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Has there ever been a major attempt to clean up the sex industry?


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I think to most of the world's powers, the sex industry is seen in a strongly negative light.  At the same time, it produces a lot of money for a lot of unfortunate people without harming anyone, so is not the easiest thing in the world to simply wage a war on.

 

But have there been major attempts to clean up Thailand's image in the past? What's the furthest it's gone?

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It starts tomorrow.

.

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I remember about 8 years ago there was a guy in BKK, a politician or senior cop. Name was Purichai I think but he quickly got the nickname Puritan.

 

He was the one who started cutting back the opening hours but his wife was full of "saving the working girls" rhetoric. Rumour had it she was a born again Christian but that was pure rumour as far as I know.

 

He disappeared (off the scene) not long after after the 2006 coup, I think, but for a year or so there WAS a lot of things being said, and done to a degree. It was around this time that BKK went "covered up" and the sex shows disappeared from Patpong etc. This was actually to the benefit of Pattaya! Prior to this the scene in BKK was considerably more "naughty" but the tables turned and BKK has never fully recovered IMO. I remember the days when the Rainbows were totally naked...haven't been for years.

 

I MIGHT have my time scales wrong...........but to answer the OPs question, yes there was and it has some lingering effect to this day.

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But have there been major attempts to clean up Thailand's image in the past? What's the furthest it's gone?

 

Several years ago there was a clampdown on the "trade" in Hat Yai which at that time was pretty open and "in your face" as regards P4P and had the reputation to go with it.  The authorities didn't try to eradicate it per se, but focussed on the soliciting side of things, i.e. openly advertising outside the premises, girls approaching and soliciting customers.  The view was that the sex trade was hampering the growth of family tourism.  Two things happened … one, the sex trade isn't so obvious now (it's still there, but not visibly so) and, two, the main trade moved further south to Danok.  Like Pattaya, everyone said it couldn't happen and/or it wouldn't last, but it did happen and the restrictions are still in force.  That said, everyone is quite happy nowadays … the hardcore sex-tourists go to Danok and the families don't have to put up with hookers blocking the footpaths in Hat Yai.   Of course, nowadays in Bangkok, commercial reality is slowly strangling the p4p options on lower Sukhumvit one by one.  I would imagine that any real (and effective) clampdown will happen on a local basis rather than nationwide as imagined by the aforementioned Purachai.

Edited by filibuster
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The sex trade has been around for thousands of years and think it will still be here in a thousand years time. That's if we don't destroy ourselves first.

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