About the Site
When I first moved to Thailand, I had a hard time finding any up to date listings of where to go in Bangkok. Once I discovered the scene, I decided to help out others who may be in a similar situation. I created the first version of this site in early 2006 with a current listing with maps in both English and Thai.
Right away I started getting emails from people looking to meet friends. Mostly foreign teachers or people here on holiday looking for a scene. I realized there was a need for a more organized scene for foreigners and Thais together. I then decided to make the site as it is today - where people can log in, create a profile, and meet friends.
Around 2007 we started the monthly parties. Our parties are a great place for girls from the site to get together and hang out. The parties are open to all women. Please check out our party info page for more details. (NOTE we no longer have parties as of 2010!)
If you have any suggestions for the site, the community or the parties, please send me a private message. I'm very interested in helping to improve what we've got!
About the Thai Lesbian Scene
The Thai lesbian scene as a whole is not as separated from the straight world as it is in the West. It seems that there is little to no Thai 'scene' here, it's more like a loose network of friends. There are a couple lesbian bars, but Thai lesbians also feel comfortable going to straight bars. That's not to say that there are not a lot of lesbians here, because there are! I see more every day than I would in a week in the West. They're out all over the place, and no one seems to care or stare. That's quite refreshing!
Another thing to note is that 'gender roles' within lesbian relationships here are very defined. Typically there is the butch and the femme, and no room in between for the rest. In fact, the term 'lesbian' isn't used here much, instead a butch is called a 'Tom' (short for tom-boy) and a femme is called a 'Dy' (short for lady). Be prepared if you travel here to do a lot of explaining if you don't fit into either category!
If you would like to read more about the tom/dy culture here in Thailand, I recommend a very interesting book about Tom/Dy dynamics by an author named Megan Sinnott. She really helped clear up a lot of confusion I had (not to say that I'm not confused anymore.. but a bit less confused anyway). The book is called: Toms and Dees: Transgender Identity and Female Same-Sex Relationships in Thailand. Fyi: if you're based in Thailand, you can pick the book up at Kinokuniya for 625B, which is a lot cheaper than the Amazon list price.
Here are some Thai Lesbian related vocabulary which may come in helpful:
- Tom: Similar to a "stone butch". A tom will bind her breasts any time she's in public. Toms will sometimes take on a male pronoun and almost always end sentences with "krap" (but generally identify as female). She will typically not undress in bed. She typically is a "top" sexually. She will not wear a women's bathing suit at the beach or show her body in any way. She will not own any womens clothes. She only dates a "dy". A tom is almost the female equivalent of a katoey in the strictness of the gender role.
- Dy: A woman who dates toms. She may or may not consider herself queer, as she dates a person who identifies with a male gender role. She is typically a bottom sexually. Sometimes dys are bisexual, but not always. A dy typically has never questioned her traditional role as a female and will dress over the top femme - heels, purse, long long hair and makeup, and never gender neutral. She does not own any boys clothes.
- Les(bian): In Thai, a "lesbian" (they usually shorten it to "les") is a femme who likes femmes. Traditional Tom & Dy couples may look down on them as weird. Their style ranges from the super-femme dy girls to slightly more "andro" types. A Tom & Dy would not consider themselves lesbian.
- Les King: Again, to define who is the "top" - a les king is the sexual "top" in the relationship. I guess there is not much switching around!
- Les Queen: The bottom to the les king.
- Les Two-Way: The types which switch it up in the bedroom!
- Andro: An androgynous woman. She may be attracted to any type. I have not heard many people identify as "andro".
- Tom Gay: A tom who is attracted to toms. They're "gay" because they are both masculine and attracted to each other. This is also considered quite strange in the traditional tom/dy scenes, and tom-gays may be made fun of by their friends.
- Tom One-Way: A more traditional tom who only touches her dy and will not allow her dy to touch her, and often will not even undress in front of her.
- Tom Two-Way: A tom who lets her dy touch her sexually. This is becoming more common I think.
Foreign lesbians/queers: I urge you to use the word "lesbian" or "queer" to describe yourselves to your Thai friends. It may take some explanation to the foreign definition of the word, but unless you fully fit into the categories above, then it's best to use words from back home to describe yourself instead of using the Thai ones. I've heard of many western women refer to themselves as a "tom" or "dy" thinking it is interchangable with "butch" or "femme" then to get in bed with a real Thai tom or dy and be frustrated with the lack of sexual fluidity. I've heard stories of western lesbians attempting to touch a tom sexually or trying to take off her shirt only to have their hands slapped away in anger, ending with hurt feelings and frustration with both parties. So, please describe yourself as a lesbian or queer!