The German Scene
The main point of this posting is to elaborate on something somebody recently said on one of your readers comments about so many Germans not traveling to Thailand because of the money, and that they can get a good time at home for similar costs.
I have been a looooong time lurker on this site, since pretty much when you started. My first trip to Bangkok was in 1998 but that was already after I had been ensconced in Angeles City and the Korea “villes” I visited.
Background: I was in the US Army and went to Korea in 1994. I was in a duty station which afforded itself to the ‘then-almost-defunct’ “Best Kept Secret” of Korea…namely hot bargirls with long / short times. I left active military service to work as a civilian and discovered the life that all the 'Nam vets knew about…that being the playgrounds of the Philippines and Thailand. As luck would have it, I wound up in a job which would have me based in Asia and traveling back to both of those places frequently.
The only reason I am including this background is to somewhat validate myself. My last single foray in Bangkok was in 2006 (and already I was taken aback at the 3000 baht asking for LT). Although I got to Pattaya frequently, I hadn’t been back in Bangkok until 2009, but that was with a local steady so no input on going rates, attitudes etc. Work changed and that brought me to Germany! I’d always thought that I’d get back to Thailand. Now I’m not so anxious…
I may be quite off the mark but based on recent reports I have seen on this site, I really have no desire to go back to Bangkok again. I too have discovered something in my new host country, the phenomenon known as FKK.
FKK is an abbreviation for Freikörperkultur- a term which literally translates into ‘Free Body Culture’- an umbrella term that nudist camps also fall into. They officially tout themselves as “Sauna and Wellness Clubs”.
Finding the places can be a challenge if you don’t have a GPS. They are often located in the industrial zone of a town. Some have huge signs advertising their presence, others not so much, and you almost think that you’ve made a mistake. Many of them have locked doors so you have to ring a buzzer at the entrance. When you come in you pay an entrance fee – the amount varies from place to place, but is usually around 50 Euros (as low as 30 but as high as 75). You will be given a locker key, one of those ‘wrap-around-your-waist-towels’ and slippers. No other articles of clothing are usually permitted – although if you don’t even want a towel, you can roam around completely in the buff. Some places do offer full robes for an extra fee though.
Check the place out a bit. Your entrance fee usually includes all you can eat from a buffet and non-alcoholic drinks (some include draft beer). Go use the sauna or steam room, take a dip in Jacuzzi, if the weather is nice sunbathe and relax outdoors (surrounded by a huge fence to keep out prying eyes). Larger establishments usually have a swimming pool, watch some of whatever playing in the erotic cinema, or spend a bit more money for a therapeutic massage. Not bad for 50 Euro!
But wait! You didn’t pay money to come into one of these just to have lunch, get a good steam bath and walk around half-naked with a bunch of other dudes, did you?
That’s where the girls come in. There are a bunch of girls in the club also! The girls are usually dressed only in high heels. Oh sure, some have stockings on and many do wear that 3-inch sash around their waist that’s supposed to be a skirt – but it’s about as useful at covering anything up as the ones you’ve seen in a Bangkok gogo. Technically the girls are guests also. The establishment screens them and they are sort of ‘independent contractors’ but they are not salaried. In fact, they too have to pay the entrance fee, an expense they expect to recoup upon money made later. How forward or not so forward is club dependent. Some will come up and introduce themselves whereas some clubs have a strict rule about girls not initiating contact. These can be even more interesting since the girls will be doing things to get your attention! See someone you like? Chat a bit… If she doesn’t live up to expectations, dismiss yourself and find another…no hard feelings…REALLY!!! (I emphasize that because I’d had heard the same comments made prior to my first Thai trip in 1998, but found that in reality you’d get mean looks across the room when you got cozy with someone else).
Each club has a basic price structure agreed upon by all ‘contractors’. Generally, a 30-minute session runs you 50 Euro. Extras for things like “going in the back door” and so forth. Many websites explain this. Often times the websites will be multilingual, but if they are not, Google Translate is a wonderful thing! The unwritten rule is that your “session” begins when you’ve begun something like deep kissing or caressing beyond playful flirting. Expect protection to be provided ala “Thai Soapy Massages”.
What about the girls? Well, prostitution is legal in Germany, and part of the girls’ entry fee is put towards that German tax code that keeps track of such things. Many girls come from Romania (very popular), Hungary, Turkey and Poland, with some from Spain, Italy, Belgium, Germany and even the odd Middle Eastern, Asian or North / South American (rare). What do the girls look like? Check them out yourself. The bigger places have obvious models on the splash page for advertising purposes, but I guarantee you all the girls you see in the ‘girls gallery’ are true representations of what’s available. To make things better, some places even update their website as the girls check in for work for the day so that you can see who is actually working at that particular time. I myself have used this feature to decide whether or not to go to a club on a certain day.
Many clubs center around Frankfurt or more north in Germany, but each major city will have their own variant.
Check out some of the places I’ve been to:
FKK Shark near Frankfurt- Darsheim
My current favorite place!!! It is a relatively new establishment, built out of an industrial warehouse, and you can tell. This aspect turns some people off, but I really love the open spaciousness on the interior and outdoors. First class line up of many girls (for some odd reason, their website doesn’t portray this though…). A bunch of little alcoves to hide in with your friend. What I really like, are the outdoor ‘rooms’ divided by hedgerows. Take your friend there and you have the experience of both being secluded and out in the open. In warm weather avoid the outdoor Indian TeePees, they act as a sauna.
FKK Oase– Frankfurt
My first FKK experience. Unfortunately it was in winter so I couldn’t sample the outdoors, also I was a bit inebriated. I came here on my house-hunting trip to Germany, when I had a 7 – 8 hour layover. Whilst outside the airport smoking a cigarette, I noticed a taxi cab with this FKK’s logo emblazoned all over it (I have since found that this is not uncommon). I said ‘take me there and arrange to pick me up’ which he did. Nice first experience, by one of the flagship Frankfurt FKK Sauna clubs.
FKK First – South of Manheim
What I would classify as a ‘medium’ sized place. By that I mean that even though the place is big, you still can’t get it out of your head that you are walking around somebody’s house…a very BIG house but a house nonetheless. Small outdoor area, decent pool setting, and some great saunas. Great food (an entry price not including food is an option here), but no booze at all, even if you wanted to pay for it.
FKK Palmas – Nuremburg
Decent medium-large place. This is one of the ones that you’re not sure if you’re in the right place when entering. Not a huge selection of girls, but a nice place.
The big kicker about them is that these places are obviously not for those easily intimidated. As I’ve said, you, the girls, and every other dude in there are walking around either minimally covered or in all your glory. Sometimes couples are consummating their ‘transactions’ in full view of all and sundry (and you can too if you are so inclined). But also what’s really cool is that everything is purely business and everyone seems to be on that playing field (I cannot count how many times I’ve seen some Farang get up in arms in both gogo bars and massage parlors – of all places – because their girl was going with some other dude). Sometimes I have been with a girl, taken a sauna break, relaxed a bit, been with another girl, then sat down to a casual buffet meal with the first girl (whom had had another client in that time also) and it’s perfectly cool. If you’re uncomfortable about approaching girls, simply head to the erotic cinema where girls tend to seek out unattached guys.
I am not giving away any secret here, in fact, the more customers that come to an establishment means more girls will work there. I would not recommend a trip to Germany solely to go FKK tripping- the same way that I would not recommend Thailand if you were going to do nothing but Nana and Soi Cowboy the whole time. But there are, I am told, tour agencies that specialize in FKK trips. I highly recommend a visit if either you want to tour Germany anyway, or if you are passing through and have a significant layover. Do your research first and have a great experience.
As the girlfriend experience becomes less common and the country becomes more expensive generally, I think Thailand's popularity as a naughty boys' destination will slowly – very slowly – wane. And when the girlfriend experience really does become a thing of the past, it will primarily be those guys who have a thing for Asian ladies who will venture here. Germany, and other countries no doubt, will become destinations for naughty boys.