The Perils of Male Prostitution
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE
Because Pretty Dude would be a bomb-ass hit. Maybe.
By Eugene S. Robinson
The Gigolo Is Up
EUGENE, SIR: I just found out my boyfriend of three years used to be an escort. He says he needed the money and had sex only with female clients, but he did do “dom” work with men. This came out casually, not like I discovered it or anything, or like he was trying to hide it, so at first I felt like I should not be freaked out. But I am, a little bit. We used condoms for the first month we were together but didn’t after that. So that’s got me freaked out. Also, now I’m basically dating a prostitute and maybe I should have seen it coming, because he is super toned, careful about his looks (to a level approaching metrosexuality), and so on. My friends are divided. I’m confused, about how much this should actually matter. Don’t know if this is a factor, but my boyfriend did escort work for three years. (He still sees some of his female clients socially, by the way.) Please advise. — M.J.
Dear Miss Jackson, Our Love Is Real: Your quandary? Curiously symbolic. How so? Well, while I am not sure how much your boyfriend was working or how many clients he had, let’s say, just for the sake of argument, 30. Now, based on my friends who have similar work histories, 30 is high for a man not working exclusively with men. According to a 2016 survey, most people average about 15 sex partners during the course of their long, sex-deprived lives and lie about how many sex partners they’ve had during the same period. We could comfortably guess that while 30 is double that, it’s not outside the statistical norm.
Which is to say, your toned, well-coiffed man could have nonprofessionally bedded at least 30 partners in however many sexually active years he’s been on this planet. That number might have rankled, but, in the spirit of not wanting to slut-shame him, you might have said nothing more than “good show.” Even if you didn’t mean it.
And yet, the veneer of commerce has created confusion. As well as a casus belli for slut-shaming him for having been a professional slut. I don’t say you’re wrong, I just say you’re not honest. Or another way, it’s probably natural to be cranky about your partner’s number of sex partners (since the unspoken assumption might be if one is not enough, then 1,000 is not too many), it’s just dishonest to say it’s because he took cash from those sex partners.
Moreover, I would say that given the casualness with which he mentioned his history speaks to the fact that it was not a fact that needed to be concealed. In his mind. But if I were you? Ask for HIV tests. Simple. What’s not so simple? The friend-tracking of his former “johns.” Even though this also sits in symbolic land since if they were just exes, you’d grin/grimace and bear it, commerce gives you a cause to deliberately not do so. So, what should you do? If this is a relationship you want to keep, just skate on by it. These are not deep-seated character flaws, and there is an old Chinese saying, possibly apocryphal, that you shouldn’t laugh at the prostitute but laugh at the poor person.
While laughing at poor folks is, in general, in bad taste, you could do a lot worse than having an ex-hooker for a husband. Hope this helps.
Like Water Is Wet
EUGENE, SIR: How do I get wet again? I’m 47 and I can’t anymore. — Looking 4 Love
Dear Wookin Pa Nub: Enemies of vaginal wetness? Menopause, bubble baths, douches and, not so surprisingly, douchebags. Friends of vaginal wetness? Vaginal moisturizers, vaginal lubricants, estrogen therapies (under a doctor’s advisement) and, predictably, a physically fit, handsome man with a marked interest in cooking, rom-coms and moving furniture without complaint, when asked. If this isn’t a cure, it’s certainly a starting point.
EUGENE, SIR: Do you think VR [virtual reality] porn will be the cause of the downfall of the human race because there’s no need to sleep with real people since VR porn is so good? — Name withheld by request
Dear Onan: Is porn so good? How good does porn have to be? How could it be better? What would make it better? And would whatever that is when transferred into VR make the tactile side of sex so much less interesting that people would actually stop screwing each other? Hard questions with no easy answers, but since we take all comers, let’s consider for a second that there were an internet client application that gathered from what we did online what our ideal sex partner would be and, based on our unconscious interests, how they were like. Then, for some nominal fee, we could pay to have this person fed back to us via some Oculus Rift goggles in a multidimensional avatar that we could interact with. In the end, no matter how enticing this might all seem, no matter how future sexy it might be, it still looks like one thing: you jerking off in a room alone.
While not a bad way to spend 10 minutes here or there, it’s certainly not in the running for how any of us really want to be spending the rest of our lives. Unless you’re in sales, and then it seems like Tuesday, I guess. Which is to say, no matter how good VR porn is, it’ll never be better than really average sex with someone who is actually in the same room with you.