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So, how much does a Thai gogo bar girl actually earn?

Are Thai gogo bar girls exploited victims or willingly taking the only possible route out of a life of poverty? A gogo bar girl will typically be paid about 10,000 to 12,000 baht per month for 29 shifts from 20.00hrs to 02.00hrs. There are around 50 baht to the pound – so that’s £200 to £300/month. In comparison, a waiter, hotel receptionist or driver will get 6,000 to 8,000 baht/month. Then you have to remember that for basic living costs (food, rent etc.) prices are around a fifth what you’d pay in Europe or the US. So a girl’s effective purchasing power would be near £1,000 to £1,500/month.

But a gogo bar girl has a number of pressures to perform which can markedly reduce her salary. If she doesn’t hit her target of 5 to 6 customers per month taking her out for ‘boom boom’, she can get her salary cut by 500 to 1,000 baht or more. Similarly, if she doesn’t get enough customers to buy her ‘ladydrinks’ at 120 baht each, again she can be fined.

On the other hand, there are many opportunities for her to increase her earnings. Letting a customers play with her breasts or look inside her not so intimate parts usually gets her 20 baht. When a customer buys her a ‘ladydrink’ for 120 baht, she gets 60 baht of this. If a customer wants to do some muff-diving, that’s about 100 baht a time or more depending on how long before the customer comes up for air. If she puts her hand into a customer’s trousers and plays around with his privates, that’s a ladydrink or 100 baht (more if he comes). And if a customer takes her out for boom boom – short time (an hour or so) will net her around 1,000 baht and long time (whole night) maybe 2,000 to 3,000 baht.

In total, a reasonably proactive girl will earn her salary of 12,000 baht, at least 12,000 baht/month from boom boom, 8,000/month from lady drinks and another 12,000/month from other bits and pieces. Total, maybe 44,000 to 50,000 a month. That’s £1,000/month – almost 8 times the average wage and giving her purchasing power of £5,000/month – £60,000/year. In addition, she may have a couple of Farang menfriends sending her money each month in the usually mistaken belief that she’s waiting faithfully in her room or village for them to return to Thailand on their next holiday.

All in all, it’s not a job I would want to do, nor would I be qualified. But in a country with little to no opportunities for girls with limited education, it is at least a way out of poverty. Five to ten years being ogled, pawed and sexually abused by ugly, fat, repulsive sweaty Farang isn’t going to be much fun. But it will give most girls sufficient savings to start their own business – a small shop, a house with rooms for rent or a hairdressing salon which will then provide them with an income for the rest of their lives.

In Britain, many girls will try to marry a footballer, in Thailand the gogo bar is the preferred route away from a life at the bottom.

 

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