As we continued to walk along the street, different guys tried to lure us into their establishments with promises of great singing and dancing entertainment, etc. It was getting late and we wanted to sit and enjoy a show so we finally gave in to a smooth talking criminal and let him lead us to a club at the very end of the alley. (Here is I where I will tell you that the feelings we had when we walked in and while there, ranged from soul crushing, shocking, comedic, disturbing, back to comedic, to apathy, horrific, gross, etc, etc, etc.). Entering the club, the “runner” guy who lured us in handed us over to a head waiter kind of guy, with a small flashlight he directed us to a corner sitting area with a great view of the stage, took our drink orders and made sure we were comfortable and took off to get our drinks. While we were checking out the club and our sitting area, we noticed a box of tissue on the our shelf/table area, we soon discussed what kind of cleaning our pants would need after sitting on those couches. Very soon our head waiter guy, returned with our drinks and with a grand “tadaaa” wave of his hand directed our attention to the stage. On this stage there were about 15 “fresh boys” on display. All in tight Calvin Klein short shorts/underwear with a badge pinned to the shorts displaying their numbers. This first set of boys seemed really young. So young in fact that I could not look at the stage. I’m thinking maybe 14, 15 years old? Maybe they were really older but some of them had their hands crossed and looked hostile and or sad to be there. Some of them just laughed and joked with each other while the music was going on seemingly oblivious to the people checking them out. We soon learned that every two or three songs there was a rotation of the guys on the stage. Each rotation was a new set of boys, it seemed the boys would be grouped age wise, and the next set was older, and so on. They would stand around with their numbers on display for those in the audience who might want their attentions and affections. I think they were supposed to be dancing but only the two guys in the outermost corners of the stage were actually dancing. They were numbers 22 and 26 and they were extremely fit and danced really well. They were also the only two wearing cowboy boots and who actually looked like they were having fun. The stage was a “fresh boys” smorgasbord. If a boy/guy onstage caught your fancy you would relay his number to the head waiter guy, and he would arrange a “tryst”. Or whatever. When we finally saw how this was working out, we signaled to the waiter for our check and he persuaded us that the show was about to start and that we should sit tight and wait as it was a good show! We figured what the hell, our souls were already blackened and damaged and we were already there, we might as well see the show. In the midst of all this I also had to pee. I was crazy scared to go to the bathroom but i absolutely had to go and told the girls to come looking for me if I did not return in five minutes. I needn’t have worried, the toilet stall was immaculate and I was given every courtesy by the attendants. I can’t remember in what order things happened but finally the show started. A couple of different shows. One, was finally the lady boy kind of show that we had hoped to see. Basically your usual wanna be vegas type show with cool songs and fun costumes that made us smile and laugh and for a few minutes feel that it was okay to be there. Then when E had to hit the loo, J and I were treated to an aquatic number which featured a large Asian guy in a fish tank swimming to music, nekked. Yup. Very nekked and there was a lot of him to see if you know what I mean. At this point we were standing just waiting for our friend to return so we could go ahead and head out. There were “things” happening between the old western farts (who were the real customers in this place) and the fresh boys that we didn’t need to see. That was the most disturbing part. Watching these men pick their numbers and then leave with their “fresh boy”. With nervous laughter on our parts, we quickly asked for and paid the bill and finally made our way out. All I remember is each one of us saying out loud, all at once, various phrases of “not what I expected”. It was hard to talk about this even as we left the place because we didn’t know what to make of it. WE were sad to see such young boys selling themselves to such old ugly fellas who wanted the “fresh young scared looking boys”. So many questions filled my head that night. Were those boys really as young as they looked? Were they there of their own accord? Were they perhaps playing to their target market audience? The whole scene was disturbing and yet we sometimes found our selves almost having a good time in the audience (I enjoyed the ladyboy’s singing). Regardless of how we feel about that experience today, that night it was soul crushing and we left very disturbed. We had set out that night looking for a fun, burlesque lady boy type show. We ended up with a real, deal view of male prostitution in Bangkok. And I still don’t know what to make of it. Readers that was just our first night there.
Part 3 tomorrow. MBK, a gadget nerd’s paradise!