February 03, 2009
Gym instructors, call centre workers and direct sales agents are among thousands of professional men moonlighting as sex workers in the city to supplement incomes they feel are too meagre to give them a decent life in Mumbai.
Unlike female sex workers, these men do not walk the streets but operate entirely through social networking websites, according a study funded by the Melinda and Bill Gates Foundation, dedicated to AIDS research, and executed by the Humsafar Trust, a non-profit focusing on gay and transgender sexual health.
“I cannot afford to live in the city if I don’t double up as a sex worker,” said Sujit, 28, who works as a gym instructor in Vakola and was part of the study, but did not want Hindustan Times to use his last name.
The six-year study, which will be completed in March, estimates that Mumbai has 6,000 male sex workers. This is a fairly significant number as it is almost a third of the 20,000 female sex workers that civic body’s Mumbai District AIDS Control Society estimate operate in the city. Continue reading