Not far from one of Bangkok’s busiest nightlife districts is a shadowy boulevard frequented by swathes of what are colloquially referred to as “money boys.” Tee, 21, stands among them. For over a year, he has been offering his sexual services to a steady, late-night clientele. BK chats with him to gain an insight into this illegal means of livelihood.
Why did you choose this job?
Actually my friend at university introduced me to it. As I’m from upcountry, living alone here, I have to pay for my tuition, my bills, as well as my dorm’s rent all by myself. So I decided to give it a try. He persuaded me it’s lucrative and so it turned out to be.
 
How do money boys work?
You stand by the streets. People from all walks of life—whether it’s businessmen or even students—will drive or walk up to greet you. We lead them to a cheap motel nearby. They pay you. When things are done, they sometimes drop you off at exactly the same spot or they pay you a tad more to travel back yourself.
 
How often do you work?
It depends. I work 3-4 days a week and basically I get hailed 3-4 times a night. I work from 9pm till around 2am. Weekends are the busiest. I once got picked up eight times a night—my record. But rainy season is the worst.
 
What services do you offer?
I offer just about anything they want, which sometimes doesn’t even go as far as sexual intercourse. The most common request is masturbation. My customers are just about anyone, from 20 - 50 years of age. I sometimes get waved down by girls, too. I tell them I can’t have penetrative sex with them, but surprisingly some are still satisfied with just some touching. Oh, police are my customers, too. And I always use a condom.
 
How much do you get paid?
The price strictly starts at B500 per encounter. Everyone around here offers the same rate. There are special prices for certain sexual fetishes, like orgies. More often than not, I make around B40,000 to B50,000 a month.
 
What is the most dangerous thing you’ve ever experienced?
I once got charged by the police for night-time loitering. Thieves are commonplace here, too.
 
Do you plan to keep doing this after graduation?
No. It’s not a permanent kind of job. Once you reach your early 30s, you’re done. There are new faces here almost every week. The youngest I’ve ever met is 14 years old. I dream of being a hotel receptionist. That’s what I’m studying towards right now.