How Much Are China’s Male Prostitutes ‘Selling Smiles’ For?

There’s no material difference between what male sex workers like Jo-Vanni Roman in the United States do, versus their counterparts in China. But there, in cities like Shanghai, the vast network of “money boys” is operated by fly-by-night websites and mobile phone numbers, where out-call “massages” are offered for about USD$73 for a “quickie” or $88 for the whole night. It’s a business of “selling smiles,” as it’s known, and involves workers moving from one crowded house to another, to keep clientele from viewing the offerings as stale. At least one pimp claims to take only about $15 per service rendered, a decent fee compared to America’s small businessmen. In a good month, prostitution will earn a worker around $300 — about twice the national average for all Chinese workers.

The story reporter Xing Zhao tells isn’t exactly new, as the below Current segment shows. But Zhao does reveal what’s being done to assist male sex workers, such as assisting them with STD treatment.

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  • Revemupman

    Only 88 bucks?

    Thought they’d be worth a lil more.


    $73.00 for a “quickie” and $88.00 for the whole night? Aren’t most of the calculators made in China?? :-p

  • Lamar

    WOW men are exploited too, I could swear it was only women …

  • Revemupman

    Now lets check the womens rates and see who’s really oppressed shall we?

  • LivinginChina

    If you are using the source article for all your data, you’ve made an error about salaries. From the source article, it says on a good month they make ¥20,000, which is about $3,000. On the low side is ¥2,000, which is $300, and $300 is about the national average salary per month.

    So they CAN make up to $3,000/month which is 10x the national average! That’s more than I make, and I work here in Beijing… maybe I’ll have to take it up…

  • Steve in Shanghai

    Am also in China.

    $3,000 a month is def the top end of the scale. US equivalent would def be the type of high-class call girl who gets caught with a New York senator.

    Most of the out call boys operating as “massage therapists” are targeting the foreign tourist market and the $88 price tags are quite hi.

    At the clubs here you’ll see the money boys out and about and they’ll offer you rate much lower than $88. Its kinda sad.

    Not all chinese boy do this. But an experience that alot of my friend have had when they approach a chinese boy in a bar or club is that hey will try and charge the foreigner money, just cause they think we are made of money, to see if they can get anything. These tend to be the country boys from out of the city and may not actually be actively working as prostitutes.

  • Starlone

    There’s a Japanese photographer who lures boys from the countryside, who look like they haven’t eaten in days, and pays them a miniscule amount to photograph them. These young guys have no idea that their photos are then placed on his website: Asian Boy Models. I just hope someone reports him to the Chinese Government. A bullet in the back of the neck costs less than a dollar these days.

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