Sex is on sale in Jakarta, Indonesia

Bandara Jakarta

Believe it or not this isn’t a casino.

The sale of sexual services of any kind is officially forbidden by law in Indonesia. In practice it’s often tolerated openly and at times even regulated. That’s not to say that everything comes up roses for sex workers and their clients. There are often campaigns to close red light districts and other attacks on the industry. For now the world’s oldest profession prevails.

Jakarta is the country’s large capital city and it’s filled from one side to the other with options for horny men. They are not always obvious but they are always there. Today I’ll write about what I know. I hope readers will find it entertaining.

Dates, compensated action and even a surprising amount of no strings attached action can be found with a little work on dating websites like DateInAsia, Badoo and Indonesian Cupid. Pick ups can also be found at usual haunts like shopping malls though this can be a difficult or even dangerous scene to navigate at times.

Bars and clubs offer more specific venues for pick ups. Many of them either hire working women or attract freelance working women looking for customers but plenty are simply mainstream with no connections to the sex industry whatsoever. Jakarta is such a huge city that it can be difficult to navigate. Thankfully the internet is around to make things easier.

Jakarta 100 Bars is a great resource for locating nightlife and massage options in Jakarta. Whoever it is that runs the site apparently isn’t into paying for fun of any kind but he will often make mention of what’s available in the descriptions of each bar. So you might see a report on a major adult entertainment complex like V2 that says something like “it turns out there is some kind of exotic massage available on the fourth floor.” There’s clearly value in a website with names, addresses and basic descriptions of so many bars but the real gems come in the forms of comments. These are frequently made by punters who are interested in adult entertainment and they write about things like price changes and shutdowns.

Clubs are often filled with prostitutes. Some may work for the club owners while others are simply freelancers. Interestingly in Jakarta prostitutes and “regular girls” often go to the same clubs without issue. In most countries the freelance haunts stand apart from the more mainstream hotspots. Some of the better clubs are Colosseum on Jalan Kunir, Dragonfly on Jalan Gatot Subroto, and Sun City on Jalan Hayam Wuruk. Some women are happy to have a one night stand with a new guy. Some will want to exchange phone numbers and date. Some are looking for money and will happily hit the hay with a guy who can give them a little. Rates vary so much from one woman to the next that it’s impossible to give anything approaching an average.

Bars in Jakarta can attract working women, civilian women or some mix of both. There are too many mainstream bars to mention but some stand out for attracting large numbers of working women. B.A.T.S. at the Hotel Shangri-La is a very popular place that is filled with working women from around the world every night of the week. CJ’s in the Hotel Mulia Senayan and Tiga Puluh in Hotel Le Meridien are similar establishments. Women working these bars tend to ask for a lot more than women in other places around the city. There are also a host of bars that will occasionally draw sexy dancers or more. They tend to draw more local crowds but the women working them don’t ask for premium prices. Red Square is a popular bar with a reputation as an easy place for foreigners to find free pick ups or (if that fails) free-lancers, though lately it seems to attract more freelancers than civilians.

Of course some guys don’t like clubs, bars or picking up women at all. They figure that shelling out a little cash is all the courting they need. Lucky for them there are lots of straight ahead pay for play options in Jakarta too.

Adult entertainment complexes offer all sorts of options under one large roof. They occupy entire buildings and staff dozens or even hundreds of people. These places are large and obvious while still offering discretion. They normally contain clubs (which are often visited by “regular gals” along with the working women), karaoke rooms with women available to sing and play along, basic massage services and spas with women offering full service massages. Many also feature sexy women dancing in various states of undress. I have already posted reviews on Malioboro, Alexis Hotel, V2, King Cross, Classic Hotel, and Illigals. Other establishments include Golden Crown, Bandara, FM1 Boutique Hotel, M Star Hotel, and the infamous Travel Hotel. Full service massage can typically be had for anywhere from 325,000 Rupiah ($28) to more than 1,000,000 Rupiah depending on the lady and the venue. Foreign women from places like China and Russia tend to get higher rates than locals with the exception of the sexy dancers. Lap dances and drinks can add to the tab but prices are pretty reasonable considering what’s on offer at these places.

Blok M better known to locals as Jalan Palatehan contains a small strip of bars where freelancers congregate. Most bars attract foreigners and most of the women they attract in turn are quite aged considering the work they do. What’s more they tend to ask foreigners for premium prices of up to 1,200,000 Rupiah ($103 US) for a romp. Only a few years ago the normal asking price was more like 300,000 ($26 US). I’ve already posted a report on Blok M on this site. The most notable places in the area are D’s Place with its small gogo-like stage for dancing girls and “secret room” and the nearby Maribaya massage on the 6th floor of the Hotel Melawai where full service massage from very skilled women is available for 600,000 Rupiah ($52 US). There are numerous karaoke places in the area aimed at Japanese customers too but I don’t have much of any information on them.

Street walkers can be found in various areas of the city at night. Jalan Hayam Wuruk seems to be popular for this at times. The trade doesn’t make much sense to me since women can ask more than a full service massage costs in nearby entertainment centers.

Massage parlors also abound in Jakarta. They aren’t as plentiful as they are in Thailand (clearly the world leader in massage parlor density per square mile) but they definitely exist. Some are mainstream but many offer happy endings or full service as a part of the regular program. All of the adult entertainment complexes I mentioned earlier have their own massage areas. I’m writing here of standalone massage operations. Popular places include Sumo Spa, Galaxy, Kimochi, Fortune Spa (with several locations) and the previously mentioned Maribaya. Kartika and Berlian are the only places I know that offers soapy massage. The prices are reasonable at 350,000 Rupiah but the places aren’t very nice.

Red light districts exist all over the city though they don’t typically attract a lot of foreigners. Some are among the most dangerous areas of the city though guys who can keep their wits usually come out alright. Kalijodo is one of the oldest and most well known. Bongkaran is another. Short time sessions are sold to locals for as little as 50,000 Rupiah ($4.25 US) each.

There you have it. It’s not all there is to know but it’s all I know. Or at least all that I can tell you for now.

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