Readers' Submissions

American Dating And The Thai Nightlife – A Hi-So American Perspective

  • Written by Brandon
  • September 24th, 2011
  • 14 min read


I’ve been a lurker on Stickman’s site for three years; this is my first submission. I am a 30-year old successful professional living in Washington DC, and this is a post on the Thai nightlife specifically from the perspective of this demographic. My perception is that this is certainly a minority demographic on Stickman’s site, but still a large enough one to be worth addressing. I have recently returned from my first trip to Thailand; this is what I wish someone had told me before going.

American Dating

To put this in perspective, I need to give you some background on myself and on dating in the West. As you’ve no doubt heard, dating in the West has become much more difficult than it was historically, due to a confluence of technological, economic and cultural factors. I say this as a well-studied phenomenon that has been eloquently explained by articles like those found on the excellent heartiste blog. For myself, this means that despite being young, fit, white, successful, educated, and possessing a large friend network and excellent social skills, it is exceedingly difficult for me to date attractive women in the US. I am not alone. The pickup-artist industry, with its $20,000 attraction seminars that aim to improve chances with women, is dominated by men in a similar situation.

While I have had several long-term relationships with quite lovely American girls, as I have aged out of the college scene, I too have been forced to engage in a variety of strategies to combat the ever more competitive American dating market. I have invested considerable resources learning Game, which I highly recommend all men take the time to learn at least the basics of. I have, at times, used most of the top-10 dating sites in the US, and used them quite aggressively with a combination of cleverness, persistence, and Game-inspired mechanics. I do think that these strategies could be successful, but I have come to believe that the required investment is simply stupendous. I would suggest that nothing less than 20-40 hours / week sustained over 6-12 months would be necessary to show any real results. I know many men in my demographic who are making exactly this investment. However, my work and lifestyle choices make this difficult for me, and I also have been forced to question whether such an extraordinary investment with no guaranteed return is actually justified.

In frustration with the American scene, I started reading Stickman’s site three years ago. To read of a country where real relationships or at least a girlfriend experience with desirable women is so easily obtainable has been soothing to the soul in moments of frustration. Eventually, I decided that reading was insufficient and I needed to see it first hand.

The Thai Nightlife

As it was my first time in Thailand, I decided to sample the several forms of the Thai nightlife, for my own education and curiosity. We all look for different things in life, but I was seeking the elusive true girlfriend experience so promised by Thailand and so hard to find in the West. Cost was not an issue. Here is what I found.

Soi Cowboy / Sukhumvit Scene

This is the scene most written about on Stickman’s site. There are endless stories on the site of sagas with bar girls and detailed comparisons of the girlie bars on Soi Cowboy and Nana Plaza. Having read so much about it, I was excited to check out the scene myself.

However, I found that for me, it was impossible to enjoy Soi Cowboy, and I would contend that this would be similarly true for many men of my demographic. I certainly don’t begrudge anyone here something that brings them happiness, and if you love Soi Cowboy, by all means please continue to enjoy it.

But the fact is that Soi Cowboy – and the whole Sukhumvit area – is incredibly sleazy. It reeks of hard-core prostitution and desperation, and just being there made me feel as dirty as the place is physically. The experience of picking a bikini-clad girl out of a lineup (by her number!) is just degrading, and takes all the fun out of meeting a new person. Many site writers claim to have had a GFE with a bargirl, but they apparently have a different definition of this term, as no relationship of mine has ever started with the girl naked and grinding on a stage.

As for the girls themselves, it is true that there are some physically attractive girls, particularly at the higher end bars like Baccara and Tilac. The few with good bodies are hiding in a veritable sea of ugly and well-worn looking hookers, but with a strong stomach you can wade through it. They are, as I had heard, predominantly of the Isaan type – small and brown – depending on your taste you may or may not care about this.

But the biggest issue is that in my experience, even the young, nice looking, and unmarked girls are, in a word, crude. These are the kinds of girls who will use obscene language in public, they tend to dress slutty even when out of their bar, and they are simply unsuitable to take around to high-end Bangkok establishments. While some of them do speak English well, they generally make less than compelling conversation partners as their lives tend to be cut from the same mold and they don't seem to have the education or personality to engage with beyond simple topics. I am not surprised to hear that Stickman no longer has interest in going with these girls.

I will grant that the crudeness presumably does not apply to fresh-off-the-farm girls. However, those girls are also relatively hard to find and don’t speak English. Unless you speak Thai and are willing to spend the time to hunt for them, I cannot see how they would be a practical option.

I found this pattern to extend to all the spots on Sukhumvit, from nightclubs like Climax to daytime pickup spots like the Biergarten. If you like them, that’s great, but I don’t intend to return to the Suk – there is nothing there for me.

High-end massage parlors

In part out of sheer curiosity, I did venture out to the high-end parlors in the Ratchadapisek area. The big parlors like Poseidon do, as the internet promised, have some lookers on staff. As these parlors are oriented for Japanese and Thai customers, the expensive girls tend to have classic Thai looks – tall and pale. They are also a step up in behavior from Soi Cowboy.

Unfortunately, without much exposure to Americans, they also tend to not speak English. And because the interaction is so targeted around immediate sex, it is nearly impossible to build a meaningful connection in the short time you have paid for. Personally, I find sex without any context like this to be off-putting and unfulfilling.

If you are looking for quick, meaningless sex with beautiful women, Poseidon and its ilk are a good option. But that is just not my thing and I have no interest in trying this again.

Pick-up in the Siam area

I was also determined to at least try my luck with normal, non-working girls. I’ve read on the pickup-artist forums that the mall at Siam is the center of Thai day game, so I hit it up. I will say that if you want to see attractive girls in Thailand, get out of your Farang ghetto and go to Siam. It was worth the trip for the eye candy alone.

Dressed to the nines with my best peacocking gear, I spent a few hours cold-approaching Thai girls in the Siam area, from the BTS platform to the trendy clothing stores. To my slight embarrassment, I cannot claim any success from these efforts. I would say 50% of approaches are DOA because the girls don’t speak enough English. Of the remaining ones, the girls had a tendency to seem quite taken aback and even embarrassed that a foreign man was talking to them in public. The blow-outs in Thailand are in some ways harsher than in the US, and it is hard not to feel guilty about some of them given the girls’ reactions.

I will point out that I am hardly an expert pickup artist, and I would certainly believe that someone really good could make this work, especially if you speak Thai. But you should at least not assume that because this is Thailand that opening sets will be like shooting fish in a barrel.

High-end Freelancer Pickup Spots

This is where I finally found what I was looking for within Bangkok. On the advice of this and other sites, I frequented known freelancer spots like CM2 and Spasso’s – thanks Stickman for the awesome article on Spasso which originally opened my eyes to this option. I had some truly memorable experiences with girls I met at these places, and I highly recommend them to visitors from my demographic.

The girls I spent time with at these places were office girls who occasionally sleep with foreigners for extra cash. They have iPhones, cars, non-hooker friends, Facebook accounts and interesting lives of their own. They are university educated, from Bangkok (not a rice farm), and not only beautiful but classy, smart, and fun to talk with. For my part, I treated them as they deserved – generally involving many hours of hopping between Bangkok’s high-end clubs; drinking, dancing, flirting and talking for hours until we were comfortable with each other. I don’t get the sense this was always necessary to seal the deal, but I have little question that the experience was better for it.

While I’m under no illusions I was the first foreigner for any of these girls, there is definitely a distinct impression that they have way less mileage than the girls from the professional areas. This is, in my opinion, an attribute not to be undervalued – it is no secret that prostitution is the only industry in which market value is inversely correlated with experience.

I found a shortage of information online about exactly how these places work, so let me explain. At CM2, for example, I would estimate the breakdown at approximately 70/30 on the weekends – 70% of the people are just there to hang out, 30% are involved in freelancer pickup. It is not always easy to tell which is which, and that, to my mind, creates just enough challenge and subtlety to make the experience fun.

A few of the freelancers are blatant. CM2 is a known spot for eastern Europeans, and you will see blonde Ukranian-looking chicks standing at the small tables all alone, slowly sipping a drink and looking bored. As every guy knows, attractive young women do not go to clubs alone – they hunt in packs for protection – so solo women stick out. Sometimes you will see a small group of Thai women standing together in the back and just looking out of place, like they are not really out to have a good time – those are obvious freelancers. But beyond that, there are a lot of girls that fall into a gray area where you’re not sure what they’re up to. Like American Game, you’ll just have to take the emotional risk of approaching them and finding out.

I will point out that these pickups are only really viable on Friday or Saturday nights. During the week, you tend to lose the girls with real jobs and retain the pros, who have nothing else to do. A note on pricing – I generally paid these girls 10K baht discretely in the morning. I’m sure this is more than necessary, but I was optimizing for quality, not price and it is worth keeping in mind that an equivalent experience in the USA costs literally 30-50 times this. In my view, all the penny pinchers on this site could use some perspective.

Falling in Love

So, I did it. Despite reading three years of warnings on Stickman’s site not to and swearing to myself I wouldn’t, I was blindsided by this delightful creature. Be warned: it may happen to you.

I met her at a high-end Bangkok club. She is an occasional freelancer, and has gone with men for money before, but she works as a flight attendant and has never been a full-time escort – she refused to take any money from her time with me. I met her near the end of my trip and I killed all other plans to spend several days enjoying the city with her, going to museums, concerts, and other nice places.

Tall, pale, with a Western complexion, she looks like the girls on the Thai billboards and has worked as a model. She’s university educated, speaks fluent English, and is entirely classy and cultured. She’s also absolutely feminine, sweet, and affectionate. I have been fortunate to date many lovely American girls but I can say with confidence that she is head and shoulders above all of them. For whatever reason, she seems to be crazy about me.

She is the kind of girl who I would date in a heartbeat if she lived in the US. The distance is of course a huge issue, and I would ordinarily never think about dating someone so far away, but she is so amazing that I am finding myself seriously considering this. I would like to ask the advice from the Thailand experts on Stickman – is this crazy? I have heard the numerous warnings against dating bargirls, but this is a different situation and I would appreciate some targeted advice.

Summary

I hope that this was informative and did not ruffle too many feathers as my intention is not to stir up controversy for the sake of it – I am too busy to bother with that sort of game. If you have insightful things to add, I am happy to discuss by email. Recommendations and advice by insiders are appreciated.


Stickman's thoughts:

I thought this was an excellent summary of options in Bangkok and I loved your brutal honesty about Sukhumvit.

Paying 10,000 baht to a woman for an overnight liaison is over the odds. It's sort of like walking into McDonald's and paying $10 for a Big Mac when the actual price is $3. I am all for being generous but you won't do those guys who follows any favours as ladies' expectations soar!

Decent Thai women generally don't want to be approached by a stranger in a public place in Thailand hence your lack of success in Siam approaching ladies. Image and reputation are everything and when a decent Thai lady is approached by a stranger, EVERYONE will watch her reaction, especially if the guy is a foreigner! Even if the man is extremely handsome, well-dressed, charming and she found him highly desirable, giving her phone number to him or wandering off with him would mark her as easy to everyone who witnessed it – and that is a higher price than most Thai women are prepared to pay!

On to your situation with the "flight attendant". It is my experience that in higher end venues with "available ladies", there is a disproportionately high number of flight attendants. It's convenient for a woman working in such a venue to say that she is a flight attendant because they are typically attractive and speak good English. The big advantage for a woman working as a prostitute and claiming to be a flight attendant is that she can always say that she is flying and will be away for a few days which is a useful ruse that can help her juggle a number of men as it is plausible she will be away from time to time! Remember, image is everything in Thailand and no woman wants to be seen as having anything to do with prostitution – even if that is exactly what she does! Genuine flight attendants know there is a very real chance that air travellers venture to these venues. A passenger on her flight might see her and realise what she is doing. On top of this, flight attendants make a decent salary in Thailand, relatively. Of course she really could be a genuine flight attendant who found you attractive – and based on the description of yourself, that is a very real possibility.