Mixtapes for Hookers

Last Year’s Hookies
March 21, 2013, 3:24 pm
Filed under: gay, hookers | Tags: , , , , , ,


[Note: I had originally written this for an actual publication, but my editor got a promotion and his replacement wasn’t so interested in hearing about gay escorting. I tried a couple of other outlets but I’m terrible at story pitching and alas, here it is 364 days later on this graveyard of a blog.]

It’s Friday night and there’s one solitary cop stationed outside the Roseland Ballroom on 59th Street in midtown Manhattan. It’s not an especially unusual sight; the Roseland is the largest ballroom in all of Manhattan, after all, and it’s standard to have law enforcement on hand in case the crowds get rowdy or somebody does something dangerous.

What’s odd, though, is the event he’s patrolling: the sixth annual Hookies, an awards ceremony honoring men who make some (if not all) of their livings by having sex with other men. Which is not actually legal in the state of New York, or anywhere else in the US, for that matter, excepting a few rogue counties of Nevada.

The Hookies are thrown each March by Rentboy.com, a listings website for gay male escorts that’s been around since 1997. Currently they have about 4200 ads posted in 79 countries (mostly the US and China), though those numbers don’t exactly reflect their actual number of advertisers. Escorts can list themselves in multiple cities, and many do; one adventurous Parisian named Kevin, for instance, currently has ads placed in Iran, Iraq, Syria, Tunisia and Botswana. (He’s not the one escort that claims to serve North Korea, although if you’re curious there’s one of those, too.)

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The Grey Man, And Why This Invisible Children Mess Isn’t So Surprising

You probably know that I try my best not to talk about international politics ever, on this blog but also pretty much in the real world. But the #Kony2012 hysteria–and a backlash so immediate that I actually knew about the backlash before the hysteria–has been really fascinating me for the past week or so.

The story, about Invisible Children, a group of Americans who produced a video calling for military action against a kidnapper in a country that most Americans would never be able to find on a map, gained a lot of traction almost immediately, thanks in large part to the Twitter-going ways of Jesus-loving teenagers in Alabama and also Invisible Children’s tactic of using Twitter to bomb the accounts of certain celebrities like Ryan Seacrest and Ellen DeGeneres,* whose opinions on African militarization are suddenly things we are meant to consider seriously.

But this story–to put it unsympathetically, a bunch of privileged white people go to somewhere far away and use exploited children as a means to feel better about themselves and their white privilege and their frankly rather dodgy organization–sounded eerily familiar. And then I remembered the article I read last month about The Grey Man.

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Lost in the Streets–The Hidden World of Male Sex Workers

Tonight at Brown:

Have you heard of Project Weber yet? They’re an amazing group in Providence, RI doing direct service and outreach to male sexworkers in our state.

Come find out more as Richard Holcomb, co-founder of Project Weber, gives us an in-depth look into the world of male prostitution on the streets of U.S. cities and abroad. Through lecture, documentary clips, and a panel, this presentation will cover data, personal and professional experiences with this population, and the barriers and challenges in providing male sex-workers with appropriate services and support. The panel will include Richard Holcomb, one of Project Weber’s fantastic outreach workers, and documentary filmaker Dio Traverso, with SNEAK PEEK CLIPS from the documentary “Invisible”.

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On Monday It’s Tonio…
August 6, 2011, 4:21 pm
Filed under: hookers, movies | Tags: , , , ,

I first encountered the melody to “Never On Sunday,” without realizing it, as the base for late-nineties cheesefest “No Tengo Dinero,” a tinny sort of mariachi-inspired Shaggy-lite number that hit pop radio around my junior year of high school.  Years later, I’d encounter the song again as the lead track on Petula Clark’s truly fabulous 1965 album The World’s Greatest International Hits!  In the song, Clark tells a man how he can kiss her on any day of the week except Sunday, because by that point of the week she’s worn out from all the kissing.

I didn’t realize until much, much later that the song (which was originally performed in Greek with completely different lyrics) was the theme to Never On Sunday, an Oscar-nominated film from 1960 that’s part light-hearted Mediterranean comedy and part social drama about a prostitutes’ rebellion in Greece’s largest port city.

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Sunday News

Look at me, all up and eating a healthy breakfast and starting my day before 9am on a Sunday.  Here’s some news and stuff:

New York approved gay marriage!  Although hopefully you knew that already.  I had an interesting discussion last week with a gay marriage advocate here in Rhode Island, one who has no desire to actually get married herself.  This really isn’t at all about marriage as a heteronormative institution or anything like that; it’s about the state not telling certain people that they can do certain things that other people are forbidden to do.  Rich Juzwiak, who was out in New York that night, had maybe the most thoughtful take on the New York issue I’ve seen this week.

But while all of that was happening, the NY Eagle was being randomly raided by the fire department?

Google pulled an ad from some Dublin-based sex workers concerned about their rights being possibly affected by a proposed change in prostitution law.  (Ireland, I hadn’t realized, is currently like Canada, where the sale of sex itself is legal but most other things affiliated with prostitution are not.)

The 2012 Rentboy calendar is now available for pre-order on Amazon, which is always sort of funny to me.  Sad that I wasn’t asked to participate!  (Not really.)

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We’re Here To Help
May 30, 2011, 2:19 pm
Filed under: hookers, hot, people from rhode island | Tags: , ,

At long last, I can finally announce this reading I’m organizing in Providence on June 9th. I am very, very excited to have put this together. These are some of my favorite people (ahem ahem ahem ahem), largely because they are all smart and funny and interesting, and so I expect this event to be a big heap of fun.

The reading is part of Q30, which is this month-long queer art happening that a guy named Michael Kurt organized. He’s taken over a space downtown for the month and there’s readings and talks and music and films and a whole bunch of other stuff. It’s good that it’s happening in June because with the colleges out there’s often a shortage of interesting events going on.

Full performer bios after the jump:

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Reminder: Can We Please Just Talk About Sex Now, Please?
April 25, 2011, 11:25 am
Filed under: hookers, people from rhode island | Tags: , ,

Just a quick little reminder that you’ve only got until Saturday to apply for the night of sexy reading that I’m hosting in Providence on June 9th.  If you’re interested, send me an e-mail with your name, a very brief bio, and a sample of something you’re proud of.  More details are here.