Stickman's Weekly Column November 27th, 2022

Are Sex Tourists Having Less Sex?

 

 

 

The days of receiving emails with a subject line like “14 Days, 23 Ladies” are long gone. Readers used to regale me with tales of their rampage through the bars and how they had crammed years of sexual experiences and a lifetime of sexual partners into a 2-week stay. Not any more. These days that email subject line is more likely to read “Bangkok’s best breakfast” and the email feature photos of bacon and eggs. Are sex tourists to Thailand having less sex?

Turn back the clock 10 or 20 years and many visitors to Thailand would spend the new day with a new lady. Some energetic punters managed to meet a lady by day and another by night. These days the impression I get is that many might hook up with 1, 2 or possibly 3 ladies over the course of a 2-week trip. It seems not to matter if they are young or old, a Thailand veteran or a newbie, the number of sexual partners has fallen off a cliff.

It’s not just tourists. For so long, sexpats had their naughty boy routines. I know because I was one of them. My Saturday night would start in Nana, followed by a walk down to Cowboy and at closing time I’d end up in Thermae. Seldom would I go home alone. Some were creatures of habit like me, others mixed it up a bit. But most of us would take someone home.

My expat friends tell me this is not so common now. They might grab a lady from time to time, but few have any sort of routine and the idea that you’ll take a new lady home each week seems almost foreign. Why have things changed?

The obvious answer is that we’ve moved on. Where we were once young or middle-aged men, now we’re middle-aged or just plain old. Is age a factor? Is it natural that some just do not have the energy and spark that they used to? I’m not sure that’s the answer because the new generation don’t seem to be nearly as active as we were back in the day.

Working girls’ asking prices are much higher these days. Long gone are the days when handing over a 1,000 baht note in the morning would get a big smile, a wai and a grateful khop khun ka. With asking prices – especially in Bangkok – around 3,000 baht for short-time in the gogo bars and not a lot less in the freelancer outlets, how many can sustain a busy lifestyle night after night at those prices? And for all but the Americans, lousy exchange rates don’t help.

While the best bars are packed with beauties, many bars struggle to hire genuine lookers. If there is one piece of feedback that is as constant as it is consistent, it’s that chrome pole bars don’t have as many beauties as before. It was not always this way. Are the ladies working in the bar industry these days less appealing?

Everyone knows a great time can still be had in the bars – especially if you’re willing to put your hand deep in to your pocket – but I also think most accept that things aren’t what they used to be. Fun for fun’s sake? Not so much. Could that be part of the reason for fewer liaisons?

Could a changing world that is rapidly becoming politically correct be part of it? In our homelands, sex tourism might have been giggled at once, now it is more likely to get sneered at.

Are people just having less sex these days because the world is such a messed up place that they’re on edge all the time and they have greater concerns than the pursuit of carnal pleasure?

Is less alcohol consumption a factor? Younger people drink much less than older generations did when they were their age. Does less alcohol mean more inhibition and a less exciting life between the sheets? Take alcohol away and people tend to become much more – I hate to say it – sensible…but also boring (and I say this as someone who has not had a drop in more than 18 months).

Or is this nauseating movement against the consumption of red meat and manipulative messaging towards a plant-based diet having an effect? Red meat is a nutritional powerhouse, particularly for males and comes with many benefits, one of which is maintaining / increasing testosterone – which is a factor in maintaining an active sex life. A bit left-field perhaps, but convince me that it’s not perhaps a small part of it.

Whatever the reasons, these days there seem to be far fewer genuine sex tourists. Enjoying the show at Billboard and getting frisky with a massage girl or two is fun, but it’s a long way from the days when afternoons were spent at the Eden Club, the Biergarten or Pattaya’s soi 6 by day, followed by takeout from a gogo bar and sweating the sheets all-night long.

The days of naughty boys returning home from a trip to Thailand with fond memories of a dozen or more ladies seems to be a thing of the past. Is generation sex tourist dead?

 

 

Mystery Photo

Where is it?

Last week’s photo was taken of the frontage of the shopping centre on the lower floors of the Times Square Building. This week’s photo is one I would not have got if the person who took it did not tell me where it is.

 

 

Meet her at Mandarin A Go Go, Nana Plaza.

 

 

Stick’s Inbox – The Best Emails From The Past Week

Airport experience.

I arrived in Bangkok with some friends on Wednesday. The Thai Airways flight from London was full. At Suvanabpum Immigration we were pleasantly surprised. It appears around 20 or more new Immigration booths have been installed with 2 officers at each. We got through in around 10 minutes. The queues were dealt with very efficiently. Baggage carousel was slow and we waited around 30 minutes for our bags. The airport was very busy but everything ran smoothly.

This year’s high season is the real deal.

I can only speak for the hour I spent around Soi Buakhao on Friday night, around 10:30 PM, but it was a packed, a shit-show and no-one was going anywhere quickly. The next night, Beach Road was insane with the fireworks and masses of people. I was in Krabi last week and I am pretty sure all of Europe was there. Even a few Americans. And I spent a few days in Bangkok recently. The sky train is packed like the old days. Everywhere in the city is busy. It feels like this high season may be the real deal.

Thoughts on the bar biz.

The explanation as to why more men are just hanging out and not chasing girls nowadays is easy: the girls are not attractive. Neither the freelancers nor the gogo girls. Even the very best bar which was filled with stunners just a few months ago, has dropped substantially in eye candy quality. The number of ladyboys on the streets and in bars is appalling to many guys. I visit Soi Nana a few times per week. I used to flirt with girls in Hillary 2 and take one home occasionally. Now I stop by just to play pool and have a few drinks with friends. On a related subject: I suppose some gogo bar owners struggle to figure out why their bar has few customers, despite having a nice interior and some decent looking girls. These bars have one thing in common: horrible electronic dance music. A good example is <bar name removedStick>. I always have a look inside and there are always some attractive or even very hot girls. They also advertise low drink prices. Yet it is always empty. The noise coming out of the bar prevents me from even sticking my head inside. Here is some advice for these bar owners: have a look at the demographic profile of Nana Plaza visitors and take a guess how many of them want to suffer electronic dance music on a night out. Building a nice bar costs money. Employing decent-looking girls costs money. Playing music that does not scare away potential customers is easy and does not cost a single baht! If owners are too stupid to figure this out, they deserve to lose their invested capital. Given how busy the bar areas right now, I am curious how busy it will be during the Christmas / New Year holidays. This year could be breaking records (unfortunate for expats like me, but great for the bars and girls).

Still fun, but pricier.

Nana Plaza is the same as always, a great place for people watching with a nice selection of girls in the bars. The one bar I did enquire about taking a lady away wanted 1,000 barfine and she expected 3,000 for short-time. I figured I’d check out Thermae. I enjoy going there as it’s one of the only bars you can enjoy a drink without being harassed and enjoy the views. It seems like the girls all charge the same there now, 2,500 short-time and 6,000 long-time – but most want short-time. I guess that’s the way they make more money but at least there is no barfine. Thailand is still a great place but it’s not the budget destination it once was. You can get a good deal on accommodation but food / drink and fun definitely costs more.

Time to take the bus?
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I had an interesting conversation with an American who is living and working in Bangkok. We were watching the football together and talking about life in Bangkok post-pandemic. I’m staying in Phra Khanong and he lives in a condo in On Nut so the subject came round to how to get home between midnight and 5 AM when the skytrain isn’t running and taxis are impossible to find, or at least impossible to find with a driver who will use the meter and not ask silly money. He said he always takes the bus! I was surprised by this as in all the time I’ve spent in Thailand over the years it’s not something I have ever done. He said he didn’t do it to save money but to meet girls. He said if you take the number 2 night bus from outside Soi 5 at 2:30 AM, it is packed with bargirls heading home for the night. He said it’s easy to talk to them as you wait for the bus then sit next to them and pay for their ticket. 9.75 baht per person, apparently. He said they are more than happy to swap numbers and he takes things from there. He said he gets the bus everywhere and he’s never had one journey where he hadn’t met at least one attractive office girl. For me, Bangkok traffic makes it impossible to take a bus in the daytime, but maybe it wouldn’t be too bad at 2.30 AM?

 

 

Meet her at Red Dragon, Nana Plaza.

 

This Week’s News, Views & Gossip

A huge roar went up in the bar as Japan struck for the second time in minutes to secure a stunning upset victory in its first World Cup match against Germany. But it wasn’t a sports pub or beer garden where the cheering broke out. It was Billboard, Thailand’s best and busiest gogo bar. Every 4 years, football’s World Cup has been the bane of gogo bars when even casual soccer fans give up boobs for balls of the black and white kind. Billboard and Butterflies were packed this week while some bars in Nana Plaza and Soi Cowboy felt like they had been brought down in a vicious tackle worthy of a yellow card.

Planning months ahead of the month-long tournament, Billboard and Butterflies’ owner began filling both bars with huge new TVs. The final piece was put in place just before Qatar and Ecuador kicked the tournament off. Billboard don’t do things in half-measures, and placed a 98-inch 4K screen behind the bar, the largest single-panel LED screen on the market. Two more 75-inch screens went up along the opposite wall, all synchronised with fibre-optic 4K cables linking them. Compare this with many sports pubs running streaming boxes on every screen, leaving them all out of sync, some ahead and some dropping out as the stream buffers.

It’s a similar setup at sister bar Butterflies. The 100-inch, 4-screen setup from Billboard was moved there and three more big screens were added around the bar. That means you can sit anywhere in Billboard or Butterflies and, without turning your head, watch the football and gorgeous girls in sexy, tiny World Cup-style uniforms. Rival bar owners love to scoff about how much money has been sunk into both bars, but the investment clearly is paying off. Who’s laughing now?

One regular reader described the football kits the ladies in Billboard are wearing as “sexy in a stylish way“. There’s an interesting back story with these outfits. The girls had to buy the kit from the bar. Immediately when I hear things like that I cringe, but there’s more to the story. The girls like them and know they look great in them so some girls bought various set for different teams. I guess they’ll wait to see who is going to win and wear that one, Thais being Thais! They don’t wear them every night – the laundry must be done – but when they do it sure adds to the atmosphere on Nana Plaza’s top floor.

 

Is it coming home? Following England at The Game, this week.

 

Some gogo bars may dread the 4+ weeks of World Cup but Bangkok’s non-gogo bars and pubs are soaking it up and raking it in. The new, more convenient location for The Old English Bangkok, right at the foot of Exit 3 of the Thong Lor BTS station, has turned an often-sleepy pub into a smash sensation, with local Brits flocking to the bar. Powered by the 45-baht “Pound for a Pint” afternoon promotion, people are coming early and staying all night for the football. And The Old English is open for 2 AM World Cup matches, not closing until the final whistle.

As it should be, given its name, The Game under the Nana BTS station, another popular spot to watch World Cup matches, is also open all night for matches that kick off at 2 AM. Despite being much larger than The Old English, with two floors, The Game is also packed. It draws a more international crowd with more than the British, Japanese and Koreans that The Old English is popular with. The Game has made the World Cup a full event, with nightly Score Predictor contests (free pitchers of beer the prize), its own “Dream Team” fantasy league and free “World Cup Shots” for everyone in football shirts every night. (The Old English also is doing the free shots for everyone after the first goal.)

It’s the end of an era on Sukhumvit soi 33 where fetish house Demonia will say bon voyage in its original location, with plans to make a quick transition to their new location on the other side of the soi. Demonia’s owner has been very busy. While he has been arranging for the closure of the original Demonia and the relocation across the road in to the new space, he has been setting up a whole new fetish house in Phuket. The name is Minotaur and it is ready to open and unleash the pleasures – or is that the terrors – of fetish on the holiday island. 5 of the Demonia crew will head south to Phuket to take up positions in the new bar. December 3rd is the big day for a special party to farewell these ladies and give them a good send-off and wish them luck in the new bar down south.

 

Bon voyage, Demonia.

 

On Soi Cowboy, the outside bar areas have TVs showing World Cup matches live. You can pretty much expect TVs in most bars nationwide to be tuned in to the tournament for the next month. Thais embrace major sports tournaments and love betting on following the World Cup. I’d love to be in Thailand to follow the World Cup – it was always a great time in the past.

Speaking of Soi Cowboy, how long has the dispensary (I really hate that word which strikes me as rather pretentious) been open on the soi? A friend sent photos of Soi Cowboy when he was out and about on Friday night and there in the middle of the soi is a place I’d never seen before, Weed Hub, Soi Cowboy’s first marijuana store proper (as opposed to product being sold on the soi from a makeshift table). It’s in the space that was the short-lived bar East End.

For those on a budget, apparently the cheapest deal on prime Sukhumvit these days are the rougher ladies lingering outside the Nana Hotel. 1,500 baht is their asking price.

With visitor numbers putting smiles on the faces of all who serve the tourist market, it’s time for one of the city’s more infamous attractions to make a comeback. A banner posted across Patpong 1 says that the Patpong Night Market will return next week, December 5th. Trade has picked up at Patpong but Bangkok’s oldest bar area could do with the boost in trade that the night market will bring.

 

The Patpong Night Market returns on December 5th.

 

An announcement on the website of Wood Bar, a blowjob bar in Sukhumvit Soi 7, says the venue is up for sale. The humorous message mentions expansion plans by the group which includes the opening of a blowjob bar in Tehran, of all places. Friend of the column Arsenal Alex brought this to my attention and never short of a good one-liner, made the following comment, “They should just save their time and form a political party in New Zealand with the sole aim of making rugby illegal. They would have a higher chance of success of that than they would opening a BJ bar in Iran!

New Year may be 5 weeks away but some people tell me the bar scene is vibrant and pumping like it’s the peak of the holiday season. With so much pent up demand to get back to Thailand, strong visitor numbers should be sustained for a long time to come. There is a huge backlog of people keen to get back to Bangkok and no doubt there are just as many who have already visited post-Covid and are keen to visit again. High season is going to run on and on and on, I suspect.

It took a while for visitors to return but everyone tells me there are throngs of visitors all over Sukhumvit. And even the most nervous of travellers, the Japanese are about in big numbers. With this in mind, I hear that the Thermae is back to normal – meaning far more Asian punters than Westerners. For a while, Thermae wasn’t getting many visitors and Westerners matched or even exceeded Asian customers in terms of total numbers. Not any more.

 

Meet her at Red Dragon, Nana Plaza.

 

Things are starting to hit their stride at Nana Plaza’s newest bar, Red Dragon. This should come as zero surprise as the hands-on owners have great pedigree and happen to be the same people behind a bunch of hugely successful bars including Mandarin in the Plaza, Shark on Soi Cowboy as well as Fahrenheit, Shark and Bliss in Pattaya. Red Dragon, at the top of the escalator on the middle floor, is their most beautiful bar with cosy sofa cubicles aimed at groups……meaning lots of intimate female company! There are now nearly 30 dancers strutting their stuff on the long, low stage that runs through the middle of Red Dragon, whose mascot breathes fire above the bar. Red Dragon’s social media channels have now kicked into gear as well, so give them a follow:

Is Crazy House becoming an “Asian bar”? Over the years, we Westerners have referred to some bars as “Japanese bars” – meaning a good percentage of customers were Japanese and many of the girls had a preference for Japanese / Asian punters. The original Rainbow 1 in Nana back in the ‘90s is the bar I always think of as the classic Japanese bar, and Baccara in Soi Cowboy are probably the best known. Today, those bars once referred to as “Japanese bars” would more accurately be termed “Asian bars” as they are popular not just with our Japanese friends, but with North Asian men. But then I imagine the term “Asian bars” would probably upset the woke soft-cocks. Crazy House has had quite a following with Westerners, especially those who like things rough and raw. I always found it a bit much and felt it wasn’t many rungs up the ladder from the God-awful Windmill in Pattaya but then some of you love that sort of carry on and think I’m a bit of a prude. Fair enough, whatever rocks your boat. Anyway, recent feedback has is that Crazy House is packing in our North Asian friends. Will it become known as an Asian bar?

Buddy’s Bar & Grill is expanding… again! No, there are no new locations being opened (right now), but two of their venues – Soi 89 and Silom – are growing in size. Silom will triple in size, making it Buddy’s largest restaurant while the Soi 89 location popular with expats living in the area will double in size, allowing for the addition of a pool table. You can follow the updates on the expansion plans on Buddy’s website.

 

Party time at Republic.

 

In Pattaya, Republic will host what it is calling “the most exciting event in Pattaya’s nightlife”: RAVE Republic. The second such event – the first was a smash – features trance, EDM and Houseparty tunes – which to me sounds quite hideous. The saving grace is that there will be lots of ladies ready to party with you. Tables and private VIP areas are available. Message Republic through its Facebook or Instagram pages.

Little bar news makes this column from Hua Hin, primarily because I don’t have any good contacts there. The Hua Hin Today newspaper is reporting that an entire new bar area has opened in Hua Hin. More from their report here.

When did the skytrain start service earlier? I remember it was always something like 5:40 AM or so when the first trains departed and if you were downtown they would show up around 6:00 AM or so. These days the first train passes through the likes of the Nana station at around 5:00 AM. A quick search online at the official BTS website says “BTS SkyTrain operates daily from 06.00 – 24.00 hrs” but obviously that’s not the case.

There was more unseasonal rain this week in Bangkok making some expats think that this year’s rainy season will never end. Rains so late in the year are catching out many expats who find themselves caught out and about without a rom.

 

Meet her at Red Dragon, Nana Plaza.

 

On Sukhumvit soi 23, just a stone’s throw from Crazy House, the Australian-themed bar and eatery Bradman’s is on the market. Owner Andrew sent the following email this week:

Bradmans Sports Bistro in Soi 23 has been an institution for sports fans, expats, food lovers and traveling businessmen for over 21 years. There are more than 20 marriages of Bradmans Thai staff to Farangs and 30+ offspring that we know of. Famous moments, great debates (politics, philosophy and solving world hunger were just some I can think of) and many friendships that reverberate around the world today that make up just part of the Bradmans legacy.  

Bradmans got hit hard during COVID and we cannot renovate or restaff to do justice to the high expectations of customers. Therefore it is with heavy heart that I have to announce Bradmans will be closed forever on or around Dec 1st. It is quite possible the last ever sports game shown will be the Australia v Denmark world cup game. It would be a suitable memory if the result of that game means the Aussie qualify for the 2nd round for the first time ever. That would certainly be better than retiring just 4 runs short of the elusive 100 run average! 

What is the opportunity?

If there is someone out there that wants to take over the reins, make renovations and bring Bradmans back to life then please contact me asap. Great location, great history, great base to start from. All efforts will be made to support you.

 

Another great Bangkok breakfast option.

 

I swear that I get more feedback about photos posted of tasty looking breakfasts than I do of tasty looking females, hence I post the photo above. A fellow countryman sent this shot of his breakfast from Breakfast Story which is between the Asoke intersection and Emporium, in the space where Bad Burger used to be. Nice-looking breakfast but I can’t shake the feeling they have rather overdone it with the fruit!

Last week I touched on the issue of pricey lady drinks and lady drink scams which had been reported in a few bars in Soi Cowboy. There are various issues from very high-priced lady drinks to ruses where a lady asks for a drink but brings two, to ladies ordering lady drinks for their friends without asking. There have also been reports of ladies taking the piss to the extent that they come back with an entire tray of lady drinks – more often than not shots – which they all throw down the hatch and then disappear quick-smart to find their next victim. The industry is changing. Some ladies working in bars where barfines used to be the norm have almost zero interest in going with customers. Fair enough, that’s their choice. They prefer to “earn” their income by going really hard to get customers to buy them drinks and maximise their lady drink commissions. With many bars upping lady drink commissions to 100 baht or more per drink, some ladies are making as much in a night from lady drink commissions as other ladies make going short-time with customers. This is not the new normal, but the extent to which it is happening is unprecedented.

African beauties have descended on Sukhumvit and can be found in the vicinity of sois 3 through to soi 11. Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya are the 3 countries best represented. African gentlemen are back too,  some just lingering about. What’s the deal with them? It’s not like they’re selling weed because that’s available everywhere already. If you fancy a naughty with an African beauty, be quick – the coppers usually crack down on them when their numbers swell.

Mask compulsory, shirt optional! I loved the photos reader Tim sent through of a Pattaya local. Tim’s subject line on the email was “Pattaya’s finest” – brilliant!

 

Pattaya’s finest, seen exiting a convenience store on South Pattaya Road, directly across from the temple.

 

Thailand-Related News Article Links

A distressed elephant collapses while being beaten and forced on to a truck in Surin.

A major new bar area has opened in Hua Hin.

The Michelin Guide reveals Thailand’s culinary stars for 2023.

 

Nana Plaza this weekend. Like other bar areas, Patpong aside, business is great.

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Photo after photo from readers this week told the same story. Nana Plaza, pumping. Soi Cowboy, throngs of people. Soi Buakhao, traffic at a standstill. Thailand’s bar areas have made a strong comeback and photos from Friday and Saturday nights looked very much like high season while the calendar tells us it’s still November. There were dire predictions from some quarters about how high season would be this year. Who imagined it would boom like this?

Your Bangkok commentator,

Stick

 

Stick can be contacted at : stickmanbangkok@gmail.com