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Small-Scale Question Sunday for April 28, 2024

Do you have a dumb question that you're kind of embarrassed to ask in the main thread? Is there something you're just not sure about?

This is your opportunity to ask questions. No question too simple or too silly.

Culture war topics are accepted, and proposals for a better intro post are appreciated.

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Any tips for Singapore? First time in Asia. Here for some weeks but mostly busy with work

The airport has air conditioning everywhere and the atmosphere is entirely unrepresentative of the outside weather. It is a hot humid hell in summer.

Don't book a cheap hotel at the last minute in Geylang. Bugs crawling on the bed, bizarre bathroom layout, threadbare towels. 0/10 would not recommend.

I am in Geylang this very minute

Edit: Either this place is severely hyped online or I came here on the wrong day of the week. Was expecting crazy Asian red light district. Found a bunch of karaoke bars and some working girls having drinks with prospective clients. Food was great though

If your intention is to experience the more salacious nighttime entertainments in Malaysia/Singapore, you have to set aside your expectation of a Soi Cowboy style bargirls spilling into the sidewalk, and know how to navigate the red light scene. The influences of East Asian courtesan style entertainments permeate throughout everywhere the Chinese/Korean/Japanese diaspora has a presence, and the manifestations especially in Singapore are truly unfindable anywhere else.

There are a few extremely interesting nightlife entertainment options that are not commonly experienced by westerners, so I think it is worth sharing the mechanics of Southeast Asian seediness with the fine denizens of themotte. The experiences described below are rated on three variables: Engagement, Play, Damage. Engagement is how much of a conversation/activity you can have with the girl, like if you're on a date. Includes conversation, flirting, playing bar games, having the girl pour your drinks or sing or dance for you. Basically the geisha/courtesan experience. Low engagement is basically when the girl is a meat mannequin, high engagement is the full GirlFriend Experience, whereby it is what loveless guys imagine: a girl waits hand on foot to compliment him for how awesome he is and sympathize with every slight he complains about. Play refers to the amount of physical hanky panky allowed. Low play is sitting side by side, stroking of extremities and handholding (how lewd), medium play is light fondling and sitting on laps, and high play is full on snogging and groping, pretty much first base. Full play is third base and above, in the venue so be prepared for some public action if you're in a full play joint with friends. Damage refers to price. Low is around 50/hour, and at the higher end you are looking at 600/h, not including additional expenditures you may incur of your 'own' volition. More on that at the end

BROTHELS The most obvious is the literal Red Light Brothels. In Geylang they are in the even numbered 'Lorongs', which are on the southern side of the main road and restricted to the earlier numbers (Lor 6, 8, 14, etc). These legal brothels are literally marked with red lanterns, usually with a man lounging outside shooting the shit with other guys. Be warned that there are chinese temples interspersed with the houses that have red trim on the shrines, and these places are not open for business. The working girls here provide purely sexual services, and it is an extremely upfront transaction: you go in, you see the girls in the fishtank (no more glass walls like Thailand, they're just out in the open), and select one to go up to the rooms. If you are unhappy with the selection you can ask the headman for the catalogue, the girls are arranged by nationality so some neighbouring houses may have a girl more suited to your preference. Don't expect too much vibing, these are purely sexual services. If you step into a house without ordering, you won't be harassed or otherwise disturbed, but the headmen will clue others in if there is a tourist just eyeballing, and entry may be refused. No engagement, full play, damage is low to medium depending on the girl.

MASSAGE PARLOURS Because there are plenty of legit parlours, patrons of special service parlours should seek these out at specific locales, particularly Peoples Park and Orchard Towers (the four floors of whores). The obvious sign of the girls will be young women with too much makeup and tight dresses with long fingernails inviting you for a massage. If you find an attractive woman in slacks and a polo t inviting you for a massage, it will be a real one and you would find a very different form of relief following the session. Like the brothels, these massage parlours are fairly straightforward affairs. Select, go in, get it done. Little engagement, pure play. Damage is slightly less than the brothels because these are strictly speaking illegal.

BARGIRLS Hunting grounds for working girls looking for itinerant businessmen unconcerned about fidelity. These are typically filipino bars operating in Lucky Plaza and Circular Road. Though there are plenty of working girls at the various hotels in Orchard Road, these girls typically are prearranged on telegram groups these days and not open for solicitation. The filipino bargirls usually are professional working girls, but often you will find domestic helpers or white/pink collar women having a side gig on weekend nights. These are the establishments where you sit in the bar area with other patrons and have the bargirls chat you up to buy more drinks. High engagement, but very little play on station. Damage on site is medium because these girls are great at convincing you to huy many many drinks to keep them by your side

INDIAN DANCE BARS These are a rather unique feature catering to professional NRIs who have been excluded from other venues due to complaints from working girls about dealing with Indians. The patrons sit on couches surrounding dance platforms, and girls come in to dance to Bollywood hits. Depending on how well you tip the girl may come sit with you and engage in conversation, but there are many platforms and other patrons. Girls stay at each platform for one song before moving to another, averaging 4 songs per shift before retiring for another set of girls to dance and the first batch either rests or sits with a high tippet. The girls are largely hindi speakers because of the makeup of NRIs with the cash to burn - tamils in Singapore and KL can take advantage of local tamil connections to indulge in other entertainments otherwise barred. Due to this specific market dynamic, the demand is surprisingly inelastic and girls can choose to ignore a man even if he tips aggressively. Between the heavies on station and aggressive police presence nearby (at least for Singapore), unruly patrons dont get to stay unruly for long, so the girls make bank. Low to medium engagement, very low to medium play, surprisingly high damage - the tips stack up quick.

KTV This is where things get interesting. Ignore the family friendly venues where you drunkenly belt out hits from your teenage years with your friends for that sweet hit of nostalgia to fend off the advancing years. These KTVs are where the girls make every effort to make you feel like a young man again while draining your wallet to make you as poor as a young man as well. These places are everywhere and at the same time invisible. A local is necessary to navigate to find these bars with opaque windows and negotiate with the door bitches, but it is quite the experience. Upon entry you and your buddies are guided to a private room, then the mamasan will bring out a selection of available girls to entertain you. The job of these girls is to get money out of you in one of twp ways: directly paying them for how much fun they provide you, or playing drinking games with you to both drink your booze and make you finish your booze more quickly. And these girls are good at both: the modern courtesan experience, where the girls alternate between singing and dancing for you, to aggressively challenging you to games of liars dice whereby the losers drink, to sitting on your lap and stroking your hair while you sob about why your boss isn't giving you your promotion and topping up your cups every few minutes. Then at the right moment they will put your hand on an appropriate body part and let you start feeling like you're going somewhere... only for the notorious butterfly system to kick in. See, these girls aren't exclusive to you during the 4 hour shift, there may (or may not) be other patrons who also enjoy the charms of your selected girl, and these girls flit between rooms akin to a butterfly. All the better to whet the appetite and loosen the wallet. The girls typically are mandarin speakers, so looking for an english conversant one can be difficult. Thankfully the language of lust is purely physical, and for everything else wechat autotranslate lets them tell you how much money they are demanding of you. Virgin punters are easily taken advantage of, and it is necessary to get the mamasan to reign in her girls. If one has no favourites, it is best to get the mamasan to determine payouts, otherwise the girls are aggressive double dippers and will try to convince you to pay them separately from the mamasans. As a fun note, the snacks in these establishments always feature the infamous fruit platters, a shitty collection of cheap cut local fruits that somehow go for fifty to a hundred bucks a pop. Baffling till you realize this is how entertainment budgets allow for this type of expense to be charged to the company - the fruit platters are the mamasans take for her to distribute. Engagement is medium to very high (depending on your own level of game), play is medium to high, and damage is medium to high, or even Catastrophic - more on that later

THAI DISCO/SIAM DIU This is the cleanest yet most damaging sleazy establishment. Like an Indian dance club, the girls are on a stage to sing and dance before the tips determine which patron ends up winning their affection for the (partial?) shift. Unlike the Indian dance clubs, where girls rapidly rotate between the small platforms to get each set of couches to tip aggressively, these girls on stage get bidded on like prize horses. And like prize horses, bidding gets crazy. A runner collects money from bidding patrons who signify the amount they are paying and the pin number of the girl they are interested in. During the 'award ceremony' after the sets, the girls get garlands or sashes draped across them like mardi gras beads, signifying how much they are earning. Each garland starts at 50 bucks, up to 25k. Did you notice I said earning, even though I said bidding earlier? Thats because this isn't an auction, its a bet. The amount a punter puts into the pot only lets the girl know he's in play, but the winner is whoever tilts the hardest. When the alcohol flows and a popular girl flits between two or three high rollers in a shift, things can go nuts towards the end. I've seen bidding wars have a girl get competing bids of 10 12 15 20 25 30k in a single session, with the runners frantically rushing back and forth to scan QR payment codes and drape increasingly lavish flower garlands on the girls. All this just for the girl to sit with you and chat you up, mainly so you can rub it in another mans face that you've been better at draining your companies bank account than he is. No play on site, but you are guaranteed to bring her home for the night if the damage exceeds 10k (yes the threshold is that high). Engagement is low to medium, play is low, damage is a binary of low or catastrophic. Thai discos are magic money draining pits. Magic money draining however happens not only at the venues themselves, for many girls - especially the thais- fancy themselves shamans. By the magic of a sob story and promises of exclusivity, a girl who obtains your phone number will cast these spells incessantly to drain you of all your funds and any lines of credit as well. Many men have fallen under the sway of these girls, and a single night of 300 can be the gateway for tens to hundreds of thousands to disappear into an abyss.

A circumspect man with his head screwed on tight will be able to experience exotic entertainments without losing everything, but everything can be lost if the right spell lands.

Singapore has a rather staid reputation, deservedly earned relative to the insanity one can experience in Bangkok, Pattaya or Batam. Yet the febrile sleazy scene, guarded by conscript police and a political establishment unbeholden to moral grandstanding has allowed an extremely robust commercial sex sector to thrive, without the stain of organized gangs and it's consequent violence blighting the land.

Oh and for other touristy crap, just stick to the good hawkers near train stations. Maxwell, Amoy, Old Airport Road and Chinatown Complex are the top tier hawkers and the internet recommendations are generally quite accurate.

This is one of the best write-ups about a topic I have ever seen on the motte and I can’t believe it’s just a reply to my 2 upvotes comment in a 14 day old thread. Reported as a quality contribution of course and hopefully it gets picked up.

Also I am still in Singapore actually but I’m not single and here with my girlfriend. She would definitely be okay to check out interesting establishments if it won’t get too seedy or awkward. We take a walk around Amsterdam red light district every once in a while when bored and it’s a fun couples activity somehow. But things are a lot more public and windows shopping friendly there

If you are with your girlfriend, the indian dance clubs and thai discos actually have pretty bar stool + table setups for you to drink without indulging in the proclivities. The door bitches look quite intimidating but on slow weekday nights (mon tues thurs) they will rather have anyone coming in to down a jug or two instead of having zero business at all. Be as shameless as the Asians in looking without seeing in thai discos or indian dance clubs, you are under no obligation to tip or hang flower. The best place for that as tourists is Circular Road, near Boat Quay which is the drinking area for the professionals in the Central Business District. Filipino bar girls and indian dance clubs there in between ridiculously cheap (and good) indian muslim food joints. If you get supper around 930 to 1030pm at the restaurant called Shah Alam you can usually see a Vellfire pop up and drop off a clown car full of girls in saris. For thai discos that will require a local, if only for the language barrier and the difficulty of navigating the Middle Road to Arab Street nightlife areas.

If you're with your girlfriend and have good heat tolerance, do stuff like Henderson Waves or Botanic Gardens. Can't really go wrong with green tropical forest shit. If you have more time then consider trips to JB, it is basically cheaper Singapore. Temples and culture may require trips to Indonesia or Thailand or Vietnam. At least the trips to the airport in Singapore are fun unto themselved, and many Singaporeans actually treat thr airport as a shopping center with an attached airplane management facility.