Stickman Readers' Submissions January 29th, 2024



My friend Dennis thinks I’m being too precious about it. After all, his first experience of gogo bars was when he was on RR from Vietnam where the NVA were trying to kill him – by comparison, he said, “The bargirls have it easy – we only want to f**k ’em!”

Barry, Neanderthal that he was, had his own ethics, summed up in the simple rule: “Pay ’em well and f**k ’em as hard as you like”.

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Ron, the biology teacher, is a sensitive soul like me, and together we worked out the concept of the ETHICAL MONGER.

It began with the realisation that having sex with a bargirl in Thailand or the Philippines is more ethical than seducing a woman in the west, especially if it is done cynically, just for sex, with no intention of developing a relationship. Kierkegaard would agree with me, as he demonstrates in the Seducer’s Diary section of his book, Either, Or.

The Seducer’s Diary is the fictional diary of Johannes, a man who enjoys seducing young women and playing with their emotions. He targets Cordelia, a simple and innocent girl, and tries to make her fall in love with him by using various seduction techniques. The book is part of a larger philosophical work, Either, Or, that explores different ways of living, such as the aesthetic and the ethical. The book also reflects the author’s personal experience of breaking up with his fiancée, whom he loved but felt he had to leave for his own reasons. The Seducer’s Diary raises questions about love, freedom, morality, and deception.

Of course, a single man meeting up with a single girl and having sex by mutual consent (or even mutual lust) is fine by everybody except religious fanatics. It’s the idea of seduction (“seduction”, seen negatively, involves temptation and enticement to lead someone astray into a behavioural choice they would not otherwise have made), especially the seduction of someone who is young and vulnerable, or someone who has made a lifelong commitment to someone else, that I (and Kierkegaard) am objecting to. Sex with a bargirl, however, is a transaction. You want something (her body), and she wants something (your baht), and you trade. It is even more ethical if you do the following:

  • Treat her with the respect you would give to real girlfriend.
  • Use a condom. It is safer for her and for you.
  • Offset your carbon footprint – you can actually buy offsets, but a 2023 investigation found that many of them were bogus. There are plenty of other things you can do, however, such as making your home energy efficient.
  • Contribute to a bargirl charity, such as the Tamar Center in Pattaya, which is an organization that helps women out of prostitution.
  • Save a bargirl yourself. That’s what I did in Angeles City in July 2008:

This is my diary entry for that date:

I met Rosa at Crystal Palace (formerly Heartbreaker, but renamed when it was taken over by the Dollhouse Group). She is a pretty girl with a beautiful, nubile body but has a ‘fatal flaw’ – she is sexless. She says she has never enjoyed sex and doesn’t expect to enjoy it – so how will she keep her man happy? Amazing that this attitude should co-exist with such a sexy body – one of the best I had ever had the privilege to gaze at and caress.

Rosa has worked in Crystal Palace for 12 days and hates it. She tells customers who want to barfine her: “Barhopping only.” Her “account” with mamasan + her travel costs = 3,500 PhP. I offered to pay that so she could leave the bar. Am I a soft-hearted fool, or what? Well, it’s not much to me, but a lot to her. Maybe I was sent here to help her (?!?) – helping her is giving something back, and that’s good.

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She stays in a hostel in a room with 4 girls in a bed (I wish she’d invite me in there!!!) I took her to an Internet cafe only to discover that she has no computer skills at all – she had never even used a mouse! Nor does she have a mobile phone (several of the new girls I spoke to had no phone!) – These girls are so poor!

I met Rosa right at the end of the evening – maybe at about 2:30 am. I went to Crystal Palace because of the “just one more bar” syndrome and sat in an armchair near the stage to enjoy one final beer and watching the girls. Then I saw her and decided to call her for a drink. There was OK chemistry, some touchy-feely interaction and she was cute, pretty and 18, so I barfined her.

Back in the hotel, she froze and was unresponsive –at the critical moment she signalled that she didn’t want to go through with it, though she didn’t actually say no. I almost threw her out there and then, but there was something about her that I liked, so I let her stay and we talked until about 6 am when she fell asleep.

She was interesting to talk to, though it was sometimes hard for her to find the English, or to understand what I said, her experience of talking to Westerners being limited.

She was impressed by my gentlemanliness (well, I try!) and said it was “swerte” (lucky) that she had met me and she was even more impressed when I offered to pay her account.

She told me her dreams of her ideal husband, and about how her Pinoy boyfriend took her virginity and dumped her, also, how a western guy – 60+ and fat – wanted to marry her when she was 17 and wouldn’t keep his hands off her.

If her dreams of a husband are to come true, she will have to rediscover her sexuality (which may have taken flight as a result of abuse). She has beauty, and, as her friend said, she has a good attitude, but without good sex, most (all) guys will soon get fed up.

We went for breakfast in Kokomo’s at about 11:30. She only picked at hers (and often only has about a third of any drinks) – I hate waste! – Surprising in poor people (if you don’t want it, don’t ask for it!). Then I got some pesos by changing Euros (no ATM’s on Fields back then), and then went to bed for the afternoon, waking at about 6:30. I had arranged to meet her in Crystal Palace at 8:00.

I barfined her again and we went bar hopping. First, Club Atlantis, where at one point I counted 100 girls on stage, and 30 lounging in the gallery above. The idea seems to be that, when they are not dancing, they stand in the gallery above the stage, adding to the “girl power” model by the sheer weight of numbers – though I have to say that many of them looked bored and tired (they need a proper break between sets!)

The music was great and much of the dancing was energetic – none of the “Bangkok Shuffle” here! (No wonder they looked tired!). There were lots of customers, and a great atmosphere. We had not been there long when Rosa pointed out a Korean guy and said, “That’s my boss. He owns three bars: Crystal Palace, Dollhouse and this one.”

Lollipop was next. Not many customers to say it was about 11 on Saturday night, though it did liven up a bit during the hour or so that we were there. Girls here are below par, though her best friend was not bad. Perhaps I should have swapped her for Rosa, as, no doubt, she would be a performer between the sheets.

I took her to Sky Trax because I thought she wanted to dance, but the music was horrible, the place packed with what seemed to be 100% Pinoy – some of whom I didn’t like the look of and, despite the signs, there were no checks for “deadly weapons” – a dangerous place – AVOID in future!

We then went back to Crystal Palace where she led me to a quiet corner where she danced happily. Then to the hotel where – luckily, I suppose – she was just as shy. I thought there was a chance that she might have “gone for it” in which case I might have been done for because I really liked her.

I had to leave next day, as I was travelling on to Lapu Lapu to see Angel, but when I looked back on the affair, in the departure lounge in Manila Centennial, I realised what I had done – I had SAVED A BARGIRL! – something that NGO’s often fail to do in spite of their best efforts. I believe that I really had saved her. She had tried bar work, and decided that it was not for her, but had been trapped at Crystal Palace because of her account with mamasan. I paid that account and set her free, so I have no doubt that she will head back to her province and get a job in a store for 100 pesos a day. I also believe that, when she finds a man she really loves, that love will melt her frigidity and she will rediscover her sexuality – he will be a lucky guy!

Come to think of it, saving a bargirl is a bit like offsetting your carbon footprint. You fly and cause carbon emissions, so you do something to remove carbon from the atmosphere, such as replacing your gas central heating with a heat pump; similarly, you have sex with bargirls, so you offset your mongering by saving one from time to time – and that is not so off the wall as it sounds, because you will often come across girls who don’t want to be there and just need a bit of help or persuasion to get out.

So, follow Rule 3 and BECOME AN ETHICAL MONGER. It will enhance your karma to such an extent that you may well be reborn on a higher plane as a Buddhist monk. Of course, you will have to be celibate, but then – you’ve got nirvana to look forward to!


If you enjoyed this article, you might also enjoy some of my books about Thailand and the Philippines. Take a look here or here.


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