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A novel approach

third sexThailand’s ladyboys receive little serious coverage in the media, and also I don’t know of any work of fiction that attempts a serious explanation of the phenomenon. When I wrote No Angel, available now for download from Amazon, I wanted to describe Thai ladyboys in a credible way, and to describe what it is like to know them intimately. I also wanted to place them against a realistic background. Whether or not it works, I really don’t know.

What I did do however was to draw upon many of my own experiences. The material was just too good to ignore. Consequently, much of the book is pure documentary. So, yes, there really was an Angel, and she was much as she appears in the story. Her background was the same, and her appearance and personality the same. But of course there is a point where the real-life Angel and the fictional Angel separate, and the character depicted in the book can be regarded as fiction.

There was also an Apple, and the Twins. At least, the original inspiration for them existed: in the story, the characters quickly left their origins behind and became pure imagination. third sexSuki and the travelling cabaret really existed. The Major has his origins in a real-life character, but he never did have a sliding panel and two-way mirror. The three Kevins I met, although in real life they weren’t called Kevin.

The apartment on Suan Phlu existed, and disappeared in similar circumstances to those described. The drunken apartment manager and the Mousekeeper are both based on reality. So too is the mansion apartment in Ramkhamhaeng, and much of what is described in the book actually happened there.

What is however a complete work of fiction is the political background against which the story is set, and the characters and events depicted. Bandhit owes his existence purely to a Chinese man I knew many years ago in Hong Kong, who had the same startling appearance. Arthit, Prakit, and Chao Cheewit have their existence only in the mind of the author.

The choice of illustration for a cover gave me some problems, third sexin that I had plenty of material to choose from but that I had to make the final product acceptable to potential readers, rather than catering to my own interest in ladyboy bottoms. I discarded two versions, which I’m posting here, before deciding on the version that appears at the top of this column.

I would welcome the feedback from anyone who reads the book. A review on Amazon would be great, as it pushes the book up the search engines. The first one and a half chapters can be read for free by clicking on the thumb of the cover in the Amazon store.

A gay view

ladyboy cockI had some interesting insights recently as to what prompts the formation of a ladyboy. I was talking to a young gay guy, who was 18 years old and had just landed a job at the makeup department of one of Bangkok’s largest department stores. He was explaining that he is from Roi Et, in Isaan, one of the regions that has more than its fair share of ladyboys.

There were, he said, many young gays growing up in that province. Life in and around Roi Et is not easy for working class Thais, and the temptations for the average young man to take to drugs, booze or petty crime, rather than succumb to the mind-numbing manual work that his father and all those before him had to do in order to survive, are considerable.

He said he found the girls of his neighbourhood to be consistently pushy, eager to get married and have children, anything to get away from their oppressive and poverty-stricken home life. Several of his friends had got girls pregnant when they were in their mid-teens. Some had knuckled down ruefully to mundane lives, while others had simply run away.

When he was an adolescent, my young friend had had no particularly gay inclinations. He and his friends had done the usual things that youngsters do, flashing their cocks around, but there was no sexual frisson between him and any of the members of his group.

At the same time, he was wary of girls. He was excited by them, but had heard so many horror stories of older boys being trapped into marriage, that he began to distrust them. “I was scared of even being in the same room, breathing the same air, in case I made one pregnant!” he said.

When he was 14, he had had a crush on an older boy, who had been working in Bangkok. The boy told him how easy it was to make money in a gay bar, and that there was no need to actually be gay to do it. Then the older boy had shown him a few things, which made my young friend reconsider his attitude towards his sexuality.

As he grew up, he began to seek the company of older boys, and to find comfort in going to bed with them. ladyboy cockHe said there was no feeling of involvement, it simply became a sexual adventure. He began to move in Roi Et’s gay circles, and this of course brought him into the world of ladyboys. He told me that he was very much aware, in the early years of adolescence, that there were kids of his age experimenting with dressing as girls. None of his friends seemed to find this strange, but he was also aware that these fledgling ladyboys were causing considerable upset to the conservative adults of the community.

It was understandable that their families were upset, he explained, but also he could see that their rebellion – for that is partly what it was – was upsetting the established order.

“There was a lot of tolerance for them, but at the same time people were angry at them because they were rejecting their community standards. They were upsetting everything. But this only drove them on to be even more flamboyant and outrageous.”

The girls were also upset, he said. The young ladyboys found regular companionship with older boys and with men, even married men. They always seemed to have money, because their men friends gave them gifts. Nobody expected a ladyboy to work in the fields or the factories. Not the attractive ones, anyway.

What made them experiment in the first place, I asked him.

“Some were naturally effeminate. Some did it simply because their friends did it. Some did it because it meant belonging to an exclusive group. Some identified closely with their mothers, because their fathers were drunk or violent, or both. Some saw a theatrical career ahead of them.

“You must remember that we Thais do not condemn people for their sexuality,” he said. ladyboy“We also do not think it strange that someone prefers to dress as a girl, and to behave like a girl. There is no shame for a man to have a relationship with a ladyboy.”

He added that an attractive ladyboy can always find men who will support her. If she stays in her home village or town, she will be taken care of and probably be able to save enough money to open a small business – maybe just a food stall, or a stall in the market selling flowers or clothes. But enough to get out of the dreadful dead-end of labouring jobs.

Had he ever had any desire to become a ladyboy himself? No, he said, although he had joined in sessions with ladyboys, putting on makeup and even dressing up. “They were fun times, but I just didn’t feel I could go that extra step and become a ladyboy,” he said. “I am a man. I have a cock. I look like a man.”

Being gay seems to have released his creative abilities. He enjoys doing makeup, and has an ambition to study interior design or landscape design. “I understand ladyboys,” he told me. “I understand gays. I understand straight guys. From where I am, I think I have a pretty good understanding of people.”

Better than girls

ladyboy cockNoi, who is pictured here, is from Vientiane in Laos, one of my favourite towns in Asia. She came to Bangkok to earn some money, and is working in Nana. When I photograph a girl as gobsmackingly gorgeous as Noi, I always think to myself that in a straight comparison between ladyboys and genetic girls, the genetic girls often don’t stand a chance.

Noi has all the aura of a female, and if you saw her in the street you would assume she was a girl. She is slightly built with a firm body, yet has the softening and cushioning of the skin that hormones induce. Her skin is almost completely blemish-free, and is soft and hairless. Her bottom is one of the most beautiful I have seen this year, being soft, smooth and creamy in texture.

Her cock is firm and has a cute little curve to one side. Despite the hormones it sprung into action immediately, and a glistening little dewdrop appeared on the end. It took her a while to cum, but she is a horny little minx. The kind of overt sexuality that sends hot shivers up and down your spine, and elsewhere. “You suck my cock now, and I cum very quick, sure.” Yes, well, we have all heard that one before, haven’t we. She got there in the end. What a lovely mess she made.

I had just returned from an overseas trip when I shot her pictures, and had been starved of ladyboy company for ten days. At that moment, if someone had put Noi in front of me together with an identical female Noi, I would without hesitation have chosen the ladyboy Noi. And that is from someone who has no problems whatsoever with women.

Of course, this is not the first time I have given thought to this, and have mentioned it before on this site. It is just that every now and again I find a ladyboy who is so utterly gorgeous, that I realise GGs so often trail a poor second.

I was talking over the weekend to a friend, and he casually mentioned his new girlfriend. “Female?” I asked, knowing his liking for ladyboys.

“No,” he replied. “Ladyboy. GGs just don’t do it for me anymore. I’ve finished with them.” ladyboy cockI have a couple of other friends who say more or less the same. And the theme of any conversation with them is, that they have no interest in the gay scene or in males: it is only the ladyboys.

As for myself, even after all this time, I find ladyboys to be a continuous adventure. Many of them I photograph are brought to me, sight unseen, and I often never know quite who is going to walk through the door. On occasions I am disappointed. On other occasions, I am unmoved. But the Nois of this world, the Annabelles, the Pinkies, the Yings – all recent discoveries – leave me almost breathless with excitement. The same sort of feeling I had when I was a teenager. In those days, girls were almost untouchable. But ladyboys…well, they come looking for you.

The balcony scene

ladyboy cockI tend to use a number of set venues on a regular basis for photographing ladyboys. These are places I know I am safe. Shooting pornography is illegal in Thailand, and if I check into a hotel carrying a couple of big studio lights and am then followed by a steady procession of ladyboys, it will be obvious to even the slower type of security guard what I am doing.

There are a few hotels where I know I am reasonably safe, as I have used them for years without any trouble, and the staff know me. I’m a generous tipper under such circumstances. There are also a few apartments, one of them being in a riverside tower block, and featuring a particularly spacious balcony with a 180-degree view of the river and the street 15 floors below.

For a long time I used this balcony as a setting for the photographs, devoting the first part of the set to shots there before moving inside. In the end I used it too much. Even I realised that, but it was only when Webmaster Spike suggested that if he saw another balcony set he would throw me off it that I decided with reluctance to stop venturing out there with ladyboy and camera.

But it was a splendid setting. And it was also interesting in that it brought out the personality of the ladyboy I was photographing, for their responses to posing provocatively on the balcony were many and varied.

First, there were those who took one look at the unaccustomed height (Thais are not high-rise creatures) and declined to even venture out of the room. Then there were those who were convinced that, as they could see the entire world, the entire world could also see them. In vain I would argue that we were overlooked by no other buildings, that the nearest tower block was a hotel a mile or more away round the bend in the road, and that I had been on the ground level myself trying to see if I could see what was on my balcony, and that I could see nothing. It was simply too high up. The angle was wrong unless you moved a long way back along the road, by which time anything going on there was simply too small to see.

Then there were those who would stand in the shelter of the 6ft high potted fern and gently ease their pants down, which I always used to find pretty exciting. I got many good sequences with that type of model, particularly when the lighting was such that dramatic shadows of the fronds were thrown across wall and girl.ladyboy cock

Best of all though, and I have to say these were pretty rare, were the ladyboys who would prance out onto the balcony, completely naked. Cherie was a master of this particular form of exhibitionism, always willing to display her gorgeous little body to the world in general. And taking shots of Cherie, and the others who pulled a similar stunt, was enormously exciting. The fact that they were there, totally naked, with life going on behind them unseeing and unknowing, was a big turn-on for me.

When you think about it, exhibitionism is what it is. We all, I think, have this tendency to want to do provocative things in public. Especially if we know we are safe.

No money, no Honey

ladyboyHoney, one of the regular models on the main site, has just gone to the island of Samui where she has a new job working in a ladyboy cabaret. I’m going to miss her. She certainly is one of the cutest ladyboys I’ve known in recent years, which is why I took so many stills sets and videos of her. A lovely face, perfect honey-coloured skin without a blemish to be seen, continually changing hair styles and colouring so that she never looked the same from one shoot to another, a tight little bottom, and a hard little cock with a pronounced foreskin. What more can one ask of a girl? But Honey’s looks have been changing. I had first taken her photograph when she just turned 18, and she is 20 now. Plus, as I know the family, I have actually known her since she was 16. ladyboySo I have watched over the past four or five years how she has changed. I remember the outbreak of teenage spots on her face that so embarrassed her she stayed indoors until they had gone. I remember the teeth brace, a rather pretty green effort which were fine in reality but which looked like she had a mouth full of spinach when I tried photographing her. Don’t smile! I remember the dark-brown contact lenses that changed her eyes from being a clear light brown to a foxy glitter. Not a good look, Honey. Seeing her closeup so many times I came to know every square inch of her body. Her flat, boyish chest was not very photogenic, but the nipples stood out and looked sensual when shot from the side. Her bottom was tiny and very firm, but assumed a lovely ladyboyoval shape when she was on her elbows and knees, looking bigger and plumper than it actually was. I watched with great interest how the light pubic hair growth of an 18-year-old continued to grow until by 20 her pubes were long, thick and silky. I noted also that she seemed to have a permanent hard-on. There was always a goodly bulge in her knickers and when the pants came down her cock would spring free without any need at all for stimulation. The foreskin was long, hanging naturally over the glans even when her cock was fully erect, but leaving an enticing opening through which the moist pink head could be seen. She could slide it all the way back, but usually preferred not too, as the skin was tight. Having observed her so intimately throughladyboy the second half of her teens, I have seen the changes a ladyboy goes through. We all of course change dramatically at that age, but with a ladyboy whose main desire is to be as feminine as possible, the changes are acute. In Honey’s case she has gone from a winsome-faced youngster to, in recent months, a more masculine looking person. She doesn’t take hormones – says they don’t agree with her – and so consequently she has simply been following the path to natural maturity. Don’t get me wrong. She is still very feminine, because she embarked on the ladyboy lifestyle before she even reached puberty, and to her it is entirely natural. But the cuteness she had in those early shots when she was 18 has matured out of her: she is taller, leaner, and herladyboy facial bone structure has become more pronounced. Still very attractive, yes, but different. I was very much aware of it at the time, but going back through the sets to select the photos for this piece, I was even more aware of the changes. I have placed the pix here in chronological order, so you can see for yourselves.

Ageing is a problem that ladyboys face more acutely than anyone else. I see them in extreme close-up, and I can usually work out roughly how old they are at first glance, before I even check their ID. Female hormones will of course distort the appearance in some ways, plumping out faces and bodies and keeping the skin soft and supple, but I can usually tell when theladyboy ladyboy before me is 25, rather than 22, and certainly 18. This is especially so when the clothes come off. I very seldom photograph a ladyboy in the upper-20s age range. This is mainly through personal preference. I do know some of the older ones of 30 or so who have matured well, mainly through good genetics rather than any systematic attempts to stay young. But the bloom has gone, the sexuality of a young ladyboy beginning to realise just how desirable she is, and the mature person standing before me will look a lot different to the way she looked ten years previously. But by that age anyway, many ladyboys have removed themselves from the scene. They have gone past the stage of working in the bars and have graduated to either beingladyboy taken care of by a regular partner or have gone into business, gone back upcountry, or joined a cabaret, which tend to prefer the more seasoned and reliable types, rather than the youngsters who will disappear at the slightest chance to make more money.

If they are cabaret performers, then their free time is limited, with evening shoots usually out of the question, and although I have taken photos of many cabaret girls, they have generally arrived late in the afternoon and been in a great rush to get to the theatre in time for costumes and rehearsals. So, when you go to see a ladyboy cabaret in Thailand (and I do recommend it as hugely entertaining, although almost entirely free of sexualladyboy innuendo), be aware that these are mostly mature ladyboys, more so than those you will meet in the go-go bars such as Cascade and KC3. I am sure that Honey will do well at the Samui cabaret. She has always been a cabaret performer, but usually it has been with travelling shows, of which there are many in Thailand. Often I have received a call from her, sounding full of fun, telling me she is in Phuket or Hua Hin or out in the sticks somewhere taking part in a friend’s travelling show. She is a natural mover, and being about five-seven in height and very slender, I am sure she will look fantastic on stage.I asked her why she is moving to Samui. She told me she has no money, and that in Bangkok she was finding it difficult to get regular work. Because of her cabaret work over the years she has plenty of contacts in the business, and when the offer came up to go down south, she took it. She told me that she wants to have a boob job done, and to try and save. She can do this by working in Samui. I’m going to miss her.