What’s up my dudes, Seven here. I’ve got one final “Shove It” article for you.
Recently I accidentally read two articles from different “Bangkok nightlife” websites, each of which tried to wittily describe the various types of annoying farang one might come across in the gogo bar. I think both narrowed the stereotypes (narreotypes, copyright BKK7) to 10. I submit to you, the internet reader, that there are far less than 10. There are, in fact, only four. And one of them is the smug Bangkok nightlife blogger. But before I get to skewering myself, let’s break down the other three:
1-The backpacker. This asshat has just spent a week speeding through the southern islands, slowing just long enough to hit the full moon party and lay on the beach for half an hour, and now he’s got one night in Bangkok before catching the red-eye back to his sad regular life. He tells himself he’s going to the red-light to look down on all the sleaze bags, but really he’s just desperate to get an eyeful of skin, and possibly work up the courage to pull the trigger on that quick bang he’s been dreaming about throughout the entire trip. If you’re unlucky enough to be sitting near him and he strikes up a convo, it’ll be all about how much wiser he is as a result of the eat-pray-love tour of Phuket, and a litany of musings about Thais that have come about from the deep relationships he formed in those seven days. He’s smug, snide, and inordinately proud of himself, and he wants you to know it. Inevitably though, he’ll get around to asking how the whole barfine thing works, what he should pay, what he should say, where he should go…basically hoping you’ll babysit him through the short-time process and do everything but put the condom on him.
2-The moron. This guy gets everything wrong from soup to nuts, because he’s just too stupid to do it any other way. He hasn’t done any research, he thinks Thailand operates under the same culture and customs of his home country, and he’s basically just winging it. He doesn’t know how to behave, so he commits one or more of the following faux pas: getting onstage, leaving before the rotation, trying to act tough, over-tipping, overpaying, falling in love, treating a barfine like a grocery store transaction, not wearing a condom, being rude to the girls, using Western pickup lines, assuming he’s superior to the Thais and other tourists because he came from *insert pretentious Western city here* and that makes him just a little bit better than everyone else. If he’s alone he will definitely try to talk to you, as being sans wingman has him at peak insecurity. He’ll get too drunk too quickly, lose his wallet or leave his ATM card in the machine, and wind up sleeping in the doorway of a closed Haagen-Dazs on Silom Road.
Either that, or he’ll try to act as the white knight savior of one or more gogo dancers. I recall one instance when I went to Pink Panther to see one of my regular harem girls. She owed me money and was late to repay, so I needed to teach her a lesson. When I sat down, she came over and I began to gently torture her, pulling her shirt off, sticking a finger in her butthole, messing up her hair…my usual routine. And out of the corner of my eye I saw a handful of American frat boys watching me intently. Then, as I bent the girl over my knee and began to spank her, one guy stood up and took a step in my direction. His friend grabbed his arm and held him back, but he never took his eyes off me. I met his gaze as I pulled down her shorts to smack her bare ass. As he turned to argue with his buddy, I got up and dragged my girl by the hair to a seat in the corner where I could abuse her with a bit more privacy. The dude tore free and walked toward us, and that was when the owner of Panther came up to shake my hand, as he does every time I visit. He laughed at my antics and encouraged me to keep it up. The angry frat boy stood behind him for a moment with an incredulous look on his stupid face, then gave up and went back to his seat. I’d wager that, to this day, the fool thinks he was in the right and my whore needed rescuing. On a side note, she came over the next day and happily paid her debt.
3-The aging sexpat. I suppose I fall into this category as well as number 4. We’ve been gogo-ing long enough that it’s no longer intimidating. We’re comfortable enough to have pizza delivered right to our seat. We piss off all the sex tourists because we monopolize the time and attention of the girls in every gogo. We freely grab boobs and asses and take pictures with the girls—all things a visitor would shy away from out of fear of getting thumped. I remember being a young(ish) whippersnapper breaking my cherry in the gogo, and seeing these guys and burning with envy. Why is she all over him? He’s old! It didn’t cross my mind at the time that the girls probably prefer older men because we typically have more cash, are nicer, and don’t bang as hard for as long. We also know the score. We don’t get jealous or argue, or create problems. We’re just happy to be alive. Not to mention that we’ve likely built up friendships with the girls over many years. Contrast that with the youngsters who walk in with warrior faces, serious about the business of getting laid, masking their insecurity with haughtiness, and you understand why the smiling, mellow old fart gets more attention. Hmm. I guess idiot number 3 isn’t the aging sexpat after all, but the too-serious, inexperienced whoremonger. Turns out the old dudes rock!
4-The smug nightlife blogger. So this is the category I fit into. This guy thinks he’s the shit because he’s been going to these bars forever. Everyone knows his name and what he drinks, and the girls drop everything to flirt with him when he walks in. He condescends to all other customers, rolling his eyes and scoffing at every tourist’s slightest mistake, and quickly writes it down to reference it later in a blog. He believes he’s important, instead of what he really is—a big annoying fish in a very small pond. When he looks in the mirror, he sees Hemingway. In reality, he’s more like Toby McGuire in that cringy scene from Spiderman 3. He presumes to judge everyone else in the gogo, and while he might not be wrong, it’s a frivolous pursuit. Merely a means to compensate for his own crushing insecurities. Shit, am I getting too personal here? I don’t wanna give away all my secrets. The point is, he’s no less pathetic than examples 1 through 3. It’s simply that he’s comfortable in this particular ecosystem. The gogo is his natural habitat. Cheap vodka and Singha are his regular diet. Scantily-clad, tattooed strippers are his ilk. Put him stageside, bookended by two long-legged babes, bathe him in blacklight and he’s happy as a pig in shit.
To be clear, not every dude in the gogo falls into one of these tropes. A lot of red-light customers are fine upstanding people. This list just covers the idiots, and I’m fully aware that I fit in there somewhere. So consider yourself warned when heading out to Nana, Cowboy, or Patpong. You will see these sad sacks in their element. The best thing to do is pretend you don’t speak English. That way they’ll leave you alone.
Swing by on Friday for a frowback, and cheers to another week in the wilds of the RLD. Peace.