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As a female traveler I will be in Thailand for around 2 months in mid November to have fun and complete my professional diving lessons. I would like to be familiar with Thai culture and foods and also it would be an opportunity to find female sex workers and know what they really feel and want. I have heard and read that many of them have chosen this as an ordinary job and do not feel that they are forced to do it and are happy about their lives. As a curious traveler who writes and searches and investigates for it I like to know more. I was thinking with myself it may cause a negative impact or maybe it is not acceptable or permitted in Thailand for a traveler to ask such questions and search about. If you are familiar with Thai law and culture it would be great to guide me about.

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You know, I was going to suggest somehwere less, ah, 'whorey' for your diving, but if this is an interest of yours, Phuket is the perfect spot. If you're not staying in Patong, go there - then follow Itai's advice. –  hunter2 Sep 11 '13 at 4:33
    
This question is not about choosing dive centers. I have chosen it before! anyway thanks for your advices. :) –  Persian Cat Sep 11 '13 at 15:01
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3 Answers

up vote 8 down vote accepted

I've been on Thailand in January/13 for about 2 weeks passing through Bangkok, Koh Samui, Krabi, Phi Phi, Kanchanaburi, etc..

In Bangkok was where I saw more freedom of natives in talking about sex with tourists. In everywhere was someone offering to me to go to any of theirs sexland places (In Bangkok we can see an entire district with expertise in Sex Tourism including some bizarre things like Ping Pong show, etc).

So, this subject is broadly talked in Thailand and I think this will not be a problem to you. I only think you will need to pay for it. There is a chance of them to charge you for an "Interview" about their job.

A way to get this interview is to visit a sex house and search for one sex worker who looks sympathetic and allows you to interview her. I'm sure her will not mind in spend her time talking with you.

I hope this can be useful to you.

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Thanks for your guidance but in addition I am a female traveler. If I was a man maybe it was easier to ask questions of female sex workers. Maybe it is easier to have an interview with male sex workers but I want to focus on female sex workers. Anyway Thanks! –  Persian Cat Aug 9 '13 at 20:17
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I suggest you to go with a local guide. There is a lot of them with enthusiasm in help tourists. With no difficult, you'll find somebody who can helps you to get this interview. In addition a guide can helps you also to stay safe inside those houses, because there is people inside them who try to extort your money. –  Guilherme Noronha Aug 9 '13 at 20:26
    
Thanks agian!Yes! You are right.I think an informal interview with a little tip (I am not rich!) and a friendly behavior can be a safer method to know more about them. Surely some of them who are not happy with this job may feel insecure or may be afraid of their bosses or pimps to talk about the truth. But anyway I will try my chance. If I feel it suffers them or makes them insecure or attracts some men who usually walk around these places like angry nosy roosters and do not let these women freely talk about their real lives and call it protection of women freedom I will forget it. –  Persian Cat Aug 10 '13 at 1:57
    
I found something interesting to know too: knowphuket.com/naughtynightlife.htm –  Persian Cat Aug 10 '13 at 11:47
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That's an excellent article and well-researched. It coincides with my observations but even after several weeks in Phuket, I did not even know half of it! –  Itai Aug 10 '13 at 14:05
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Thailand is generally a free country and, outside of talking negatively of the king, you are free to talk to anyone about pretty much anything.

This includes sex workers who are people too. While you and others may treat them as another tourist attraction, you can get to talk to them quite easily if you treat them like you would anyone else. People from Thailand are generally extremely friendly and talkative. They are often just as curious about you as you are about them.

The best advice if you want to approach a sex worker is to find where they are many of them and start talking when they are not busy. The truth is that there are so many of them in some areas that you will see dozens waiting a street corners just chatting with each other. They approach males mostly, so as a female you may have to get the conversation started. Just smile and talk to one who is not busy. Try not to make it sound like an interview and be polite.

There are many shades of sex workers in Thailand and you may find that what constitutes one does not coincide with how things are in other places.

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Is it impolite if I ask about what they know more than selling their bodies? Or if I find them poor and frustrated, can I ask them why or what has forced them to choose this lifestyle while prostitution is not a legal job there? Your advices seem good but a little vague and broad and in some points judgemental. I c no reason to find myself a better human than a sex worker! It's just a curiosity to know more about the truth of heard things. You can find them whole around the world but in Thailand as a tourist attraction it is different and can make it easier to approach to the reality. –  Persian Cat Aug 9 '13 at 21:31
    
And in addition.. I do not think it is people's treat that makes them a kind of tourist attraction but some of tourism companies and pimps are advertising for it and most of sex workers are working for them! –  Persian Cat Aug 9 '13 at 21:41
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Honestly, I would word the question in your comment above differently. It seems condescending but it may just be my impression. Try asking about what they learn and what they studied, what they were doing before, what they plan to do. Show genuine interest without judgement, so I suggest you drop the know more than... part. Transpose this to another type of person (beggar, garbage collector, etc) and see if you would consider it impolite. –  Itai Aug 9 '13 at 22:01
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However much I would like to be more specific, the way people respond depends on many things, including who is approaching, how you are dressed, how you look and even their mood. You will have better luck if you get familiar with someone. For example, if there are a few always hanging around your hotel entrance, chat them casually a few times and slowly approach the topic. I realized in Malaysia on my way to a 2 month trip to Thailand when I met another Canadian who had exactly the opposite view of Malaysians than me while we traveled separately to virtually the same places on the same week! –  Itai Aug 9 '13 at 22:07
    
Thanks! I think it works! Surely I do not find my questions impolite but politeness/impoliteness for different people and cultures is different and because of it I asked such question here.. ;) –  Persian Cat Aug 9 '13 at 22:07
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As a male traveling alone in Thailand, whenever I'm in a bar, I'm approached by bar-girls hustling drinks. I don't like to send them away since every baht they don't earn from drinks is one they have to earn on their backs.

I usually buy the girl a "lady-drink", 30 or 40 baht for a shot of apple juice with just enough tequila in it to make it smell like liquor, and chat with her for a while. We usually end up talking about her kids -- every bar-girl I have ever met has at least one adorable moppet at home, usually two, and a phone full of pictures of them.

As for "permitted", I've never tried asking them about their work, but since they are fairly enthusiastically asking me to have sex with them, I don't think inquiries into their profession would be taken amiss.

In fact, one time, two bar-girls were working me (at a place that charged an unheard-of 100 baht a drink!) but after an hour hadn't propositioned me. I finally asked them if they were prostitutes. Once I explained what the word meant, they said they weren't -- they were "coyote girls", just dancers and drink-hustlers, but not hookers, a new phenomenon as far as I know -- but they didn't take the slightest offense and offered to find a prostitute for me (I declined).

I'm curious whether as a female alone, you would be approached, but I'm quite certain that if you offered to buy a bar-girl a drink, she'd be more than happy to talk to you. Or sleep with you, for that matter.

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