Year published :2011

Pages :242 (xv+227) pp.

Size :14x21 cm.

ISBN: 9786169005353

Thai Sex Talk: The Language of Sex and Sexuality in Thailand

by Mekong Press

Edited by Pimpawun Boonmongkon and Peter A. Jackson
Translated by Timo Ojanen

The Thai language has extraordinarily rich, varied, and multi-leveled vocabularies for sexual anatomy, sexual behaviors, sexual identities, and attitudes to sexuality. The authors of this in-depth study of twenty-one keywords deal directly and unflinchingly with the language of sex in Thailand in all its raw, sometimes humorous, and often derogatory immediacy. The registers of spoken Thai (phasa phut), the language of the marketplace (phasa talat), as well as official discourse (phasa ratchakan), literary usages (phasa khian), and technical and academic vocabularies (phasa wichakan) are all covered.

Much more than a vocabulary list, this book engages the language of sex and sexuality in Thailand from critical feminist and queer studies perspectives. The authors take the positions of women, men who love men, women who love women, and transgenders as standpoints from which to critique the dominant male-centered and hetero-normative structures of Thai sexual culture. Thai Sex Talk showcases the path-breaking research that a new generation of Thai scholars is conducting on the country’s sexual cultures, representing a direct challenge to the pathologizing, negative approaches that characterized much twentieth-century Thai research on sexuality.

About the editors

Pimpawun Boonmongkon is Associate Professor and Deputy Dean for Education and Research in the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities as well as the Director of the Center for Health Policy Studies at Mahidol University, Salaya Campus.

Peter A. Jackson is Professor of Thai Cultural Studies at the Australian National University and Editor in Chief of the Asian Studies Review.


  • Examines Thai sexual culture through the medium of language
  • Analyzes the semantics and usage of twenty-one keywords
  • Provides an extensive glossary of Thai terms


    Thailand | sexuality | sexual culture | queer studies | gender studies | sociolinguistics