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Sex and the mysterious disappearance of many traditions

Once I lived in a three-bedroom apartment in a big, old building with my roommates. Each floor consisted of two apartments. Just as normally seen in hotel buildings or condominiums, the floor plans of each apartment unit are mirror images. One of my roommates’ bedroom abutted the bedroom of the apartment next door, separated by a thin partition; when you knocked on one side of the partition, people could hear the knock on the other side. The bedroom that abutted my roommate’s bedroom was occupied by an Asian girl. Around three nights a week, she fucked guys, moaning loudly, and her bed would hit the partition wall rhythmically, bump, bump, bump…… Didn’t she know that her moans woke people up on the other side of the wall (excitedly)? My roommate often slapped the wall and yelled ‘fuck you’; she would hear that but she wouldn’t stop her sexual activities, because she was having a good time.

Sex is an important part of life that people don’t talk about publicly, yet they continue fucking. When you plan to build a new house, would you be comfortable discussing with your professional architect that your sexual activities with wife must not bother other people who sleep in other rooms, especially your children? When I attended architectural schools, both in Asia and in America, never once did any professors lecture designing a house plan to safeguard sexual activities!. This is one area where many architects make mistake (many times)— with their bedroom designs: one side of a bedroom wall is windows, a second is a closet, a third is an entry door where the length of the available wall space isn’t long enough to fit a king side bed, the fourth wall, left empty of doors, windows, closets is where the architect expects the owner to place a bed; then, next door is another apartment with the same type of floor plan (a mirror image) with the adjoining apartment’s bedroom abutting the first apartment’s bedroom--meaning two head boards are separated by a thin partition.

In Southeast Asian countries, such as Thailand, the traditional house is entirely built of wood—an easily-found local material. Unlike the wall-bearing structure of New England homes, where posts and beams allow for wide open spaces. In Thailand the first floor is raised above ground level (on stilts) to protect from flooding caused by rainstorms created by nearby tropical rain forests. The open space underneath the house can also be used for storage of farm tools, weaving projects and such. Slight gaps between each piece of wood flooring help to increase the airflow between the house and the open, stilted area. All the joints within the house are interlocked, (no nails are used), which means people can remove any piece(s) of the structure and use them to build another home in another location. Ancient knowledge is genius; the traditional Asian home is suitable and functional for the environment and the lifestyle of Asian people. However, what about the sex lives of the occupants—is that something ancient architects also forgot to plan for?

When walking in a traditional Thai house, Asians were taught to walk slowly because the middle sections of the long lengths pieces used for wood floor can “flex”, the result of walking on Thai wood floors is squeaking noises with every step. (This may be one reason that Thai people have a soft demeanor.) During sexual activity, bouncing up and down on this type of wood floor (Thai people sleep on a thin straw/reed mat) would also create squeaking noises similar to walking. (Many times American men have asked me—why are Asian girls so quiet when having sex? They don’t talk dirty or release loud moans when they orgasm—the noisy Thai flooring system is probably the answer). In upper income families, where the homes are much larger, with a great number of rooms, they do not have this problem. However, for the majority of Thai people, especially in rural areas, where middleclass and low-income homes are small; many houses have only one bedroom - for the parents; in cases where the bedroom isn’t large enough for all kids to sleep in the same room with their parents, space which is normally used as a living room during a day will be converted into another sleeping area. Kids will sleep next to each other, with mosquito netting suspended from wall to wall.

In ancient times, prior to birth control methods, one family might have as many as ten kids or for some families, even more. But surprisingly, every night was very quiet; no squeaking noises from the wood floors to bother anyone. A major paradox when the number of kids increased each year.

When I was very young, I lived in a rural area, where most people worked in agriculture. People left the house early in the morning, (5:00 am), while it was still dark, to work in the fields,. Many times I asked myself why do they start work so early; why not wait until sunrise?

In my generation, many new houses, including my own, had already adopted modern design: the first floor sits on a concrete slab at ground level, and modern building materials are now used - especially brick and cements. However, there were still many traditional homes remaining in the suburbs, as they were built for longevity. Many times I heard people gossiping about sexual allegation that some couples had been observed having sex in the fields. I noticed that all the couples caught having sex in the fields lived in a traditional style home. Ironically, not all housing problems are anticipated by architects—with certain problem (sex), residents must find methods/ways to solve these themselves.

Today, young Thai generations don’t build traditional homes anymore, even though they are suitable for the local environment. There are many issues such as technology development; new types of materials such as cement, steel, and glass; educational improvements in architecture and engineering; many lifestyle changes, modern western housing designs; that now influence people in their ideas about housing design—and the sex issue is a big one. Thai people today believe that—no matter how hard it is to deal with environmental issues, they don’t have to worry about them, because their well-educated architects & engineers’ knowledge can solve these problems. But, the sex issue is something resident won’t ask for help with, and therefore, they must find way to solve these problems quietly. The traditional homes have now become antiques, while other types of buildings, (which aren’t used for sexual activity), such as temples still maintain the traditional Thai design. Sex was an unspoken problem which ended the traditional Thai housing design mysteriously, and without public discussion.

Another adolescent story I had heard from some of my friends (most were from Chinese families), that their grandmothers had passed away with cancer of the uterus; these families found out when it was too late. There were many Chinese people who had migrated and lived in Thailand for centuries. The Chinese are a conservative, strong culture, especially the elder generation of Chinese women. Upon reaching old age, many Chinese women contracted cancer. At first, they didn’t know that they had cancer but felt unusual, pains in their vagina. They didn’t see a doctor, but chose their own way to solve the sickness by drinking boiled Chinese herbal medicines, which couldn’t heal the cancer but only nurture their body to be stronger to handle the pain. Many of them had hid the pain from their family members for years, because they felt embarrassed to talk to anyone when something was wrong with their vaginas, and they were even more embarrassed to undress and have a doctor examine their vaginas - until their last days, when they collapsed—and their lives ended in mystery.

These are just two examples, where sex is always involved in many parts of our lives. Sex produces many good things for us such as love and marriage; but when a separation/divorce occurs due to sexual problems, couples don’t want to tell their family the real reason for their separate/divorce. Sex is the first chapter of many things and at the same time it can be the final chapter to many things.

A man went to see a doctor one day, as he had discovered a cut on his anal sphincter and was worried that it might be infection.

“How did this happen?” the male doctor asked.

“From anal sex,” the man answered.

“Oh, hold on, hold on. I don’t know anything about anal sex. Wait a minute,” the doctor said, then rushed out to call a female doctor in to discuss the matter with her.

It is time for society to change their opinion that sex is a dirty part of life to an important part; and therefore, it should be discussed publicly. Some students must be educated in college about sexual topics that involves their future careers,; doctors, nurses, etc. must learn more about (anal) sex, while architectural students must be taught that the real reason people need to have walled bedrooms is because of their need to be discrete during sexual activity. Accountants must know without asking their clients that some months household spending can’t be accurately calculated because some transactions involved with the sex industry (i.e. hiring an escort) won’t be reported…) When people aren’t comfortable talking openly about sex, professionals must not forget to solve their clients sex-related problems, so that as with the traditional Thai home, things will not disappear; mysteriously, and without public discussion.

© 2011, by ½ Lady Lisa. All Rights Reserved.