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Sex tourism - am I puritanical?

(10 Posts)
Carol Sat 31-Dec-11 11:59:15

Keep an open mind grrrranny just in case he does turn out to be another git! You just need some more information to help you decide.

grrrranny Sat 31-Dec-11 11:49:41

I posted my problem because I had seen the sensible advice given to others and now I have been given great advice. I had been feeling sick but now do feel a lot better. bagitha – your first hand observation of Thai society gives me a much better perspective and Carol has made a good point about a possible worldwide family. I will have to wait but at least I can be a bit more positive. I knew I had become cynical and narrow-minded (I was raised in 50's and 60's in West of Scotland protestant community and it still haunts me and my thinking). I also suffer vivid negative imagination – Gary Glitter and yes, those sad looking Thai brides in this country spring all too readily to mind.
bagitha – I didn't feel you were flippant – just right and I am over concerned after seeing DD suffer for seven years with last git. Perhaps I should strike 'cretin' from original post. It wasn't very kind of me.

Thank you all for such good sense.

bagitha Sat 31-Dec-11 11:47:49

It's not just western men. I worked in a southern Thai city where there were very few westerners (not a 'western' tourist area) but there was a lot of visiting "traffic" of Malaysian men from over the border. The 'western' men I did meet in that city were all married to Thai women and had families with them. That's what kept them in the country instead of going home to the US or Europe.

Carol Sat 31-Dec-11 11:15:46

.....meant to say, sex tourism is anathema to me, abuse of vulnerable young women and children, who wouldn't resort to such behaviour if western men didn't create that demand.

Carol Sat 31-Dec-11 11:12:53

I would give it a little time and see what develops when he returns to the UK. If this man has a routine arrangement to visit his child, once he has made a commitment to your daughter he may need to re-think how they spend Christmas - could be a joint visit just before Christmas, or an arrangement for his child to visit here, maybe? All depends on the age of the child and the circumstances. To his credit, if he has a child in Thailand and no children with your daughter, he is prioritising the child whose needs will outweigh your daughter's. The teenage children he has here may want contact with this child, too - sounds like there's lots to think about.

Who knows, your daughter could be entering a large, ready-made family from different parts of the world - how fantastic for her children. I hope it works out for them all.

bagitha Sat 31-Dec-11 10:50:51

When I lived in Thailand, attitudes to marriage were often fairly casual, though not always by any means. I think the fact that this guy is visiting his daughter is a good sign. Do you know how old the daughter is? It might make a difference to your view if it turned out he was a teenage father, for instance.

I abhor sex tourism but what you've said so far does not suggest to me that this guy was a sex tourist. A tourist, maybe, or perhaps a young man who worked in Thailand for a while (a lot of westerners do, especially in tourist areas) and had a relationship with a Thai girl which, for various reasons (e.g. he didn't know he'd fathered a child till he'd returned to the UK), did not become permanent.

I'm not being flippant or dismissive, but I really don't think you need to worry about this if your daughter isn't. She's grown-up. It's her life and her decision whether she marries this man.

grrrranny Sat 31-Dec-11 10:30:13

Annobel and JessM Thank you so much for your comments - actually made me a bit weepy as it is so good to get other perspectives. As you both point out, I don't know enough but you have helped me to try and sort it out in my mind.

JessM Sat 31-Dec-11 10:23:56

That sounds like upsetting information and I think it is perfectly natural that you should be upset and concerned. I guess there are 2 kinds of guys that go to such destinations. The kind I can understand are those who are not gifted when it comes to looks or confidence and have a genuine desire to find a partner. Yes they are deluding themselves as to the women's motivation and yes they are probably looking for a nice passive non-scary woman. But I can't help feeling sorry for these guys and (as a note) have you ever seen a cheerful looking Thai wife in the UK? They usually look pretty fed up. Sad.
The other kind of guys are sex tourists. They may end up forming relationships and having kids. But it is all based on inequality and a commercial transaction. If these guys did not exist then Thai women would not be going into this type of work. It is also about poverty and lack of opportunity in Thailand but it is not a great foundation for improving an economy is it.
Setting the moral dilemmas at the Thai end of things, maybe what is underneath this is attitudes to women. And that is why you are feeling so upset. And I don't blame you a bit. On the positive side maybe this chap is supporting the child in Thailand. But the mother may well believe she is married to him. Not a great basis for your daughter to get into a commitment is it.

Annobel Sat 31-Dec-11 10:22:23

grrrranny, no, you're not puritanical to abhor sex tourism, but nothing you have said convinces me that his Thai child is necessarily the result of this. Was he a 'sex tourist' when the child was conceived? Or did he have a Thai girlfriend and an 'accidental' conception? Is it not to his credit, in fact, that he still has a relationship with his daughter and her mother? Is there any evidence that he still has an intimate relationship with the mother? If he had been a casual 'sex tourist' wouldn't he have simply abandoned the mother and child to their fate? Many men would.

grrrranny Sat 31-Dec-11 10:07:54

My DD (who was in abusive relationship until about a year ago and has 5 children aged 7 – 18) told me two nights ago that the guy she is seeing (he has asked her to marry) is in Thailand at the moment and has been for a month. I had thought they were together at Christmas etc and gave present to both and so on, asking where he was when I visited. Apparently he has a child in Thailand as well as the two teenagers he has in this country. My daughter only told me when I phoned because she had had a wine or two and I think she regrets telling me. I was shocked and angry on several counts although I have since told her that of course it is her business. She says she is fine with it (not what she said when wine affected). She says they have discussed it with her children – four of whom are girls. So I am crossish that I was lied to but that isn't too bad as I really do think that at over forty, DD doesn't have to tell me all intimate details of her life, but am more upset that 4 girls should be exposed to the idea that sex tourism is ok because I don't and think it is exploitation of women. No I don't know all the facts but DD says she did know that this guy went to Thailand every year before she got involved. She just didn't know about child (and it's mother presumably). And what about sexually transmitted diseases?

I can't tell my mother who would worry herself stupid, I can't tell DH who would never talk to the guy and if DD is daft enough to marry this cretin, it would make a difficult relationship with her even harder. I am not asking advice as to what to do as there isn't anything I can do but advice as to whether my opinion on sex tourism is old-fashioned puritanical stuff and should I lighten up?