When Electric Blue closed in Patpong and became The Steakhouse Co., it sent shockwaves through the red-light. Girls who had danced there for years were suddenly cast into the sea, as it were, to sink or swim. Most went only as far as a lazy bar girl would—to one of the nearby gogos like Black Pagoda, Pink Panther, or The Strip to take up residence on a different but somehow familiar pole. And much like the NBA after the Kobe/Shaq dynasty, all the talent that used to be concentrated in EB was spread thin over several bars. Without the mega-draw of such a large, talented team, the girls found out a harsh truth—customers weren’t as easy to come by. For punters, a gogo bar is a fish-and-barrel scene. Same for the girls. But less fish of the gogo kind means less fish of the customer kind. It’s a catch-22 of the cruelest kind. So since the start of the year, I’ve watched as the old EB stalwarts try to find where they now fit in the red-light puzzle. It’s been fascinating to witness. Like a 6-month car crash. Of the girls I know personally, half have given up on the pole all together and switched to coffee shops and noodle carts. The other half bounced around nearly every place, and are only just now settling down—or settling for—someplace permanent. Three have chosen Black Pagoda, along with EB’s old bartender and two girls from the flagging Strip. Speaking of, around 10 now call The Strip home. Two are at Pink Panther, four are at King’s Castle 1, and four relocated to Walking Street, Pattaya. One went to work the half-ladyboys, half-girls King’s Corner 2. Weird choice, if you ask me.
Like precious shells scattered over a beach, these delicate creatures have had to jam their square pegs into round holes, and no I’m not going to make an uncouth pun. Because it upsets me. Now instead of having all my faves in one place, I have to schlep all over the Pong if I want to rub elbows with each of my stripper friends. You remember high school? How your whole gang was clustered together, you spent all day every day together. That was Electric Blue. And now it’s like graduation and the cold real world, where you lose track of everybody and only manage to stay in touch with a handful of folks—the ones who make the effort. Every once in a while I’ll run into someone as she’s leaving Foodland, or see one pass by Paddy Field as I’m sat there with a Kilkenny. “Where you working now?” is always my first question. “OK, I’ll come see you.” Then after a few more pints I forget where she said, and must leave it up to dumb luck to find her again. But the mosaic that is Patpong is, I suppose, more colorful in the dissembling.
On the upside, being forced to enter places I never used to go has been both enlightening and titillating. For example, I stopped going to Thigh Bar over a year ago, mainly because all their best girls moved over to Kiss, but in my search for a few Electric Blue MIA’s I ventured in and was surprised to see a whole new crop of young lovelies who weren’t yet wise to the Seven shtick, and who ate it up with a spoon. Another perk is The Steakhouse Co. itself, which despite the heartbreak of losing EB, the joint is gorgeous, as is the food and the wine and the beer. And still another positive effect of the hot ones scattering into smatterings is, I can hit on more of them. In EB, it was established years ago that I was the property of certain girls. The veterans, the BSOC’s (big strippers on campus) laid claim to me, and any new girl who tried to approach was snarled and snapped at by the leaders of the pride. If that’s too much imagery, I apologize. At any rate, I’d just started teaching myself how to circumvent the jealousy of my regular girls and get hooks in the water for new and different ones when it all abruptly ended, which brings me back to the downside of it all. Now, if I want to keep after those girls, first I have to find them again.
The sudden closure of EB left me in mid-seduction of several wide-eyed newbies. The one I was trying hardest to land—Belle—who’s not a newbie but took me several months to work my way in with—up and relocated to Pattaya of all places. I guess I should be grateful it wasn’t Phuket, but still….Ptown? I rarely get there these days, so if I’m going to see a payoff of all the effort I put in to reeling her in before EB shut down, I’ve got to go there. Eesh, what a chore. But that’s a Thailand problem. Which, if I haven’t explained before, is a problem that, anywhere else in the world, wouldn’t be a problem, but because life here is so awesome, it creates these kinds of quandaries. I have to go 3 hours out of my way to bang a girl that used to be a block from my apartment. Compare that to living in L.A. where you could easily go 5 years without getting laid, and it ain’t really a problem. It’s a Thailand problem. At any rate, Belle is unfinished business and now I’ve got to go to the beach if I want to close the deal. I’ll keep you posted.
Overall, the spreading thin of the EB talent has had enough of a positive and negative effect that both cancel each other out and leave me in the same limbo I’m always in. To make up for it, I swung by the Steakhouse tonight and had their wagyu burger. It was outstanding. Then I ran through the Strip, Back Pagoda, Kiss, Thigh, and Kings 1 to say hello to all my good friends who used to be in one place. I guess another positive is, I’m getting some much-needed exercise. Especially on those stairs up to Pagoda.
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