The badgering started soon as we alighted from the taxi at Pat Pong, the infamous red light district of Bangkok. “Want to watch pussy show? Very cheap, 300 baht and you get one drink,” the pander pestered, shoving the performers’ list of repertoire in our faces.
We did not stay too long for me to scrutinize at the list, a furtive glance confirmed the notoriety of the sex shows that was much touted about—pussy opening bottles, pussy throwing darts, etc. Quickly, my group agreed that the price offered was quite a good bargain and we were ushered to the venue in no time.
What brought us to the bar where we watched women pulling strings, needles and ribbons from their nether regions I didn’t know; I guess it was curiosity that got the better of us when we went to Pat Pong with an agenda to check out the stunts for ourselves. The bar was not very crowded with only a few tables occupied and we took the prime seats directly facing the stage. One by one, the girls took the stage and performed acts that we could not possibly imagine about with their vaginas. Most of the girls were quite young while there was a lady in her 40’s whom we thought was the “seasoned” performer doing all the hardcore stuffs. The highlight of the show was when ping pong balls started shooting from the vagina of a performer. I managed to duck one with my bag, there was a frenzy in the bar as the rest of the audience used the ping pong bats provided to hit the balls back to the stage.
We left the bar after the girls started repeating their routines. Back at the streets in Pat Pong, someone nudged at my friend’s arm hassling her to watch the pussy shows. No doubt there will be someone out there who will find the show enjoyable, or was it just sheer curiosity that drove tourists to check out the performance famously dubbed as the ping pong show in huge numbers? My group walked away and wanted to forget the images we just saw. “What an utter disgrace to women!” a friend cried. I shrugged.
I managed to catch up with Netting from the Effective Communication Training camp during my stay in Bangkok. Our conversations veered towards the ping pong show when we met. Coincidentally, she saw the show for the first time with a few tourist friends not too long before me. According to her, many of the women who ply their trade in Pat Pong speak her native Isaan tongue from Northeastern Thailand bordering Laos. I asked her whether the women have to do what they do. She said her hometown in Isaan is transforming into a multinational township with women who have settled there in big bungalows with their white husbands.
A few months later, I am sitting in front of my laptop writing this story. I remember my friends and I had several discussions after watching the sex show. One thing we agreed on was that we would never watch shows like that anymore. But then again there will be many more curious tourists like us who have somehow contributed to sex exploitation human trafficking. Let’s end this story with a nice quote from Bertrand Russell, “We have in fact, two kinds of morality, side by side: One which we preach but do not practise, and another which we practise, but seldom practise”.