With the #Metoo movement in full swing (and to be fair, even before that), boy’s clubs around the world—even the ones that exist in the name of charity—have been named and shamed. In the current climate, even if nothing illegal goes on, opening an establishment that only caters to one gender is not a good look.
Historically, men have been the primary offenders. However, a recent police raid upon a Shanghai “girls club” shows both genders are susceptible to the temptations of wealth. In this case, Perfect Space, a publicly registered establishment of “karaoke and dining,” was outed as an extravagant all-female clientele club, which hired dozens of male escorts.
As the South China Morning Post reports, the club’s topless (all-male) employees earned 92% more per month than the average Chinese middle income earner, and were showered with lavish gifts and tips. Despite this, according to the now-removed Perfect Space website, the work involved, “no illegal activity (such as prostitution).”
One Nanjing-based woman backed this up, telling the South China Morning Post, “People go to these clubs for an emotional need… Not something as blatant as sex.” Given the recent rise in rich womens’ sex clubs in Shanghai, this seems unlikely. After all: it’s a hell of a lot of money to pay a cute boy to—platonically—listen to you moan. It also makes you wonder why else the police got involved.
On that note, at least, we have some clarity. After one of Perfect Space’s employees shared a photo on WeChat (the Chinese equivalent of Whatsapp), someone else posted it on Twitter, where it quickly went viral. What was so juicy about this photo, you may ask (especially as the social media app censors anything explicitly sexual)?
As reported by The Epoch Times, “The photo showed a big pile of luxury gifts, along with a brand-new Audi car… gifts from a wealthy female client, in celebration of his 28th birthday.” According to the South China Morning Post, this also included, “A gold cup and 280,000 yuan (US$41,589) in cash.”
Curious citizens then soon found Perfect Space online, discovering that this so-called karaoke bar, located in the Jing’an district (one of Shanghai’s busiest neighbourhoods), was a club which exclusively employed “handsome” men.
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They also found recruitment ads which, according to The Epoch Times, revealed the daily revenue of each Perfect Space VIP room was around one million yuan ($148,000), while tips to male escorts can reach 10,000 yuan per client. This set off a chain reaction, culminating in the aforementioned male escort, “Being beaten by the husband of the female client who gifted the expensive presents.”
According to a now-deleted video post, the husband was not pleased when he found out that his wife had spent more than $50,000 on a male escort, and hired thugs to break the guy’s leg. Needless to say; these details are yet to be independently verified.
Perfect Space employees reportedly said it’s normal for male escorts to receive luxury gifts, but refused to confirm whether the video was real, saying only that some of the male escorts had been detained by police. The next day the club closed, pending investigation.
As for the final plot twist, according to The Epoch Times, “On Jan. 27, a Weibo account belonging to the user ‘Bai Xiaosheng’ posted a video showing a roomful of men gathered inside the club on June 21, 2018… (alleging) that the club’s parent company, Noah’s Ark Group, actually runs several brothels across China, including the cities of Chongqing, Shenzhen, and Fuzhou.”
So if you’re a woman travelling to Shanghai, you may be too late to visit the Perfect Space. However, as Lauren James points out, there are plenty of alternatives…
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