Readers' Submissions

You Can’t go Back Again, the Point of No Return

  • Written by BKKSteve
  • March 29th, 2008
  • 10 min read



Most of us agree that if a bar girl spends a certain amount of time in the trade that she’ll find it near impossible to leave the past behind and move into a “normal” relationship such as marriage. She becomes “damaged” in ways which are easy to define, and in other ways that remain almost hidden unless closely examined. Other Thais can almost immediately pick out an active bar girl from the crowd no matter how hard she tries to hide it, and even decades after leaving the trade and while in a regular marriage.. other Thais can still tell she was once a bar girl. Why? Because the change / damage has been done. Mannerisms, speech, non-verbs, and the pattern of thought and values have all been affected to some degree. In some cases the damage is readily apparent, in other cases well masked. However, even in the best cases small underlying effects remain and allow others to discern her past. Are mongers any different?

How much time in the monger world does it take for a western man to become similarly damaged? What are the most common types of damage? Can Thai and western women alike detect the damage as easily as most Thai people can tell a woman once “worked bar” 30 years previously even while married and living in a foreign country half way around the world?

My personal experiences with women, and women in Thailand, reveal that women can almost instantly tell that I’ve never been a monger. To say this works in my favor would be a severe understatement. More than any sort of physical trait, habit, or even financial capability, this single piece of information opens more female hearts and minds than any other. Add to the mix that I don’t drink alcohol, smoke, and that I have a steady if modest income.. and all of a sudden even Tom Cruise comes in second place. Ask any Thai woman what her most severe dislikes are when it comes to men and she’ll start with mongering, and move into drinking and smoking well before she even mentions physical appearance or even financial status. This doesn’t mean you can be a dud, dress poorly, or stop taking showers. What it means is if you take decent care of yourself, can make them laugh, and have a personality they can enjoy.. then you move to the head of the line and will have more choices than you’ve ever imagined. What makes a stunningly beautiful “good girl” overlook a 20 year age difference? A growing bald spot? A weak bank account? All it takes is them being able to tell you’re not a monger, not a big drinker, and not a smoker. And that you’re fun.

I’ve met and know fairly well many fellow westerners who are or have been regular mongers. Many are highly educated, articulate, and very interesting personalities. I greatly enjoy spending time with them. However, I’m not looking at them as marriage material or partners at all. There is a huge difference between a drinking buddy and possible friend.. and a marriage. What I see and look for is vastly different than what a woman sees and looks for. Still, from careful and even casual observation I can see many of the signs women can see.

My personal view on mongering I’ve never heard stated before so let me throw it out there for the criticism which is sure to follow. I see the hiring of a prostitute as nothing more than an advanced form of masturbation. When you masturbate you set the terms, you know what’s going to happen, and even if you fantasize about another person.. that person is still being directed by your personal desires. Using a prostitute is like masturbating with an artificial vagina or other sex toy, and from what I hear often it’s not much better. You’re renting the “toy” to help you achieve climax. Nothing has changed, you set the terms, you know what’s going to happen, and you’re directing the show. I’m not saying masturbation and by association prostitution is wrong.. I’m only trying to say lets put it in perspective and call it what is.

In my opinion a far more advanced and satisfying sexual experience would be with a willing partner who holds you in as much desire as you hold them. Yes I know, someone is going to ask “what if I’m such a sad old tosser that I can’t find someone I physically desire.. who also desires me..?” I suppose this happens, and it’s probably a major motivation to engage the services of prostitutes, but I do believe most men discount themselves and give up when there’s far more they could do to become competitive and attract that desirable sexual partner.. thereby cheating themselves out of an even more satisfying experience.

When the woman desires you as much as you desire them, and when she’s on an equal footing in the relationship, then the terms are in flux, you never know what’s going to happen, and all of a sudden you have another director. NOTHING is a bigger turn on than knowing the person you’re with wants you even more than you want them. Sex goes from a single lonely act born from desperation, to a mutually satisfying and emotionally charged experience that serves its participants in a mentally healthy manner.

Women can smell desperation from 10 kilometers away. If you’re used to paying for sex it’s possible you’re giving off all the cues of desperation and not even realizing it. Women detest desperation. Confidence born from a woman desiring you will leech itself through your entire personality and you’ll subconsciously exude cues that women naturally find exciting and attractive. A lack of these cues mixed with cues of desperation might be a woman’s first clue to your mongering ways, and these personality traits will stick with you forever unless you do something to address them.

Other cues to mongering that women pick up on quickly are jokes and mindsets that disparage women. I was sitting at the bar of a five star hotel not long ago watching people interact and had to smile when a man with his date went on for a good few minutes about how modern women are all screwed up and nothing more than feminist shrews.. and when finally noticing the look of disgust on his date's face he tried the lame save of “but I think of you differently..” I wonder when the last time this man opened the door of a car for a woman, let her enter a room first, or actually listened when she talked? Most wouldn’t do this for their prostitute, and habits stick and women notice.

The list of cues and tells is longer than you can imagine as communication of all types is highly complex with the human animal. Even if you’re an expert in the field, you probably would be surprised as to the number of verbal and non-verbal cues and tells you exhibit even during the span of a short conversation. And even if you are a expert you’ll still miss a great many.

Men also tend to boast about their mongering experiences, from how good a certain girl was at oral sex, to her youth and taught physique. This becomes even worse if you can imagine if the man starts comparing his current date to his last trick. I’ve sat and observed men doing this wondering what the hell where they thinking? If a monger actually manages to get by the initial defenses and finds a woman who desires him and allows entry to the bedroom he’ll often blow it with his bedroom habits. As a monger is used to total control, directing the production, and being allowed to get away with the one-sided approach.. these habits are most sure to surface during the false confidence of sexual initiation. Here’s a hint: If the woman you just spent the night with isn’t flooding your mobile with positive SMSs, calls, or even sending flowers the day after.. then you probably didn’t impress her and she might have picked up on your mongering past.

Confidence. How many times have we read in the submissions about how a guy comes to Thailand, experiences the P4P scene, and then comes away with a newfound confidence concerning women? All of a sudden he’s gotten over his boyhood shyness, girls now like him, and all is great. Not likely. What’s really happened is that during the course of trading money for sex you’ve just experienced women who are as eager to please, as they were to take your money. You haven’t learned anything useful to a regular relationship and quite possible have only managed to delude yourself while picking up even more cues and tells which give you away to any woman paying attention.

All of this brings the big question: Like the bargirls who find Prince Charming and get married and go on to attempt a normal life, can a monger just quit his activities and walk away from the scene when he meets the “right girl?” Can he “turn off” years of habits, expectations and unrealistic roles.. and start being happy with just one girl in a monogamous relationship? More, can the woman you choose be happy in such a relationship knowing (and she will) that you were a monger?

Many guys have told me their wife doesn’t know they were a monger. Perhaps. I think it’s far more likely they know, but are willing to ignore it. Women often suffer from the delusion that they can be all things important to their man if they try hard enough, and if they are then the man won’t want anyone else. In truth it really doesn’t matter how hard the wife tries if the man has built up habits and expectations during years of mongering. A monger knows, especially in Thailand, scratching that itch is just a few thousand baht and 90 minutes of time away. The same guys who tell me their wives don’t know, are often out scratching that itch. Maybe it’s a matter of two people finding mutually acceptable mates and defining mutually acceptable if unspoken terms, and being willing to look the other way to a certain degree?

The only thing I know for sure, is that I personally can tell in almost all cases, shortly after meeting someone, if they’ve been involved for any length of time in the P4P scene either as a prostitute or as a John. As a non-monger it’s ridiculously easy for me to tell if someone is involved in the scene, as easy I suspect as those in the scene can pick me out as I wander clueless down Soi Cowboy on occasion. But I do wonder, if those men participating in the scene realize that they’re changing the way they’ll be perceived by future partners, perhaps forever? I also wonder if there’s a demand for a type of “monger re-education” center where mongers can go to get clean and learn to fit back into society without telling the world?

Until Next Time…

Stickman's thoughts:

I think the first thing we need to do here is define what you mean by a monger? If you simply mean someone who has indulged with Thailand's ladies of the night then I would disagree with most of what you say. However, if you were to define a monger as some who had made x trips to Thailand and slept with more than xxx girls then maybe the person might have changed.

I personally think this topic is rather complicated but in a very quick summary, I think the number of men a woman sleeps with and the way she met them says far more about her than the number of women and the ways they met that a man has slept with. It *is* a sexist world we live in!