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Thread: Go Go bars etiquette

  1. #1
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    Go Go bars etiquette

    Posted by treats9102 on February 18, 2022 in the "Go go Boys in Thailand" thread.

    Since you've been into gogo bars before, you probably have a sense of what I call the "cast of characters". Basically, there is a Bar manager (you may not interact with him/her at all), one or more mamasans (often trannies, sometimes cisgendered males), gogo boys and waiters.

    Armando's advice to enter the bar looking like you're been there a hundred times is good. One of the simple things I sometimes do is to decline the seat they've shown me and choose my own seat. That establishes a certain sense that I can be assertive and shouldn't be treated as a lamb led to the slaughter.. Nonetheless, because you're a face that the mamasans don't recognise as a regular visitor, they will still sit with you and cramp your style. My response is to smile at them and say, "Come on, I have only just arrived; let me watch and anyway I know what to do. I've been here many times before. You don't recognise me? Maybe I am old now, that's why you don't recognise me, hahaha." They may still remain seated next to you. I usually avoid engaging in further conversation and it won't be long they get up and focus on another customer.

    In the short period they sit with you, one useful thing to do is to ask the mamasan to confirm the bar's prices. 1. First drink, how much? 2. Drink for boy, how much? 3. Off fee (also known as 'bar fine', though this is less often used) how much?

    There is one question I NEVER ask the mamasan -- how much to tip the boy should I take one home. I've observed on a few occasions other customers doing that, and the mamasan tells the customer 2,500 or even 3,000 and later on, when the customer calls a boy over, the mamasan discreetly whispers to the boy that she had already mentioned a rate of 2,500 or 3,000 to the customer. The boy may then feel obliged to hold this rate (in the reasonable expectation that the customer finds the rate acceptable), and in any case, he may have to, because the mamasan may be expecting the boy to share 500 baht out of the 2,500 with her.

    What I suggest you do as you watch the stage is to compile a shortlist in your mind of 3 - 4 desirable boys in some sort of ranking order. This may take you 20 minutes depending on how rapid the rotation of boys is.

    Then I start calling the boys over sequentially (i.e. not together). I avoid using the mamasan's services for the simple task of calling a boy. I keep my gaze in the desired boy's direction (without coming across as a stalker, haha) and sooner or later, he will notice that I frequently turn my gaze on him. Then at some point, he will make eye contact. I smile and with a subtle wave of my hand, indicate "come over". If for some reason, the boy doesn't notice that I've been gazing at him, I just cross him off my list. It may be that he knows I am gazng at him but does not want to return eye contact. He has a right to not want a customer as I have a right to not want a boy.

    When the boy sits next to you, a waiter will hurry over and you are obliged to buy the boy a drink.

    The usual opening conversation with the boy follows. What's your name? Where are you from? I ask the same questions of them (they expect that) and at least for me, I find it important to establish whether they're Vietnamese. I'm often disappointed with Vietnamese (it could be just me) and this factors into my final decision.

    I keep my English very,very simple and speak slowly. I don't want the boy to call the mamasan over to translate. It's not that I don't appreciate the translation services mamasans can provide, but I want to be the one who makes the decision to call one over for help, and not the boy. Once the mamsan comes over, it may prove hard to get her to leave.

    Others may advise differently, but I find it helpful to find a way to state my expectations while seated in the bar with the boy. I used to have a few graphics on my phone showing the different kamasutra positions with the partners coloured differently to indicate which partner is the boy and which is me. (For some reason, I just realised they are not on my current post-Covid phone... now where the hell are they, did I not transfer them over when I changed phones???) With graphics, I didn't have to rely on Google Translate which I don't think is very efficient or (perhaps) accurate when it comes to translating non-European languages. Between simple English and my graphics, it's usually clear what I expect, and I simply ask the boy "can or cannot" ("dai rook maedai?")
    **apologies if my transcription/pronunciation of Thai is laughably off.**

    Once again, others may advise differently, but I usually mention what I am willing to pay so that there is no misunderstanding afterwards. In my mind the figure I mention is for mediocre performance (but at least they must do what I have asked), Privately, I allow for a further 200 or 300 baht bonus if at the end of the session, I judge that he has done a good job. Naturally, I do not mention the possible bonus in the bar. It's only in my head. As others have advised, preCovid about 2,000 baht for short-time (60 - 90 minutes in the hotel) in Bangkok should be acceptable to most gogo boys. I don't see why the rate should be different this year. I don't know what the going rate might be in Phuket, probably closer to Pattaya's 1,500 baht...

    You may have noticed that in the above paragraphs, I state my expectations and mention my payment offer. I don't signal negotiation. If the boy does not accept my offer, we part company amicably and I tip him 100 baht for his time (10 - 15 minutes) and some caressing of thighs. Then I repeat the gazing protocol for the next guy on my shortlist.

    There may be occasions when I may call a mamasan over to help translate, but this would typically be when I am more or less close to sealing the deal with the boy and it's just that in this particular instance he seems very personable and I really want to know more about him as a person. I don't often use the mamasan's translation to negotiate a deal, because basically I don't negotiate. Any gogo boy in this business would be perfectly capable of understanding my expectations when I express them in simple English and graphics. If he pretends not to understand and suggests we call a mamasan over, then my sense is that he is playing hard to get and wanting to negotiate more.

    When you have decided and agreed with a boy, just say in a simply way "OK, we go my hotel. You want to put on your shirt?" He will get the message. He will go to the control desk and surrender his plastic number tag and then go backstage to change into his street clothes. Don't worry if he leaves you for as much as 5 - 10 minutes. He may have to settle some other things with his friends (e.g. can you remember to feed my cat in case I end up doing an overnight? -- haha, I'm joking) before he can leave with you.

    While waiting for the boy to return in street clothes, I typically call for the bill (unless the show is about to start and I am crazy enough to want to stay and watch the show). The bill will be a total of
    (a) the drinks I ordered for myself,
    (b) the boy drinks I ordered, and
    (c) the off fee.

    There should be no tips included.

    If you're leaving without any boy, there should not be any 'off fee' in the bill.

    If staying to watch the show, the boy may be happy to just sit with you in his streetclothes, but I totally understand (since he's seen the show a zillion times) if he wants to go out and seize the opportunity to get a quick bite. Be relaxed. He won't disappear. He will return or be waiting for you outside the bar when the show's over.

    As you're leaving the bar, you may wish to tip the mamasan proportional to the extent of help provided. If the mamasan hardly did anything, 100 baht will suffice as a courtesy. If she did a fair bit of translation, 200 baht -- not something I often do in my personal case, simply because I seldom use their translation services.

    Others on his board may have different experiences about how helpful mamasans can be in describing the endowments or bedroom skills of a shortisted boy, but I tend to be skeptical. Firstly, I don't care much about the boy's endowments, Big, small -- doesn't much matter to me. Secondly, my experiences with mamasans regarding information about a boy's bedroom skills leads me to think that what they say is as often false advertising as truth. So why bother?

    Armando's advice about being careful with the change you get is also important. I usually make sure I have a plentiful supply of 20-baht, 50-baht and 100-baht bills. My daytime purchases are paid with big bills so that I get lots of smaller change which become useful for the evening in one or more bars. That way, I have enough smaller bills to tip the boys and I pay the final bill in the exact amount without waiting for change.

    Gosh... I fear I come across as a control freak! One thing I am not is a romantic. I take care to be respectful of the gogo boy, his wishes and his limits, but neither of us wil pretend this is anythng but a profitable transaction. So, in my opinion, the clearer the terms of the transaction, the better it will be for everyone. That said, I have often bought supper, an umbrella or a raincoat (when a monsoon came pouring down just as he was leaving the hotel) as called for in a situation. One still has to be kind and considerate even if we're just strangers passing in the night.

    P.S.

    A couple of additional points: if you're at all unsure about a boy's age, real or apparent, be sure you see his ID before you leave. This will not cause offence. The modern ID cards show his date of birth in Western format quite clearly (unlike the older ones which only gave the date BE (Buddhist Era) from which you needed to subtract 543 years. I don't know if any of those are still in circulation.)

    On the subject of change: in the dim lights of a bar it's eay to confuse red 100 and purple 500 baht notes. If the waiter or mamasan sees you fumbling with your wallet they may helpfully shine a torch into it. This may help you avoid an honest mistake. Of course it also gives them an idea of how much you might be worth.


  2. 6 Users gave Like to post:

    Asia Traveler (May 15th, 2022), GerBear1958 (April 11th, 2022), Patanawet (February 21st, 2022), siscu58 (February 27th, 2022), splinter1949 (February 24th, 2022), Stulong (February 23rd, 2022)

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    Re: Go Go bars etiquette

    Excellent advice especially about speaking slowly and no slang or long words.
    I have a friend who loudly tells them jokes with slang or polari and he himself laughs raucously at the end -- indicating to the boy it was a joke and for the boy to laugh along.

    Quote Originally Posted by treats9102 View Post
    Posted by treats9102 on February 18, 2022 in the "Go go Boys in Thailand" thread.
    On the subject of change: in the dim lights of a bar it's eay to confuse red 100 and purple 500 baht notes. If the waiter or mamasan sees you fumbling with your wallet they may helpfully shine a torch into it. This may help you avoid an honest mistake. Of course it also gives them an idea of how much you might be worth.
    Yes, it's worse now with the numerical value being printed at the bottom of the note. In poor light you have to take all the notes right out of the wallet exposing how much is inside.
    Someone advised me to put the notes in upside down so only need to pull out the top inch or so.

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    Forum's veteran Manforallseasons's Avatar
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    Re: Go Go bars etiquette

    At the moment where exactly can you apply these points of etiquette?
    "In the land of the blind the one eyed man is king"

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    Moderator christianpfc's Avatar
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    Re: Go Go bars etiquette

    Recently (Jan2022 Nice Boys Pattaya), the one boy I was interested in was engrossed in his phone, so I had to ask mamasan to call him over. Not a good start, but it all worked out well and I would take him again.

    I find it important to establish whether they're Vietnamese. I'm often disappointed with Vietnamese (it could be just me) and this factors into my final decision.

    It's not just you, it applies to me as well. Whereas boys from Cambodia, Myanmar and Lao get bonus points (from previous positive interactions with their compatriots).

    I discuss neither activities nor tip with the boy. But then I'm easy to please; if you want sucking (the boy you) or fucking (you the boy) you have to make clear in advance that he will perform these activities. Everyone has to find their own style (negotiating activities and tip with the boy or not).

    I pay the exact amount on the bill. That way, no wait for change (I have read about bars/waiters who leave the customer waiting, in the hope he gets impatient and leaves without collecting his change) and no chance for short-changing.

    I keep my notes in order in my wallet, with a business card as separator between small (20-50-100) and big (500-1000) notes, no chance to grab the wrong note.

    Before taking a seat in a bar and ordering a drink, I stand a few seconds in the door to assess the situation in the bar. If the number of boys is below 10, I can assess if there are boys worth a closer look, and if there are none, I make an excuse and leave. If I can see smokers or smell cigarette smoke, or the music is too loud and there I can't spot any boy who would compensate for these inconveniences, I tell door staff and leave.

  8. 5 Users gave Like to post:

    Asia Traveler (May 15th, 2022), GerBear1958 (April 11th, 2022), goji (February 21st, 2022), splinter1949 (February 24th, 2022), Stulong (February 23rd, 2022)

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    Forum's veteran goji's Avatar
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    Re: Go Go bars etiquette

    Quote Originally Posted by christianpfc View Post
    Recently (Jan2022 Nice Boys Pattaya), the one boy I was interested in was engrossed in his phone, so I had to ask mamasan to call him over. Not a good start, but it all worked out well and I would take him again.
    I always look for eye contact in a gogo bar. So when I encountered the lad in Nice Boys engrossed in his phone, I just left him there. I assume if he's not interested in the bar, on average, it's not going to get any better afterwards. Of course, it worked out in your case, so perhaps I should reconsider.

    As for Vietnamese, I hardly ever encounter them. The last one was in Fresh Boys Soi Twilight, over 5 years ago. That didn't proceed due to ID card irregularities. Check the ID card before paying the off fee is my lesson from that. Even when at a "reputable" bar.

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    Forum's veteran Marsilius's Avatar
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    Re: Go Go bars etiquette

    Re. disputes about monetary change, I always make a point of firmly and quite audibly stating the denomination of the baht note(s) - "five hundred", "one thousand", or whatever - as I hand it over in final payment to the waiter. Since starting to do that, I've never been short-changed.
    "The fruits of peace and tranquility... are the greatest goods... while those of its opposite, strife, are unbearable evils. Hence we ought to wish for peace, to seek it if we do not already have it, to conserve it once it is attained, and to repel with all our strength the strife which is opposed to it. To this end individual[s]... and in even greater degree groups and communities are obliged to help one another... from the bond or law of human society." [Marsilio dei Mainardini (c.1275-1342), Defensor Pacis]

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    Re: Go Go bars etiquette

    One bar that I know has instructed the waiters to hold out the notes in front of the customer and say out loud their values.

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    Re: Go Go bars etiquette

    such a nice refresher course of some sort. I certainly have lost the finesse dealings with mamasan and bar over these covid years. But I believe it's almost the same. Can't wait to be back at Bangkok and give newest field report 2022

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