Stickman's Weekly Column April 3rd, 2005

Nymphomaniacs, Or Posers?


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Wandering around Siam Square late Saturday afternoon can be quite pleasant, to say the least. The area is full of some of the most attractive women on the planet, all done up as pretty as can be, often in the most sexy, revealing clothes you can imagine.

Super short miniskirts, ultra tight jeans, mid-riffs on display, provocative tops with equally provocative slogans, you name it – it's on display. There are even large groups of extremely attractive young women in their university uniforms with the skirt a few inches shorter than the regulations stipulate.

The first time visitor or the uninitiated could be mistaken for thinking that this was an area of high sexual tension, a bunch of the cutest creatures on the earth dollied up in such a way that makes you think they're looking for someone to get down and dirty with. It would be very easy to think that they are all participants in some sort of sexual carnival, and in short, see them as a bunch of nymphomaniacs. Think again.

I've never made it to Brazil but I've seen plenty of photos of the local women and have heard many of the stories. Donning the bare minimum on curvaceous bodies that must have come straight from heaven, every guy I know who has been there can't help but tell story after story of the local girls, the way they dress, and the way they, ummm, errr, perform. Only a eunuch couldn't get excited. But that's Brazil. Are the local Thai women a similar bunch?

How often have you ever been jumped by a Thai woman who has desired you in a moment of lust or passion? When was the last time she actually suggested something a little naughty? The beach? The back of the car? Accessories? Other participants?

What's the bet that you can't put a tick next to any of these?

Is the sexy appearance of so many of the country's maidens representative of their attitudes towards the horizontal shuffle? Are they vixens dressed accordingly or does the country's traditional, ultra-conservative attitudes towards pleasures of the flesh remain pervasive?

In a country where the average woman is particularly easy on the eye, a country which is famous the world over, rightly or wrongly, for its sexual image from its large sex tourism industry, is it not unreasonable to assume that the locals may well be a bunch of sex maniacs, or at the very least, a bunch of keen participants?

Thai women exude femininity, and will cut it with the best of them in making themselves look not just good, but great. But when it comes to the bedroom Olympics, are their performances commensurate with the way they look?

Many relationships start off like rabbits, but like the cousin of the hare, do they end up like a tortoise? Is sex seen as a way to capture a benefactor, a way to get their claws into your wallet. (Of course this could be argued the world over and would certainly not be limited to these parts.)

Getting back to Siam Square, for the little princesses all dollied up, it would likely be a nightmare for a guy to actually come on to them. As good as they look, and as sexy as they appear, actually partaking in the pleasures of the flesh is just about the last thing on their mind. They simply want to look good. Looking good is important in Thailand. Look good and you gain face. Face is important. More important than sex.

But what of the working girls? Many farangs suggest that perhaps there is no correlation between their profession and how good they are at it, which is kind of damning. I mean, if you hired a lawyer, you'd expect him / her to know about the law. If you went to a mechanic and they couldn't fix your car, you'd be disappointed. So what is it with the dreaded starfish routine? And what about the bloody shower and towel ritual?

Don't be fooled. Some dress like they're trying to be a hooker while others get plenty of practice actually working as a hooker, but despite this, Thailand is not home to the world's sexiest ladies. A bunch of nymphomaniacs, they're not. More like a bunch of posers.

The Western man's love affair with Thai women is something that continues to perplex me, to puzzle me. As I mentioned last week, Western guys and Thai women are on completely different wavelengths. And now I put it to you that Thai women, on average, are not the sexual creatures that many Western guys want, or believe them to be. They look great, and they exude femininity, but….there are so many buts…

Or perhaps it's just me?!

WHERE IS THIS PICTURE Competition?

It was Sukhumvit Soi 7.

Looks familiar, doesn't it?

Last week's pic was of Sukhumvit Soi 7 and you can clearly see The Winking Frog and the Biergarten. Not that many people got it right, which kind of surprised me. This week's pic was taken on the same photo shoot as the soi 7 pic…so there is a clue for you. Each week the first reader to correctly state where the pic is by email to me wins a 500 baht credit from Tony's Bar in Soi Cowboy. Please note that the credit MUST be claimed within two weeks and you MUST state in the email that you are Bangkok based. So, to claim that prize, you must be in Bangkok at some time in the next two weeks. For the next few weeks, top British thriller author Steve Leather has very kindly provided some copies of his just published novel, "Private Dancer" to give away. So, for the second person to correctly state where the pic is, a copy of the book will be sent to you. You MUST state that you are in Thailand and be able to provide a postal address somewhere in the Kingdom.

FROM STICKMAN'S EMAIL INBOX

Maybe losing weight is the solution?

Why do bar operators set out their stall to attract farangs, as they call us, then pay good money to surround their bar with the '100 kg filter' type of seating? You know the ones, they are bar stools, but they have a semi-circular back support framework with a padded backrest that only small Thai bums could possibly be comfortable in. The average farang can just about squeeze on to the seat, but is pushed into an uncomfortable perching position, almost slipping off the front. The bigger of us can only perch on the first 3 inches of the seat base, like resting against a ledge that is not deep enough to sit on. Yet still, new bars keep on buying these things, even though a simple stool, with no backrest, must be cheaper, as it has no extra metalwork, padding, etc. Please note bar owners, it is much more comfortable also. If you hear reports of a 'phantom hack-sawer' going around Patong at night cutting the backs off these torture instruments, I hold up my hands now, "It is me".

Erection Day.

Some of my Thai friends speak English quite well, others are still learning. But the difficulties with pronunciation, especially anything with an "L" in it, can be amusing. As an example during my recent visit one young lady, an office worker, was driving us through Pattaya and explaining why her friend had left town: it was for "National Erection Day!" My buddy and I both thought this a wonderful holiday, but we thought it unnecessary as every day in Thailand is "National Erection Day." We had her repeat this several times until her girlfriend caught on and explained it to her. She was embarrassed, but then repeated it herself with much laughter.

Are we all a bunch of racists?

I continually hear people complaining about the Thais referring to us (the collective us) as farangs, and refusing to acknowledge us as equals. Is that not exactly what we have been doing to just about every race that is not exactly ours since time immemorial? Hands up everyone who is English (for example), and has not felt a little superior when we see a Thai (or other Asian) person on Oxford Street. Hands up everyone who is English, or American, and has never felt superior when they heard an Irish accent. Hands up everyone from whatever country you hail, who has never told a joke about a race they consider inferior i.e. the Americans about the Polaks, the Aussies about the Abos, the Kiwis about the Maoris, the Germans about the Jews, and the English about almost everyone else on the planet. I excuse any country who tells jokes about the French because they deserve it.

Anyone for Seoul?

You have all these guys running over to Thailand for what they think are 18 year olds, but considering the mileage and VD-exposure factors on their pussies, what they are actually getting are pussies with the wear and tear and VD-exposure factor of something like a 500 year old. Better to learn some social skills and go to Korea where you have 30 year olds available with the pussies of 16 year olds.

I want my money back!

I visited a bar on Soi 7 and had a few drinks. As nature took its course I was directed to another bar which had a b5 restroom. My feeling of relief was short-lived and replaced with something more unpleasant. The urinal I had chosen did not have the exit pipe hooked up so whatever entered spilled directly upon your feet. I did not ask for a refund of my b5.

A right bitch.

Reading the piece on Thai girls becoming Americanised reminded me of my own experience back in the '80s when I was working in Phoenix, Arizona. I had made my first trip to Thailand earlier in the year and by chance got talking to a lady in a supermarket who turned out to be Thai. Just before Christmas I was out with some workmates having a drink when I bumped into the same lady again. She recognised me and called me over to her table and introduced me to her sister. I said "Sawasdee krap" to the sister who looked me straight in the eye and said, "Are you some sort of fxxxing smartarse?" It was one of the shortest conversations I have ever had.

Take water away from the flower and it dies.

Something that seems likely to destroy the average Thai-farang relationship would be moving from Thailand to Farangland. Taking a typical Thai girl out of her comfort zone does have major implications that many Western guys seem to vastly underestimate. I haven't tried it myself, but I've watched what has happened to others. It ain't' pretty. Incidentally, I had a similar experience with my now ex-wife who is an Asian lady (albeit not a Thai). I met her in her country and then took her back to my hometown. She was a "good girl," had a university degree, worked in an office when I met her, spoke reasonable English, and I knew a fair bit of her native language. Nevertheless, things were rough for her despite the existence of stores, restaurants, etc. that catered to her ethnic group. Our relationship went downhill almost as soon as we arrived in Farangland.

Andy has sold Hooties A Gogo. The new owner is Ken from Living Dolls. Ken had a much publicised falling out with his Hong Kong based partner but it has apparently been resolved by giving the fellow in question the original Living Dolls A Gogo. Cripes, sounds like some sort of twisted divorce settlement. However, since all the girls have moved into Living Dolls Showcase there is little left of the first Living Dolls bar anyway. Shane will be the new manager of Hooties and expect the shows to be just as raunchy. Ken continues with Living Dolls Showcase which is as busy as ever.

Some rumours had been doing the rounds that the barfines at the super popular Diamond A Gogo in Pattaya were 1,000 baht. That is not quite true. The Diamond A Gogo barfine for DANCERS and WAITING STAFF is 500 baht. But the barfine for SHOWGIRLS is 1,000 baht, up until the time the shows finish, which is around midnight. Once the shows have finished they go down to 500 baht. If any customer is not sure and wants to check, ask for Ricky, the manager, or the mamasan.

And rumour had it that TQ2 had also raised its bar fine to 1,000 baht. American night manager Tom pointed out that the gogo bar has had a 1,000 baht barfine for "quite some time" – well before the end of high season and perhaps even before high season began. But the exorbitant take-out fee is not as ridiculous – or as tidy – as it might appear at first blush. Why? Well, afternoons and late nights the barfine remains only 500 baht. Evenings dictate a higher charge because the club wants its dancers to remain on the dance floor to entertain its drinking clientele. "We’re not a South Pattaya gogo bar drawing the tourist trade," Tom explained. His long-time Beach Road location is "more of a friendly neighbourhood bar where guys come to drink and have a good time every night," he said. "Looking at pretty dancing girls adds to that good time. If all the girls are barfined, we’ve got a problem." That very problem was recognized last year during Cobra Gold. Early one evening, a large contingent of American military men marched into TQ2, had a drink or two, and marched out with virtually every gogo girl in the joint. Needless to say, the exodus did not enliven the atmosphere for remaining imbibers. Consequently, to discourage "offs" during prime business hours, the long-popular TQ2 doubled the tariff, but passed on the difference to the girls, according to the manager. I would have thought the girls would be even keener to get taken out with this in mind… Tom noted that TQ2 is not married to any particular barfine. They are subject to change without notice dictated by any number of business-related factors. "In fact, we’re thinking about changing them again," Tom points out. Other gogo bars featuring matinee performances have also shattered the standard 500 baht barfine barrier, but their higher rates – ranging from 600 to 900 baht – are imposed during daylight hours. So, if you want a bit of afternoon delight but happen to be on a budget, wander down the road to soi 6 – much cheaper there, although during the day it tends to be Dragonville.

It is Tony's Bar 2nd anniversary and partner Kob's birthday this Wednesday coming, 6th of April. Free food will be offered and all are welcome. You know the routine so get yourself down to Cowboy and help them celebrate.

Big Dogs has recently taken on a number of new girls. The total number of staff seems to be swelling. Some girls from Bus Stop have jumped ship and joined Big Dogs which is largely because many have been complaining that they don't get taken out nearly as much as they would like. Plenty of selection with a day and a night shift of over 50 staff in that small, little bar.

I made it along to the opening night of Sin, the new disco come beergarden in the Raja Complex on Sukhumvit Soi 4. The opening night didn't go quite as well as hoped. A power cut meant that things weren't quite ready on time and the completion of the beergarden is a few days off. The arrival of the boys in brown before 9:30 (the bar was only due to open at 9:00!) scared a few punters off. But overall, this venue looks the business and it is going to be great when it is finished. The builders have done a cracking job and in that respect it is top notch. Give it a few weeks and it'll be pumping. The beer garden area upstairs is very pleasant too. The fish tank got many people ooohing and ahhing. I wonder how much it weighs with all the water in there? My guess, around 15 tonnes. Let me know if you think I'm on the money. The fish tank is GREAT – you'll know what I mean when you check it out.

I used to swear by Loxinfo as the best dial up internet connection. Forget it. They have been terrible recently!

Quote of the week comes from Ricky at Diamond A Gogo "I don't suppose you know where I can hire a donkey that does not suffer from stage fright and a weak bladder?"

They might be an advertiser here, but do not misinterpret my positive comments on the venue as being Stickman selling out. No sir, not at all. They now have a weekly rib feast which kicks off every Monday at 7:00 PM. All you can eat ribs for 199 baht AND you get a glass of draft beer. Not that ribs are my thing mind you, don't really care for pork but hey, for those who do, it's a good deal. Livingstone's will host the "Miss Sukhumvit Soi 33" beauty pageant on Tuesday April 12th starting at 6:00 PM. The contest is open for all, with registration by April 3rd. There will be two rounds – one in traditional Thai costume early evening and later a swimsuit contest. There'll be live music and a buffet at 457 baht. Livingstone's is my favourite venue at the moment and you really should check it out for yourself.

There doesn't seem to be a lot new going on in Nana Plaza at the moment, or at least not that I could see. Doing the rounds, Hollywood Strip was one bar I checked out and I was blinded by the light…it was the shine off Dave The Rave's bald head! I swear that guy's head gets a better shine every time I see it. I wonder what he uses to wax it up and get that particular sheen?

There seem to be more and more street vendors selling touristy junk on Sukhumvit, especially in that area between the Miami Hotel and the Thermae. This area used to be relatively free of this crap but now it is as bad as anywhere. One really is better off walking on the even soi numbered side of Sukhumvit.

The bar between Five Star 2 and Tilac in Soi Cowboy is boarded up and is undergoing construction or renovation of some sort.

I'm not a fan of the place at all and to me it represents an overly expensive version of noodle soup, or gooey teeow as the locals call it. MK Suki is probably the most popular chain of glorified noodle soup vendors. I hadn't been for a while and Mrs. Stick wanted to go so I went along and sat there with a dumb grin on my face while she defied physics and filled up her tiny frame with a heap of MK. I wasn't impressed. Why pay 250 baht for noodle soup here when you can get an equally bland dish on the street for 25 or 30 baht? But what I was impressed with was the ordering system and the way they have integrated technology to improve service. When the checkbin was called for, the waitress punched a button on the little Ipod like wireless controller she had attached to her belt and within a couple of seconds told us the price. No need for her to go over to the cashier, get her to tally up the bill, print it or write it up and bring it back. Seamless, and fast. Good stuff.

I received a missing person report for a fellow named Eddie Gibson. He is described as a young man of 20 years. He travelled to Vietnam during a "gap year" in his education and he has subsequently gone missing. He was last heard of in November 2004. The British Embassy in Phnom Penn have all but given up hope of his safe return. However his mother has, quite rightly, not given up. If anyone has any information as to Eddie's whereabouts please send email to: [email protected] or contact the British Embassy in Phnom Penh on 855 234 27124.

Fancy a break in Singapore for a few days? Escape the madness and chaos of Bangkok and go to the most civilized country in Asia? I personally like Singapore, a lot in fact. But what if while you're there you have an itch you want to scratch? Well, rumour has it that you'd better have plenty of coin in your back pocket. Prices are bloody high. Thai women down in Lion City are requesting S$300 short time, S$600 all night. And guys are paying it from all accounts. Locals pay $150 short time, I hear.

When I think about all the things I like about Thailand, I sometimes try and articulate what it is I like the most. A recent visit to the dentist helped me work that out. Cost. Things are so reasonably priced. I won't say cheap because Mrs. Stick doesn't like the connotation of the word cheap. Inexpensive she always says. Anyway, it is the costs of things that hit the spot for me. That for me is NUMBER ONE. Incidentally, I heard a story recently of an old woman who was quoted $US 50,000 Stateside to keep her teeth. It was recommended to her to visit Thailand and for the same treatment here, the cost was a mere 120,000 baht or just $US 3,000. See what I mean about costs?!

I saw something in Bangkok this week that I haven't seen for quite some time, a couple of years at least, maybe longer. What am I talking about? Fake Levis, or course! There must have been a big crackdown on them a while back because in the late '90s, you could get them everywhere, crap they were though, bad fit and cheap material, to say the least. Anyway, they can be found near the Rama 3 Road / Sathu Pradit intersection if you really must know. A right hole that part of the city is, mind you.

A reader has an interesting question: "I want to find out if in Bangkok there is an internet café with web cams but in private rooms. I chat with a friend overseas a lot and she likes to look at me but I prefer something a bit private. Most net places have cams but it is not private." Anyone got any info for him? Said fellow sounds like quite the pervert, doesn't he?!

This past Friday saw some great April Fools Day jokes across the Thai websites. One site had a notice erected saying that it had been closed down and was done in such a way that many people were fooled, hundreds in fact. Another said that the Prime Minister had resigned while one said that 2 AM closing had been re-instated. The last one got a few people's hopes up.

Ask the Sticks

Mrs. Stick is here to answer questions surrounding anything that confuses you in Thailand, particularly issues of the heart. Please note that for general bargirl related questions, Mr. Stick might answer them. It has to be said that Mrs. Stick is not your stereotypical Thai woman. She is not Buddhist and she is not shy to criticise things about her own country and culture, although having said that, she remains proud to be Thai. Mr. Stick will try and answer the questions which Mrs. Stick is not so sure about. Just one thing to consider. Mrs. Stick is a middle class woman from a middle class background and with all due respect to her, Thai people in one class do not always know what is going on in another class. She'll do her best to answer all questions but remember, she'll be looking at it from a middle class point of view!

Question 1: I met a student at a Chiang Mai language school, in the Level 2 class for Thai conversation. The man told us he had been married for 30 years to a Thai lady, who had been working for a Thai bank in London when they met. I was surprised that his Thai language skills were no better than the rest of the class. When I asked if it helped to have a Thai wife, he laughed and said she will only speak to him in English. But when they visit her family all conversation is in Thai and he gets left out. Do you think this is normal, and what language do the Sticks use at home?

Mrs. Stick says: It depends from couple to couple. I have one Thai female friend married to a farang guy and she never speaks Thai with her husband. Never ever. They speak English even though it is not the native language for either of them. For their child, English happens to be his first language! In our case, we speak both English and Thai, English when we are out with his friends and Thai when we are out with my friends, or family. We speak a mixture of English and Thai together and it largely depends on our moods as to which we use! In a relationship between a Thai woman and a farang man, if she can speak good English then I guess he doesn't need to, but it sure does help if he can speak Thai. Language is the bridge that helps you understand each other's way of thinking.

Question 2: Married men who wish to sample bar life in Thailand have to decide whether to leave the wife back in Farangland and hope she never finds out, or take her along and hope she enjoys it. I have had a lot of fun taking my wife with me, sometimes we just talk about which girls we think are the best and see if we agree. If a girl joins our table we don't mind buying a lady-drink and sometimes going out for a meal together. What is your advice for married men?

Mrs. Stick says: What's the reason for going to the bars? If only you, why are you going? If it is just for a laugh and out of curiosity, then why not. I think it is quite unusual that women would enjoy visiting such places so perhaps you need to think carefully about why you are going? If deep down you have some fantasy or naughty desires then you should be careful because when women and men are in the same place at the same time they often perceive things differently. You might get quite excited and desire to have some fun and naughty ideas might arise in your mind but your wife will pick up on this and it could cause problems for you.

Question 3: I don't want to sound insensitive, but how much money should one put into an envelope at a Thai funeral / I ask this so as not to be embarrassed. In particular, the last one we attended was of two children. Should one double the amount? It is not something you can easily ask the bereaved is it? How much do you think your kids are worth. Also, should individuals send a wreath / flower arrangement or is it acceptable to send a group one? Should the envelopes be sealed and should they have the donor's name on?

Mrs. Stick says: It is similar to a wedding. It all depends on how close you are to either the person who has passed away or to relatives of the dead person. If for example your best friend's mother died you would likely make a more significant contribution than if it was someone you were not so close to. The key is not to put too small an amount in there so as to make them feel bad but not so much as it makes you hurt either. If a ceremony takes place in Bangkok, the money would be higher than in other provinces. As a rough guide, for the "average farang", for a funeral in Bangkok, 500 baht should suffice. But, if you are a senior person or someone of high status you may give much more. Generally, you do not give as much at a funeral as you do at a wedding as the costs are lower.

Another week of my nonsense about life in the Land of Smiles. The next two weeks' columns will be a little different as I'll be looking in on Thailand from the outside. For the first time in many, many years, I'm venturing to the West, escaping the madness of Songkran, the time of year I like the least. Goodness only knows how the West will be, how it has changed, and perhaps most interestingly how I, as someone who has lived in Thailand for a fair few years now, have changed. Should make for an interesting column or two, I think. And yes, it will be published at the usual time.

Your Bangkok commentator,

Stick

Thanks go out to Dave The Rave, Mr. Write and Bkk Grasshopper.