Every newspaper I read in the last few weeks talked about sex. A teacher was accused of having sex with minors and posting videos of his dirty deeds. Nataree Massage Parlour was raided and police have pressed charges for human trafficking and prostitution. On a global platform, everyone was talking about the former Stanford University athlete convicted for raping a woman, or as his father put it, his "20 minutes of action".
News like this -- prostitution, underage sex and sexual harassment -- evokes disgust and anger in people. "Inappropriate" sex is deemed unacceptable here, at least on paper. But look deeper and you will see we're just saying those things because they make us feel better about ourselves.
A lot of comments about the massage parlour were made in a joking manner. "Phew, my name isn't on the list of customers in that book!"; "Lucky me I wasn't there on that day"; "Ladies, one less thing to worry about -- your husbands have one fewer place to go to"; "Which police station are the girls at? I will bail them out!" Buying sex, apparently, is something light and funny.
As for underage sex and harassment, here's proof that we're not on such a high horse after all. Go to any photographer's Facebook page -- you know, the types who take pictures of pretty high school girls. Look at the comments. Tell me that's not sexual harassment on minors. But we just laugh about it.
Here is the elephant in the room. We know prostitution exists. We know Thai men buy sex. Hell, we even think it's normal to make demeaning comments about women, buy sex, have giks, and for a man to cheat on his wife. We're not exactly model citizens for "appropriate" sex, but with news like this, we pretend to be.
Want a reality check? Look at Thai literature. Phimphilalai and Khun Phaen were like 16 when they boom-boomed. There was a threesome in Lilit Phra Lor. Phra Aphai Manee had many wives. We're raised to look at these stories with such respect, but should you attempt any of those, tsk-tsk "activities", then you're considered a bad seed.
Thailand as a society doesn't talk much about sex, pretending almost as if it doesn't exist. We can only talk about it as a joke. Sex is deemed vulgar. I bet a lot of you reading this think this is a vulgar piece of writing, and if so, may I remind you that you were also created because of sex?
Writing about this reminds me of the Ministry of Education's concept of playing football to curb sexual urges, as seen in the O-Net exam in 2013. The focus was on what you should do if you have sexual urges and the answer apparently was to play football with your friends. If that was true, pro-footballers would have been forever single and barren, seeing as there would be no sex drive left in them.
So, in this issue, we present fun hobbies for you to keep busy with, so you don't let your mind wander off into thinking about sex. This will significantly reduce your risk of becoming a teen mum/dad, as the only reason teenagers have sex is because they don't have "constructive hobbies". Yeah, Ministry of Education, you're welcome.
Former Guru section Editor
Former Guru Editor. She writes various lifestyle articles and columns.