An unexpected encounter with a 25-year-old male prostitute in Guwahati few days back changed a lot of myths that I had about gigolos. With a strict request to shield his name, this medical graduate with a niche for photography and travel speaks at large about his dual life.
When I was in by Class XII, I had my first sex encounter with my fellow classmate. Although we intended for a one-night-stand, but it turned out to be lot more as we became too addicted for each other. Things were going almost fine until our relationship of benefits was finally discovered by her maternal aunt- with whom she was staying here in Guwahati.
But things did not turn out the way I imagined as after meeting her aunt I realised that the ‘discovery by chance’ was not that ‘coincidental’ after all as my partner’s aunt knew everything about our affair since the very beginning. And on top of that, she had recorded our love making in a series of videos.
I was cheated and even felt that I was trapped and thought that I was in for some serious trouble! But here again I was wrong as both the ladies smiled at my confused look and the older lady came near me and asked me to stretched out my hand.
Still confused, when I did not put my hand out, she forcibly took it onto her hand and placed a bundle of notes on my hand and said, ‘You are good. You will make good money. I will like to have sex with you and in return I will pay you. I have few friends and they will also like to have your service and you will be paid Rs 5- 6 thousand for one sitting. Don’t worry; with time money will increase too’.
Still shocked, I looked at the money that I was handed. Six thousand it was, I counted twice. Even though the duo deleted all the videos in front of my eyes and said it was not mandatory to oblige them, but still an unknown fear gripped me.
After giving some serious thoughts, I decided to join the trade!
Deeper and murkier
I was 17 or may be a little more when I was forced into male prostitution. Initially a guilt factor used to disturb me from inside but with time I felt okay with it. I began taking it just as a profession and then later stopped thinking about its moral and immoral values.
So far it has been eight years for me in this profession and in this time I have seen and learned a lot. The women who ask for my services generally belong to the elite class of the society- elite not monetarily but also academically. A number of professors, doctors and women from the ‘Page 3’ society are in my client list. Some just talk, some are happy with foreplay. I even met a lady once who got emotionally very much attached to me and I had to put in a lot of efforts to get her away from me.
I consider myself to be lucky enough that I did not face much harassment on the hands of the ladies who dragged me into this world. Being a gigolo is my choice and I am doing it just for the sake of money. I can leave it right now, but there are many boys who are not as lucky as me. They are being kidnapped and forced to adopt male prostitution. I have heard there are even ‘chaklas’ of men in some parts of the country.
I don’t know much about North East, but in Guwahati male escorts are on a high demand. Numbering them all in the fingers is a difficult task, but as far as I know there are around 300 male escorts active in Guwahati currently.
Male escorts are different from a eunuch or a transgender or the homosexuals. I am young and have an athletic body and this is an advantage. Women mostly prefer boys or men with rough and tough features. Beer bellies are seldom welcomed.
‘Pink Massage’ is the code for a homosexual encounter and every now and then I do keep getting such invitations. Thoughts have crossed my mind a number of times to try something ‘new’, but then again I tell myself it will be too much. I am already travelling a different road and I should be content and satisfied with it. For me, homosexual encounter is a big no!
See, I am a doctor and in my public life I need to behave like a decent doctor. While I am with my colleagues or in the hospital, I am a dedicated doctor. Many a times I have treated my clients in the hospital I work, but there we behaved as total strangers. Maintaining secrecy is the main thing in this trade. I don’t know how you came to know about me, but if one journalist has come to know about me I am sure there are others. It is nice of you that you have promised not to reveal my name and identity but what if someone from the news channels come to know about me? Will I be spared? Maintaining duality is difficult, but I am doing it.
I have a girlfriend of four years and every time I try to speak the truth to her, I just can’t. The problem is, once she knows my reality she will dump me and I can’t lose her; as she has been the pillar of strength in my life and only because of her I am gradually leaving this line. It is easy to get in, but very difficult to leave.
On the female counterparts
Life of a female sex worker or prostitute or whatever you call it is very difficult. They are tormented as most men are animals on the bed. They are often not paid well and most of them have this chance of acquiring STDs. Trafficking of girls are a big issue in our society and in most places of the country, birth of a girl child is thought to be a curse. I can’t compare the lives of male and female sex workers. For me, life has been kind and only for this reason I really can’t say more.
Crime against men is an almost neglected subject in India and forced male prostitution or simply male prostitution is hardly given any importance- both in the society and in the media. There is no comprehensive data in this regard as well. It is only the child trafficking data we mostly have. Even though in most of the trafficked child are girls, but there are few boys too and we hardly know about them as they are seldom rescued.
According to National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data for 2013-2014, total 372 men in Assam were kidnapped and abducted for numerous reasons. NCRB sighted ‘forced prostitution’ as one of the reasons for which these men were kidnapped or abducted.
“Trafficked girls are generally sold to some brothels and hence when police raid these places, they are rescued. But boys (if they are kidnapped for flesh trade) are sold to random customers as there are no brothels for male prostitution. So tracking them is very difficult. We have rescued a few boys some months back but they were sold as bonded labourers and not pushed into male prostitution,” informed a senior Assam Police officer seeking anonymity.
Child right activist and founder-chairman of UTSAH (Universal Team for Social Action and Help) Miguel Queah feels that if a child is subjected to continuous sexual abuse by one single person and later the person also forces the child to satiate his/her friends, then it may be termed as ‘forced male prostitution’.
“Someone who is below the age of 18 is considered as a child and any sexual abuse against him/her falls under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO Act) 2012. So even if an under-18 boy agrees to have sex willingly, in exchange of money or some favour, it will not be regarded as prostitution. Moreover, there is not much data about young boys being pushed into prostitution so it is very difficult to say if young boys are actually forced into prostitution or not,” said the young activist when asked about his views on young boys being pushed into prostitution.
Not just prostitution, but even rape against men is also on the rise in the country. Though such cases are not yet recorded in Assam, but insiders say that rape of men in Assam is no myth.
“I was raped by my uncle when I was 18. I was drugged so I could not stop,” said a 22-year-old male rape victim of Guwahati.
“When I was 23, I went to my maternal uncle’s place in Nalbari. My grandmother and grandfather were out for a marriage and uncle went to his office. My uncle’s wife and I were alone in the house when she forces herself onto me. I was scared to speak a word and this continued till I returned. Sometimes I feel I should turn a gigolo, at least I will earn some money,” said another 26-year-old male rape victim.
A former male escort, while speaking on the topic said that initially being a male prostitute is fun.
“Initially it is fun as we get both sexual pleasure and money. But as time flies, the world gets murkier and one gets trapped in a quicksand. It is very difficult to come out. A society might accept a female sex worker, but a male sex worker is something unheard and accepting him is next to impossible. Even I left prostitution, I was threatened my many of my clients and their associates. We also have touts and when we leave the line, these touts also become a threat for us. I have gone through a lot,” he further says.
Male escorts are not myth to the city and if we google, we will encounter several links. Most of the escorts whom I interviewed for the sake of this article feel that they have had enough and want to leave the line. But on the same time they say that what they are doing is no crime and not wrong morally.
“After all, I am offering my body and I am getting paid for it and my women clients some sexual pleasure. If men can have the liberty to take services from female escorts, so does these women have the right. Why should men have all the fun,” quoted one of them.