The History of Sex: Istanbul -- A Cunning Stunt -- (Chap. II, Pt. 21)

If anyone here is more uncomfortable than me, though, it's my gay companion.

He's literally keeping his head down, sucking on his beer and snuffling through the cocktail snacks, clearly unimpressed by the crudest of hetero meat markets.

First, there's the music.

Whoever picked the soundtrack must be an arch ironist, mixing in tracks like "I'm Lookin' For a New Love" and "Somebody's Watchin' Me."

'Low-class music,' Mehmet mutters.

Then there's the men, a smattering of males sporting spectacles, bald heads, stooped shoulders, man boobs and body hair galore.

A couple of shy guys are shuffling on the dancefloor, pretending to enjoy the music while working up the courage to hit on the prostitutes.

One of them is pumping his fist like a one-handed drummer. I'm tempted to sidle up and ask what he'd charge for the night.


The girl I keep staring at is dancing up front, a blonde with crisp curls and a tight dress slashed across her thighs. She must be in her mid-twenties, with man-killing curves and breasts perfectly proportioned to her backside—even Mehmet reckons she's the sexiest.

She's been flirting at me all night—of course, we all probably think that—so I think of a cunning stunt.

'Do you think it would be possible for me to pay one of the girls, then take her up to a room and tell her I just want to talk?'

Mehmet stops nibbling long enough to keep me from getting killed.

'No. That might cause big problems. She might not like it and tell the management. And if they find out you want to write something about it, they wouldn't like it. Everything in here is illegal. Everything.'

But at the very least I should find out the going rate. Not being a veteran whoremonger, I'm surprisingly nervous about approaching the women.

The two guys on the dancefloor have overcome their shyness by snapping into haggling mode, bargaining for booty.

Maybe the girlie images on the wall work like the brothel in PompeiiHow much to truss you up like a plucked chicken?

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