13 Apr At any given time, up to 20 addresses in London offer escort and massage services for men, with men
People walk past it every day and never notice. To them it's perfectly ordinary, just another basement flat in a street of white-painted terraces sandwiched between Kensington High Street and the King's Road. Except that this flat houses a male brothel.
Working boys: London's male brothels offer a more lucrative way for young men to ply their trade than the streets and a more discreet service to the discerning customer
Inside, there is an anteroom where up to a dozen 'boys (the term is universally used among them), mostly in their twenties, lounge on a sofa watching satellite television.
There are four bedrooms here, recently reduced from five to accommodate an office. A boy who calls himself Rita acts as receptionist, accountant and maitre d' for the night.
The atmosphere is musty; the smell of polish barely conceals a whiff of something cooked a while ago. But it's spotlessly clean, even if the flock wallpaper and cheap prints seem out of place for this salubrious west London address.
Fifteen seem to stay the course and, of these, four are known for offering sex on the premises. There were five until last year, when the owner of 'Rome, a few streets away from Kensington Town Hall, was jailed for credit card fraud.