Penis whitening is the bizarre new trend gripping the gay community
A bizarre new trend has taken hold of the gay community in Thailand and it might be the weirdest procedure of 2018 yet.
Inspired by anal bleaching, gay men in Thailand are now signing up for another skin-lightening fad, for their penises.
The Lelux hospital in Bangkok has reported a spike in the number of people seeking out the laser treatment which supposedly lightens the nether region.
Nearly 100 men, prominently identifying within the LGBTQ spectrum, have accessed the clinic for the service.
The clinic offers other skin-whitening services and developed the procedure for genitalia after one patient sought it out specifically after complaining about “dark parts”.
Bunthita Wattanasiri, a manager at the hospital, told AFP that “a lot of people are asking about it”.
Wattanasiri explained that it was important for them to be extra vigilant with patients seeking out the procedure because of the sensitive nature of genitalia.
“We have to be careful because it’s a sensitive part of the body,” they added.
Popol Tansakul, the marketing manager of Lelux, explained that they take patients flying in from other countries such as Myanmar, Cambodia and Hong Kong.
“They are popular among gay men and transvestites who take good care of their private parts,” he said. “They want to look good in all areas.”
One 30-year-old who received the treatment explained that he wanted to “feel more confident” especially when wearing swimming trunks.
The manager said that most clients seeing out the session are aged between 22 and 55-years-old.
A tiny laser is used to whiten the skin in the area and will set back patients about $650 for five sessions.
The fad has gained worldwide attention after the clinic shared pictures of the procedure online.
“The obsession… people nowadays can’t embrace their own skin colour,” one person wrote in response to the pictures.
Another added: “Oh god… what ever happened to the world?”
A third questioned; “Why?”
Thailand’s health ministry has since issued a warning to the clinic and other medical establishments over carrying out the procedure.
They warned that patients may suffer pain, inflammation, scars or have issues with their reproductive system.
The ministry also said that unless the treatment is kept up it is likely that the pigment in the skin will come back and patients will be left with “nasty looking spots”.
“Penis laser whitening is not necessary, wastes money and may give more negative effects than positive ones,” Dr Thongchai Keeratihuttayakorn of the ministry said in the statement.
The procedure, which sprouted from Westernised ideals of beauty, is popular in Thailand.
Whitening products in the country are unusually popular but incredibly divisive as critics say they promote racism.
One cosmetics firm facing severe criticism after it ran an ad campaign on Bangkok public transport saying “only white people can sit here”.