I recently published a report on the increasing number of bar girls who are becoming webcam models. At the time I wrote that several women were turning to the internet to make up for income lost due to the pandemic and travel shut down. With possibilities for in person meetings drying up the gals found other ways to make ends meet.
Since then things have developed further. There are now at least two major go go bars in Pattaya that do live broadcasts over the internet. They have cameras set up that allow the outside world in to the bars. Or at least areas set up for broadcasting. These live streams allow viewers to interact with the dancers over the internet and even sent tips or buy lady drinks.
From stage to screen
Although I did identify the trend towards online entertainment early on I was still somewhat surprised by these developments. Especially when I first followed a link that lead me to live video of what looked like an entirely empty Windmill agogo in Pattaya. I was startled by the complete absence of customers in what was once a very popular and often crowded bar.
I later discovered that I was not looking at a video of the bar proper. Instead I was watching video from a private streaming studio. It just happened to look a lot like the inside of Windmill. As the management made clear they would never broadcast from inside the bar itself. This is a special area set up for broadcasting. So there are obviously no customers around.
Instead the customers are on the other side of the internet. From the comfort of their homes guys can now watch Windmill dancers shake it on camera. The viewing is free. There is also an option to buy lady drinks by sending 180 Baht ($6 USD) over Paypal. The ladies then acknowledge this and gives thinks over the stream. At the time of writing the streams are rather new. They have been watches by a few thousand people so far. I have no idea how many of those people sent money.
Not necessarily new
Heaven Above agogo in Pattaya went the same route. Though they started a bit earlier. After closing up the original bar location they started offering videos over the internet through a site called Heaven Above Live. I mentioned that in my earlier report. Now they have relocated to a new building. But they continue to offer video shows over the web. The adult webcam format is a little different but the idea is ultimately the same.
Since Heaven Above has long used videos of dancers for internet promotion this doesn’t necessarily surprise me. I am more surprised that other bars don’t get in on the game. With tourism to Thailand essentially closed for close to a year with no end in sight one is left wondering how they could stay afloat otherwise.
Sure there are expats and regulars living in Thailand. That has always been the case. But it is also true that tourists have been the main customer base for Thai go go bars for some time. That is just the way the businesses have been operating in recent years. Now that things have changed it is no surprise to see changes in business models. Nor is it shocking to see businesses going under. But watching businesses flounder with no way out of the impasse is something else all together.
Live streaming is a somewhat new technology that has caught on quickly all around the world. First there were the reality and live sex cams. Then the mainstream go into the game. It wasn’t all that long ago that major corporations like Netflix and Spotify first allowed customers to stream movies and music. These days smaller companies and individuals of all sorts use live streaming to broadcast everything from video games to the sale of skin whitening soaps.
I have reported on the real life adult entertainment industry over the internet for nearly a decade. I have long seen the connection between the two. That’s why I have written about webcams and porn alongside my reviews of blowjob bars and soaplands. In my view it is all connected. Now the connection is becoming more obvious and concrete.
I can still remember when things like agogos were somewhat secretive venues spoken about in whispers among certain subsets of men. That now seems like a lifetime ago. These days inside views can be seen by people all over the world through the wonders of modern technology. And money can be sent through the same transmission routes with no travel required. It isn’t what it used to be. But it is what it is. That may be a part of the new normal. And the new normal may become simply the norm. Only time will tell.