Sexy Sightseeing: My Titillating Trip To Thailand
Posted on 18 September 2018
"I can see the dicks now!" is a statement that I'll never forget hearing as I walked through an art exhibit in Northern Thailand. It's been almost a year since my epic trip to the Land of Smiles and I never really stopped to reflect on some of the unique (and weird) experiences I encountered in those 3 weeks. Like visiting this provocative museum for example, as well as many other sexy tourist destinations that I thought this audience could appreciate.
In Thailand, attitudes towards sex seem to fall on contrasting sides of the spectrum. For many it remains taboo subject where a small act like kissing is inappropriate to show on national TV. But dig a little deeper and you'll find the extreme opposite, with countless massage parlors, cabarets and brothels around, offering every kind of debauchery imaginable.
Working in lingerie I'm pretty open-minded so I found this disparity really interesting and spent a lot of my trip scoping out the hidden erotica around the country. Here's a rundown of some of the naughtier sights I saw:
Thailand has become somewhat infamous for their (semi-legal) prostitution, "ladyboy" variety shows and adult massages. But nowhere is the sex more conspicuous than in the red light district of Bangkok: Soi Cowboy. This short block is home to some of the loudest, bawdiest brothels you'll find in Asia. Think Las Vegas mixed with De Wallen, with a pinch of Times Square and a dash of Bourbon St. Yup, it's quite a scene to behold.
As neon lights strobe and bass-heavy songs pump out of every door, scantily clad young girls are dressed up like it's Halloween in the US. Sexy schoolgirls, naughty nurses and erotic cheerleaders call out from each doorway, targeting a mostly male (and mostly Western) crowd. It didn't take long for me to feel out of place here so I didn't stay long but the experience was something that’ll stay with me.
Condoms And Cabbages
As if the name didn’t say it all, this restaurant quickly became a must see on my itinerary. We stopped by the Bangkok restaurant for lunch one day and were treated to a surprisingly decent Thai meal amongst the kitschy decor. The atmosphere was notably traditional and if you're not someone who pays close attention to detail you may even miss the framed condom posters that decorate the walls. However, it's pretty hard to miss the condom covered mannequins near the hostess table, completely outfitted in colorful rubber fashions. Aside from a few giggles and educational moments my experience here was pretty tame compared with what I was initially expecting.
The Erotic Garden
One of the highlights of my trip had to be visiting Ms. Katai Kamminga's Erotic Garden in Chiang Mai and getting a personalized tour of her amazing property. Not only did she have an impressive collection of custom-made erotic sculptures, but even the flora she had planted were chosen specifically for their phallic shapes and names. Some of my favorite pieces from her garden included the golden booty bobbing out of the grass, undulating boob hills (with marble nipples) and the penis fountains spouting water into a lily pond below.
After the tour (and lots of photos) we sat together for some tea and talked about people's attitudes towards sex in both Thailand and the US. Katai opened her garden to the public in 2015 in hopes of opening people's minds to understanding the natural beauty of sex rather than dismissing it as smutty and pornographic. We talked about vibrators and dildos as her calm and articulate manor lulled us into a dreamlike state with nary a giggle in sight. When it was time to leave I felt like I had just reached a higher level of sexual consciousness and re-entering the real world ended up being such a buzz kill.
The Black House
This cool museum/art space designed by Thawan Duchanee is where I heard the dick quote which will stay with me forever now. I didn’t initially sense the overly masculine energy at first but a couple of installations in and you couldn't unsee it. Animal skulls, hunting tools and industrial weapons are strategically placed within a handful of artistically designed huts and cabins, while dark colors emphasize the seriousness and intensity of the space.
What's that hanging from the ceilings, carved into the furniture and painted on the walls you ask? Oh yes, it's dicks! And lots of them. Everywhere. So many that after a while my feminist side started getting agitated and I was ready to escape this glorified man cave. But not without a trip to the gift shop of course, where I was sure to pick up my very own penis slingshot as a souvenir.
Grandma and Grandpa Rocks
Towards the end of the trip when I had had just enough penises for one vacation, we spent a relaxing few days on the island of Koi Samui to recharge and regroup. But wouldn't you know it? There was 1 more genitalia-themed attraction to behold! It's called the Hin Ta and Hin Yai (or Grandma and Grandpa) rocks, located on the south coast of the island.
These phallic rocks draw tourists year round but the story behind them is actually pretty sad. Legend has it that an old couple set off to sea to bring offerings to a family of the young woman they hoped to marry their son off to. Along the journey their boat capsized and both husband and wife were tragically killed at sea. It is said that the couple’s spirits turned into these phallic rocks as a last resort to show their true intentions to the woman’s family. The story was so touching that for the second time this trip I forgot about the sexual meaning behind this tourist destination.
These were just a few of the hyper-sexualized things I saw on this trip and I didn't even mention the cockwaffles, erotic shrines and naughty cabarets! While I like to think that people's views towards sex is changing, we still have a long way to go until things like these become more socially acceptable and less pornographic. So until then, free the nipple, free the stigma and free your mind!
Have you been to Thailand before? What did I miss?