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Chiang Mai and Gay Sex – Part 3

Commercial Gay Scene – Freelancers

This is the third and final part of our series on Gay Sex in Chiang Mai; where to find it and what to be aware of. Part 1 discussed the non-commercial gay sex scene and Part 2 covered the obvious bars and massage parlours side of the commercial scene. This part gives an overview of the more covert part of the commercial sex business – freelance hustlers.

Gay Guys in Chiang Mai

You can find gay guys all over Chiang Mai as we described in Part 1. Whilst many of these guys just want sex, often they appreciate some reward, especially when they encounter older foreigners. A few are out and out money boys, straight or gay but either way, only in it for pay. It takes a little skill and experience to spot whether your new friend is more interested in you or your wallet. As well as the bars, venues and the internet we described previously, there are places in Chiang Mai where it is easy to find freelancers.

The advantage of taking hosts “off” from bars is the bar knows who they are and you have some limited comeback if there are problems e.g. if they steal from you. In particular, many of the Shan guys working go-go have work permits linked to their bars and the bar owners are responsible for them. If they get fired they also risk deportation back to Burma. This doesn’t provide any absolute guarantees about your safety; when taking someone off from a bar, always exercise caution and practice safe sex. But, taking bar hosts is much safer than going with Chiang Mai’s many freelancers. Some of these can be dangerous and it is entirely at your own risk.

Shan Boy 1Shan Boy 2Shan Boy 3Shan Boy 4
Some of the cute Shan Hustlers that hang round the Garden bar

So where can you find Freelancers? Although not as many guys here now as in years past, the safest place is still around Adam’s Apple and the Garden Bar. The guys here are almost all from the same Shan gang and friends of the guys working in the host bars. They are monitored closely by the local coterie who run the bars, the Shan mafia and the bar owners themselves, both of whom are foreigners (bad boys get a one way ticket to Loi Tai Leng) .

The Garden Bar is run professionally and monitored by CCTV. The bar staff can give you advice about the different guys who hang around. Of course, there are still a few bad Apples (no pun intended) so always exercise caution. Be aware that most of these guys are from Burma and many have no ID. There is still one reliable regular at the garden bar, the world famous “Mr Chippendale”, Chiang Mai’s hardest working boy, who tries to earn a place in the heart and wallet of every visiting Farang! [N.B. sorry to disappoint but the nickname is not because of his body 😉 ]

At greater risk are the Freelancer’s from Chiang Mai’s notorious Sleaze Alley. Whilst these bars are O.K. to visit for a drink, especially C.U. Bar which is the gayest, great caution is required with the guys here. The hustlers come from a variety of different hill tribe and other ethnic groups, including Akha, Lisu, Mussur (Lahu) and Shan. This causes frequent problems and gang fights along tribal lines are not uncommon, moreover, the gangs are protective of their own and it’s hard to know who is who, or trace people afterwards if problems do occur. Many of the guys have no ID and underage has been a recurring problem here, as has drug abuse.

CU Bar

Business has been very poor for months and the bar owners appear to be a somewhat disparate group of competitors fighting each other for survival, with evidently little interest in cleaning the place up for the common good. This is also reflected in the abysmal state of shared facilities such as the toilets!

One scam we’ve heard of is newbies being charged an “off fee” by some bars, even though the freelancer is nothing to do with the bar and they certainly won’t want to know afterwards if any problems occur (N.B. Bar staff employed by the bar are different and you can expect to be charged if they leave before they’ve finished work). Another risk is the underage “honey trap” scam, this is not un-heard of and will cost you dearly.

If you do decide to leave with any of the guys from Sleaze Alley, ask for a character reference from one of the few old sex-pat barflies who are always there (easy to spot – look for the bottle of Sangsom on the bar 😉 ). Their advice is more valuable than that of the other guys or bar staff who may only tell you what they think you want to hear. We have more information in our other articles too: Travel Warning and The dangers of living in Chiang Mai

Sleaze Alley BoySleaze Alley Boy2
Freelance Hustler's at Chiang Mai's Sleaze Alley

Most dangerous of all are the freelancers who hang around on the street at Thapae Gate (inside the moat opposite Moonmunag Soi 4) or down on the riverside near the flower market. Kateoys or Lady Boys may be found around Thapae Gate and Loy Kroh road too. These are absolutely at your own risk and you are potentially setting yourself up for all sorts of trouble.

Plenty of freelancers can be found on gayromeo.com too, even though many appear to be looking for sex only, once you start chatting it will soon become apparent there is another agenda.

If you do meet strangers a few basic rules of common sense apply:

  • Don’t carry large amounts of cash, or flash cash around.
  • Don’t take expensive watches, jewellery, cameras, phones, laptops or other gadgets out with you. Make sure they are locked in your hotel safe.
  • Try to find out about your new friends reputation before going anywhere alone with them. E.g. by asking bar staff or other customers.
  • Let someone know where you are going if you go off with a stranger.
  • Chiang Mai has many “short time” hotels which are great for entertaining new friends. Prices for an hour or two will be around 100-200Bt.
  • Check the guys I.D. if he has one and BE CERTAIN he is over eighteen
  • If you stay at a hotel, have reception hold your friends ID and check with you before returning it.

Most importantly, please be aware that drug abuse is rife among male sex workers in Chiang Mai and the use of YaaBaa is endemic. YaaBaa (In Thai means Crazy Medicine) is a Class A drug also known as methamphetamine is produced in vast quantities across the border in Burma and available cheaply. The local version also includes some opiates making it addictive. It causes significant abnormal behavioural changes and removes inhibitions. Whilst this can have some sexual benefits, these are often counteracted by erectile dysfunction, another side effect. The major downside is an increased propensity for aggressive and anti-social behaviour such as theft or assault, especially if mixed with alcohol.

Shan Boy 6

The Police do conduct raids on places such as Sleaze Alley and carry out on the spot urine tests which give an instant indication of drug use. They also setup roadblocks around town and test people they are suspicious of. The usual minimum penalty for first time offence is forty five days in a Thai Jail, or several years for someone actually caught in possession of the drug.

Apart from stating the obvious – DON’T DO DRUGS – if you do intend to meet with freelancers learn to spot the signs of Yaabaa use. Typical symptoms include hyperactivity, talking incessantly or aggressively, an inability to sit still and persistent finger or foot tapping, teeth grinding and repetitive behaviour. Dilated eyes with a glazed over look are another sign. Yaabaa is an appetite suppressant so an obvious symptom of long term abuse is significant weight loss and gaunt facial features along with acne. Long term abuse can lead to psychotic effects similar to schizophrenia.

metamphetamine

The other major taboo in Chiang Mai is foreigners having sex with boys under the age of eighteen. If you get caught you will have serious problems and may be prosecuted both in Thailand, where penalties are severe, and your home country.

It is a crime for foreigners to have sex with someone under 18 in Thailand

No Sex OffendersPedophile arrest
Severe penalties await foreigners who have sex with guys under eighteen

Many of the freelancers in town are under age and often have been trafficked into prostitution. You can read more about this in our article – Survival Sex which includes a video on child sex abuse and trafficking in Chiang Mai.

For those who still think it’s OK to abuse children please watch the following Video: Journey into the child sex trade is an animation produced by HOTS. The artwork and story was produced by street children in Chiang Mai. The animation tells the harrowing story of a boy’s journey into the commercial sex trade.

Finally, remember the rate of HIV infection is especially high among freelance sex workers, particularly those without Thai ID who have little access to medical services , counselling and advice. To avoid unwanted holiday souvenirs be sure to use a condom!

We hope the articles in this series have provided useful information. If you want to express any opinion on them, or the issues raised, please leave a comment.

Please be aware that prostitution is illegal in Thailand in accordance with the Prevention and Suppression of Prostitution Act, B.E. 2539 (1996) This article is for information purposes only, it is not an incitement to commit illegal acts and readers are responsible for their own actions. Please refer to the terms and conditions of use for this website. Please also note that, in Thailand, the penalties for foreigners having sex with someone under the age of eighteen are severe.

  1. hakan says:

    1. mr ice still works at nmw ?
    2. who is that fomous mr chipendale at the garden bar? i plan to stay at lotus.

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