By Wayne Hentai
When you’re a kid growing up in Hawaii, you learn that it’s one of the most isolated places on the Earth. It’s as close to the middle of nowhere that you can get, and by that I mean the Pacific Ocean, with the West Coast of the U.S. 2,500 miles away.
For you sex fiends planning a visit to Hawaii, there are some things that will seem very familiar. But in the way plants and animals that are isolated evolve (or, if you’re a creationist, THE WAY GOD MADE EVERYTHING) their own peculiarities, so does the sex industry in the islands.
A quick note about women from Hawaii: the first thing that strikes tourists from the mainland and the newly relocated is how whites are in the minority. The ethnic makeup of Hawaii is made up of — for the most part — Japanese, Chinese, Koreans, Filipinos, Portuguese and part-Hawaiians (full blooded Hawaiians are extremely rare). More likely, though, the locals you meet (that includes hookers and strippers) will be a combination of all the above.
You don’t think about it if you grow up in Hawaii, but it seems to drive the guys who are fresh off the jet nuts. But then again, I have a thing for blondes from the midwest because that’s my definition of exotic.
The Neighbor Islands
Any island that’s not Oahu — home of the city of Honolulu and the tourist center of Waikiki — is considered the neighbor islands. This includes Maui, Molokai, Kauai, Lanai and The Big Island.
If you’re a tourist, the neighbor islands are likely what you’re thinking when it comes to Hawaii. Slow, bucolic and best spend under a coconut tree on the beach with an umbrella drink.
In fact, most of my friends from Los Angeles fly direct into the neighbor islands, usually Maui, and bypass Oahu because it’s so urbanized and developed.
All of this is great if you’re looking to get away from it all. But if you’re looking for something more, there’s really not much outside of Oahu. There’s no strip bars and the hookers that work on these islands are few and mostly concentrated on Maui on the Kihei, not Hana side.
If you’re serious about getting lei’d (yes, I made that joke), go directly to Oahu.
If you’ve seen Hawaii in the movies or on TV, it’s more than likely you’ve seen it via Oahu.
Oahu is home to Honolulu, the commercial, financial and political center of the state. A little further down the freeway and off a few surface streets is Waikiki, where most tourists get their taste of Hawaii (for better or worse).
Unlike many cities in the U.S., the City and County of Honolulu (all of Oahu falls under the City and County of Honolulu) allows a full bar with full nudity. This means that you have to be over 21 to get into the club.
The other big difference is that there’s multiple girls on the stages in most of the clubs. There’s anywhere from two to six girls on a stage at one time, depending on the club and what time you show up. However, there’s no lap dancing in the City and County of Honolulu. The local police decided in the late ’90s that a woman wearing a thong grinding against your trouser-, jeans- or shorts-covered junk constitutes prostitution. It’s a shame, as the lap dancing scene was amazing back in the ’90s.
Also, know the difference between hostess bars and strip bars. The women in hostess bars are just hustling for someone to buy them drinks. A little backroom action is not unheard of, but for what you’re going to pay you might has well hit a massage parlor or an escort (more on those later). Strippers get naked (obviously), but they’ll also hustle for drinks, in addition to private dances and the making a play for the sucker’s room — I mean champagne room.
There’s strip bars scattered around the island, from Waihiwa (which is adjacent to Schofield Barracks in central Oahu) and Pearl City, but you’ll want to stick to “town” as the locals call it.
Within walking distance of Waikiki and across the street from the Convention Center, you’ll find two of the busiest strip clubs on the island, Rock-Za and Femme Nu. Femme Nu is off Kapiolani Boulevard (1673 Kapiolani Blvd., to be exact), and across the street from Ala Moana Shopping Center, an extremely high end mall.
Femme Nu played the home away from home for many college students working their way through the University of Hawaii and Hawaii Pacific University. The dancers are mostly younger, a lot of them white, or as the locals call them haole, though there’s a smattering of local dancers as well.
Rock-Za is a little further down Kapiolani Boulevard (1770 Kapiolani Blvd.) and within easy walking distance of Femme Nu. The dancers here are slightly older and there’s usually more plastic surgery than the dancers at the other clubs on the island. Again, the mix of dancers is mostly white with some local girls, but the last time I was there in February, there were a fair amount of white local girls.
A note about these clubs: don’t go in expecting something swank or upscale like a Spearmint Rhino. These clubs are dark, usually lit by neon and the music is very loud with lots of hip-hop with decor from the early ’90s. In fact, more than one dancer at Femme Nu’s made fun of the fold-out chairs that ring the stages. The attitude of the owners seems to be that if it works, why change it? Especially if it’s cheaper not to change anything.
But Club 939 (939 Keeaumoku St.) is like those upscale strip clubs in LA and Vegas and the only club in Hawaii that brings in features, though the club seems to charge more at the door for the privilege when they’re there. Unlike most of the other strip bars, there’s usually one girl on the stage at a time, with those really plush chairs and tiny tables (like the upscale mainland clubs). It’s within the same walking/stumbling distance of Femme Nu and Rock Za, depending on your level of sobriety.
Also, don’t go in expecting to get laid at these clubs. Most of the girls will tell you straight up that they don’t hook, though a few might lead you on and just leave you with an empty wallet and a very swollen case of blue balls. If you are going to try for something more, your best bet is at the smaller dive strip bars.
There’s also a few honorable mentions. There’s Exotic Nights (909 Halekauwila St.). It’s within a stone’s throw of Ward Warehouse and Ward Center, but unlike Rock-Za and Femme Nu, you will need a ride to get there from Waikiki (or really, really like walking). It’s in a more industrial part of Honolulu called Kaka’ako. This used to be the place to go if you wanted to see local girls and you wanted the strong possibility of something a little more back in its heyday in the ’90s. Lately, though, the quality of dancers seems to have diminished and it’s not as popular as it used to be. Still worth a shot if you want to get some local flavor.
Club Electro is in Pearl City. There’s no way you’ll walk this from Waikiki or Honolulu and you’ll need a ride. It’s off Kamehameha Highway (593 Kamehameha Hwy.), and while it’s not the best strip bar on the island, it has its following because of its food (seriously) and reasonable prices for drinks. Stories abound of the nastiness that some customers have partaken in, though I haven’t seen or experienced anything first hand.
Finally, there’s Aaxtion Video (1661 Kapiolani Blvd.), which mainly does business as an adult video store. But being in the business of video rental or sales is dead end street and a good portion of the club is dedicated to a non-alcoholic strip bar. It’s the only strip club I can think of that of that allows 18-year-olds and up onto the premises, though to be fair most of the customers I saw were soldiers, sailors and marines who weren’t old enough to get into the 21-plus clubs. The dancers are nothing to write home to, but there are private rooms in back where the dancers do their shows. These rooms were, before the video store opened a strip club, peep show rooms. The girl I saw in the private room let me feel her up and told me there wasn’t anything more available. But I suspect that’s negotiable.
If you’re walking down Kuhio Avenue or Kalakaua Avenue, Waikiki’s two main drags, late at night you will see some of the most beautiful street walkers in the world. I am not kidding, and in skin tight dresses and fuck-me pumps, there’s no mistaking why they’re out.
If you talk to them, though, they’ll have no interest in you. But if you’re a tourist from Asia, they’ll walk down the street with you, try to hold your hand and speak nearly flawless Japanese or Chinese. It’s pretty amazing, actually.
See, if you’re a local that happens to be in Waikiki (most locals avoid Waikiki like the way Las Vegas locals avoid the strip), the street walkers will probably pay no attention to you. If you’re a tourist from the mainland, they won’t be very interested either, though they might talk to you on a slow night.
If you do pick up a street walker in Waikiki, don’t expect a girlfriend experience. It’ll be full service, and once you’re done, it’s done. For get about the whole “not a clock watcher” thing, they’re back out to find an Asian tourist who is willing to pay big bucks to lay a six foot tall blonde. Though, who wouldn’t pay big bucks for that?
They’re not local. They usually run a circuit from mainland cities like L.A., Las Vegas, and Seattle before stopping off in Hawaii for a few weeks.
If you go into downtown Honolulu, the area that seems to get most of the action is on the corner of Pali Highway and Kukui Street behind the Longs Drugs. Street walkers from Waikiki have been known to relocate downtown, but that’s only if there’s no action in Waikiki.
The downtown walkers are, for the most part, average to low quality. Don’t expect much and if there’s a time to make sure your cover up, it would be there. You might also want to make sure you’re getting a woman who was born a woman, as trannies are known to work the area.
There are hookers who advertise on the usual online outlets, but if you’re coming from a big city, don’t expect too many girls who do GFE. The porn star experience is pretty much non-existent, with the exceptions being the occasional porn star that tours (and provides) in the area. I also strongly consider you use review pages to vet and ensure the girl you’re talking to is the person in the ad, as rip off bitches and bait and switches are still a possibility in Honolulu.
Asian Massage Parlors
When locals on Oahu feel the urge, and it’s stronger than something a strip club can satisfy and they want a sure thing they head for an Asian massage parlor.
Granted, every city has the massage parlor that’s known for a little tug and pull and possibly a bit more but in Hawaii it’s an industry. If you’ve ever been to one, you know the routine but if you don’t, here’s the rundown.
When you enter, some parlors have the girls lounging around in a common area or living room in lingerie. Most of the girls are fresh off the boat from South Korea, Japan, the Philippines or China. There’s occasionally a white girl in the mix, but there’s not too many that work in the parlors (or AMPs).
The mamasan, usually Korean from Korea, introduces the girls that are working. She’ll guide you to the back of the parlor and lead you to a room with a bed, where she’ll ask for the house fee. This usually runs $40 to $60. If there’s no common area, each girl will come in and introduce herself. If you don’t see anyone that interests you, feel free to leave. The mamasans are very polite and accommodating, for the most part, and if you’ve paid the house fee they’ll refund it.
If you see someone that interests you, she’ll come in and you discuss what happens from there. Suffice to say that the more generous you are with the tip, the more generous she’ll be with the time you have together.
Once that’s squared away, the girl will take you to the shower room, and soap you down on a table. When you’re clean, the girl will take you back the room and what happens, happens.
Honolulu is dotted with AMPs, some of them next door to the strip clubs. However, the three that seem to garner consistent positive feedback are off Ward Avenue, not too far from Exotic Nights. Roppongi, Golden Queen and Pink are at 350 Ward Avenue. They receive consistent praise for the quality of the women working at the establishments.
As a general rule, mongers who go to the AMPs look for the girls from Asia. Local girls working at the AMPs generally have a reputation of not giving very much service, but with all things that has to do with this sort of activity, your mileage may vary.
What’s strange about the sex industry in Hawaii is that unlike other cities that drive their strip clubs and massage parlors to the hinterlands of the municipality, these businesses thrive in the shadow of the Convention Center, Waikiki and other tourist landmarks. When you ask any local about the businesses, they usually shrug their shoulders and have a live and let live attitude about the businesses. There’s rarely any sort of moral indignation or repugnance about them.
But that’s not to say the businesses flout themselves. They exist in a sort of symbiotic relationship with the banks, sushi bars and gyms that are around them.
My advice to anyone visiting Hawaii and putting aside some “me time” to visit these establishment is to keep this sort of respect in mind. Be cool, don’t get drunk and you’ll have a great time.
If not, there’s a 300 pound Samoan bouncer to answer to.