Gay bars in the U.S. are pretty much all the same. The decor may be different, the type of clientele may change from one bar to the next, some may have a backroom, but basically they are all the same; you know exactly what to expect when you enter regardless of which city or state you are in. The gay gogo bars in Bangkok too are more alike than they are different from each other. But there is a difference, possibly subtle enough that a first time visitor may not notice. That first timer who forms an opinion of what gay gogo bars in Bangkok have to offer off of a single visit to one bar may find it an erroneous one. And if he then decides to visit a different bar he may be pleasantly surprised, or equally disappointed or amazed, that the new bar has little to do with the one he first visited. While every bar in Bangkok catering to the touri crowd operates similarly and offers a similar product, there is a vast difference in how they do so.
There are, to my way of thinking, three types of gay gogo bars in Bangkok, scattered around the Patpong area. There are gogo bars that cater to the local crowd too, but those are far removed from the regular touri haunts and are not places most occasional visitors to Bangkok find themselves in. Most gay touri do however find themselves visiting the gogo bars around Silom. And if it is your first time, which bar you choose can make a big difference in how much fun you will have there.
The majority of bars are on Soi Twilight. They too differ slightly from one to the next, but the experience you have in any is similar to what you can expect from the others. Pricing for drinks and off fees may be slightly more or less depending on the bar, the stable of boys may or may not be to your liking if there is a specific type of guy you like, and the aggressiveness of the mamasans may be higher in one bar than another, but the basics are the same.
On Twilight each of the gogo bars has a stable of bar boys from fem to masculine with most offering at least one guy who is muscular. All put on two shows nightly between which the bar boys take turns rotating on stage in their underwear in groups. During the shows the guys perform in various states of undress (and hardness) moving from semi-nudity to nudity to full on sex acts. Some bars are larger than the others, some have a larger stable of bar boys, and some get a bit more raunchy. But they all basically offer the same product under the same entertainment format.
As do what I consider the second type of gogo bar in Bangkok. I call them specialty bars – there are only two. Tawan, about a four block walk from Soi Twilight down Suriwong, offers muscle boys. And across from Twilight and down a small soi is Jupiter, which tends to have taller, lighter-skinned bar boys. The kind of guys who make it in the modeling world in Bangkok. Or would have liked to but just didn’t quite make the cut. You usually pay a bit more for drink and off costs at the speciality bars, and while not necessarily true there is the belief that the guys at those bars expect larger tips too. The truth is the guys there usually do get larger tips but that in most cases is due to the customers believing the boys are worth a premium.
The third type of bar I call the sleaze joints, though I’m beginning to refer to the area where they are located as Little Pattaya. Their numbers are quickly dwindling, but this small scattering of bars can be found just a bit further along the soi where Tawan is located. They are small, cheap, dingy places where pretty much anything goes. Drinks, off fees, and acceptable tips are all cheaper in these places than in the other bars around Silom because the boys are too. They don’t really have shows unless you consider the sight of a 65-year-old fat farang customer getting blown a show.
Screwboys is a world unto itself, a conglomeration of both the standard gogo bars on Soi Twilight and, though larger, the sleaze bars of Little Pattaya. Being located within the official boundaries of Patpong, it can be, and often is, open past the mandatory closing time of the other bars. It’s been known to have shows, but that is often dependent upon how many customers the bar has.
No one type of bar is better than the others, every type has their fans. For a newbie to Bangkok’s gay gogo bar world, your best bet is to try them all. Several times.
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