This will come as no surprise to readers of Rockit Reports, but sex is on sale all over the world. Even in some of the most far flung and unlikely places. I have previously reviewed a full service titty bar located in a Transylvanian village of 1,000 people, as well as a brothel in the Swiss Alps, right across the border from Italy. My third, and until now last, review on this site was about a naughty KTV in a part of Manila that few foreigners visit, where I got a girl to spray milk all over my face from her tits, and to suck on my very own “microphone”, for the price of a few beers and some chicken wings.
I have a penchant for going off the beaten track. That is why today I’m writing this fourth piece in a hotel room overlooking the Black Sea, reporting from the city of Batumi, in the former Soviet republic of Georgia. As you are about to find out, even here in the Caucasus region — a part of the world that was never heralded as a libertine’s paradise, and for good reason — a little money can go a long way when it comes to finding intimacy. Or as I like to phrase it, where there is a bill, there is a lay.
Georgia is booming
Unbeknownst to many Westerners, the country of Georgia is currently booming, and nowhere is that more apparent than here in Batumi. Over the last few years several casinos, nightclubs, apartment complexes and luxury hotels (including household names like Sheraton, Hilton, Marriott and Meridien) have sprung up all over the city, which was once a sleepy outpost that nobody would visit. But the world keeps changing, and Batumi has become a favorite holiday destination for cashed up Turks and Russians, and to a lesser extent Iranians, Israelis, Ukranians and Chinese. Take it from me, some of the buildings in Batumi wouldn’t look out of place in Las Vegas or Macau. The overall vibe is that of a new “sin city” in the making.
Wherever there is gambling there tends to be prostitution. Batumi is no exception. As of 2019 there isn’t much information about the latter on the internet, at least not in the English language (which, by the way, is not widely spoken in Georgia). But I was able to confirm the presence of more than a few working girls in Batumi, hailing from neighboring countries and even from Thailand. Amid seedy night clubs that take advantage of tourists with inflated bills, and underground places that are prone to being raided and shut down by the police, it can be difficult for a Western punter to navigate this city. Fear not though, as I have done a bit of legwork, and I’m able to point you in the right direction.
Thai massage in Little Istanbul
Said direction is that of the Turkish neighborhood, located at the northern end of the New Boulevard along the sea (it’s literally named just that, “New Boulevard”), in an area roughly delimited by Gogebashvili Street on one side and Baratashvili Street on the opposite side. Smack in the middle of this “Little Istanbul” of sorts you will find a dozen or more Thai massage parlors, not unlike the ones you may have seen in Thailand. They are mostly concentrated on and near two parallel streets named Gamsakhurdia Street and Kutaisi Street. With evocative names such as “Phuket Massage”, and with authentic Thai ladies waving in male passersby, it’s not difficult to imagine what goes on inside those venues… but if you are still clueless, read on.
The various massage parlors are very similar to one another, almost to the point of blending into a single entity. That is why I won’t review any joint in particular, but rather I will provide you with an overview of them. They all operate pretty much in the same way. That is to say, after a lengthy and surprisingly thorough massage, you are likely to be offered some sort of “happy ending”.
I have visited five different parlors, and in all but one of them I was offered extras. The first time it was a handjob; the second time a blowjob; and the other two times it was full service. Both of the ladies who did full service were also available for takeout, and in one instance I was led to a short time hotel across the street, where the Georgian staff seemed well aware of what was going on (and couldn’t care less, going so far as greeting the Thai woman with a knowing smile). The lady paid for the room out of her own pocket.
In the other instance, the woman was willing to either have sex right in the massage booth, or follow me to my own hotel under payment of a 100 GEL barfine to the shop (a little over $30 USD at the current exchange rate). Both women quoted 150 GEL for their services ($50 USD), so I’m inclined to believe that’s the going rate for sex. The blowjob lady wanted 80 GEL ($37 USD) and sucked me off right than and there; while that handjob finish cost me 50 GEL ($17 USD). I didn’t waste any time haggling, but I’m confident that these rates are somewhat negotiable.
Prostitution in Georgia
As you can see there are no hard and fast rules. Based on my limited sample size, you have an 80% chance of being offered some kind of extra, and a 40 percent chance of it being full service. Take these figures with a pinch of salt though, and remember that your mileage may vary. If you want to make sure that you are not wasting your time, you can simply ask the ladies upfront whether or not they will perform any extras. I have seen some Turkish customers bluntly discuss the subject right at the front door, and the masseuses (while a bit taken aback) were less than shy about informing them of who did what, and for how much.
It seems a direct approach works best. Or you risk ending up like me at the second parlor I visited, where I got nothing but a cup of tea at the end, despite the lady making me go full nude from the start, and “accidentally” touching my junk several times (to which I acted unfazed and kept a gentlemanly silence, which may have been a mistake in hindsight).
Whatever you do, remember that first and foremost you’ll have to pay for the massage itself. Payment is rendered in advance at the front desk. The pricing is slightly different at each parlor, but a thirty minute oily massage goes for around 40 GEL (~ $13 USD), while an hour-long session is around 70 GEL (~ $23 USD). There’s no reason to opt for the pricier option unless you actually want a lengthy massage. If anything, that may discourage some women from offering extras, since you already made it worth her while; but that’s just a theory of mine.
Speaking of the women, most of them are in their late thirties, and quite a few in their forties. Many are rotund or plain overweight, but there are also some thin and fit ones in the mix. Few if any of them would qualify for a beauty pageant; then again, that can be said of the average woman anywhere. The constant influx of men into these shops, at all hours of the day and night, tells me that there is no shortage of eager customers. If you don’t like what you see in the window, simply keep walking around the block until you see a lady whom you know you could get it up for (or better yet, poke your head in and ask to see who is available).
What some women lack in youthfulness and looks, they make up for with warmth and friendliness. Their uniquely Thai charm is in refreshing contrast to the general grumpiness of Georgian people. If you can speak the Thai language (even a few basic words), the girls are sure to giggle and loosen up. I have learned that most of them are in Georgia on a temporary basis, taking advantage of the country’s lax visa regimen to earn some money abroad; but all of them miss Thailand and can’t wait to go home, which is hardly surprising if you know anything about Thais. Also, it seems like most of the parlors are Thai owned, with older Thai women in charge of the recruiting.
I should probably mention that the shops are located in a busy neighborhood filled with tourists and passersby, which was enough to make even an experienced punter like me feel a tiny bit shy at times. It gets better at night, when there is less activity on the streets. All the parlors open before midday and close a couple hours after midnight. As a final tip, one of the better venues is Marigold Massage, which currently employs several slim women, and where happy endings seem to be fairly standard.
Hostess bars and more
Interspersed between the Thai massage parlors you will notice a few hostess bars, eerily similar to the ones in Cambodia. They are staffed by Turkish women, and cater to Turkish men, which means they are more or less off-limits to anyone who doesn’t speak Turkish. I stopped by one of these bars for a drink and I was warmly welcomed, but all I could obtain was for a lady to pour my beer. She became shy and left when she realized I didn’t speak her language. Meanwhile, there were a bunch of Turkish men drinking and fooling around with some ladies on the couch next to mine. I took a piss and moved on, sparing myself further embarrassment.
There is likely more to Batumi’s pay for play scene than just the Turkish quarters, but I don’t have enough first hand information at the moment to mention any other venue in particular. Long term visitors should be able to find out more on their own. Casinos, nightclubs and dating apps are probably a good place to start, and I’m pretty sure you could gain some intel from taxi drivers. The village of Gonio just outside Batumi is also, reportedly, a meeting point for prostitutes and their customers, tough I haven’t been there in person. The women are said to originate from Central Asia (Uzbekistan, etc.) and parts of Russia. Late May to early October is the best time to visit, as Batumi is very much a summer destination (winters can be freezing cold in Georgia).
If you do visit Batumi, be aware that some establishments are known run scams on tourists, including a sizable club on the Boulevard, close to the beach, currently going by the name of Garden Club and formerly known as Inferno. Steer clear of that place. I must also mention that prostitution is very much illegal in Georgia, and crackdowns at the hands of the police do occasionally happen. One of the most popular clubs in the city, known for housing short time rooms on the upper floor, was shut down in 2017, along with other four or five similar establishments.
Then again, I recently saw a lone policeman patrolling the street where most of the Thai massage parlors are located, and he looked bored more than anything else. Either the authorities in Batumi have little knowledge of what a Thai massage may entail beside a rub down, or they are looking the other way at this point in time. Make of that what you will, and remember that you are solely responsible for your own actions.
As Rockit is fond of saying, this website is for entertainment only. Hopefully this new write up of mine was just as entertaining as the previous ones. I may write some more in the future.
If I were the mayor of Batumi I wouldn’t be too concerned about the situation. From what I have seen, this city isn’t poised to replace Pattaya anytime soon, despite its location on the sea and the abundance of neon lights. Most foreign visitors at this time seem to be families with children.
However there can be no doubt that sex is on sale in Batumi. The pickings may be slim, but the offering is there. In a country as socially conservative as Georgia, that has to count for something. It will be interesting to see how things evolve.
This is a guest review by regular commentor European Guy – Rockit