written by gkim
Doemi services, otherwise known as karaoke bar call girl services, are growing at an alarming rate. They are a rapidly growing Korean phenomenon in the sex industry. Overall, the Koreatowns around the USA are said to have a cumulative total of about 5000 to 7000 doemis waiting on standby to be called to a karaoke bar (noraebang) per night on the weekends. This is how a doemi business operates: A group of people will go into a karaoke bar to rent a room by the hour (which is a pretty common form of social entertainment in the Korean community). Then they will either call the doemis directly, or they’ll ask the karaoke bar to call a doemi service on their behalf. The doemis will usually be waiting around in vans or streets outside the karaoke bar so that they are within walking distance if they are called. Once they are called, they enter the room they were called to inside the karaoke bar, and they basically begin to set a party vibe. They will sing, drink, and dance with the group at a rate anywhere from $60-$100 an hour. Many of these doemis accept sexual requests if they develop a bond with someone they meet, or if someone offers them a certain amount of money. This trend, which slowly trickled over from South Korea into the U.S. starting about 6 years ago, has grown out of control.
The doemi business has expanded so much that it has become quite difficult to differentiate between the doemi girls and regular club and bar hopping party-goers in the Koreatown night life. It seems like a new, popular and fun fad that Korean culture is going through, however it is extremely harmful for many reasons. Doemis are victimized whether they are aware of it or not. They are God’s precious daughters.
Here are some basic facts everyone–customers and doemis–should be aware of:
- This doemi business is becoming a gateway into a more hardcore sector of the sex industry. Many doemis never imagine they will eventually succumb to a darker side of the industry, but a lot of them do.
- It’s addictive because the money is quickly earned, and as time passes, the girl may be coerced or succumb to saying yes to just about anything.
- There are health implications associated with consuming large amounts of alcohol in one night while hopping from one group to another while working with different parties. Sometimes drugs can be available and the girls are exposed to and pressured into trying it with their groups.
- The girls are exposed and vulnerable to being fondled and harassed verbally and physically because they are being paid.
- It is demeaning and objectifying for girls to dress in provocative gear and get paid to entertain a group of people to be seductive, sexual, and ogled, although actual sex may not occur in the karaoke room.
- Paying for girls to provide entertainment is not the same as paying for a violinist to play the violin for you. The doemi services are pure objectification, exploitation, and violation of women as human beings.
- Doemi girls make easy money, therefore many end up feeling shameful and are stigmatized by society. The ones I have spoken to who have gotten out of the industry have expressed immense regret.
- Supporting the doemi business can have a detrimental effect on families. Fathers and husbands who utilize doemi services may one day be lured into cheating or come to find that their own daughters are working in this industry.
- The doemi business is harmful to Korean culture and society as it is multiplying. People view Korean girls to be sexual objects, materialistic, and loose.
- Doemi girls are victimzed, even though they have usually made the choice to be in this industry and many are unaware of what is happening to them as human beings. Their souls and bodies are being disrespected and abused. They become spiritually and mentally trapped.
- The Korean doemi business is affecting other ethnic groups, as they advertise on well-known sites. Many Caucasian, Japanese, Chinese, Malaysian, Filipino, Vietnamese, and Latino girls can be found working as doemi girls as well, not to mention that many non-Korean men have started going to Koreatown to gain access to the doemi services.
- Customers who call doemi services view these services as fun entertainment. This is not the case. Because of the high influx of men paying for girls to sit with them, the doemi services are growing rapidly. The Korean community must come together to stop the demand.
- Many people say that it is impossible and a waste of time to try and stop this business from proliferating. These same people say that it is pointless for churches and pastors to fight the sex industry, that sex work is the oldest profession in the world–and that it is never going to end. These people need to study history and read some books on William Wilberforce.
- Men and women, customers, owners, and workers who are involved in the doemi business–are usually victimized by greed and abuse–especially mentally and emotionally.
- The doemi business is a part of the sex industry, even though their work does not always lead to sex. They are selling the idea of sex and being sexual for money with strangers.
If you are a worker wanting to get out of this industry, a person contemplating on working in a noraebang as a doemi, an ex-worker trying to avoid stigmatization and attacks or dealing with guilt and shame, a trafficker selling girls into the industry, a doemi service owner, a taxi driver driving the girls and johns to and fro, an ex-worker who wants to help others get out, or anyone who is associated with or a supporter of the industry, please contact us. There are many people who would like to help you, pray with you, and love you in the name of Christ.
Don’t get into the doemi business. More importantly–Don’t support the doemis business as a customer. Help spread awareness. Help protect these women from being victimized. Pray that the young girls, who are getting into the industry so easily and without concern, may be transformed through the Gospel and know that they are so valuable and beyond previous. Pray that the girls, who have been horribly abused and believe this is their only option, will be given justice and a fresh new future. May they hear God’s voice calling out to them. Lord, break our hearts as your heart breaks, so that we may fight for your freedom and justice to reign over our precious community. Give the Korean community better judgement and distinct, clear discernment between what is acceptable by you and what is not. Oh come and help us Lord!