Love them or loathe them, there’s no denying that ladyboys are a common and intriguing feature in Thailand. This transgender ‘third sex’ is one the country’s more infamous and bizarre characteristics, and during your visit you are likely to encounter them fairly regularly. Sometimes you might not even be aware that the sexy women serving you is, in fact, a man!
Ladyboys are ubiquitous in Thailand for two main reasons; Thais are very accepting people who aren’t fussed about transsexuals, and many Thai men have very feminine features that helps translate a naturally occurring desire to change sex among some. For sure, beauty is respected in Thailand and it’s quite common for some who were born men to want to dress up and be treated like women. This is why you’ll find ladyboys showing an interest in you.
Some of the most beautiful people you might see in Thailand turn out to be ladyboys; they go to great lengths to beautify themselves and many are quite convincing. With confidence and competent skills, ladyboys are often employed in tourist services – restaurants, hotels, bars, tour companies – as well as receptionists and hair dressers. Generally, they speak English quite well.
Most ladyboys are on hormone supplements to suppress testosterone in their system, plus many have had breast enlargements and a few have been able to afford the full sex change operation. Often it’s difficult to tell a ladyboy from a natural woman, but usually you can pick it up on the deep voice, narrow hips and large feet.
The surest sign, however, is the universal habit of ladyboys trying unusually hard to be women – the swagger in the hips, the immaculate makeup, and the constant eye-contact, where a Thai girl would be too shy to propose. As a foreigner, you’re likely to catch their attention since most are desperately looking for a man; not an easy task. However, judging by the numbers found in discos and bars, there are obviously curious punters out there. You might spot a foreigner escorting a ladyboy around, while others hire them out from the bars for a night of kinky sex.
Ladyboys are generally considered harmless souls trapped in the wrong body, but fortunate enough to live in a country where they are accepted. Some, however, have given the gender a bad name with their aggressive ‘come on’ and reputation for pickpocketing and theft. f you take a ladyboy home, you need to be a lot more alert and mistrusting than usual. You’re also likely to find ladyboys loitering the streets offering in-situ blowjobs, since this is one of the best ways they can earn money.
When visiting Thailand, ladyboys are one of the more unusual characteristics of this country, and if you hang out in the girl bars you’ll certainly meet a few. They are usually more forward than the real girls, and if you’re drunk enough you might even fall for one and end up going home with her (him), for a laugh!