Pattaya and the world’s oldest profession

Thai red light districts are blacked out these days.

Social distancing might have been fun at first, but it’s likely to have worn off by now. You have done the online birthday greetings to your relatives back home and even joined an internet quiz where strangers argue about who was the most senior Nazi to die in British captivity. The answer to that is Heinrich Himmler by the way.

So your thoughts may have turned to sex. After all you live in Sin City and the internet says there are (or were) 27,000 prostitutes here. Mind you, an unknown number are said to be cross-gender or transvestite so you have to watch your step. The best advice is to look for the Adam’s apple, or so I’m told.

If you have spent the last two weeks honestly quarantining with a co-habiting sexual partner whom you can trust, then having sex with him or her won’t pose any additional risk. Many sexologists – the people who write about intercourse but don’t necessarily perform it – claim that everyone has so much extra time on their hands because of the Pattaya lockdown that sheer boredom may lead to intimate coupling.

Mind you, not everyone is in the mood. On Twitter, users are complaining that the general panic and despair of the Coronavirus pandemic has led to the collapse of their urges. So you might find yourself preferring to eat a bag or two of salt and vinegar crisps or take off the covers of the exercise bike instead. There’s a mountain of psychological research to say that a very negative environment can either boost your libido or suppress it entirely.

For those males who still seek sexual adventure and want to throw caution to the winds – that’s called terror management theory by the way – the problem is that all the obvious places are closed. The pubs and clubs are padlocked and walking around the ill-lit streets at night is as likely to result in a mugging during a time of high unemployment rather than a satisfying tryst with a seductive stranger.

One of my neighbors told me that he had risked meeting a girl for hire on one of those contact-culture internet sites. Older readers will recall them as the postal introduction bureaux in the 1970s. He knew he shouldn’t, but terror management theory had struck. They did indeed meet up, but the lady insisted on regaling him with all her financial problems and inability to access the Thai government’s 5,000 baht subsidy scheme. My neighbor felt so sorry for her that he handed her a 1,000 baht note without so much as shaking hands.

The alternative is safe sex which at the moment means you are on your own. The possibilities are endless and might even increase your internet vocabulary. For example, a Covid-19 buddy is someone you can sex-text on the internet but have agreed never to meet physically. Another energizing option is to send “thirst traps” which are sexy or revealing photos of yourself to complete strangers. This option, I have to say, is completely out of bounds for most farang I know on retirement extensions of stay. For the more technologically advanced, there are possibilities created by Zoom, webcam and assorted video calling devices. However, be warned that some of this stuff might be encompassed by the country’s conspiracy to corrupt public morals legislation.

A final possibility might be to purchase sex toys which you must remember to wash thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds after use since the virus can linger therein. The only sex toy display I have ever seen in Thailand was located in the urology department of a famous Pattaya hospital. It was in the form of three bananas of different sizes pointing in various directions. The nurse then asked you to pick out the one most familiar to you. Come back Netflix, all is forgiven.