Readers' Submissions

In Reply To “Bargirl Advice Request”



Black Pagoda Patpong Bangkok

Tough question! We can’t give advice what to do, only you know your situation. But here are some things to think about.

Firstly, congratulations! I think Thai girls are great. Yes, Western-Thai relationships are littered with false dawns, but there are some real gems here. I do know a number of Western guys who have tried to make girlfriends and wives from bargirls. To be honest, they have not gone well, in the long run.

But, in the cases I’ve seen, the girls have not been the scam artist of legends. Rather the problems arose from normal relationship pitfalls accentuated by cultural differences and a deep-rooted confusion between payment for company and genuine feelings.

So, what things should you think about to promote success?

First place to start is her background. The vast majority of bargirls come from rural Issan. They were knocked up young by the village boys, tried working in factories for a bit, money’s tight so give the child to mum and head to Pattaya to make some cash. An attractive, young girl can make 100,000 baht per month easily enough in the high season. Compare that with 14,000 – 18,000 from the factory. Once the money starts coming in and is sent home, her family get used to this cash too and they implicitly support her sex worker life. If she stops, they complain noisily. No moral support there.

So, if you are serious, you need to dig through her family situation. Does she have children, how many, how old, where are they. Is she sending money home, how much, who exactly is she supporting. What do her parents do. What about brothers and sisters, is she supporting them as well? If you take a girl out of the bar, all this becomes your problem, for life! Her loss of income is a gap you will need to fill, and will be expected to do so. You don’t need to stump up 100K baht per month, but there is an amount you need to agree with her and set as a budget. Don’t send big blocks of money for cars, motorbikes, houses, etc. It’s a nonsense. It’s difficult, because while your girl can be good and very genuine, her family, who are quite relaxed about their own daughter selling herself for sex, can be greedy and opportunistic. Regardless, all these family money issues your girl takes care of, is now on you to pick up! So, dig through this early on and discuss with your girl her expectations and your thoughts.

Next, you need to think about the difference between a customer and a boyfriend. They are not the same! It’s confusing for Westerners here, because in Asia it’s not binary, actually there is a blurry continuum. What I have observed is bargirls are happy to go along with a guy, often for years, if it’s comfortable. They think and say “he pays everything, takes care of me and my family, gives me money for rent, clothes, gold, pay car. Takes care me good!” See, she’s really talking about what he gives her, not who he is. She doesn’t say things like “I like our time together, he’s a nice guy, I can see a future, I miss him when he’s not here.” This is quite common, is no fault of the girl, but eventually, she figures out she doesn’t really like him, gets bored and leaves when she has enough money to do so. Unfortunately for the Western guy this process can take years but the seeds were there from the start. To compound the issue, I’ve heard guys says things like “I gave her everything, house, car, money, business and she doesn’t love me. I even took her back to Australia, England.” Well, sure, but you can’t buy a person. You can buy their time and attention, but never their heart. Some guys think they can be the white knight, throw money at an impoverished girl and by elevating her situation she will become a grateful and dutiful girlfriend. Well, no. People don’t work like this.

The next thing to think about is yourself. I’ve noticed there are a lot of guys who find bargirls attractive mates because of the drinking lifestyle. For example, one guy I met here was bemoaning bargirls and their bad behaviour, but I knew he had been dating a regular girl recently who was lovely. I asked what became of her, and he replied “too boring”. Yes, a regular Thai girl generally doesn’t drink, go to bars or play pool. She wants to go to restaurants with friends, see a movie, go to the shopping mall or hang with the family. Whereas bargirls drink every day, it’s their job. There are quite a few long-time guys here who always stay with bargirls for this very reason. Which is fine, but the point is, be clear with yourself what you really want. A hot party girl for fun, or an honest nice girl for raising a family. A bit of self-reflection here can do wonders, it avoids the situation where you take a bar-girl and place her on a princess pedestal, thinking she’s someone she’s not.

This brings us to tenure. How long has she been working in the bars? My view, is a few weeks or short months and had fewer customers she can count on her hands, ok. In this situation she’s still mainstream. If she’s been working in the bars for years, well, she’s probably had 100’s if not 1000’s of customers. Sadly, in my observation, these girls’ minds are blown irrecoverably. They have totally lost perception of what a normal relationship looks or feels like. It’s sad, but understandable. No human can go through that without some scars.

Not to say long tenure bargirls don’t want a boyfriend. Case in point, a 26-year-old girl working in Bangkok, who has been in the game for several years already, has a nice chap from Europe as her boyfriend. He’s a good guy but can’t afford to pay her to leave the bar. So they have this strange arrangement where she pretends not to go with customers, or at least doesn’t talk about it. When he comes to Bangkok she brings him to the bar and displays him proudly, he’s young, handsome and a nice person. She knows he’s gold. They sit there, drink and don’t say that much. It’s all a bit odd. Drawn together and yet far apart.

Linked to tenure is their network. Are all her friends bargirls too or does she still have regular friends? I’ve noticed girls in the bars actually lose their old friends over time. This creates an echo chamber. They sit there and compare customers and ‘boyfriends’ endlessly as a scoresheet of value against each other. It’s a bit of a pissing contest really, like stray cats hissing. Also, they have no benchmark for what a regular relationship looks like. After a while, provision of sex and time in return for money becomes the established norm.

If you are serious about her, at some point you have to take her out of this environment. She needs to get a regular job and make some normal friends. A hardened bargirl will turn her nose up at this idea. Why work serving tables at a restaurant for 14K baht a month when she could earn that in one weekend at the bar? Ridiculous idea! Besides, she says, it’s your job to take care of her. The indignity of it all, working as a waitress! But if she is serious about you, and you sensibly play your part financially with her family, she will get it and wouldn’t hesitate to start a new life with you. This is a key test of character.

Then there’s the roadmap. From your submission, it reads like you have only seen her on a few short trips. So really that’s still in the holiday-fun zone. So how are you going to progress things? Are you moving to Thailand? Taking some extended leave from work? And if it does work, at what point does she stop working in the bar and you pick up the baton? Would you move her to the West? Also, are you young or old? If you are young, this can be more serious as this is potentially a life partner. If you are older, it’s much easier as you probably just want some company, just don’t give her your life savings. You need a plan Stan. Otherwise, just keep it in a holiday fun box for a while and see what happens. No harm in that.

But, there is really only one question you are asking which is how to tell if it’s real or a temporary, although ultimately illusionary, embrace.

From my observations, older guys aged 55+ retired in Thailand with bargirls in their 30’s – 40’s can work ok as expectations are lower and they stay in her country. She doesn’t want a new family, just needs to make a living and he just wants some company in his late years. Simple! But setups with young bargirls, Western guys trying to make wives from them, starting families with them or moving them to the West? That’s a rocky road to go down. It’s not uncommon for ex-bargirls taken to the West to leave their Western husbands once they have their finances and passport sorted out.

Well, only time will tell, time always tells in the end. In the meantime, just don’t get her pregnant, don’t get married and don’t give her too much money. Tell what you are thinking and make a plan. Stay awake. Don’t get lost in an illusion of your own imagination.

Good luck, and remember most of all – have fun, it’s good!

YF

The author can be contacted at : [email protected]