Another Sex Altogether

In Morocco, traditionally, and in the Muslim desert cultures of the Sahara, the men and women eat separately. A visiting Western man would eat with the men, who never know what to do with visiting Western women. She’s an honored foreign guest, but she’s also a woman.

In Indonesia, my friend Rachel lived in a house with other girls, Indonesian and foreign students. Every guy in the neighborhood tried to get in their collective pants. Rachel could and once did allow this. The Indonesian girls would have been shunned by their mothers, and these same men.

In Thailand, there are no gay men. There are plenty of lady-boys, who are more or less accepted and known as kathoey. The kathoey are sometimes also transexual. The straight tourists are shocked by this; the gay tourists offend the locals. 

Our differences expose us.