These were the things that were pinging in my mind as I descended into Numbers. Or maybe madness.
Hmmmm. I don't know how personal I should get here. Should I even be writing about this at all? How willing am I to let my hair down? Do you really need to know this about me? Maybe. Maybe my experience will help you with your decision as to whether or not you want to be a prostitute. I'm being serious. Maybe some of you reading this have been a prostitute. Maybe you currently are a prostitute. This is a no judgement zone. I have zero problem with prostitution. I just had a problem with actually being a prostitute. I'm talking about prostitution as a personal choice. A willful decision on the part of the individual. Sexual slavery and forced prostitution are not what I'm talking about. Those endeavors are evil.
So why get into this subject? Well, it's a subject that fascinates me. Fascinates a lot of us, I think. And as I'm a writer, I think it's my duty to be as truthful as possible with you.
So, before I take you into the bowels of Numbers(?); let's back up a bit and I'll tell you about the other times the occupation of Sex Worker presented itself as an option in my life.
Looking back, even though it was a mistake, I'm glad I did it. It was a sort of "living on your own, trial by fire." Except, with roommates, which was another crucible and a valuable experience. The Apt. 3G experiment went from about Spring of 1988 to Autumn of 1988 and I'm telling ya, that entire thing was a whole other blog. Maybe a whole other book.
So, Peter, who was what my mother would've referred to as "an odd duck," worked at the Park Plaza Hotel that summer. Keep that in mind. He was a bell-boy. Keep that in mind too. So, my friends and I were into the night-life. We went out a lot. I swear to God that from pretty much Fall of 1984 to Fall of 1991 all I did every night was go out and dance. And despite the copious amounts of beer; I see now that my svelte frame and almost visible abs were due to all that dancing. It was at one of these night clubs that myself and one of my roommates were approached to be "dancers." Except, these weren't your ordinary go-go boys. These guys "danced" with erections. The manager of the club had found some loop-hole in the Puritanical Boston legal system that allowed completely nude guys with hard-ons to strut around a stage to music for the purposes of entertainment. One night this manager pulled me and my friend aside and explained the process and offered us jobs as said "dancers."
"So, you want us to like, dance around the stage with stiffies?" I asked, incredulously.
"But how do you stay erect?" my friend asked.
"Rubber bands." The manager replied. We both passed.
I looked over at Peter. What the hell is this? Is this actually a pitch to be a male prostitute? Peter did not return my gaze. I was confused. What was happening? Why had Peter brought us to meet this person under somewhat duplicitous circumstances? My first impression of Dean hadn't been a good one, and it was rapidly deteriorating. He was morphing into a Dickens character before my eyes.
"So, in your Dream-Boy bag you will have towels, lube, toys, condoms if the client so wants them; and a credit card imprinter in order to facilitate payment..."
You may not be old enough to remember this, but a credit card imprinter was a device that used to be used to make charges. It was a metal tablet with a plate for the credit card. A paper slip with a carbon was laid on top of the card and then a clunky slide-rule type handle was swiped over the form. They were called "knuckle-busters" or "zip-zap" machines.
It was Peter, too, who got me a gig as a Production Assistant on a gay porn set. The movie was Invaders from URanus. You really can't make this stuff up.
Pornography is a kind of prostitution, isn't it? It's just structured in a different way.
So, how is pornography a form of prostitution? Well, if prostitution in its baseline essence is selling sex for money, then it counts. The porn company is paying the performer to have sex, thus becoming the pimp, who then sells it to the john: collecting the money through purchase or rental. Basically. Now that you can find "free" porn on the web, does the paradigm hold? I don't know. I wish that I talked to Russell that day. But I didn't. We probably had a lot in common.
Where were we? Oh yeah, I just stepped off the staircase in my sexiest outfit to go try to be the world's oldest male prostitute. So, I scan the room. On one side, there was a bar, with barstools. Sitting on those stools were rather non-descript gentlemen, who, I could see, were actually quite a bit older than me. And looked it. Most of them seemed unconcerned with their physiques. Portly? Yes, many of them were rather portly. Or stout.
On the other side of the room was a gaggle of young men...not too much younger than me, so I didn't feel completely ridiculous. The younger men were also "sexily" dressed and better looking than the men on the barstools. I went and stood with them and engaged in an awkward attempt to mix and mingle. Occasionally, one of the younger guys would cross this invisible line and move over to the bar and start talking to one of the "johns." I was just observing, figuring out how to play this little game when one of the "boys" sidled up to me. He was clearly the best looking guy in the room. He was sweet and had a disarming smile. He sort of looked like this guy:
The jerk in question was a gentleman somewhere in his forties. Doughy. Glasses. Looked a little like Newman from Seinfeld. There were boys on either side of him, flirting; and he--a would be raconteur--was braying loudly. "Geez," David complained, "is that what we have to work with?" I laughed. He was standing very close. I could feel his body heat. There was an attraction. "Maybe," he smiled, "you and me could have a three-way with one of them..." Was he kidding around? Maybe not. "I wish it could be just you and me..." He smiled again. I blushed. No one ever hit on me like that. Almost never. "Yeah," I sighed, "me too." He said it like there was some set rule that he and I couldn't have just walked out of there and had our own tete-a-tete. Or maybe David just saw me as the "older guy" and he was trying to hustle me. But I don't think that was it. Anyhow...
I laughed to myself and it was all over. I hauled it out of there. Said so long to David and back up those stairs.
When you go to a gay hooker bar and find yourself disappointed because you didn't leave with another aspiring hooker, there's a problem. David was the only thing in the room that I wanted any part of. I realized that there was no way on Earth I was ever going to be a male prostitute; old or otherwise. It simply wasn't in my blood. My make-up. My molecular structure. And I realized that age, as far as male prostitutes go, isn't that big a problem. There's actually a lot of niches in the gay world of erotica for older men.
Remember that male prostitute that "brought down" Ted Haggard. His name was Mike Jones (a name so bland it has to be real):
I think Mike was 50ish when the Haggard thing went down. Mike is what you call a "Daddy." That's a gay man of a certain age, usually hunky and ruggedly handsome. They get a lot of work. I don't think there's really a corresponding niche in the straight world. I've never heard of "Mommy" prostitutes (what would that even be?). If it is a niche (and its gotta be) I'm guessing it's a niche within a niche.
When I was the P.A. on Invaders from URanus, the director, a delightful and kind man named "Thor Stephens" suggested at one point that perhaps, maybe, I might like to be on the other side of the camera. I laughed and declined. There was no way that was going to happen. That required a certain set of skills I didn't have. Firstly, you must have a certain amount of Exhibitionistic tendencies and be completely and utterly comfortable in being completely naked for long amounts of time in front of anybody. You also need a certain amount of priapism. Nope. Not for me. I'll pass. I'll just sit here and hold the C-light.
Now, I'm not sure exactly what the intentions of these two films were. Were they supposed to be sort of Public Service warnings? "Hey America, this is what might happen to your kids. Don't let it! And, wanna watch?" For the kids watching it made this lifestyle rather desirous. Hey, if Jan Brady can go live the wild life, so can I! So yeah, these "expose" TV movies had a decided amount of prurience. And these two in particular did little to deglamorize prostitution; underage or otherwise. "Wow, doesn't Jan look hot in that halter dress and rabbit fur coat!?"
Of course, Pretty Woman made an entire generation of girls want to be prostitutes. Boys too. Who wouldn't want to spend the week-end giving Richard Gere head at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in a Turnbull and Asser robe for $3000 bucks? Richard G. Another actor who totally helped to glamorize prostitution:
Let's face it: sex is a bartering tool in our society. Prostitution just puts it up front. Actually makes it honest. So, why don't we just legalize the undertaking? That way it can be more controlled. Perhaps it would keep a lot of people out of danger. I mean, The Moonlite Bunny Ranch in Arizona seems to be working out for all parties involved; particularly for the ladies, who are relatively protected. What, would officially sanctioning the profession be some kind of moral downward spiral? Please. It exists. It always has. It's not going anywhere. Take off your Pilgrim hat and get with it, America.
I mean, what if I'd come through (so to speak) at Numbers? What if I had become the worlds oldest male prostitute? What if I'd retired from it and you found out about it?
Would it change the way you think about me?
Would you think less of me?
What would you think?
So, there's a theory, popularized by The DaVinci Code, I believe, that posits that Mary Magdalene, history's most famous hooker, was actually Christ's wife. Or at least his live-in-lady-love. But the Catholic church couldn't have a sexually active Christ; so they attempted to besmirch her by branding her a whore who was little more than a groupie. Only men would think that up. Stupid men. Like, having Christ hang around with a prostitute doesn't beg the question as to whether or not she was performing her talents for him? That he would hang with a hooker is even more Christian. Did they not realize that? Men are such dicks.
But Jesus being friends with a hooker? Isn't that rather radical? It's totally cool. And kinda hot.