Apart from these sorts of bars, there are a number of other sex trade venues.
In most of these establishments the prostitutes are directly employed, but in hotels, some bars and discos freelance prostitutes are allowed to solicit clients.
Under the act, persons who solicit sex "..an open and shameless manner..." (a phrase that is not clearly defined), or who are "...causing nuisance to the public..." are subject to a fine.
Persons associating in a "prostitution establishment" with another person for the purpose of prostitution faces a jail term or a fine or both.
Many other service sector workers offer sexual services as a sideline.
Straightforward brothels, which offer no services aside from sex, represent the lower end of the market.
The act also imposes heavier penalties against owners of prostitution businesses and establishments.The Federation of Thai Spa Associations (FTSPA) in 2016 urged authorities to clamp down on sexual services being offered at some massage parlours.The FTSPA maintains that influential figures have used legal loopholes to open "pretty spas" or massage parlours where tourists can buy sexual services.When arrests of sex workers occur at such premises, police usually treat the act of prostitution as an exchange between the sex worker and the client—an exchange to which the owner of the business was not a party.Cases of clients being charged are few and far between, giving rise to the popular quip that, "employing sex workers is legal, being a sex worker is illegal, clients get off scot-free." Owners of such establishments are only accused of crimes when breaking other laws, such as the employment of underage workers or illegal migrants.
There are so many soapy massage businesses in some sections of Bangkok, using massive quantities of water pumped illegally from groundwater, that they have been accused by authorities of contributing to Bangkok's subsidence of one centimeter per year.