HELP DISCOTECA is Nowdays closed!!! (1984 - 2010), but still interesting history to read about.
Help is headquarters of the evening sex scene in Copacabana, in Rio de Janeiro. Rumored to be the largest disco in Latin America (not true, Via Show in Rio is larger but is not a haven for working girls), it is the favorite hangout of working women in Rio and the men looking for them. Located on Ave. Atlântica, a block from the Othon Palace Hotel, Help gets rocking after midnight, and the crowds don't get heavy until about 1:30. You'll see it all in Help: the good, the bad, the ugly; from the sublime to the absurd. If you're looking for someone to spend the night with, this is a good place to come. The crowd starts gathering around 10:00pm at the outdoor cafe‚ Terraço Atlântica, (also affectionately known as “The Terrace,” “Ground Zero,” the “Piranha Pond” or “The Snake Pit”) next door, and begin drifting in around midnight (admission prior to midnight is discounted). Any earlier and you'll find the place virtually vacant. The admission price has increased over the past few years from 9 to 12 to 16, then 25, and now to 30 reais, but inside drinks are quite reasonable (4 reais for a beer). Help gives also a great exchange rate foryour dollars.
Many guys actually never make it into Help because they negotiate a deal at the café outside Help. There are girls out front who don’t want to go inside (too smoky, too loud, etc.) and just want to talk and drink outside before heading back to my hotel. Grabbing Help girls at the Terraço is a reasonable strategy — the lighting is better there than in the darkness of Help and you get a better view of your potential partner — but everyone must experience Help at least once.
The disco itself is big and the music tends to be deafening. The girls appreciate the effort, even if you're a crappy dancer. As the evening wears on, the DJs play more sambas and less dance music. If you want to escape the crowds on the floor, you can head upstairs where there are tables and have drinks and even order from a small menu.
Nearly all (but not all) of the women you see inside will be working girls. They are available. It is the largest “putaria” in Rio! For the most part they won't approach you, especially the stars. Of course, the real dogs will be more aggressive and grab your ass every time you walk by. The others may try to make eye contact and flirt from a distance, but general ly you are expected to make the move. I'm constantly amazed at how many guys stand off to the side and seem to expect that the prettiest women will just walk over and say "Take me!" Making contact is pretty easy. Catch her eye, approach her and say hi, ask her if she wants a drink or wants to dance, and that's it. Everything else will follow. Prices are negotiable and get somewhat lower as the evening wears on. Don't be surprised, though, if your friend wants to stay until 3 or so. These women love to dance and have a good time, and some are amazing dancers. They may be working, but they're trying to have fun, too.
The initial asking price seems to be 300 reais these days, and some have the nerve to ask for 400. Remember, this is just an opening salvo, and most expect you to negotiate. Think of some funny way to convince her that 150-200 reais is more realistic (“you’re worth a thousand, but I can only pay 150”). Expect to pay between 200-250 reais for all night (I hold the line at 250 reais and generally try to pay 200 for all night and 150 for a couple of hours), and try to be clear whether you’re asking for all night or a few hours. Some will quote a price and be unwilling to negotiate. What you decide to do is up to you, but most of your fellow hobbyists will appreciate your efforts to keep prices within reason. Don’t let your “little head” do all of your thinking! Also note, asking prices tend to fall after 3 a.m.
Spend some time with the woman before you decide she's the one. There are a lot of great ones at Help, but there are some bad apples as well. Several men have reported being drugged and robbed by their overnight visitors from Help. Exercise caution when accepting a drink from someone else, or leaving your drink unattended. You can often get a pretty good sense of the girl by spending an hour or two with her. If she seems too anxious to leave the disco and consummate the deal, you might ask yourself why, and whether she’ll be in a similar hurry to leave your hotel room. If she’s rushing you, she probably has plans for later in the evening.
When leaving Help for the evening, heed the advice on the signs at the door and try not to take one of the cabs waiting out front. They are rip-off artists and will charge you quadruple the actual rate. Walk a half block or so in either direction (it's probably safe if you stay on the sidewalk), or step out into the street in front of Help and then flag a moving cab. Do take a cab to your location, though. Robberies are very common in the Help neighborhood.
If you’ll be at a hotel, the hotel staff may ask your guest to fill out a card and show identification. Some hotels will ask her to leave her ID card at the desk. The Luxor Regente, for example, does this and then calls you before they return her card to make sure there are no problems. This is for your own protection and is pretty standard. If you’re staying in a hotel, you might want to confirm that the girl has her ID with her.