First, what do we mean by ‘how to handle a gogo dancer’? Well, let’s take your average Bangkok gogo bar, with say 40 gogo dancers on staff. When you enter it’s likely that the mamasan will make sure you are comfortably seated and you don’t have to wait long to get a drink in your hand. You’re then likely to be left alone for a few moments to take the first sips of your drink and gaze at the line up of dancing girls.
Using the right methods.
In some of the more pushy bars the ‘one for me’ signals will already be flowing and the girls on the stage will all be vying to join you. In some cases it can be relentless, making you feel uncomfortable and with nowhere to look other than at the row of puppy dog faces desiring a lady drink. In more well disciplined and busier gogo bars you’ll have at least a few minutes to case the joint before the mamasan will finally come over and try to tempt you into choosing a girl and plopping a drink into her hand.
To an outsider this may seem like a dream scenario, 10’s of young, scantily clad Thai girls desperate to sit on your lap, but the novelty will soon wear off, and you might find yourself wondering what is the best way to handle all this unwanted attention…
One way to instantly solve all the unwanted attention is to buy someone a lady drink. You may not have time to pick the girl of your dreams, but by simply picking anyone, the high-pressured sales routine should be put on hold.
Pros: Once you have bought a lady drink it’s unlikely you’ll be asked to by another girl a drink, for the time being at least. The mamasan and other dancing girls will leave you alone with your new drinking partner.
Cons: Quickly buying a lady drink after entering a bar doesn’t necessarily solve the problem, it just puts it on hold. Once your girl has finished her drink she may soon be hitting you up for a second, or should you wish to wave her company goodbye the other girls maybe even more keen to hustle you for a drink.
Ignore them or hide.
In some of the bigger bars it’s almost possible to hide. Sit several rows back from the stage, sulk down in your seat, and if that isn’t working just ignore everyone around you, playing with your phone and generally looking disinterested.
Pros: No one likes being ignored and soon enough the girls and even the mamasan will leave you alone.
Cons: The reason everyone will be ignoring you is because you look miserable and no one wants to spend time with you. You may well be left alone to sip your drink but it might not be a fun experience.
Just be honest.
Honest is usually the best policy. If the girls on the stage start their flirting just smile back, and when they ask to join you just say no (but with a smile). If the mamasan starts to pressure you to pick a girl just tell her the truth, that you are only there to have one or two drinks or that you need time to decide who you’d like to buy a drink for.
Pros: If you politely ask to be left alone (not forgetting that smile!), then chances are you will be, and should you later decide you would like a girl to join you it shouldn’t be a problem.
Cons: Once you are left alone you might find you miss some of the attention, and the cute girl who was almost begging to sit with you has now turned her attention to another guy who just walked in the bar… Oh well, plenty more fish…
The mamasan can be your worst enemy or your best friend. If things are getting heavy and you’re getting way too much unwanted attention there is always the option to buy a drink for the mamasan. Not only will this buy you some space and time, but it will also put you in the good books of the mamasan and give you the chance to get the lowdown on the girls and the bar.
By Kim Loe.