CHIANG MAI, Thailand — If bathroom graffiti is any measure of a go-go bar’s depravity, then the “Can Do” bar is rather chaste.
Girl-power slogans are scrawled on the walls in pink magic marker. Above the toilet, the blue-ink scribble gets unusually political for a go-go bar: “Vote no – crazy constitution in Burma!”
In the barroom, more clues suggest this is not the sort of Thai girlie bar mythologized in sailors’ sex tales. There is no “mamasan” mother hen pushing ladies on male customers. The music isn’t set at an eardrum-shredding volume. The female workers are dressed like college kids: jeans, T-shirts and sneakers.
Make no mistake. The bar’s 30-odd rotating cast of female employees have sex with men for money. But the premises is pimp-free. The sex workers operate the bar themselves and split the profits.
“Some guys like that our conditions are fair, that we don’t have a bad owner,” said Mai, a 25-year-old sex worker with auburn bangs and Bambi eyes. “That’s why they come here instead of somewhere else.”
The sex workers-turned-entrepreneurs at Can Do Bar call it “experitainment.”