Paying for it

“My mind goes blank”: Inside Tokyo’s gay-for-pay, all-male brothel

A new documentary takes a close look at a male brothel (or “urisen”) in Toyko that specializes in male sex workers (also “urisen”) that usually identify as heterosexual, but nevertheless sell their bodies to their all-male clientele to make money.

The directorial debut of Itako, Boys for Sale had its North American premiere several weeks ago at Outfest in LA.

According to Gay Times, the director became acquainted with several male escorts between the ages of 19 and 30, who opened up about the ins-and-outs of their job in graphic detail.

The film presents their sexual exploits as illustrations. Several of the boys wear masks or request their faces to be blurred, while others have no problem letting their profession be known.

Related: Fun Facts About Male Prostitution Through The Ages

“I’m detached,” says one of the men, asked how he can have sex with other men when he identifies as straight. “My mind goes blank.”

Many of these sex workers were homeless or orphaned following natural disasters or personal ill fortune.

Others simply needed money and weren’t dating at the time.

The film also touches upon the spread of HIV in Japan, a disease that still isn’t acknowledged by the government.

On the film’s official website, Itako shares one incident that occurred during shooting of the film:

I followed my subject, a transgender woman, into a dark bar hidden away on the second floor of a building in 2-chome.  “For only having a few seats, there are an awful lot of bartenders here,” I thought, glancing at the 10 or so young guys behind the bar.  Opening what I thought was a drink menu, inside were photos of the young guys, together with fact sheets detailing their ages (18-24), hobbies, body measurements and sexuality (mostly straight).  Next to this was a list of sexual acts each was willing to do with men and a price list.

I needed to know more — how they could claim to be straight but engage in sex work with men — but the only way to speak with the boys was to purchase them and bring them upstairs to a sex room…

You can watch the trailer here:


h/t: Towleroad

Get Queerty Daily

Subscribe to Queerty for a daily dose of #entertainment#politics #gayagenda #random stories and more

8 Comments

  • Kangol

    Breaking news for the film’s director: it’s not just Japan. All over the globe, including in the United States, there are “straight” men who have sex with men. They do it without breaking a sweat, because they’re getting paid. People will do all kinds of things for money, especially if they need it badly. It’s hard for some to understand or wrap their minds around, but it’s the case almost everywhere.

  • He BGB

    If they’re straight does that mean they’re thinking how disgusting and what a turn off and I guess the person paying doesnt care that he thinks youre gross and he would rather be with a woman, but because he’s straight, your money has bought you a golden ticket?

  • da90027

    I’m sure it is the same with prostitutes that are gay and have sex with men that do not turn them on whatsoever. They just detach themselves. Some people can do it others can’t. Lots of people can do things for money that some can’t. Look at all the people that go to jail for the rest of their lives for murder just to get some money. It’s that simple.

  • EvonCook

    All this time I thought power was the greatest aphrodisiac, perhaps money is a close second! Gay for pay is so common, and why not, if both parties are satisfied –and remember, despite the reluctance and denials, we are ALL bi-sexual at the human core. The most interesting part of this article is that it seems Japan is still a country which is tolerent and permissive enough to let people enjoy themselves, (some might call it the “pursuit of happiness”), but then they have a very long and deep history of diverse sexuality, even if Western religions, monogamists, binaries and other self-righteous maniacs tried hard to destroy a healthier approach to sexuality. See: Wakashu for details.

    • Paco

      I’m not bisexual. So I guess that invalidates your “ALL” statement.

  • bigrawtop

    walked out on this film at Outfest. Presented exploitation as funny and entertaining.

  • ErikO

    These men are not straight/hetero they’re bisexual. I feel bad for them that they feel as though they have to resort to being a male prostitute but I feel bad for anyone women, men, or trans who is forced into being a hooker like this.

  • reesielover

    My next vacation? JAPAN!! All those gorgeous, smooth Asian bodies? OMG, I love Asian men almost as much as I love black men

Add your Comment

Please log in to add your comment
Need an account? Register *It's free and easy.