Hook up with a hunk - for a pretty penny

Hook up with a hunk - for a pretty penny
Money line: Men take centrestage in this pub in Neil Road, waiting to be garlanded. The men, most of whom are on social visit passes, get to make a quick buck.

Some look like they have come out of a fashion magazine, charming the audience as they strut down the runway. The other hunks go topless or have only underwear on.

But this is not a fashion show. It is a scene out of a Neil Road pub where patrons, many of them women, can buy garlands for the men - who are mostly foreigners - they fancy. The garlands range from $100 to $1,000.

Such "ladies' clubs" have mushroomed here in the last few years but, recently, instead of bringing in men from neighbouring countries like Thailand, clubs have been looking to more "exotic" locales like South Korea and Brazil.

At this one in Neil Road, the men start work at 11pm and finish at 3am. They parade themselves thrice a night. Most of them were introduced to the pub by friends.

My Paper has been to the club on two occasions.

The clientele is a mix of men and women, whose ages range from the mid-20s to middle age.

One of the men, a 30-year-old South Korean who works as a theatre actor in Seoul, said: "I've been here for a month. I came here for the money. It pays better than my job back home."

A Taiwanese, 25, who started work in May, said: "My friend told me about this place. I am in the food and beverage business in Taiwan, so I'm also here to look out for business opportunities."

The men earn a base rate for their services and a commission based on how many garlands they receive. The base rate differs: The South Koreans get $1,200 and the Taiwanese, $1,500.

The Brazilians, on the other hand, prefer to be paid by the hour - $50 an hour. But this means they do not receive a commission for the garlands, whereas the South Koreans and Taiwanese receive 65 per cent of the value of a garland.

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