Social division into ‘men’ and ‘not men’ groups, together with a domestic matriarchy, explains why transsexual expressions in SE Asia differ from the West.
Male to Female transsexuals are normally scientifically categorised as homosexual or nonhomosexual with regard to their birth sex. I use the term HSTS for the former. Blanchard explained the latter in terms of autogynephilia, love of oneself as a woman. These we term autogynephiles or AGPs. There is a discrepancy, between the West and Asia, however. Whereas in the West, most AGPs are older and about 60% seek relationships with women, most AGPs in Asia transition much younger and are almost exclusively attracted to men. Why is this happening?
So you’re planning to meet some ladyboys in Pattaya? Read this. Pattaya is home to some of the yummiest trannies in the region and its reputation as a ladyboy-friendly tourist resort brings huge numbers of young transsexuals to the city, as well as legions of men anxious to taste this most prized and precious of tropical fruit.
The whole of south-east Asia is remarkable for its highly visible populations of transsexual women. These are not at all the same as you may be used to thinking of, if you are a Westerner. They’re not like Bruce ‘Caitlyn’ Jenner. (See my discussions on Ray Blanchard for more details.)
Ladyboys in Thailand and across Asia are not like that at all. They are beautiful and very sexy. They are extremely feminine in appearance and manners. From their early teens they use female hormones, often birth control pills which are freely available without prescription. These can turn them into staggeringly beautiful women. And the fact is that many men are powerfully attracted to them.
Plenty of men find transwomen attractive and will seek them out and even pay in order to have sex with them. Why? The travestis of Brazil and South America might show us.
Brazilian natal women are unquestionably amongst the most beautiful in the world, but South American women, including Brazilians, tend to be rather short in stature, at least on average. However, many South American men areattracted to the classic Anglo-Saxon standards of beauty—tall, slender, blonde, blue eyes, pale skin and so on. Enter the travesti, as transsex women are often known in Latin America and parts of Europe. With her naturally greater height she has an immediate advantage in this marketplace. If she began taking hormones young, as many do, there is every chance that she will be naturally pretty, and she will certainly do everything she can to maximise her assets.
‘It’s as if a couple of jumbo-jets of Western culture crashed into a container-ship of Asia and the wreckage is still settling.’ These words jump out at me as I read over my notes. And it’s true; the Philippines is a cultural conundrum, a Rubik’s Cube of interlaced and interlocked themes, memes, images and sensations.
It’s not like India, where the veneer of Westernism added by a couple of hundred years of British domination is so thin it seems as flimsy as a bride’s veil, yet definitely attached, as if the bride herself is shy about lifting it, nor Thailand, where Western cultural influences seem grafted on, bizarrely co-exiting with something older and fundamentally opposed. Instead, the Philippines is a genuine melting-pot, a sculptor’s crucible where metallic elements are alloyed to make something completely new. The roots of European culture here go deep, deep into the fertile soil of Asia, and the resulting foliage is strange, at once familiar yet surprising.
Cognitive Dissonance is the feeling of discomfort we get when what we perceive clashes with our expectations. We all walk around in a mental model of the world. That should be obvious. But this is an immensely sophisticated system. When you enter a space for the first time your eyes target the most important elements and your mind blocks in the rest. As the moments pass, in response to sensory stimuli, the less critical areas are built up in your mental model in much the same way a as a computer works ‘in the background’
This process relies on assumptions that are made at a cognitive level. The sky is blue. I can measure that by using a type of light meter called a colour temperature meter. So while I cannot know how you perceive blue, I do know that whatever blue looks like in your head, the sky is that colour and we can agree on it.
What if you walked outside and the sky was yellow? I’m not talking about some beautiful sunset, just the regular sky. Ten minutes ago it was blue, now it’s yellow. What do you think of that?
March 2016. Jelly I are sharing a studio condo in Maybunga, in Pasig City, Metro Manila. Previously we were in a larger condo and things were much easier. Now the place is like a pressure-cooker.
As ever the television goes on after our morning sex session. This is when I usually try to work and it appears that Jelly has hearing difficulties.
The diet is monotonous. At noon, it’s Showtime, a variety revue hosted by Vice Ganda, a well-known gay performer. Needless to say, Jelly is mesmerised, smiling. There is nothing coming out of the television – even though the volume is full blast. It’s like an anaesthetic.
Curiously, I am reminded of Grampian Television’s ‘One o’Clock Gang’, hosted by Larry Marshall, that was the daily accompaniment to lunch when I was a child. It shows the depth of the penetration; that was 50 years ago and I can still see the faces of Marshall and Andy Stewart in flickering 405-line black and white.
Nothing has changed; The One o’Clock Gang has emigrated and transmogrified into ‘Eat Bulaga’ and ‘Showtime’. But Showtime has a trans anchor. It’s a killer selling point.
The real televisual clue to the lives of ladyboys, however, is in the ‘tele-series’.
They’re the elephants in the room, where relations between transwomen and men are concerned.
Almost without exception, the assertion is made that the men who like transwomen are straight. Yet when you talk to transwomen in private or read their blogs, a very different picture appears. Half at least of men who seek out transwomen far from being straight or anything close, are closet autogynephiliacs (AGP) (and homophobic to boot).
We would not expect honesty from these men about this; after all, look at the lengths they go just to deny their own sexuality and maintain a false façade of hetero-normativity. Their words may be taken with a moderately-sized bucket of salt. But what about the girls? Why do transwomen ever lend credibility to this falsehood? Why don’t they just call these guys out from the get-go?
The fact is that the HSTS transwoman’s dream–of finding a young, fit, handsome, financially secure, STRAIGHT Mr Right, who will stick around, will but rarely happen and a lot of broken hearts are made along the way. I know there are some exceptions and I wish them all the very best. So who is the ideal partner for an HSTS?
Most straight men will eventually want children; I don’t care what they say. This will hit them usually no later than their mid-thirties, and by and large, that’s when the fantasy ends; they go and find a genetic woman who can provide what they’re looking for. Adoption just doesn’t cut it for men, unless it’s the only recourse because they are sterile themselves.
Attraction to transwomen is called gynandromorphophilia. But there are at least two forms, in males: autogynephilic and non-autogynephilic. To simplify, I call gynandromorphophiles ‘GAMPs’. Autogynephilic ones I call ‘AGP GAMPs’ and the others ‘non-AGP GAMPS’.
I used to think that non-AGP GAMPs were actually bisexual, but they do not always conform to the standard understanding of bisexualism. In the first place, using the Western definitions, non-AGP GAMPs are never attracted to masculinity and will avoid partners who display it. The southeast Asian definition depends on the act played in sex, and bisexuals in this case are happy both to penetrate and to be penetrated. But those GAMP men who do desire to be penetrated seem to be predominantly AGP.
As far as I know, no work has been done that might clarify this, so, until it is, I will use the definitions as above. The AGP-GAMP profile is quite clear and well understood, but there may be unanswered questions regarding the non-AGP profile. It might split into two types, although most non-AGP GAMPs appear not to desire to be penetrated.
In the West, since the 1960s, homosexuality has been defined by attraction. Gay men are attracted to masculine sexual features—muscular taught bodies, facial hair, prominent jaws, assertive attitude and so on. If we define homosexuality in this way, then it should be clear that being attracted to soft bouncy hair, full breasts, red lips, big eyes and so on simply cannot be seen as a homosexual attraction, for a man.
If it were as simple as that, then that would be it. But it’s not. There are some other issues to deal with, especially where the woman retains a penis. I’ve made a YouTube video discussing this, here.