in Brixton I was paying over twice that for, sharing with other housemates.
I started reading and posting in the ‘ask us about Thailand’ thread, everyone was saying how awesome life was there, how their money went so much further and they easily supported themselves.
Flying to Thailand – 2009
I wasn’t that good at poker and was still interested in teaching so I took a TEFL course and flew to Thailand in Nov 2009 to teach English.
I also didn’t think it would be a good idea to even attempt to support myself just playing poker there. At this point I was still ‘normal’ – I thought it best to have a guaranteed job placement and source of income, etc.
The guys in the 2+2 forum thread were posting degen stories about girls, living a hookers and blow lifestyle, but that at this point I just wanted to travel, teach, have a job etc., sex didn’t factor into it.
I’d also looked into the JET Programme (Japan exchange and teaching), I almost ended up teaching there.
I had little idea what Thailand was like, I thought it was somewhere hippie backpackers would go to visit temples and beaches. Asian girls weren’t even on my radar at that point either.
Even though Imperial College was about 65% Asians, they weren’t attractive to me at the time.
They didn’t look like this at Imperial
Did I Get Laid Back Home?
I had 5 sexual partners in my life before Thailand. I lost my virginity at 19. From 17 – 18 I had a 10 month relationship followed by a 6 month relationship, where both of those girls were virgins, as was I.
Looking back now this is absolutely amazing to me. I’d never wait that long now or be the gentleman I was about it. Anyway I finally had sex in my first year of uni with a girl who’d had sex before.
I was on the shy, quiet side but nothing crazy and I wouldn’t say I ‘couldn’t get laid’ back home in the West. I did ok. I later had long term relationships with an Australian then a French girlfriend, and another ONS.
Then the 5th was night one in Thailand, my TEFL placement was with 10 other people, mostly western girls. As part of the orientation package the company put us up in a hotel and I banged one of them.
So I wake up (late afternoon), first full day in Bangkok. I’m 23. At this point I’ve had sex with 5 girls, all white western, every encounter with a condom unless with a long term girlfriend on the pill or with Implanon.
I haven’t been counting but I remember noting that I had 5 more sexual partners in the first few months of living in Bangkok, and wishing I’d made the move sooner.
Fast forward almost 8 years, I just turned 31, writing this (at 3am when I feel most productive) in 2017. Now I’ve slept with I think over 300 women, all Asian, of which a bit over half was paid prostitution.
I started mixing in some prostitutes after about 2 years, and haven’t slept with another western girl since that TEFL teacher on night one.
I’ve had three long term relationships in Asia. Now I’ve reversed tastes and find Asian girls more attractive, some call this the ‘yellow fever’ effect.
Even though Thailand teaching was a lower workload than the PGCE I couldn’t avoid some morning lessons and waking up for other duties. So that was a disaster as well.
I should’ve known, but wanted to try again, and thought it best to have a job and a reason to give my parents as to why I was moving to Asia.
So I left that job, and frantically tried to get better at poker. I did, but also started writing about it freelance for poker sites on the side, after finding an ad asking for writers.
That eventually became a full time position so I didn’t need to play poker anymore, and through writing for the poker site I learnt some SEO & WordPress skills, enough to start a blog myself on the side with Dante.
10 Baht coin & Wat Arun temple
So now I support myself online through content writing, blogging and a bit of investing. I get by enough to not need to go home.
So that’s why I stayed, I found a way to get by. I had no idea I’d end up living abroad though, let alone where.
In a way blogging is like teaching, I get to help people and share my experiences. I had about 10000 posts on forums across the internet too, answering people’s questions about living in Thailand or the Philippines.
Why I’m an Expat in SE Asia
To sum it up, the main reason I’m an expat in Asia is because due to my sleeping patterns I can’t work a normal job. I have to work online from home with flexible hours, everything else I tried didn’t pan out.
Fortunately the content writing I do can be done at any time of day. It doesn’t pay very well though, so that’s the SE Asia part. It’s cheap to live here, so it makes more sense to work online here.
Not that I live on a budget, I spend as much as I did in London but the money goes much further. You can live comfortably here on what would be poverty wages or a student bursary in the West. Location arbitrage.
Does that mean I ‘can’t hack it’ in the West? Maybe so, I haven’t been officially diagnosed with DPSD by a doctor but I’m pretty sure I do have it.
Lots of casual sex / hookers are just a bonus, I’d still choose to live in places like Thailand and the Philippines even if I had to settle down with one girl.
I could live cheaply and work online at home in Eastern Europe or South America but the people in SE Asia are friendlier so I’d rather be here.
Am I a Weirdo?
I did go off the rails a bit banging so many hookers, not using condoms very much, etc. but I don’t consider it that weird. Maybe I could’ve wrapped up a bit more often.
Thai working girl
Friends back home are shocked and tell me I’ve changed a lot, but you have to try it to understand that hookers here are actually really cool people. I wrote more about that in this comment on a post.
I’ve also had normal relationships, and normal hookups, even though some people seem to think it’s all or nothing and if you sleep with one prostitute it means you can never get laid normally…
I even took a Thai girl to the UK to stay with me while she did a 3 week business English course. She had wanted to study abroad, a Masters.
I told her don’t bother, just get any certificate that says she studied abroad on it, it’ll have much the same effect as a postgrad degree as I bet Thai employers don’t pay that much attention.
We crashed on the sofa of a friend’s place in London while she did the course, the certificate at the end said ‘University of London Business English’ on it.
Only cost her 300 quid and she got a new job in Bangkok with double the salary when she came back. And I taught her a lot of English, while she taught me Thai.
Weird Expat Story
The reason I thought to write this post is because I was thinking about Ron Fanelli. I never met him in person but he also posted in the 2+2 Thailand thread, and was part of the poker community I’m in.
He killed a Thai bargirl he was dating, chopped up her body and dumped it in a suitcase by the side of the road. Although some say he didn’t actually dismember the body, just put her in the suitcase intact.
He’s currently in Thai prison. Now, this is the rare case of nutcase expat that people always like to cite as an example of what kind of man moves to SE Asia.
I was searching Google to find out when he’d be released, as I remember for some reason he only got a 10 year sentence. He was sentenced in 2011.
I came across a thread about him and read this comment:
We all know why men choose to live in Thailand – to satisfy their sexual appetites with women who are expected to behave in ways that appease the broken egos of men unable, or unwilling, to deal equally with empowered women, in societies that do not condone their sexual exploitation.
I read a lot of comments like this on places like Reddit. That men only move to Asia for ‘submissive’ women, and / or because we can’t get high quality women in our home countries.
Like I said maybe there’s some 10% truth to that, but some act like it’s 100%.
I’d just apply Occam’s razor and look for the simple reasons – girls here are more friendly, less fat, they like men more and want a relationship / family instead of chasing careers, and you can live better for the same amount of money.