The Happy Hooker in Jakarta

To talk about Jakarta and not mention its rampant prostitution problem/habit/solution would be a lie by omission, of sorts.Jakarta Nightlife

Prior to my move to Jakarta the word “Prostitution” always conjured up an image of a desperate situation.  A lonely, misunderstood man and a clapped out, down in the mouth lady, coming together as a consequence of luckless lives.  Then again, prior to my move to Jakarta I didn’t regularly rub shoulders with ladies of the night or indeed anyone overly involved in the sex industry.

I understand and sympathise with the large portion of the c. 30,000 prostitutes in Indonesia that are unlucky enough to be forced into the sex trade to support their families, however, I will not be writing here about the misfortune of these girls, as I have no hands-on experience with same. However, I do have extensive ‘hands-off’ experience with the lucky Indonesian prostitutes, the happy hookers, the Louis Vuitton clad gals that will pounce on any white expat man.

Walk into any bar in Jakarta, ANY BAR and there are group of these happy hookers.  Young, flimsy, whimsical, wide brown unquestioning eyes, like celestial figures floating from table to table luring the wide eyed, beer bellied, husbands of expat wives.  The Rolls Royce of people watching.   The exact opposite to watching a National Geographic documentary where the cheetah, old but sly, bides his time before ploughing straight into the flock of young gazelles, these young gazelles, know that the sly old cheetah needs some flattery and would enjoy an uncomplicated overnight/hour long relationship, while she wants his big bulging ……wallet.  Both have what the other wants and they’re willing to trade.

The problem, You might think that for any reasonable prostitute looking to snare someone’s husband, having his wife sitting by his side would be enough of a deterrent and should see her sling her hook elsewhere, but not in Jakarta. “HANDS Off”. She slinks around just close enough to let the man know that if things go more pear shaped at home, she’s there.  Personally I’m not in the least bit threatened, (I’m far too smart to be threatened by someone half my weight) so I frequent these bars frequently, albeit wearing more undergarments than clothes, spanxs, Wonderbra, stomach flattener, bum shaper and enough anti-wrinkle cream to smother a whale.    The joy of being in your thirties, it allows to believe for a little longer that you are able to provide stiff competition to these supple young girls.

Strip clubs, gentleman clubs, nude waitresses, sex on demand, sex on command, it’s all in Jakarta, anyway you like.  Lunchtime, Night-time, anytime.  Dine in, eat out, dial-a-lady, drive thru’ sex, it’s all there.  Nineteen year old golf caddies in shorter than short white skirts frolic on the golf course with guffawing golfers, Benny Hill survives. Okay, the Drive thru part up is made up, but everything else is true.

At first sitting beside a sixty year old man haggling over the price for sex with a 22 year old can put you right off your vodka and diet coke but after a while, you get used to it. . And strangely as time goes on, you begin to ignore them, “was Dwyer’s busy last night?”, “not really, there was a couple in the front bar and just a few hookers down the back”  not the conversation you’d pass with a friend over lunch in Ireland but quiet likely in Jakarta.

The kernel of the problem for the expat woman in Jakarta is that many fear they might lose their husbands to CiCi or RiRi or both!  Many women will not admit to this as we have been conditioned to act super-confident with regard to our sexuality (refer to para 5, line 4).

The habit, As time goes on, you become less and less aware of the “girls” as people and see them more like a card of peanuts hanging up beside the bar.  KP roasted and salted, there night after night, waiting for someone to come and pull one off.  You get used to seeing the waifs filter through the bar like mosquitos ready to bite.  So if I, mother of three, wife of one, supposed women’s libber, is becoming accustomed, what chance has a man got!

The solution, Tan up, slim down, suck in and get into the competition or leave Jakarta while Jerry Flannery is still your husband’s favourite hooker.

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18 thoughts on “The Happy Hooker in Jakarta

  1. I lived outside jakarta for 1 year,3 years ago, it was the same then, just as you describe, at least 4 couples I knew split up during our time there, in KL now, problem still exists but not so in your face, good luck in The Big Durian!

  2. Love this! So true!, I am living in Jakarta for the past 8 years! This is the first ‘real’ piece I’ve read about the nightlife here in a long time, thank you denise! Keep it up!

  3. I’d get offended only that I know you’re exactly right. I’ve been an expat for nearly 12 years, I’ve lived in Almaty, Doha, Dubai, Brunei and now Jakarta, unfortunately expat men give expat men a bad rep! Good article.

  4. Reading the article I was wincing at the point I realised *you* were an expat wife… was expecting a torrent of venom/insecurity

    But… not at all, haha. Great article. Love the humour, confidence and groundedness…nice one.

    As a guy in JKT I reckon it’s cool you see these chicks for what they are. There are definitely many lovely Indo girls, but the Ayam/”Bule Hunters” are definitely not in that category.

    The penny dropped for me after being quizzed by the umpteenth pretty girl about where I live, how big my apartment is, how many rooms, how long I’m staying…I ask her what she does… “Beauty consultant”. Riiiight, lol.

    There’s no reason for wives in high-quality loving relationship to be worried… these girls got nothin’.

    • Hi Jake, thanks for reading and glad you enjoyed, this post has generated a very mixed reaction, I’ve had a number of women accusing me of being insensitive bla bla bla, but I think the ‘nitelife’ in Jakarta is something that you can’t appreciate fully unless you’ve lived it!

  5. Ah to all the feminists out there go away and create your own world stop undermine and trying to take over the man’s world.

    Face it your over thirty and lost in the game.

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