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CurtisD

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  1. CurtisD

    G Boys

    This thread provides an object lesson in how bars differ on different occasions. G Boys was formerly the old XSize in Twilight. One of the first bars to relocate out of Twilight. As XSize its attraction was its range of twinks for all tastes from slightly fem to moderately built and a range of nationalities. Thai, Myanmar, Lao, Cambodian, Vietnamese. However, it was variable. Some nights a stage packed with a multinational array of charming twinks. Some nights walk up the stairs, look, and with a rueful smile descend back to street level. Often on these occasions the authorities were cracking down on non-Thai guys. I had some of my best experiences with guys from there, also the worst. One of the mamasans was my pick for All Time Most Irritating, and I usually get on well with mamasans. Last trip I wanted to see it in its new location and, based on that one visit, I would go back. Twinks of all types, multiple nationalities, two stand-outs. But only three customers. Although to be fair it was quite early. That was September. Now we have reports that December was muscle and January rough trade. My guess is that the Soi Wall Street location is not helping business. Go and take a look. If it is a good night, great. If not, just appraise the room, smile and leave.
  2. CurtisD

    Food

    BenG1000, there are several countries such as India and Egypt where I follow your Bali routine of no raw food, no fish, no unpeeled fruit, only bottled sparkling mineral water (as it is more difficult for a faker to re-use a bottle and replicate sparkling water) etc. Thailand is not on the list. In fact it is the only country in which I will eat street food. Yes, this is pretty conservative, but I don't have time to be sick. I do not drink the tap water, but I have been known to forget and brush my teeth with it and I am also not all that worried about getting water in my mouth when I shower. So far no ill effects. Ice I am ok with in a cocktail at a high end bar - no ill effects so far. Otherwise - eg ice in a smoothie in a market or on the street - no. Whether I need to be this careful in Bangkok I am not sure, it may just be habitual when traveling. I have only been sick from food once in Thailand, from a fish lunch in Pattaya, and even that was pretty mild on the stomach upset scale. Bangkok has a huge range of food options, from street food to Michelin Starred restaurants, and covering a wide range of cuisines. I recommend you explore the various options for Thai food. Beside avoiding things, I take two precautions when traveling. The first few days I always eat a local natural yoghurt with breakfast. I was told years ago that this helps to get 'good' local bugs into your stomach and helps it to adjust to local food. I rarely have stomach problems when traveling, so maybe this works. I also carry Pepto Bismol tablets just in case.
  3. CurtisD

    Airport

    Regarding taxis, I do not disagree with what others have said, with a caveat. I have not used a taxi from the airport for several years because of problems I experienced several years ago . Once a too-long taxi que. Twice drivers who did not know where the hotel was. One took me to a hotel of a similar-ish name. The other I realized was heading some place that was not my hotel. In both cases I was able to get things back on track by giving them the name of the nearest Skytrain station and then directing them myself when we got there. My Thai business counterparts told me that too many taxi drivers were new to Bangkok and did not really know the city. This was quite a few years back, so it may no longer apply. However, since those experiences I have willingly paid-up to ensure no que and a driver who knows where I am going.
  4. CurtisD

    Airport

    BenG1000, Time from landing to exiting the terminal is a bit random. Business Class with priority you should be fine with getting a short-ish que. The hotel limo is very nice - Mercedes, cold towl etc - but is around 3000bht one way. thelimopattaya is very reliable and about 800bht. You can book on line. Just be sure to confirm which entrance they will meet you at so you can find each other. That time of night the trip into Bangkok will take a bit under an hour. With luck you will be checked in, showered and strolling down Twilight by 1pm
  5. CurtisD

    BKK newbie

    DivineMadman’s phrasing “they discuss us the same way as barista’s” hits the nail on the head. Bad experience, the guys will pass it on for sure, a regular they will discuss with their friends (who are not necessarily the guys in the bar), anything else (including very good tip, nice hotel etc) 50/50 if they discuss or not. Over the years I have experienced the whole range [except the bad experience IMHO ]. For example. One regular, once it was clear I was his regular, did not want me going to his bar. I would give him the bar fine for several days which he paid to the mamasan while I sipped a lime juice in Maxis. He was happy to go to other bars with me, just not his bar. Turns out in his mind he was protecting me from the Mamasan to whom I habitually gave a finder’s fee but he thought was just greedy. Another regular I always met at the bar. When I turned up everyone knew who I was there to meet (many smiles, much fussing while they ‘united’ us). After a couple of years he graduated and got a job back home. On my first visit to the bar after my friend had gone home, the guy I offed clearly had no knowledge of the financial arrangement I had had with my friend. On yet another occasion, on my first night I offed a guy at the buff end of my range of attraction, after a clear discussion of what I wanted. As we left the bar, after waiting for him to change, another guy returned from a short time and literally flashed into my field of vision. Instant mutual attraction. However, I had made the deal for the night and there were several nights to come, so after telling Mr Flash ‘tomorrow’ I left with Mr Buff. Who it turned out, contrary to advertising, was really more top than versatile and wonderfully enthusiastic. With the right stimulus (and also less energetic from jetlag) I can broaden my horizons and be versatile and so that is how things went. An enjoyable night for us both. The next night I went back to check out Mr Flash. Mr Buff was there and we greeted each other, but clearly there had been discussion. My eyes were on Mr Flash, Mr Flash was angling for my attention and Mr Buff was happy to let his fiend reel me in. After confirming he would bottom, we went back to the hotel, where he clearly assumed I would bottom. The guys had been talking. However, I was no longer jet lagged. Luckily the Mamasan had been correct and Mr Flash was versatile bottom rather than top. He became my next regular. Like DivineMadman, once I agree to take a guy off, I let him change. It helps him to feel comfortable that he has sealed the deal for the night and, if I stay to see the show (which is rare), it gives him face rather than sitting in the crowd in his underwear. The guys do seem to enjoy seeing the shows at other bars. Partly I think this is market information (they get to compare their employer to others) and in the case of Bangkok Guy, he enjoys watching the buff guys at Jupiter and Moon Bar, possibly more than I do!
  6. CurtisD

    BKK newbie

    Le Meridien is an easy walk to Soi Twilight. En route you pass an area of street food vendors with plastic tables and chairs. If a guy is hungry (it pays to ask) offer to buy him something here, either to eat at one of the tables or to take back to the hotel. Over the years I have tried the various kinds of Vista room and the Avantec Suites. I have never had a dud room. My only suggestion is to specify a room on a high floor for the view. The Avantec Suites are very nice. If the price works for you budget I would do it, but the other rooms are also good.
  7. CurtisD

    BKK newbie

    BenG1000, you have some pretty good advice already. I very much agree with DivineMadman. Even after visiting Bangkok for a couple of decades, as I only visit once or max twice a year, each time feels new and those butterflies of anticipation never go away. It’s Great! For accommodation my go-to is Le Meridian. If it is within your budget, go for it. Great location, pool, and very companion friendly. They also have a great spa. Nothing like a good Thai massage (you wear a type of pajama, no oil, no ‘extras’, a short lady walks all over you and bends you pretzel shaped) to get the kinks out after a long flight. I have never experienced a guy expecting a larger tip because of the hotel. Like us, the guys like nice things, so I think a nice hotel (especially one that does good Thai food) is a pleasant bonus for them. If you have time, look beyond the gay scene. Bangkok is World Class. Try a couple of Skybars, for example Vertigo at the Banyan Tree or SkyBar at Lebua State Tower. Thai food is excellent. Within walking distance of Le Meridian there are Ruen Urai, Mango Tree, Baan Suriyasai and Papaya. For cocktails you can’t go past Vespers in Soi Convent. For presents for friends and family, try the Royal Thai handicraft center (in a mall somewhere, the concierge will know), Jim Thompson Outlet in the suburbs a couple of blocks from Bang Chak skytrain station or Chatuchak weekend market (if you don’t mind leaving soaked in sweat). The bars continually change, so just go with the flow until you find a guy that clicks. My suggestion for a first evening is: · * Relax with a Thai massage. · * Have a light Thai meal at Ruen Urai. Good food in a relaxed garden setting. · * Go to Vespers for a pre-club cocktail. The walk will get you a little into the beat of Bangkok. Cocktails are excellent. Bar staff are attractive and friendly (professional mixologists, so no this is not a go-go bar) and talking with them will move you into the zone for talking to the ‘bar guys’. · * Don’t head straight to a bar, take a seat in Maxis and people watch for a while. Get a feel for the pulse of the scene. · * Then hit the bars. · * I would start with Dream Boys to level-set. A range of types, helpful non-pushy mamasans, generally a good standard. · * Then, in a hunt for twinks, in no particular order as things change: Fresh Boys (both locations), G-Boys and Classic Boys. · * Opinions vary on Mamasans. I usually work with them as they know the guys, they can interpret and if you find one annoying the blocking hand signal is usually enough. · * Be sure to discuss what you want up-front before you take a guy off. Aligning expectations goes a long way to a happy experience. This may particularly be the case looking for a twink top. However, in my experience, many twinks are versatile and many are tops (to my regret). I do not think you will have a problem. · * As a visitor, particularly not a frequent one, do not get too hung up on prices. You only have so many nights and your airfare and hotel are sunk costs. If you like a guy, better to get him than quibble over what is in effect pocket change compared to your sunk costs. If If you want to take a guy for company to a Skybar or just generally, they will be happy to go with you, but probably better to do it the second time you meet so that you have a connection and the guy can actually be company.
  8. ggobkk, I am really enjoying your report! Thank you for taking the time and the memory to share with us all.
  9. I get alerts from Scotts Cheap Flights. Pretty random, but every so often something comes along that fits my schedule. Opportunistic opportunities aside, I plan trips by using the calendar feature in Google Flights to identify the seasonal trend in prices and spot generally good periods and then the ‘Great Price!’ dots on the Kayak calendar to pick the exact days, assuming I can be that flexible. I always select my seats in advance to avoid middle seats. Sometimes this necessitates calling the airline directly and increasingly it seems you need to pay for this ‘privilege’. I think it is worth it. Trips with multiple destinations get quite tricky. I usually start by using the multi-city options on Kayak and Expedia and see what they come up with. Then I compare the price of the unbundled pieces. Sometimes one is better, sometimes the other and the differences can be surprisingly large at times. However, if a stop is only a connection stop, I always get the single bundled booking on one ticket. That way you just go through transit. No mess with immigration, baggage collection and then finding the different airlines have different baggage rules (on a single ticket the most favorable rules take precedence). If you book separate tickets you have to read each airline’s rules and pack your bags to fit the meanest. As others have pointed out the relative cost of airfare versus accommodation depends on class of travel/type of accommodation/length of stay. On business trips the airfare swamps accommodation costs even when staying at five star hotels. On personal trips I go economy and so the accommodation and other costs – e.g travel to and from the airport, airport car parking, food – can quickly exceed the airfare, particularly for trips of over a week. I like good accommodation, so part of the planning is checking hotel prices to be sure I am not hitting some local demand peak. Usually the airfare and the accommodation costs move in tandem, but not always, so I check both before booking. In the last couple of years I have been looking at both Airbnb and hotels and have used Airbnb about half the time with great success.
  10. A book I enjoyed several years ago was, I think, S P Somtow's 'Jasmine Nights' set in an eccentric Thai family. I need to say 'I think' as I recommended it to a friend who was reading it in his pool, with predictable results, so I can't check on the shelf. I have to admit to a weakness for John Burdett's detective novels, lead character Dective Sonchai Jitpleecheep son of a former 'working girl' and current bar owner. I habitually check to see if he has a new book out whenever I am in Bangkok.
  11. I use thelimopattaya. Once downtown Bangkok to Jomtien. A few times between downtown Bangkok and the airport. You can book on their website. I have found them to be very reliable.
  12. Spoon, your experience rings true with me. I have found that once your trip details are set it pays to contact your regular guy with increasing frequency as the date of your arrival approaches. These guys don't keep appointment calendars a month out or even a week out! Send him the details about a month out. Then weekly until the week of arrival, then daily for 4-5 days before arrival and make sure to message as soon as you arrive in Bangkok if you want to meet that night. It's the mirror image of your departure. He will Line you every day for a week, then drop to weekly, then occasionally. It is some sort of physical proximity = reality lack of physical proximity = unreality sort of thing, at a guess. Before you arrive, the customer in front of him is more real than you, so you need to increase your presence through a lot of messaging. Immediately after you leave, if you have spent a bit of time together, you are still real to him for several days and he maintains contact.
  13. Hank, my experience matches most of the advice others have given you. You can pay the off in advance for as many days as you agree with the guy. The guy may prefer it as it offers more certainty that you are not going to be distracted by another guy and he has your business, he does not have to turn up at the bar each night and being offed for multiple days makes him look successful to his bar friends. As long as you have a good rapport with the guy to start with, from experience it is quite safe to pay the off for days in advance. The guy will not decide that now you have committed your time to him he can slack off. Quite the reverse in fact. Now you have shown commitment to him he is likely to show commitment to you. A positive cycle and one of the reasons I enjoy having a regular guy. The guys are happy to meet you anywhere. If you do not go to the bar at all, so you have not paid the off fee to the bar in advance, a guy’s main concern in meeting outside the bar will be that you pay the off fee in addition to their fee so that they can explain the situation to mamasan and pay the off fee to the bar next time they go there. The guys are happy to see you again no matter how long it has been since your last visit. I am usually only in Bangkok once or twice a year but meeting again after 6-12 months is pretty seamless. All the guys will ask for your contact details and I am strict in only giving my contact details to guys that I have been with several times and think would make a good regular. No one gets my contact details when I butterfly. Communication is pretty light from my end and typically also from theirs. Enough from me that they know I am thinking of them and will see them next time I am in town. Enough from them that I know they will be happy to see me. So far no stories of buffalo-related misfortunes. There is high turnover in the bar guys, one of the reasons I try to get on with the mamasans with whom there is little turnover. Most of my regulars have lasted 12-24 months until they achieved their goal for being in Bangkok (study, raising the cash for a project back on the farm) and returned to their home city/village. However, typically they were in the bar scene for a shorter time, less than 12 months.
  14. Travellerdave, I think it is a bit soon to think of changing your name to TravellerClark and seeking out your long lost parents on Krypton. It is more likely your experience falls within the bounds of normal probability with a smidge of luck thrown in. After 30 encounters in a 30% poz population, there is a 99.998% chance that you had sex with at least one poz partner. However, contact does not imply infection and the chance of becoming infected from this contact depends on a wide range of factors: * The type of sex. You were top, so less risk than bottom. * Viral load of partner. Anywhere from 33% chance of infection for a full viral load partner to a very small chance for a partner with an undetectable viral load. * Presence of STDs * etc, etc My guess is that you are just a guy with normal luck. There are some people with a genetic protection against HIV, but not many, so I would not count on being one of the few. Below is a quote from a 2016 article on this. Researchers are trying to find out why some people carry a genetic mutation that makes them highly resistant to HIV infection. This mutation, called Delta32, keeps a protein called CCR5 from rising to the surface of the immune system’s T cells. When CCR5 is on the surface of the cell, HIV is able to latch on to it and infect the cell; when it is not, the cell’s “door” is effectively closed to HIV. Very few people have this genetic variation, which some scientists think has been inherited from ancestors who survived the massive bubonic plague in Europe centuries ago. About 1% of Caucasians have it, and it is even rarer in Native Americans, Asians, and Africans. A 2005 report indicated that 1% of people descended from Northern Europe are virtually immune to AIDS. Those lucky enough to be resistant must inherit the HIV-shielding genes from both parents, though having only one parent with the mutation still leaves a child better prepared to defend HIV than having none. At least one genetic testing company, 23AndMe.com still does the HIV immunity test (among their battery of tests, not as a stand alone), though many companies that once catered specifically to gay men for the HIV immunity test have closed down.
  15. Finnseventy, Spoon has it right. It is the difference between the probability of a single event and the probability of a sequence of events. They are very different things and the fact that people don't get this difference helps casinos, who often show the results of the last several spins of the roulette wheel in the hope that people seeing three Red in a row will be encouraged to bet big on Black thinking it must be more likely. Well, while the probability of four Red in a row is small, you are not betting on four-red-in-a-row, you are betting on Red in the next spin, which is still 50% (less a little for 0 and 00 depending on the quality of casino at which you play). In discussing PrEP we are making a bet on both the current and the long term probability. We are betting on PrEP not failing us in both the current encounter (92% chance) and in all our encounters, the probability of which is 92%-to-the-power-of-n where n is the number of encounters. If you tossed a coin 100 times and they were all heads, then (I) yes, the probability of a head in the next toss is still 50% but (ii) the probability of 100 heads in a row is so small that you would have a crowd around you. You would be in the Guinness Book of World Records Think about it, if you got 10 heads in a row you would think it was pretty special, let alone 100! I looked for the record number of heads-in-a-row on line and could not find anything, although apparently the record straight run of Red on the Roulette Wheel in Monte Carlo is somewhere in the 30s, which suggests the record run of heads may be around there too. Tom Stoppard's play Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead has Guildenstern flipping a coin while Rosencrantz calls 'heads'. Eventually they get to 92-heads-in-a-row with Guildenstern increasingly concerned and Rosencrantz's money pouch bulging. Someone in a blog has asked how likely this is. Quoting the blog: It is indeed very unlikely to throw 92 heads in a row – perhaps even more unlikely than you might guess at first. Assuming that the probability of any one coin landing heads is 0.5, and that the coin throws are mutually independent of one another, the probability of 92 coins landing heads in a row is equal to 0.5-to-the-power-of-92 – that is, 0.5 x 0.5 x 0.5 x 0.5 ... 92 times. And that is a very small number – approximately 0.0000000000000000000000000002 or 1 in 5000 trillion trillion. This figure is too small to even properly get one’s head around. This is (much) less than the chance of two people being asked to randomly choose a single grain of sand from anywhere on the Earth and happening to choose exactly the same one.
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