The Art of Lying

Asian girl lying Women lie, cheat and steal. This is not news. For Thai bargirls, telling tall tales seems almost to be the national sport. The problem is, they’re appallingly bad at it.

“I only go with you, tilac“, she purrs, as her cellphone continually beeps throughout the evening with various messages from Steve, Sven, Simon and Somchai.

Then there’s the girl who answers her cellphone in mid-thrust to tell her boyfriend that she’s staying in her room watching TV alone.

Another girl couldn’t call you the other evening because her cellphone battery died. Which means she was in bed with a guy who had the sense to persuade her to turn her phone off…

Happy Hour, and Amazing Thailand

It’s not just the girls though. I was wandering lower Sukhumvit recently when I almost literally bumped into one of those massage touts. You know the ones. The seedy-looking chaps who mumble “massage. sex massage” in what they imagine is a subtle manner at every farang who walks past, whilst displaying a little folding card with blurred photos of identical-looking Photoshopped Thai girls.

For some reason, and I’m still not sure why, I ended up chatting to him. I took the card off him and had a look. The card was for Cupidy Massage at Plaza Entertainment, but who knows where he’d have taken me if I’d agreed. What interested me was his unbridled enthusiasm.

“Yes! Yes! Massage!”, he beamed. “Have sexy lady take care you! Good boom-boom good for you! Happy hour!”

I laughed. “It’s always happy hour, isn’t it?”, I asked him.

“Yes, yes! Always happy hour!”, he beamed back, completely oblivious.

“Lady boom boom”, he said, “and…” – and then he stuck his thumb in his mouth. It took me a moment to realise he was illustrating oral sex. I wish he hadn’t.

“And what? Suck your hand?”, I asked.

“Yes! Lady suck your hand! Amazing Thailand!”

He really did say “Amazing Thailand”, and without a hint of irony. Amazing…

I only like man from East Ruislip!

But the ones that really make me laugh are the bargirls who try to make you feel special. “Oh, you English man! England number one!”, they’ll say. Or “I love fat bald pig-man, I no like sexy man!”


I guess there’s a grain of sense in the flattery aspect. Make a man feel good about himself, especially if he doesn’t have much to feel good about, and he’ll appreciate the girl simply for appreciating him. But the art has clearly been lost somewhere along the way.

That’s why I’m starting a lying school for bargirls. The lessons are free, and come with complimentary cellphone credit, Hello Kitty merchandise, som tam and sticky rice. Or at least, that’s what I’m telling them…

23 thoughts on “The Art of Lying”

  1. This question has always intrigued me. Why do bar-girls lie so much? And they are not even that good at it because invariably they are caught out.
    The general population will tell a white lie to save face for you or themselves. This is very considerate. But I don't think this is why bar-girls (sex workers) prevaricate.
    I used to think it had something to do with the Buddhist religion where making merit and being a good person and consequently never wrong thereby achieving a better after-life and ultimately Nirvana compelled Thai people to misrepresent the facts. But in the case of BGs, I think it is because they are mostly uneducated children who are living for the moment (another Buddhist trait) and never think about any consequences in the future.
    But lying is something I don't tolerate (from anyone) and I've sent more than one gogo girl packing and wailing back to work in her bar because of it.

  2. @ kwai mai sabai: most people in their early 20s late teens that I know live for the moment and don't think about future consequences. i don't think this is a buddhist trait.

    as for lying and buddhism – seems a bit of a stretch. bg's lie in order to survive. in order to justify sleeping with a different man every night, they have to lie. to you and to themselves.

  3. Leroy, I think you nailed it (and probably her). It's not really "lying", anyway. It's just doing their job. It's no more lying than when a salesman sells you something, or when a McDonalds employee says "have a nice day." You don't expect the bank teller or the travel agent to really really really tell you how they feel, or what they think of you – so why this big thing about expecting "honesty" from bargirls? You probably wouldn't want to hear them being honest, anyway. Let them do their job. they're damn good at it.

  4. @Leroy: This web-site defines the Eternal Now as "living in the moment".
    I never intended to equate the Buddhist philosophy with lying. I have a lot of respect for this philosophy of life. The point I was trying to make was people will often modify their behaviour to conform with their religious beliefs and vice-versa.

  5. My apologies to all for Buddhist philo 101 on a BKK nightlife site. What an anti-hardon. This will be my last response re:Buddhism

    and kudos to BBB for the great blog. Best writing on Bangkok nightlife I've ever read. Never posted on here before today so thought I'd let you know before littering your blog with this religious nonsense. My apologies.

    @kwai mai sabai: The fact that you refer me to a website called does not do anything for me. Also, keep in mind that Thais do not practice Zen Buddhism. They practice Theravada Buddhism. Very different.

    The Eternal Now isn't even a Buddhist concept. Buddha teaches that life is impermanent. And offers an 8-fold path to end suffering.  Please refer to this link: Note the first point, Sila which is morality and being truthful.  This is what the bg's grow up with.

    Buddhism does not offer salvation a la Christianity.  Accrued merit leads to a better re-birth. Lying does not accrue better merit. My point being that I don't think religion plays a part in a bg's decision to lie. I think survival does.

  6. Leroy: Forget the religion BS. So you think it's acceptable for BGs to lie then? Because they're doing it to survive.
    Is it acceptable for a BG to take money from "sponsors" in Scandanavia or some other western country while telling them that she is back home in your little village in Isaan selling fruit while she's still working in the same bar where she met her sponsor(s)? Would you help said bar-girl compose  e-mail or SMS to dupe this person if her English was weak? Would you bar-fine this working-girl and take her short-time (or long-time) if you knew she was already being sponsored? After all, a girl has got to survive.

  7. Please no religion talk.  I think we can all agree that Buddhism is a fine religion but who really follows their religion line by line ?  No one.  Remember the rules of good conversation – don't talk about religion or politics.

    Let's get back to talking about something we all know and love – the women of Thailand.

  8. I hate to say it but guilty on all counts. I've read both letters from bar girls and their sponsors and written quite a few for bar girls myself. And nothing about them has ever made me believe that both of them weren't lying. Each gets what they want. And I've slept with enough sponsored to girls to not feel bad for the sponsors. Everybody lies.  I lie all the time to bar girls and never expect to hear the truth from them.

    Let me ask you from the reverse. Is it acceptable for the sponsor to sleep with other bar girls or someone back home while he's "sponsoring" someone? Is it okay for the sponsor to lie about his social/financial position in his home country? What if he lies about his past wife/relationship etc. What the sponsor engages in is a financial transaction. If he doesn't make a commitment to find a way to be here full-time or take her full-time then what does he expect. 

    But to answer your main question: it's not okay for bar girls to lie. But before you point a finger don't forget to look at yourself  in the mirror. The bar girls  have been lied to, rejected and discarded by their "sponsors" enough times to know better than to trust a man who pays her bar fine one night and promises to save her from her life the next day. Are we living some sort of fairytale life here? This is Bangkok.

    Paid sex is a dirty business.  And the worst scars inflicted on the sponsors and girls are emotional. Best thing is to detach yourself and analyze the situation rationally for what it is. A high-risk financial transaction. Don't forget to hedge your bets while your at it.

  9. It is all part of the game/experience, most of the time they are simply telling the customer what he wants to hear. I don't have a problem with that sort of lie and kind of admire the more creative stories the girlies come out with in order to survive.
    Talking about religion on a Bangkok nightlife site – whatever next, comments on Ikea?

  10. @Smiler: What's Ikea? Some make of mobile phone? I admit I do like to play along sometimes just to hear some of the outlandish stories they can conceive. My mother is in the hospital with a brain tumour and needs money for an operation, etc.
    @Big Bad Leroy Brown: Now we have a good debate going. And I appreciate your civil tone. Personally I have an issue with deceipt on either end. I agree with you that these girls have probably been lied too many times before. But I still don't think it's right. I don't recall ever lying to a bar-girl about my job, my income or anything else. It's just a hang-up I have about telling the truth.
    To answer your question, it's not right for sponsors to lie to the sponsored about their marital status, etc. either but when the money is flowing from west to east (and money is the driving force here), I think the onus is on the recipient to be truthful.
    Hedging your bets is common practice with the players in this game. But it still bothers me when a cheap charlie is knocking boots for free with a sponsored girl in the apartment paid for by the sponsor and laughing about it. 

  11. kwai mai sabai I like to be told I am a hansum man with a big dick whom the BG will love long time – if I wanted the truth I would stay in Australia.

  12. Good point – who wants to be told "You fat, ugly, bald.  But I like money.  You have money.  My boyfriend, he has no money.  So I go with you for my boyfriend".

    It's a game – if you can simply laugh at the lies and smile at the compliment, and take it for what it is ( a little white lie ) then you will have much more fun. 

    I mean really – do young beautiful thin women fall for old fat guys in "real life"

  13. While noble, I think anyone who sponsors a girl is out of their mind. I like to think of the "sponsored" room as a company perk. As an "employee", the girl abuses this company perk from time to time. I guess I'd compare it to being sent to a conference in  Paris and taking my girlfriend along.  In that case would you be honest to your boss and offer to pay for your girlfriend staying there?

  14. You can rationalize any dishonest behaviour you want. It is still despicable and maybe karma will see to it that you are the cuckold some day.

  15. KWS Get the feeling you have more than an acamedic interest in this subject – sounds personal. Is there an interesting story here?

  16. Some great stuff here.

    @leroy: Thanks for the compliments, and the education.

    @Smiler: I think we've covered IKEA fairly extensively already. Nothing to add!

    @kwai: Your honest approach to these situations is certainly admirable, but in a game where everybody's out to lie and cheat, I suspect your efforts are largely wasted. Do morals and ethics have a place, in the subject of whoring?

    Ironically (and amusingly, at least for you lot), the young lady I was getting to know last night was the first female I've come across in Thailand who's ever been entirely honest with me.

    "You should join a gym", she said as I undressed last night. "You're getting a beer belly".  So I guess there's an exception to every rule.

    Incidentally, it's not a beer belly. It's a tummy muscle.

  17. Martin: I go by kms. It's personal because I had a friend who used to brag to me that he was getting free sex from a prostitute that was getting money from a sponsor not to fuxx any other customers. I consider this kind of activity free-loading and is indicative of the level of integrity of anyone who would take advantage of a fellow human being. This guy was kee neeow in everything and it was just typical of his overall personality.
    I would not do this myself and I don't associate with people who engage in this kind of sociopathic, fraudulent activity. I know better than to sponsor a prostitute but if I was engaged to a woman and working hard to send her money until we could get married and some other lazy ass scumbag was dorking her in the meantime then there would be some kind of retribution.
    As for my former friend, the woman got tired of his cheap ass and ended up marrying her sponsor so Mr. Free-loader had to prey on somebody else.

  18. I should add that a number of sponsors send money simply because they like the girls, and want to have them available at a moment's notice when they next visit Thailand.

    While the sponsors are out of the country though, the girl has her paid apartment, her pocket-money, and her time is her own.

    Very similar to the mia noi arrangements, which are a topic for another day.

  19. “I like to be told I am a hansum man with a big dick whom the BG will love long time.” This is what I always hear when I’m with any BG… And they are not lying….

  20. i know some girls that are getting sponsored by 4-5 different guys each sending 10-20,000 baht each a month and she still goes out whoring
    in the internet cafe by my apartment its forever rammed with bargirls that are on webcam to 3 different old ferangs, while whispering sweet nothings to others on the phone – quite amusing

  21. a bar girl that tells lies,,, that is absolutely incredible isnt it. i mean i tell them all the time that i dont really drink, i am only in the bar for a lemonade and to watch the football,,then of course i am sexy hansum man , and i give in !! yep lying works for me.

  22. does the average fat, balding, ugly middle aged sex tourist honestly want to to be smacked in the face with the cold hard honest truth?…………….

    if they DO want the truth, stay in your home country and try your hand with an 18-24year old stunner………… then if u are lucky enought to initiate polite conversation realise the best shot you have for a bunk-up is with a saggy, ugly, middle aged shagbandit……….

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