The Mathematics Of Promiscuity


There is a pattern of discussion I’ve encountered many times here in Thailand, usually with Thai males that I want to share with you. It’s regarding romantic and / or sexual relationships in Thailand. Sex between Thai men and Thai women. Although whatever it is that leads to the discussion might differ, the following comes up time and time again:


All Thai men have more than one woman. And Thai women only have one man. It’s the way it is in Thailand.


Sometimes this is said to point out that Thai men are players (either to brag or to warn). Sometimes it’s brought forth in an effort to elevate Thai women in a way that a Foreign woman (like myself) can never reach (lending to the argument that Foreign women are promiscuous). Sometimes I think it’s just relaying what someone believes as a social truth.


My thoughts? Aside from what I have observed here in Thailand, lending me to strongly question this statement, it, in fact, is mathematically impossible.


So begins what and how I tend to explain it. This is my end of the discussion, my response.


Here we see my left hand representing the female population and my right, the male. Gender is defined by that which everyone thought someone was the day one was born, to reflect the cultural meaning of the arguable statement (i.e. ladyboys/katoeys  are not considered female here.)  By no means are my percentages dead on with what I’m going to outline, but for the sake of argument, please see it more as representative of a significant percentage.



Now I’m going to begin to take away the men who are not available (or socially assumed not available) for relationships with women.


We first begin with monks.



Then move on to the ladyboys.



Now, the gay male population.



That leaves us with two fingers representing the available male market for women. Now I’ll begin to retract those women not (or socially assumed not) available with relationships with Thai men.


First we begin with the nuns.



Then move on to the tomboys (the Thai term for lesbians).



Now we have the women in committed relationships to Foreign men.



Obviously the percentages aren’t exact, I’m using my fingers. I want to add, there are more male monks than female nuns but there are thousands upon thousands of Thai women involved in relationships with Foreign men (with a much lower percentage of Thai men in committed relationships with Foreign women, from my experience,  to the extent, where until I wrote about this, I completely forgot about them).  Nonetheless, whatever the actual numbers are, they are not vast enough to provide two to three times the amount of chaste Thai women for Thai men to indulge in. This is inclusive of the amount of Thai women involved with Foreign men who have a Thai man on the side. Many people consider ladyboys/katoeys a third gender, neither male nor female. Should we not include them in this argument at all, I believe my theory still holds up.  (Mundi profile on Thailand’s 2011 demographics here).


The general response has been one of wide-eyed silence.


For Thailand solo travel and safety tips, in addition to Thailand information you won’t find in traditional tourist guides, please visit my post Tips For Women Traveling To Thailand.





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  1. kara says

    LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!! please post a video at some point with the expression on their face after you explain this 😛

  2. Randal says

    I think the quote “All Thai men have more than one woman. And Thai women only have one man. It’s the way it is in Thailand.” is said to make whoever said it feel good….cause it’s a huge delusion. I’m not bragging or anything, just pointing out the fact i have slept with many thai women (once or on a regular basis) that have a thai/foreign boyfriend/husband.

    i would argue against your percentages….as in experience there is way to many females to choose from and not enough men…because of the reasons you pointed out (eg monk, lady boy, gay…..and there are a hell of alot of gay men in thailand) but you left out a major one…..POOR. And that one covers a vast majority of the population.

  3. says

    thanks for adding to the piece randal. i agree w/the poverty angle. (i have a few pieces coming up dealing w/the exchange of money for sex outside of prostitution (assuming this is what you were referring to)).

  4. ADouble says

    I don’t know anything about Thailand, but my guess is that you don’t need to complicate the story so much. I assume that the vast majority of the population is heterosexual even after you subtract the monks, nuns and homosexuals. (The birth rate is a bit higher than that of the UK and a bit lower than that of the U.S. which suggests to me a similar percentage of heterosexuals.)

    Mathematically, the average number of male partners should be close to the average number of female partners. The only way to get around this is if by “have more that one woman” the person really means “regularly visits a female prostitute.” I, however, would never point this out to anyone in Thailand.

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