G-Clubs – Useful Palliation for a Mid-life Crisis
Many men in their forties and fifties will experience a mid-life crisis. No matter how successful, wealthy or fortunate a man may be, he will start to feel a little trapped in his daily routine. He will begin to realize that time is indeed running out for him. Possibilities which seemed limitless, time which seemed inexhaustible, mortality which seemed so abstract at 25 or 35 are no longer so. He begins to be sensitive to the myriad minor irritations of his job. He wonders how the vivacious sweet young thing he married decades ago changed into an unsatisfied and complaining harridan. The adorable children whom he so much enjoyed playing with grown into moody supercilious teenagers. He begins to think that perhaps he needs to break free of these stifling bonds of domesticity and use the precious time left to him for one last desperate lunge for happiness. Under the influence of such feelings, many have smashed the entire fabric of their lives irretrievably – wives abandoned, children traumatized, financial security destroyed.
As a man of 49 summers, I too have been prey to such feelings. Fortunately, my wife is not only perceptive but extremely understanding and for this birthday sent me off to Bangkok alone for a long weekend. There, I made my maiden foray into the world of G-clubs and I feel that they may provide a useful way of alleviating mid-life crises without the attendant mayhem and general gnashing of teeth associated with other time-honoured methods such as buying a Porsche and running away with the karaoke hostess. Although I have been to Bangkok before and am somewhat familiar with the delights of Ratchada I had not ventured into any G-club before, being apprehensive of their reputation for prohibitive cost. (The gentle reader may wonder at my omission of Soi Cowboy or Nana but as I am of Oriental ethnicity my tastes in female companions differ considerably from my Caucasian friends.)
Having established which G-club was most accessible by the MRT from my modest hostelry, I made my way one late night to the XXX club located a stone's throw away from the Thai Cultural Centre MRT stop. I had taken somewhat more care with regards to my personal haberdashery but more relevantly had a thickish wad of baht in my wallet. The XXX club occupied a building of starkly modern design, its facade covered with shiny silver and gold tiles. At the ornate double-height doors I was greeted by a very personable young lady who having ascertained my novice status, explained the bill of fare and smoothly passed me on to the mamasan. Entering a large foyer, I was greeted by the sight of about twenty-five slim, fair and very pretty young ladies seated modestly (or as modestly as it possible while dressed in a bikini) on a long red velvet sofa which stretched along the entire wall. Slightly unnerved by this embarrassment of riches, I took a seat in the main entertainment area and calmed myself with a beer. Observing the protocol practiced for the benefit of a fellow customer seated next to me, I saw that the girls would sally forth and parade in a line in front of the gentleman. Whereupon after studied consideration he would make his choice ; the rest of the young ladies then returning desultorily to their seats in the foyer. Feeling such a procedure vaguely ungallant, I betook myself to the foyer instead (also the friendly Chinese-speaking waiter had helpfully advised me that the lighting was much better there) to make my choice.
The accompanying mamasan asked the young ladies to rise in order to help me choose. As is our wont as Orientals, I picked a tall, slim, fair beauty who radiated enthusiasm and who also claimed some acquaintance with the English (though I speak Mandarin, my Thai is rudimentary). Slipping her arm through mine, she walked slowly back with me to my sofa. While she was extremely pretty and friendly, I quickly discovered that she had somewhat overstated her proficiency in English. However, I ascertained that she was called Gif, was twenty-five and a first year student of English at a small private college. Surprising for someone tall and fair, she was from Isaan – I would have guessed Chiang Mai. Her family remained in their farming community up there while she stayed in Bangkok. Her questions to me were naturally predictable – where are you from etc.
The next five hours spent with my new friend Nong Gif were a delight. She snuggled up to me, occasionally looking up into my face with a sweet smile. Intermittently we would converse in broken English and fractured Thai. She smelled good and her skin had the wonderful smoothness and firmness of a young girl. I would justify my choice by telling her that she was the most beautiful girl there (Khun bpen pooying suai tee soot nai hawng) and she would respond by saying how "law" (handsome) I looked. Naturally, a certain suspension of disbelief is required in order to sustain the mood (much more on my part than hers, of course). The musical entertainment provided was enjoyable; there were three different shifts of singers accompanied by the house band. When we felt so disposed, Gif and I would get up and dance a little; her movements lithe and sinuous, mine intentionally minimal in order to avoid giving the inadvertent impression of an epileptic seizure. In fact, one of the singers was a delectable gamine – a Thai Audrey Hepburn dancing and singing with skill and energy. Holding Gif in my arms, swaying slowly to the music, there were moments when I felt transported back to my adolescence, nervously embracing a sweaty schoolgirl at a classmate's house party. Occasionally I would just lift Gif's chin up, look at her pretty face and kiss her gently.
As the night wore on, the atmosphere became more louche. Some of the other gentlemen appeared quite inebriated and much less inhibited. Having drunk but two beers, my faculties unclouded, I was content to hold Gif tightly and merely observe the surrounding Bacchanalia. Romance, not public degeneracy was what I intended my evening to be about. Inevitably, I finally had to take my leave of this sweet girl. The mamasan materialized noiselessly and I crossed her palm with silver (actually thousand baht notes). Gif embraced me one last time and kissed me gently. As I strolled off into the night, my last look was of her willowy figure giving me a respectful parting wai.
In view of my experience, may I firmly recommend the Bangkok G-club as a invigorating tonic for those afflicted with the dreaded mid-life crisis. For not so very much money, you can magically enter, for a few hours, into a condition where you are a MAN. Not a responsible father, not a filial son, not a dutiful husband, not a diligent colleague, not a loyal subordinate or a wise superior but just a man. A man spending a little time with a young beautiful charming young girl. There are few pleasures in life more natural or more pleasurable. For a night or three, you can lay aside the weighty responsibilities of hearth and home and feel light and free, youthful and debonair. In other to forestall the inevitable retorts of the coarse-minded, I am fully aware that there are many other places in Bangkok to achieve physical release more economically and expeditiously. To me, that is not the raison d'etre of the G-club. The G-club made me feel like a much younger, handsome and carefree version of what I know myself to be. It refreshed me and allowed me to return to my allotted role in life more cheerfully and willingly. It dissipated, at least for a while, my resentment at the many burdens and constraints that we men of middle age labour under each day. Why destroy the life you have just to recreate its facsimile with a different cast? Just make your way to the Bangkok G-club, spend less money than a divorce lawyer's hourly rate, spare everyone much heartache and leave, like me, with a big smile on your face. And when your shoulders droop and life seems a barren desert again, why just repeat the dose as needed!
Nice report! G clubs are definitely a acquired taste and as you allude to, they are considerably more pricey than what is found on Sukhumvit. With that said, they have a following amongst those looking for something a little more.