Depending on whom you ask, the Republic of Georgia may be either a European or an Asian country. In my informed opinion it’s a mixture of both, with European influences clearly being stronger. Some will disagree.
What’s not up for debate is that Georgia is one of the most conservative societies to be found on either continent. Women are expected to be (or at least look like) virgins upon marriage. Foreign guys are often denied entry to night clubs. There just isn’t a whole lot of extra-marital action going on in Georgia, doubly so for outsiders.
Still, a small adult entertainment scene exists in the country, employing foreign women. There are prostitutes in Georgia like anywhere else — just not local girls. The lonely traveler who should come to resent the frigid nature of Georgian womanhood may be able to find solace in the arms of a Turkish or Thai woman, against adequate remuneration.
A few weeks ago I reported on prostitution in the seaside resort of Batumi. Today I will write what I know about sexual services in Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia and by most measures the only major city in the country. As usual, I write to inform and entertain but do not advocate that anyone do anything in particular with the information herein.
Prostitutes in Tbilisi
Thai massage parlors are ubiquitous in Tbilisi. As long as you are staying in the city center, you can walk in any direction and sooner or later you will stumble upon one. They tend to be very visible, with colorful neon lights blinking in the otherwise dimly lit streets of the city. Some are just honest to goodness massage joints, without any extras. Others specialize in happy endings.
Unlike in Batumi, the Thai masseuses in Tbilisi are hesitant to discuss the subject in advance. This is perhaps due to the much larger and more granular police presence. Prostitution is illegal in Georgia. Trial and error is the name of the game. An hour-long massage is only 70 GEL ($25 USD), so you won’t be gambling away your life savings or anything. Counter-intuitively, the parlors in the Old Town — the main tourist district — are less likely to provide extras than those in other parts of the city. I hit the jackpot in a venue at walking distance from the Opera House, but I won’t give out the address out of consideration for the girls working there.
Turkish massage parlors can also be found in different areas of Tbilisi. They tend to be more reliable than their Thai counterparts in terms of extra services. They often have a lone woman standing outside of the shop on the sidewalk, trying to get the attention of male passersby. If you are ever catcalled by a Caucasian woman on the streets of Tbilisi, you can safely assume that she is not Georgian, but rather you wandered into the vicinity of a Turkish massage shop. As mentioned there are many such places scattered around, but if one were to seek them out, a good place to start would be Tbilisi’s own Turkish neighborhood, on the eastern side of the Mtkvari river and in the northern part of the city.
Strip clubs and sex saunas in Tbilisi
Tourists and visitors that stay near the Old Town, on the opposite side of the river, are more likely to take notice of two prominent strip clubs called Angels and X.O.. The latter is supposed to mean “hugs and kisses“. One night I was able to catch a glimpse of a lady working at Angels as she took a break from the stage, and she was the stereotypical East European babe: tall, blonde, and full of silicon.
Fans of artificially enhanced breasts and pouty lips may be tempted to venture into either venue, in which case they will find out for themselves how much a lap dance with Barbie costs in Tbilisi. As for me, I believe some questions are better left unanswered and I never quite found the motivation to stop by either club. The bulky Georgian bouncers may have also played a role.
Also in the tourist district, further south, are some fairly large and picturesque sulphur bathhouses. They are referred to as “royal baths” on some maps and they are visited by tourists and locals alike. I have come across a webpage in English (written by a foreign woman, apparently) hinting at the fact that some of those bathhouses may be fronts for prostitution. However my limited experience contradicts those claims, which may or may not be exaggerated — similar to how prostitution in Cambodia is sometimes over-scandalized by some Western women for dramatic effect.
Said article mentions a place called Hotel Lady, which is supposed to come with pink-painted walls, be on top of a bathhouse and provide prostitutes to male customers, the rendezvous taking place in the bathhouse itself. Despite my best efforts I was not able to locate Hotel Lady anywhere in Tbilisi, so it was either shuttered or it changed name. The description seems a little too vivid for it to be a fabrication. Another possibility is that I really suck at locating places… which is why I’m dropping the name here all the same, in case some readers have better luck than me.
Since I still wanted to go to a bathhouse and see what the fuss is about, but without any reliable info to help me, I ended up visiting a place called Queens Bath. The name was ambiguous enough, I reasoned, and there were dodgy Georgian guys hanging around the front door, which I took as another good sign. Unfortunately I wasn’t treated to any kind of sexual activity. Whether or not the saunas in Tbilisi should be of any interest to horny travelers is still a mystery to me, but this article wouldn’t feel complete if I didn’t mention those rumors. A persistent man with time and money to spare could theoretically visit every bathhouse in Tbilisi and get to the bottom of this.
Sex in Georgia: Myth or reality?
This concludes my underwhelming report on prostitution (or lack thereof) in Tbilisi. There may be more to the scene, but I doubt it. In any event, this is all I have been able to unearth after one month in the city, with no other language than English to aid me in my quest. If you know something that I don’t, feel free to share it in the comment section below.
All things considered, there may be more on offer in Batumi compared to the capital, although it’s a close call. Neither locale is awash with options. Georgia as a whole is as far from a “pussy paradise” as I have ever seen. With that said, there are certainly a few options around for the male traveler longing for female company, all of which I have detailed in my twin reports on Batumi and Tbilisi.
Since this is likely to be my last post for 2019, I will take this opportunity to wish all readers of Rockit Reports a very happy Christmas and an even happier New Year. I will be back in 2020 with more info from under-reported cities off the monger trail.
This is a guest review by regular commentor European Guy – Rockit