This is an article from the Bangkok Post Website.
“Bangkok’s lady-toy bars revealed
They keep a low profile, but there are more than 10 clubs around the city where women can hire male escorts, ranging from posh to low-rent.
The sex-for-sale industry has been largely tolerated as part of the nightlife scene in Thailand since the 1960s when American servicemen made a beeline to Bangkok for “rest and recuperation”.
However, many are not aware that similar sex services are available for women – both local and foreign – in a handful of discreet clubs around the city.
They range from hi-so clubs employing handsome, well-educated, well-dressed male escorts, to low-rent establishments where strapping young go-go boys dance in bikini bottoms and sometimes expose themselves in an explicit manner which leaves little to the imagination.
Using four undercover researchers posing as customers, Spectrum recently visited four clubs to gain an insight into the world of male prostitutes and the female customers who appeared more than happy to pay for their company. It was an unnerving assignment for the female researchers as security at the clubs was strict and management in every establishment was suspicious of new customers. There was a strict “no photograph” policy which led to some delicate situations when security staff became agitated at attempts to take pictures.
The researchers were also intimidated by the waiters and security staff, who insisted that they continue ordering high-priced drinks and “bar fine” a boy. They were also badgered to stay and buy more drinks when they tried to leave.
Despite this, many of the women Spectrum spoke to said they enjoyed the experience and were happy to pay for the attention lavished on them by the young men, adding that if it was alright for their husbands to have minor wives, they should feel no guilt or shame.
Some of the escorts and managers Spectrum interviewed at the up-market club said their customers included powerful and wealthy Thai women, one a well-known singer, as well as many rich foreigners, with the majority from Japan.
There are more than 10 clubs around Bangkok where women can hire male escorts. However, some of these also service gay men, which is a growing trend. One such club is located in a narrow lane off Surawong Road near Patpong.
Regarded as a low-class venue, the club employs about 40menwhopose, go-go dance in bikinis and also perform in erotic shows.
The club consists of about 30 tables with a stage in the middle fitted out with colourful reflectors above. The lights are dimmed during sex shows and often it’s hard to talk above the din of blaring music.
The staff, including waiters, are pushy, constantly offeringmento sit with the clients so drinks can be ordered; 300 baht for an alcoholic beverage and 240 baht for a soft drink.
The club is popular with both Thai and Asian women, especially Japanese, who are the most frequent guests. Most of those Spectrum spoke to said they were married, but bored with their husbands who were usually tired after work and neglected them.
The men for hire at the club ranged in age from 16 to their late thirties, with most coming from the Northeast of Thailand. Many had tattoos and only a few could converse in English. They frequently exposed their genitals – some wearing a condom – whether on the stage or approaching female customers at a table.
Shortly after entering the club, Spectrum was approached by an apparently gay manager who introduced himself as Mr Kai. He tried to introduce the team to several men who came to the table exposing their genitals. To justify their visit and make an excuse for going there, the researchers said they had come to find out if it was possible to hire a man for their foreign friend who is very shy and didn’t want to visit the club.
”If she is shy and doesn’t want to come here then just let her call me and I will give her a description of the man – like his age, colour of his skin and size of his penis,” said Mr Kai. ”He can meet her anywhere she wants.”
The manager said European women like to go out with dark-skinned men, of whom there are plenty in the club, while Asianwomen prefer light-skinned men, whom he can also supply.
He then gave the researchers the club’s card name with his mobile number on the back.
”After Mr Kai left us, a number of men who had earlier posed on the stage making eye contact with us came to our table one by one, trying to get our attention by wearing only a condom-to our disgust and embarrassment,” one of the researchers said.
”Most of them said: ‘Do you want me? I’d like to go with you. I can do everything for you.’ They even tried to grab our hands. I gave them 100 baht each just to make them go away,” another researcher said. Some customers in the club were bar girls who came after finishing work in Patpong to pick up a man.
To take a man out, a 400 baht bar fee is paid to the club and 1,500 baht to the escort for ”short-time” sex.
The staff watch the customers closely and it is almost impossible to take a photo. When one researcher showed her mobile phone, pretending to send a text message, she was immediately approached by a waiter who said: ”No photos. Thank you.”
At the second club Spectrum visited on the same night we were accompanied by Miss Pu, who is a regular patron of such venues. The club has two floors; the first one for gay customers and the second for women. About 60menaged between 22 and 30 were working there. They were better looking and behaved than those at the first club. They also wore bikini bottoms but kept them on at all times, even while posing, dancing or during a shower show on the stage.
The manager, Mr Moo, greeted the researchers
quickly and was very talkative. He said the club w s owned by a government official and run by his wife. He claimed that the club was the best in Bangkok with celebrities, models, actresses and singers going there to pick up men.
”We also have here women clients from several Asian countries, like Singapore, Japan, Korea, and also some Europeans. Foreign women are coming here in greater numbers than Thais,” said Mr Moo.
The interior of the club was more tasteful than the first club, and the waiters were not pushy. Everyone was friendly and polite, making for a relaxed atmosphere.
A sign outside the club says in English: ”No photos.” The price for drinks was the same as at the first club and the music was again very loud. On the second floor women can watch the performers on the stage below. Several Asian women were sitting there when the researchers arrived, and more came after midnight.
One of our researchers managed to join the gay men downstairs. No one told her to leave provided she kept buying drinks.
”We told the manager the same story as to why we came there. He also offered to help our shy friend by recommending oneman- saying that he is very good and giving us his personal measurements. He also gave us the club’s card and his mobile number,” the researcher said.
”The men in this club looked better; fairer skin, nice haircuts and quite well educated. They didn’t expose themselves, only often walking past us and getting our attention by smiling and blowing kisses.
”One said that most of the men working there are students and otherwise unemployed. Allmenin the club sell sex, but they are more sophisticated about how they do it than those at the first club.
”The bar fee is 400 baht and the men will usually ask 2,000 baht for a short-time session, but the amount is negotiable.Somementold us that some of their colleagues have been doing so well that some foreign women are now looking after them, buying them clothes, paying their rent and giving them money. Severalmenhave been there formanyyears.”
Mr Moo said that all staff, including the waiters, must be good looking, smart and polite.Someperformers are also encouraged to wear light make-up. He seemed to know many details about his men, including their vital measurements. He said that most of the escorts would go out with both women and gay men.
One of the most popular and exclusive women’s only clubs is located on the 18th floor of an office tower on Asoke Road. The club has no name and they don’t advertise or give out name cards.
There’s no show, only a dance floor. The male escorts are handsome and well-groomed and wear a suit and tie. The place is packed every night after 2am, especially at weekends, when it closes about 5am.
The decorations and furnishing are luxurious. The taped music is also very loud and there is a large video screen. Again, taking photos is strictly prohibited and trying to do so will get you thrown out.
”Most of the customers are between 20 and 30, but someappeared to be close to 50,” a researcher said. ”We saw some young and beautiful women there being entertained by men. Only hi-so women go there because it is very expensive.
”The club has been open for about four years and is well known to many rich and famous women. Hosts entertain customers by dancing, playing games and talking. There’s no touching, but kissing is permitted.
”The security guards downstairs tell you where to park your car, how to get in, and if you are there for the first time, he will point out the elevator to the 18th floor. Then you have to walk up some steps before getting inside the actual club.
”We saw many customers arriving after 2am. There were Thai women and some from Japan, Korea and Singapore. All were well dressed and attractive, including some Thai models and show girls.”
If you are interested in a man you have to talk to the manager. Initially the cost is 600 baht for two drinks, and after that 300 baht a drink. The club deducts 40 baht from the drink and the rest goes to the escort. Some drinks costmorethan 1,000 baht each, making the club out of reach for most women.
The club employs about 40 men, some who claim to be university students. They entertain women by playing drinking games at the table, talking and dancing. However, they treat the customers like they are their girlfriends. There are no shows.
”The men we sat with didn’t openly offer sex. However, if you want to take a man for whatever purpose, the bar fine is 1,500 baht. As for sex, thewomanhas to discuss the price with the man. It has nothing to do with the club. They don’t want to know,” oneresearcher said.
”Mr Toy, the club’s manager, said some menwhoused to work therenowhavewomen looking after them who pay them salaries and cover their rent and other expenses”.
The last stop was a well-know women’s only club on Ratchadaphisek Road which is open until early in the morning. The furnishings and decorations are also luxurious. Drinks start at 250 baht each for customers and 300 baht for escorts.
As at the Asoke club, the men entertain women at the table or dance with them.
”The customers include some high-class prostitutes, models, actresses and show girls who are looking for a temporary boyfriend, all prepared to pay a lot of money for the privilege. Some women are ‘addicted’ to it,” said Mr Suporn, who said he was the public relations manager.
One woman customer said: ‘My husband has a minor wife, so why can’t I have a minor husband?”
Mr Suporn said that the men who apply to work there are carefully screened. ”He tried hard to get men to our table and said: ‘If you both are shy, I will arrange for you to pick up the guy outside’,” said a researcher.
”Obviously, this is the bottom line of every club – to have as many drinks as possible, pay the bar fine and take the men out. All the clubs we went to are making money, maybe that’s why they keep a low profile and don’t advertise.”
Miss Pu is the woman who guided Spectrum to the four clubs. She is a 38-year-old single businesswoman who has been taking men out from various clubs for the past three years.
How did you learn about these clubs?
I once heard that there was a club in Japan where handsome guys come to entertain women, but I didn’t know they are also in Thailand until I heard about it from a friend. I was interested and we went there together. At that time these places were exclusively for women, but now many things have changed and they allow gay men to enter as well. Maybe it is a marketing strategy, so they can make more money. However, I prefer women-only clubs. They are much better and more exclusive than those with gay men.
Why do you like to visit the clubs?
I don’t like it, I love it. Most of the men are good looking, friendly and entertaining. I feel special being with them because they take better care of me and they are much nicer than my previous and even my current boyfriend.
Do you like bars along Surawong Road?
I don’t, because they sell sex only. I don’t like to go there because some of the men are bisexual. The staff are also pushy.
Do you have a boyfriend?
I have a European boyfriend who comes to Thailand from time to time. When he is not here, I visit these clubs almost every night.
When did you visit your first club?
It was about three years ago when I worked in a lounge on Ratchadaphisek Road. My friend took me to a women-only club nearby after work. I was surprised that I could choose a guy to sit with me at the table while others were lining up at the table for us to choose. Some of them were very handsome. They knew how to take care of girls both inside the club and outside. From then on I went to some other places, including clubs along Surawong Road, but it was too embarrassing to see an explicit sex show with male organs displayed. I stopped going to such places.
Why don’t you pick up men somewhere else? Why do you want to pay?
I am too lazy to pick up guys, whether in discos or in pubs. I prefer to have someone who will take care of me, not the other way around.
What do you like in women-only clubs?
Drinking, dancing, talking – basically I like to have fun. Of course, it is expensive but it’s worthwhile. You can have real fun there.
Do you have a favourite man to entertain you?
Once I had one, but a rich woman took him away. He was a very nice person and I liked him very much.
Do the men you meet in clubs ever pester you?
This has never happened and that’s the way I like it.
Mr Ook is 24 years old and has been working in an exclusive club on Asoke Road for eight months. He is handsome, well spoken and educated. He used to sell clothes but business went down, so a friend invited him to work at the club, where he is now making good money.
What do you normally do as a host?
I entertain guests, it’s like playing a kid’s game. I dance with them, have a conversation and order drinks for both of us. I must take good care of the customer, pay a lot of attention to her and treat her like she is my girlfriend.
How much money can you make?
I am making good money from drinks and tips from female customers who ask me to keep them company. The club doesn’t pay me a salary, so I rely on drinks and tips. Recently, I had 15 drinks and made 4,500 baht after the club deducted 40 baht for each drink. Normally, I get six to seven drinks a night. I am always nice and polite to the customer and have never had a problem with women. When a customer offers me money for sex – which happens often, especially after she’s had a few drinks – I must be careful because it could get my club and myself in trouble. It could be a set-up.
Have you ever been sexually harassed by customers?
Not really, sometimes just touching legs. That’s all. Customers who come here are polite. No one has grabbed me yet, hugged or kissed me, at least not in the club.
What kind of customers come here?
Thai office women who are working nearby, models, movie stars, singers and also foreign women, mainly Asians from Singapore, Japan and Korea.
Who are these three attractive women sitting next to us?
They are all models and regular customers.
How do you entertain foreign customers?
I can’t speak English but this is not a problem as I use body language. We play some games on the table and who loses must pay for the next drink. I take them on the dance floor and make them happy. Actually, many women like to have a boy like that. It’s like a game.
If I want to take you out, what will you expect me to do with you? How much will it cost?
I will accompany you wherever you want to go, like to a disco, night club, shopping or to see a movie. As for the charge, it depends on you how much you give me.
One of my friends was very lucky because the woman was paying him a monthly salary and renting him an apartment. He’s already left the club.
Do you know how many clubs like this are in Bangkok? Which one is the most popular?
I don’t know exactly how many, but there are some on Ratchadaphisek Road. I think our club is the most popular, of course.
About the author
Writer: Maxmilian Wechsler
Position: Freelance writer”
Now the question is: Name clubs A, B, C and D!