SPAIN IN BOYS FOR SALE
The following is from Boys for Sale. A Sociological Study of Boy Prostitution by Dennis Drew & Jonathan Drake, New York, 1969, pp. 47-53.
Spain plays an important role in the cast of Mediterranean culture which has long winked its eye at boy prostitution. Boy brothels were in existence there during the time of the Roman conquests and they were still going strong with the coming of the Arabs. Earlier, some of the Germanic conquerors were corrupted by the beauty and availability of boys across the Iberian Peninsula. The same reason has been given as one which attracted Arab and Moorish conquerors to the country which later became Spain.
During centuries of Muslim rule, boy entertainers, who were nearly always prostitutes, were common in every royal and wealthy household. These youngsters were highly trained singers and dancers, elaborately garbed in expensive costumes. Lower class parents vied for the opportunity of getting their sons into such service, much as parents in America today would take pride in a son or daughter becoming a movie star or T.V. personality. There was always the chance that a young adolescent would become the favorite of a wealthy man and thus acquire the privileges this would entail. As for the sexual side of the entertainment business, the Spaniards have always paid little attention to such practices, considering them the business of the participants.
In the Middle East, Spanish ports offered a variety of boys for visiting sailors and this continued to be true of many Spanish ports even into this century. Youngsters originally were bred especially for this seaport trade and in the last century, the local ranks were swelled by imports — usually kidnapped. (On the other hand, many of the boy prostitutes of Morocco were “graduates” from the seaport brothels of Spain.) Regular brothels did not contain boys, as a rule. There were, however, bars and restaurants near which boys lingered on the streets, waiting for someone to take them in. The boys were bootblacks, street salesmen or just plain loafers — usually their professional prostitution began at the age of 11 or 12. Whenever a ship arrived, the youngsters swarmed to the docks, offering their services as pimps to help sailors find women or to provide guide service and other duties. Inevitably, they offered themselves in the process. In more modern times, and in non-port cities, such boys have often frequented the public restrooms in the parks.
Michel del Castillo in Tanguy tells of a friend he made in a Barcelona reformatory. The boy had been trained by his father from an early age to solicit men in the public toilets of Madrid. Jean Genet in The Thief ’s Journal documents in great detail the similar procedures of male prostitutes in Barcelona. Many of the latter were teenagers working under the direction of gang chiefs who protected them, kept them at work and usually completely controlled their lives.
Pre-teen prostitutes who worked the toilets of Barcelona were often kept on duty as long as 16 or 18 hours a day! They were never allowed to have any money. The gang chief kept all the funds so that the boys were completely dependent upon him for food and lodging. These boys serviced as many as fifty men a day, at five to cents a head. That was in the 1930’s. Prices have gone up since and so has the age of the available boys.
Many of the tourists who go to Spain from Northern Europe are looking for boys and a high percentage of young Spaniards on the beaches are willing to accomodate them. A German government official once asked a Spanish police chief why he didn’t do something to stop it. The Spaniard replied that it was impossible to prevent a crime when 100% of the population was engaged in, and/or profiting from it. This certainly seems to be the case in some of the popular beach areas and in smaller villages. Of the various European countries, Spanish law and police procedures are the most permissive. As long as a boy consents and especially if his parents are informed and they consent, there is rarely any interference in the activities of amateur boy prostitutes. Some effort is made sporadically to arrest men who organize call-boy rings, or gangsters who exploit boy prostitutes. However, most Spanish boy prostitution today is on a purely amateur level and often carried out as much for fun as anything else — at least as far as the boys are concerned.
If a tourist meets a young, attractive boy on a beach and if the boy is interested in money, he can take the boy home to make a deal with his parents. “If you want to take the boy for several weeks, it will cost you only ... ” is usually the mother’s reply. Near the southern coast, we found one peasant family whose four sons aged 7, 9, 12, and 13, often played at a popular tourist beach. In the summer of 1965, three of the four boys were gone at one time, travelling for several weeks with tourists who used them for anal intercourse. The 13-year-old went to Morocco for some weeks with a German tourist who paid the father the equivalent of $1.00 per day.
The Spanish boys who engage in prostitution today are not only bright and attractive but they have great warmth. They are affectionate and have an eager willingness to please which makes Spain a very popular country for paedophilic tourists.
Until recently, another kind of boy prostitute has been the vagabond. After the Spanish Civil War, many Spanish boys went on the road as runaways and were adopted by “tramps”. This was very similar to the tramp-boy relationships described by Havelock Ellis in one of his terminal essays. A difference is that in Spain, the “adopted boys” were peddled along the way to provide income for the tramps’ support. When little del Castillo, in Faiseur des Rêves, ran away from the reformatory and associated himself with Raphael the tramp, this was probably their relationship. Del Castillo describes being forced to beg but speaks of his sexual use by Raphael only. Perhaps, Raphael did not prostitute the boy. But anyone knowing the customs of the times can be certain that when the boy was tempted to run off with the “malicious Paul,” the latter man wished to exploit him as a prostitute. Paul had one young boy with him already, a stunning lad “about eleven or twelve years of age, with big black eyes, bordered by long eyelashes.” In veiled language, when asked how he was doing financially, Paul pointed to the youngster and said that he was doing very well with this one. He was heading for the fairs in the region of Valencia where he anticipated a great deal of business, hinting that he had only one boy, where formerly he had had three, and that he could use another one. Del Castillo, in his autobiography, recalls how fast his heart was beating — how his emotions rose as he contemplated Paul’s young boy with pity and sadness — yet when he realized that Paul wanted him to go too, he was tempted to the point of angering Raphael. When Paul asked del Castillo to go with him, a sensation of soft heat coursed through his body — an irresistible passion which excited him with desire and fear. Paul’s mocking expression fascinated him and the imploring eyes of the young boy sent out frantic messages to everyone. (Did Paul’s young boy want del Castillo to stay — or to come share his life of prostitution — or was he merely hungry for the companionship of one his own age?) Raphael convinced him not to go.
Since he did not go, we do not have his documentation of what life as a boy prostitute at the fairs would have been. But, from other sources, we know of many men like Paul who made a good living by sidling up to men on the street or at fairs, discovering those who liked young boys. Often operating in an open field at night, man after man would be brought to his boy for sexual intercourse out under the open sky.
Right now, there are hotels in Spain that make available their very young and attractive bellhops and messenger boys for very select clients. Usually, these are luxury hotels and the boys are available only to special customers at very high prices. Lower class hotels, however, will not only wink at the customer who brings a boy to his room, but, in many cases, will aid a regular visitor to find boys. This would not be the case for the passing unknown tourist. A guest who has arrived for the first time must content himself with the prostitute he might encounter standing in the doorway of a side street — often masturbating himself as a signal of his availability. The language is no great problem but, the more Spanish a tourist speaks, the easier it will be for him to secure what he wants sexually.
Some hotels are patronized by “selected tours” which are operated on a “by recommendation” basis. Women and boys are provided for the “tourists” at each major stop. There are Northern European travel agencies which also arrange individually conducted tours — the foreigner puts himself in the hands of a Spanish agent who either arranges for a boy for him in each town or city, or provides the tourist with a boy companion for the entire trip.
Such tours generally follow a fixed route down the East Coast of Spain, stopping especially in smaller beach hotels between major cities. Wealthy Germans are very fond of luxury car trips with agent chauffeurs and boys “to handle the luggage”. These boys are often very young. They are small for heavy baggage but make up for this by specialiazing in a position for anal intercourse which is popular with Germans, especially wealthy fat ones. To accomodate a portly gentleman, one of the little boys will lie on his back and put his legs about the shoulders and neck of the man so that, in spite of his excess girth, the man will still be permitted complete penetration. There may also be a great deal of fellatio in the back seat of the car during the day’s trip. The boy may earn less than 25 cents a day for such services —the agents may collect a hundred times that much!