When this article appeared in the Thai newspaper, I had a good laugh. First, let me clarify that this is really the headline and it was regarding one of the questions on the “Ordinary National Educational Test (Onet) for Health Education” test for Mathayom 6 (12-13 year old students!). Students were asked what they should do if they felt the need for sexual relief. The correct answer was to play football.
Now, some people don’t think of Sepak Takraw as a type of “football”, but why not. It is a ball, you kick it, and you try to score. The Takraw league even says that Sepak Takraw if “football evolved“. But don’t tell that to the Thai authorities, because I don’t think there is any sexual relief ON THIS FIELD!
I didn’t know much about Takraw until a trip to the village, where I witnessed men and boys playing this incredibly fast-paced game. I think of it as “volleyball played with a smaller ball and only the feet”.
Of course, the reason I liked it so much is because of the players. Thai men are known to be exceptionally thin, with pronounced abs, and nice feet. So maybe that is what the professor meant when he equated “sexual relief” and football!
I found Thailand culture to be quite intriguing. Paid sexual relief is available in thousands of bars but is illegal although accepted. Selling of sex toys like dildos or vibrators, is illegal, and sellers are pursued aggressively! It was such a different country to understand how one activity is acceptable while another was not.
But Thailand believes in an open sexuality lifestyle. Children know from 10 and younger, that they are gay, and begin acting gay. Transgenders or Kathoeys, as they are called in the country, work in every aspect of life. It is acceptable for straight guys to have sex with other guys (and remain being “straight”), as long as they weren’t the receiving partner.
Thailand – a unique culture; a unique country. And sepak Takraw fits in perfectly!