- 1 Sex Scene and Prostitution
- 2 Red Light Districts
- 3 Prostitutes and Sex Workers
- 4 Street Hookers
- 5 Strip Clubs & Lap Dance
- 6 Brothels
- 7 Erotic Massage Parlors
- 8 Transsexuals / Shemales
- 9 Gay and Lesbian
- 10 Sexual Services for Women
- 11 Sex Shops & Adult Stores
- 12 Escort Services & Agencies
- 13 Sleeping
- 14 Stay Safe
- 15 See Also
Sex Scene and Prostitution
In India, prostitution (the exchange of sexual services for money) is legal under certain conditions, and a number of related activities, including soliciting in a public place, kerb crawling, owning or managing a brothel, pimping and pandering, are crimes.
Red Light Districts
Prostitutes and Sex Workers
In 2007, the Ministry of Women Development reported the presence of over 3 million female sex workers in India. Besides locals, foreign girls from Arabic countries, Japan, Russia, Bangladesh, Pakistan and some other areas have been working in India as prostitutes.
A short time full service given by a basic (cheap) "not-too-good-looking" street walker can cost in some places only from 100 INR to 200 INR. For a foreign customer the negotiating situation to make the price as low as possible might be more challenging than for local men. Often street hookers might first ask even 1500 INRs from a foreign customer, but that's definitely too much unless she is a real stunner (which is very uncommon).
Strip Clubs & Lap Dance
Brothels in India are illegal, but in practice are restricted to certain areas of any given town. Though the profession does not have official sanction, little effort is made to eradicate or impede it. Prostitution exists very wide under specific houses, flats or private places.
Erotic Massage Parlors
You can find sometimes erotic massage parlors, but many of the sex workers are working in the numerous beauty parlours and lodges. Unfortunately poor girls, widows and divorcees, often fall prey to the elements since they do not have skills and are also devoid of any support from the family members.
Transsexuals / Shemales
In the culture of South Asia, hijras / eunuchs are men who have feminine gender identity, adopt feminine gender roles, and wear women's clothing. The Hijra sanaths (Hindi: हिजड़ा, Urdu: ہِجڑا, Bengali: হিজড়া, Kannada: ಹಿಜಡಾ, Telugu: హిజ్ర Punjabi ਹਿਜੜਾ) are also known as chhakka in Kannada and Bambaiya Hindi, khusra (ਖੁਸਰਾ) in Punjabi and kojja in Telugu. Hijras/Eunuchs have a long recorded history in the Indian subcontinent, from antiquity, as suggested by the Kama Sutra period, onwards.
In South Asia, many hijras live in well-defined, organized, all-hijra communities, led by a guru. These communities have sustained themselves over generations by "adopting" young boys who are rejected by, or flee their family of origin. Many of them work as sex workers for survival. They are a common sight and can be seen begging at busy junctions and in commercial areas.
Gay and Lesbian
Homosexuality is illegal in India, with a theoretical maximum penalty of 10 years in jail. However, the law is not actively enfored, and actual prosecutions are rare. There is a vibrant gay nightlife existing in metropolitan areas and some (but very few) openly gay celebrities. On the other hand, the law has been used as a tool by policemen to harrass gays cruising on the streets. You will often see Indian men walking hand-in-hand in the streets. This is a sign of friendship, not homosexuality.
Male prostitution for men is all but invisible and not much is known about the status of male sex workers. Due to the social stigma attached to homosexuality in India and the lack of legal protection, they tend to face higher risks than females.
Sexual Services for Women
Male prostitution for women is increasingly visible in India. Gigolo service in India is growing. But there are cases of harassment of client women by gigolos. In India there are many "agencies" offering "handsome masseurs" in the classifieds of the newspapers (i.e. Hindustan Times). They offer in and out services, although the facilities are usually very basic. Most western clients are visited at their hotels. Local middle-class Indians are now using these services. Fees are discussed over the phone, typically INR 1,000 to 3,000. Safe sex and condom use is generally well understood.
Sex Shops & Adult Stores
Escort Services & Agencies
According to an investigation conducted by the Times of India, the rate to order a prostitute online is $295 (18,000 Indian Rupees) for a two hour sessions. The price increases to $573 (35,000 Rupees) for 4 hours, and a price of $737 (45,000 Rupees) for the entire night.
Police in India attempt to shut down online prostitution networks, but claim that for each website that is shut down, two takes its place.
Hotels which cater to prostitution activities are plenty in India and they do not have any clients for normal stay. Routing hotels will generally be strict for guests joining particularly if the women can be judged easily from the attire. High-profile women might be able to come to the room easily. Be choosy with the working girl if you intend to do so.
As a rule India is quite safe for foreigners, apart from instances of petty crime and theft common to any developing country, as long as certain basic precautions are observed (i.e. women travellers avoiding travelling alone at night).
Some autodrivers are scamming foreigners who are searching for working girls. The drivers might be telling you that they will take you to a prostitute's apartment and ask comission for that. After you have paid the comission, the driver probably ask you to wait somewhere for the girl and meantime he will go and "buy condoms to the client" or something like that. Never pay anything before you can be sure that you are getting some value for your money. Otherwise you will never see your driver or money again. It's probably not a big loss in your budget but feeling to get cheated is not nice and you will spend your time for nothing. Of course not all drivers are like this. Use common sense.
Unfortunately theft is quite common in places visited by tourists, but violent thefts hardly ever occur. More likely a thief will pick your pocket or break into your room.
Some people handling your cash will try to shortchange you or rip you off. This does not exclude official ticket sellers at tourist sites, employees at prepaid taxi stands, or merchants in all but the most upscale businesses. Count your cash before handing it over, and be insistent on receiving the correct change.
It is advisable or better to agree on the fare beforing getting inside an auto or a taxi. This avoids any further unpleasant fare-related arguments. If you can take a local help of knowing how much it might cause to travel in between two destinations, by a local, friend or hotel front desk, you will be a smart traveller.
Beware of HIV/AIDS and always use a condom.
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