Okay, this isn't the most wholesome topic in the world, but there it is. Tijuana ranks with Bangkok as one of the world's most famous prostitution arenas and a lot of people go there for that reason. So, if that's what you are looking for, you may as well do it right and not get ripped off or in trouble.
Tijuana throbs with sex, most of it synthetic. As soon as it gets dark the midway atmosphere of Revolucion turns into a ghetto of discos, sex bars, and table dance joints. Forget the discos unless you are interested in American girls between 18-21 who came there to get drunk. The Revu strip is the most like the U.S., and the most expensive. Most veteran TJ hoppers avoid it. On the other hand, if you have the money and want to be in a fairly safe, familiar environment, it's a way to go.
The table dancing is a fairly new thing in Tijuana and features some very pretty girls (many Americans who come over to work). Most are upstairs, but there are plenty of barkers to show you in. You don't HAVE to sit where they tell you to, by the way. Sit where you're comfortable. If you go to topless bars back in Iowa and wish you could touch the girls, you'll be in heaven. These girls will dance on your lap and stick their nipples in your mouth. And charge you maybe $20 US per song. Drinks cost an arm and a leg by Mexico standards, but not so bad compared to U.S. bars--especially topless bars.
Up around 6th there are some of the old fashioned clubs, like Bambi and San Soucci. These are more like the Mexican idea of paying for it. There are dancers on a stage, but a lot more girls wandering around just absolutely happy to sit with you and be infatuated with you as long as you buy them 'drinks'. For around $50 you can take them somewhere (taxi expenses, hotel expenses, risk) to get nasty. Fellatio under the table is not unheard of. Women who turn out to be men under the G-string are not unheard of. Even teen-aged sailors learn to avoid these places. Don't EVEN go down into the below-the-street joints--it just isn't worth climbing back up the stairs.
THE RED ZONE
The 'Cuahuila' is Tijuana's sex mall, where the real thing happens. It starts on First Avenue as you head west off Revolucion. If you've ever seen 'Tijana whorehouse' scenes in a movie (like La Bamba, for instance) this is where it was--an arcade full of bars with girls hanging out looking hopeful on the sidewalks outside. These places are not really recommended--dirty, low-class, understaffed. One exception is Club El Fracaso (roughly: Club Fuckup), which is a lot of fun. It's a squalid little hotbox, too, but the thing is, it's mostly for dancing. Not all of these girls even leave with customers, they dance with you for a dollar a dance romance. Learn how to do the forbidden Quebradita with a sultry senorita! And if you just HAVE to spoil a lovely evening, you can generally do it for like $30, hotel across the street is cheap, no risk.
(Which reminds me: generally girls take you to hotsheet hotels and generally the hotel provides them with condoms. The government cares about the spread of AIDS--should you do less?).
But best is to continue down to Constitucion and turn north (downhill). Ahead of you is the beginning of The Cuahuila. Let me say this...it used to be very safe place, but lately there have been robberies and muggings and such unpleasantness there. A group of men is okay, but a vulnerable-looking (old, weak, naive) foreigner could have problems. Stay in the lights, walk in the street, keep an eye out. Don't flash money. Don't let anybody 'guide' you. (These places open early, so they can be visited in the afternoons, by the way, much safer if you are alone and vulnerable). They really rock on Friday thru Sunday night, hitting their stride starting about 10 PM.
Down Consitucion you will see girls on the sidewalk. The street girls are a lot cheaper (don't pay more than $20 US, bargain--under $10 is normal). You will come to an alley lined with bars. This is not a deadly alley or anything and the clubs range from dull places where Mexican guys drink to taxi-dance places like Monaco to red hot places with very attractive girls, like Hong Kong. The sidewalk is thick with girls, who might even grab you to try to have you have your way with them. My advice, walk around, check things out, have a beer or two, listen to some music, make a choice when you are comfortable. At the end of the alley (corner of Ninos Heroes) you probably should double back to Consictucion.
Although, the bars across Ninos are all gay bars. I know nothing about them but that. If that interests you, check them out, but be very careful--they are reportedly more dangerous than the straight places.
The next street over (past the alley) is Cuahuila, the real meat of the Red Light Zone. Bars on both sides feature hundreds of girls from grotesque to movie actress quality in appearance. There is a degree of specialization. 'Chicago' has always featured oriental girls, or Mexicanas who look oriental--they attract a lot of asian-american men. Probably the best-looking women, certainly the most women, and the highest priced women are at 'Adelitas'. This place is totally secure, and the hotel is right upstairs. You can relax here. Well, if you can relax in the presence of about a hundred extremely sculptural and gorgeous young women wearing mostly spandex and mascara. You can dance here, too, but the girls are usually interested in the dance just being a chance to sell you on a trip upstairs (makes you realize what women go through). Roam around and check it out, there are more women here than you could experience in a lifetime and none of them are going to tell you no. Guys stand outside on the sidewalk to watch the ladies go upstairs. When they come back down, they are available for hire.
DON'T walk back to the border from here unless you are in a large group of guys. Taxis are $5 US and you are never as vulnerable as after drinking and whoring. If you have doubts about coming or going, hang around and wait until you see other men and ask to walk with them. This is understood as practical, not a come-on by San Diegans who frequent the area. Hanging around with a bunch of sailors or frat boys may not be intellectually stimulating, but it's a safe way to get in and out of the area. Once in a club, you're okay.
If you have a hotel in Tijuana that permits 'guests', you can get girls to come with you in a taxi, but not all girls will do it. None of the street girls will even consider it. Out of Mexico Lindo or Adelitas it works--the bouncers and selected cabbies have everything wired and the girls are confident that they will be taken and returned.
If you wonder about safety or going rates, again, hang loose and you will see American men who appear at ease in the area. Ask them what's up, join them in a drink or walk along with them. Most San Diego whore-hoppers are proud to share their hipness to the area. If you don't speak Spanish, expect paid sex to be more than just a few minutes of boredom, or are nervous about the whole thing, avoid the girls on the street, no matter how fetching, cheap or insistent. You're better off paying more for veteran pros (who belong to the Whore's Union--no joke, it's called Las Magdalenas) who are used to dealing with foreigners and work out of the cooler clubs and hotels.
Use your head, use your condom, don't carry drinks on the street, don't start arguments or fights--you will lose.
You could take a taxi straight here from the border. Say 'La CWAH HWEE LA' of just 'Adelitas'.