Close Encounters in Bangkok Thailand

But What About Your Buddha?

By Hy Lyfe

A floating buddha in thailand. photo by Mike Smith.
A floating buddha in thailand. photo by Mike Smith.

I had all sorts of erotic fantasies about life in Thailand ever since I first heard Murray Head’s one-hit wonder, “One Night in Bangkok.” So I was thrilled when my agent informed me that he got me a gig as a piano entertainer at the piano bar at The Royal Paradise hotel in Phuket, Thailand.

I was ready for anything, everything. I flew into Bangkok, and settled into a hostel on Kho San road, figuring I’d spend a few days exploring this Sodom and Gomorra of South East Asia, before starting the gig in Phuket.

One day in Bangkok I get a real eye-opener. I was simply trying to explore Bangkok’s teeming ethnic Chinese and Indian neighborhoods, while keeping my eye out for a sneaker store, because my sandals were killing me. I found a handful of shoe stores, but no one had my sneaker size. My feet are fairly big. Thai people and Thai feet are more petite.

After walking for hours, the crowds, the steam room-like heat, the hordes of noisy motorbikes blowing so much noxious fumes into the air street-side pork bun vendors wore air-filter masks, my blistering feet – the whole scene got overwhelming. Then, an oasis appeared: the tranquil grounds of a Buddhist temple.

Approached by a Monk

I ventured in. A crippled old man beckons me for money. I give the poor soul 50 baht and I’m immediately approached by a young Buddhist Monk with a shaved head, typical orange robe, sandals, and a big round face. This skinny little Monk, unlike most of the dour, austere types who seem to avoid the eyes of falang” (Western) tourists, is smiling, and he speaks to me in passable English.

Another monk's hands in Thailand. Paul Shoul photo.
Another monk’s hands in Thailand. Paul Shoul photo.

“Where you from?” asks the holy one.

“New York City,” I reply, as slowly and clearly as a New Yorker possibly can.

“Oh, Sydney very nice,” he says. “I have very nice friend from Sydney, Australia.”

I got the feeling the Monk wasn’t understanding me at all. Then again, deciphering my rapid-fire New York accent is not a simple task “

“Would you like to talk with me for a while?” asked the Monk. “

“Sure!” I thought, what an opportunity! Here’s a chance to learn a bit about Thailand’s culture from a truly exalted guide, a Thai Buddhist Monk.

“Let’s sit,” he says, motioning to a shaded cement bench on the temple grounds, and I settle down. “What’s your name?” asks my auspicious host.

“Hy Lyfe, ” I say. “It’s not my real name. It used to be Lo Lyfe, but it was just too negative.

The Monk looks at me quizzically and tells me “you have very nice name.” He tells me his name which was an easy eight syllables long, so later for that.

I tell him “you speak English very well,” and he quivers with humbleness.

“Would you like to see the holy temple?” asks the robed one.

“Yes, that would be awesome!” I’m thinking “just one day in Bangkok, and I’ve attained my own personal guide to a holy inner sanctum of Buddhism. What a score!”

At the entrance to the temple, I remove my sandals, as that’s the custom when entering a Thai temple or home, and I basked in the glory of a spectacular, gold, reclining Buddha the size of a vintage Corvette. I marveled at the majesty of it all: the sacred temple, my holy escort, the surprise and wonder of travel and the gold Buddha smiling down at me. “Have a seat,” said my genial guide.

“After you.” My Monk sat on the floor in I guess what you would call the “lotus position.” I sat down with my legs twisted into a position resembling a half-eaten pretzel.

“Why you no sit like me?” asks the Monk.

He took the liberty of moving my legs into a more respectable mode and I’m thinking “what a find! Now he’s my exclusive personal trainer.” The Monk twisted my knees around, pushed down on my thighs, and straightened out my back. Then his holiness placed his hand on my forearm – and let his hand remain on my forearm – and I got a funny feeling about this Monk.

Perhaps he was monkeying around with my body a bit too much? “So much hair on your arms. Not like Thai man,” he tells me.

“Hmm,” I thought. “There’s a candid insight into Thai culture. I tell him “yeah, I’ve been thinking of getting electrolysis, so I wouldn’t look like a monkey when I wear a tank top.”

Monks at a rice paddy. Bill Reyland photo.
Monks at a rice paddy. Bill Reyland photo.

David Schultz?

The Monk laughed, but I was sure he wasn’t even hearing me, as he was so absorbed in the jungle of hair on my arms. Still thinking I was from New York “Sydney,” he inquires “do you know Australian man name David Schultz?”

I didn’t want to make the Monk lose face. That’s a cardinal rule for getting along with Thai people. It’s in all the guide books. So I said, “no, I don’t know David Schultz” and let the Monk continue to think I was from New York Sydney.

While we’re on it, never touch a Thai’s head, as Thai Buddhists believe the head is the holiest part of the body. Also never ever point your feet at a Thai, as the feet are the lowest part of your body.

I don’t think there’s any rule about letting a Thai touch your belly button, but I got a little uptight when the curious Monk took advantage of a missing button on my shirt and stuck his finger in my innie.”

I wondered if his finger in my belly button was the beginning of some sort of meditation ritual, like contemplating your navel. I sat there speechless, expecting the worst. Perhaps my passivity was a cue for the Monk to go further.

Guess what? He did! Next thing I know, his hand dive-bombed onto my crotch and my way-too-cordial escort grabbed me by the penis. I was too stunned to say anything. I simply looked at him with amazement, even though deep down inside, I must have known this was coming all along.

Glam-rock 70s

I dabbled in sexual experimentation when attempting to grow up in New York City, back in the disco-decadent, glam-rock 70’s. It was the era when Lou Reed came out with his “Transformer” album, and its “Take a Walk on the Wild Side” became a New York City anthem, the decade when Mick Jagger was rumored to have slept with David Bowie, and my all-time hero, John Lennon, supposedly had a fling with his gay producer, Brian Epstein.

Even though I believe a hand is a hand, a hand-job a hand-job etc., etc., these days I’m as homophobic as your average open-minded guy. I’ve been 100% heterosexual for what now seems like an eternity and crave women like the air I breathe.

Ooh, you have penis so big, said the Monk, grinning and eyes all aglow like a little devil. I guess flattery can get you almost anywhere, because I let the Monk stroke my manhood like it was a magic lantern and he was trying to make a genie appear. Weird thing is, my penis became hard and pointed straight to the heavens.

“Oh, so big,” he squealed. Can I see, please? Damn! First he touches my dick. Now he wants to see my dick. It finally starts to sink in: maybe this guy’s homosexual?

Western man have big dick. Thai man have little dick, he moaned. I began to feel sorry for him and wondered could this dick displaying just be part of an East-West cultural exchange? (I wrote to the American Embassy regarding this issue, but they still haven’t answered my letter or e-mail).

“Well, where do you want to see my dick, man? Isn’t this kind of crazy? We’re sitting right in front of your holy Buddha!”

He motioned to follow him to the extreme corner of the temple and whispered “nobody come here.”

Young monks by the river. Bill Reyland photo.
Young monks by the river. Bill Reyland photo.

Thai Massage

You sure? I sure. Okay. I opened my pants, out popped my penis and he immediately gives it a rigorous Thai massage. His technique was actually okay, and his little hand felt no different from a woman’s. This is so far-out, I thought. I’m probably the first of my friends to get jerked-off by a Monk in a Buddhist Temple.

So big, ooh, so good,” squealed the holy one. His holiness seemed so blissed-out. My “big” Western ding-a-ling seemed like a temple in itself, raised in reverence to this Buddhist temple I was being jerked around in.

I wondered how bad, or guilty, or perverted, or just plain wacko I would feel if I let this foreplay play on. Lord knows how I’d react if he wants to introduce me to the inner sanctum of a Thai mouth?

For the finale, my Monk simply goes ape. His hand jerks with royal fervor: harder, faster, harder, faster, a pull here, a twang there, and then a rapid-fire relentless jimmying that brings me to the very edge. Perhaps the sight of his bald head and sexy saffron robe was just too much for me, because I explode a big wad of all-American cum into his little South East Asian hand.

I anticipated a post-orgasm blues after the physical pleasure wore off and the reality of what occurred sunk in. So I tried to divorce myself from my feelings, simply put my penis back in my pants – where it belonged – and acted like nothing outrageous happened.

My host was equally nonchalant. With a casual twist of his wrist, he merely flicked my cum off his hand, then wiped the remains on his robe. His face showed not one hint of guilt. He glowed with satisfaction, stared into my eyes, and waited for me to say the first words.

I gazed at the massive gold Buddha smiling down at us in supreme serenity and blurted out, “but what about your Buddha?”

The Monk tells me “Oh, Buddha not watching!”

Note: I later learned there’s a multitude of phony Monks in Bangkok. These pretenders shave their heads bald and parade around in bogus Monk garb to get the freebies offered to Thai holy men… everything from food, drink, and bus rides to hard cash. This considered, and since I have the utmost respect and admiration for Thailand, Thai people and the Buddhist religion, and since I would loathe becoming something like The Salmon Rushdie of South East Asia – let’s assume the man I encountered was just aping a Monk.

Hy Lyfe has written numerous articles for “The Phuket Gazette,” during the three years he lived and performed in Thailand. He was also an award-winning advertising copywriter and worked for the ad agency J. Walter Thompson, MTV Networks, Sony Music and BMG Music. For the past 15 years he has been working as a musician and songwriter in New York City.

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