Ladyboy Spotting Strategy

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Sticking with the ladyboy theme of the Mixed Nuts Prank post, I wanted to recount a level of paranoia that I carried with me when I first came to the Philippines. I was surprised at how many ladyboys that I encountered in everyday life here. We even had a few in the office. Definitely something I wasn’t used to back in Australia.

The paranoia would set in whenever I met a girl for the first time in a poorly lit venue. People are not always as they seem in the darkness and judgment can be hindered somewhat when you have a few too many drinks in you – as recounted in the Pub Crawl post.

In the times when I knew that I couldn’t trust my eyes, my first lot of criteria was height. If I was looking at a girl eye to eye my first thought was that she must be a ladyboy. This sounds very stupid now. I didn’t account for high heels in my drunken logic. But I was happy to err on the side of caution with this one.

After a few years of getting used to the surroundings, it became very easy to spot a ladyboy without a second thought. So I just wanted to run through the basic criteria that will prevent any newbies from making an unfortunate error in judgment.

If you think that it will never happen to you, then I will refer to the case of Lance Corporal Joseph Pemberton. He didn’t think it would happen to him either. His poor reaction to the surprise landed him in jail and a very expensive compensation lawsuit.

These are in order of effectiveness. Filipino men are not the most masculine on the planet and many of these features can be borderline. So do not look at any of these in isolation.


Most people focus on the physical attributes that could giveaway that something is secretly tucked away. In a country like the Philippines, I think that it is far easier to identify most just by the way they conduct themselves.

If you are in a bar and there is a group strutting their stuff through the venue, or overly flaunting their womanliness on the dance floor then that is a dead giveaway. Generally speaking, Filipinas do not put themselves out there like that. Even the outgoing ones will be comparatively reserved.

Anyone who is more aggressive or pushy towards you or other guys again will generally be a ladyboy – or a prostitute. It is rare for a Filipina to approach a guy they would like to talk to in this way. So if it seems too good to be true it probably is fellas. Reign it in.


It is not that hard to get an Adam’s Apple removed these days. So rather than looking for that old lump in the throat raise your gaze a bit higher to those cheekbones. A masculine facial structure will never go away no matter how many hormones you take or what shape your body is. If in doubt, look carefully at those facial features. You should be able to spot this from the other side of the room. So if you don’t notice this before its too late, it’s your own fault.

Collar Bones

Just as the face will not change easily, either will a male framed skeleton. Anyone trying to maintain a slender feminine shape will most likely struggle to hide the skeleton that is desperately trying to maintain the male form. Now Filipino men do not have the most masculine shape about them in most cases so there is room for error here. If you are in doubt check where the bones are, and you may avoid a surprising bone later on!


This one is especially fraught with danger. Some Filipino men just have very feminine voices. Over the phone, they are often mistaken. In person you should be able to pick up the difference in most cases. In a loud venue, after a few too many you may find it tough though.

This is by no means a full-proof checklist and I will claim no responsibility for anyone else missteps as a result of following this advice. I am probably over complicating things here though. Usually, the best thing you can do to be sure is to just ask. As mentioned in the first point, most ladyboys are not shy about the fact that they are ladyboys. They may be unaware that you are clueless about the reality of the situation.

If you do not want to ask then just remember the golden rule – if in doubt, go without. But if you gamble, and lose, take it like a man. Don’t be like Lance.

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