What's So Funny About Male Sex Workers? - OZY | A Modern Media Company

What's So Funny About Male Sex Workers?

What's So Funny About Male Sex Workers?

By Eugene S. Robinson


Because it's idleness that should be shamed, not work.

By Eugene S. Robinson

Orgasm? Is That an Animal? Or a Country?

EUGENE, SIR: The ratio of times that we have sex to the number of times I have an orgasm is depressing. We dated for two years and have been married for a few months and I’m being thoroughly modern about it by talking about it, but that’s resulted in him being weird and watchful and then I can’t relax and then he gets frustrated and then I get frustrated and now it’s just easier to not have sex than to “try” to have it. We can’t afford a sex therapist now if you were going to suggest that. Actually I don’t know what you’d suggest so am open to suggestions. — WL

Dear Win Loss: I don’t know much, but what I do know is that tension doesn’t create the greatest of circumstances for either a good meal or good sex. Especially tension unresolved. You never tell me what the ratio is to times you get dressed for the party but never get to the party, so I have no idea how dire it is but let’s say this: It’s less the parties you’re not going to at this point and much more that you suspect trendlines will have you never going to a party ever again. Which, of course, is terrifying.

But terror is something we can work with. It is real but fueled by imagination here because realistically/statistically, it’s probably impossible for you to never have another orgasm again. So, let’s start there. If you can have an orgasm when masturbating, and I’m assuming you can, that’s a start. Can you have an orgasm masturbating while he watches? Can you two masturbate together and orgasm? OK, you see what we’re doing here?

The key here to me seems to be the de-signification of the orgasm. Sex is play and as such should feature elements of actual fun (versus grim determination). If your objective going in is just to have some version of fun, that seems to be a baby step in the right direction. At the very least it breaks the cycle of sex-disappointment and opens you two up to having fun together, something that may lead to having more fun together and may, if the wind blows right, lead to some orgasmic fun.

Worth a try and, realistically, your best bet. Give it a try. Let us know if it works out.

Pretty, Oh, Man

EUGENE, SIR: So now it’s funny to make fun of male sex workers? I get that the “pool boy” bit is supposed to be funny but really, bro, you couldn’t last a minute in my world. But it’s open season on men so keep laughing. Just don’t expect me to laugh with you. — Name withheld by request

Dear Paying the Cost, Boss: I have no idea where you believe I was making fun, but I suspect it was in the piece about the Falwell’s pool boy? I also suspect you didn’t get far beyond the headline before going umbrage 100 on me. Which is OK. This is, partially, why I am here. The reality, though? You’re wrong. Sex work is work and it’s harder work than many might imagine from media portrayals of what exactly is involved in having sex with strangers for cash.

Moreover, male sex workers aren’t often treated seriously out of a mistaken belief that they’re doing what most men do for free and they just have the audacity to charge for it. Well, in an upcoming season of OZY Confidential, I plan to talk to a few male sex workers. And not just ones that service other men — which again to many doesn’t seem like work at all if that’s your jam — but men who service women: cis women, trans women, disabled women. For half what their female counterparts make, and with very little partner understanding that it’s “just a job.”

My suggestion for you? Go back and actually read the article. With your eyes this time. You might see that we clearly agree on quite a few things.

Secret Sex … Shh …

EUGENE, SIR: I’m presently quarantined in a four-bedroom house with my fiancé and his parents. There’s enough room to comfortably quarantine for just about everything but sex really. I know, not the biggest deal, but I am noisy during sex sometimes. Which means we’re not really having much sex. Fine if quarantine lasted a month, but we’re six months in now. I’ve tried biting my lip, face in the pillow, turning the music on/up, and nothing seems to work. Ball gags seem a little much. I don’t think I really am that noisy, but offhand comments from the future in-laws have made me self-conscious. Is it my hearing that’s off, are they being nosy, or am I really just too noisy? — Noise Canceling in Nyack

Dear NCIN: Since I’m not sure whether they are staying with you or you are staying with them, and yeah, this might sort of make a difference in the whole home-is-castle way, I’ll have to focus, narrowly, on the problem at hand: the parameters of private things in private spaces.

The reality of it is that in order to get just about anything done we do a lot of looking, listening and even smelling the other way. Most certainly in public spaces (see: restrooms, locker rooms). Most definitely in private spaces. In public there has to be a lot of line-stepping for most/many of us to comment. In private? Well, the parameters here are quite different, regardless of who owns the place. Which is to say, unless you’re having sex on the dinner table in the middle of dinner, I think their commentary is out of line.

And it’s not even a question of you having a better sense of humor, that oft-applied standard when people are trying to tell you that you’re overreacting. Their refusal to not comment has lowered the quality of your sex life for no other reason than their amusement.

So, by my rules of life, screw trying to accommodate any of this. It should be no surprise that you two are having sex and the kind of sex you’re having and the way you’re having it is what it is. If it’s your place? They might consider going for walks more often and giving you two a little alone time. If it’s their place? Well, that’s what motels are for.

But trying to think of ways to be quiet? Never negotiate with terrorists!

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