Happy Sunday, reader. My name’s Seven—sometimes BKKNites writer and bored, stuck-at-home whoremonger. It’s been so long since I’ve sidled up to a Bangkok gogo bar stage, I’m starting to forget what the experience was like. Thank Buddha for Jack Nites and his hard drive full of red-light pictures from better times. Of days gone by. Suddenly I have a Dirty Vegas song stuck in my head. “Days go by, and still I think of you…days when I couldn’t live my life without you.” I could easily see myself standing outside of a shut-down Strip or XXX Lounge in Patpong, blaring that song out of a ghetto blaster held above my head John Cusack-style.
When will this nightmare end? The answer is: not anytime soon. The Thai govt just extended the emergency decree to September 30, and there are rumors swirling of a Wuhan-style total lockdown in Bangkok with residents forced to stay in their homes, and food and water delivered by…who knows? Drones, maybe. It sounds crazy. It sounds dystopian. To be frank, it sounds moronic. When will people in authority learn? Lockdowns don’t work. You can’t stop a virus. While we wait for someone in the chain of command to figure this out, we here at BKKNites try to provide a weekly reprieve from the fun-ban. For today’s Rap, we’re taking a fond look back at Spanky’s in Nana Plaza.
Nana always felt a bit like Disneyland to me. When I was a kid, going to the Magic Kingdom was a frantic undertaking. The crowds, the myriad activities, the overstimulation were almost too much. You had to strategize about which rides to hit first and how long to spend in one location. Some attractions were worth repeating. My friends and I always made a beeline for Space Mountain, and rode it over and over until the lines got too long, and then we shot over to Frontierland. Nana is similar, in that there are some gogos you want to hit for maybe one drink, and others where you could and should spend long stretches of the night. Billboard is the Space Mountain of Nana. Butterflies is a close second. Spankys is the Haunted House. It’s mellow, it’s fanciful. It’s charming. And the show aims to please.
Some of the gogos in Nana can be…cold. This is understandable because it’s a high-capacity, high-volume, heavily-trafficked space. The customers are overwhelmingly tourists, so there’s a clinical vibe between the staff and the clientele in most joints that is, in a word, impersonal. No disrespect to those places. It’s part of the job description. But as a Patpong regular, it’s something I’m not used to. In Patpong, everyone in every bar knows my name, my drink order, my favourite place to sit, which girls have been to my apartment, what songs to play when I’m in the bar, etc. Nana is the polar opposite of that experience, with the exception of a few places, and Spanky’s is one of those places. They have a way of making a guy feel at home, even if he’s never set foot in the place. The staff are warm, attentive, and accommodating. The girls aren’t as come-hither as the average Patpong pole kitty, but they seem one and all to be perpetually waiting for an excuse to drop their guard. So a half-savvy, semi-witty dude with a basic grasp of Thai culture can gather a group of gorgeous gals with little effort.
To top it off, Spankys has shows. And by shows I mean, in between rotations of regular dancers are duos and trios of vixens doing special performances, from lesbian to cabaret to everything in between. In short, it’s a smorgasbord for the senses. I have two happy memories of Spankys, and one of them involves a show. Two naked girls sexually molested each other on a suede ottoman onstage. It was so erotic that I leapt from my back-booth seat and planted myself on a stage-side stool to get a better look. When the show ended and I went back to my original spot, the girls sauntered offstage and right up to sit on either side of me. They then proceeded to gently molest me for the next hour while I plied them with drinks. I thought I’d died and gone to heaven.
The other is a night where I basically talked a girl into letting me take nude photos of her right there in Nana Plaza. She caught my eye when I spied her amazing back tattoo. When I asked to take a photo of it, she said no, so I planted her next to me, bought her a drink, and told her my Thai life story, after which I asked again to photograph her tattoo. She said yes, and led me out of the gogo and around to an isolated corner, stripped down and struck a pose against the wall like a professional Playboy model. It gave me a stiffy that didn’t abate until I was in a tuk-tuk heading home.
There’s no way to know what the red-light districts will look like when and if they reopen. It might be years from now, and by then a lot of owners will have packed it in. We can only hope that some of our faves will weather this storm. Hopefully, our attempt to keep them in people’s minds and sing their praises will have a positive effect. We can only wait with our fingers crossed.
If you’re in the mood for more gogo-related photos, I’ve got another Naked Ninja spread over at my website: http://patpongnightlife.com/2021/07/25/naked-ninja-retrospective-part-4/
Until next week, keep your hopes up, your fridge full, and here’s to hoping someone in the government realizes soon that lockdowns don’t work. Cheers.