Want the GFE? Bring the BFE!
Over the past week-and-a-bit, we have seen a number of replies to Professor’s obviously thought-provoking piece on whether Stickman readers hate women. My personal feeling is that, as with other large populations, it is difficult to make valid generalisations that apply across the board. Sampling the submissions from readers over the years, I get the impression that, yes, there is a substantial proportion from angry, bitter men who really have no clue about how to engage with women, and blame them for their own inadequacies. Equally, though, there are lots of pieces from men who just seem to want to find a loving life partner, come to Thailand to find the girl of their dreams, but end up getting screwed over. These men certainly don’t seem to hate women. They are also a bit clueless about how to engage with women (or, at least, Thai women), but in a different way to the haters. So, my answer to the Prof would be “Some do, some don’t”. Judging from the animated response, it was definitely worth raising the issue.
However, my main purpose in writing this, my first submission, is to respond to another recent piece, Korski’s essay on the alleged decline of the GFE (“The Emotional Wasteland of Mongers and the Demise of the Girl Friend Experience”, 20/7/2012). Korski touches on issues that Professor also raised and it was really a combination of the two that prompted me to write, finally. Like Korski, I value the GFE (although I seem to remember that recently he wrote that he has never admitted to participating in P4P. Perhaps his interest in the issue is merely intellectual). And I am in agreement with him that many Western men who come to Thailand seeking paid sex bring with them a range of emotional or attitudinal problems; as much can be gleaned from trawling though the Thailand P4P forums, and sites like this one, or even just by watching drunken farang louts in and around the touristy bar areas.
Korski’s main contention, as I understand it, is that these men make up such a significant proportion of men seeking paid sex in LOS and the Philippines, that they have influenced the nature of the market for same. Specifically, their inability or unwillingness to engage emotionally with women leads them to seek only short time engagements with bargirls during their stay, and now the bargirls are adapting by changing their focus from LT and provision of GFE to a more clinical and lucrative multiple-ST-per-night strategy. GFE in Thailand is subsequently “dying”. Stick, in his comments, agrees: he says that the GFE in Bangkok “seems to be a thing of the past”.
My personal experience, however, is that GFE seems VERY widely available both in Bangkok and Pattaya and, in the Philippines (which Korski also discusses), in Manila and – on very limited experience – Angeles. If the GFE is actually widely-available, then Korski is providing an explanation for a phenomenon that is actually more imagined than real, and I think this is actually the case. In disagreements like this, it is worth taking the time to make sure both parties are talking about the same thing. In this case, it is possible that we mean different things by “GFE”, leading me to question why he talks about the demise of something that seems abundantly available to me. A clarification of the term is in order. For me, a GFE experience is when a female provider of paid sex acts as if she really likes (or even loves) her customer and acts like his girlfriend during their time together. Korski mentions a couple of ways in which the interaction can appear like that between lovers: “long cuddles, the frequent embraces, the kissing, the slow build up to making love, doing something other than just straightforward f**king without frills”, and “hours of lying wrapped in another person’s warmth, or touching and bumping into each other throughout the night.” No argument there, and the GFE might stretch to dating outside the room (dinner, movie, dancing), holding hands, affectionate phone calls, the exchange of small gifts, etc. I would add that money matters are often more low-key than in straightforward P4P as well; the girl might not openly ask for payment, and the customer might discreetly place money in her handbag rather than handing her cash, for example, and payment may be made sporadically rather than each morning or immediately following sex. I think Korski and I are pretty much on the same page on what we mean by “GFE”, except in one respect: Korski seems to think the GFE / non-GFE divide occurs at the same point as the LT / ST divide. However, sometimes the term “GFE” is used in the West re:ST encounters and girls will advertise that they provide a GFE, even for encounters as short as an hour. This is a minor point of difference, though. <I would contend that for many, the girlfriend experience means the customer and his hired girl spend a number of days together continuously – Stick>
As I say, I think the GFE is still widely available in Thailand and in the Philippines, as is LT. In fact, I have only ever had one request for LT knocked back (A Beach Road girl who I took to a ST hotel for 500B; Initially, it was she who suggested we extend to LT back at my hotel but, after I came around to the idea, she got an SMS from her “drunk sister who needed to be taken home.” My interpretation: she had received a more lucrative offer). Furthermore, I almost always get a GFE. Nearly every Thai girl or Filipina I have bar-fined has been LT, and has sought to hang around the next day and into the next night and beyond, or at least provided her phone number in the hope of another engagement. As well as GF sex (which might get into PSE territory if that’s where the mood take us), we spend the night entwined in each other’s arms, and go at it again in the morning. If I really like her and she seems keen to stay longer, I’ll ask her out for breakfast and we’ll usually spend the day hanging out or sleeping some more. There are exceptions, of course, but they are just that: exceptions. Some examples from my most recent trip:
* A Pattaya beer bar girl: Twelve nights over about a month. Spent almost the entire time together on the days / nights I engaged her, with her only making brief forays to her home to get changes of clothes. Pretty much became my “GF” and we keep in touch by phone. Visited her home, met some of her friends (a Thai couple who live in the same building). Yes, I gave her my home country telephone number. No, I don’t send her money, and won’t. Yes, I very much want to see her again. No, she is not “different”, but she is “same-same but different”. Definitely the best in bed of any Thai girl I have been with, by a long shot, and just about all of them have been firecrackers. Seriously, you can only imagine what this girl is like. Next trip I plan to visit the Devil’s Den,
just to see if those girls measure up to her.
* A Pattaya a gogo girl. One night. Young, pretty, a dancer in a popular a gogo (Ok, it was What’s Up?). Very GFE in the room. Looked after me when I became a little sick by going to the pharmacy for me. When I seemed better about midday, gave me her phone number and asked me to call if I needed to go to hospital, in which case she would come back and take me there. Would have hooked up with her again, but the lady from the last paragraph (who I’d already been with a couple of nights) almost monopolised my Pattaya visit after this. I have to concede I bar-fined her about 1 a.m., a time when LT is starting to look attractive to even the most mercenary BGs.
* A Pattaya soi 6 bar girl. One night, but what a night! We left her bar at closing time. It was raining. Our baht bus stopped part way home and everyone had to pile out. For some reason, none of the other passing baht buses would stop to pick us up. No idea why, we hadn’t been drinking or anything. We had quite a walk, which she managed with good humour despite the rain and the fact she was wearing heels. I kept apologising and trying to get a baht bus to stop but no go. She never stopped smiling though, and told me not to worry about it. Great sex, then we spent the night sleeping in each other’s arms and went at it again in the morning. She was another interlude in-between nights with my “GF” above, and I would have liked to see her again, but the “GF” was making a pretty compelling case to spend as many nights with her as possible.
* A Bangkok soi 22 beer bar lady: One night, very GF sex. It was hard to get her out of the room the next day. We woke about 1 p.m. and I was in a hurry to be somewhere. Forgot to get her number as I tried to bundle her out of the room and into the lift. She seemed a little disappointed.
* A Bangkok BJ bar girl: Two nights. We arranged to meet away from her place of work so I wouldn’t have to pay bar fine; She was so afraid her boss would hear about it and she’d be sacked, we spent two days and nights not venturing from my room. Not much to do but have sex, listen to music, order in food from room service. I think she appreciated that I didn’t ask her to blow me. Ok, I cracked late on the second day, but I tried to give her a bit of a break from that and we just had vaginal sex mainly. Oh, and I did something really nice for her a couple of times. I think she liked being on the receiving end for once.
* A Bangkok Soi Nana beer bar girl. Three nights. The night I met her we played some pool in her bar and later talked. She started sobbing at one point and said her Thai BF, who she claimed to love very much, had finished with her and moved to another part of Thailand because his family didn’t approve of her. My instincts were to make an excuse and leave but I thought why not just take her out for a bit, get her mind off things, but probably not ask her to the room? So we went out bar-hopping, first to NEP (Angelwitch and a few others), and then she said she wanted to go to the “Elvis Bar”. I’d never heard of this, so we jumped in a taxi and she gave directions. Turned out to be Country Road in Cowboy: She had seen an Elvis impersonator perform there once and really enjoyed it. No sign of Elvis on the night, though, but a decent covers band. I think she was a bit grateful to be cheered up and didn’t want to be alone, so of course we ended up back at the room. I guess the prospect of making some money might have played a part too, hehe.
* A Bangkok girl from outside Grace Hotel, soi 3. One night. Got her number but never quite got around to calling her again, though I intended to when I said I would. I try to keep promises, so I’ll give her a call next time I am in town.
Two ladies from a P. Burgos St. (Makati, Manila) bar who I went travelling with in Luzon. Six nights with one, three nights with both together. Truly a dynamic duo. GFE from two ladies at once is an experience not to be missed! (They were very close friends).
* A massage girl from P. Burgos St. Two nights. I don’t think she even bothered to give me the massage she was ostensibly in my room to provide. Stayed the night. She gave me her card and we planned to go out the next night for dinner. Had to meet her some distance from P. Burgos at the closest Mang Inasal so her pimp wouldn’t find out. Went to a Chinese place for dinner in Greenbelt, then she went to the church there to pray (love these good Catholic girls!). Later we temporarily parted ways at Mang Inasal again so I could go through the pretense of hiring her for a massage off P. Burgos again to keep her pimp unaware she had been out with me (without him getting a cut). As much as I enjoyed my time with her, the lure of one of the aforementioned dynamic duo proved too strong.
* An Angeles lady from a Fields Ave. bar. Two nights. Wanted to come to Manila with me but I knew I had the aforementioned dynamic duo awaiting me. Was a lot of fun to hang out with during the day as well.
I could go on. I should mention that most of these were 30+ years old. If you only want the 18-25 year old girls, YMMV.
I am not trotting out these examples to blow my own trumpet; I think the same treatment is widely available to just about any Western man travelling to Thailand / Philippines, and many if not most readers will have had similar experiences in the recent past – so why this talk of the demise of the GFE? Certainly, my “success” in this area is not down to my looks or to money; I am an average-looking late-forties farang, and I don’t pay exorbitant amounts (typically 1000B – 1500B for LT, plus bar-fine).
Where Korski’s claim about the demise of GFE is more likely to be true is with the sexy young starlets of the popular a gogos, particularly early in the evening, and particularly during high season when there are plenty of punters about. Under these circumstances the prettiest girls really do stand a great chance of multiple STs for the night. And, yes, later on they might want to go home to their Thai husband / boyfriend, but again personal experience tells me that it’s not hard to get one of these girls to come home with you after midnight for a reasonable price (The starlets will usually try for 2000B LT [Pattaya] though – I tend to become more generous with a few drinks in me, so I’ve been known to pay this much on occasion). These comments also apply to the more gorgeous freelancers. But the beer bar girls, the solid 7-to-8s, the more mature ladies? No problem! GFE by the bucket load! And late at night or in low season, they’ll be even keener to find a punter to take them home for the night. Incidentally, I’ve yet to be knocked back by a massage girl when inviting her back to the room for LT.
So: do I disagree with Korski, or not? I think he is likely right about the emotional state of many men who come to Thailand to pay for sex, but as I have already said, I don’t think the GFE is anywhere near dead, or even in danger of dying. While I am sure many emotionally damaged men go to these destinations only wanting ST, as Korski says, the sheer number of accounts by men who go to Thailand looking for a marriage partner, or who take the same girl for the greater part of their vacation, or see the same girl on multiple trips speaks against his conclusion; after all, none of this can happen without the GFE. And let’s not forget all the dating sites and agencies that cater to men looking for more than ST. There seem to be a lot of men seeking GFE, and a lot of girls willing to provide it. GFE is, I say yet again, widely available if you want it. Perhaps the more limited conclusion that GFE from the young a gogo starlets in the major farang-oriented places like Nana, Cowboy, Pattaya’s Walking St., P. Burgos St. and Fields Ave. is dying has some validity.
I also think, as Stick pointed out in his comments on Korski’s article, that there are likely a number of reasons for some men preferring ST over LT / GFE, apart from being emotionally burnt-out. Here are a few: They have read the horror stories and wish to stay in the shallows, avoiding the deep water; They are on two-week vacation and just want to have fun shagging as many girls as they can, no strings attached; They are uncomfortable going to sleep next to a stranger in a country on the far side of the world from their own; They are accustomed to P4P in the West and assume it is the same in Thailand (Incidentally, I don’t agree with the common portrayal of P4P in the West as cold and clinical. My only experience of Western P4P is in Australia, and I find Aussie girls to be generally down-to-Earth, have a sense of humour, and friendly as long as you are exhibit the same qualities. It IS much more expensive than Thailand, of course, and this means most of us are limited to an hour now and then, rather than days or weeks at a time. Even so I find that repeat visits to the same lady tend to result in a shift toward GFE as time goes on. I see both Asian and farang ladies, but more the former as I am very physically attracted to Asian women in particular. I do accept that P4P in the US and UK / Europe might be a different kettle of fish, though, but I have no personal experience of these).
I have only been engaging in P4P in Asia for a couple of years, so I cannot say from personal experience whether the availability and quality of GFE has declined from, say, ten or twenty years ago. I can only say from personal experience how it seems today, both in Thailand and the Philippines. Maybe it was better in the past, but it’s still great now.
It might be that men now have to work a bit harder to get the GFE these days. This is another way in which there might be some truth in Korski’s claim: Perhaps the girls HAVE noticed, as he says, a lot of men wanting ST only simply on a transactional basis, and now tend to offer this unless a potential customer indicates that he wants a GFE.
So, how to get the GFE? I’m not qualified to say how to get the best results, since there are many readers with vastly more experience than me, but here is a little of what works for me. The slogan is the title of this piece – “If you want the GFE, bring the BFE!” The BFE is, of course, the “Boy Friend Experience”. Act like her boyfriend and, chances are, she will respond by acting like your girlfriend. Here goes :
1. Choosing the right girl is essential. I read so many times statements along the lines of “She was so beautiful dancing up on the stage, she wasn’t like the other girls. I just had to have her.” First off, choosing on the basis of physical appearance alone means you must take your chances of there being no chemistry and consequently a lacklustre effort in the sack. Second, don’t let her know that you “just have to have her”: You might as well hand over your testicles to her for safe-keeping right there and then, and you can expect to pay top dollar to boot. Third, it sends a signal to her that, to you, she is just a piece of meat for f**king, and that any girl with similar looks would do just as well. Obviously, you want a girl who you are physically strongly attracted to, but if there is chemistry between you, your night will go so much better. Sometimes the chemistry might not be there at the start; You can either bail and move on to the next girl, or you can have a stab at building some chemistry. I find the latter course often pays off, as the girl might simply be nervous or a bit shy. But my bottom line is: no chemistry, no bar-fine.
2. Treat her like she is your date, not a hooker you are paying for sex. This starts at her place of employment. Chat her up, buy her a drink or two, don’t grope or snog her, unless she initiates this herself. Even if she initiates physical contact, I might gently break it off (or not) – showing restraint and respect for traditional Thai ways already sets you apart from the great majority of punters. Remember, public nudity or near nudity is not part of Thai culture. Be sanuk: laugh, smile, joke around. Show an interest in her and ask questions about her family, likes, dislikes and so on. Talking about food, asking what she likes to eat, and telling her what Thai dishes you like, is rarely a bad idea. It’s all been said before many times.
Perhaps the most important thing is to let HER sell YOU on the bar fine – make her show you why you should bar fine her and not one of the thousands of other available girls. I almost never offer to bar fine. If she offers and I don’t want her, I try to let her save face by saying I am tired and want to sleep alone, I just came out for a few drinks. And maybe buy her another drink as compensation for her time. If I think I might want to bar fine her, I’ll usually say I want to talk to her more first. Even though she has made the offer, it’s a good idea to keep some control by choosing the moment of departure. I also try to keep the money question in the background, as discussions about how much you’ll be paying to rent her pussy tend to disrupt that fragile GFE mood. Once she has brought up the subject of bar fining, and when I’m ready to go, I simply make an offer: “1000B long time ok for you?” The offer isn’t always 1000B – that’s just an example – but I find my offer is usually accepted right away. After all, the bar fine was her idea, wasn’t it? I might be persuaded to move up a bit if she does want to haggle, but not too much, just enough to slow a bit of flexibility in the haggling process. In the morning I discreetly put the money in her strategically-placed handbag while she’s in the bathroom. Tips? Generally I don’t, unless there are special circumstances like I’ve been with her for several nights or, like the a gogo girl mentioned earlier, she took care when I was feeling sick.
You might want to take her out on an actual date before heading back to the room – food, bar-hopping, whatever. I like to then ask her if she would like to come back with me to my hotel. We both understand that that was the point of the bar fine, but it’s nice to be asked. I’ve never been told “no”. Sometimes, though, if it is already late when I bar fine her, it’s straight back to the room. Or almost – I’m never organised enough to have condoms, so a stop-off at 7/11 or Family Mart is a must. I always invite her to pick out snacks and drinks she might want to consume back in the room. How much she puts in the basket says a bit about her attitude, I think. I’ve never had a case of a girl going nuts with this – in my experience they are universally modest in their desires. By the way, don’t clam up between the bar and the room – keep the conversation going, keep being sanuk. But don’t make the conversation all about you, and especially don’t moan about any problems you might be experiencing. You see so many men taking girls back to their room, perhaps even walking ahead of them, and the look on the girl’s face just screams out “I’m soooooo bored but I need the money”. Is he gonna get a GFE? Not likely.
3. Continue to treat her like a date back in the room. I consider the girls to be guests in my temporary abode, so I do what I can to make them feel comfortable. After all, they have just come alone to a hotel room with a man they don’t know at all, a man who is much bigger and stronger than them. It’s a brave thing to do, but they must be a bit nervous. We all know that Thai girls love watching TV, right? I’ve read submissions here about how to avoid this, like hiding the aerial. Here’s a thought: Turn on the TV and hand her the remote control, so she can watch what she likes. It shows you are considerate of her, and gives her something to control in a situation where she doesn’t have a lot else. Watch her chosen show with her for a bit, and don’t try to get the towel off yet if she’s already been to the shower. I find that the girls quite quickly are ready for action and initiate sex themselves if given the chance to set the pace themselves. If they don’t, it’s ok to make your move, but take it slowly. She might be shy because she is ashamed about some aspect of her appearance (such as small breasts no longer supported by a push-up bra), so compliment her even if it means she picks you as pahk wan. There are very few girls who don’t enjoy being told they are suay. On the subject of showering, together is always nice but I don’t insist. If she showers first, it gives me a chance to discreetly get my stuff into the room safe. Doing this in front of her is fine as far as it goes, but it breaks the spell a bit: Would you put your stuff in the safe is she was REALLY your GF?
4. Make love to her like she is your GF. This doesn’t preclude going porn star, of course, but if you want GFE you probably need to stay in her comfort zone, at least until she gets used to you. The deep-throating and fisting can wait until round two, can it not? She might appreciate just being held for a while as you kiss / sniff kiss / whisper sweet nothings. Take your time during foreplay. Make it clear that your time together is about her pleasure as well as yours. Again, all this has been said many times. You are in the Land of Smiles: do you smile during sex? Or do you look rather grim like a male porn star? It sounds a bit weird, but you’ll be amazed at the response you get if you smile at a Thai girl during sex. A very broad generalisation, I know, but it always works for me. The idea to convey is: “You and I are playing this very sanuk game called boom-boom, and I am having a great time and I want you to as well”. Don’t overdo it though, you don’t want to look like an idiot. And it’s ok to have orgasm face when you come. If you’ve done your job right, she’ll have it too.
5. Take into account the Thai way of doing things, particularly with regard to refraining from over-the-top displays of public affection, and avoiding making her lose face in any way. If you’ve made your girl’s face fall off, you probably won’t be getting GFE any time soon. Even if she really IS your girlfriend. This is a topic that has been discussed a lot so I won’t go into details.
6. Don’t take any sh*t. If she gets a hint that you are stupid or weak, you’re going to have way more drama than you need. Make it clear that if she wants to play games, it’s out the door and you’ll be going back to her bar for a refund on the bar fine (Whether you get a refund or not is another question entirely but she isn’t going to want you asking, as it makes her look bad). It’s a very fine line to walk between being a decent guy and being a sap. That’s part of the challenge. A large part, if you ask me. Of course, if things have degenerated to this point it’s unlikely that you’re going to get a GFE out of this girl. With any luck you can at least get a decent shag or two out of her though.
Obviously, heaps more can be said, but I’ve rattled on enough already. Incidentally, this submission is based upon my recent personal experience of bar fining girls in various parts of Thailand and Philippines, and also paying Thai girls in other countries such as Australia and Singapore. Interviewing bar girls for information like this is all very well, but they are notorious for saying what they think men want to hear. If an older man surveys bar girls and asks them if they prefer younger or older men, he’ll hear that they like older men; if a young man asks, he’ll hear they like young men. Farang men will be told that farang men are what she likes, and I imagine even Indian men get told by the girls (the ones that will go with Indian men, at least) that they like Indian men. It’s a situation where being a player can give you a better insight than merely being a spectator. As I said earlier though, this is all just based on my personal experience and can’t be considered authoritative either..