06 December 2007

A skipped floor

Some years ago, I met this guy at a convention. His room was 2 floors below mine in the same hotel... Full essay.


Anonymous said...

its not the best way to find out, sorry to hear abt that yb.
Realities of dating 101, my friend found out abt her partner's wife while we were out having lunch one day.

Anonymous said...

You have a gift for writing eloquently on serious subjects although I know this is a site written by a gay.

No offence but is it possible to leave your gay tryst out of your intellectual menu of good stuff that I like to read?

Whilst I have no quarrels with your championing the cause of sexual freedom, indeed, I think it is the right thing to do, I feel that less savoury articulations should remain private memories. Even straight bloggers of note do not post their sexual encounters online.

I am straight and still wish to remain your fan and hope you would "tweak" your blog a little to remain interesting to both straight and homosexual audiences alike.

Anonymous said...

it's not just an account of a tryst. yb is making a point about society's hypocrisy, how it's not uncommon to come into contact with closet queers.

Anders said...

Interesting story, especially for us straight people who are clueless about these things.

Homo-gene-ous said...

Dear Mr. Au,

It's interesting to be reading about the Vietnamese-married-gay-men (let's call them VMGM for short). At last, someone brought this to light!

I've been stationed in Vietnam (more in Hanoi than Ho Chi Minh City) for the past 2.5 years. As a lone gay Singaporean, it's quite an eye opening experience seeing how different the gay cultural landscape is from what we have back home.

You see a lot of VMGM hanging out at the gay sauna (the one and only here in Hanoi, opened for about 3 - 4 months). Though there are no dark rooms, the kind of fun they have in the dark corners are anything but tame.

They might not be wearing any rings on their hands, but by default any man beyond 30 years old here HAS to be married. It is their responsibility to their family and country, and to them this is just it - a responsibility. As long as they have fulfilled it, they feel entitled to this 'double live' that they are leading.

I'm not saying sham marriages do not happen in more developed countries. It's just that here in Vietnam it's exceptionally prevalent.

That's my 2-cents worth. I really enjoy your articles, and honestly I read your blog more often than news site like Today or the ST. Looking forward to more insightful entires from you!

Philip Goh

Yawning Bread Sampler said...

To anonymous, 6 Dec 14:07 -

Not quite. I wasn't making any point about hypocrisy; the thought never came to my mind.

It's a story about expectations. We tend to assume that just because someone is like us in one important way, they are probably like us in many other associated ways. Just because Thuy was homosexual, I assumed he was unmarried and childless, like gay people tend to be nowadays in the West and West-influenced Singapore. In a sense, we "skip" the enquiry, because we merely assume. I would hardly accuse anyone fromm a different culture of hypocrisy when in his culture, it's the ordinary thing to do.

But the story also reminds us: the reverse assumption can be just as false. Just because a person is married, don't assume he is heterosexual.

Anonymous said...

this may be a simple case of closet, but may also be more than it: in countries like China and Vietname, homosexuality is still associated with western freedom; maybe the guy justed wanted a feeling of liberation

precisely why asian establishments are so wary of homosexuality - not because of religious doctrine or traditional culture, though these can be cite as reason


Anonymous said...

I think it is a really nice sharing
But it really feels alittle ouch everytime I see stories about closeted cases. It is just so unfair to their family :(

Anonymous said...

Thanks for relating your beautiful encounter.

When I was about half-way through the article, I felt a little disgusted that you were behaving like a sex-crazed, morally-deprived stereotyped gay man aka queer dirty old man. However I came to quickly realise that if the narrator was a straight man and the other party was one of the opposite gender, this story is simply a run-of-the-mill drama we have on day-time TV.

Hmmm...interesting that how our minds can be programmed to think in certain ways...

Anonymous said...

You have a gift for writing eloquently on trysts although I know this is a site written for gays.

No offence but is it possible to leave your championing the cause of sexual freedom out of your savoury menu of good stuff that I like to read?

Whilst I have no quarrels with bloggers of note who do not post their sexual encounters online, I feel that asking people to not articulate their private memories is an act of individual censorship that goes against freedom of speech. Even fools have the right to speak, but hey, that's what the 'off' button is for.

I am straight (or maybe not so straight) and a great fan as always and hope you would "tweak" your blog a little to include more clandestine, steamy encounters. After all, this is all about my taste: who cares about straight or homosexual audiences?

Anonymous said...

And I guess that is the scary part - it should not be run of the mill daily drama. Why would any one (homosexual or hetero) jump into the sack with anyone else at the first night / encounter. If either party is slightly careless, it is no wonder why Aids and other STDs are getting prevalent (regardless if you are homo or hetero). Let us not think of it is as a 'beautiful encounter' - I think it is pretty sad)

edw1177 said...

Thank you for sharing your story! I believe we all have experienced the excitement, anticipation, fear and joy of meeting kindred souls in new places. However brief the time together, the impression may last a lifetime.

Anonymous said...

Is there not anyone out there who disapprove of promiscuous sex?

yuen said...

since so many people are uncomfortable about casual sex especially casual gay sex, it is so much better to consider this a case of people in controlled societies using homosexuality as a form of western liberation

come to think of it, in the hippie days free love (mainly heterosexual) WAS considered a form of anti establishment rebellion - I guess I am the only YB reader old enough to remember this

bicycle said...

A beautifully written story.
However, speaking of expectations ... there seems to be a tendency to assume that if a guy is not "straight" (i.e. if he sleeps with another guy), then he must be "homosexual" and therefore his marriage must be a "sham" or the result of social pressures. Erm, ever considered the possibility of someone being attracted to both men and women? Of course I have no way of knowing what Thuy's "real" sexual orientation is/was, but I'm just saying, let's not have too many preconceptions.