THE CORRESPONDENCE OF "UNCLE GO"
As "Uncle Go Paknam", Pratchaya Phanthathorn provided advice to Thai homosexuals in his column "Sad Gay Lives" in the popular and mainstream magazine Plaek (Strange) and two other magazines from 1975 to the early 1990s. The excerpts quoted here are taken from Dear Uncle Go: Male Homosexuality in Thailand by Peter A. Jackson (2nd edition, Thailand, 1995) and were translated by the author of that book.
Only two letters to Uncle Go in Jackson's selection concerned Greek love. Their being in this edition of this book places them in the early 1980s, with the story related in the second having just taken place and that in the first dating from the 1970s. A third exchange of letters might have been considered marginally to concern Greek love since the teacher who wrote it was attracted to boys who were "handsome and aged between sixteen and nineteen", were it not that his feelings were so alien to its ethos: he described himself as "gay and ... probably both 'king' and 'queen'."
1. Letter from Orn
I really get a lot out of your articles. I read every issue and you reply to people's problems so well. I have a matter I've come to disturb you with because it's got so much for me that I've finally had to ask someone for help. Please let me start telling you about it.
I am a very poor boy. When I was fourteen I started at high school but, just as I entered my second year, my mother died and I had to stop studying because my father took to drinking away his sorrows.
The day the school term started, my friends came over so we could go to school together. But I just sat there feeling glum. I didn't realise the headmaster was standing behind me, too. He patted my head gently and asked why I wasn't dressed ready for school. I didn't know how to lie to him so I told him the truth. He listened and looked at me, standing there for a long time until he smiled a little and said he'd let me study. He'd cover the costs and let me stay at his home.
I was so happy I cried and jumped up and hugged him. He said to go home and in the afternoon he'd come and talk with my father, and then he went on to school. My father let me stay with the headmaster.
Inside his house, it was quiet and clean, and he had two male servants, and one of them had the manner of a woman and could cook well. The headmaster's wife had been dead for some time, and he hadn't married again even though he was only forty-nine. I asked him about his children, and he said he had a son studying in Bangkok who didn't want him to marry again, and he'd agreed because the boy was his only son.
On the third day, I noticed the headmaster acted a bit strangely with the servant who looked like a woman but I thought nothing of it. One day, the servant went home and I had to do his duties instead. At about bedtime the headmaster asked me to sleep in his room. I was a bit thick and lay down on the bed next to him. At first, nothing happened but later on the headmaster hugged and kissed me, acting as if I was a woman.
He said he loved me and that if I were a woman he'd take me as his wife. I didn't know what he meant and just listened to what he said. But I felt warm to have a sort of happiness no one had ever given me before. And by and by he gave me pleasure. He asked to enter my back door. I was a bit stunned but I let him. Ever since that day the headmaster started to love me and cared about me a lot more, until the servant who looked like a woman got jealous. But it didn't worry me and finally we got on okay.
At the end of term, the headmaster's son came home and, when he first saw me, he was a bit startled and asked me if his father had invited me to stay with him. I said yes, and he went on, "Hmm ... a good-looker here. Where's my father gone?" But even then I hadn't caught on to things. As he went inside the effeminate servant laughed and shrieked, "You're in!"
The headmaster still hadn't come back by evening and, as I was playing in my room, someone knocked on my door. I opened it and the headmaster's son came in. He smiled and I asked him to sit down and talk a bit. He was a good talker and very soon had me in his confidence. And finally he played around with me just like his father.
He probably knew his father's inclinations quite well. By looking after kids with a bit of a woman-like manner it's no wonder the headmaster didn't need to marry again. I got to thinking that if I stayed close to the headmaster, his son would no doubt cause trouble, so I decided to run away. I went to Bangkok, took a job, and started night school. I'm now at college but have some problems I'd like to ask you about, Uncle.
1. Do you think the servant who made out to be a woman was having anything on with the headmaster?
2. Why did I feel warm and strangely happy when the headmaster did those things to me? Am I mad?
3. Uncle, do you think the headmaster's son knew his father liked to have it off with guys who look a bit like women?
That was a few years ago and now I'm twenty and I'd like you to advertise for a friend for me, too. Uncle, I'm cute and good-looking, with a rather fair complexion. I'd like a friend who's between thirty and fifty and a complete man. If he's a teacher or lecturer, even better, because then I can get help with my studies. He should be good-natured and cool-headed. Looks are not so important but, please, nobody fat.
Uncle Go's Reply
Given the shape of things, it's more than likely that the servant had something going on with the headmaster. Let me put it this way: if you had become his wife you would have had to share that status with the servant. This sort of happiness isn't mad or anything. Doctors have announced that homosexuality, or love between the same sex, is not a sexual perversion or abnormality but is a normal way of expressing sexuality. Everyone starts with cuddling and kissing and such, which are like flower buds, hinting but not revealing. For some, kissing is enough but for most people it goes much further. We call it fanning the fires of love. Everything proceeds from that.
Any pain or hurting will gradually go away. In the end, no matter who you meet who likes it that way, it will be "Ah ... ah ... ah" from the very first time they go in. That's satisfaction, not madness. The headmaster's son knew it all. Not only did he know the servant was having it off with his father, he knew you were too. Anyone who was his father's was always his toy - like father like son. Or at least that's more likely.
The father stayed away so his mouse could get to play. The headmaster cleared the way for his son to arrange things with you.
You would like to find a friend. Your tastes seem quite set because you'd like to try it with an older teacher again. Oh, dreams! Dream, dream on. Whoever would like to contact Orn, I'm happy to act as go-between.
2. Letter from Bunsom
Respected Uncle Go,
I have written this letter to you because there is a matter weighing on my mind and I don't know what to do or who I can talk to about it. I never thought I would have a problem like this. Please let me tell you my story.
I have spent my life in the country. My father entrusted me to one of his friends, Piak, so that it would be convenient to study in town at a high school close by to where Piak lives. Piak is forty-two years old and now I'm fourteen. My father entrusted me to Piak and gave him authority to discipline me just as if I were his son. Piak has a trading business and is in good standing in the town where he lives, but he is still not married. In his house there are twelve people, both servants and employees. Piak loved me just as if I was his child and had me call him "father", all of which led me to respect him more and more. Piak made everything as convenient for me as he could.
On the night it happened Piak called me to his room to show me something. He sat on the bed and started hugging me and told me he loved me very much. I thought at first he meant he loved me like a son, but he kept hugging and kissing me until my hair started standing on end, and when that wasn't enough he grabbed hold of my thing. I didn't know what to do.
Uncle, he grabbed hold of my thing in one way but that wasn't enough and he kissed it and used his mouth, too. My hair really stood on end and he had me use my mouth with his thing, too. But I didn't know how so I licked it and finally he asked to enter my back door but I didn't let him.
On the nights after that, Piak called me again and again and did the same thing each time. But I never let him come in my back door, because I thought it would be impossible since his thing was monstrous. Piak always tried but he never got it in. But then one night he used a cream until he did. I didn't know what he was spreading on me and thought it would be okay, but down there where he went in, wow, did it hurt and smart! Piak tried and tried until he finally got it in. I'm not really speaking the truth because while it hurt it also felt good. He had me enter his back door, too, and after that he always had me do it to him.
I felt ashamed about all this and didn't like it at all, but because I didn't want to upset Piak I always let him do it. But I tried to keep away from him. I love Piak but don't want these sorts of things to happen again. Piak made things easy for me money-wise until I became the "lord of his heart" and could have anything I wanted. The other people in the house started wondering what was going on.
I did it with Piak for over a year until one day when I was cleaning the house I broke a large vase. Piak was furious with me and said that if I couldn't be careful I shouldn't do the cleaning. The vase was never even used but Piak walked away in a really foul mood.
I started feeling sad that Piak didn't love me anymore and started feeling cool towards him. But afterwards Piak called me and said that he'd been a little too angry and that we shouldn't quarrel together like that. But I didn't say anything and played it cool. Whatever Piak said, I still acted cool towards him. If he called me, I went to him but didn't let him take any liberties with me. I asked him not to do it again and I felt that he got very upset. He tried to make up with me but I wouldn't let him, not after he'd been so angry with me. He tried his hardest, by asking me to make up and giving me expensive things too. I stayed cool towards him but in my heart I did feel a bit sorry for him.
Then he called me and talked to me for a long time. He said he loved me very much and that he'd never gone with anyone else, ever. He said he'd pay for my studies however much it cost and asked me to let things be as they were before. But I didn't say anything and just got up and left him. But I could see he was very sorry, and I'd like to ask Uncle Go some questions.
1. Will Piak keep on loving me all along? He said I was the first person he had given himself to but is that possible? He's forty-two and though he doesn't have a wife can that be believed?
2. I thought it would be impossible for Piak to enter my back door because his thing was so big, and why doesn't he have a wife anyway?
3. I'd like to get back on good terms with Piak but do you think I should? He's well known from his business and has a lot of salesmen. He's straightforward and a lot of people respect him. He is generous and often performs religious merit-making ceremonies.
4. Can men be lovers together for a long time? Would society accept that? These days he's ordered me not to talk with anyone at all [about what we do], and I've obeyed him.
Please do reply to me and advise me. I'm confused and can't decide what to do. I'm in two minds. I love him and yet I don't want to. By myself I can't decide what to do. Please help me, Uncle Go.
Uncle Go's Reply
Whether Piak will love you seriously is a matter for the future, but don't forget that everything is subject to change. What you love today you may hate tomorrow, and what is now detested may later be liked. All this is possible. But as far as you've described in your letter it would seem as if Piak is fairly serious about you. He says he's never loved anyone before and that you were the first person he has ever had sex with. But without having known and watched him for a long time who can say whether or not that's true. Piak's the only person who knows.
Being big isn't really much of a hindrance if you use a lubricant. It's like your nostril. If you can stick your little finger up your nose, then you can also try sticking your thumb in; it's elastic and expandable. Stick it in and see if you're still sceptical.
Why doesn't Piak have a wife? Because he has a taste for "trees from the same forest"(1), that's why. If he had a wife, how could he go looking for sex with men? And after all, you are already his wife in a way.
As for getting on well with Piak again, he is more senior than you and has the right to chastise you. He's helped you a lot and all you've done is self-centredly grumble that he's hurt your feelings. He is an adult, and you did do something wrong which caused him a loss. It's only natural that he'd scold you.
There are cases of men living together as lovers for a long time but whether society accepts that or not is not the important thing. If you start worrying about what people think, everything will have to be kept hidden and quiet, which only ever causes more problems.
You should patch things up and end this problem. As I've already said, you are at least obliged to him for what he's done to help you. I don't think you know very much about the kind of relationship you've had with Piak. At first sight, you might be able to keep yourself aloof from these things, but in just a little while you'd almost certainly start looking for "trees from the same forest" again. When two souls and minds are so enmeshed as this, one usually becomes "lord" of the other's heart and that sort of bond is hard to break.