Pattaya Bar Girls
In this passage about a beer-bar girl I want to give you some insight into the sort of situation that these ladies are dealing with. With that in mind I thought I’d write a piece about a girl who I know personally. Her story is quite typical.
I’ve written it in as impartial a manner as I can, I don’t want to side with her or against her, I just want to shed some light on things as they are in many red-light areas in Thailand.
And yes, ‘Duan’ and I have been intimate...
The Story of Duan
Duan works in one of the many beer-bars in the city. Like most Pattaya escorts she comes from Isaan in the poor rural northeast. She has worked in Pattaya, as a bar-girl, for more than three years and is professional in every way.
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In many ways she is also an absolutely lovely girl, and certainly a much nicer lady than some that have worked in the bars.
As lovely as Duan is, certain aspects of her work require that she cannot be a lovely girl and completely successful in her trade.
The bar-work game demands questionable behavior from time to time and, when the situation calls for it, Duan is perfectly capable of unquestionably BAD behavior.
At the time of writing, Duan is 24 years old.
Her hair is jet-black in color, straight, and hangs just below her shoulder-line. She is fair skinned, especially by Isaan standards, and she has the face of an angel. Her general appearance is anything but the kind of thing you would expect from a time-served Pattaya escort girl.
Whereas many working-girls have tattoos on various parts of their bodies, Duan has no tattoos at all. Her manner is calm, quiet and reserved. If you met her, I guarantee that you would think her to be very shy and unaccustomed to life behind a bar.
She dislikes heavy make-up and prefers to go for a more natural look - a little light make-up aside. Her body is petite in size, she is very slim and I'd imagine that she would tip the scales at no more than about 44kg.
Duan is very softly spoken and I've never once heard her use foul language.
She chooses to work behind the bar, serving drinks, rather than going for the front-of-bar work that the louder, more outgoing girls prefer i.e. those who grab men as they walk by in an attempt to get them into their bars.
She does not like those occasions when the bar has a party, because she does not really like to drink, not to excess at any rate. She feels out of place when the other girls get drunk on such occasions.
In every way you can imagine, she fits the profile of a respectable Thai lady who would never go near a tourist-focused bar area if she had any choice in the matter... so why does she work in the oldest of professions?
Some beer bars have chrome poles, but unlike gogo's - no nudity!
Unfortunately for Duan her life has not been without its challenges.
At the age of 18 she had a baby with her boyfriend, who then immediately took off with another girl leaving her with all the expense of raising the child by herself.
Both Duan’s parents are alive, but divorced.
Neither of them work and both of them are in need of financial support, which Duan is duly obliged to provide. She is also the eldest of three sisters and, unfortunately for her, Thai culture expects that she meets a responsibility to provide for her younger siblings too.
So, with a 6 year old child, two younger sisters and both parents to support, a significant income is needed to cover all the expenses.
Due to her poor background she was never able to go to University, and therefore has only a basic level of education, which rules out any hope of a well-paid job in a business career.
Added to that, the fact that she comes from a poor background and has had a child with another man means that marrying into a wealthy Thai family is totally out of the question.
That doesn't leave her with too many options... it is a similar set of options that many a Pattaya escort has had to grapple with, and her choice to make a living as a sex-worker is somewhat forced upon her.
The whole situation regarding Thai family responsibilities is one of the hardest cultural differences to understand if you are from the Western world. It certainly took me a while to come to terms with it, and it still raises my eyebrows from time to time.
Being a foreigner in Thailand does mean that in some ways you are seen as a second class citizen but, on balance, I think it is a good thing. Unlike a Thai person, a ‘farang’ is not subjected to all the cultural expectations that are very much expected of a Thai.
Nobody will mind if you sit in a bar all day without raising a finger... except to raise a bottle or order your next beer. Nobody minds at all if you seem to live, and actually do live, a completely selfish life devoid of any other responsibilities whatsoever.
This would not be so easy if you were Thai, because there are many expectations placed on Thais and family commitments are at the top of the list.
To begin to appreciate it you really need to cast aside your own preconceptions. Thailand is not the West, things are different here.
There is a concept in Thai culture known as 'Ga tan yoo', which refers to the immense debt of gratitude that Thai children feel towards their parents for bringing them into the world and looking after them.
It is a debt that can never be repaid.
Thais do not feel this debt to be a burden though, quite the reverse, they genuinely want to help their parents as much as they can, even if it means having to do without things for themselves… and even if it necessitates working as a prostitute.
Duan's situation is not unique, but even amongst the Pattaya bar girl fraternity it is more unfortunate than most. It is particularly unfortunate in that there seems to be little sympathy for her amongst her own family.
Her father is in and out of her life, usually reappearing at times when he needs money.
Pattaya bar girls on soi 7.
Her sisters take her clothes, live in her apartment, eat her food and use her electricity, all without contributing towards the bills. They do not give her any money, and at times she is expected to give them money even though they have jobs and money of their own.
At times, when money is short and she cannot help out as much as usual, she is accused of being selfish and keeping money back for herself.
When times are good and she helps out more than usual, her parents spend the extra cash on alcohol.
If you knew Duan, you would find it very difficult not to feel completely outraged at the total injustice of her situation. Regardless of the injustice, she will stick with her responsibilities come what may.
Her family will always come first, second, and third on her list of priorities.
Those Thai girls who turn their backs on their families are utterly despised by other Thais. Even if most other Thais agreed that Duan is being taken advantage of, abandoning her family would be seen as being morally far worse, and this is something that she will never do.
Duan keeps very little money for herself.
She does not have a motorbike, and doesn't even know how to ride one. She doesn't drink much, she doesn't smoke cigarettes or take drugs. I am convinced that, due to her sweet nature, someone at some point is going to fall head-over-heels in love with her.
Now listen up!
Here’s the problem.
The last thing that I would advise anyone to do is to get into any sort of serious romantic involvement with a lady like Duan. I've seen it happen many times before and it just doesn't work.
Duan is a lovely girl... in her family life!
When she dons her Pattaya bar girl persona she is a completely different girl and she has absolutely no concern for the welfare of any foreigner who is on a sex vacation. She has far greater problems to worry about than that.
You may think that you can straighten her out and solve her problems – but you almost certainly can't. A Westerner might look at the situation, help her out financially, and start to blame her parents for everything... and as soon as you do that Duan will hate your guts!
This is a no-win situation as far as any sort of long-term romance is concerned.
I've personally watched her laughing with friends about an SMS message that had been sent to her by an admiring Westerner. It was a tender message declaring loving feelings and so on. The laughter was due to happiness at having snared another unsuspecting farang boyfriend, and another income stream.
Ruthlessness is necessary if she is going to maximize her income.
She is banking on getting her customers to fall in love with her and send money to her each month after they have departed Thailand. The consequences for the men who fall victim to this sort of treatment can be severe, and the well documented 'Pattaya Flying Club' welcomes new members every year at an alarming rate...
Duan is not a bad person, she's just a person in a bad situation.
Maybe one day she will meet someone who is right for her, but there's no way she is about to risk anything on your average tourist. She will hedge her bets, she will not put all her eggs in one basket, and she will attempt to get as many farang boyfriends as she can.
That's her best way of securing a decent income to support her family.
Just don't make the mistake of thinking that your 'Duan' is any different. If you met her in a tourist area bar then she is almost guaranteed to be playing the same game, and you are very likely to get stung if you don’t know how to play your side of it!
You might think that a girl capable of such total devotion towards her family would be sure to mirror that loyalty in her devotion towards you... well think again.
You will almost certainly be seen as not much more than a means to an end - the end being financial security for her family. In terms of ranking you on her list of priorities, even if you were to marry her, it would probably go something like this:
- Mum, Dad and Children
- Brothers and Sisters
- Extended Family
- The Thai Boyfriend that you don't know about!
- The dog
- The other farang customers that you don't know about!
At least you wouldn't come last!
My advice... treat Pattaya escort girls with the utmost of respect, try to understand their situation and always pay your dues. Then, when the time comes, say goodbye and move on.
It would be very nice to be able to 'save' all the ladies out there but, sadly, it just isn't possible. If it is a long-term relationship that you are looking for, you will do better to start with a decent online dating site than a girl that you meet in a bar.
I know of one man who is quite wealthy and had been married to his Thai wife for over 5 years, during which time he had spent 5 million baht on a house for her parents, bought them a pick-up truck, and even provided money for them to set up a small restaurant business.
Due to his job being based in Ireland he lived there with his Thai wife, and after five years of marriage he discovered that she had been prostituting herself almost the entire time that they had been there!
There is no Western logic that can explain such things.
The particular guy in question was of similar age to his wife, and in much better shape than she was. He was a gentle character and totally devoted to his girl, and her family, and this is how she behaved…
I’m not sure how much longer Pattaya bar girls will use the model of cash extraction that I’ve detailed in this passage.
As time moves on there’s a definite shift towards to a more Western style of prostitution where the girl just tries to get as many short-time customers as possible in a night, and in Bangkok this is already the standard model.
For those guys who prefer their P4P adventures to have the traditional Thai flavor, you can still find it in Pattaya. In other, less well-trodden parts of the country, it is still very common and the girls that you’ll meet in the bars there are usually very sweet and attentive.
Enjoy it whilst you can before the ugly head of globalization reaches these places and taints them forever… but for god's sake don’t fall in love.