Crossing the Line
So here I am. I have returned, but this time without company. Less than two days have passed since I have last been here. I came with a friend, a long-term Bangkok based expat, who had asked me if I was interested in seeing this place, and I didn’t hesitate with my answer.
Actually I had been toying with the idea of casually asking him for this address for some weeks already, but never really got around to doing it. You see, coming as much as this far has been quite a leap for me already, even though nothing much has even happened yet.
Indeed, I had been inside a Bangkok massage parlour before. Another Thailand based friend had introduced me to them just about a year earlier. By introduce I mean to say he convinced me to take a stroll with him along Rachadapisek to check out what’s on display in some of the notorious places that go by the names of Poseidon, Caesar’s, Mona Lisa and many others of which I had only seen the facades until then.
I wasn't new to Thailand. By then I had visited the country, on business as well as leisure, so many times that I have lost count. I guess it must have been well over twenty times by now. Yet for the longest time, even though I was single on most occasions, neither business nor leisure ever meant partaking in the naughty nightlife for me. I was genuinely happy seeing my friends, dining out, and obviously dating one or the other lovely local lasses who I usually got introduced to by a friend or some, and eventually even found myself in a year long relationship with what I then believed was a particularly charming girl. Fascinated by the quirks of Thai society and the culture in general I made an effort to study Thai language to a basic to intermediate degree, even learned how to read and write. When people jeered why I bothered studying what they usually called a “useless” foreign language I always stated that it was certainly more productive and challenging than the Sudoku puzzles they all seemed to be addicted to at that time. That usually shut them up.
Yet even though I didn’t actively partake in the naughty nightlife I gradually developed a substantial interest in it, considering it as much a part of the intriguing mystery that Thailand can be in a foreigner’s eyes as anything else. I read about it extensively, debated it, maybe even fantasized about it on occasions, but never really felt inclined to actively follow up my interest in this matter with the corresponding deeds. The idea of paying for sex seemed absurd as I never had a problem getting a date, neither at home nor during my time in Thailand. If anything it was my sometimes reserved ways and very particular nature that prevented me from getting all that was available.
Truth to be told, I also prided myself with the fact that as a male and unattached frequent visitor to Thailand I didn’t have that particular interest in common with the sometimes unsavoury specimens of manhood that more or less plastered roam the streets of central Bangkok with their seemingly insatiable appetite for more bargain pussy.
It felt important to me that I could respond with a clear conscience to the banter of my – at least as far as Asia in general and Thailand in particular – largely ignorant friends and co-workers back home that, no, I didn’t yield to the temptations of the naughty bars.
Last but not least, I simply thought I’d never want to be in a position of having to consider whether or not I should lie out of fear of possible repercussions when asked by someone I cared about if I had ever “paid for it”. Few people are open-minded and unbiased enough to relate to any of the following thoughts…
So what has changed? Why am I sitting here alone at this table in this by and large Thai only upscale massage parlour in a Bangkok neighbourhood that's a long taxi ride from Sukhumvit? Will I go through with what I have set my mind on doing for the past month or so now? If I do, will this satisfy my curiosity, complete my ‘education’?
Yes, I have set my mind on sleeping with a hooker for the first time in my life today. So what exactly are the reasons why I have brought myself this far?
One is that I want to push myself out of my own comfort zone and try something new, something I feel too many people are afraid of doing, resulting in mostly risk-free but also often very mundane and conformist lives. Another is that I want to explore if sleeping with a prostitute will give me less of a hangover than picking up a girl in a club, on the internet, or elsewhere. Straightforward and easy, no expectations attached, and no hurt feelings as a consequence. Just a service provided; an agreement between two consenting adults. Maybe that’s the nobler thing to do after all?
Perhaps I simply want to find out if I am capable of doing it, and how it makes me feel. Just a few years ago I could have never imagined myself even only walking into such an establishment. For all the reasons given I am not at all comfortable with the idea at this time either and almost have to push myself along, but I have set my mind to taking this step, if the right opportunity arises.
I got to this place mid-afternoon on a weekday, at around 3pm. I had been told this would be the best time to go, as by that time most of the girls stream in and get ready to work, with the additional benefit that with all likelihood they haven’t had a customer on this day yet.
The taxi driver had smirked at me knowingly when I told him to let me out at the corner of the soi, as I had instructed him to stop on the main road and not directly pull up into the spacious driveway. My vanity prevented me from acknowledging his antics. As he pulled away I walked across the parking lot to the main entrance. I was nervous, but not as much as I had expected. Yet…
Just like two days earlier I strode in and walked briskly to the section where my friend and I used to sit, just next to the area where the girls are sitting, and settled down at a table there.
So far there are very few girls around. Today they don’t wear the tight and uniform European soccer cup themed dresses either like they did last time around. I order a coconut shake and take out my compact notebook computer. To my surprise it picks up a wireless network. I concentrate on the screen most of the time, but occasionally casually scan and skim the girls. The ones who are there already don’t really tickle my fancy. They are not unpretty, but don’t exactly excite me much either. If I am going to do this today I really want to do it right. And doing it right mostly means getting the right girl, particularly in the looks department, or so I believe.
Then, one by one, more girls start showing up. It’s about 4:30 pm by now. I spot a looker and she just totally blows my mind. Her body is out of this world. She wears jeans and a tank top and looks just outrageously sexy and beautiful. She strides past. My pulse is racing. Given the chance I would definitely pick her, but it seems she’s not available at this time, or at least has already been selected. She vanishes into thin air.
I give myself until 5pm. If things haven’t progressed by then I will leave. But then they do, and everything goes incredibly quickly. She walks in, wais the other girls and the floor manager, and then sits on one of the high stools at the nearby bar, facing the customer area. She looks like a doll in her pretty white dress and high heels. She obviously wears make-up, but not too much of it. Her facial features are very delicate, her lips rather small and invitingly moist. She’s got long curly hair, something I find very attractive in Asian women.
It’s now or never. I beckon the mamasan and ask about her.
“This girl there, how about her?”
“She 5,200 baht”
Does she speak English?”
“Yes, speak English well! And…she very very good!”
I’m sold. The mamasan walks over to her and asks her to my table. She introduces herself as Kitty, and says she’s 24 years of age. I’m 30 by the way. I give her my middle name as I always do with perfect strangers, and tell here that I hail from Australia, which is a lie. <You're a wise guy doing this – Stick>
I invite her to order a drink, which she promptly does. Some casual chit chat follows. She appears to be nice enough. I know that if I wasn’t comfortable with her I could simply send her away, but having gotten this far I am determined to go through with this now in any case. After only five minutes she suggests to get going.
She takes me by my arm and leads me to the cashier where I hand over 5,200 baht. We then take an elevator to one of the upper floors. I’m thinking it looks just like any other large massage shop, with a bit of a dingy flair though. Lots of faded purple and pink everywhere.
‘I have been waiting for you for almost two hours’ I tell her in Thai to break the ice between us some more.
She laughs. We enter the massage room. It’s tidy and clean, yet makes a bit of a worn impression on me. There is a large bed in the center, a table with chairs and a bench next to it, a TV set, and the wet area comprising a large bathtub and a urinal in plain view.
We have to wait until one of the assistants brings the bathing supplies. Kitty sits me down on the bench and starts rubbing herself against me, making lewd noises and trying to look at me seductively. I am quite nervous now. This is different than the usual routine with a normal girl in a similar situation. In a way it doesn’t feel real to me. It’s a fantasy, but is hasn’t quite come to life yet. I run my hands over her very firm and shapely body. She hasn’t undressed yet, but I can already tell that as far as her body is concerned she’s a gift of the gods to manhood.
Her phone rings. It’s her older sister, she says, who works at the parlour too. I find it a bit rude that she answers the phone while being with me, but don’t object.
The assistant enters, drops a plastic basket with the bathing supplies, and then scurries out of the room again.
Kitty opens the tap in the tub and then returns to me at the bench. She continues with her act and eventually pulls down her dress to reveal her breasts. As far as her body goes my choice has definitely been a very good one. She’s a killer!
She hands me a towel and then leads me to the bathtub. The water is pretty hot, so we both slide in very slowly. With all the soap in it’s nice and bubbly now. She cleanses her mouth with some disinfectant and hands me a little cup with some too, which we both end up spitting on the floor after rinsing.
She then goes about giving me a complete rub, from top to bottom. It’s a nice feeling, but for some reason the whole experience doesn’t really live up to my expectations. It’s definitely very clinical. I can tell this girl has been doing this for quite some time. She’s a pro, and goes about her routine with much skill.
We stay in the tub for about fifteen minutes before getting out together, drying ourselves off, and then getting on to the bed. She asks if I want the TV on or off. I want it off.
What happens during the following thirty minutes doesn’t need much explaining. Lying on the bed together after round one taking some rest, Kitty continues trying to act sexy with me, touching herself and moaning, but to me that has quite a detrimental effect. It’s a real turn-off. Even though this girl is smoking hot physically, I still don’t find the whole situation very stimulating. The best sex happens in your head, and that’s definitely not true with this chick. It’s just too business like, not affectionate, not warm. Just a professional and soulless hooker-client affair really.
When being with a woman one of my greatest joys is to please her. I love to build up passion this way, inciting her to reciprocate, and in consequence experience real and mutual satisfaction. With Kitty I cannot do this. I am not even interested in going for a second round anymore. I ask if she knows massage, and she says yes. She performs poorly, but it’s still better than just waiting for the time to run out.
Shortly before 6:30 PM our session comes to a conclusion. I am actually looking forward to getting out of this place. At no point during my stay have I felt really comfortable. I rather feel like this really isn’t my ballgame, and I wonder if I will ever return to one of these places in the future. Right now my instincts definitely tell me that no, I will not. Something essential is simply missing here…
I tip Kitty 500 baht and then briskly walk out of the building, from where I catch a taxi at the main road. Heading back to my hotel on Sukhumvit I keep staring out of the window into the rain, mulling over the experience I have gone through during the past few hours. I don’t feel proud about what I have done, but even though the whole affair has been rather disappointing for me, I have no real regrets. The curiosity is gone. There is no particular itch left anymore either.
I’m thinking at least I know how it is now, and can consider this experience as part of my ongoing education. At the very least I feel like having been on a learning curve. And no doubt, it has taught me quite a lot about myself and how I tick. Before I set foot into the parlour I had feared that I might learn to enjoy what would follow too much for my own good, hooking me to the ease of it all and potentially spoiling me for real relationships. In a way I am relieved this hasn’t been the case.
With this experience, reality certainly didn’t live up to fantasy. What I had thought would be a unique experience that cannot easily be had in a normal relationship with a girlfriend/wife has not lived up to my expectations. It might have been unique, but I feel not in a way I would ever miss with a regular girlfriend if I didn’t get it with her, and anyway I probably could.
I have always felt that really good and fulfilling sex was a combination of physical compatibility, as well as and at least equally important, mental and even spiritual compatibility. With the last two of these three completely missing from the equation with this experience, from a holistic point of view it was just really a let-down and thus confirmed what I have felt all along. Never say never, but right now I seriously doubt I’ll P4P again in the future, or at least not in this fashion.
And for pretty much the same reason I have no real interest continuing to pick up girls for one night stands at various clubs in or out of Bangkok anymore either. Mostly there were too many expectations from the girls, built up hopes, hurt feelings, sex that’s usually mediocre at best, and a numb feeling within thereafter. To me it’s really not all it’s hyped up to be.
Just about a week later I got together with the friend who had first introduced me to that particular massage parlour and shared my thoughts on the experience, and the conclusions I have drawn from it. He didn’t express surprise about how I had felt about it all. He even suggested that according to his experience even frequent clients find that “emotionally satisfying” experiences were pretty much hit and miss, and had much to do with the experience of the girl, personal chemistry, and even your specific mood of the day. That often guys don’t emotionally enjoy the experience until they frequent the place regularly and even then only with certain girls. He supported my notion that even during paid sex chemistry needs to be there for emotional satisfaction, and that one would probably have to be emotionally ready and mentally prepared to simply enjoy the purely physical aspect of it all.
He referred to it as the “comfort period”, a time where the mental conflict of what you’re doing lessens and you get used to the idea of paying for sex. Once this happens then you become open to the possibility of experiencing chemistry for emotional satisfaction, or a different type of chemistry – based purely on physical attraction – for physical/sexual satisfaction.
But even if so, to me this conjures up images of a teenager who has one smoke after the other, and hating it, yet still forcing himself to go on until he finally comes to actually enjoy it…
Another friend who also has “experience” in this field quipped: “So many thoughts over just a bit of fun?”
I guess he’s got a point. After all, not being the religious type I don’t have to fear slowly roasting in eternal hellfire for what I have done. But still…
To this day I still frequent the naughty nightlife areas around Nana and Cowboy now on occasions, meeting with friends for a casual drink or two, but mostly for what’s got to be one of the most interesting settings for people-watching on the planet. I can’t put my finger down on it, but to me the bars sometimes also feel like the loneliest places on earth.
This struck a chord with me. To really enjoy the experiences in the bars – I don't barfine and I don't go to massage parlours at all – I find I need to drink quite a bit. If I a sober, I see it for what it is – and I quickly get the feeling I'd rather head home and read a book, get online or God forbid, watch TV. But with a bit of liquor in the system, one can enjoy it.
I bet many, many have had experiences similar to what you describe…