It's the pet hate of many long-term bar hounds and hardcore sexpats. It's much more of a big deal even than sky-high prices. It sends some in to greater spasms than when Stickman writes an April Fool's Day column that pokes fun at naughty boys or declares the bar industry is about to be outlawed. It's much worse than being badgered for lady drinks or told by gogo dancers that they don't do long-time. It is the coyote girl concept, that which many don't seem to understand may help save the bar industry.
There is some overlap, but gogo girls and coyote dancers are not the same. With that said, many gogo bars in Bangkok feature both gogo girls and coyote dancers and it's not always clear who is who.
Before we go on, a basic lesson about who is who.
A simple rule of thumb is that coyote dancers are supposed to perform best on the dance floor. Gogo girls save their best performances for the bedroom.
Gogo girls dress skimpily and dance to promote themselves in the hope that someone will barfine them, take them away so they can make some money. Gogo dancers are primarily sex workers. They wear a bikini, or less.
Coyote dancers are entertainers who dance and are supposed to be able to really shake it on the dance floor. They typically wear short shorts and sexy tops – more than a bikini. They are primarily dancers i.e. entertainers, but they may be available. May. It varies from bar to bar, girl to girl.
In each of the two sets of photos above, there is one gogo girl and one coyote dancer. Who is who? (Look up now and make your decision before reading on. The answer can be found at the end of this article, next to the two asterisks.)
Coyote dancers are a relatively recent thing, first introduced around the middle of last decade. Prior to that they basically didn't exist in gogo bars. Now they are a common sight and today perhaps 1/3 or more of gogo bars feature coyote dancers.
The reasons for bars hiring coyote girls are numerous; primarily it's because bars just cannot find pretty girls to recruit these days. Recruiting used to be easy, but with Thailand's economy now more diverse, more developed, with compulsory education increased from 6 to 9 years and the country experiencing full employment, girls have more options these days and don't have to resort to bar work.
The issue with coyote girls – at least from the perspective of the hardcore naughty boys – is that often they are not available i.e. they cannot be barfined.
And that can be frustrating because they are often more attractive than regular gogo girls.
In Bangkok they are called coyotes, but in Pattaya the term you hear more often is "agency girls".
I always laugh when I hear this term as I visualise the offices of an agency with designer premises fronted by a receptionist who looks like a million dollars, and a bunch of camp executives mincing around with photos plastered over the walls of models who look like movie stars. Nothing could be further from reality!
The word agency is misleading and many agencies are in fact a one-person operation, usually an older woman, invariably overweight, often ex-industry herself, and her office is a mobile phone. She has a troop of girls she manages who are hired out to bars at a princely sum. I have no doubt that some of these agency matrons make more money than some bars, in some cases pulling in hundreds of thousands of baht per month.
The agencies are very simple operations. The agent recruits girls, often through the most basic means, and then hires them out to bars. That's about the extent of it. Sophisticated it is not.
For some agents their means of recruiting is simply sitting at a booze booth on Sukhumvit and stopping girls walking past and giving them their sales pitch. They take the lass under their wing, make promises of riches for merely dancing and a coyote dancer is born!
Agencies aren't listed in the yellow pages, don't have websites and most don't even have a business card.
Ask a bar owner which agency they use and you won't get an answer! Bars are desperate for girls and the agencies do not have an unlimited supply. For bar owners, agency phone numbers are fiercely guarded.
The agents know this and they know have the power.
Despite some being right little prima donnas, bar owners have to treat their coyote dancers well. All it takes is one girl to be pissed off and bitch to the agent and the entire troop can be pulled and the bar loses them all. A good bar can go bad overnight.
Bartman's quote of the week from last week's column, "What is all this coyote dancer crap? If I wanted to look at girls that are unavailable I would have stayed home!" no doubt struck a chord with many, but the point Bartman and many others miss is that if there were no coyote girls, they'd be replaced by heifers and fuglies. Coyote dancers mean bars have eye candy – and for some customers that's enough. As the bar industry attracts a more mainstream visitor – couples, females and those who simply want to see what all the fuss is about, it becomes more about having pretty dancers on stage than girls who are available for take-out, hence the coyote concept is thriving.
As difficult as some find the concept of pretty girls who may not be able to be barfined to take, that's the way the industry is going. Bangkok gogo bars are heading more towards a Western strip club model, where you can look but, in the bar at least, you cannot touch, and where arrangements may be able to be made after hours – but for serious $$.
From the perspective of the coyote dancers, they're happy enough to dress sexy and dance provocatively, but as for dancing in the buff in front of many strange men, no thanks! And of course they'd prefer not to have sex with strangers for money, especially if they can earn decent money (often 25,000 – 35,000 baht per month) from dancing, lady drink commissions and tips.
Many girls who work as coyote dancers would never consider being gogo girls i.e. a sex worker – unless the money on was too much to turn down, hence more girls asking for 5,000 baht.
Some gogo girls keen to keep their knickers on have changed bar and role and become coyote dancers.
Without agency girls there would be no Sensations – arguably the best gogo bar in Thailand at this time, or at the very least, a bar with one of, if not the best selection of dancers. Without coyote dancers / agency girls, many bars would have far fewer dancers and few attractive girls.
The industry is changing and is slowly moving towards more of a Western strip club model. As such, I believe that in the future there will be more coyote dancers and fewer gogo girls.
Fewer Thai women are prepared to work as gogo girls, dancing semi-naked or naked, and as unlikely as it may seem, coyote girls may just save the gogo bar industry.
Imagine how bare the bars would be if there was no such thing as coyote girls.
* All of the ladies featured in this column can be found in Wild Thing, Angelwitch 2 or Billboard.
** In each of the two sets of photos above, the girl on the left is a gogo girl and the girl on the right is a coyote dancer.
Where was this photo taken?
Last week's photo was taken about a kilometre down the Sukhumvit soi 22, looking across at high-rise condos on soi 24. There are
two prizes each week, a 500 baht voucher to use at Bully's, on Sukhumvit Road between sois 2 and 4, and a 300 baht voucher to use at Sunrise Tacos, Bangkok's original Mexican grill with several branches in Bangkok.
Terms and conditions: The prizes are ONLY available to readers in Thailand at the time of entering and are NOT transferable. Prizes cannot be sent to a hotel. Prize winners cannot claim more than one prize per calendar month. You only have one guess per week and ONLY the first answer emailed counts! You MUST specify which prize you would prefer and failure to specify a prize will disqualify you from being eligible to claim one.
FROM STICK'S INBOX (These are emails from readers and what is written here was not written by Stick.) Preference may be given to emails which refer to the previous week's column.
EMAIL OF THE WEEK – When the shoe is on the other foot.
Imagine you're a 20-something stud, but never got a good education. You're having a hard time making ends meet. A buddy left your little town for the big city and is making good money working in a bar. He sets you up with a job. So you're at the bar and a foreign woman comes in, smiles a crooked smile, and sits next to you. She's a lot older than you, with a turkey neck, saggy boobs hanging under her tank top, a fat bottom in too-tight shorts, and cellulite thighs. But she has a nice watch and jewellery so she's probably got plenty of money for fun. She's sweating, not used to the heat, smells a little and has bad breath, but otherwise seems pretty nice. She asks you how much for sex and you tell her. She raises her eyebrows and starts to negotiate. You need to pay the rent and help out your parents, so you eventually settle on a price. Then you leave the bar with her to earn your pay. I hope some of your readers who participate take a good look in the mirror and realise that the life of a bargirl ain't that easy. I hope the ladies earn as much as they can in their job, which is what your readers try to do in their jobs, too.
Where the dough may go.
For all the debate and pros / cons of the industry, one constant is the vast majority of ladies in the bars are single parents with offspring back home / upcountry. Hence that T-shirt doing the rounds which proclaims, "I Support Single Moms," and has a gogo dancer silhouette wrapped around a pole. Many of the women I've seen over the years have kids growing up and the ladies concerned have worked and struggled hammer and tongs to put them through higher education, police-training college, nursing; whatever. One wonders how many of Thailand's future educated generation owe their existence to the river of funds from sponsors, boyfriends and the like? I just spent a few days with a spritely entertainer who is very dear to me. She left school in grade 5 and married in her teens; her Thai husband dumped her a few years later. She has been in Pattaya a decade, and like so many of her vintage would love to get out and move on. Her eldest son recently graduated university and just began his new career with a prestigious firm. She's absolutely bursting with pride. Her second child has the same plans. Generations past, the rural poor could not have imagined this. Take a bow, young fella, and Mom of course. Take heart; sometimes it's not always sick buffaloes. She's not the only one.
My hotel has a massage shop with women between the ages of 25 and 50. They charge 300 baht to come to your room and give a massage for two hours. The last girl was fine up until 90 minutes and suddenly lays down beside me and asks if I want sex for the remaining 30 minutes for 1,000 baht. I thought the price was way too high and I was not interested anyway. The next week I go back to the shop and the girl scowls at me. My hunch is that she has told the others a lie so they would avoid me. I never touched her once and tipped her well which thinking back was a mistake. I asked about a younger lady and am told she does not give massage, yet I see her there every day. The majority of the dozen women sit there day after day with no customers looking totally bored. They never look friendly. So why would anyone be interested? Not a single one of them even looks cute. They all look like washed up bargirls. I went to another shop and they were all on the floor taking a nap! When I asked if any would be interested in giving a massage I got a nasty no! I dress well, don't have two heads, am not that ugly, don't drink, speak Thai enough to chat and I get horrible service and they are often just plain rude. What is up with these nasty attitudes? About 10 years ago I would sometimes hire a girl out of a bar for a massage, not even buy a lady drink and I was out the door with a cute 20-year old who was friendly within 30 minutes. Total cost 800 baht for two hours with barfine included. A Thai female friend thinks that perhaps because I speak Thai the women believe I am too smart to get scammed and they can't take advantage of me. These massage shops I visit never have foreigners for customers which is one reason I like to go there. Are Thai women in these shops afraid of foreigners?
Singha singlet sits in silence,
Siam sweetie smile is still.
Big fat pirate scowls at breakfast,
beer is warm the smoke is ill.
The night of passion, minutes really,
worth the night in a hotel.
Despite the snoring, mini bar raided
and in her purse, all is well.
The small brown sweetie surveys her cash cow,
how much to squeeze, how much to take?
Big fat pirate eyes the sweetie,
‘best get out now, or it's too late!'
Bandana wearing, it fools no one,
nor does teen's baseball cap.
Your getting old your hair is thinning
wear something better, my dear old chap.
In bars and cafes he smokes, he smokes,
just like he did in good old days.
Yet short of breath and smelling badly,
emphysema is on its way.
For these two weeks he is invincible,
an athlete, Lothario a sexual god.
But last night too drunk not sober,
kebab was stolen by old soi dog.
The beach walk runway, the pride of lions,
strut and view the coconut bar.
Sometimes the old street walker says,
‘fat old Farang, you have gone too far.'
No so the sinewy teenage katoey,
a match for any Muay Thai fight.
Not on hormones just well tucked packet,
that if you find you'll get a fright.
So old Farang he gets eager,
a ten plus body, rock hard to tease.
In the dark and lonely alley
freed from all his cash, with ease.
Protest do not; she shouts,
a punch and kick upside the head.
He wonders home alone and lonely,
and with a headache goes to bed.
Toothpick legs with tents for shorts,
the Singha Pirate back on the parade.
Hairy back man boobs a swinging
friend Viagra to comes to his aid.
Pirates group together sharing scowls,
at budget bars or corner soi.
All together they are comrades,
from outside, just sad old boys.
Here's to you Singha Pirate,
with sunburnt face and shop bought beers.
Enjoy the good times behaving badly,
you'll be extinct within ten years.
Girl of the week
Alice, escort, BangkokEscort.com
Old Mother Stick says this lady makes a change
from the usual (her words) and actually looks classy.
Mai Peng Disco, on the ground floor of the Nana Hotel, the latest incarnation of Nana Disco, has closed temporarily with owners citing the lower visitor numbers about town as the reason. With the Bangkok shutdown over, bar owners are waiting for the masses to reappear. It is hoped that Mai Peng will reopen in a few weeks.
The girls get their share of grief – and often it is deserved – but sometimes it is the foreign man who deserves a few choice words, or more. Foreigners ripping off working girls is not that uncommon and a number of girls who used to work at Zen Bar at the mouth of Nana Plaza are furious at the foreign owner. As a small bar with a huge monthly rent, Zen struggled from day one, and with protests on the city's streets resulting in the worst high season ever, business has been bleak. The bar fell behind on its rent which ran well in excess of half a million baht a month and the owner disappeared meaning the staff were not paid for last month. Needless to say, said foreigner is a wanted man on Soi Nana.
One wonders how long it will be before someone steps in to buy each of the prime bar locations for sale in Soi Nana. The layout of Zen Bar at the mouth of Nana Plaza is narrow meaning there's not much of a ledge at the front of the bar for customers to perch and watch the zoo that is Soi Nana. The front ledge is the prime spot on all the beer bars on Soi Nana yet in Zen there's only space for a handful of customers there. And with a monthly rent that runs more than many foreign teachers in Bangkok make in a year, one bar boss said to me it would be very hard to turn a profit with that layout and such high rent. How long will Zen be on the market for? The other bar for sale is on the top floor of Nana Plaza, that which was once known as Carousel and later Lone Star. Said venue has been closed for several months and the leaseholder stripped it completely and it appears to have been split in to 2 separate bars. With bars reeling from the worst high season in memory and bars in Nana Plaza paying the highest rent in the industry, it might be a while before anyone takes over these spaces.
Secrets Bar in Pattaya is fine-tuning their winning formula. The venue still shows live sports, but when there is no live action, music videos are played on screens around the bar and that has proved popular. Customers can request their favourite videos.
And tomorrow night, Monday March 10th, Secrets will hold a '70s and '80s party with classic music videos from those 2 decades There will be a free buffet between 8 PM and 10 PM and video quiz too.
Notices in the toilets at Lollipop on Nana's ground floor show bar owners are providing extra motivation to staff to increase the number of lady drinks sold. A notice states that if the bar sells more than 2,100 lady drinks in a calendar month, every staff member gets a 1,000 baht bonus. On top of that there's a 5,000 baht bonus for the girl who gets the most lady drinks. So if you find ladies being a bit more aggressive asking for lady drinks, that's why.
How long has a beer cost 180 baht at Baccarra? That's still 10 baht cheaper than the Arab's bars but prices are getting up there, almost $6 for a standard drink. With that said, Bacarra has such a great selection of dancers – all gogo, no coyote – that it can pretty much charge as much as it likes.
Surely I'm not the only one who thinks coloured contact lenses look terrible on Thai women. They love to wear bright coloured contacts and blue seems to be the most popular colour. I can't help but feel that it makes them look like they have eyes like a snake – and a turn-on that is not!
Regardless of industry, Thais generally work long hours and 6 days a week is the norm in many jobs. In the bar industry many staff get just 2 days off a month – and they are not allowed to take Fridays or Saturdays off lest they face a large deduction. There are, however, some bar owners who acknowledge the importance of family to Thais and who know that giving staff a proper break will allow them to recharge their batteries as well as build up goodwill. Devil's Den's appreciates all the hard work the staff put in throughout the year and all staff get a full week off at Songkran. Popular Devil's Den will close on April 12th and reopen on April 20th.
When I arrived in Bangkok the bar industry was dominated by American customers. There were more American customers and there was a preference amongst some girls towards Americans because they paid whatever the girls asked – whereas Europeans and Aussies & Kiwis were much more likely to try and negotiate. One word I would use to describe Americans is generous. However, with the US economy in the doldrums and the greenback buying less baht than it used to, American naughty boys aren't visiting in anything like the numbers they once did. For some time now it has been Aussies who have made up big numbers in the bars, many of whom work in the mines in Western Australia, earn large and like the Americans of old are happy to pay however much the girls ask. Think of the Aussies as the new Americans. However, as Western Australia's mining industry slows down the question that must be asked is will there be any effect on the number of Aussies visiting – and more to the point, the amount they spend? Could this possibly have an effect on asking rates? Time will tell.
Will the fall in the value of the Russian ruble to its lowest level ever against the dollar have any effect on the number of Ruskies visiting Thailand? Ordinarily you would say that such a significant fall would have an effect, but one hears odd reasons why Ruskies visit Thailand and their spending patterns are rather different to the average Westerner visitor.
I don't wish to sound like a prude, but the unregulated booze booths on Sukhumvit that run through the night and in some cases well in to the morning – i.e. after the sun has come up – are not a good look, especially when you see the state of some customers. Sukhumvit Road between Nana and Asoke may be a playground at night, but it's the heart of the country's capital city and a commercial area with office towers, company and bank head offices and many respectable (and a few unrespectable) businesses. Surely it's not too much to ask for the booze booths to be dismantled, stowed away out of sight and the area cleaned by the time the sun comes up?
It has been announced that free wireless internet will be offered at all of Thailand's international airports from next month. I hope the registration system is improved because many of us have found it doesn't work how it should. Currently you have to hand over your passport at the info desk to register and you're given a username and password which despite my best efforts never works. But the Internet working is probably not the most important part, is it – it's that the airport can say they offer free internet…that's what seems to count. Still, free wi-fi is not the big thing it used to be with smartphones so common these days and data plans so cheap in Thailand.
For American readers, T-Mobile now offers free texts and roaming in over 100 countries, including Thailand. If you are a T-Mobile customer you can use your data plan in Thailand just as you would in the USA – for web browsing, email, apps, etc with no extra fees or roaming charges applying. You can also send / receive text messages to / from any US phone number without incurring any additional charges. MMS may incur a fee. It beats changing SIM cards each time you cross an international border.
The airport authorities installed turnstiles at the departures level at Suwannaphum Airport not so long ago in an attempt to stop arriving passengers from grabbing a cab at the top level at departures. By doing so passengers avoid the queue at the taxi rank and circumvent the 50 baht taxi surcharge. However, the installed turnstiles are as ineffective as the security guards – there's a gap of about 18 inches so it's easy to squeeze through and the security guards are doing their bit to maintain the country's nickname and just smile and say nothing!
On the subject of air travel, I note reports in the mainstream media that 2 of the people on board the missing Malaysia Airlines flight were travelling on passports that were stolen in Thailand. One of the people whose passport was stolen said that he had deposited his passport with a car rental agency in Thailand and upon returning the car the passport had been lost. I've long wondered about some of these dodgy car and especially motorbike rental crowds that insist on retaining customers' passports. I have never lodged my passport with such an outfit and never would. This serves as a warning as to what can happen. I wonder how widespread this issue is.
Don't get cocky if you have committed a crime in Thailand and reckon you've got away with it because much time has passed since the incident and / or it's a not particularly serious crime. I hear countless stories of those who have committed crimes having the cops turn up for them years – and in some cases many years – later. The most recent case concerned a Thai who had killed someone. Family and friends all knew about it so when he opened the door to find the cops there ready to take him away some 7 years after the incident took place no-one so much as blinked. Why it can take so long for arrests to take place I do not know, but I have heard enough such stories to know that anyone who mouths off about having gotten away with skullduggery may be counting their chickens early.
Quote of the week comes from Lecherous Lee. We were talking about the prices of a meal, someone said how much they'd paid for dinner and Lee responded with, "The last time I spent 760 baht I had to put a condom on!"
Reader's story of the week comes from CiderheadBrit, "Thailand Girlfriend Nightmare Situation".
There are fears for the safety of an Aussie whose whereabouts in Thailand are not known.
A Finn in Pattaya chooses a horrible way to end it, by throwing himself in to the path of an oncoming bus.
A young Dane is robbed at knifepoint by tuktuk drivers on a soi off Sukhumvit Road.
A Turk and a Slovak arrested this week in Bangkok reinforce the image of Thailand as a hideout for foreign criminals.
A Thai complains to police after buying a fake Rolex purported as genuine from a Swede in Pattaya.
Thailand as a destination for steroid holidays is getting more coverage in the Australian press.
A very nasty domestic incident takes place in downtown Sydney between two Thais.Ask Sunbelt Asia Legal
Sunbelt Asia's legal department is here to answer your questions relating to legal issues and the law in Thailand. Send any legal questions you may have to me and I will pass them on to Sunbelt Legal and their response will run in a future column. You can contact Sunbelt's legal department directly for all of your legal needs.
Question 1: I have an account with a Thai brokerage concerning holding Thai stocks through the SET. I am a foreigner. I have asked my broker what arrangements can be made to pass my assets to my children should I die while holding Thai stocks. I cannot get a satisfactory answer. Is there another way other than a will? What happens to the stock management during the transition?
Sunbelt Asia Legal Advisers responds: A will is just one part of the process to ensure that your specific beneficiary inherits your estate. First you would need to designate an Executor. The Executor would have to go through the courts to be designated the Executor. Once that role is confirmed then the Executor would approach your broker to proceed with the transfer of your stocks to the designated heir.
Please be aware that if you die without an heir, Thai law has specific rules regarding inheritance and the succession of that inheritance. Initially half of your assets would be considered as marital assets so if you are married then that half would go to your spouse. The remaining half would then be distributed in order of the 6 classes of inheritance:
Level 1 – Your spouse / your child
Level 2 – Your parents
Level 3 – Brothers and sisters of full blood
Level 4 – Brothers and sisters of half blood
Level 5 – Grandfathers and grandmothers
Level 6 – Uncles and aunts
It is important to note that parents and your spouse will also be treated as a Level 1 inheritance. So for example, if you have a wife, she will receive 50% in marital assets and then her share of the remaining 50% after it goes to children then your parents. In general, the level below (e.g. level 3) will be able to inherit only if there are no existing heirs in the above levels. So, if you want to ensure that your children inherit 100% of your Thai assets you will need to specify that in a will. However, drafting a will and designating an Executor is the only way for someone to inherit stocks as they are considered a personal asset. Stock management would follow the normal procedures.
Question 2: I have formed a Thai company and used it to purchase a house in Thailand. I have no Thai wife, girlfriend or children. In the event of my death, all my assets will go to my parents in Farangland. What would happen to my Thai house? How would my father go about taking ownership of my Thai company and house so he could sell it? Does he have the legal right to do so?
Sunbelt Asia Legal Advisers responds: According to Thai law concerning the succession of inheritance, if you died without a will and have no wife or children then your parents would be the heirs. Please note that there are levels of succession below parents, (spouse and children are in the first level of inheritance) including full sibling followed by half sibling then grandparents and finally aunts and uncles. Normally these would only inherit if there was no spouse, no children and no parents.
In order for the beneficiaries to have access to your estate, you should designate an Executor that would be appointed by the Court. The formally appointed executor could then proceed or liaise with the transfer of ownership of the shares of the company into the Beneficiary's name.
As for the shares in the company, once the Beneficiary is listed as the owner of your shares in that company, they will be required to follow the Civil and Commercial Code in regarding to juristic entity's section, where a Director must be nominated and elected. That director (through the voting of the shareholders) could then act on the company's behalf in any legal binding documents, liquidate the company's assets as well as dissolve the company.
Question 3: I own a condo in Bangkok that is currently listed for sale. Upon a sale, must I be physically present in Thailand to transfer ownership, or can I hire an agent on my behalf to complete the sale? Is there something like a title / closing company to assure transfer of the proceeds into my bank account? Must the proceeds go into my Thai bank account? Or can the funds be sent directly to my USA account upon the transfer?
Sunbelt Asia Legal Advisers responds: The seller does not need to be physically present in Thailand to sell a condo but in order to complete the transaction you will need to execute a Power of Attorney (Land Office Version). The seller must execute the POA witnessed by a Notary Public and certify it at a Royal Thai Embassy / Consulate.
You can agree to have the funds either transferred to a Thai bank account or to an offshore bank account. However, please be aware that if your buyer is also a foreigner he or she will need to provide the Foreign Exchange Transaction Form showing that the purchasing funds were transferred in from overseas for the specific purpose of purchasing your condo.
To transfer the funds out of Thailand you will need to provide supporting documents including the Official Sale & Purchase Agreement (issued by the Land Office) and the FET you obtained when you transferred the money in to purchase the condo in the first place. The amount you transfer out will need to match the amount on the Official Sale and Purchase Agreement issued at the Land Office.
Provocative column opening articles can result in my email inbox going nuts and threads appearing on forums with a title along the lines of Stickman being a self-stimulator. So I was surprised when last week's column leader which was short and benign resulted in such a response. To recap last week's column, I wrote that I've often thought about leaving Thailand, that I had plans to leave and that I will probably be gone in a year. I don't think there was anything contentious and you could hardly call it provocative. Why some would become angry about a column in which I simply signal that I won't be doing this forever puzzled me. I guess some people just want something to talk about. Or maybe they don't want me to abandon my post?
Your Bangkok commentator,