The Rules About Taking Photos & Videos In Go-Go Bars
It is a firmly established rule that NO PHOTOS, or videos are permitted in the vast majority of go-go bars in Thailand. This especially applies to the go-go girls upon the stage. I never cease to be amazed that people don’t understand the strict NO PHOTO rule. What strip joints abroad would let you take photos, or videos inside the club? If the bouncers catch you taking photos in Farangland, you will be doing an impression of a human glider, as you fly out the door!
Regarding this policy, there are several reasons why it is enforced…
(1) Firstly, everybody should respect the privacy of the girls. They are working girls and have the right to refuse photographs, or videos. Furthermore, certain go-go girls fear losing their sponsors, or payment providers. Another reason is some Thai girls would be mortified if their partners, or families were to find out.
(2) Photographers may look like innocent tourists who don’t know any better, but many intend to put the photos on the internet. Without the permission of the Thai girl and the bar owner, this is illegal without a model release. Taking photos inside a private premises, means you need to follow the laws of that business establishment. The NO PHOTO rule might seem too strict, but sadly, there is no shortage of those wanting to abuse the privilege.
(3) Among the audience, there will be people who do not want anybody taking photos of them. Whether the photo of them is intentional, or unintentional, bar bosses also have a duty to protect the privacy of their customers.
(4) The final reason is being exposed to the Thai authorities. Nobody knows where explicit images, or film footage might end up. The bar may face an extortionate fine, or even lose its license. For all concerned, it is better for go-go bars to remain under the radar.
SUMMARY – To end on a positive note, there are plenty of bar girls who will let you take their photo. Note that the Thai girls in Pattaya are usually more willing than their Bangkok sisters are. It is always advisable to ask permission to avoid a potential altercation. You could politely ask if you can take a photo outside the bar. Some bar girls may request a drink, or a tip, but that is for you to negotiate. There are bar girls who agree to do photo shoots in hotel rooms. Again, you should be very clear about how you intend to use the photos. Hey, the photo shoot might cost you next to nothing, and you get permission to use the photos as you choose. I hope you get lucky!
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