There is a feeling of 'anything goes' in Pai. Among some people Thailand is a place where usual social rules seem to be disregarded. This was really apparent at a place I just couldn't take to – Don't Cry. It only made me want to cry. This is something I've not experienced elsewhere. Touching shouldn't be a prerequisite in these places. The predator aspect in here was sickening. Females, including myself aren't comfortable enough to let go and have a good dance, which is the only reason I headed there when everywhere else closed.
It is not ok to grab at someone on the dance floor. Yes, sometimes there is a brushing against another body when you are dancing close to other people. That isn't what you are there for though. You should be loosing yourself in the music (even if it is pretty cheesy) with friends or new acquaintances. Not aware of how close a guy you don't know is standing behind you.
Sure, there are girls who throw themselves into a group of guys and want that kind of attention. When TLC - No Scrubs came on I found myself screaming the lyrics out, with my hands in the air because I could see the girls around me were so pissed with being groped. A scrub is a guy that can't get no love from me.
When a guy said "Why do you dance so sexy then?" I made a loud sweeping statement as TLC finished that it is not OK to touch people who didn't ask for it when they are dancing. I despaired as the guys in this group scoffed and laughed at me.
A little while later after chatting to some girls and dancing at the side away from the dance floor – a sad state of affairs Tommy; the girl I was with was talking to a Western guy. He was tall, his stature intimidating enough but his declaration after she had told him of the situation we found ourselves in of "Hey! It's Thailand..." was the final nail in this one-sided sleaze coffin. How can he justify groping a random female in the crowd by his geographic location?
This isn't a place that woman feel safe nor is it a place where the drunk ones will make good decisions. This might not be isolated but in a place like Pai, where Westerners have taken over, surely there needs to be some modicum of mutual respect shown in the only late night bar?
The staff seemed to be all male. On my first night here, after a few cocktails, I ventured to get my face painted in Don't Cry. The man painting my face kissed me. That isn't OK. I'm sitting cross-legged, eyes closed like a tipsy kid at a birthday party, he just smacks the lips on me. That is a position of trust, no matter how beautiful you tell me I am I didn't ask to be kissed.
There was a large group of local men on the dance floor too, not dancing. Just standing too close to girls and questioning my motives for dancing "so sexy". There were no local women here, the reasons for that are probably not easy to explain. Girls from across the world should be free to dance on a dance floor. In the words of one of my favourite females "Don't talk to me I'm dancing. Don't touch me I'm dancing." Dancing in public isn't for other's benefit.
Dancing like no one is watching shouldn't leave you open to an unsolicited tit grab.
Talk to someone you find attractive but don't attempt to pull on the dance floor! Leave it for consensual pairings, your friends or solo voyages. It's honestly not too much to ask.
I'm not saying don't go to Don't Cry, once you're a few drinks down and everywhere else is closed you will want to. I'm just trying to make it a better place for everyone to end their evening in Pai. So if you are there, make it clear that you're there for a boogie, watch out for others and keep your hands to yourself.