All right, it's that time again when I celebrate yet another month in the City of Angels. Fourteen months. Anyway, to mark this occasion, I'd touch on a topic that I've long wanted to write about.
Let's talk about dating in Bangkok, shall we?
But first a disclaimer: I don't believe my impressions are unique to BKK. Any gay man living in any big city would probably relate with some of my insights.
On my first few months here, someone told me that in this city, finding sex is easy but finding love is difficult. I guess that's an understatement. It should be: finding sex is easy but finding love is nearly impossible.
Let's go back to my full-time research on the gay scene in BKK. In my in-depth interviews with the more prolific, ehem, "daters", it has come to my attention that dating - as we commonly define a relationship in which two people commit to know each other and probably explore bringing it to a deeper level - is pretty much unheard of in this city. Everybody is a one-night stand, or a gig at best.
Gig... this is one aspect of dating in BKK that shook my senses. When my friend first mentioned this to me, I thought he was talking about a band performance or something similar. But then, a gig apparently is a semi-date, a relationship that straddles between a fuck buddy and a friend. Oh, maybe a friends-with-benefits kind of set-up. There's nothing baffling about this but the prevalence of this set-up is disturbing.
I have the impression that if you're looking for a potential lover in BKK... hmmm... how shall I say this gently?... Well, just don't count on it, dahling. There is simply a dearth of quality men out there. Don't get me started on quality coz I definitely have a mouthful to say about freaking quality. I hope I'm wrong about this, please God. But the experiences of my friends and my experience show that men in this city just don't go beyond sex. That's a lot of generalization right there, and again, please God, someone please prove me that I'm wrong.
Well, what can you expect from me? I base my impressions on the guys I meet on the internet, which obviously is not the most reliable platform to meet decent guys. How can I put more emphasis on that? All right, that again is a generalization. Afterall, I met two of my closest friends on the internet and I couldn't be more thankful for that. And I also used to date someone I met on the internet; that one wasn't that bad either. But then, in most cases, the guys on the net are not worth taking seriously (and this discussion is worth a post of its own... one of these days).
Do not take this city seriously. That's the advice I gave to a friend who recently moved to BKK. I wish somebody told me this when I frist came here as well. But then, I had to learn my lesson the more difficult way.
And through that process, I realized how I've totally changed over the course of my stay here (at least on how I approach dating). More and more I've noticed what a big whore I've become (at least according to my standards). (Oh, the labels we use to describe ourselves!) Even the prospect of dating someone does not excite me anymore knowing well in advance what a disappointment it would be anyway.
So there, I definitely point a finger to my self for participating in this whole scene that I'm criticizing, and I don't have any excuse for that. As my friend and I always say, you cannot change the rules here, might as well play along with it. At the end of the day, it's me who's swallowed by the current of the city.