A glance at today’s newspaper reveals that the Korean Institute of Criminology recently published a rather embarrassing report, indicating that Korean men are by percentage the most prolific whore mongers in at least four South East Asian countries. Adding insult to injury, the report goes on to state that Korean men are the “primary” customers of under-aged prostitutes in at least three South East Asian countries. Unfortunately this particular distinction doesn’t (yet) come with any type of award. Perhaps the Ministry of Gender Equality is working on it? To anyone who has lived in Korea for any period of time, this report will perhaps not be so surprising, considering the shear magnitude of Korea’s sex trade.
Seldom does one single country manage to be a significant source country for both overseas prostitutes AND sex tourists. In fact, I’m willing to wager that Korea is the only advanced country that holds this dubious distinction. Korea is a significant source country for prostitutes working in the USA, Canada, UK, Australia, Japan and New Zealand, while at the same time, according to the above mentioned research, being the largest single source country of Asian sex tourists in South East Asia. Think about that for a moment and let it sink in. Look at what a colossal country China is, and how many Chinese have recently gained the financial power to travel. How do Korean sex tourists outnumber Chinese sex tourists? Look at how rich Japan is, and how well traveled the Japanese are, combined with their proclivities towards all sorts of twisted sex. How are the Koreans outnumbering the Japanese when it comes to sex tourism in S.E. Asia? Is that even possible? Is that even economically logical? Under what circumstances does one single country become a source of export for both the supply and demand sides of the sex industry equation?
Then consider for a moment that Korea also holds the distinction of being the largest destination country for mail-order brides in Asia. Wait, what? They’re bonking Korean whores, importing foreign whores, AND traveling abroad to screw under-aged third-world whores? So Korea is a major source country of overseas prostitutes, the primary source country of Asian sex tourists, while at the same time being the largest destination country for Asian mail order brides? What the fuck? And all while maintaining perhaps Asia’s most highly organized, low priced, highly visible flesh trade on it’s own home turf? Sweet suffering Christ, how much Viagra are they selling
annually daily in Korea?
So Korea, what the fuck is going on exactly? Let’s consider a few things:
The relative price of a prostitute’s services in Korea is much lower than it is in most developed countries. I’ll venture to guess that the low cost of prostitution in Korea is related to an oversupply of women and girls willing to engage in prostitution, as one would expect in a typical supply/demand situation. If the number of prostitutes declines, the prices increase. If the number of prostitutes increases, the prices decrease. The demand is always there, and is always steady. The demand is only a relative function of the supply when it comes to prostitution. Demand might seem low at some points, but in reality, the supply has simply increased a great deal while demand has remained steady. In other words, if girls are suddenly getting fewer customers, it’s not because ajeossis are suddenly no longer horny; it’s because more girls have entered the market, and ajeossis are exercising their power as consumers to pick and choose.
A great deal of the girls working in Korea’s prostitution industry aren’t the people you’d expect to see working in the prostitution industry. They are students, models, entertainers, and girls you’d otherwise not expect to be selling their bodies for $100-$200. They are girls whom if they worked in Western countries (and many, many, many of them do) could command $700-$1000 for the same services they are selling for $100-$200 in Korea. In other words, the price to quality ratio for whore mongers in Korea is pretty good. So, why do Koreans outnumber all other Asian sex tourists? They’ve got a good deal at home, they can bang a wannabe pop starlet for $150.
Well friends, that question requires some further deep thinking. It’s logical for Korean prostitutes to seek work overseas, because they can earn significantly more money, for less work. It’s also fiscally logical for say American or British men to travel to other countries to engage in paid sex, as the cost/quality ratio for these types of services in their home lands are disadvantageous. That is to say, there aren’t any cute little 20 year old wannabe TV starlets prostituting themselves for $100 back in the UK or New York. In fact, $100 will probably just get your dick nibbled on by a toothless crackhead in New York or London.
I’m going to venture a few wild guesses here. (1) Perhaps Korean men are tired of bonking Korean prostitutes. It’s so natural, and so normal, and so absolutely routine for them, that they actually crave something different. Going whoring with friends and co-workers is so shockingly normal in Korea that it’s actually a non-event. Having some K-pop flunky suck you off in front of your friends at a room salon is the status quo. It’s a normal Friday night. (2) Perhaps Korean men go to other countries to have sex with children, because children in Korea are too busy studying to be involved in the sex industry. (3) Perhaps Korean men travel to S.E. Asian countries for actual real vacations and golf trips, and prostitution is just expected to occur as it would back home. Perhaps prostitution is as natural as breathing air for them, and the thought of a week without prostitution is simply unthinkable.
Or perhaps the surveys are flawed. Maybe they went to Cambodia, and surveyed 200 prostitutes, asking “Which country’s men visit you the most often?” and when most of the girls replied “Korea”, they thought “Well, this can’t be right, let’s go over to Vietnam and ask the same question.” And then when the Vietnamese girls mostly answered “Korea”, the researchers thought “Well, we have a little problem here. We can’t possibly publish these results……this can’t possibly be right, there must be some mistake here”. And so they went to Thailand, asked the same question, and got the same answer, and are still standing around scratching their heads thinking “Hey, wait a minute, this can’t be right, these hundreds of prostitutes from four different countries all must be making a mistake or conspiring against Korea…” or something.
Or maybe it’s something in the water, something that causes a type of medical condition whereby men who drink Korean water suddenly need to blow their load every six hours with a different woman. And why are so many women engaged in prostitution when the wages are relatively low? (Well, the minimum wage in Korea is still less than $5 an hour) Let’s imagine that the average girl can work around 24 days a month. She charges $120 for straight sex. She sleeps with one client per day. She’s making about as much as an English teacher, or entry level company worker, or maybe slightly more. If you took a random survey of university aged women, asking them if they would fuck 24 strangers a month for $2880, I’m willing to bet that almost none of them would answer “yes”. And the sad truth is that they aren’t working for that $2880 a month, because it’s not enough. It’s not enough for the hair salon, the nail shop, the clothes, the shoes, the handbags and rent. It’s not even close. So they fuck three, four, five guys a night. What does that do to their psyche? Maybe they blow the money on silly, status trinket crap and in the end, after thousands of guys, they have nothing to show for it, except maybe a few cigarette burns, an STD and a virulent, life-long hatred of men. Or maybe they enjoy it? Maybe they put their money into a hedge fund.
The Korean sex industry puzzles in terms of both Korean sex tourism abroad, and the domestic sex industry as it currently exists in Korea. Korea’s sex industry is so well run, that it actually makes the Korean government look embarrassing by comparison. Korea’s sex trade is logistically so well organized that it actually puts major global companies to shame. I mean, imagine all of the trouble you have to go through to have a prostitute delivered to your house in a western country. Unless your name is Charlie Sheen, you’re going to have to jump through all sorts of hoops, and screening, and headaches, and worries that it might be a police sting, and that you are going to be a registered sex offender even though you haven’t actually had sex. In Korea it’s as simple as picking up a flyer from the ground and dialing the phone number. A girl will be dropped off at your apartment 15-30 minutes later, at almost any time of day. In fact, in the 3 block walk between my house and the major subway station I take to work, I’ll probably see at least 6 different flyers advertising such services.
If the people who ran the Korean sex industry ran the Korean government instead, the entire country would be whipped into a well oiled cash-earning machine. Have Korean politicians created new jobs for women? No? The sex industry has. Have Korean politicians addressed the growing income disparity and come up with a realistic means of wealth redistribution? No? The people who run the sex industry have; wealth is passed down from upper class males to lower class females on a massive scale, every single night in Korea’s countless brothels. Does the Korean government provide free transportation for all of its workers? No? The fine folks who run Korea’s sex industry do. They have big black vans that pick the girls up, drop them off at work, and then take them home after work. They even wait around until the girl gets inside her apartment to make sure she is safe. Does the government do that? Does Samsung? Has the Korean government come up with a viable plan to support single mothers? No? The folks who run the sex industry have. Does the national pension plan stand up to economic turmoil? No? The sex industry does. Decentralization? Check. Deregulation? Check. Internationalization? Check. Structural reform? Check. Vertical supply chain integration? Check.
The Koreans recently took an entire Ramada Hotel in Gangnam and turned it into a massive brothel. How many other countries on earth could achieve that? I mean, could you imagine a Ramada Hotel in New York, LA or Frankfurt being turned into a brothel? How do you take a major international hotel chain, and turn it into a brothel? How do you then forget to pay off the police, whom traditionally have taken a cut from the clubs/pimps/girls in exchange for not raiding them?
Remember all of those newspaper articles from last year, where tourism authorities were griping that busloads of Chinese tourists were unable to find accommodation in Seoul because there weren’t enough hotels? Remember all those unfortunate Chinese tourists who had to settle for hotels miles outside the city center, because most major hotels were fully booked? Dear Korea; I think I’ve found the problem. You’re using your tourist hotels as ajeossi brothels! Obviously re-renting one room to 7 or 8 different girls a night is going to be more profitable than renting the same room to a single tourist. Brilliant business idea, and very entrepreneurial, but you’ve also managed to become the only country in the world whose prostitution industry is actually hindering tourism! The Korean sex industry boggles the mind with both its scale and its efficiency. When it comes to the sex industry, the Koreans blow everyone else out of the water.