Bangkok’s Gay Go-Go Bars

Is Their Death-Knell Finally Tolling?

Perhaps it’s not really so surprising. When Bangkok’s gay scene began to explode in the 1980s, about the only international gay guide with Asian listings in that pre-internet age was Spartacus. Never the most accurate and over-large to carry around, it at least provided some decent basic information.

Soi Twilight Last Year

Soi Twilight Last Year

So the relative trickle of visitors to gay Bangkok could sample the delights on display, often fully nude, of the original sleaze bar, Twilight, on what has since become known as Soi Twilight at the top of Suriwong Road at its junction with Rama 4. The small Apollo go-go Bar on Silom Soi 4 was up and running years before Telephone and Balcony started wooing punters just for drinks, snacks and a hint of a meat market in the same soi. The boys in both Twilight and Apollo would take off tier underwear soon after 9:00pm and dance naked.

The Ever Popular Telephone Bar - khunbaobao.blogspot.com.au

The Ever Popular Telephone Bar – khunbaobao.blogspot.com.au

Just around the corner off Rama 4 was the original My Way with perfectly lovely twinks strutting their stuff and entertaining us with real dancing around the two poles on which they’d show off their athletic prowess. Further afield, the still-running Inter Mustache’s House off Sukhumvit Soi 10 was pulling in the occasional tourist whilst mostly catering to Thais.

Soon others opened. The most popular in the eyes of many was Barbiery, on the second floor of a building just across Suriwong from Soi Twilight. At weekends Barbiery’s two small stages would host 60 or more boys, mostly twinks, all seemingly having a ball as they entertained an audience packed to the gunnels. As was the case in those far off days, there were frequently more Thais than tourists. But it didn’t matter. The boys, again often naked, were always having fun, the punters loved them and the bar and the shows were always slick, sexy and fabulous to watch with none of the programmed, lip-sync ladyboys, tied-off dicks, boredom and aggressively pushy mamasans that pass for a drink and a show in many present day go-go bars.

Interested? - tumblr.com

Interested? – tumblr.com

By the late-1980s the scene was expanding rapidly. In addition to bars, Bangkok discovered saunas – or saunas and massage spas discovered Bangkok! The ten-storey tall Obelisks with a jacuzzi on the roof, Volt off Asoke, The Beach, V Club and others quickly became popular.

Then one day around 1988 the bar (sic) was raised as Babylon opened its doors. Not in the present building but in the smaller one on the left as you turn off Sathorn Soi 1 into Soi Mozart. The queues each weekend meant only one thing. It would have to expand. And expand it did into its present luxurious premises not far down the same soi.

Babylon's Pool Area from the Ground Floor Restaurant - babylonbangkok.com

Babylon’s Pool Area from the Ground Floor Restaurant – babylonbangkok.com

Others caught on to the need for a quality experience rather than merely a place for a grope and quick sex. Chakran with a Moroccan theme, a lovely pool, adjoining bar area, large dark steam room and huge jacuzzi off Soi Aree was particularly popular with Thais and visiting Asians, although as one who did visit quite a few times, western visitors usually had a great time there.

Relaxing at the Chakran Bar Area by the Pool - chakransauna.net

Relaxing at the Chakran Bar Area by the Pool – chakransauna.net

But I digress. Too much of that is now in the past. A distant past that those who were lucky enough to visit Bangkok look back on with rosy-tinted spectacles and broad smiles on their faces. Reality has now caught up with Bangkok. Sadly it does not bode well for the gay tourist!

More than a year ago on February 22, 2017 in the article Bangkok’s Soi Twilight Go-Go Bars to Close, we projected that closure would come eventually for four main reasons. Two much more pertinent ones have recently come to light that are an even bigger threat to Bangkok’s nightlife.

Please Come Back - tumblr.com

Please Come Back – tumblr.com

The first is a commercial real estate development. A huge swathe of Rama 4 from the expressway east of Sathorn down to the lovely Hualamphong Temple is to be raised for massive redevelopment. This includes the old Dusit Thani Hotel which will close its doors early next year. Construction is finally about to start on the site of the old Night Market at the bottom of Wireless Road and what had been the adjoining Thai Kick-Boxing Stadium.

Buddha Statue at Hualamphong Temple

Buddha Statue at Hualamphong Temple

As regular visitors will know, Soi Twilight is only a short block down from Rama 4. That block is definitely for the chop! All the entertainment venue owners have now been provided with notice terminating leases, although precisely when the end will come is unknown. There is speculation that one side of the soi will close in the near future; the other in the first half of 2019. Some owners are taking the initiative by trying to move now. The original Jupiter go-go bar down the soi from the Jim Thomson shop is now Moonlight Bangkok whose owner is rumoured to be the owner of Soi Twilight’s Hotmale. The German owner of Dreamboys, always popular now with Asian visitors, has said he will close the bar and retire next year.

The first casualty has been the ever-popular Dick’s Cafe in the middle of the soi which closed its doors after many regulars attended a last light ‘celebration’ on May 5th. There is no news yet if it will move to a new location.

The Original Jupiter Go-Go Bar

The Original Jupiter Go-Go Bar

A note for those who have not visited Bangkok for a year or two. Jupiter closed last year and has moved over to Silom Soi 4 where it has reopened as Jupiter 2018. Visitors claim the interior is much classier and drinks cheaper at around Bt. 250 to 300 – a good bit less than the outrageous prices now charged by the Soi Twilight. But the crowd seems to be different, too, with more westerners than the Asians who now are much more in evident in Soi Twilight. The boys on stage are generally tall, athletic, wearing jeans and perhaps a singlet, good-looking – and mostly straight. Perhaps that is one reason there are many more women in evidence in the audience. According to reports, tips of Bt. 1,000 notes are not uncommon. Several visitors have even commented that this is no longer a gay go-go bar at all.

An Asset at the New Jupiter 2018 - jupiter2018.com

An Asset at the New Jupiter 2018 – jupiter2018.com

More of a problem surely are the pronouncements by the government that the time has come for Thailand to change its image as a sex tourism destination. The spark was a comment from the Tourism Minister of Gambia who suggested that tourists should visit Thailand for sex, not Gambia! Funny, I would never in my wildest dreams have considered The Gambia as a sex tourist destination! Since then, though, there have been raids on gay and straight go-go bars in both Bangkok and Pattaya. To be fair one reason for the raids is to check on the Cambodians, Lao and Vietnamese who have increasingly replaced Thais in the bars. Most if not all have no work permits and disappear in a flash as soon as word of a police presence spreads.

It is not only the go-go bars that have seen raids. The popular gay sauna R3 near Rama 9 was raided on April 15. Frequented mostly by younger guys – if only because the entry fee was almost 4 times the price for over 50s – the raid was allegedly the result of a “tip-off”. Although no one was arrested, the owner was charged with running an entertainment venue without a permit and selling alcohol without a licence. But was it perhaps just another pointer to the government’s new policy?

Not that any of this government-speak is new. The rot set in in 2001 with the election of the first Thaksin government. Thaksin’s Interior Minister, Purachai Piumsombun, a puritanical and highly religious family-oriented individual, launched two Social Order Campaigns designed expressly to clean up Thailand’s image and restore traditional Thai “values”. Clearly Mr. Purachai was unaware that throughout the country it was and remains Thais themselves who mostly indulge in the often-covert sexual activities!

A 2008 Parade in Front of The Balcony Pub Bar in Silom Soi 4

A 2008 Parade in Front of The Balcony Pub Bar in Silom Soi 4

Purachai’s campaigns enforced existing laws much more strictly, reduced the massive corruption that had enabled nightlife establishments to prosper, banished Thailand’s many sexy photo magazines and restricted the areas and the hours in which nightlife venues could operate.

These social order initiatives were particularly popular with most Thais. After a flurry of action there was one amusing moment when the Minister himself led one raid on a gay sauna and was pictured in the media with a used condom – proof that sex took place inside, he claimed! As if most Thais had no clue as to what took place inside saunas!

Please Let Me Dance with You - tumblr.com

Please Let Me Dance with You – tumblr.com

Boykakke

This time, though, the campaign to clean up Thailand’s image seems more sustained. Perhaps it also has a greater chance of succeeding, given that many of Bangkok’s gay go-go bars have lost their appeal as that of the apps has gained ground and prices been hiked. Why pay up to Bt. 500 for a drink, the same for the drink of the boy of your choice, another 500 as an off fee and a further 1,500 or more as the short-time tip at the end. The total cost of visiting and using the go-go bars is considered too expensive for many. Even the experience has been greatly diminished. The fun element so evident in earlier years has largely disappeared. Obvious boredom up on many stages has become more or less standard.

Will we miss the bars? A few will, no doubt. But let’s face it. They have had their day, the owners have made their money and Thai boys are no longer anywhere near as interested in strutting their stuff up on-stage. If we could turn the clock back 30 years, the appeal would definitely still be there. Sadly, time does not stand still. Everything changes. That once far-off death-knell tolling for Bangkok’s gay go-go bars is now ringing in our ears.

Come On! You Know you Don’t Need the Bars for a Hook Up! - JQ Vision

Come On! You Know you Don’t Need the Bars for a Hook Up! – JQ Vision

(c) AsiaGuys.NET

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China’s Gay Sex Clubs Exposed – Part 2

“Where the Boys Are”

From what we learned in Part 1, Connie Francis’ 1960 pop hit could now in part refer to China. In the earlier article we outlined the activities of gay KTV clubs featuring naked guys that have sprung up in some of China’s major cities. Now we look at the views and feelings of those who attend and those who perform.

Plush Shanghai KTV Lounge - smartshanghai.com

Plush Shanghai KTV Lounge – smartshanghai.com

There used to be a commonly held feeling outside China that being gay in China is totally unacceptable and often punishable by the authorities. This was only partially true. Despite many examples of homosexuality throughout Chinese history, even reaching up as high as some of the Emperors, age-old culture in China has dictated that sons marry, have children and in the absence of any form of social security look after their parents in their old age. As we all know, there must be millions of men who have married despite being aware they were either gay or bisexual.

Popular 2016 Gay-Themed Chinese TV Series “Alternative Love”

Popular 2016 Gay-Themed Chinese TV Series “Alternative Love”

I recently had an extended correspondence with one 33-year old countryside shopkeeper who was married with two young sons. He had never had sex with another man but had become aware since his teens that his feelings for men were greater than for women. He had recently divorced. Now he is totally conflicted because of his various obligations: to provide some financial payment to his ex-wife, to look after and bring up his sons, to manage the family’s small business, help care for his grandmother and eventually his parents – and yet meeting up with gay men in his neighbourhood is almost impossible. Life can certainly be unfair!

Themed KTV Clubs are Popular Everywhere as in This One in Sydney

Themed KTV Clubs are Popular Everywhere as in This One in Sydney

The Chinese values of Confucianist moderation come into play in any discussion of being gay in China. As Zhang points out, this basically means

‘I’ understand ‘you’ and give ‘you’ respect, but ‘I’ do not like to get involved in ‘your’ business or be influenced by ‘you’. Different from most countries, being homosexual is not an inherent sin of human nature against religion or society; it is more of a moral problem in China. This leads to an understanding attitude towards homosexuality on the surface of Chinese society but an avoiding and abandoning attitude deep inside. Nevertheless, these moderate but inconsistent attitudes crack some social space for homosexuals in China to survive and produce their own leisure spaces.

As noted in Part 1, these spaces inevitably keep a low profile. Zhang then asks how widespread the gay KTV business is in China? Are they confined to the main cities? How about the incomes of the Xiaodis? Is it a good business for them, even if they are not “offed” by a customer?

More Guys Ready to Entertain KTV Chinese Customers – Click to see full sized image – tumblr.com

More Guys Ready to Entertain KTV Chinese Customers – Click to see full sized image – tumblr.com

Foreman NF: “There are gay KTVs in cities such as Beijing, Shenzhen, Chengdu, Hefei, etc. . . . Shenzhen is fine, but it attracts more customers from Hong Kong, who are difficult to deal with. Chengdu is quite a gay city, but due to the less developed economy, the business there is not so good. Hefei gets this kind of place because most Xiaodis in Shanghai are from Anhui, so it is easier for recruitment. But the level of consumption there is lower than here [Shanghai].
MZ: “How about customers here? Why did you say that here earns more than those for female customers?
Foreman NF: “Those who are able to consume here are not poor for sure, They are usually in their 30s at least with stable incomes. You know it is not cheap to consume here, with hundreds of yuan one night at least. But they know the price here, and know they have the capacity to consume . . . Also most of them have a higher education, so they are better behaved in KTV. Not like female customers in their KTVs, they are really horny customers and can play hard. Here, if Xiaodis finished their basic routines and had fun with customers, they were willing to pay more tips. Also male customers consume more wine than female ones; with commissions from wine, Ziaodis would earn at least three to four hundred per night. So, as you can see, they earn a lot and here is easier than where there are female customers.”

Customer With Some KTV Xiaodis - tumblr.com

Customer With Some KTV Xiaodis – tumblr.com

So with commissions on drinks, the Xiaodis can earn between US$45 and $60 per night. That is before customers’ tips. Although no estimate is given in the thesis, my gut feel is that these will be at least the same amount. So, most Xiaodis can probably clear over $100 per night even without an “off”. For Shanghai that is not a big amount. For money boys mostly from the countryside and with little education, it is very nice indeed, thank you!

In the thesis, Zhang interviews seven customers who had visited gay KTVs over between 1 and 10 years. Their ages range from 32 to 60 with five in their 30s, one aged 50 and another aged 60. It is hard to know if the views expressed by these customers are true or not for some are clearly more reluctant than others. Here is one view.

Customer BS (33 year old PhD student): “I do not go to KTV for sex. If I want, I can find it online or go to a massage parlour. I go to KTV to have fun with friends and find company for myself. Just imagine, there is a group of naked boy standing in front of you and your friends, and people have games and performances together, that is exciting enough. I do not think it is necessary to have it further.”

Gay KTV Hosts Starting a Game with a Customer - tumblr.com

Gay KTV Hosts Starting a Game with a Customer – tumblr.com

Another is prepared to go further and admits he may want to have sex with one of the guys.

Customer ZZ (40 year old company employee): “If I want further activity, I can do it in a toilet cabin. You know it is kind of like a rule that when the customer goes to toilet, the guy accompanying him has to go with him as well. It does not only to make you feel well served or to help you if you are drunk, but also implies that further activities, such as oral sex or masturbation, can be taken there.”

Karaoke Everywhere

Karaoke Everywhere

This appears to suggest that oral sex does not take place in the open group rooms. On the basis of the internet videos and the comments from other Xiaodis, that is not true.

Especially interesting are the comments from the Xiaodis themselves. Those interviewed were aged between 19 and 24 and had been working in gay KTVs for between six months and three years. Most are not gay. Yet there seems to be an open acceptance that dancing naked in front of other men, oral sex and becoming involved in sex games is just a job and nothing to be ashamed of. Anal sex is not permitted on the premises. If both customer and guy are happy with an arrangement, they can leave together. But there is no obligation. Some will probably want to return to girlfriends when work is over, and still plan to get married once they finish as Xiaodis.

Xiaodi GG (22 years old): “I do not think being naked is a huge thing. We are all men. It is like when you go to a bathhouse, where there are all the naked men . . . It might be difficult for the first time, and then you just get used to it.”
HL: “So what if I ask you if you are gay, what would be your answer?”
Xiaodi GG: “I do not think to define myself as homosexual or heterosexual matters now. Sex is now just some movements, and makes no difference for me with whom I have it. But I still will find a girl to get married and have children in the future.”

Like Chinese, Japanese Enjoy Time at a Bathhouse

Like Chinese, Japanese Enjoy Time at a Bathhouse

Gay Asian Network

Even their attitude to the terms ‘straight’ and ‘gay’ seem ambivalent as shown in this conversation.

HL: “Do you think you are gay?”
Xiaodi FZ (23 years old): “You can define me as whatever you like; it does not matter for me. I can make both male and female customers happy here. I am really good at this.”
HL: “So do you have any bottom line of working here?”
Xiaodi FZ: “I can do anything.”
HL: “So don’t you find kissing and masturbation matter for you?”
Xiaodi FZ: “It is just a kiss, no big deal. You do not lose anything. Don’t you masturbate yourself? So what if someone is doing that for you or you do it for someone else, like you help with your buddies. Everyone does this here.”

So are any of the Xiaodis gay? Zhang found one and learned of his reluctance to be openly gay in front of his friends and KTV colleagues.

Chinese Themed Karaoke Lounge - wikipedia.com

Chinese Themed Karaoke Lounge – wikipedia.com

HL: “Do you think being gay makes you easier to adapt to the work here?”
Xiaodi JR (20 years old): “I have my self-esteem, so I could not accept everything at first. It was not easy for me to get naked, give an oral sex to the customer, and further services. I have to tell myself repeatedly that this is my job and only if I do it well that I can make more money, live the life I want to live, and support my family . . . I can also tell myself that I get my demand satisfied. Then I feel better about it, and indeed work better here.”

So there you have it! I expect you will be as surprised as I was. I would love to find one of these gay KTVs, but as I do not speak Mandarin and have no friends who would know of their location, I would be a non-starter. I also doubt if non-Chinese will be permitted entry. Maybe I could start checking out gay KTV clubs in other countries to see what they offer.

Shinjuku’s Notorious Kabuki-cho District where All Types of Night-time Entertainment can be Found - flickr.com

Shinjuku’s Notorious Kabuki-cho District where All Types of Night-time Entertainment can be Found – flickr.com

Or perhaps best just to keep a gay KTV experience as a fantasy. Something tells me the authorities may not be so pliable in the future as greater international publicity alerts those higher up the political chain to their spread. But then, who knows what night happen in China? Certainly not me!

AsiaGuys.NET has quoted extensively from Zhang Hao-li’s thesis in the preparation of these two articles. It is openly available on the internet here

Permission to quote from Zhang’s work was not sought, although we happily credit his extensive input.

Read More: Part 1 – Part 2

(c) AsiaGuys.NET

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Naked Wanderings in Rush Hour, Hong Kong

A look back at one of the more strange events in 2017

He is first noticed chatting to a large African tourist in Hong Kong’s Tsim Sha Tsui district close to the waterfront in Kowloon. The tourist asks what he is doing. “I don’t know you, so I . . . just leave.”

After the traffic lights change, he calmly and confidently takes the pedestrian crossing and enters a street-side moneychanger. He then walks about 200 meters to the Nathan Road entrance to the Mass Transit Railway where he queues for a cross-harbour train. He even chats casually to MTR staff! At Admiralty station on Hong Kong Island, he crosses the platform and again queues for an eastbound train. At North Point station he exits and walks down to another platform for a second train across the harbour to Hang Hau where he lived with his family. Finally police and MTR staff arrest him before he can board a train.

The first extraordinary thing about this 15-minute episode is that the 20-year Hong Kong citizen named Wong was naked. That’s right – buck naked, apart from a pair of crocs, earphones and his phone!

The second is that apart from the African tourist, absolutely not one of the many hundreds of people he must have encountered on this 15- minute adventure seemed to think it odd that a naked man should be wandering Hong Kong’s busy streets among rush hour commuters.

Police suggested he was suffering from a mental disorder. His friends and neighbours disagreed, describing him to reporters variously as “nice”, “normal” and “smart”. According to the popular newspaper Oriental Daily News, “I never noticed him acting strangely,” one person said. It then added – Wong’s former classmates online said that the 20-year-old was “smart”, “funny”, “loyal”, and “popular”, especially with women… “Maybe [his public nudity] was some kind of performance art.” According to an MTR official involved in the incident, Wong claimed he was living in a game world.

Popular with women? Well, although we have had to photoshop his nudity, we can reveal that what he displayed would probably have been of little interest to anyone. It is difficult to see anything lurking amongst his pubic hair!

We understand Wong was admitted to hospital early that evening, but later checked himself out. We can find no news as to whether he was charged with any offence or not.

All photos from tumblr.com

AGN Gay News and Updates

(c) AsiaGuys.NET

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China’s Gay Sex Clubs Exposed – Part 1

The Extraordinary Tale of China’s Gay KTV

Some of the more intriguing short videos I occasionally come across when going through gay tumblr sites are those allegedly set in gay KTV clubs in China. Obviously filmed with a cell phone and of poor quality, they nevertheless are way more than eye-popping. Decades ago it was common to watch guys dancing naked in Bangkok’s gay go-go bars. Nowadays the only nudity you are likely to see is during the nightly shows. Yet these KTV videos show large numbers of young Chinese guys dancing totally in the nude. Even more surprisingly, they interact with customers with mutual blowjobs, games, masturbation and even the collection of cum in a glass!

Young Guys Waiting Naked in a Chinese Gay KTV – Click to see full sized image – tumblr.com

Young Guys Waiting Naked in a Chinese Gay KTV – Click to see full sized image – tumblr.com

KTV clubs are to be found all over Asia. They are primarily places where individuals and groups go to drink and sing karaoke. Getting drunk and parting with a sizeable wad of cash is part of the ritual. Having made a few visits to Beijing and Shanghai, I know of its gay bars and small number of gay-friendly saunas. But gay KTV was so off my gaydar I did not believe so many young men were actually cavorting so openly in China. Surely it had to be another country?

Perhaps it might be Taiwan, I thought. Back in 1990, one City Councilman said, “Taipei is a city of lust!” I knew that the many barber shops with spinning red and white striped poles outside once offered male customers a lot more inside than just a shave or a haircut. Nowadays it is in many straight KTV clubs where such services are offered.

After a quick check on the internet, I realised I was wrong! Whatever happens in any gay KTV establishment in Taiwan (if indeed any exist), it is nothing compared to the sexual activity going on in those in China. Originally, like Taiwan, KTV was where men could enjoy the company of young ladies. With a population of over eight million, KTVs in the industrial city of Dongguan between Hong Kong and Guangzhou are known to be a major den of female vice. Now the KTV market has expanded with clubs in many cities catering to men wishing to spend time with men.

KTV Guys Waiting to Go to Work – tumblr.com

KTV Guys Waiting to Go to Work – tumblr.com

Helix Studios

Quite by accident I came across a fascinating but extremely long 44-page dissertation on the internet, a 2016 thesis written by a Chinese expatriate, Zhang Hai-lin, for his doctorate at the University of Wageningen in The Netherlands. Titled “Space, Sexuality and Power: Producing a Gay KTV in China”, I almost dismissed it. Once I had started reading, though, the more fascinating it became.

The writer is a gay man who had lived in Shanghai for 20 years and had participated in the gay scene for ten. He tells how this has been influenced partly by changing attitudes to the LGBT agenda in the rest of the world, but more by those in Hong Kong and Taiwan. In explaining the background to these KTVs and what happens within, much of what follows are exact quotes (in blue) from Zhang’s thesis.

Unlike those KTVs in Western countries where there is only one stage for a small number of people to sing and others to watch, KTV in China provides a large room, which is to some extent a private space, and several kinds of entertainments for different groups of customers, and makes it a very popular place in China for friends to gather.

Straight KTV Clubs Take Kitsch to Extreme Lengths (note the da Vinci!)

Straight KTV Clubs Take Kitsch to Extreme Lengths (note the da Vinci!)

In gay KTV Clubs, he explains, there are the managers, foremen and Xiaodis.
‘Xiaodi’ means ‘little brother’ in Chinese. Usually customers are senior to those who provide erotic services; the social appellation for them in Chinese culture is ‘Dage’, which means ‘big brother’. ‘Xiaodi’ and ‘Dage’ not only show the age gap between the serving and the served, but also the hierarchy in a way that ‘Xiaodi’ immediately makes customers feel superior and assures the obedience, and the friendly tone of ‘Dage’ narrows the distance between two sides. Another reason they become the appellations to the two sides in gay KTV is because they desexualize what they do. Other appellations, such as ‘money boy’, which directly show the money-exchanged sexual relationship between them, are hard to be accepted by either actor in gay KTV; ‘Xiaodi’ and ‘Dage’, in contrast, are neutral and have no implications of sexual relationship.

KTV Club in Harbin in North-east China - wikipedia.com

KTV Club in Harbin in North-east China – wikipedia.com

The foremen are the equivalent of mamasans in Thai go-go bars. One foreman explains that there are at least three or four gay KTVs in Shanghai. None is in the central area but all are easily reached by public transport. Equally all are in inconspicuous buildings. The owners realise they are treading a fine line with the authorities. In the Q&A excerpts that follow, the initials HL stand for the author Zhang Hua-lin. MZ is a 33-year old man, a frequent gay KTV customer who assisted Zhang with the interviews. The interviewees are also identified only by their initials.

HL: “As far as you know, how is the relationship between KTV and the police?”
MZ: “Just bribery, so that they will not go and find trouble for KTVs; also if there is inspection, the police would let KTVs know in advance, so that they can cover.”
HL: “Will it ensure the safety of KTVs if they have this relationship with the police? Under what circumstance they will still get inspected?”
MZ: “Then it might because you were not able to reach the higher level of the police, or the competitors give more money to the police. But even if one gets shut down, they can still open at another place with a new name and the same boss easily.”

Guy Waiting to Entertain KTV Customers – tumblr.com

Guy Waiting to Entertain KTV Customers – tumblr.com

Tea money to the police authorities seems an Asia-wide practice. This foreman denies that what they offer in the gay KTVs is basically illegal, but adds the owners have to be careful not to push the boundaries of acceptance too far.

MZ: “What is the background of the boss of a gay KTV, and how would he have a place like this?”
Foreman NF: (42-year old with 5-years experience in the gay KTV business): “Bosses of the earliest gay KTVs are those who own businesses like gay bar, sauna or massage parlours. They earned some money from this, and know some money boys, so opened a place like this to broaden their business. Later some bosses outside the industry wanted to do some investment, so they just put money for it and don’t get involved in the running of the business.”

Returning to the issue of the police and the possibility of raids, Zhang probes further.
Foreman NF: “Let’s say we are now inspected by the police; we have to know how to deal with it. For example, Xiaodis can be naked, and we can say people are having fun; it does not matter since people in the room are all men, that does not count as a crime of obscenity. And we try to prevent anal sex in the room, otherwise it is a crime of group licentiousness. Beside, as a foreman, I do not get involve with customers’ taking Xiaodi out; it only happens on their voluntary willingness. I do not get commissions from this, so it is not a crime of organizational prostitution.”

Police Vice Raid on a Straight KTV Club in Dongguan close to Hong Kong - cnn.com

Police Vice Raid on a Straight KTV Club in Dongguan close to Hong Kong – cnn.com

Yet again there is the similarity to Thailand where prostitution is also illegal. The Chinese KTVs and Thai bars do not get involved with what happens after a guy agrees to go with a customer for a more intimate sexual encounter or with the tip that will be provided.

MZ: “What about foremen then? How do they enter the business?”
Foreman NF: “There are two types of how a foreman enters the business. One is, for example, like me, who used to work in a heterosexual KTV, and I happened to know the boss here, so I moved here. Gay KTV earns more than heterosexual ones. My advantage is that I already have resources of money boys who I can introduce here. It really does not matter for them who they serve. Also I am better at persuading new Xiaodis, to teach them some skills. Another type, which is becoming more and more common, is experienced Xiaodis who are able to recruit their own teams and promote themselves to foremen.”

Scene from the Movie “Lost in Translation” showing Bill Murray Singing in a Japanese KTV Club with Scarlett Johansson – Focus Features

Scene from the Movie “Lost in Translation” showing Bill Murray Singing in a Japanese KTV Club with Scarlett Johansson – Focus Features

In Part 2 next week, we will look in more detail at Zhang Hai-lin’s discussions with the two most important groups in a Chinese KTV Club – the customers and the Xiaodis. To whet your appetite, take a look at these two links and get a glimpse of what really goes on inside these Chinese gay KTV clubs.

Both Links Contain Nudity: VIDEO 1VIDEO 2

Read More: Part 1Part 2

(c) AsiaGuys.NET

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Fear and Horror Among Indonesia’s LGBT Community

Is a Gay Sex Ban Looming?

This was the headline on a CNN web page on February 26 this year.

For more than two years, a crackdown on gay activity and the LGBT community in general has been going on in Indonesia with members of Parliament at the forefront. In February 2016 the Defence Minister set the ball rolling by launching a scathing attack, stating that LGBT rights are “more dangerous than nuclear war.”

Early last year the Mental Health Director at the Ministry of Health then proclaimed that LGBT people have “mental disorders”. Soon there began a series of mass anti-LGBT protests by religious conservatives. That was followed by a much-publicized raid on a gay sauna in Jakarta when 141 men were arrested under pornography laws. Last December the country’s Constitutional Court narrowly rejected an application by a Muslim group to criminalize same-sex relations.

Anti LGBT Protestors in Yogyakarta - CNN

Anti LGBT Protestors in Yogyakarta – CNN

Now though, the anti-LGBT movement continues its forward march. According to CNN, “Within weeks lawmakers could vote on a new law that looks set to criminalize sex outside of marriage and homosexual sex in Indonesia, as part of wide-reaching changes to the country’s criminal code.”

It seems no coincidence that the present crackdown is taking place at a time when national elections are due to start. “Indonesian politicians are scared to oppose conservative Muslim groups,” Human Rights Watch researcher Andreas Harsono said.

“Many Islamist leaders are going to put pressure on every politician (to pass the criminal code)… Many politicians in a conservative country like Indonesia will think twice before standing up for an LGBT individual,” he added.

Lashing a Gay Man Last Year in Aceh as a Crowd of over 1,000 Looks on - CNN

Lashing a Gay Man Last Year in Aceh as a Crowd of over 1,000 Looks on – CNN

It has long been known that under Sharia Law in the westerly Aceh Province, gay men can be whipped, as happened to two young men last year in front of a large crowd. It was all eerily reminiscent of a scene from a Mediaeval Morality play with those doing the beating covered from head to toe. The punishment is up to 100 lashes.

Anti LGBT Protests in Aceh Province - Hotlip Simanjuntak

Anti LGBT Protests in Aceh Province – Hotlip Simanjuntak

There is still no news about the passing of an anti-LGBT law. It this does go ahead nationwide, the effect on tourism in the popular gay holiday destination of Bali will surely be very significant.

Related Reading

Gay men in Jakarta fearful amid growing police crackdown on LGBTI community

Indonesia canes men convicted of gay sex before a jeering crowd

Sepi, Social Worker, Jakarta

Sepi, Social Worker, Jakarta - thegaymenproject.com

Sepi, Social Worker, Jakarta – thegaymenproject.com

AGN Gay News and Updates

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