Maybe it´s just me, but why would a man want the company of a woman who's paying attention to him because she's getting a commission for the drinks he´s buying for her? I´m speaking from a woman's point-of-view, of course. No doubt, Peter (and other men on this thread) might have another way of looking at it!
The first time my buddies here took me to such a place I was somewhat appalled, though that softened a bit after a couple beers. I noticed that along with the obvious career-type professional bar ladies, that didn't appeal to me one jot, that there seemed to be others that looked more like the girl next-door. It was confirmed that some of the help did not intend to make this their life's work but were simply hired as waitresses, though knowing full well what the job entailed and that they were not employed as prostitutes, and hoped something or someone more promising would come along soon.
Some months later it became more obvious that with my poor Spanish and advancing age I was somewhat socially challenged here. Church socials were not my thing nor dance clubs for that matter, seeing how most patrons of those establishments were a good thirty years or more younger than myself. I realized I was not seeking nightlife entertainment but instead sought casual companionship that would like to accompany me on my more frequent daytime excursions, for lunch, an occasional trip, or whatnot, someone with free time like myself that was just looking to have an enjoyable day now and then.
As I had no aversion to helping out the local economy and remembered some of the girls I saw in these cantina/botaneros (that apparently do not exist). Also knowing I may have to screen my prospects I decided to buckle down to the laborious task of going out in the afternoons to down countless cervesas, stuff myself with innumerable botanas, and chat-up god-knows-how-many young ladies to find an acceptable travel companion. I knew it would be difficult but knew also it had to be done. It was a bit pricey when I made it a full-time pursuit but a lot less than I spent as a tourist, and the results turned out to be worth the cost.
Even after finding a number of suitable candidates I continued my research. By then I found I had acquired a taste for tender, young veal as opposed to the often tough, stringy beef more commonly found in the colonias.