Part 1: English Spectrum and 'Ask The Playboy'
Part 2: The Kimchiland where it’s easy to sleep with women and make money
Part 3: English Spectrum shuts down as Anti-English Spectrum is created
Part 4: How to hunt foreign women
Part 5: Did the foreigners who denigrated Korean women throw a secret party?
Part 6: The 'Ask The Playboy' sexy costume party
[NOTE: Some of the photos below are not safe for work.]
As mentioned in part 5, the Segye Ilbo reported on January 13 that
One netizen posting at the '[Anti-] English Spectrum internet cafe' [...] posted about ten photos showing scenes of a secret party at M Club with people wearing t-shirts that read 'English Spectrum,' 'Ask the Playboy.' In the photos are disconcerting scenes of foreigners and Korean women enjoying a party in which they are drinking alcohol and are entwined with each other.The title of that article was "Did the foreigners who denigrated Korean women throw a secret party?" The answer to that question would be 'no' (though that doesn't stop news outlets even today from writing about "The truth about the 'pleasure parties' thrown by foreign instructors"). In fact, two parties held at Mary Jane were openly advertised on the English Spectrum site (among others that they held elsewhere):
As the first image makes clear, the sexy costume party was held on November 26, 2004 (a month and a half earlier), while the Full Monty 70's throwback party was held on December 18, 2004 (a month earlier) at Mary Jane, a bar in Hongdae which advertised itself as a rock'n roll bar. (One post at Anti English Spectrum made clear what 'mary jane' was slang for.) A map showing its location can be seen above. The image below (from a January 30, 2005 MBC broadcast) gives a clear idea of what it looked like outside and where it was (next to the Queen's Head).
Most of the photos of the parties seen in Korean cyberspace (and media reports about them) suggested a party attended by foreign men and Korean women. According to what the Chosun Ilbo later reported, this isn't true: "Some 70 percent of the participants were Korean men and women, while the rest were foreign men and women." Photos of the party were first posted at English Spectrum in the Ask the Playboy forum (and some may have been posted at Mary Jane's cyworld page, but I'm not certain about that). The presumably male teachers who took and posted the photos obviously focused on the Korean and foreign women at the party (or interactions of them with other foreign men). When the netizens got ahold of them, the photos of Korean women with foreign men served their purpose (ie. to incite anger), while those of foreign women did not. Hence, it's mostly photos of western men/Korean women together at the parties that are easiest to find today. There were some exceptions:
I remember there being more photos of western women, but the collage below, in which there are about six photos of foreign women, most of whom seem to have taken part in the wet t-shirt contest, was the only one I found (other than the one above) that really seems to show any. Photos such as the one above may not have been taken at Mary Jane, however.
As well, in a later interview, the owner of the bar said:
There were t-shirts at the second party. In particular, the picture of the girl[s] wearing the wet t-shirt is not a picture from our bar. At the second party, English Spectrum, which hosted our banner ad, distributed t-shirts for free to some customers to create publicity.At least some of the photos of women wearing wet t-shirts were clearly taken at the bar, but the ones with western women may not have been. To be sure then, the photos in which English Spectrum T-shirts can be seen are from the second, 70s themed party.
For an idea of the layout, a later article about the fallout from this incident included this photo of the empty Mary Jane bar:
To the right of the above photo's photographer was a corner which appears in the first photo below, and the rest appear as if doing a 360 degree pan around the room above. The near-naked fellow in this photo got a lot of attention from netizens, especially due to his underwear:
It's obviously not that clear, but most of the people in the photo below are Korean:
The owner of the bar later said that many of the more outrageous moments were deliberately posed for cameras in order to liven the atmosphere of what was otherwise a pretty boring party. This was said to have only lasted for a few minutes.
Is it just me, or does anyone else think this is a soldier?
The woman below was pretty viciously attacked by netizens:
Since the Ask The Playboy t-shirts were only worn at the second party, its easy enough to tell which photos were taken then.
A shot of the wet t-shirt contest taking place.
The dance floor seems to be about be 50-50 split between Koreans and foreigners. Below are two Korean men, one of whom is wearing an Ask The Playboy t-shirt:
Those are all of the party photos I could find when I looked a few years ago. I remember seeing more back in 2005 when this happened. One other photo was included in a batch I downloaded, but it was later confirmed to have been taken in someone's apartment, and had nothing to do with the party.
Actually, if it was posted at English Spectrum, you'd wonder if the idea of guys posting photos of their conquests might be more offensive than that of photos taken at a party. I'd guess not, though, if the idea is to try to connect the perception of the other group of western men in Korea (soldiers who have sex with Korean prostitutes or yanggongju who meet in bars which are off limits to Koreans) to English teachers (who throw secret parties Koreans don't know about and have sex with Korean women).
After English Spectrum held two parties at Mary Jane, they planned to throw two more. The reference to 'special midnight performances' at the 'Full Monty' party held in December, 2004, might be explained by a posting at English Spectrum obviously posted before the site was closed down and saved at DC Inside and Anti English Spectrum (third result here):
Just so there’s no confusion…English Spectrum and I will be hosting two parties at Mary Jane’s in Hongdae on BOTH the 14th (Friday night) and the 15th (Saturday night).
Each party will be slightly different. On the 14th, it will be much the same as the last two; meaning some sex in the female bathroom, some late night dance floor grinding and partial nudity, mixed in with the addition of some clothes-allergic professionals who should be making a guest appearance that night.
On the 15th, we will be holding an MC’ed Sexy Game Night. We will be selling drinks at an exceptionally low price from 9-12 to get everyone hammered prior to the games. From 12 to about 4 am, we’ll play a bunch of team-oriented, guy-girl-guy-girl games, each for small prizes. This will be mixed in with a fair amount of dancing (hip hop and otherwise) intermissions.One assumes the 'special midnight performances' at the 'Full Monty' party were by these 'clothes-allergic professionals.' Whether sex in the female bathroom ever took place or whether that was just bravado on the part of the Playboy, it's safe to say the discovery of the above message did little to help the furor over the party photos die down. The two parties referred to above were to take part January 14 and 15, 2005, but these parties never occurred (though certain media outlets dropped in that weekend to interview the owner and film on the premises). In fact, the media and netizen furor over foreign English teachers was only beginning.
Both nights will be fun, but a little bit different. If you can make one or the other or both, please come and join the fun. The 15th will be a good time to meet new people and develop some interesting relationships.