Sticky Fingers :: Profiling the Modern Hustler
It happens every night of the year in small towns and big cities across the nation. With a flash of the cash and an execution of a sex act, the "rentboy" and his "john" do business. In the gay sex world modelesque male escorts, erotic masseurs and baby-face hustlers are in abundance. And business is booming.
Sexy. Hot. Talented. Discrete. Those are the tag words that Taylor,, 19, uses to hook a john. Taylor works in the San Diego area but says that he’s had a number of clients pay for him to travel to other cities to meet them. It’s easy to see why. He is the muscular blonde boy next door. Taylor is hot. Anyone would want to fuck him. But Taylor won’t play for free. He will cost you $200 a session and well over $1,000 for the whole night.
"I like all types of guys," he tells me as we communicate via video chat. "I’m a fulltime student but I try to keep a flexible schedule so I can make more money."
He is highly sexual, even more so than a regular 19-year-old. More than once, throughout our hour-long video chat, he offers to show me his cock. I’m not even sure he realizes that I was working on a feature for EDGE and wasn’t role-playing. Either way, he was remarkably forthcoming with information that would’ve made me blush at his age.
No, he is not worried about contracting HIV because he "only plays safe." Yes, a majority of his clients are married men who "usually keep their ring on when we fuck." There are certain things Taylor won’t do for pay, but he says that most of his customers are respectful of his wishes.
He makes money and lots of it. When asked if the plethora of online dating sites such as adam4adam.com or iPhone apps like Grindr have hurt his business he laughs and says, "Are you kidding?! I’m on those too. That’s where I pick up most of my clients."
"While most guys are on A4A hooking up for free, I am getting paid," Andy, 22, an Asian-American self-described Abercrombie looking college kid says.
Andy, who works the men in Chicago, and has quite a bit more experience than Taylor, tells me that he charges $395 for out calls but you can have him for the night at $1,295.
Like Taylor, Andy is highly fuckable. These are not the crystal meth addicted homeless kids portrayed in straight to DVD gay dramas. Still, I couldn’t fathom paying anyone over a grand to fuck me and then - (yikes) - sleep next to me because I paid them to.
Andy is quick to tell me that I would be surprised at the number of clients who pay him for 8 hours of his time. "The men who pay me to stay with them are usually in town on business or they are closeted, and I am that sexual outlet they can’t get at home," he says suddenly sounding like a sex therapist and not a 22-year-old kid. "People think that my clients are all fat and ugly. Most of them are really handsome and some of them are really hot."
The Thrill of It...
It’s not all milk and cookies though. When I told Andy about little Taylor, he said that his advice to the young hustler would be to "get half the money up front" and to "always let someone know what hotel or house you are going to" which would lead one to the logical conclusion that Andy has had more than one bad experience.
"All in all, I’m not ashamed of what I do," he said. "I love sex and well, fuck it, why not get paid for it. I put a lot of work into my physical appearance and it turns me on to get paid to do this."
Terry, 35, is a successful entrepreneur and as he puts it "one hell of a gamer." Terry pays men for sex. I found him online in a chat room set up by hustlers in the Los Angeles area looking for men to pass the time with.
The southern California video game enthusiast is average looking. He’s got money, a career, and doesn’t appear to be socially awkward. I’m perplexed. What is it about the sexual underworld of prostitution that allures him?
"Look. I get it," I tell him. "The sex is good. The guys are hot. They do what you say when you say. But the elephant in the room remains." I took a pause, and then asked, "Why do you pay when so many get laid for free?"
"It’s the thrill of it all," he says. "Plus, if I’m going to be completely honest, I am into a lot of strange shit. If I pick up a guy in a bar or meet online, I have to be sure he is into the same stuff I’m into. With a rentboy, I pay and they do. It is less embarrassing and a lot more enjoyable for me."
Working 9 to 5...
"There are some serious head cases out there," says Alex, 33, a Cuban-American escort living in Miami. "You would be surprised what some guys are into."
Alex has been a sex-worker for 10-years. "It is not unusual for guys to ask you to do things that aren’t the norm," he continued. "But most guys are pretty chill. Sometimes I walk away feeling like a crook because I charge $325 for an hour and all they want to do is suck me off. In 10 minutes I am walking out the door. Those are the best for money - you can do two in an hour on the weekend and really make a lot of cash - especially if a cruise ship is in town or a convention."
This veteran of the rentboy world tells me that the scene can vary from city to city but in the end, at the ends of the day, when the act is complete, it’s all the same. "You’d be hard-pressed to find a guy that will tell you he is ashamed of this life," he says. "Movies and whatnot have really fucked up people’s perception of us. Yeah, some of us party. But we are mostly athletic guys or students. And I would tell you that all the other hustlers I know practice safe sex."
In other words, it’s all in a days work. Whereas the rest of us grab a briefcase or portfolio on our way out the door to work, these boys grab condoms and lube. They are not streetwalkers; on the contrary, they are online businessmen who deliver their services via touch. Disguised as male companions for the evening - and, I guess, in many ways they are - they suck and fuck their way all the way to the bank as they pay for school, nice clothes, and rent on luxury condos. It would seem that the male hustler has come a long way, claiming his rightful spot in 2011 as a legitimate opportunist - sticky fingers and all.
If you’re in New York City check out the finalists of this year’s Hookies The International Escort Awards!. The event will be held live March 18 at the legendary Roseland Ballroom as part of the Black Party weekend of events!