Forms of ProstitutionThere are different forms and practices of prostitution in general, and Thai prostitution in particular, which determine how and where the transaction occurs, who the clients are etc. Since prostitution is officially illegal in Thailand, the government, through the Entertainment Places Act of 1966, allowed for “special services” to be offered in certain places, such as massage parlors, nightclubs, go-go bars, and other similar establishments. The passage of this act coincided with a large U. S. military presence in Vietnam and Thailand, due to the Vietnam War, so the Thai government saw the toleration and support of sex services as quite lucrative for its budget.

Despite the fact that Thailand is widely known as a sex tourism destination, Thai prostitution caters overwhelmingly to locals and other Asians, rather than Westerners. One of the most widespread forms is a brothel, disguised as a body massage parlor (although they do perform massage services–it’s just that they often include much more).

Foreigners soliciting sex services usually go to special bars catering specifically to them. Some of these bars have rooms for the “extra services,” which the clients can use with the prostitutes, after the payment of a fee. There are also nightclubs and coffee shops which either directly hire sex workers, or allow them to use their premises to solicit their clients. For the wealthy, both Thai and Westerner, there are special Private Member Clubs. Some of these establishments cater specifically to homosexuals. And there are, of course, the call girl or escort services, which are mainly, but not exclusively sexual in nature.