We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to browse this repository, you give consent for essential cookies to be used. You can read more about our Privacy and Cookie Policy.

Durham e-Theses
You are in:

Travelling for Becoming a ‘Normal’ Gay Man: Liminality, Sexual fields, and Gay Taiwanese Men’s Sex Tourism to Bangkok

YANG, YO-HSIN (2019) Travelling for Becoming a ‘Normal’ Gay Man: Liminality, Sexual fields, and Gay Taiwanese Men’s Sex Tourism to Bangkok. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

PDF - Accepted Version


This thesis investigates gay Taiwanese men’s engagements in sex tourism in Bangkok. It bases on an one-year fieldwork conducted in Taiwan and Bangkok, involving an ethnography and follow-up interviews. I played multiple roles– researcher, peer, tour guide and a sexualised subject in the research process. The combination of methods and my different identities offers an intervention into methodological debates concerned with challenging the possibility of ‘the singular truth’ in research and the appropriateness of a researcher’s ‘sexual participation’. Thus, this has elicited an alternative rationale and praxis for studying sexual practices.

Through the theoretical lens of liminality sexual fields, this thesis argues that gay Taiwanese men intensively engage in different sexual practices in Bangkok not simply because they are switching to the ‘Bangkok mode’, a particular hypersexual state generated by the specific liminal time-space of traveling to this city. Also, their engagements in these sexual practices are due to their understanding of Bangkok as either an advantageous or democratic sexual field that enhances their sexual desirability. Thus, travelling to Bangkok becomes a synonym of having more opportunities of socio-sexual interactions with other gay men.

As fieldwork for this research shows, gay Taiwanese men engage in socio-sexual interactions for more than just sex, but also for accruing sexual capital in its multiple forms. This thesis argues that these gay men accrue sexual capital in order to enhance their (images of) sexual desirability and hence becoming a ‘normal’ gay man. The thesis concludes that Taiwanese gay men undertake sex tourism to escape from, submit to, and as a form of re-negotiation with the normalisations relating to sexual morality and sexual desirability of gay men in Taiwan.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:sex tourism, Asian gay tourism, prostitution, homonormativity, liminality, sexual capital, geographies of sexualities
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Geography, Department of
Thesis Date:2019
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:06 Jun 2019 12:36

Social bookmarking: del.icio.usConnoteaBibSonomyCiteULikeFacebookTwitter