Every time you go out in Thailand to popular tourist areas you are confronted by the nauseating sight of older Western men accompanied by young Thai girls. It is not something you ever get used to. In the city of Pattaya, near Bangkok, it is in your face on every street, on every bus, in every 7 Eleven. Tiny little bird-like things, some barely into their mid-teens and large, silver haired men: grotesque.
I checked out Thai age of consent recently. Apparently its 15, but for prostitutes it is 18. What a rather curious thing. Prostitution is illegal, and yet it is also regulated…? The Thai economy relying rather too much on the sex tourism prostitution provides to actually enforce the laws, perhaps?
It is so easy to forget the dignity that we are afforded in the affluent West, that only a tiny minority of our teenagers are driven a sex-based career in order to survive. At Whodunnit Dinners we recently launched a game for teenagers, knowing that many 16 year-olds will celebrate their birthday with friends and enjoy pretending to be in the League of Supergirls for the night. We took out all the smutty jokes and sexual nuances to make it suitable. What a different night they will have compared to so many of their Thai peers . How lucky we are.