Stickman Readers' Submissions September 7th, 2003

Thaksin and Bikinis – A Trip Report

Well guys, I just got back from 18 days in Thailand. During my trip I see that Stick has posted a lot of material so I probably can't make too many new contributions. Basically, this is just a trip report and as usual it is personal.

Let me just start out by saying that I had a fabulous, unbelievable time. I fell 'in love' 26 times (some repeaters) and did not have a single bad experience. But boy oh boy have things changed in Thailand since my last trip 6 months ago. What it all comes down to is politics and the news is not good. Thaksin, the fellow who now runs Thailand has determined that the country does not need the income from the farang-sex industry. He is not wrong. The economics are on his side. In addition, there is a big international political summit being held in Thailand in October, and Thaksin is determined to present a squeaky clean image to the visitors. The result is that all girls, no exceptions; are required to wear bikinis and there are no sex shows of any kind. I don't know exactly how this was communicated to the bar owners, but the message was received with crystal clear reception by one and all. I was in approximately 60 bars in BKK, Chiang Mai, and Pattaya; and not one bar was violating the new rules. And not one girl was violating the rules. And the result for the bars and for the girls is an economic disaster. Bikinis are boring. The girls are bored because they can't display themselves sexually, the customers are bored because the girls are bored and boring to look at, and the bars are losing money. And the really odd part of this is that the bars are choked with girls. I never saw so many girls in my life in the BKK bars. But none of them are being barfined. Many of the bars I was in were empty or nearly empty, no customers. In two bars in Pattaya, when I walked in the girls on stage actually cheered and clapped their hands. Then they leaned down and smiled at me and shook my hands. I was the only customer. They had been dancing in an EMPTY room. On soi 7 and soi 8 in Pattaya almost every single bar had more girls than customers and at least 15 bars were just shut down. In Chiang Mai around the Tha Phae Gate-moat area there were at least 12 little bars. Only one was doing business. September is the rainy season and October is the big political summit. These bars and employees have to go through at least another two months of this. There will be fallout. Part of the fallout will be disappointed farangs who decide to go other places. In one sad sack bar in the Nana Plaza I actually caught myself wondering what the bar scene was like in Manilla. And I never want to see another bikini again as long as I live. The bars have all gone out and bought the girls new two piece outfits. I must have seen 600 girls in bikinis. Enough already. How do I get to Manilla?

He Clinic Bangkok

And the girls have changed. All this since six months ago when I was last there. For the first time I saw girls lighting up cigarettes and smoking in the bars. No good. What is next? Changing their tampons in front of me. Picking their noses on stage. And the girls are now much bigger and much taller. Many of them are big and lumpy and tall. Whatever happened to the small, petite, feminine women with the flat stomachs and the wasp waists and the smiling eyes and the smiling mouths. I met one of these feminine sexual wonders in a bar at the Nana. I barfined her IMMEDIATELY. . . ! What followed was the best sex of my LIFE. For two nights I had the best sex of my life–I have to go back 17 years to even think of a sexual encounter that was remotely competitive with this woman. But this used to be normal. Not any more. And I saw white women on the stages. What's with that. I found it completely off-putting. I do not want to see Caucasian women in bars. I don't care if they give me a roll of duct tape and tell me I can do anything I want–that is not what I traveled half-way around the world for. What in God's name is happening here? Why are these unattractive women getting jobs in the bars? Some of the bars were so bad in the female department that I actually considered taking a trip to one of the cities in Essan. There have to be some bars in Udon. No, this is not practical; but for me to come to Thailand and go into bars and see unhappy bored women in two piece bathing suits isn't practical either. Fortunately, none of this nonsense impacted on my sex life because I now am in a different arena regarding the sex scene. Except for the aforementioned girl and a tranny I picked up in the Obsessions bar, all my pick-ups were off the street. I just find it much much easier and faster and a lot less expensive. In Pattaya, freelancers start cruising the boardwalk at 7 am. On two occasions, I went out for an early morning donut and came back with a woman. What a country. What a happy man was I. So I don't really need the bars to make myself happy. I have sort of weaned myself off them for a number of reasons. The first reason I have changed venues is that the girls are now too smart-alecky. They have learned that some stupid first-timer or Japanese will pay them 4000 baht to dribble on their leg. Another reason is the barfines are now 600 baht. That exceeds my threshold. The girls usually just are not that good. With freelancers there is no barfine. Another reason is the bars are now so loud that you can not talk to the girls. I like girls. I like to talk to them. And I like to spend a little time finding out what I am dealing with before I make a commitment. You can not do that in most of the bars anymore because you can't hear what the other person is saying. On the beach, or the boulevard, or in the Nana parking lot you can actually have some sort of communication. And lastly, the music in many of the bars now is awful. It used to be that there were about six signature songs that all the bars played. They were the electrically exciting songs and sounds that instantly told you that you were back in a happy place. They were the right songs and sounds for the venues and the girls could dance to them. Now the stupid DJ's are playing music that the girls can't dance to and that doesn't communicate sex and happiness to me.

Thaksin is probably going to win this. He is not the run of the mill provincial with his hand in the cookie jar. He understands economics and the importance of borrowing power on a global scale. He will probably be elected again. Money is now starting to pour back into Thailand. On Sukhumvit Road where I stay, 55 building permits have been issued for new construction. It was so noisy around my hotel pool, that I had to wear ear plugs. If you doubt any of what I say, do this the next time you are vacationing in Bangkok. Go to the Bookazine or to Asia books and buy a copy of the Post and a copy of The Nation and all of the glossy magazines that report on the Thailand scene. Take them back to your hotel room and turn to the society pages in these newspapers and magazines. Look carefully at the faces of these rich and powerful and sometimes educated people. These are the people that run the country. None of them endorses the farang sex scene and none of them needs the financial run-off from the industry.

Well, there it is fellows. One man's experiences and opinions. I had the vacation of a lifetime–but the times they are a changing. Who wants to meet me in Manilla?

CBD bangkok

Stickman says:

You're so right, Dana. Tourism in Thailand has reached the point where the powers that be know that they can slowly cut the naughty nightlife industry catering to foreigners off and while there will be a minor trough in visitor numbers, within a year the numbers will return to "normal" and Thailand will have started along the road of successfully shedding its naughty nightlife image.

nana plaza