Archive for August, 2011

Who is William Sparrow?

Posted in สะพานลอย with tags , , , , , , , on August 30, 2011 by สะพานลอย

A Book Review

Red-light Nights, Bangkok Daze: Chronicles of Sexuality Across Asia, by William Sparrow, 2008

Perusing from time to time the aisles of what are called “book stores” or “libraries” we occasionally find a gem hiding among the various more serious tomes about Thailand and Asia. It was no accident, therefore, that we pulled one such gem from the shelf by a writer who calls himself “William Sparrow” and who founded the website, after contributing to the Asia Times, which hasn’t been updated with one of William’s sex articles since 2008, roughly the same time that this book came out.

It appears that for a very brief span of time, one year in 2008, at the time of Mangosauce’s existence (which is credited as well after one or two of the short vignettes that appear in this book), Sparrow was writing about Asian prostitution, peppering his own squalid experiences and observations in various brothels with anecdotal information, questionable data, and even more dubious quotes from various persons unnamed. A few interesting experiences he alleges: being propositioned by Thai twins on Patpong while his (Thai) wife gives her tacit approval as long as he uses protection. (He declines the offer!) He is threatened by mysterious “Triad” characters in Hong Kong in darkened bars in the red light districts there. And he even (because he is married to a Thai woman who is still in Thailand) declines sexual relief from a Hong Kong prostitute in a short-time hotel, which makes for an interesting scene. (They shower together, he finds her stunning and aggressive almost in a dominatrix sort of way, and yet out of fidelity to a Thai woman many kilometers away, he does not let her touch his engorged genitals.)

In short, the book is a collection of sorry essays that span the Asian sex world, not just his beloved Thailand, but also places like Hong Kong and the Philippines, and yes, even Pakistan (shudder at the thought). While a few essays attempt to make interesting general points backed by dubious statistics about Filipinas working abroad, or Japanese men preferring masturbation to actual coupling with females (much like Big Baby Kenny Ng), or their predilections for the “school-girl” aesthetic (also much like Big Baby Kenny Ng), the essays presented here are thin on substance, and thick with the bravado of a Asian fetishist. Wait. That’s not quite right, since he chronicles very few of his actual sexual experiences: he talks “around” them as coyly as a schoolboy.

Saphan Loy appreciates the tone of his essays. He is at least quite honest about his interests and desires, which is a refreshing change from what is found in the red-light blogosphere, which has taken a marked nose-dive recently. Admittedly, it made for entertaining (offline) reading and made us wonder all the more: what happened to William Sparrow? His site,, hasn’t been updated since 2008.

Is he spending time in a jail in Hong Kong? Has he passed away? We await his next volume, unless his health has declined or he has encountered some other unknowable fate with the Triads of Hong Kong. Perhaps he is sitting on a bar stool next to Dean Barrett debating the differences of “sexuality” between poor Thai farm girls and light-skinned mainland Chinese professionals.

William Sparrow's Opus

The View from Above

Pussy Fishes In

Posted in สะพานลอย with tags , , , , on August 2, 2011 by สะพานลอย

Well, it’s been slow around town, so it is usually around this time that we pack up a small caravan of essentials and head out into the wilds of the world for a bit of adventure. Typically, I’m not one to travel anymore, as I much prefer to stew in my own juices and grouse about this and that and the other thing. I won’t tell you where we went: a few general clues: it involves a valid passport, and it is far, so far away, and it is considered a part of Asia. I do the usual on these trips while onboard the airplane. Walk up and down the aisles of the plane so as to avoid deep vein thrombosis. Drink lots of water. Say a prayer of gratitude once we’ve safely left our own national airspace and about to land in a country where I am less likely to encounter the types of people from my own country who simply should not be traveling by air, commercial or otherwise. You know, dressed in pyjamas, shirts with cut-off sleeves, baseball caps on backward. It is amazing that these types of people actually function in the world. Put simply: they are functionally retarded.


What to expect once you are airborne.

I have to admit that as I age my destination of choice becomes less and less appealing. And whenever I mention this, Jimmy Smithers is all over me and is offended. But let’s face it: Bangkok has become somewhat of a hell hole. I think that next year, I will go to the Maldives before they sink to the bottom of the sea. Here are changes in Thailand I have witnessed over the past 20 years: across the board increases in prices in virtually everything. And this is not to say inflationary, but measurable and rapidly westernizing. Perfunctory performances from the service staff. Every inch of Sukhumvit is now cluttered with makeshift brothels where you will literally be pulled to a seat by a hooker. Boy, girl? At this hour, honey, makes no difference. There  have been no discernible changes to the infrastructure and one is likely to fall into an open cesspool that would, God willing, require hours of antibiotics and monitoring in order for the wound to properly heal.

I was walking down the street at 8 am on Sukhumvit where there were two farang sitting at a table in front of a hairdressing salon being administered to by ladyboys. One of them offered me a drink. As  I walked past them later, one had passed out and was sleeping it off on the dirty metal table. About twenty minutes later, they were gone, the ladyboys in the hair salon waving me in, their two drunken companions gone. I am assuming they had their wallets.

At any rate, at the end of the day, I began to feel like the Stickman. I cannot imagine writing about this stuff hour after hour. Maybe it’s time to retire after all, find bluer skies somewhere. Something that will make you feel like a better person. Like the Maldives, or some sweet little honey spot in the Sea of Celebes. Or find some small vulnerable fishing village in Burma and build something with your own two hands, like a school or an orphanage, so that at night you can fuck the locals with a clearer conscience. Or go to some crazy island off of Borneo, really go off the grid. Maybe there are people already doing these things, who knows? I certainly know that my fellow countrymen encountered on airplanes were as oblivious to the world as they appeared to be: which might be a desirable state of affairs. The simple act of not caring, not caring that I am being ripped off at the movie theatre, that the dry cleaner is raping me up the ass again, that fuel prices are climbing as the United States flounders as one of the world’s formerly most vibrant economies. Our military is bravely listening to directives in obscure tribal African no-man’s lands, bombing the hell out of nothing much of anything, or pitching in with NATO here or there with limp-wristed assaults on a Libyan despot. Allowing tribal Africa (the very definition of which is being at a state of war at all times) I say, send an invasionary force to take care of the oil resources for once and for all. If the country produces oil, consider it hereby property of the US Government. One massive show of force on northern Africa should wake the Saudi’s out of the decades of peaceful slumber courtesy of the US citizen every time he fills up his gas tank.  Finally, Silicon Valley better start cranking up results soon. So, woo-hoo. Thanks for Facebook. Great way to add to a nation’s productivity. Oh, yeah, Twitter too. That’s a great one. Now can you get to work on this next little project. It needs a way to allow the average user the technological capacity to have full sexual intercourse with the computing device itself. In short, I want my smartphone, looking like Jandi Lin, to give me a long langurous blowjob. Now some god damned computer geek get to work on that “app” immediately. Figure that one out, and you have investors, retailers, and everyone in between banging down your door. And if they ask where you came up with the idea behind your Jandi Lin blowjob “app”, you can say William Mahanakorn, then send a check to my PO Box in the Maldives. So cut the “Angry Birds” shit and the lousy maps that don’t work, the bullshit that doesn’t work and the rest of them. Just cut to the chase. The Jandi Lin Blowjob App.

Here is some more depressing news: the US economy growth rate based on last year’s figure is 2.83%. Thailand? 7.803%. Laos? 7.747%. Do my eyes believe what I am reading? And how about the unemployment rate in a place like, oh, say, Thailand: 1.2% (2010 est.) And the US unemployment rate: 9.2%.What in Christ’s name has happened to this country? I suppose you can think of it this way. Each 1,000 baht note in your hand represents about $33.33. But hey, this is the Land of Smile. Keep the smile on their faces, you cheap bastard.

I have thoroughly depressed myself for the day.

Flag of the Maldives.

The world is full of places once you look at a map or a nice library-sized globe like the one I am lazily spinning right this very minute.  And I know that somewhere in this wide world, someone with the time, the dedication, the technical know-how, and that good old American “can-do” determination will develop finally the Jandi Lin Blowjob App. Just make sure as hell it works in the Maldives too. So keep your nose to the grindstone, little buddy, wherever you are. We’re all counting on you.

The View from Above