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Russian Conscript Gives Tour of St. Petersburg's Male Prostitution Row


Wednesday I posted about the claim by a Russian soldiers' rights group that alleges conscripts in the Russian army are being forced into male prostitution by their superiors, who then demand the money they earn from it. CNN takes a closer look at the story, following a 20-year-old conscript/deserter who points out the dismal shacks on the back streets of St. Petersburg where the alleged prostitution took place.

So Russian soldiers are forced into gay prostitution by force, while some American soldiers are driven there by need.


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  1. This practice needs to continue. It is a vital service and builds strong bonds between soldiers.

    Posted by: Jack! | Feb 16, 2007 1:48:06 PM

  2. Just booked my tixs to St Petersburg, thanks for the travel advice, Towleroad!

    Posted by: Gregoire | Feb 16, 2007 1:51:04 PM

  3. Making a porn video is not the same as prostitution.

    Posted by: Keith | Feb 16, 2007 1:53:44 PM

  4. I think porn can be considered a form of prostitution.

    Posted by: chuck | Feb 16, 2007 1:54:48 PM

  5. I'm gonna have to pull out my Csaba Borbely DVD's...

    Is it wrong that I find this ultra hot?

    Posted by: Ray | Feb 16, 2007 2:24:23 PM

  6. Really sad about the kid who had to have his legs and genitals amputated.

    Posted by: jorge | Feb 16, 2007 2:47:08 PM

  7. I'm sickened that anyone can watch the violent abuse of the men shown in this video and hear the story of the kid who was so badly beaten that he had to have his genitals and both legs removed and then make jokes about it or say they find it hot.

    Towleroad visitors have just reached a new low!


    Posted by: Zeke | Feb 16, 2007 2:48:49 PM

  8. Have to agree with Zeke on this one. I was totally reluctant to click on the comments link because I just had a feeling that there would be comments about how hot this was etc...etc...etc..

    While I am all for good, fun and games, this hardly qualifies as something to make light of.

    Posted by: hoya86 | Feb 16, 2007 3:10:48 PM

  9. This video was NOT an S&M porn flick with actors pretending to abuse and assault each other.

    These are REAL kids forced into this abuse by Russia's sexist conscription laws and out of control military establishment.

    The boys are real, the abuse is real, the blows are real and that's just what was caught on camera. Imagine what they do to these helpless men when the cameras aren't rolling.

    Maybe it's just me but I'm gay because I love men, not just because I want to have sex with them. I sometimes think most gay people only see men as sex objects without having a real feeling of love or brotherhood for them.

    Perhaps my opinion on this is heavily influenced by the fact that I have a teenage son who, if we were so unfortunate as to be Russian, would be forced into this system to endure this kind of abuse. One of the kids in the video looks VERY much like my son. It made me LITERALLY sick and I'm still trembling from watching the clip and thinking of my kid in such a helpless situation.

    I encourage my gay brothers to, every once in a while, think with something other than your dicks.

    Posted by: Zeke | Feb 16, 2007 3:20:17 PM

  10. Amen Zeke and thank you so much for airing a strong voice concerning the recent spat of vile bile evident on these pages. I for one am weening off of blogs altogether and it's all due to the general mean spirit and senseless banter that is supposed to pass as some intelligent opinion.

    Sorry Andy, you deserve all the credit for creating and maintaining an amazing well- rounded site but the cretans that inhabit these pages will keep me from reading the blog portion(s) and posting another missive.

    Posted by: Lead | Feb 16, 2007 4:24:30 PM

  11. Yet another to agree with Zeke, and Lead.

    The guys here saying that forcing male soldiers to perform gay acts against their will is "hot" and should be encouraged are disgusting. It's nothing short of rape, and anyone in favor such a thing is doing a terrible disservice to their own community. Want to halt the unfair generalizations of some straights and Christians that homosexuals are perverse and unnatural? Then stop BEING those things.

    Fucking sick.

    Posted by: Matt | Feb 16, 2007 4:37:04 PM

  12. I was joking. I did not read that a person had their limbs removed. I am sorry for the joke, it was wrong.

    Posted by: Jack! | Feb 16, 2007 4:38:27 PM

  13. Absolutely Zeke. The fact that these ignoramouses are doing it to raise our ire does not mean that we should not call them out. Reveling in the suffering of others? How dare you call yourself human.

    Posted by: rudy | Feb 16, 2007 4:45:19 PM

  14. Oh Christ, some of you people need to pull the sticks out of your ass. Clearly nobody was eroticizing 'leg and genital amputation'.

    But the general gist of this article is like some porn fantasy. If you cant look at that in somewhat of a sardonic light, you need to install a personality chip asap.

    Posted by: Gregoire | Feb 16, 2007 4:46:31 PM

  15. No Gregoire, It is you who appears to have had a humanityectomy when they performed your frontal lobotomy. These are young men--real human beings--not actors in a film for your entertainment, sardonic or otherwise. And do not project upon us your sexual fantasies involving sticks.

    Posted by: rudy | Feb 16, 2007 4:57:08 PM

  16. Really sad. As I said before, I can think of few things worse than being a young Russian conscript. My partner and I were in Russia last fall and while we have no regrets and saw a lot of incredible things, we have no desire to return anytime soon. The society is still scared. 70 years of totalitarianism takes a while to fade a away.

    Posted by: Jeff | Feb 16, 2007 5:37:41 PM

  17. "Want to halt the unfair generalizations of some straights and Christians that homosexuals are perverse and unnatural? Then stop BEING those things."
    Posted by: Matt

    Hmm, sorry Matt..though I agree that some of the comments were in very poor taste (all 3 or 4 of them) it's not fair to blame it on the entire gay male population..nor expect us to be on our best behavior 24/7 just to be on the right side of heteros and Christian fundies who might be watching.

    They certainly don't care what we think of them, or else a large portion of them would stop being misogynistic and generally crass - so if I would support civility from us it would be for anyone *but* them.

    Posted by: Da | Feb 16, 2007 6:10:11 PM

  18. Yes, forced prostitution and abuse is bad, very bad. Thank God I live in the USA where nothing like that goes on. But you have to admit the images here are suggestive of gay porn and people shouldn't be flamed for saying so. I'm sure the provacative footage is the only reason CNN is covering this story anyway.

    Posted by: Dave | Feb 16, 2007 6:39:18 PM

  19. "Thank God I live in the USA where nothing like that goes on"

    I am not sure if you were being sarcastic/facetious, Dave, but there are thousands of Asian and Latin women forced to live/work in 24 hour "underground" brothels all across the land of the free and the home of the brave.

    As for the idea of male brothels being titillating - much like prison sex the reality appears to be far more grim than the fantasy. Those guys are living the stuff of nightmares with no psychological support system for them after they got out of the army either.

    Posted by: Giovanni | Feb 16, 2007 7:03:54 PM

  20. That's hot.

    Posted by: Paris | Feb 16, 2007 8:02:59 PM

  21. Jack!, I figured that you, and others that made insensitive comments, probably based them on the picture that was posted with the ad without having watched the clip. I should have known that you would not be so crass. You have proven yourself here to be a gentleman. Your thoughtful apology is evidence of that.

    I really wish Andy would change, or remove, the inappropriately titillating picture that headlines the story. I think it leads people to the wrong conclusion as to what the story is about.

    Sorry for losing my cool guys. One of the boys that was getting kicked in the stomach looks way too much like my son. The story was disgusting but the thought of my kid going through that kind of abuse sent me reeling. Then the comments finished me off.

    Although I stand by my statement that this is not a story to laugh about or make light of, I probably should have given my fellow Towleroaders, especially Jack!, the benefit of the doubt.

    Posted by: Zeke | Feb 16, 2007 8:09:15 PM

  22. Thank you Zeke!

    Posted by: Jack! | Feb 17, 2007 12:02:33 AM

  23. Excellent point, Da. I bet if you went to a blog story involving the straight sex ring of underage Southeast Asian girls, you would find a handful of disgusting posts there as well.

    Do those idiots represent all of heterosexual society?

    Bigots don't use rationale to justify their hate. So you can be a gay Sunday School teacher and you are still as perverted in their eyes as a pedophile.

    Posted by: mark m | Feb 17, 2007 1:18:07 AM

  24. Zeke - this is a different Dave than above.
    Do you suffer from the inability to hold two opposing ideas in your conscious at once? Must you rail against any "insensitive comments" that appear? To what end? Do you really believe that Towleroad commentors are insensitive perverts who really get off on the tragedy of the young man who was so terribly beaten?
    Have you ever jacked off to a porno? If so, did you know the complete life story or situation of the man or woman in the porno?
    People are not dumb - they know these are real people, and the violent video is real.
    Perhaps you actually enjoy berating and chastising Towleroad readers more than your seeming need to police the comments for appropriate language and politics.
    The news is often horrifying. The planet is dying before our eyes. Some people are making witty comments about stories that are hard to deal with. This is not the New York Times and Andy himself frequently presents stories in a wry context. This used to be a fun place to read unconventional thoughts and comments about the issues that concern us.

    Posted by: dave | Feb 17, 2007 5:16:46 AM

  25. Oh get off your high horse (other) Dave. A jerk is a jerk, especially when he is trying, and failing, to be "witty". You will not find a more sensitive or responsible man than Zeke. When he or any of us long time posters call out a fool it is because their comments are foolish, ignorant, or offensive. Rail on Zeke, my gay brother. We will stand beside you.

    Posted by: rudy | Feb 17, 2007 9:02:31 AM

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