In Response to ‘Monger Etiquette’ and Some Primitive Views
I was quite pleased when I began to read Korski’s comments on Caveman’s SE Asia Journal submissions. Some of Caveman’s comments aggravated me a bit when I first read them, and I was happy to see these issues addressed. I was, however, ultimately disappointed by Korski’s submission and that is why I am writing this piece. I feel that Caveman unintentionally supported the degradation of women in his submissions and unfairly criticised bargirls for practices that could reduce their chances of being abused by customers. Stick also made a comment that I wish to respond to.
Even though I am not adverse to the sexual act in itself, I agree with Korski’s comments on the Pattaya bar manager who likes to get girls to lick his arsehole. I was also pretty disgusted when reading Caveman’s comments about how the manager asked one of his workers to hold his cock while he went to the toilet. Unlike Caveman, I don’t believe that acceptance of these comments to staff members is the way things should be. <You're obviously unfamiliar with what passes for banter in a Thai office, let alone a bar full of prostitutes in Pattaya! – Stick> I am happy to consider myself PC if that means that I avoid degrading people. It is hard to make an accurate judgement on a person’s character from a brief mention in a submission, but I don’t think that the bar manager wants a girl to lick his arsehole simply for the physical pleasure it may provide. That he openly requested prostitutes who are willing to perform an act that many women would find degrading and then bragged about it suggests to me that he enjoys exerting power over women and humiliating them.
In The Human Zoo, Desmond Morris wrote about what he called ‘status sex’. Morris’s arguments regarding ‘status sex’ in relation to prostitution are quite interesting and probably apply to the bar manager. According to Morris, the customer with an inferiority complex will enjoy the feeling of power over the prostitute by demanding her absolute submission. This power trip might even be the whole point of visiting a prostitute. He might get her to perform degrading sex acts that she would probably rather avoid so that he can increase his feelings of power over her. I also interpreted the bar manager’s comments to his worker as an extension of this desire for power and that he was getting an ego boost by demonstrating his dominance in front of some other males. I agree that the restrictions on what men can and can’t do in the West are ridiculous, but I object to a manager exerting power over a worker to boost his ego. As I said before, I don’t know this bar manager and may be way off the mark, but the way he is presented in Caveman’s submissions led me to these conclusions. Stick also wrote in his comments that it doesn’t work when Western workplace principles are applied to a South-East Asian bar. However, the manager in question is Western and is not portrayed as someone who has modified his behaviour to suit Thailand or that he is trying to fit into Thai culture by adopting Thai work practices – he appears to be exploiting cultural differences for his own gratification. <He may be American, but trust me on this, he has very much adapted to the new environment – Stick> Perhaps we should also stop complaining about the police corruption, poor service and racism towards whites in Thailand since we can’t apply Western principles to Thailand?
To lead to my next contention I will summarise what Caveman wrote in SE Asia Journal 9.1:
A massage girl pestered Caveman for a special massage and inquired how much he would give as a tip. Caveman would prefer that the masseuse just go for it, especially if the man has an erection, and believes that the girl asks because of a mistaken idea that the customer might not tip if the tip is not discussed beforehand. <Which, it should be noted, happens to be the way it pretty much always used to be – Stick>
In another submission, Caveman also wrote that he prefers not to discuss the details with bargirls beforehand and may reject them for initiating this discussion. I can understand why Caveman does not like to discuss financial matters or the anticipated sex acts with massage girls and bargirls beforehand. The go-with-the-flow approach can work well for many customers, particularly if the customer has no set expectations before the experience. I agree that this could be the most enjoyable way for the customer to enjoy the situation but disagree that the girl would be mistaken in thinking that the customer might not pay a tip if she does not ask for one beforehand.
Two years ago I was in a bar in Chiang Mai and chatted to an Australian retiree for a while. It was his first trip to Thailand and he had just made his way to Chiang Mai from China. He bought a lady drink and asked the bargirl if she would go back to his hotel. She told him that it was 400 baht for the bar-fine plus a 1000-baht tip. This old guy became angry and accused her of trying to rip him off. I explained to him that the price is quite reasonable, but he thought that I was in on a scam with the girl. He told me that he had sex with a masseuse the previous day and only gave her a fifty baht tip. I questioned him on this, and it turned out that the girl had not discussed payment with him and that he felt that fifty baht was a reasonable amount. Perhaps the Australian guy was lying, but I doubt it. I believe he would have refused to pay the bargirl had she not discussed money beforehand. If a girl has had an experience or two with guys like this or knows of girls who received no payment from customers, it is quite understandable that she would discuss a tip before doing the deed. I do agree with Caveman though that being pestered about it while having a massage is annoying. A single indication to the customer that the service is available should be enough until he shows that he is interested.
Bargirls who are leaving the premises with a customer are often taking a big risk. I will not provide any examples of this here, but I have heard some real horror stories about girls being abused when they refused to perform an act that some customers could consider part of “the deal”. One girl in Tilac recently said to me, “How do I know if the customer is good or not until we leave the bar?” I suppose that there is no way for the girl to know, but at least discussing customer expectations beforehand might give her some indication of whether or not she is suitable for the job. Asking customers about their expectations is also a professional approach in most industries to enable customer satisfaction and a fair deal for all involved. I just can’t figure out why some people think that prostitutes should not specify their prices and services like any other business would. Massage businesses, for example, specify services offered and prices but nobody seems to complain about that. I do think it is unfair to reject a girl for this when she might be just looking after her safety, but this is ultimately Caveman’s choice and does not mean that he is out to abuse anyone.
While I am enjoying reading Caveman’s journal and understand that he wants his mongering experiences to go a certain way that pleases him, there is also the other side to his viewpoints. Caveman is inadvertently criticising women for attempting to avoid being ripped off, bashed or raped. I hope that this is not something that Caveman intended or would want to do. <Caveman is very much at the generous end of the spectrum and no way would it ever enter his mind to allow a woman to suffer at the hands of a customer – Stick> I also don’t object to the sexual act of rimming at all – lovers should find their own aesthetics and it’s really nobody else’s business if it’s kept in the bedroom – but on this occasion it was not kept in the bedroom and appears to be an act that is performed to degrade and humiliate. In my opinion, this is not the way things should be.
This submission was published as the author made an effort to quickly put together a response to another submission which has since been removed. I regret to advise that due to the removal of that submission, no more submissions will be accepted on this issue.