Tuesday, January 21, 2003

Thinus Ferreira

'They're in it for money'

CAPE TOWN — Young men from all over the country sell their bodies for sex in Cape massage parlours every day.

These young men — some as young as 19 — live at these brothels where they sleep by day and "entertain" male clients at night.

Ten or more men and a manager stay at such a massage parlour. They earn up to R12 000 or more a month, depending on the sexual services they are prepared to offer their clients.

"Clients come from all walks of life," says Johan (pseudonym), a former employee of the gay massage parlour, Sizzlers, where eight men were shot dead on Monday morning.

"Sizzlers was known for its regular clients. They varied from married men, men in long-term relationships, old men between 60 and 70, men who wanted to experiment and young guys who wanted their first gay experience.

"Officially, a client pays R120 an hour which includes a body massage and a hand-job.

"However, the men would tell you what else they wanted, ask whether you were prepared to do it and then pay more," Johan says.

"This could include everything from oral to full sex with clients."

"The employees were 'ordinary' guys who went off the rails a bit. Many people would be shocked to see how ordinary the young men are who do this work," he says.

"However, nobody is forced to do anything they are not prepared to do."

He says he never feared for his life.

"Sometimes you become a bit paranoid. However, I was never scared when I was busy with a client. If you feel threatened or afraid, you don't have to stay there or do the work."

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Created: January 24, 2003
Last modified: January 24, 2003
CSIS Commercial Sex Information Service
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