Readers' Submissions

Pay For Play

  • Written by Samui Lou
  • April 19th, 2016
  • 4 min read




Dear Stickman Readers

I’m writing this piece in response to “The Barfine Era Will End” by Charles which was about the state of pay for play situation in Thailand and around the world. I’ve written some recent subs about my visits to Thailand over the last few months and how I enjoyed the company of a beautiful freelancer who I met in a club. Maybe I can sum up this global industry using the famous Thai saying “same same but different” because the world’s oldest profession will go on as long as we are still living on this planet. It may change in how you meet a woman or where you find her but the act remains the same where a man pays for a woman’s sexual services. I’ve been fortunate to travel the world and it’s done differently in many countries but only in one country have I not been able find this service.

In Latin America, it’s similar to Asia where you can go to a bar and find ladies who will accompany you to your hotel for the evening or for short time for a fee. I remember going to strip clubs in Mexico City where it was not too dissimilar to gogos in Bangkok. In the States you have escort services or Asian massage parlors. In Asia you can find it in almost any country you visit like China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. In the Middle East only in Saudi Arabia I could not find this service neither will you find a bar or an uncovered lady but almost any club in Dubai there are working women from many different nationalities. It’s like going to a smorgasbord where you can meet ladies from Russia, Africa, Asia or the Middle East.

The point of this submission is that prostitution will not disappear in Thailand even if they close down Nana, Soi Cowboy or Patpong. It’s here to stay just like almost every other country in the world. I believe it’s different in Thailand because of the lack of Judea Christian guilt complexes. I’ve found women who have regular jobs and need to augment their meager salaries by free lancing over the weekend. This is something that I have not found in the West.

My second point is that most women who take up this vocation do it on their own volition which is especially true for Thais. I have talked to a senior Thailand embassy counselor in a Middle Eastern county where they have to deal with Thai women who travel to this country for solely one purpose and that’s sexual transactions. He’s mentioned that almost on a daily basis he has to handle situations where these women get caught without a visa or worse offenses. He has yet to meet one Thai lady who was human trafficked. I’ve met Thai ladies in the bars who came to the Middle Eastern countries as masseurs but they augment their salary by plying their trade at night in.

There has been a lot written about how Thai women become damaged when working in the bars. I’ve read stories about how these women drink too much, they take drugs or they gamble away their earnings. My question is; who is at fault, the man who is looking for a woman for sex or the woman who knowingly goes into this line of work? Where is the blame to be placed? Recently, France has made it a crime to use the services of a prostitute so they are putting the onus on the man which I think is totally wrong. I’ve read that woman in the trade would rather legalize it and even create unions which would be much more helpful to them.

In Thailand the woman are benefitting from technology and they aren’t as tied down to the bars. They have more choices on how they want to make an income by using their bodies. Either it’s with online sites or meeting a man in a bar but the point is they are not being used but instead they are making a deliberate choice on how they want to earn an income. These are not exploited women but they are more in the spirit of entrepreneurs who try to maximize their value. In Thailand I’ve never seen a pimp who takes a majority of their earnings as you may find in other countries.

To sum up my submission, in my belief prostitution will never disappear and the women would benefit if it was legalized or fairly accepted as it is found in Thailand. The woman who I have come into contact with are not exploited but they make a conscious decision to go into this line of work. I agree that women can become damaged when they work in a bar every night especially if they are drinking too much. None of the women who I have met are proud of what they do but they feel they have no choice. What’s interesting that years ago I’ve found in Thailand that a lot of the ladies had a child by a Thai man who was living with their mother and they supported them by going into the profession. Now a days it seems like these young ladies are caught up in the material world and this is the only way they can get the things they so desperately covet.