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Book Review: by Lang Reid
 

Red-Light Nights, Bangkok Daze

Despite the long title to this book Red-Light Nights, Bangkok Daze (ISBN 978-981-08-1076-4, Monsoon Books, 4th edition, 2013), being the 4th edition, it must have been selling well for a SE Asian book. It is also author William Sparrow’s first book.
Looking like a handbook for the region (the ‘Unlonely Planet?) Sparrow has kept the bills and receipts and a one on one meeting also in Hong Kong was charged out at USD 100. He also had his suspicions that the lady was under the control of the Hong Kong Triads after she was picked up by a driver in a BMW. However, one memorable evening in Hong Kong with six nymphets set him back USD 875 for four hours, and that was without sex, though he did write that “Karaoke, I found, is far more tolerable when you have a naked woman on either side of you.” I think most men would agree with that statement, and probably for any other seated occupation as well!
Sparrow also looks critically at the Triad-run industry in Hong Kong, and how they bring in girls from other countries, with the HK Immigration turning a blind eye on those immigrants for ‘work’, whilst real travelers can be given a rough treatment. The depth of penetration of the industry is quite remarkable, and involves visas, immigration, doormen, bartenders, drug dealers, collectors, enforces, drivers, handlers, runners, mamasans and bar owners. And just in case you think you might like to apply for one of the positions in the Triads, you have to be ethnic Chinese. Sorry.
Japan has its own particular problems in the bedroom, according to Sparrow with 24 percent of married couples no longer indulging in sex. Many males in Japan relying on sex toys, as being an easier outlet for passion, than the normal male-female sexual relationships.
Sparrow also looks at child pornography in Japan and the “manga” (comic books) and finds this to be an enormous section of the sex industry, with 30-40 percent of the subject matter featuring schoolgirl characters.
Thailand, where Sparrow lives, gets an unusual mention for ménage a trois with twins. One such couple admits that they make up to THB, 100,000 per month, which certainly beats working in a supermarket! A tryst with these will set the average punter back about THB 4,800 for three hours plus short time room, lady drinks and food, as Thai women are always hungry.
In the Afterword, Sparrow differentiates between love and lust, and comes up with a scholarly approach to human relationships where he writes “Certainly handing a mamasan THB 1,000 for ‘Number 26’ doesn’t qualify as the chase and the resulting encounter is likely to be as romantic as any hour long timed sexual interaction can be.”
At B. 545 it is a fun, and in places, an interesting read, without being overtly titillating. Sparrow has given the reader the chance to overview sexuality in SE Asia, without giving telephone numbers copied down in phone boxes. A book for the red-blooded male. I doubt if female readers would be as generous in their reviews.


 
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Red-Light Nights, Bangkok Daze