Sunday, 20 October 2013

Shameless Mack fragment found

Shameless Mack fragment found

Shameless Mack's blog went offline years ago, which I deplore very much. All I have left are memories, a few printouts (which I cannot find, but they are somewhere) and this article I saved on my computer. Here is a copy (edited, the original has some problems opening in the browser).

May 2010:
Even before the 19 May crackdown on the Red Shirts’ protest occupation of Bangkok’s main shopping district and the curfew that followed for several nights thereafter, the gogo bars of Soi Pratuchai (also commonly known as Soi Twilight) were already hurting.

(Picture of Soi Twilight, X-Boys)

It was the low season, but tourist numbers were even lower than typical for this time of the year. The Red Shirts’ sit-in had started mid March, and had led to two violent confrontations in April, with grenades going off causing several casualties. The headlines deterred many would-be tourists; travel warnings from foreign governments hardly helped.

I’ve been to Bangkok during the low season in years past, but this was the first time I found so many bars cancelling their shows. And I’m referring to the pre-crackdown/curfew period. (For a report on the brave and hopeful attempts to stay open for business even on nights with curfew, see the post Gogo bars keep going despite curfew.)

Dream Boy had the fortitude to continue with its show. Having seen it more than enough times, I didn’t feel like sitting through it yet again, despite the best sales spiel of the doormen, so I’m unable to report whether it was well attended or not (I doubted so) or even whether the show was abbreviated to save costs. Their exorbitant drink price too of 300 baht made it all too easy for me to say “No, thank you, I’m not going in.”

X-boys, Future Boys and at least one other bar (I’ve forgotten which one it was that I asked) had suspended their shows. Or rather, as one doorman put it in public-relations-speak, “Yes, we have show… if have enough customers.”

Nonetheless, I popped into X-boys (Drink 220 baht) because I wanted to have a drink and a chat with a boy I know, for old times’ sake. The bar had just six or seven customers within, at 22:10h. By the time I left, at 22:50h, there was only one other customer remaining.

There’s no way they can afford to put on a show. The pay rate for the gogo boys when they participate in a show is 400 baht. Involve ten boys in even a 45-minute show, and it comes to 4,000 baht in employee costs. I don’t think the bars are confident of getting 20 customers to cover just the show-related expenses. And that’s not adding in the (meagre) salaries for coming to work, rent, power and water, etc. Let alone the big payment to men in boots.

On the other hand, it’s a vicious cycle. If the doormen cannot promise a show within, the bars get even fewer customers.

Oh, and I noticed that the number of coyote boys had been cut down. Normally, X-boys would have three or four so that two would be on the pods at any given time. Tonight, they had just one, who seemed a little pissed off at the manager, because he was expected to be dancing continuously with no breaks. He looked exhausted. Coyote dancers are paid 500 baht a night, so by letting the rest go, the bar saved 1,000 to 1,500 baht in costs.

Screw Boys (Drink 200 baht) had a “show”. At 22:30h, the gogo boys vacated the stage, making way for a skinny heavily tattooed Yakuza-wannabe and a ladyboy. With no preliminaries whatsoever, the fucking began. After just two or three minutes on the stage, they proceeded to do it on customers’ laps, in the hope of tips.

I quickly waved them away.

Fuck act over (22:40h), show over too. Back to gogo on stage. What a show!

Is the gogo business dying? Are the glory days of Bangkok gogo bars behind us? Let’s see what high season brings later this year.

Leave a Comment »

Hello Mack, some weeks ago your blog started to show advertising, which is fine as I hope it gives you some income for your excellent work and it is unobstrusive. However, I was not able to open the links in either a new tab or a new window (tried on two computers with IE). It directs me to something like when I delete the charakters before the www, it works. I just want to know if there is an error or I really have to navigate away from your blog to follow the link. I allways chuckle when I find adverts like “1000s of beautiful Thai Ladies want to be your girlfriend now” on gay websites (as I don’t think is advert is directed at lesbians)!
Comment by christianpfc — June 13, 2010 #

I saved that particular article because I made a comment on it. If everyone else has fragments of Shameless Mack, or knows what happened to him, please let me know.

Update 20.07.2014

Found some printouts from his maps:

Kind of screenshot (from gaythailand; wordpress decreases size from 420 kb to 114 kb, if you want to read follow the link until I find a solution):

Apart from that, only memories and his contributions (as macaroni21), e.g. here:

Update 21.07.2014 Thanks to Jellybean on sawatdeenetwork for digging up a copy of 2009 massage overview.

Update Feb 2016: link to his maps on googlemaps (via Moses on gaythailand forum)

Copyright 2013 ChristianPFC


  1. It's funny to read all those old posts with familiar questions:" is gogo business dying?", "are the glory days of gogo bars behind us" asked year after year and still business seems to be in business as before.
    Funny comment of yours, at least somebody remembers our lesbian sisters


  2. Yeah, Shameless Mack is deeply missed by lots of us. His blog had to be a lot of work -- his writing was first-class, as were his diagrams and drawings. But he pulled the plug on it very abruptly, without a hint of why. Either somehow it got him into trouble, or perhaps he just lost interest or got frustrated and fed up with not being able to find a way to monetize it. He always had a slightly crotchety quality to his personality, so maybe it shouldn't be so surprising that he cut it off without explanation. Anyway, it was a gem of a blog for the few years that it lasted.

  3. Agree. He will be miss by those who read his blog regularly. Personally, I don't think he wrote was because he wanted to make money from it, rather was his way to record/express his feeling and experience. Most people shared their thoughts after reading a book/watching a movie/visiting a restaurant and so on. In his case, he shared his thought and experience after visiting a massage...

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