Arch over Jomtien's main road.
I wonder how this got council approval?
Thailand is known for its anything-goes sex industry, and stag parties are simple to organize and host. But what about a hen party, that final blowout before a women commits herself to the institution of marriage?
In Thailand, there are no Chippendales dancers or legitimate businesses you can just call up and order male strippers from. Everything is behind a veil of secrecy, therefore an investigation was needed. But the biggest question was where to start.
First of all, it's incredibly difficult to get past the fašade of Thai conservatism. Most of the newlyweds I spoke to said the hen parties their friends held for them were quiet little outings to the beach. Nothing like those drunken
stripper-filled nights out on the town many women in the West love to hold for their friends.
So there I was, without a lead. This story seemed to be headed nowhere fast. Until a gay friend tells me there is a beach in Jomtien outside of Pattaya about an hour and a half away from Bangkok where women can hire male strippers to dance at
their chosen venue. For Western men, head to the beach
Pattaya is a seaside resort renowned for its sin, a prostitution and mafia-filled den of inequity that would make the perfect backdrop to a bad Hollywood movie, possessed by a foulness so evil that Darth Vader would feel intimidated here.
[Get on down there]
We soon find what we are looking for. Sure enough there are Eastern European-looking men loitering around the front of bars. Prices for the men of course vary, but they are willing to dance -- illegally, we might add, so hire at your own risk as
I'm pretty sure they don't have work permits -- for either men or women.
The lesson I quickly learn in all this is that Bangkok's gay community is the best place to head if you want to plan a wild bachelorette party.
As soon as I'm back in the city, another gay friend calls to say he heard about my assignment and tells me to tag along to a hen party he is hosting for one of his female friends. Calls are made, a tux is dry-cleaned and a few days later I find
myself face to face with the dangling scrotum. 'Take it off! Take it off!'
The pretense of the party is a small gathering of friends, together for a wine-tasting course. What the guests don't know is that the waiters are actually strippers -- and do the job quite well, one might add.
If you want to hold a hen's party with strippers your best bet is to hire them from a gay bar and hold the party at a private venue. Or, if you don't mind being surrounded by men, just take your crowd to the gay bar.
We advise against checking out Bangkok's lady-toy bars, which offer male escorts for hire. Not only is prostitution illegal in Thailand, but, as a recent Bangkok Post article explains, customers can be intimidated by the waiters and
security staff and hassled to buy high-priced drinks for themselves and their dates . The scene can also get pretty shady, with reports that the men for hire often expose their genitals -- some wearing a condom -- whether on the stage or
approaching female customers at a table. That's probably a bit more full on than most ladies want from a harmless hen's night out with the girls.
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