Pink Houses: The World’s Oldest Profession

The topic of tonight’s blog came to me one the way home from dinner.  At around 7 pm, there are some small streets in town that have a host of  small shops open with pink lights on. The signs usually say hair salons or nail shops and you will probably see a barber chair and a mirror. However when you glance again you can see the scantily, clad girls standing in the doorway trying to grab the attention of men walking by.   If you look closer you can see men sprawled out on sofa beds watching tv, or multiple women primping in the mirrors.  Yes they are brothels or Pink Houses as they call them in China due to the fact that there is usually a light covered with a red scarf to draw attention.   There is not only one or two of them… there are usually 20 or 30 of them all lined up along both sides of the road.

These are not very clean nor are they expensive looking places.  The girls, by the look of them range from the ages of 16 and older.. this I guess…Yes, it is really hard to believe but in China prostitution runs rapid and is pretty open. 

English: A karaoke place in Wuhan, in Luoyu E....
English: A karaoke place in Wuhan, in Luoyu E. St. (Across the street from the HUST campus) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Prostitutes themselves come from a broad range of social backgrounds. They are almost all female, though I have seen more and more male prostitutes around. A large number of Russian women  have been known to work as prostitutes in China. Venues they work in  typically include some expensive hotels, KTVs and beauty salons.  They tend to do very well due to their blonde hair, and sexy bodies.  I met one of these girls before and she said she was the elevator girl at a hotel.  I do not know if she thinks I am stupid or what but, who would fly all the way to China to work in an elevator?

Officially, prostitution is illegal in China; however, it seems that the police pretty much turn a blind eye unless something major happens like a death or beating.  When I do my tours thru my town for the new teachers, I usually show them these places so they are not placed into embarrassing positions… I mean situations.   However, there are always a few of my male foreign teachers that just want to see what the girls are offering and are basically just curious about what they would say.

One of my former teachers decided to go into a pink house to find out the price ranges.  He went inside for a few minutes then came back out.   I asked him what the girls said to him… all he told me was.. “He would not pay 200 rmb for something he can do himself”.   I did not need any more details.    Another teacher, told me he got 30 rmb and a hand motion body language  to show him what was going to happen, he tried to ask the cost of including his girlfriend and the girls claimed they did not know how to do that kind of stuff.   So I guess there is a limit to what some of them will do.

There are some special KTV bars (Karaoke bar) that have girls brought out to you and you can choose the one or ones you want and depending on how much you pay them…if you pay enough…. you might get that happy ending you’re wanting.

I was a little surprised and disappointed to see prostitutes displayed so blatantly in the door ways.  I know this kind of think happens in every country but I had just hoped that China’s traditional reputation would be… Well… now that I think about it .. that is kind of traditional.  I remember old martial arts movies having brothels and prostitutes so I guess I should not be so surprised.

unfortunately, some people need this way of life to survive in China.  I even read an article about some old grandmas that do it to pay for their kids way thru school.

The increase in male prostitution or money boys has kind of fascinated me, but after living here for a while I can see why.  With the underground gay community here and the women being too old to find a husband after age 30, it would make it a necessity. Also, the fact that these boys need to make money and send it home to their mothers to take care of them.  Here is a short video I found about China’s male prostitutes.

Prostitution in China is big business, they traffic women in from other poorer countries and sell them not only on the streets but also to government officials, the most beautiful ones of course.  Most of these women come from vietnam, Thailand, Laos etc.

I have learned so many things since I have been living here in China.  One of them is that underneath it all China it isn’t much

A male escort charms a client with agreeable c...
A male escort charms a client with agreeable conversation. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

different from America.  Sometimes, even a little worse when it comes to drugs, abuse, murder, bribery and sex crimes.  So, those that have a little bit of a preconceived notion of China being a peaceful , spiritual country for the most part it is… but when you dig deeper under the surface their dirty laundry may  smell a lot worse than ours.

until next time….


9 thoughts on “Pink Houses: The World’s Oldest Profession

  1. Soo Jin

    >________________________________ > From: Life Behind The Wall >To: >Sent: Sunday, August 19, 2012 8:46 AM >Subject: [New post] Pink Houses: The World’s Oldest Profession > > > >lifebehindthewall posted: “The topic of tonight’s blog came to me one the way home from dinner.  At around 7 pm, there are some small streets in town that have a host of  small shops open with pink lights on. The signs usually say hair salons or nail shops and you will probably s” >

  2. Heartbroken in Changchun

    I find it very disappointing myself. I live in Changchun and you can turn your head in any direction and see these places. What’s sad is coming over from America with a boyfriend only to have his coworkers ( also teachers at an english school) discuss and pique his curiosity of such things by constantly talking about how much they go for massages and “stress relief.”. I’m stressed, too! Why are men so easily taken care of while women are objectified/used and girlfriends/wives have to suffer? My boyfriend messaged a full service massage girl with details of when he isn’t working because he said he was curious about the rates. Please. Its called Google if you wanna know. Please don’t think your teachers aren’t partaking in that. We get paid enough that 200rmb to be pleasured ain’t ish! Its about fantasy, power and ease. Anyway, I broke up with my boyfriend because I can’t be constantly worried about his access to such things and the attention lavished by gold diggers just because he is blonde, blue-eyed and speaks english. Anyway, thanks for bringing awareness to this. Love your blog.

  3. Vicki

    My daughter dubbed them as “the purple houses of passion”. Its funny though that most Uni students (girls) dont see it as degrading for the girls who work there.

  4. pearls

    Also, I know that this is changing the subject somewhat, but now that the Olympics are over…what do you have planned for your husband Michael to do or have you changed your mind? Hehehehe, I didn’t forget since America took home more Gold and more medals overall compared to China! I’ll be waiting!

    1. @pearls… well… he nows does laundry, washes my feet, has to cook me a traditional meal two days out of the week… and has to paint my toe nails…. once a week…. this is going to be a nice month…hehehehe…. oh.. and tell me … how great America is…. hehehehehehehehheheh

  5. pearls

    Truthfully…I’m really not surprised! Every and I do mean every civilization has had and to date have them in some way, shape or form.

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