My Take on Thai Massage Parlours
I have been going to the Thai massage parlor next to Foodland in Sukhumvit soi 5 for 4 years or so (I make about 4-5 trips a year). Far be it for me to correct you on something Thailand. While I have made about 75 trips over the past 13 years (it helps to work for an airline) you are clearly the expert. With this said, I feel I have to challenge you on your terminology on massage parlors. You were talking about soapy or slip and slide or maybe most commonly body massage.
In my experience, most of the places referred to as (traditional) Thai massage are smaller, no fishbowl and frequently have older women (read aged 35 and up). Many of these places will offer you a "special massage" but many people (men and women) go for a straight traditional massage or foot or oil massage. A small rhetorical point, possibly, but I think a little more accurate.
I know of the place you're talking about and back when I 1first started coming to Thailand I came with a number of my Chinese -American friends so it was Rachada all the time. I went there alone one time and while the place and girl treated me fine, I got a definite what are you doing here white boy vibe from the clientele.
I haven't used a body massage parlor in a decade.
The place I go to now is next to Foodland. I got really tired of being pressure for "special massage" at a lot of the small so-called traditional massage venues which is usually where a hand job or at most a blow job is offered. When I go for a massage it's for 2 hours and it's real. I do a hard job (loading airplanes) and it really helps.
So maybe 4 years ago I go in to the place next to Foodland. It had no TV (really!), middle-aged women who were good at their job, was reasonably priced and none of this you want special massage nonsense! I have been going regularly for about a year and a half and have been very happy.
One day I go in and ask for a foot massage and they send over a teenage boy (who I later found out he was 17). At first I think WTF but it was only a foot massage so what the hell. It wasn't really that good but I've found it is hit or miss in real massage places.
A couple of months later I'm back in Thailand I go to the same place and by pure fluke I get the same kid. Whatever, well someone obviously had spent time with him because it was a great foot massage. I found out later his mother works there also. Good enough that I asked him if he did Thai massage to which he said yes.
So the next time I get a traditional massage. Whoa, it was great! <Please…stop there….we don't want to know what you got the time after that! – Stick>.
I told you I load airplanes and I've been doing it for decades so my body is pretty beat up. Unlike most teenage or young Thais this kid is fairly big. By that I mean he has strong arms heavier by maybe 25 lbs (muscle not fat) and 2 hours means 2 hours of hard work. The first day or 2 it's all he can do to break through the tightness in my body but after that I loosen up pretty well (which of course helps when I want to indulge in more fun activities).
I've found bar beer waitresses are way better than gogo girls or whatever, but it may take more time as a lot of them say they don't go with customers but what they really mean is I want to watch your behavior for a couple of days to see if you're a drunk loud mouth or a nice guy.
Back to the kid (Bird is his name), when I go into the parlor they don't even ask what I want or call someone they know – they always send him over. This place is straight and the few boys that work there seem to do the heavy work, foot massages etc. They used to tease him at first because I always asked for him but I tip very well for non-special massage and after that the teasing stopped. Also, in the 2½ years he has been working on me never once has he suggested or done anything sexual. The other thing is the clients in this place are a mix of men, women and couples.
Finally, unless someone asks they leave the curtain open just a bit to see that no funny business is going on here.
While I respect your choice in choosing a young lad to give you a rub down, I wonder how many would be comfortable with that. An old crone would be fine, but a geezer, no thanks. I did once get a massage from a ladyboy (who I was checking out for someone) but that put me well outside of my comfort zone. Never again!