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.