Dec 31, 2003: I’m outside Calidonia when sun-stroke begins to take hold. It’s so hot my hair wants to combust, and I swear, the only thing that keeps it from burning is the sweat drooling down my temples. Still, like some kind of sunburned zombie I shuffle on.
When I finally get to El cangrejo I throw myself into a shady doorway and add the rest of my rum to a 32 oz. coke. It takes just minutes to suck it down. It percolates through my body as if I’m stuffed with sand.
Across the street there’s a sign: “Oasis“. In my condition, that’s like a sign from god. I step around a crone waving an empty, Styrofoam cup, and cross the busy street.
Inside, Oasis is another realm: dark, cool, twisted. An old TV flickers in the far corner. I wait for my eyes to adjust. Five bronze-skinned girls rise slowly from an old sofa, like snakes from a basket. They line up, smiling.
My friends you’ve never felt bladder pressure like this. I stand there in pain, yet, enjoying the view, and loving the cool air on my wet skin. It’s a masochist’s delight.
I’m dizzy, my Spanish weak. I croak something embarrassing. I want to tell them they’re all beautiful, that I couldn’t possibly choose, and really, I’m only here because I’m being broiled alive, and could I please just use the bathroom? But my words are unintelligible, even to me.
One of the girls strikes first. She separates from the group and in English offers to show me around. The other girls give me a bored shrug, and slump back into the couch, defeated. My savior calls herself Ana. I admire Ana’s long black hair, and tight little body. She’s got on a black thong and six inch heels. I’m wearing shorts, and sweat-soaked Panama shirt. Clearly, I’m not ready for this.
Ana slithers down the hall, telling me the lunch time special, $30 for a basic massage, an extra $20 for an erotic massage. Out of that $50, $20 goes to the Americans who own the place. I’m so proud, I want to kiss the flag.
“What happens for the extra $20?”
Sex for $20? Shit, right now I’d pay $20 just to use the loo. We stick our heads into several small rooms. They have TVs with porn, big, clean beds, and most importantly, bathrooms. Ana sits on the bed waiting for me to return. I tell her she looks Thai, especially around the eyes.
“No, soy Panamanian,” she calls out from the other side of the bathroom door.
I try to follow her story over the violent stream. Ana grew up poor in Chorerra. Her father split when she was young. Ana thinks it’s because she was a sickly child. “No fue tu culpa,” I manage, as the yellow flow surges dangerously close to the rim of the bowl. In the mirror I pause to throw cool water on my sunburned face and confront the horrible truth; I’m a demented counterpoint to the brave girl in the next room vomiting up the horror of new year’s past.
When Ana was 8 her mom went into labor new year’s night. Her papi was in the streets with another woman. A neighbor had to drive mom to the doctors in the back of his taxi. The kids stayed home alone, scared, crying.
After that, mama did what she could. But the family struggled. At 20 Ana took a job at Oasis. And even though Ana splits the proceeds with her American pimps, she does OK. And she’s healthy, prostitutes get regular check ups in Panama.
Ana prefers the nights. The girls are hotter, there’s more men, and money. She’s already made enough to buy a house for her mom. Hey, it could be all bullshit. Maybe Ana spends all her money on crack, maybe her papi was father of the year. You know how strippers and whores can be. They get good at reading men, and telling them what they want to hear.
Ana tells me she lives with one of the vipers from the sofa down the hall, they’re both bi -do I want to have both of them? It’s not that much more.
“Hell no,” I say.
Truth is, I can only pleasure one woman at a time without risking emergency medical intervention.
Ana’s a charming girl. And I am a weak man. After 30 minutes of conversation I offer her a massage. I shower, she gets naked, and lays face down on the bed. I start with her feet, and work my way up. When I go to rub oil into her shoulders, I notice faint scars on her back.
“I like girls” she says, “but sometime I like man to make me do things.”
“I can’t tell you that.” she says, suddenly shy.
The massage evolves. When Ana’s aroused she confesses rough anal sex gets her off. I won’t go into details, let’s just say, when you hook up with an eager young professional, the tendency is to go too far.
“Call me.” she says, after we finish. I like her, I really do. But as the saying goes, “you’ve never met a con man you didn’t like.” If I was 30, it might be different. But I’m 45, too young for Viagra, too old for 20 yr old girls. I give her a hug, tell her she’s an amazing young woman, and head back out into the heat of the day.
For a time I see Ana on the streets. We’d stop and talk, sometimes grab a cup of coffee. One morning at Manolos she tells me we should have a “relationship serious.” I’m flattered of course, but by then, I’m already seriously dating Alex.
I never see Ana after that. One of her co-workers tells me Ana gave up the life, got married to an older gringo, and moved to the U.S. Even now, there are times when I think of her, and wonder how she is.
I’ve met many girls like Ana since, some pros, some should be pros. One way or another, it seems fairly common for women to sell themselves here. And why shouldn’t they? The typical Panamanian maid makes $200 a month scrubbing toilets. She’s a slave who can only dream of a better life. A sex worker can make $200 in a day, easy.
I’m no monger, but for those of you traveling to Panama for sex, I can recommend Oasis. Overall, I was very happy with my visit. It’s the place to go if you’re horny and on a budget. It’s well located, clean, safe, and in 2008, still cheap. Perhaps the girls are not what you’ll find (for triple the money) in Elite, or La Palace, but they’re plenty hot, and enthusiastic.
Oasis: open 11:30am -3am daily. accepts cash, travelers checks, credit cards. features Panamanian and Colombian girls. full service erotic massage $75. ($50 before 2pm). outcall service is available for $80. $100 for 2 girls on site. or, if you have a favorite, get her cell, and arrange to see her privately. some of these girls are looking for a relationship.
or go here to find a sexy girlfriend before you come to Panama.