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GlennUK

In Thai culture the children obviously take care of the parents  and I have known many parents who also tell these ladies that they have to take care of their siblings as well. Here I refer to the ladies who flock to work in the bars in Pattaya, Phuket and Bangkok. I have been told by several Thai "experts" that about the only difference between Indian and Thai Buddhism is that the former condemns those ladies who pursue such a profession without exception. Whereas the Thai version says it is ok as long as it is support the Parents though it makes no reference to the rest of the family. Recently I had a conversation with a thai who studies Buddhism though by no means a scholar who states that no such exception occurs and it is basically bad.

Obviously the best person to answer such a question would be a religious scholar and one questions how many are PA members but I suppose the study of religion and the study of pattaya and its various activities are not mutually exclusive. 

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Mick Pattaya

I think the attitude to sex or sex work is more shaped by the socio-politico events that happened in these two countries rather than a thorough & rigorous interpretation of theology.

You have to appreciate the unlike the subcontinent, Thailand was never colonized either by medieval Muslims or puritanical Victorians who both held & propagated a rather rigid & closed version of a sexual life. Thereby, Thai society retained the basic characteristics of its animistic past where there was no/less scorn about sex & whatever it entailed.

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GlennUK

Certainly the culture is very different though I do wonder if we see a very distorted view of it as Mongers certainly the majority of Thai girls would react in horror at the idea of doing such work. I also wonder if it is so easily accepted because the majority of girls who do so are from lower classes and the Thais as such dont really care what they do and expect only bad behaviour. For sure most  Middle and upper class Thai men are not popping down Soi 6 to find a wife. Nor even the Chinese with their shortage of marriageable age ladies. 

Though an interesting subject for debate I don't think it could be ever be resolved but my question was strictly religious in nature. As in  have the Thais diverged from the Original teachings where this area is concerned. Of course I could also be mistaken and Buddhism is perfectly ok with it. 

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onehunglo
On 9/5/2018 at 20:14, GlennUK said:

Certainly the culture is very different though I do wonder if we see a very distorted view of it as Mongers certainly the majority of Thai girls would react in horror at the idea of doing such work. I also wonder if it is so easily accepted because the majority of girls who do so are from lower classes and the Thais as such dont really care what they do and expect only bad behaviour. For sure most  Middle and upper class Thai men are not popping down Soi 6 to find a wife. Nor even the Chinese with their shortage of marriageable age ladies. 

Though an interesting subject for debate I don't think it could be ever be resolved but my question was strictly religious in nature. As in  have the Thais diverged from the Original teachings where this area is concerned. Of course I could also be mistaken and Buddhism is perfectly ok with it. 

the middle and upper class thai men most probably don't go down the 6 looking for a wife because some most probaly are their wives . 55555

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Srirachapocalypse

I recall a conversation many years ago with a girl in Patpong who more or less related what has been posted as far as responsibility to help support the impoverished family back in the province, sort of taking one for the team "so my sisters can go to school", along with a healthy dose of Buddhist karmic theory in as far as she understood it. My guess is her understanding of karma would be quite different from a religious scholar.

I also had a conversation with a girl in Olongapo City which was quite similar, though instead of karma, mentioning how Mary Magdalene had been a prostitute was woven into her interpretation of still being a practicing Catholic.

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laxmin
On 05/09/2018 at 03:01, GlennUK said:

I have been told by several Thai "experts" that about the only difference between Indian and Thai Buddhism is that the former condemns those ladies who pursue such a profession without exception.

Indian Buddhist here.

Buddhist scriptures are all full of references to courtesans, street walkers and ladies of pleasure. In fact, Gautama Buddha had several disciples and well wishers who were courtesans and prostitutes who donated their earnings for the Sangha. 

Indian culture was largely tolerant of the practice of prostitution (as well as transgenders). There were even prostitutes employed in temples (Deva Dasis) who danced for the pleasure of the deity and were also available for other men who could afford to pay fees. The Kamasutra has ample references to prostitutes and their services. By extension, Indianisation of Thailand also brought in these tolerances. Prostitutes also paid taxes and had a part and place in the society with well defined rights. 

Actually there are even Hindu and Buddhist rituals and procedures where prostitutes, transgenders and others not part of the mainstream society are needed & essential as part of a step or two. (e.g. a novice will have to fetch a flower or garment from a prostitute, etc)

In the Ramayana, there are references to courtesans who danced at the Coronation of Lord Rama. Hindu and Buddhist scriptures describe Swarga (or Heaven) having Apsaras (heavenly courtesans). 

In short: Prostitution was tolerated in early Indian / Buddhist culture. India today has been influenced by victorian mores (due to the British raj) while the Thai culture retains its old tolerances.  

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