Working at the Bar: Sex Work and Health Communication in Thailand

By Thomas M. Steinfatt | Go to book overview

7

EMPLOYMENT STATISTICS

The previous chapter examined demographic variables related to bar work. This chapter considers variables related to employment in the bar, such as prior employment, length of time worked, age at first employment, employee turnover, holding a second job, the number of customers seen by workers, worker income and expenditures, and the distribution of the customer payout between the worker and other entities that profit from the transaction.


PRIOR BAR WORK EXPERIENCE

Occasionally, some bar workers move from the employment of one bar to that of another, while others stay with a single bar or bar group for their entire career. Workers do not move capriciously and will normally stay with a bar or bar group unless there is a reason to move on. Even hostess workers not tied to a specific bar normally have a regular barhopping pattern, followed quite consistently on a given evening.

The most common reason for changing bars is a perceived increase in economic opportunity. During times and seasons when there are many customers in their bar, few workers change bars. When customer levels drop, workers may seek another bar that is attracting more customers than their current bar. As discussed in Chapter 13, management, particularly the owner and the manager, is largely responsible for making the bar a place that customers will seek out. There is a delicate spiral that occurs in the interaction of attracting workers to the bar: customers will come, who will attract more workers, who will

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Working at the Bar: Sex Work and Health Communication in Thailand
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • 1 - On Studying Sex Work 1
  • 2 - Numbers and Types of Workers and Workplaces 17
  • 3 - The Routes to Bar Work 47
  • 4 - Reasons for Not Working 61
  • 5 - Moral and Religious Concerns 85
  • 6 - Bar Worker Demographics 101
  • 7 - Employment Statistics 127
  • 8 - Partner Selection and Negotiations 163
  • 9 - Aids in Thailand 185
  • 10 - Condom Use and Health Communication in Foreign-Oriented Bars 237
  • 11 - Hopes, Dreams, and the Future 249
  • 12 - Support Staff, Management, and Owners 275
  • 13 - Customer Motivation and Behavior 303
  • 14 - Policy on Sex Work 341
  • Glossary 379
  • References 401
  • Index 425
  • About the Author 436
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