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The amazing response to my last post was quite an eye-opener. Initially, my blog was just a way to share my general musings with friends and family back home after I moved to Thailand. I wasn’t bothered about page views, although I’d had some good critical feedback on some past pieces. Even so, the most views my site had had in a day previously was a little over 200. But my “10 ways expats can avoid being mistaken for tourists” post has now picked up more than 3,300 views!
Since I’d only posted it on my own Facebook page and sent an email to a few people I already knew, I was very pleasantly surprised by this. It was my own experience of something going “viral”, and while 3,300+ views is a pretty modest stat in modern internet terms, it was achieved through the branch of “shares” on Facebook, Twitter and the link being posted on various forums. While technology has changed a lot in recent years, the adage remains that the best kind of advertising is a recommendation, so for my work to be publicised by people I don’t know whatsoever is a nice seal of approval.
As I hadn’t had particularly big numbers before, I hadn’t looked much at the referrers, search engine terms, and so on, but when I got the huge spike in views, I had a look at the WordPress stats page to see how people were finding their way to the site. I had a few surprises and laughs at some of the search engine terms that had directed people here, but one word in particular stood out because it cropped up over and over again.
So many vaginas, in so many forms. In total, 1,087 people have so far found their way to this site by searching for various types of vaginas. Now, I know that the internet is largely powered by sex, or rather by men looking for and/or viewing it, but I was still quite taken aback that more than a thousand people would fall upon a non-sexual site by searching for a sexual term.
Admittedly, I have used the word, and tagged the word, here, but I did it ONCE! That sole mention and tag occurred in the post “Violent, forced abortions: Good. Smoking: Bad”, about an absurd example of Thai censorship. My mention of a vagina was entirely in context, and I never thought it would be the single most alluring word in my entire site. But then I guess I had underestimated the value of vaginas on the internet. (And yes, I know by writing about this, I will cynically generate more traffic!)
Anyway, aside from this little bit of SEO commentary, it was genuinely amusing to see some of the search terms that have brought people here. First, a selection of V-word examples:
“Asian vagina”. “Thai vaginas”. “Thailand vagina”. ”Vagina Thailand”. “Vagina Asian”. “Vagina Thai”. (So far, so obvious). “Vagina of elephant”. (It’s clear how that happened, but why are people looking for that?). “Elephants vagina”. “TV vagina” (Television vagina? Or a transvestite’s ? In which case, there would be no vagina! Or was this person looking for a woman dressed as a man, but nude? Erm…). “Vagina of teenagers”. “Teen’s vagina”. “Teens vagina”. “Vagina teenager”. “Vagina teen”. “Vaginas teenagers”. “Teenager vagina”. “Vagina teens”. ”Vagina of teens”. (Noticing a pattern yet?) “Vaginas de teens”. (Good to see the Elephant’s Leg steps outside the Anglosphere). “Asiatische vagina”. “USA vagina”. (Wrong continent!). “Black vagina”. “Smoking vagina”. (Is that a verb or an adjective?). “Abortion vagina”. (Really? Someone wants to see that?). ”Vagina TV”. (Now there’s an idea for pay-per-view!) “Vagina DIY”. (Wait… what? You mean, like, erecting shelves or knocking nails into walls with that thing?). ”DIY vagina”. (Oh, I see! You want to build your own? Are there kits you can buy for that?).
What I’m getting from all this is that a lot of people are searching for a lot of vagina (and not the Austin Powers character), and that provision of such is potentially very lucrative. Perhaps that explains why the biggest segment of tourist arrivals in Thailand are solo males. And there I was thinking they came to steep themselves in the grandeur of Thai architecture and geography without a nagging wife to distract them…
But that’s only touching on (fnarr fnarr!) one aspect of the online search for sex. While the humble vagina dominates my search referrals, there are plenty of other erotic terms which have brought people here, and some of them are pretty bizarre, too. For example:
“Prostitution in Thailand”. “Thailand prostitution”. “Prostitution Thailand”. (Inevitably). “Hua Hin sex tourism”. (Good to me more specific). “Pattaya prostitutes”. (Never!) “Thai sex”. “Sex Thai”. “Scrotums”. (That’s it. No specifics, just “scrotums”. Surely Wikipedia would be a better place to look than here?). “Pictures of scrotums”. (Must be a woman – surely a man wouldn’t need to search for that?) “Kiribati porn”. (I’m not sure that’s an especially thriving industry). “Thailand gays”. “Occult porn”. (The Elephant’s Leg, serving horny goths since 2008!). “Pregnant prostitution”. “Sex beer”. (The best kind of beer!). “Beer and sex”. “Sex devil”. “Calendar sex.” (For when the shop is out of condoms). “Philipina sex nude.” (Wrong country, but right idea. Always good to take your clothes off before sex). “Thai women nude.” “Thai girls nude.” “Thai model nude.” “Siamese twins nude.” (Thais haven’t been called Siamese for hundreds of years. Oh, wait, you mean… eww!). “Thai nude old working ladies.” (Do they mean old ladies doing a job of work, or senior citizens who are still on the game? Either way, someone wants to see them nude??). “Nude girl outside.” “Openair sex”. “Conjoined twins naked”. (Two for the price of one!). “Porn star.” “Hangover nude.” (Sometimes the two are combined, yes). “Broken penile bone pictures.” (I’ll let you in on a little secret… it’s not a bone). “Prostitution pornography USA”. (Again, wrong country). “Penile massage”. (Purely for the therepeutic benefits). “Leo Beer nude”. (I’ve heard of naked salads, but beer?). “Whisky sex”. (That’s often the chain of events). “Elephantiasis in penis”. (Is that the secret to those “gain 3 inches overnight” emails?). “Nude Indonesia Thailand and sex”. (Whole countries can get nekkid?). “Sexy Thai Japanese Chinese girl”. (What, no love for Cambodian Korean Timorese girls?). “Yingluck Shinawatra bikini”. (Not Samak Sundaravej bikini?). “Girls using vibrators”. “Elephant vibrator”. (Wait a minute… they make those??). “Smoking vibrator”. (Inanimate objects enjoy post-coital cigarettes too?).
While it is hardly a revelation that people search for sexual things on the internet, what has been illuminating is the sheer variety of bizarre and random word combinations, unexpected desires and quirky fetishes. But the weird and wonderful applies not only to carnal acts, as shown by the following wacky non-sexual search terms that have landed people on the Elephant’s Leg:
“Mutated babies”. (Obviously because of my Siriraj museum article, but worryingly, this is the second most common search term that has brought people to my site!). “Preserved babies”. “Scrotal elephantiasis”. (I pray whoever searched for that is not suffering from it themselves). “Disgusting diseases”. (Scrotal elephantiasis is nothing if not that). “Most disgusting diseases.” ( = whatever is afflicting the mind of the average internet user?). “Zone of silence mutated animals”. (Que?). “Stereotypical journalist.” (Yep, that’s me – pickled babies and elephant vibrators are so ordinary). “Investigative journalist”. (Please, nothing about “probes”). “What happens if one conjoined twin dies?” (The coroner gets to see them naked!). “Watch With Mother”. (Search for wholesome, old-fashioned family TV shows, get commentary on swollen testicles). “Mutated tiger”. “The nectar of Satan”. (Was somebody in a particularly foul anti-alcohol mood after a severe case of beer goggles the previous night?). “Why is smoking bad?” (How bad it is depends on which body part is doing it). “Fred West smiling”. (And such a lovely smile it was, too). “Rash in stomach fold that does not itch”. “Fried rice disease penis”. (What??). “Bad elephant”…
Flaunting its vagina, using a vibrator, and all manner of other sinful behaviour… Yes, that’s a very bad elephant!
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Thailand’s general election takes place this Sunday. As a non-citizen, I can’t vote. When the election was announced, I thought that was a shame, since for the first time in my life I have an interest in politics. Back home in Britain, I did vote, but was fairly apathetic about it.But as the election and its major players started to take shape, I started to think that even if I could vote, I would no longer be able to do so with conviction. That’s not because the campaigning has been so strong that it would be hard to pick which candidate would be best. Far from it. Now, it would be more a case of choosing the lesser evil.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the major contenders – with “con” being the operative syllable. (more…)