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From “eww” to “aww”, life in a gay spa is never dull, according to Bobby*. When not pursuing his bachelors degree from an open university, the 24-year-old works as a masseur in a spa that caters to gay men, providing a space to socialise offline. We caught up with Bobby, to find out more about what it takes to succeed as gay masseur.
This interview has been translated from Hindi, and edited for clarity and length.
VICE: Is every masseur in the gay spa gay?
Bobby: There is no hard and fast rule, but only those who are interested in boys would work in a gay spa.
Does your family know about your sexual orientation, and your job?
They kinda know. They look at how I walk, talk and my habits—it’s quite clear that I’m into boys. But no one ever confronts it on my face.
I’ve told them that I work in a unisex parlor. Sometimes to be on a safe side, I bring home some feminine gifts like lipstick and nail polish for my sisters. If my family ever gets to know about it, the first thing they would say is, “There are places where this sort of thing goes on?”
Has working around gay men made you more comfortable with your sexuality?
Yeah, it helped a lot. I like spending time with these people. You know your company means a lot. I feel a lot like “me.” We go shopping together, try to pick up boys, fool around.
How do you stand out at work?
If a client doesn’t have any permanent masseur preference, then he has the freedom to choose anyone from our available staff. The bell rings and all available masseurs gather in the hall. Then everyone shows off their style or mannerisms—-someone looks at the client seductively, someone blows an air-kiss. I just press my lips together slightly and smile cutely.
Do you ever have to draw a line when it comes to sex?
Obviously, sex is involved. What fool would pay Rs. 1,600 on a weekend to get a massage? They come here for cheap and easy sex. Sometimes, clients ask for an extra head massage or something— we usually do it out of courtesy even if we don’t really want to. But to avoid exploitation by particularly stubborn clients, we remind them that their 45 minutes are up and they’ll have to pay for extra services.
What if you don’t want to have sex with a particular client?
When the client enters the spa, we get a glimpse of him. If he seems like a chutiya I wouldn’t go to the hall to meet him.
What kind of tips do you get?
It partially depends on my skills—how “happy” I can make them—but it’s all up to the specific clients. Clients have given me tips as high as Rs. 5,000 and as low as nothing. I make about Rs. 15,000, including tips, in a month.
What is the most awkward situation you faced with a client?
One client pooped during a session. Sex khatam karne ke bad, jaise hi maine apna penis nikala, unki potty nikal gayi: pat pat pat! Jaise bhais gobar haggti hai, na? Waise. (Just as I pulled out, he pooped—plop plop plop, just like a buffalo.)
What is the strangest confession a client ever made?
One client told me he has never had sex with his wife during the six years of his marriage. To fulfill her sexual desires, he makes his younger brother fuck her—it’s fun for him to watch them. These kinds of stories are routine for me.
Have you ever felt unsafe around a client?
Some clients behave abnormally, like psychos. They go crazy and start pinching and squeezing during the massage. I feel quite unsafe around these clients—you never know if someone is going to stab you to death in a closed room. I usually tell them to relax, because that’s what they’ve come for. I’m uneasy if a client is dead drunk. If I’m not comfortable, I’d go to the manager and ask him to send in another masseur.
*Source used a pseudonym.