China’s male sex workers, a.k.a. ‘Money boys’, make bank
(By Graham Gremore) - Cai Yifeng is a Ph.D. candidate at Brown University’s Anthropology department. He recently traveled to China to study the country’s gay male sex trade.
“When I went to China in May to study ‘money boys’–male prostitutes providing sexual services to male clients, known colloquially as MBs–I imagined that I would be seeking entry into a world of darkness, violence, and suffering,” Yifeng writes in a fascinating new piece published by Sixth Tone.
To his surprise, it wasn’t like that at all. Many of the MBs he spoke to weren’t just happy in their professions, they were making serious bank.
For example, Yifeng spoke to a man named Nan.
A former spa employee, Nan works as a personal trainer at a well-known local chain of gyms. He also has a solid customer base to whom he provides regular sexual services. Even back when he was working at the spa — in truth, a massage parlor whose workers frequently administered “happy endings” to paying customers — he was already making close to 40,000 yuan (about $6,000) a month.
Though prostitution is technically illegal in China, Nan told Yifeng he still makes several hundred yuan per encounter.