French minister admits Thai sex tourism

It seems that Frederic Mitterrand, Francois’s son and Sarkozy’s Minister of Culture, wrote a book a few years ago describing travels through the sex trade in Thailand:

This book was known of at the time he was named, but caused no scandal. Now that Mitterrand has been aggressively defending Roman Polanski, however, the book is back in the news and it seems to have lost its – how you say – saveur. Other politicians on the left and right are denouncing him as a pedophile. He has admitted to sex tourism but insisted that he consorted only with adults. Sarkozy is thus far standing by him.

To top it off, apparently the French government has just begun some talks with Thailand about curbing sex tourism.

Every article I read about this story has a new little gift in it: “Mr. Mitterrand said his book wasn’t a chronicle of sexual tourism … but rather the story of how he overcame a difficult passage in his life.”

Waitaminnit - the SLAVE market?

What is this about?

Paging Siam Sam, paging Siam Sam

You zilly Americain, you are, you you say, uptight about ze sex, no? In Frahnce, ezz no worry, no? Old enough to bleeds, old enough to breeds, no? Grass on ze field, ezz time to play football, yes? You Americain so puritan with you George Boosh and go after artistes and zose who like ze sexing.

First I’ve heard about any slave market in Thailand, sex or otherwise, and I’ve been here for donkey’s years. But there are always Westerners who just “know” they exist here and refuse to believe otherwise.

I know one reporter who specializes in covering the underage-sex sceen in Southeast Asia. He loathes the NGOs set up for this in Thailand, because as the situation has been cleared up so much here by the authorities, they have no more reason to exist, and yet they keep exaggerating the situation so they can keep raking in the donations. The pedos nowadays are largely to be found in Cambodia. Dunno when the French minister was here, but I doubt he encounteerd any sort of “slave” market.

It sounds like it would have been some years ago, and I assume “slave” was used for some sort of poetic shock value. Another article refers to him simply describing picking out companions in brothels.

Siam Sam, is it likely that when he says “young boys” he means “young boys”? Assuming that he’s talking about a time when there was a thriving sex trade in Thailand, would he have been more likely to encounter a 12-year-old claiming he’s 18, or a 30-year-old claiming he’s 16?

Ok. *That *was funny.

The sex trade is still thriving here, but the underage aspect has largely been cleaned up. It was not very long ago, though, when it would have been easy for him to find underage wares. Maybe 1990s. I think the crackdown began about the mid- to late 1990s.

I understand the term in French he used was garcon, which could conceivably mean a young adult? So its possible he could have not meant “boy” literally, as in underage? He claims now he didn’t mean it literally. But then, he IS French. :stuck_out_tongue:

“Garçon” can mean anything from 12 years old to a twenty-something (and is also the term used to call a waiter…). So… I imagine that he has some “plausible deniability” there.