Katoey's of Bangkok

An inside view

Thailand is famous for many things, Opium, heroin prostitutes and underage sex. It is a haven for all things sexual and illegal but the most amazing thing in my eyes was the Ladyboys or Katoey of Bangkok.

I just knew I had to interview one of these gender confused young men and decided the best way to meet a ‘respectable’ Katoey was to cruise the bars. I was on my fifth bar when I saw the one I wanted to talk to. A vision in red Chinese silk he sat perched on a barstool, his dress slit up to his hip. His face was perfectly made up and he sipped his drink through a straw showing off his full red lips. That wasn’t that attracted me to him though. What was most attractive and intriguing to me was he wasn’t Tai.

His round eyes depicted him as being of European or America decent. He saw me enter the bar and drew himself up to his full elegant height.

“You looking for fun?” he asked seductively and took the straw back in his mouth sucking suggestively.

My mouth went dry as he tossed his long chestnut hair and smiled at me. ”You buy me drink and I be very nice to you Johnny.”

I propped myself on to the stool next to him and nodded at the bartender. With a well shaped flick of his eyebrow he attracted the barkeep who deposited a bottle of beer and a vodka shoot before him.

“And I’ll have a beer,” I said.

The Katoey threw back the shot and took a slug of his beer. He batted his big blue eyes at me then looked at his empty glass. I nodded the barkeeper to refill his shot and he grinned at me. More than once I had to remind myself that the beautiful woman sitting rubbing her ankle against my leg was in fact a man. On closer inspection the tell tale signs were there. The Adam’s apple, the absence of breasts the slightly deeper voice but apart from that he was a very feasible female.

I asked him how he became a Ladyboy and he gave a slow sloping smile. “I didn’t know I was a boy until I was 16,” he explained. “My parents were killed when I was a baby and no one claimed me from the orphanage. I was adopted when I was two by a Tai couple, they saw something in me and they brought me up as a girl. As soon as I was 14 they sold me to this bar, I’ve been here ever since.”

Sold! The way he spoke made it sound common place. What sort of people took in a child just so they could sell it as a sex slave when it was barely old enough?

He fluttered his lashes at the bartender once more and he refilled his vodka.

He looked over his shoulder at another Katoey that entered the bar and glared at him. As he turned his face I could see that he had covered a bruise with makeup. I asked him how he had hurt himself. He lifted his hand to his face then laughed.

“Stupid fat American thought I was a girl. When he saw my cock he got angry and slapped me around a bit.”

The casual way in which he talked about the attack on his person was shocking, but then again so was the way he talked in general.

“Bar owner wants me to get breasts,” he confided. “But I don’t want to. You think I need breasts?”

He thrust out his chest at me and then slumped back giggling, and pointed to his empty glass once more. I nodded for it to be refilled.

I paid my tab and gave the Katoey my card. I asked if I could come back and see him again and he agreed that he would be there the following night.

I spent the next day searching records, trying to trace the Katoey’s identity. It seemed amazing to me that a small child could be forgotten by his family in a foreign country and practically given away. I combed through the records of the orphanages that I could trace, looking for something, anything that mentioned a western boy.

The bar was busy when I arrived later that night and my Ladyboy was no where to be seen. The disappointment I felt was overwhelming and I took my beer into the corner and sat down. A little over an hour later he came out of the back room with a German tourist. The man’s hands were all over him and I felt strangely jealous. The tourist left and my Ladyboy hoisted himself onto his customary stool next to the bar, flashing a shapely ankle and leg as he did.

A woman slipped into the seat next to me and rubbed her hand over my leg. Before I could react she was hauled backwards by her hair and dragged screaming from the bar by my Katoey. It seemed that a cat fight was about to ensue but it was broken up by the bar owner and the interloper was dispatched. The Ladyboy sauntered back to where I was sitting and smoothed down his hair and dress.

“Little whore thought he could steal my friend. You are my friend?” he asked pursing his lips and gazing at me through half closed eyes.

I agreed that I was still his friend and he grinned happily. He looked up at me through his thick dark lashes. “You buy Jaycee a drink now and we can talk more.”

Five shots later and the world is beginning to sway. Jaycee throws back another shot and giggles.

Does he like his life I ask?

“It’s a life,” he says seriously. “I have a room and a bed. I have food to eat and I don’t have to walk the streets looking for men.” He nods for another shot and he swigs it down following it immediately with a slug of his beer.

I am impressed. This slender creature is drinking me under the table and doing it spectacularly. I ask him how he can drink so much. He laughs, his eyes sparkling with mischief.

“I tell you little secret,” he mutters in my ear. “First you take shot, and then you take empty beer bottle and spit vodka into it. Man is happy you drink with him and bar owner is happy because he gets dollars.”

He pouted seductively at me and brought his vodka stained lips close to mine. “But you have to keep buying me drinks. If you don’t I have to go and talk to one that will.”

I bought him another shot.

Later on he leaned towards me. “Why do you want to know so much about me? We talk, you buy vodka but you don’t take me to bed.”

My heart skipped a beat. Of course I had considered what it would be like to have this beautiful creature naked in my arms or my cock slipping in and out of those ruby red lips.

He looked at me though half masked eyes. “You don’t think Jaycee is pretty? You not want to fuck with me?”

My cock began to scream yes, yes, yes from the confines of my pants and it was all I could do not to jump him there and then. The bar owner came stopping over and grabbed Jaycee by his hair and dragged him off his stool and into the back room. I tried to follow but my way was barred by a very large doorman. I sat back on my stool and waited for Jaycee to come back. I waited an hour. Reluctantly I paid my bar bill and left and decided to call back the next night.

I go there the next night and then the night after that but Jaycee isn’t there. The next time I see him is two weeks later. He looks tired. Dark rings circle his eyes and he is sad. When he sees me he gives me a false smile and indicates to the barman that he has been bought a drink.

I ask him what is wrong and what had happened that last night in the bar.

“The bar owner is angry with me because I haven’t been getting so many men in the back room lately. I get them to drink but no fuck. He is going to sell me to a club on the other side of town. It’s not so nice place. They make me walk streets and bring men to club. They don’t use rubber,” he says sadly.

For the fist time since I met him I realise that Jaycee swallows the vodka I have bought him. He tells me that the club owner is coming tonight to take a look at him and if a price is decided he will have to go.

His eyes are brimming with tears and I wish I could help him. Every man that walks through the door makes him look up with fear and trepidation. He hasn’t asked me to buy him more drinks but I do anyway. He’s getting drunker and the bar owner is furious with him. He needs Jaycee to be beautiful, dazzling, not a drunken lush slumped over a bar. He starts to get violent, slapping Jaycee. I can’t watch anymore and I grab his hand in mid strike.

“$5000,” I shout.

The bar owner cocks his head to one side. “$5000?” he repeats.

I sign my traveller’s cheques and go to hand them over.”$5000 for him,” I say snatching the cheques back.

The owner grunts his agreement and I pull Jaycee out of the bar. He leans heavily against me and giggles. He has no idea of what I have just done. As I walk him into my hotel the desk clerk gives me a knowing look and asks if I want drinks. I refuse his offer and manoeuvre Jaycee into the elevator.

When we reached my room Jaycee seemed to regain some of his senses and slid up against me sultrily. He lifted his lips to mine and I had to taste them. He lifted his hair and turned his back to me so that I could undo the zipper of his dress.

He turned and looked at me, licking his lips before slowly letting the silk slide from his shoulders and pool around his ankles.

I took a breath unable to tear my eyes away from the vision of loveliness standing naked before me. Jaycee was defiantly male, the thick cock that nestled in a small patch of dark pubic hair vouched for that. He pressed against my body and tries to taste the back of my throat with his tongue. I groan and kiss him back, lifting him into my arms and carrying him to the bed. I laid him down and then covered him over. Jaycee looked up at me in a drunken confusion.

“Get some sleep,” I said kindly and I left him in the room to sleep it off. I went down to the hotel bar and had a few more drinks. When I got back to my room Jaycee was asleep. I took the spare blanket from the closet shelf and bedded down on the couch.

The next morning I awoke to see Jaycee sitting on the bed his back pressed up against the head board and his knees clutched tightly to his chest. He looked as if he had been crying.

I asked him what was wrong. He looked at me through liquid blue eyes and asked. “What will I do?”

His mouth started to tremble. “I have no home now. I will have to walk streets like common prostitute. Sucking man for dollars.” He began to cry and I held him against me, my fingers stroking through his thick brown hair. I held him until he found the strength to control his sobs and then I lifted his beautiful tear stained face to mine.

“You are coming with me,” I informed him. Then I explained to him that I had pulled a few strings and managed to find his birth certificate and got him travel documents that would allow him to go back to the states with me. I then explained that I needed him to get dressed because our plane left in an hour.

He started to cry again.

Now as I write this we are on the plane and we have just taken off. Jaycee is sitting beside me, his bottom lip caught between his teeth and his fingers gripping the armrests so tightly that his knuckles have turned white.

He doesn’t look like the exotic Katoey I met three weeks ago. He is dressed for the first time in his life as a man should be. My jeans and tee shirt hang off his thin frame like a sack tied around a pole. He has scrapped back his hair in a ponytail and his lovely face is bare, his makeup like every thing else he ever owned was still in the squalid back room of that high street bar, all that he has left is the red silk dress and high heeled sandals that he had been wearing when I took him away from there.

As Bangkok and Thailand falls away and disappears behind us I don’t know what the future will hold for him or for me. Maybe we can have a future together who knows but anyway I’m bringing him home.

Editorial by J Timberlake, New York Times.

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