In-between a Hoss and an Up.2.U Place
This response was prompted by the articles written by Matt Hoss and Up.2.U (along with the comments provided by Mr. Stickman). While all three elements provide a view, I feel that the actual truth is somewhere between them.
Who is the "average" bar girl? From the conversations I have had, they are there for two main reasons. Firstly is the money (of course), but secondly is to find a foreign husband who can provide for their needs for the future. This is especially
true when you consider that Asian cultures believe that "love can be learned". The second reason applies more and more as the girl gets older. The question then arises as to WHY they chose the bar route. Again, I found two main reasons.
Firstly is a lack of formal education (commonly caused by poverty) so they are unable to get a job that will sustain themselves and their (sometimes extended) family. Secondly is their perceived value in Thai society. Older women, divorced/separated
women or women with children are worth much less to Thai men. Working in the bar decreases their value even further so they enter a vicious cycle that is almost impossible to break out of and remain "inside" the Thai culture.
Even though the "average" bar girl is uneducated, it does not mean she is stupid or even naive. She knows what she must do to make money (normally the primary reason for doing the job). She knows how she must act to entice the man to part with
the money. She can even work out the probabilities of how each customer will turn out (short time/long time/repeat customer). She also has her support system of "sisters" to help teach her and guide her and she is fully capable of understanding
the horrors that could happen and appreciate the best that customers can provide. Add into this formula, the cultural tradition of "serving" her man and the Thai lady is in an excellent position to provide an experience that men can
truly enjoy. Most of the time, it is just a job to her. She is just like most people in that she does the job expected. Some hate the job and try and get out. Some love the job and are truly happy.
Who is the "average" monger? If you are reading this, then it is probably you. You are probably male (although women do partake as well). You are probably not Brad Pitt (although there have been rumors). You do have some money (although you
are probably not a multi-millionaire). You are the average Joe from 18-80 years old, with a body that ranges from thin to obese, with varying hair color or no hair at all (sometimes by choice), and so on. All types make up the mongering population.
The only thing you DO have in common is a sense of adventure and a taste for the Asian region.
The "average" monger is there for one reason. He is there to find his lady for the duration and have his fun with her. Maybe the fun is good company, maybe it is someone to talk with, maybe it is a local guide. Most often it is sex of course.
Everything else is secondary. Will he fall in love? Absolutely, and probably at least once a day. Will he find that "special" one? Also very likely. The chances of finding a bar girl you click with are very good. Quite often it is her
attitude and profession helping things along, but there are also those times where you can find a genuinely good match and both be happy. It does help if you have good personal hygiene and have some decent dress sense, but there is a match for
Taking everything to the fundamental level, the girl is there to make money. The guy is there to have sex with an attractive girl. This happens, a lot! So the average bar girl and the average monger are satisfied (assuming normal business levels are maintained).
Happiness, of course, is another matter completely!
To Matt Hoss,
You seem to have a terribly low opinion of the girls that work in a bar. You should try talking to them and find out what type of person they REALLY are. You will certainly find the type you write about, but a good percentage of them are simple girls
making their way in life the best way they can in the situation they are in.
You also have a very limited view of the men that frequent this type of establishment. Try really opening your eyes and looking at them. You could even try talking to some of them as they are generally very sociable and friendly.
You seem to have a basic attitude of respect or acceptance towards the girls. I am in agreement with you on this.
However, I feel that you do have a certain inclination to "judge" the men more than you should. Why shouldn't the old, fat, balding man have his choice of company no matter who she is? If he wants a 20 year girl, and she is happy enough
to go with him, then live and let live. There is no real need to try and be that discrete about it. Any time you see a foreign man and a Thai girl walking together, the assumption is generally one of client and bar girl. I will admit that when
I see an old man with a younger lady I generally smile. But the smile is more one of "if you can, then go for it!".
You could not find any argument against what Matt was saying? With much respect, maybe you have become too jaded with the scene there. Maybe you can only see the bad and the good escapes your eyes. The bad is certainly present, but if the good was completely
missing then the "profession" would be a lot quieter than it is.
You spoke of Up.2.U being in the honeymoon period. I certainly see where you can get that impression. But I think (as I said above) that you yourself may have become so jaded that you can not find that honeymoon feeling yourself. I still get that honeymoon
feeling for the first week I am in Thailand. After that, I carefully pick and choose where I spend my time and who I spend it with. I know that if I lived in Thailand, I would want to stay well clear of the bar scene for the majority of the time.
The main focus of the discussions though was the suitability of bar girls for marriage. So I left this comment until last. ANY female and ANY male are suitable for marriage.
If the girl is of a mind to get married, then every encounter she has, she will be asking herself the question "is this the man?". The same will apply to the guy, except its possibly a slightly different question ("will she have sex any
time I like?" and "can she cook and clean?"). It doesn't matter what her profession is or how he looks. What matters is can you deal with each other on your own terms. Would I marry a bar girl? It is unlikely, but for some
it may be perfect. If she sees him as being able to takes care of her (and her family), he may be perfect for her also. I certainly wouldn't recommend a bar girl to someone who wasn't at least passing familiar with the scene and the
life. But the techniques employed by a bar girl to snare a man are generally the same things any other girl would do to ensnare the man she wanted. Is the man wrong to ignore 99.9 of the population and only look at bar girls? I think so, yes.
But he is also wrong to ignore ANY group of women, including the Western women (so often disparaged on these pages) and bar girls.
The "real gold-digging whores" are generally discovered before too much damage is done, and if not, then you were due to get caught by one anyway. It's life's way of saying wake up and look before you jump. The girls can generally
uncover the undesirable men as well. But again, mistakes can be made. So just take the time to open your eyes and see the world and the people around you. You can't find the diamonds unless you look. And if all you can see is dirt then you
need to look closer. This applies to the world in general, not just the bars of Thailand.
I would suggest that you too are still in the honeymoon stage, a stage that *tourists* might never get out of. And if you really enjoy partaking in the industry, then that is surely a good thing!
For those of us who live here year round, you have to understand that it is very different. When you say that I am jaded, I would respond that most long term expats hold a similar view to mine. I would suggest that we are perhaps being more "realistic".
Perhaps the bottom line here is if you want to enjoy the industry perpetually, you should not move to Thailand!