Fiction: My Morocco Secret SEX Diary
FEZ - LA VILLE NOUVELLE - SATURDAY NIGHT
Fez falls naturally into two parts, Fez-el Bali, the old city, that enchanting anarchic amalgam of medieval streets, where motorised transport is banned and you feel lost amid the narrow cobbled labyrinth of alleyways which connect the bustling souks, and La Ville Nouvelle of crumbling Art decor cafes, huge Air Maroc hoardings and swirling clowds of petrol fumes.
La Ville Nouvelle holds little of interest to most tourists who need to urgently assimilate a little of the city's ancient culture and history in a few hours, but as I had arrived late in the evening and had few navigational skills, I decided to spend what little time remained before bed time cruising its' boulevards with the help of a map torn from the Rough Guide.
It seemed ironic that Fez, the city of a thousand mosques, should have so many sex workers loitering along the tree lined streets, particularly in the vicinity of Avenue Hassan II and La Place Mohammed.
A large number of men, most young but a few older, were taking advantage of the warm summer evening to laze on the benches and convenient concrete slabs which encircled the trees. A few of them were watching a group of young women dressed provocatively in skimpy t-shirts, painfully tight jeans and garish high heals. Another watched a traditionally dressed hijabi hurriedly usher her children on a perilous short cut across the square, licking his lips in a crude mocking manner as one of her teenage dauthters glanced nervously in his direction.
My own gaze was directed at the many handsome lads in baseball caps and trainers who were chatting and laughing in small seemingly impenetrable groups. Though one young woman, filterless cigarette in hand, was casually approaching some of the lads and teasing them in the hope that atleast one of them might have sufficient money.
I siezed the moment and exchanged a quick glance with a couple of young men sitting together beneath a tree. One of them smiled briefly and I used this as a lame excuse to join them.
They were polite but not effusive in their welcome and I was only able to keep the conversation flowing by pressing repeated questions like some clueless journalist with a reluctant interviewee. Yes, they were students. No they didn't live in Fez but were from Azrou, 100 miles to the South.
I was on the point of leaving when I noticed several men approaching us, one of whom was carrying a large walkie talkie.
"Cartes d'Identites !" he snapped.
He was in plain clothes. However the presence of three uniformed policemen behind him suggested that immediate compliance was the only option. When I handed him my Egyptian passport, there was an immediate eruption.
"Do you know these men ?"
"Yes," I replied a little hesitantly.
"Since when ?"
"About two hours," I stammered, trying to exaggerate the duration of our brief aquaintance as much as my arrival stamp in the passport would allow.
"Two hours !" he exclaimed, shaking his head, as if even two years of friendship wouldn't excuse a Moroccan and a foreigner being found together in such a degenerate place.
"What are their names ?"
In the confusion and panic, I replied with apparent confidence but with the wrong names and even, as I tried vainly to recall what they had actually said, the two youths were cuffed and led off to a waiting camionette while the plain clothes officer gave me a lecture in the dangers of Fez at night.
I did briefly consider protesting the mens' innocence but a glance at the tiny barred window of the police camionette convinced me otherwise.
"These are men of the worst type," he assured me.
"You should return to your hotel and remain their until tomorrow. This is not a safe time to be on the streets."
MARRAKESH - SUNDAY NIGHT
In Marrakesh sexual encounters a lot easier than in Fez: All the men I met insisted there was no danger of encounters in the Parks: Unlike Fez; the Police only interested in "protecting tourists" in the main square (the fantastic Djem El Fna were acrobats, orange and water sellers, snake charmers and ocassionally discreet hustlers all compete for your attention).
Shockingly, much of the activity takes place in the gardens of the Koutobia mosque - Morocco's most famous, rebuilt in the twelth century when mathematicians discovered that it was incorrectly aligned with Mecca: The mosque is lit up at night to highlight the city's Islamic heritage but the trees; cotton plants and shrubs of the dimly lit surrounding gardens provide perfect cover for gay action. Had only a few propositions before 12:30am but after that many: I told one man, who I presume was a sex worker; that I thought it too dangerous and asked if we could meet up the next day but he said he had to work in the shoe souk from 10 to 10 and could only meet up at midnight:
As in Fez women linger around the city centre until late at night with two niqabis standing amid young men crowded around a television to watch a football match between Morocco and Tunisia in the Africa cup: Unlike Fez, however, there were few signs of female prostitution except possibly in one upmarket - 10 dollar entrance - disco - called "The Diamant Noire": even here there was no obvious indication although there were a number of women who repeatedly attempted to drag single men of various ages, both young and old, from their seats (doubtless without the management's knowledge.)
Having been somewhat misinformed by a guide book that this was a disco with a large gay contingent; I left - to be immediately accosted in the street - this time by a young man and then soon afterwards by a much older man, about fifty, who beckoned me over to a seat next to one of the many parks that lay between the medina and "La Ville Nouvelle."
ESSAOURIA - MONDAY - TO BE COMPLETED SOON.
TANGIERS - TUESDAY
Just arrived in down-at-heel Tanger, hassled aggressively every few moments and sworn at by car drivers: Everyone so rude but its great to be back here again. On the bus on the way from Essaouira to Marrakesh where I needed to catch the overnight train, I was invited by a middle aged French woman and her Moroccan boyfriend to join them for a spliff and some drink etc (swingers ?) but I declined. Only an hour or so before embarking on the bus I heard a French man plead with his wife not to leave their family in France to with her boyfriend in Morocco and what would happen now to the children.
Just emailed some Moroccans advertising personals on the web in Tangier. Though none of them claims to be an escort one has replied that he'd love to meet up but asks "tu peux payer 200 euros ?" in a city where a ten minute taxi ride costs less than one Euro !
Trivia - Did you know Tangier had the world's first American Embassy opened in 1775 - predating even the Declaration of Independence.
TANGIER - WEDNESDAY UNTIL 6PM.
Im afraid - despite being in infamous Tangiers - today is the first without street propositions - I guess the police must have cracked down hard although some older men have obviously paid them to look the other way as they hassle more aggressively than any other city in Morocco but only about carpets and kif etc. Most dissapointing as even In Essaouira I had a few daytime propositions - one of the men on a building site suggested I come over for a "two fingers together gesture" - presumably in return for payment. Anyway it's still early here in T - just 6pm - as most propositions come after 10pm, or after midnight in Marrakesh - a city which never seems to sleep. Atleast I have one rendez vous arranged via internet - outside the French consulate - a cautious and clever idea by the Moroccan since he can observe me from the safety of the Cafe de Paris opposite and when he finally comes to join me he can pretend to be waiting to enter the Consulate.
The old medina is no longer crowded with impoverished West Africans so either Spanish security is having an effect or they've all moved on towards Ceuta and Mellilia. And amazingly given Tangers notorious reputation for muggings and hassle, there are a few resident French and English here including one middle aged woman walking her tiny dog along the corniche much to the amusement of local Tangerines and passing hijabis (many young hijabis walking along the beach - they seem to be students )
TANGIER - LATE WEDNESDAY/THURSDAY MORNING
Tangiers continues to suprise with new cons that would shock even M who used to show me the con tricks in Luxor's souq from the vantage point of an upstairs cafe and showed me how the cigarette vendors would offer tourists cigarettes at below cost prices and then tell them they must pay more but just as the tourist became angry and demanded his money returned an accomplice would hassle him and at the same moment one of his Egyptian notes would be deftly swapped for another of similar appearance but lower value. I saw the trick time and time again as did all the other vendors in the market who were glad for some free theatre on an otherwise quiet day. It was no good telling the police as they would come along every day, sit down for tea at a neighbouring cafe and collect their share of the takings !
So here in Tangiers I met a conman par excellence at a pre-arranged rendez vous outside the French Consulate. Unlike my prediction (re my last diary entry, he arrived with total confidence and on shaking my hand exclaimed loudly "Tu cherche le sex ?" and I confessed that I did but that perhaps we could go to a cafe first. "Vous pouvez payer 70 euros ?" he asked without wasting any time on pleasantries, which was a figure embarrassingly close to the one I had suggested was more appropriate to another Tangerine I had emailed who had asked for 200. On the way down towards the medina he stopped briefly to shake hands with a passing police officer and exchanged fairly effusive greetings and then led me without any apparent trepidation towards the Grand Socco, which is always full of police, at the entrance of the medina and I followed him up some steep stairs to a little terrace cafe overlooking the busy market and the police camionettes.
He asked me if I was staying at the Hotel de Paris ( name changed ) room number 19. This question was a real shock as Tangiers has hundreds of hotels and thousands of tourists and I had left mine several hours before the meeting. Then he told me the names of the other men I had emailed in Tangiers and added that he knew my address in Manchester. At this point I really began to feel nervous as I glanced down at the numerous police officers below me and I remembered that during our walk down he had said that he was studying computer engineering - and that combined with the conspiratorial reputation of Tangier combined to enduce an immediate feeling of intense paranoia. I insisted that I would not continue to go with him in to the medina until he had explained how he had obtained this information and why. "So you think Im some sort of FBI agent" he remarked, finding it difficult to conceal a proud smirk.
Somewhat suprisingly he readily confessed everything. This was a con he usually used when tourists where not forthcoming in offering payment. He lived in Tetouan, not Tangiers, and hed only arrived in the town an hour before our meeting but that was enough time to discover all the information he needed. He had posted several personals on the internet all with pictures, each different but with a certain similarity to himself, and had also been careful to post different information under each profile. The escort I thought I had emailed earlier who had asked for 200 euros was actually him although I thought I was meeting someone without any agreed price or sex for money arrangement. But he already knew that I would probably pay 50 euros and quite possibly more. In each email to each profile I had given away a little information so that he knew I was staying "not far" from la Place de France and that I wore a white baseball cap. As he knew I had probably used an internet cafe and that there were only three in that neighbourhood, he decided to go to them all, starting fortuitously with one some distance from the hotel on Boulevard XXXX.
At this internet cafe he had a conspiratorial colleague. The hijabi who works seven days at the desk. She pretends to foreigners that the most discreet computers are not working and gets them to sit just in front of her where she can monitor their viewing while pretending to be absorbed in reading. Earlier she always asks them which hotel they are from. This enables "Abdul", presumably an alias, to know which gay tourists might be easy targets and presumably she gets some financial or as she is somewhat older perhaps even a sexual reward. In my case I had left my key next to my computer and she had seen my room number. So he only had to cross the road to the hotel where he was on good terms with the manager to obtain information on my address etc.
As for the "conspiratorial" policeman on the way down to the Grand Socco, he had just been payed a few dirhams to be part of the show.
Had I been a newby tourist who wanted sex without paying I would no doubt have been intimidated into believing I was the victim of a police honeytrap and into paying atleast 50 euros in escape money.
Anyway I still ended the day more than 50 euros lighter. Hopefully today will prove less expensive.
TANGIER THURSDAY EVENING
On my last evening in Tangier, I walked along the corniche. Within a short while I met a young man from Fez. As it was winter and the beach was quiet, we left the corniche and sat down on a small piece of drift wood.
He told me how his family had come to the city for their Ramadan holiday and to earn a little extra money. His sister was doing housework while he was working as a rent boy. As if this wasn't a difficult enough holiday, the young man explained how he was regularly tempted to spend the money he earned on female sex workers. And they were able to charge 200 dihrams, twice the price he got from his clients.
I felt too sorry for him to buy his services, so I gave him a little money and returned to the corniche, where, after another few minutes, I met another young man. We exchanged a few polite questions and soon forgot these personal details in the excitement of the prospect of some seedy impersonal beach sex.
It was now dark and despite his suggestion that the city's beach would be safe, I insisted on heading along the coast road until we reached somewhere quiet. We must have walked for some thirty minutes during which time he had pointed at several shadowy building sites, when finally we found a quiet path leading down to the sea, at the end of which was a convenient stone staircase.
But only seconds after sitting down, two policemen appeared out of nowhere. As in Fez, the first demand was for "identity cards." When I produced my Egyptian passport, the chubby senior officer declared "This is a big problem."
He proceeded to give me a long loud lecture on the dangers of the beach and the lack of any possible justification for enjoying nature at this late hour. It was 8pm ! He asked each of us about the other's personal details and we both failed the test miserably. Neither of us could even recall the other's name.
So he phoned the police station to call for a van but after sometime waiting he told the young Moroccan to go home. Then he turned towards me and said he would have to take me to sign a statement at the police station and instructed me to follow him along the beach.
However, a little further along, the dark shadow of some trees, he pulled my hands towards his trousers where I felt his cock rapidly swelling in size. He pushed my head down and forced me to suck for a few brief seconds, before he came in my mouth. Then smiling, he allowed me to raise my head and gestured with his hand, that I could go, adding "Don't let me see you anywhere along the corniche," as a reminder that he was doing me a huge favour by not pressing charges.
THIS THURSDAY ENTRY TO BE COMPLETED SOON
JOURNEY TO FEZ - FRIDAY MORNING
Now back in Fez. Yesterday before leaving Tangiers I met the holidaymaker/sex worker from Fez again on the corniche. He told me that the standard prices paid by Moroccans for young women were 200 dirhams and for young men 100 dirhams, and this was a problem for him since he found it difficult to save up much and a lot of what he saved went on the young women. He wanted to make sure his sister didnt have to work the corniche but so far she was having little success trying to find the odd job in Tangers hotels and appartment blocks.
As for the fat French sugar mummy who would regularly lounge on the corniche benches with her lap dog close by her, and pretend to read some pulp fiction while eyeing the rough trade, he had not had any success with her as he didn't speak French.
Met an extremely strong hijabi, about 30 years old, on the train who was carrying sacks full of clothing to sell in Casablanca. I offered to help her get one of the sacks on to the luggage rack but couldnt manage on my own and she thanked me before promptly lifting it herself with only a momentary grunt of effort. Unfortunately 20 minutes later the guard came in to the compartment and insisted her bundles were to big and had to be moved down to the luggage wagon. I helped her with the lighter sacks, an older Moroccan man helped her with the heavier and then we all returned to my compartment where without the slightest hesitation she slumped across all three seats next to me with her head virtually touching my lap before falling to sleep.