Are you familiar with ladyboys? You probably haven’t missed this widespread phenomenon if you’ve ever traveled to Thailand. However, the image people have of them is sometimes distorted. In this article, you will discover that Katoys are not only products of the sex industry.
To meet ladyboys, I suggest you read this article to get tips and tricks to meet ladyboys on your travels and around your location.
If you don’t want to waste time, I recommend you browse the internet but also look around your current location.
My first meeting with a ladyboy
I first discovered Thailand during a boxing training course in Bangkok in 2007. It was my first big trip away from home.
My first impression was « Wow ». I felt like a kid going to an amusement park for the first time. Everything was new, everything sparkled. I liked everything about it. I can even say that it was one of the best memories of my life.
But there was one thing that stuck with me more than anything else. To tell you the truth, apart from TV shows and stories of friends who had already walked on Siamese soil, I had absolutely no idea what a ladyboy could be.
I remember this experience as if it were yesterday. My boxing colleagues and I decided to have a good time and relax from training by going out clubbing.
During the night, a group of girls waved at me and my buddy and asked us to join them at their table. Excited to meet Thai girls, we crossed the dance floor to join them. We were quite surprised when we realized that none of them were girls, but ladyboys.
In order not to offend them, and above all out of curiosity, we decided to have a drink with them anyway. Well, believe it or not, we had a great evening without any fuss. For the record, one of them liked my friend very much, and he didn’t take long to find out…anyway, my first meeting with transsexuals was a lot of fun.
Since this first trip, I regularly go back to Thailand, especially to box, travel and join my friend there. I share my experience, most of them food-related, on my website on Thai cuisine in Bangkok: click here to check it out.
What exactly are ladyboys?
Ladyboy, katoey, transsexual… what does it mean?
First, what is a ladyboy? And secondly, do we say « he » or « she »? According to wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kathoey), a ladyboy is defined as follows:
Trans identity, transsexualism or transsexuality describe a male-to-female transgender person or person of a third gender that does not conform to the sex they were born with.
They go by many names, such as Katoey, shemale, trans, tranny…
Some terms are attached to the porn industry, and the name « ladyboy » is more often used to refer to Asian transsexuals.
Simply put, a ladyboy (from a Thai perspective) is a man who turns into a woman. The term includes both transvestites (men dressed as women) and trans (men who undergo surgeries). Now, terminology is not my forte so I’ll let everyone figure it out for themselves.
Here’s a documentary from the French show « 7 à 8 » that describes the topic rather well. Enjoy:
From man to woman, the steps they follow…
What generally stands out to travellers is their almost perfect resemblance to real women. Thai people are thin and slender with rather feminine features to start with.
Taking hormones and body modifications (going as far as the implantation of an artificial vagina) make up for the difference. Even I, who is used to meeting them, sometimes get fooled.
As I told you earlier, this striking resemblance is the result of many body modifications. We can list for example:
- Taking hormones as a teenager (usually over-the-counter birth control pills)…
- Breast implants (I’ve even seen ladyboys friends who can make milk come out)
- The implantation of prostheses on their hips and buttocks
- Cosmetic surgery of the face (nose, jaw, cheekbone…)
- Botox injections
- Removal of the penis and implantation of an artificial vagina
It’s a big business in Thailand. Here is a report (in its original version) which gives you a good idea of the phenomenon. In addition, there’s a report on the clinic 2 steps away from my home (which looks more like a slum than anything else).
I once wanted to test a bar with ladyboys only. As I was quietly enjoying my beer, one of the dancers, with her breasts out, approached me. I barely had time to react when she had already pulled down her panties.
I was very surprised when I realized that she had been completely changed through surgery procedures. So much so that even if I was completely sober, I couldn’t tell the difference with a real vagina. Tourists could easily fall for it. Everything that happens in Bangkok stays in Bangkok, just like the movie the Hangover…
I’m attracted to ladyboys, am I gay?
A little side note for those who think that men attracted to ladyboys are generally gay. I can tell you that I’ve had a crush on several of them, not knowing if they were transsexuals or not. Many tourists get fooled, thinking they’re with a Thai hottie, until the time comes when the panties fall off, and then…
At this point, one has to wonder if he’s still a man. The attraction comes from the ultra-feminine side of a ladyboy. Besides, this is a factor to keep in mind to recognize them. A Thai that is too flamboyant, too aggressive, too big…or just too much anything, should raise your suspicions.
How to meet ladyboys?
I know that there are ladyboy fans and curious people who will read this article, so will give you some tips to meet ladyboys during your stay in Thailand.
Whether it’s just out of curiosity, to spend a good time, have a new experience, or for a serious relationship, read the following lines.
It is not a mystery, most of ladyboys you will meet during your travels (especially if you visit the tourist areas) will be freelancers, bar « girls », or ladyboys looking for a boyfriend during your holidays.
If you want to have a first experience, or get to know the third sex up close, here are a few places where you can find beautiful ladyboys:
I like to go to King Castle (ask for numbers 1 and 23).
Massage parlors: there are many in Thailand that mix ladyboys and girls. Go to Sukhumvit Soi 5, just in front of Foodland.
Nightclubs and bars: due to a large number of scams, ladyboys are not allowed in all clubs. Check out these nightclubs: Mixx, Shock 39, Spicy…
There are also shows performed by transsexuals only:
- The Caplypso
- The Miss Tiffany pageant
Sex tourism is not the only thing to experience in Thailand, despite the image often portrayed by mainstream media. You should know that there are ladyboys (most of them actually in my opinion) who have a normal life and a normal job.
You will have the pleasure of encountering them at the 7/11 checkout, serving your food at your restaurant, in a hairdresser’s salon, and even on the farm harvesting the rice. It would of course be wrong to reduce them to a sexual fantasy, while forgetting that behind them (no pun intended) there is a real person like anyone else.
On the Internet:
Those who can’t travel to Thailand, or who want to get a head start, there are a lot of dating websites (like MyLadyboyDate). This is a good opportunity to build relationships before meeting them in real life.
There are hundreds of websites on the Internet.
The article is coming to an end, I hope that you will look at ladyboys differently and that I managed to capture your curiosity. I invite you to come and meet them, you will have a great time!
I talked a lot so now it’s your turn.
Have you ever met a ladyboy during your trip? Do you have any stories about them? How was your first meeting, your first experience? Tell me everything in the comments.
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