Prostitution is legal in Singapore which is famously a very strict country. There are some caveats. Even though they have a lot of laws in Singapore, they do not outlaw sex work. That is most obvious to see in the Geylang red light district, where hundreds of Asian prostitutes sell sex every day of the year.
In this guide, we are going to tell you everything you need to know about the Geylang red light district in Singapore. We’ll tell you where to find Geylang, how the legal brothels there work and then we will discover about the street prostitutes commonly found in Geylang.
Where is Geylang?
The Singapore government permits brothels to operate in the city state’s Geylang neighborhood. These brothels are located in the Lorongs (small streets) that line the southern side of Geylang Road.
The Geylang brothels could be easy to miss for people who don’t know what they are looking for. At least during the day. Many of the small shops open in the afternoon but the scene doesn’t really come alive until the sun starts to go down. The only thing that indicates their presence are plaques with street numbers on them often colored red. There may also be male managers standing outside to welcome in customers and some of the more developed brothels even have small signs with specific names on them. Some of the houses are so nondescript that residences in the area have taken to putting up signs telling visitors that they are just regular homes.
The government keeps an eye on all of these brothels. They do spot inspections, put up posters reminding customers and service providers alike to use condoms for every single act (including oral sex), and make sure requirements that the sex workers are regularly tested for diseases are met.
The women who work the brothels come from mainland China, Thailand and Malaysia (though the latter are ethnically Chinese). Certain houses hire only Chinese women while others hire only Thais. The Chinese women typically are in in their early twenties and many are very attractive. Few if any have been married or had children. The Thai women can be in their twenties or thirties and attractive however these are usually a little wilder in bed than their Chinese counterparts. Many of the Thai’s have already been married or have children however almost all of them are still petite, tight and always ready to go!. They are often better at speaking English than their Chinese counterparts. Local women born and raised in Singapore are increasingly rare to the point that I think they’ve completely disappeared from the Geylang houses.
Geylang is a very well known area in Singapore and is very popular not just for its Red Light District but also for its food as the area is home to some of the most popular food-courts in the city state. Singapore’s popular public transportation system also makes its way through the area. Geylang Road is a large and busy thoroughfare that is home to a number of shop houses, restaurants, bars, KTVs and small businesses of various types. There are also open coffee shops that serve food on many of the corners. A number of generally older and larger freelancers tend to hang out in these places trying to find locals to take them one of the many short time hotels in the area. This is not legal but it goes on right out in the open.
The aforementioned Lorongs are numbered. The area is generally open, clean and safe as can be expected in Singapore. Perhaps a person who actually grew up in Singapore would think that it’s a little scary at night but anyone who has been walking the streets of Angeles, Manila, Jakarta or Pattaya at 3am will feel very safe indeed.
While there are brothel houses in many of the Lorongs, there are especially large concentrations of shops on Lorong 16, Lorong 18 and Lorong 20. A string of houses starting with number 26 on Lorong 18 have traditionally been some of the better places in terms of quality and service though these things can vary from one day to the next. House 66A on Lorong 8 has been around for some time with a rotating staff of Thai ladies.
Most houses will have a staff of women working. They often sit on benches of some type while they wait around for customers. Some of the seating arrangements look like Thai fishbowls but others are just regular rooms with chairs. Women work a particular house for a set period of time but those available can change as women go to the back to sleep or get busy with customers. Punters are under no obligation to chose a lady just because they’ve entered a house. It’s easy enough to politely leave or to ask if anyone else is available. Many of the brothels can call women in from other houses in the area based on descriptions or requested services though this could be tough for someone who only speaks English to manage. Most of the managers and some of the women speak a bit of English but it’s usually limited.
Entering a Geylang Legal Brothel
It seems that most foreigners who enter any houses except the most expensive will be asked for $100 Singapore Dollars ($80 US) upfront even at places like some of the Thai houses where locals are given lower prices. Since few foreigners visit Geylang I’m sure most simply pay up. It could be a pain trying to negotiate with a Chinese or Thai manager in a foreign language anyway. Considering that Singapore is such an expensive place in general even a hundred isn’t too bad a price. Obviously the ladies who go with locals for $150 or more would require higher payments from foreigners too. There are a number of girls who are certainly worth the extra fee. Singapore’s Geylang District does seem to attract many of the best Thai and Chinese prostitutes from around the region.
Once payment is rendered the customer will be led by his lady back to one of the rooms. These rooms are usually quite clean considering what goes on them. They are also well stocked with lots of clean towels and even more tissues. Things like lube and condoms are also on hand in large quantities and non-alcoholic drinks may be provided for free.
The typical procedure is for the client and the service provider both to strip down and head into the shower. The lady then washes the the client before sending him to the bed and cleaning herself off. Soon after the woman joins the punter in bed and goes through the motions. The quality of the service always depends. Nearly all the women are good at what they do but some are excellent. Complaints about terrible service are rare though mechanical service is not. That can be expected considering the setup. A guy who gets something great should consider himself lucky. As previously mentioned the law states that condoms must be used for oral and vaginal sex though some women will occasionally do the blowjob without.
I’ve never heard about any official time limit for a session but rumor has it that the ladies are told to try to get customers to finish in 30 to 45 minutes. I think this is usually about right and I don’t imagine many hardcore marathon sessions go down in the Geylang houses even if special services, extensions and expensive overnight stays are available at some.
After the deed is done there may be a bit of brief chat, massage or even cuddling before the punter is instructed to shower himself off while the lady cleans up the room. In many of these houses the women sleep in the same room they work so it’s understandable that they’d want to keep things tidy. The women will typically wash herself up while the punter dries off and gets dressed. After that goodbyes are exchanged and the transaction is complete.
Some shops managers like to introduce themselves to guys and work on getting return customers. Some others appear to not even notice the guys who are leaving even though they may be calling out to guys passing by on the street like they’re stranded at sea.
The streets themselves deserve a mention. Each and every night the Lorongs come alive with women looking for customers outside of the legalized houses. These women typically stand in groups with pimps hanging out nearby. Most come from countries like Indonesia and Vietnam and they range in looks and attitude. They are not very aggressive at all though they may call out to guys who pass by and more than a few are surprisingly sweet. They stand in the even-numbered Lorongs where the brothels are located, the roads in between (like Talma Road between Lorongs 8 and 14) and sometimes across the road in the odd-numbered Lorongs. Indian women can sometimes be found in the higher numbered Lorongs.
The women that work the streets specialize in short time romps in the hotels scattered all over the area. The price depends on the lady, the punter, the pimp and any number of other circumstances. Some guys claim to get this kind of action for as little as 20 Singaporean Dollars ($16 US) though a more standard rate would be anywhere from 40 to 100 in local currency. Sometimes the price of the hotel room is included but other times the guy is expected to pay it. The same goes for condoms which may or may not be provided though they can always be purchased nearby. The service level varies as it would anywhere else but there are stories around of speed demons and clock watchers. Some guys negotiate with the pimps while others insist on negotiating directly with the women. Some guys pay the pimps up front while others insist on paying the lady after the deed is done.
So is Geylang safe?
Yes, the Singapore state has ensured that this trade is continuing unhindered and in the safest possible way. The girls who work inside the brothels are regularly tested and safe sex is always requested by most of the girls working. Around Geylang you will find it to be a busy residential and commercial area which is busy day and night. At night when the brothel houses light up there is a friendly atmosphere and very few instances of trouble. In Singapore it is always the best idea to stay on the right side of the law, drinking alcohol in the street, fighting or causing a scene in Geylang is often punished heavily. Therefore most to frequent the area do so in a manner which means everyone gets to enjoy this lesser known part of Singapore.