July 3, 2010

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".
NOT SO HI-SO: A lane off Surawong Road where Club A, the least up-market establishment visited by the researchers, is located. PHOTO: PORNPROM SATRABHAYA
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.

Newspaper section: Spectrum bangkok post



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