Male Sex Trafficking: Korean Gigolos at “Hobbars”

smoke rings
written by gkim

Last night, three of my female co-workers decided they needed to let out some pent-up stress…by going to dinner. After dinner, one of my co-workers approached me, and she asked if I wanted to go to a “hobbar,” which is basically a “room salon” or hostess bar where males work and women frequent, after we had dinner. Of course I jumped at the chance to get an inside peek at the inner workings of male sex trafficking so that I may expose some truths that need to be revealed, and find out how God may want me to help these men.

After dinner, one of my co-workers, Laura*, a native of Korea, called someone from the hobbar to pick us up. The driver, or chauffeur shall I say, arrived within ten minutes, did a smooth, experienced, dangerously fast spin with his Audi A8 from across the street, and came to a perfect halt right where we were standing. I have to admit, I was a bit fearful getting into that ride. For a split second, I thought to myself that he could have been a sex trafficker taking us to God knows where, and when we got there, we could have easily been abducted. But I was quickly reassured knowing that Laura had been to the hobbar we were going to more than a handful of times.

When we got to the front, we were standing in front of what appeared to be a glass enclosure just protruding upwards from the ground.

A good looking guy came out and greeted us in Korean. Laura explained to us that he was called the “madam” of the establishment. Basically, he controlled the gigolos and acted like their pimp. Then, he led us in, and we walked down a long, winding staircase for what seemed a pretty long time. I felt like I was walking down the stairway to hell.
hobbar 2

Finally, we came to an entryway. We must have been about five or six stories underground.
hobbar 4

When we got inside, we were quickly ushered into a room where a large banquet table was displayed in the center. It was surrounded with velvety seating that went all around the entire room. There were only four of us which meant, there would be eight of us once the gigolos entered. However, the room looked like it would fit about twenty to thirty people. There was a karoke machine attached to a TV screen on the wall. It had the typical feel of a noraebang (a Korean karoke room) or a larger room salon/room bang.
hobbar 3

Once we sat down, we had to choose the type of alcohol we wanted. A bottle of some no name liquor that cost about $25 at the market was marked as $950 on the menu. We picked that one because it was the cheapest. Next, the madam brought in a group of five guys. They all looked extremely preppy. One by one, they stated their names. They left as quickly as they came in. Then another group of five guys were led in. They were all in suits and ties. They also stated their names and left. Another group of casually dressed guys came in, and so on and so forth, until we had seen about thirty guys. Afterwards, the madam came back and asked us to choose which ones we wanted. I couldn’t even remember their faces because there were so many of them. So, I just asked the madam to choose one of the casually dressed guys for me.

After all of us girls each had a partner sitting beside us, the night began. My “partner” tried to feed me fruit and poured me a beer over ice in a water glass when I told him that I did not want to drink any alcohol. Since when did beer become water? He then proceeded to pour himself a tall glass of the whiskey we had ordered. When I glanced at him, his skin gleamed against the dim light. I asked him if he was wearing makeup to which he answered yes. He said that he was wearing BB cream on his skin. Every time I would talk, he would try to put his hand on my thigh which I had to politely shove away. Also, he wouldn’t let me lift a finger! I was being treated like royalty in a place that felt like a dark, underground dungeon. It was an odd feeling to be catered to that way. When I looked around, all of the other guys were doing the same thing to my co-workers.

After a few rounds of drinks, I noticed that he was a bit tipsy, so I decided to probe him a little and reach out to him.

“Why are you working here?” I asked.

“It’s great money,” he answered nonchalantly. “I get great tips, a great salary, and I don’t have to wake up early.”

“So, you must damage your liver with all of the drinking then.”

“Yes, that part is hard because sometimes I have to run back and forth to different rooms, tending to different customers.”

“So, how many times a day do you eat?”

“Once. I eat before I come to work.”

“So, you never see the sun?”

“No, I see the sun on the way home after I get off.”

“Do you enjoy your job?”

“Yes and no.”

“So, why do you do this?”

“As I said, the money is just so good.”

“What kind of people come here usually?”

“Mostly prostitutes and room salon girls after they get off their shifts…but we get a lot of rich, married women as well.”

“Why would the prostitutes come here after they got off?”

“They need to blow some steam and release their stress from work.”

I was dumbfounded to hear that most of the customers were female prostitutes who needed to unwind after their shifts at the room salons. But he also continued on to say that many married women came when their husbands were away on business trips.  I could not ask him any questions about whether he was trapped in debt bondage or if he was being abused in any way. I felt like I had asked him too many questions already as if I were interrogating him.

So instead, I brought up Christ. He said that he didn’t believe in God. He said the world was too messed up to believe there was a God who was all-powerful. So I told him I wanted to take him to church, and that maybe we could be friends. He said that he didn’t have time for church, but that he wanted to be friends. He said that he would like to sleep over my house. I felt God telling me to pray for him right then, so I did. I will be praying for these establishments to be destroyed forever.