(Part of "Love Secrets from the Lobby of the Tarntawan Place Hotel in Bangkok")
At a Party – Summer Evening
A gay party of a movie business friend of mine: I was sitting on a comfortable off-white sofa. On a low table in front of me, an array of twenty-five burning aromatic candles gave the room a Christmas smell. About thirty mostly young men were milling about glass-in-hand, showing off their own and their lovers' fit bodies, talking about the beaches they just came from or were about to go to, or discussing the price of the museum quality art around us. I connected chat to faces, faces to bodies, bodies to lovers, enjoying the proud unease with which a great-looking guy next to me showed off his new lover whose athletic torso filled his Spandex™ T-shirt and his silver polyester cargos as tightly as a Calvin Klein shop display. The new friend had charmingly little to say: He had been invited for his ass.
The above-mentioned world-class ass blocked my view – I didn't mind. I'd rather cuddle up with it than talk about what talk had migrated to, which was how much fun who had where with whom. What their great fun boiled down to was bonking with equally attractive guys while their synchronized Palm Pilots blocked out future bonking dates.
Parties always bring out the worst in me. One guy, late thirties, Iron Man body, bronzed face punctured by the restless rat eyes of the successful gay executive who every Friday has to shop for salmon, champagne and a weekend sex mate, bragged about the mark-to-market value and P/E of Calcutta boys. I used to share a room in Calcutta with three or four local boys. At night, strange goings-on were going on, but I was twenty-one and the romantic, coded love letters Indian boys wrote me, the hours of holding hands in public, confused me. Their prudish reticence would vanish as soon as we were alone. Only years later did I understand that they had learnt in school loos, "Whites are always hot."
(Back to the party!)
One of the beauties started preaching the American Gay of Life vs. the age of bar boys in Pattaya (who at the age when Julia offered her presumptive virginity to Romeo, have to wait another long eight years to see their first commercial action). I tried to remember which English kings and American presidents married underage girls… I tried in vain to explain the strictness of Thai law, ID cards, that countrywide less than ten percent of bar customers were Farangs…
Finishing schools teach to keep conversation going by asking questions and prompting others to talk rather than talking yourself. Unhappily, the private school my father enrolled me in finished without me because in seventh grade, I had outgrown my teachers: My cock was as long as a (short) metric ruler and five to eight times per day deliciously wetted my underwear with cc's of mouthwatering cum. No teacher had the spunk to come out and challenge me to shoot the farthest in broad daylight. My youngest victim was eleven… when I was twelve! He was my Latin teacher's lover and I got kicked out of the 'gymnasium' – not because I'd fucked the hottest ass in school – but because my marks in Latin suddenly, mysteriously collapsed… Thou shalt not covet thy teacher's beloved's ass!
(Back to the party!)
I thought I was smart. Within no time I was holding forth about not wasting time with complicated locally grown boyfs since, "for 5 dollars you can buy a [the age of consent in Japan] year old guy in [a Southeast-Asian border town where market economy knows no other law than the dollar]. Had I been there? Had I bought a boy? Had I fucked him?
I went out onto the balcony.
A seriously rich but shy friend followed me. "Could you get me such a boy?"
Just across the river - Two weeks later
To reach the border town was mere tourism. In the gay bars, boys and pimps fell over each other to have a go at my money. What I didn't see was the boy you wouldn't have found in a seedy bar at home. The hosts looked young, but not attractively young, more like old hands who had started early. Ah was high on glue, Bee was about to keel over from a cocktail of synthetic drugs, Sih begged me to buy him amphetamines rather than a drink, and Dee had the whitish face and empty grin of the mother of all sexually abused kids. The whole place was as fresh as a factory outlet on a hot Saturday afternoon.
I relay bribed myself through to the Madam among Madams in town. S/he promised me a boy jewel…
In the upstairs VIP room of a gay host bar - Next day
Just to meet the boy jewel cost me twenty dollars: He was a short Chinese teenager with porcelain white skin. His body had the baby plumpness of a netsuke rabbit, his face wasn't fazed by expression. He was dressed in a gossamer silk shirt and wide dark blue silk trousers. He spoke no English. His name was Chin. In the Japanese style VIP room of the bar, he kneeled and poured me imported beer with the modest self-assured professionalism of a geisha.
His price tag was fifty dollars per night plus a generous tip to the Madam and another very generous one to the boy jewel. In a town known for five-buck blowjobs, the boy jewel had the right to refuse whom he didn't like.
Hundred dollars later - In my room
Kneeling next to me on the bed, he massaged my limbs. I looked at him: Chin fit a beauty ideal I knew from Chinese, Japanese and Thai paintings and prints, but I don't like white skin, I don't like slightly chubby boys, I don't like hairless bodies: Chin wasn't my type, too young and not hung enough. All I liked of him was his immaculate porcelain boy ass.
On the other hand, he was good at what he was doing: He made me forget that we weren't lovers. He wasn't just satisfying me sexually, he orchestrated a range of sensual and sexual stimulations guiding me to serene happiness. In the middle of the night, I woke up, and felt him breathing close to me. His jasmine body exuded a cool calm. I put my arm around him and again fell asleep. Just to sleep near him was worth two hundred dollars.
In the VIP room of a gay host bar - Next morning
Madam showed me Chin's sale price on her calculator: 2000.
I forked out my friend's money. Chin wasn't the kind of boy I had promised my seriously rich friend, but Chin was such a rare, exquisite marvel, enriching every minute he was me with the cool comfort of his smiling attention, that my friend couldn't disapprove.
Bangkok, suite 999 of the Tarntawan Place Hotel - Monday morning
In Bangkok, Chin's splendor made my lucky 999 suite in the Tarntawan Place look shabby. In the hotel, and later at dinner in a Chinese restaurant, Chin behaved with a relaxed cool, which I would pay more than two thousand dollars to possess. He was too beautiful, too elegant, too refined for me.
Bangkok, Lobby of the Tarntawan Place Hotel - Monday morning
Because Chin didn't speak English, I asked a Bangkok friend for help…
"Khun Chin says he isn't a homemaker. He has been sold by his parents when he was nine years old. He asks you to excuse his forwardness, but he wants to remain a prostitute. Khun Chin doesn't know another life, and he doesn't want to become the exclusive lover of just one rich man."
"I paid two thousand dollars for him!"
"Khun Chin is worth every cent, but he'll never make a good lover for a guy like your friend. He belongs into the VIP room of the best gay club in Bangkok. Let's introduce him to Khun [the elegant owner of the two most elegant gay clubs in Bangkok] of [the more elegant of the two] Club."
At night, it pained me that I had no better answer to Chin's beauty than to make love to him.
A club - Monday evening
We went to the Club, an Amanpuri style spa where splendid young men help successful men to relax, the kind of male brothel Joseph would have worked in. The owner, a motherly upper-class Thai-Chinese, welcomed Chin and talked with him in a polite, comforting way in Chinese.
"Khun Chin asks you to let him work here, with your kind permission, kha. Khun Chin will repay you whatever you paid for him, kha."
I explained that more than my friend's money back, I needed a lover for him. Khun Owner smiled, "I'll take care of that, kha." He signaled a young waiter, whose face lit up in a mischievous grin when told whom to summon.
(A few minutes later)
In came a young man who in fact looked right for the job. Tall, male, muscled, with bright eyes and an open smile, white teeth, long hair tied in the protai style. His hand-woven tribal silk pakhama showed off his takraw champion's body. Everything about him said 'real man'. His name was Eak; if you know basic Thai, his English was easy to guess. Khun Owner asked him in Thai. Eak nodded.
"The boy says, if your friend would consider him, kha… I took Eak in because of his looks, kha, but his heart isn't in the business, kha. He is a gay king, a real man, a honest, hardworking guy, kha."
"How much do I owe you?"
"You owe me that you care for the boy as if he would be your own son, kha. Also, Khun Chin asks you to come and see him whenever you'll visit Bangkok, kha."
The good news is, Khun Owner was right: For my seriously rich friend, Eak was what the doctored ordered; a no-nonsense boyfriend who smiles in the morning, keeps the flat in perfect order, and is hard at night.
The bad news was a blow out of the blue: A few days back in my home, I began to miss Chin. How could I miss him? He wasn't my type visually, sexually, we couldn't talk, but I missed him. I missed his cool, his calm, his generosity, his porcelain presence in my arms at night. The young men offering themselves to me weren't ersatz enough.
Bangkok international airport - Three months later
I flew to Bangkok to spend a week with Chin. He picked me up at the airport.
… Golf Resort & Spa - Weeks later
We went to a luxurious Thai beach resort. The bathroom was the size of a carport and open to a lotus pond where huge carps went after every little frog or toad daring to disturb the muted Thai music perfuming the night. There were more objets d'arts than in a Thai gift shop; a dimmer for the under-the-vanity lighting; a Jacuzzi covered with rose leaves smelled of every fragrance known to man…
I gave Chin a golden watch for his 20th birthday. We had great sex. Before I left, he gave me an envelope with the money my friend had spent for him and just one carefully drawn English word: "Thanks!"
Two years later
My seriously rich friend has bought a large farm in Northeast Thailand. Eak looks like he is modeling for Ralph Lauren Thailand. His family is prospering too.
Bangkok, suite 999 of the Tarntawan Place Hotel - Monday morning
Chin is doing well. When I visited Bangkok, he stayed with me. Though he didn't ask for it, I paid him his regular rate plus a generous tip. Soon he will be twenty-one; from a boy jewel, he has grown into a head turning romantic matinee idol. His English is immaculate…
I: "I love you!"
Chin: "Thank you, you are very generous."
He doesn't love me, but every second we are together, he considers only my happiness, my feelings… Am I becoming befuddled?
Every second we're not together, I miss Chin. I love Chin. I adore him and love him.