Stickman Readers' Submissions October 23rd, 2003

Photography Within Gogo Bars

Generally photos and gogo Bars do not mix!! I have heard various rumours of cameras being confiscated and the acting photographers being harshly escorted out!!

Short background: I was in BKK recently for 1 month on business and a bit of pleasure. I am 24 and am in good shape. (192 cm and 78 kg) I am no Brad Pitt and am reasonably plain looking. I import goods from Thailand to Australia. I am a very happy, level headed guy and know full well the dangers of excessive bar girl dealings.

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Armed with my Sony Digital camera, somehow I ended up in Soi Cowboy…curiosity killed me. Next thing I knew I was peeking into the various bars and checking out the talent. I finally decided on one. I sat down, then I was strongly encouraged to have a drink. It was not before too long that company joined me. We talked about this and that. I showed her a few pics of my home and business from my digital camera and she was somehow impressed. She then suggested to have a few pictures with her! Great I thought! I asked her 'are you sure it is ok for me to shoot pics in the venue'!? I was expecting to have my camera smashed and my ass dragged out of the bar if I took pics!!! But she said it would be ok! So flash flash flash the camera went on the highest resolution! This attracted more attention!…more girls were cueing up to have a photo with me or in groups with their friends and get into my camera!!! They would look at the pictures, readjust their hair and tell me more!…I could tell they were all gaining face from it!! Flash flash went the camera again!…The girls all were wearing very little and in the background of all pics you can clearly see shinny poles and girls working the poles!! I thought my goodness! This is gold!!!!

Being fascinated with the internal workings of the bar scene I decided to see if this was just a one off thing!…So off to Patpong I went! Final destination was one of the most popular GoGo bars in the area! I took a seat…and had a look around…my goodness I thought… not bad! Then 2 lovely ladies came up for a chat. We talked about this and that…I showed them a few pictures of my home and business. Then they suggested that I start taking pictures. The security personnel in this place were very big…I reconfirmed with these 2 girls that I was not going to get my ass thrown out on the street and my face turned to pulp!! They said it will be ok…So in true Ken Duncan style I fired up the camera again!!! Flash flash flash…This attracted more attention…next thing more girls were queuing up again to get into my camera!!!! Adjusting their hair and bikinis etc. All gaining face in the eyes of their friends!…so flash flash the camera went! Unbelievable!!! Gold Gold Gold I thought!

After an extended photography shoot in this GoGo bar…those 2 original girls made an offer!…I decided I would counter the offer ridiculously by saying any girl that goes with me must pay me 2000 baht each! Hence their net fee would be small…it was relatively early in the night and I thought no way would they take it!!!! But they did!! So off to a disco for dancing and later back to my apartment…My goodness…what can I say?!…This is Bangkok!!

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Lessons learned

1. Photography in gogos is possible. (My picture taking is verified by Stickman)
2. If you want photos you must 'click' very well with the girls
3. A genuine warm smile will increase your chances of photography
4. Unless she gives you the ok to photograph do not photograph!
5. The big NO CAMERA signs outside those bars do not always hold true
6. Gaining face makes the impossible possible!
7. Everything is negotiable in Thailand
8. Anything is possible!

Stickman says:

I was amazed at your photographs, some great shots there. You're so right when you say that one must be given permission to take shots first. Try and get the girls to suggest than by asking yourself.

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