Walking Street is the Mecca for tourists who wish to sample the city’s wondrous night life and available Pattaya bar girls. It is also avoided for the most part by most of my expatriate friends who view most tourists as total idiots when it comes to the women here. The reason so many Pattaya expats view women seeking tourists with such disdain is the sad fact that the majority of them act as if they know it all, and fail to seek advice from the guys who live here, and even if given well meaning advice, ignore it. With the huge increase of tourists Pattaya has experienced in recent years, who wind up bar fining bar girls and go go dancers, the price for securing the services of so many of these available women has been increasing to such alarming levels that Pattaya seems destined to become a second Singapore or Los Angeles. Ultimately this is very bad for all concerned including the women who work in the bars and night clubs in this city and the fools who have caused the problem in the first place who will no longer be able to afford the girls. As for the girls, if most men can no longer pay for them, the majority of them will soon find themselves out of work.
Take the example last week of an American who accompanied an expat friend of mine to the Walking Street go go bars. I really don’t know this man at all although I just met him and got the story first hand. Perhaps he’s used to paying California prices for prostitutes of hundreds of dollars for just twenty minutes of sex. Perhaps he doesn’t pay California sex workers at all thinking that he cannot afford their services. I really don’t know, but this I do know. He went into one of the go go bars with his expat friend where he found a girl he wanted to have sex with. Straight off, either the girl or the go go bar establishment told him it would cost him 2,000 baht for short time ($60.00). And then since he already had a girlfriend or wife staying with him at his hotel, he needed a place to take the go go dancer. The nearby short time room cost him another 300 baht. Then there was the bar fine of 700 baht he had to pay the go go bar in order to have it allow the go go girl to leave the bar with him. So having his thirty minutes of short time wound up costing him a total of 3000 baht or $100 American dollars. But he was not quite finished yet, and neither was the girl for that matter. Feeling sorry for the girl for having to work in such miserable circumstances, he gave her a 1000 baht tip thus raising his cost to a total of $133.00.
His expat friend, another American, who just happens to live full time down the street from me probably warned him to go elsewhere to look for a girl. But this guy’s a tourist, and as I’ve mentioned before, tourists know so much more than we expats. Gene and I could have taken him to an entirely different area of Pattaya where he would have wound up paying between 500 and 800 baht to short time a girl and just 300 baht for a room with no bar fine whatsoever. His cost for short timing a girl would have been just $33.00. Chances are the girl would have been just as good looking, and I can virtually guarantee that she would have been much better in bed than the spoiled go go girl he had gone with instead.
Did I mention spoiled go-go girls? Yes, I most certainly did because most of you tourists are spoiling them to the point that most of us who live here and know better want absolutely nothing to do with them. First off, what the American who had just spoiled the go go girl didn’t realize is that once he had bar-fined her and turned her loose after having sex with her was now free to go find her second customer. She might have returned to the go go bar looking for her second bar fine of the night, or now free to go wherever she pleased she might have gone to Lucifer’s disco or Tony’s or Insomnia as a free lancer to go with any man willing to pay her asking price, a price that did not include a bar fine. I give you 80 percent odds she has a Thai boyfriend waiting for her at home, but whether she does or not you will notice that most go go girls have no interest in spending the entire night with a customer versus your typical beer bar girl whose goal is the opposite–that is to spend the entire night so that she can impress her customer to spend additional nights with her. With most go go dancers the name of the game is constant turnover rather than impressing a man so much that he might pay her for a week, a month, or even years of companionship.
Do you think I’m joking? I live here so I know. I used to frequent a beer bar near my condo that just happened to have the best looking group of bar girls around. Time and time again after midnight or so, if the night was going slowly and the girls were not getting bar fined I’d watch a group of them leave the bar and stand together waiting for a baht taxi to take them down to Walking Street so they could go to Insomnia in search of customers.
When I first moved here to Pattaya 500 baht used to be the commonly accepted price for short time. With go go dancers, the price of such a short time would have been 500-1000 baht with an all night long time costing up to 1500 baht. Go to the same go go bars today and the girls are quoting anywhere from 2000 to 3000 baht short time, and sometimes even higher. Especially if their go go bar attracts mostly Japanese and Korean men for their customers. Japanese men in particular are widely known on Walking Street to pay stratospheric prices for sex.
Now I just don’t understand most of these Japanese guys I see down on Walking Street throwing their money at the girls. Sometimes they throw baht right at the girls dancing on the stage. Other times they purchase ping pong balls from the bar which they then throw at the girls on the stage who scramble all over stage, groveling on their hands and knees to gather up as many ping pong balls as they can which they then turn into the bar for cash. To me, there’s nothing more stupid than throwing money away at go go girls. And yet, so many Japanese customers seem to enjoy doing it.
Perhaps it’s a modern Asian version of the old Indian Potlatch ceremony that’s at play here. The Potlatch used to be a form of celebration practiced by Pacific Northwest Indians to demonstrate their wealth and status by giving away gifts to their peers who would then try to outdo their rivals by giving away even greater amounts of wealth. So when it comes to throwing away lots of money at the girls, ping pong balls or paying more for sex than the rest of us are used to paying, many Japanese just might be demonstrating, “I have more money than you, more power, or more status. In effect they are trying to tell the world, “I am a real man because I can afford to throw my money away.” Or perhaps they are getting a certain malicious pleasure out of seeing all these women humiliating themselves by groveling around on the floor for a few baht.
To be honest, I really don’t know, but I am going to Japan one week from now where I will be seeing a very old Japanese friend of mine. I will be asking him, What is it with so many of these Japanese guys wanting to throw their money away at women?” One thing for sure though is that many of these Japanese are spoiling things for a lot of men by driving the price for sex upwards to levels most men either won’t want to pay or who cannot afford it.
Now I really don’t have it in for the Japanese. They build great cars, They produce wonderful cameras. They are clean and orderly. And I am going all the way to Japan just to see a very good friend of mine, who happens to be Japanese, who I’ve not seen in years. I can go on and on about their wonderful attributes. But I absolutely fail to understand their ridiculous and stupid behavior when it comes to the go go bars here in Pattaya. We Westerners revel in getting value for our money. Even when it comes to women. And throwing ping pong balls at the girls simply doesn’t equate to anything approaching value. But in the end as stupid as so many of these Japanese men seem to be, I find most American and European tourists to be just as stupid by failing to seek the advice of those who know better or upon getting such advice, completely ignoring it.
One more bit of advice, however. Don’t think of Walking Street go go girls as being special. I remember a certain slender girl who used to dance at Heaven Above. A good friend of mine had the hots for her, and he wound up bar-fining her. But he went out with us to a couple more go go bars, and when he returned to Heaven Above, he found out that another man had bar-fined her. Upon giving the option of picking another girl by the club, he declined and was given his bar fine back. A couple of months later we found her working at a Soi Six Bar where the cost of a room upstairs was 300 baht and where he no doubt would have wound up paying her just 500 baht for the short time. Another Soi Six girl worked for a couple of weeks at Baccarat on Walking Street, a club that has a very heavy Asian customer base. At Baccarat her bar fine was 1000 baht where she probably would have asked another 2000 baht for short time. Not able to make nearly as much money at Baccarat as she had been making on Soi Six she soon returned to Soi Six where a man can have sex with her for 1000 baht total–700 baht for her and 300 for the room upstairs.
These are the same girls. They have the same brains, the same bodies, and the same hearts, but when they work at a Walking Street go go bar you get to spend a hundred American dollars for them, but when they work on Soi Six you pay just one third the price. That’s why so many of my expat friends are so contemptuous of the Walking Street go go bars.