|Silom Soi 4: one of Yod's old fishing holes.|
Yod leaned back in his chair, locked his strong arms behind his head and forcefully exhaled a column of cigarette smoke into the early evening air. A bird sitting amid one of those fine examples of wildly creative Thai wiring above him chirped - perhaps in protest - and took off, dropping a generous dollop of bird shit onto the ground next to the stylish athletic shoe on the left foot he had sticking out in front of him.
"You see?" he smiled "I'm lucky!" I couldn't disagree with him. Yod was lucky; a survivor of a club life, and, as he figured it, possibly set for life. At least as far into the future as many young people tend to look nowadays. He knew he wasn't anything close to a spring chicken on the club market; he was, in fact, pushing the boundaries of twinkiedom. He was stunningly handsome now in his early 30s, and one can only imagine what a gorgeous figure he cut at college age.
It didn't bother him in the least that he was nearly finished with the active nightly work of being offed and having to make it seem as though he was attracted to - or interested in the slightest - in the person who had rented his attentions. In fact, it was a great relief. Granted, sometimes there were women who came into the club and offed him for his services ("big!" he said, pointing to his crotch), but he'd very rarely been interested in the men he'd been with. He could "do it", but he knew what he preferred.
|Not Yod's complex, but a |
good example of the type:
"Act like man, but they not," he said. "Just feel like man if they treat me same dog." More than a couple of times he'd called the event to a halt, dressed and left, even though it meant no tip. A few times he'd had to struggle to leave, and once he'd had to fight his way out. What he said about those customers doesn't need to be repeated here.
Yod knew he was being used, and he treated his job as just that: a job. As some guys do, he also ran his own "business". Early on he'd been advised to encourage repeat business - a sound practice in any business, come to think of it - and he put great effort into what a friend had done, which was build a clientele who would send him money after they'd gone home. Regularly. It was then he promptly left the bars he freelanced in and started to take things easier.
It's a common story those who rent admirers hear early on, if they're listening, be they customers of of either sex. Anyone who's known someone who has dallied overseas while in military service has probably heard the story in one form or another; the ship leaves Subic Bay in the Philippines and two weeks later the letter arrives: "I'm pregnant and it's yours".
As I said, Yod didn't work the short-term market all that long, preferring to tap the Walking ATM market instead. His rent and basics were paid, but his business was of the longer-term, better income type. As an example I'll cite a common story: "I'll leave my club life and wait for only you if you can help me with Bt ____ a month until you come back to be with me."
Yes, it's dishonest - probably fair to say morally reprehensible - so save your comments. It doesn't excuse his lies, but there are countless examples of farang saying "I want to bring you to my home country to be with me" (or variations on the theme) and then disappearing after the evening, too, and that's pretty crappy behavior, too. You hear that sort of story nightly if you eavesdrop for any length of time in lots of gay and straight bars where a farang is making their moves on a Thai.
Yod had built his business well. He currently had seven guys who regularly sent him money, thinking Yod was their Special Boy and waiting for them to return to visit him, and none knew about the other. Two from the United Kingdom, two from Germany, one from France, and two from the USA. There were three others who were irregular contributors - Bt3,000 for his actual birthday and the likes - but these were added bonuses, as they rarely visited.
His regular monthly income was in the neighborhood of - get this - 45,000 baht per month, and he had no actual job. That's $1,500USD, or 1,100 Euro. It might not sound like a lot where you're reading this, but in Thailand it's pretty darned good money. In addition to this regular income, two had believed they were the ones who had built the handsome home he showed pictures of where his mother, father and two brothers lived. They hired help now for the rice and cassava planting and harvesting, and his brothers attended good schools.
He said the easiest ones were the ones who came to visit on a set schedule, because the others could be scheduled around them. Only once over seven years had he needed to beg off or re-arrange a visitor's time in Thailand. Some of the men he really did feel an affection for, and once he'd felt so sorry for a Dutch man who had fallen hard for him that Yod made up a story to end the relationship to avoid hurting the man too deeply. If he had wanted to settle down with a man, the Dutchman would have been the one. "He very very kind to me and act like Thai way," he said, but that wasn't what Yod wanted.
Yod spent a lot of time at his real home in the agricultural area outside of Bangkok proper, but also had regular stretches in Bangkok and other tourist areas where he managed his bank accounts and kept in contact with his guys from a variety of internet shops. Although he was out of the club scene, he figured he could always make room for one more farang; besides, he enjoyed time with his friends there. His one regular remaining vice was smoking tobacco.
Unlike many Thai club/bar/sex workers he spoke of, he'd dodged the drink/drug/gambling webs and had salted away a small fortune. His family was well taken care of, and he was considering settling down with a woman and making his own family.
After three hours of chatting we called it an evening. Yod wouldn't let me pick up the tab for himself, my translator friend and I. I look forward to following his story.