For those of us who visit Thailand, and its bars, frequently, the entire process of a night out is pretty humdrum. We know what to expect. We don’t even think about the details. It’s all second nature to us. But what about the new guys? It’s not like outside of Thailand you’ll ever have an experience even close to that of visiting one of the gay gogo bars in Bangkok. While a first time visit is undoubtedly thrilling, it also can be a bit unnerving as the newbie hasn’t a clue as to how the whole thing works.
If their first visit wasn’t a spur of the moment decision while already in Bangkok, the newbie probably tried to find out the scoop through the internet. Which means they found one of the gay Thailand forums. What a scary introduction that must be! If they man up and post their questions . . . yikes! Doubtful they’ll get the answers they were looking for. But before the thread goes totally off the track (that’d be by responding post #5) they’ll be accused of being someone they never heard of; someone else will abusively tell them to use the search function; some old disgruntled Pattaya expat will tell them they will be ripped off, left with blue balls, and spat upon; and one of the bar owners in Pattaya will use their post as an excuse to promote his bar.
So, for the newbie, here’s a step by step program for your first visit to a gay gogo bar in Bangkok.
1. Get one under your belt. Doesn’t matter which bar is your first, once you’ve popped your cherry you’ll be a pro and can then start hitting the various bars to find the one that suits you best. Outside of the bar there will be one or more barkers. It’s these guys job to lure you into the club with false promises. No problemo. Just allow them to push you inside. You’ll immediately be handed off to a mamasan, or more correctly, a captain.
2. Yes, that is a totally nude and erect guy on the stage. Ignore him for now. The captain will use his penlight to escort you to a seat. On subsequent visits you’ll have learned where you like to sit. Don’t be picky on this visit, just sit your ass down. The captain will immediately take your drink order. You may not be able to hear him because of the loud, blaring disco music, or you may not be able to understand his attempt at English. Doesn’t matter. Whatever it is he is saying, the important part is your drink.
3. Think of your initial, and possibly only, drink as a cover charge. No, you can not just sit there and look, you have to order at least one. Doesn’t matter if you order water or Johnny Walker Blue on the rocks (not that they’d actually have that) the cost is the same. Probably 250 baht. When in doubt, just say “Singha”. Soon your drink will appear, usually brought by a different guy. This guy is the waiter. In addition to your drink he will bring a piece of paper about the size of an index card and put it in a container in front of you. This is a check bin. More papers will be added as you order more drinks for yourself or others. Feel free to pull it out and look at the amount if you want. You won’t settle up, however, until you are ready to leave.
Occasionally, if the show is on and the bar is really packed the waiter will want you to pay right then. If so this will be clear to you. He will say, “Pay Now”. If you picked Dream Boys in Bangkok as the bar for your first visit, you’ll pay for your first drink at the door and be given a ticket to exchange for your drink inside. Any further drinks will follow the normal routine of using the check bin.
4. Time to check out the guys. Yes, they are all staring at you. Some may even be smiling at you. If you smile back, that’s an invitation to join you so you might want to ignore them at first. If the mamasan is pushy, she’ll be back pretty quick asking, “You want boy?” Do not be polite. Just Say No! If you are lucky she’ll leave you alone so you can have a chance to check out the guys. BTW, mamasans are generally not women, even if they look like they are. But we all call them mamasans and ‘she’ anyway.
5. Most of the bars, at least those with a stage, have two offerings of eye candy. The first is called dancing though these days none of the guys actually dance. They stand on the stage and stare into the mirrors on the walls. They will be dressed in shorts or underwear. Each will have a small numbered badge attached to their shorts. In Thailand it is considered rude to point. So if you decide you would like to meet one of the guys, you can ask the mamasan for him by number. She will not understand you. So then you’ll point to the guy you want. This is Thailand. You do not need her assistance, however, generally just smiling at the guy that interests you will be enough. A small wave toward you may necessary.
At a lot of the bars one or more of the guys will take it upon himself to come over. If you like what you see, say “hi” back to him and he will join you. If you don’t want the twinky little fem who is screeching “hi” at you in 20 syllables, do not be polite. Just Say No, Shake your head. He’ll walk off in a huff. Good riddance.
The guys on the stage will rotate, meaning they will slowly make their way around and then off the stage to be replaced by a new guy. They do this in groups. It won’t take long for the entire of stable of boys to have made their way on stage. It’s good to wait and see everyone the bar has to offer before singling one out. Nothing worse than already having a guy sit with you and then spying the man of your dreams walking onto the stage.
6. When the already loud music gets louder, the show will begin. The room will get dark. Some twinks will come on stage and disco dance or some ladyboys will come on stage and lip synch. The nice thing about the show is that the mamasans tend to leave you alone while the show is on. If you are lucky. Depending on the bar and how many customers are there, the show will progress with more and more nudity. Soon there will be naked guys with hard cocks standing just a few feet in front of you. Sex acts will soon follow. Your cock will probably get hard. Don’t worry about it. All those other guys sitting around you looking like they are falling asleep? They are expats. They have seen this a million times. They don’t get hard until the Viagra kicks in. Playing with yourself, btw, is frowned upon. You are not Pee Wee Herman.
If there is a large enough crowd, or it is the late show, the performance will end with a fucking act. Yes, he is really being fucked. Notice he is either still wearing shorts or has his hand cupped around his cock. He is not hard. Nor is he enjoying this. But the bar is paying him 100 baht. Now you know what a Thai is willing to do for 100 baht. The copulating couple, unless you are extremely blessed, will leave the stage and circulate amongst the crowd. If you screwed up your karma in a previous life, they will stop in front of you. The guy getting fucked will lay himself across your lap and screech, “Tip meeeeeee”. Do so quickly so they leave. 20 baht is more than enough. This is not a tip. It is extortion.
When the show is over, the lights will go back up and the ‘dancing’ will again commence. Repeat as necessary.
7. You are not obligated to off a boy just because you walked into the bar. No one there may be to your liking. Or you may want to look at other bars first. Or you may want to not quite go that far your first time out. No worries. It’s all good.
8. When you are ready to leave you can signal the mamasan. Picking up your check bin will also work as she will magically appear if you do so. The mamasan will look thru the papers in your check bin and make an attempt at doing addition. It’s a good idea for you to have already tallied up your drinks in advance because she’ll probably get it wrong. She is not trying to cheat you. She is just stupid. When you both agree on the amount hand her your money. If you have change coming, a waiter will bring it back to you in small coins and small bills hoping you will leave all the small stuff as a tip. Thais do not tip. You do not have to tip. But it is nice to leave the coins and if you are like most guys you don’t want a bunch of worthless coins in your pockets anyway. As you leave, tip or not, off or not, half of the staff will wai to you. They are not being sincere. Do not wai back. You don’t know how to do it properly anyway, so don’t bother. If your mama raised you to be polite, you can smile and nod your head instead.
Congratulations! You just survived your first visit to a gogo bar in Bangkok. What? You didn’t get to talk with a boi? You wanted to actually take one home with you? You need to take a piss? Sorry. Read on:
Time In The Bar: So you spotted a guy that made your already dick bounce around a bit. Or you didn’t have enough balls to chase that screeching little fem away. So now what? As much fun as the bar is to you, the guys working there actually see it as a job. This means they are there to make money. Time is money. And they just spent time with you. So pay up.
If you’ve invited a guy to come sit with you, within the first few minutes (giving you a chance to se if he really was that cute and that he doesn’t have objectionable body ordure) it is customary to buy him a drink. It’s nice of you to ask him if he wants one. If you take too long, a mamasan will usually stop buy and ask you if you want to buy him one. Not good to get the mamasan involved as she’ll want a drink too. The boi’s drink costs the same as yours. He gets about 20 baht of that. Regular bar patrons may slyly offer the boi a cash tip instead but you’re still a newbie and won’t pull that off well so don’t try. The waiter will bring his drink and add another one of those pieces of paper to your check bin.
You can spend oh 15 – 20 minutes chatting with your new friend. Your conversation will go like this:
“Where You From?”
“Where You Stay?”
“How Long You In Bangkok?”
This may be the only English he speaks. But your answer will tell him:
1. Culturally, how big of a tipper you will be;
2. Economically, what kind of money you have, or how cheap you are;
3. How many nights he may be able to get money out of you.
If after you’ve chatted a bit you decide he really isn’t what you had in mind, you can send him on his way, or leave yourself. But you should tip him for his time. 100 baht will make him happy and not put a dent in your wallet. On the other hand, if you decide he is exactly what you want, then it’s time to close the deal.
You may want to check out the goods before making your purchase. This is generally frowned upon; diddling the bois is a no-no. There is a place for that. It’s called Pattaya.
Offing A Guy: Taking the guy out of the bar with you is called offing. For straight guys it’s called a bar fine. The process is simple. Ask him if he wants to go with you. He undoubtedly will, though he does have the right to say no. If he says no you might want to bathe before you visit a bar next time. If it’s a go, he’ll usually signal the mamasan and then go change into his street clothes. The mamasan will add a final paper to your check bin. The off fee will run 400-500 baht. You are paying this to the bar and the money is for the bar. Yes, the bar is a pimp you pay directly.
What isn’t as simple, and what many guys balk at, or totally pass on, is reaching a mutual agreement about your satisfaction. You need to ask the boi if he is willing to perform any and all sexual acts that you feel necessary. Most guys are willing to suck your dick. But it is a good place to start, and asking this will help warm you up for what follows. If his English is not good, you can pantomime to get the idea across, or use the Thai slang word for the act which kinda sounds like smoke but is pronounced a bit more drawn out: Saa moke. He’ll nod. Good to go.
Anal? He’ll know the word fuck. But be clear. You want to fuck him ask, “I fuck you?” Pointing at yourself on the ‘I’ and him on the “You”. Thais do not like to say no. Especially when it means the loss of a customer. So you need to watch his reaction, too. Hesitation, means no and you are suppose to realize this. “I do everything” also means no. He didn’t really answer your question, did he? Same if you want to bottom. Most Thai guys have no problem being the top. But you may be hitting on a true bottom (looks can be deceiving). So if that is important to you, ask. Anything beyond that (i.e. SM, water sports, fisting) is beyond the pale and not on the menu. Most of these guys are straight. They are used to us weird farang, but trying to convince one how much fun it’ll be to have him piss on you . . . just ain’t gonna happen.
And speaking of pissing, if you need to go while you are at the bar there is a good chance there will be one or more employees there to help you. For some reason Thais have decided customers enjoy a shoulder massage while they are pissing. You should tip that guy 20 baht. Preferably after you have washed your hands. If the bar doesn’t have a restroom attendant you’ll instead get to experience one of the most disgusting toilets you’ll ever see in your life. Thais use squat toilets, a hole in the ground. They are unfamiliar with the toilet we use in the West and do not realize they need to be cleaned occasionally. Or flushed. You’ve been warned.
Now I hate to leave you hanging, but what comes after you walk out of the bar with your new BFF is another story and another blog entry, so go look at the menu to the right under ‘Dancing With The Devil” in the category section and click on the appropriate link.
A Final Word About Tips
If the mamasan has actually been of help, which is as likely as winning the lottery, you should tip her. 100 baht is cool. If one of the waiters has been attentive, or he’s just hot, you can tip him too. BUT, whatever money you leave in the folder they brought your change in goes to the house. If you want to tip the waiter, you need to hand back the folder first, then hand him his tip directly. How much? Again, up to you. 20 baht is an acknowledgment. 100 baht and you’ll get one of those glorious Thai smiles.