"I am a teacher as well as a news reader in a local tv channel." Ajith, a male sex worker in Chengannur in Alappuzha district says. Male sex workers are growing in number in our state following the western models. It would be difficult to believe the accelerating graph of male prostitution for the people in a society where the flesh trade simply means female trafficking. But, we should believe this fact and Ajith is a living proof. "I came to this sex work just for money. I work independently and not under any agencies.I receive only two customers per month." Ajith speaks out. The search for a Malayali male escort started with the help of a lady called Lora. Firstly, we sent a few messages to the selected e-mail addresses, from the internet ads. Need temporary husbands for a group of ladies coming from abroad- This was the message.We got sudden replies within minutes. Every reply mails had the contact numbers enclosed. They all agreed to give more details if called directly. I handed over all the numbers to Lora. And she called a male escort- Kamal. Thus Kamal took the phone and said his real name is Ajith. In later enquiries, we understood that Ajith is also a fake name. He charges 'just' rupees 25,000 for 5 hour 'service'. Ajith also offered a night free service for Lora, as a reward for connecting him to the foreign ladies. The investigation ended up not only in finding out one, but also,got stunning information about active agencies supplying male escorts and training centers for sex tips and foreplays in the state. Startling report is that Kerala alone has more than one lakh male escorts. In India, this is 5 lakh and 15 lakh in the whole world.
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Even today, Keralites fear to speak out the word- prostitute loudly. The very word brings in our minds, the sexy lady bargaining with her exposed looks. Those two hypnotizing eyes at the corners of bus stand, near public toilets and outside the railway stations. The cinematic scene of 'kaamaathies' without any expression on her face at the lockups after an unexpected police raid also flashes in our mind. Malayali will easily identify the manglish speaking new generation chicks flying from luxury cars to spongy beds too. In all these prejudiced scenes, Malayali is more habitual in believing that a prostitute is always a female. The male prostitutes or the male escorts prove that time has arrived for the malayalis to change their prejudices. We Keralites who criticizes the western culture, fails to realize our own rotten underworld. Various studies point out that India is the largest sex trade market in the world. We don’t agree this argument also. Similarly, We are not ready to change our attitude about male sexual workers.
Since historic times, we have heard the stories of women being used as sexual objects by strong men. These were considered as moral or immoral with the changing societies and in different ages. India had the tradition of devdasi system, where a child is born to be a devdasi. We come across plenty of alarming news on girls abused by the Fathers, kith and kins, friends or lover. It was a few weeks ago, the news of a mother who sold her daughter for money to buy liquor came in the newspapers. There are men who sell their wives in the red streets after a trapped love affair.
The practice of abusing minor girls by the more powerful men groups exist since a long time. All the notorious sex racket cases are born out of such incidents. But then, every sex racket martyrs have proved the ultimate damage is about the victim's life and her social status. In a country where there are enormous girls and ladies being trapped as commodities knowingly or unknowingly, men too have started this trade. This is a fact, a secret that everyone knows.
An escort is a person who travels with someone in order to protect or guard them. Sometimes the word is also used to describe a person who accompanies another person of the opposite sex to a social event. These two don’t have any immoral meaning at all. In the case of male escorts, the meaning is different. They are paid to be temporary lovers for women. Women choose her male escort when needed, use him for her sexual needs. Do you think these are built up stories? Not at all.. There are thousands of male escorts in major cities and towns in Kerala. The interesting fact is that all these men migrated to the cities from villages. This is a new trend that throws away all the moral lines upside down.
|Jisha Elizebeth |
( writer is a fellow of
National Foundation for India,
New Delhi .)