6 Things We Learned As Legal Male Prostitutes
Australia is the fabled land of murderous fauna, Road Warriors, rapping kangaroos, and bountiful legal prostitution. That's right -- laws were passed in 1992 that allow for the free exchange of money for sexin' the Land Down Under. All you have to do is register with the Business Licensing Authority (and even then, registration is only required in some provinces), and you're ready to start your career as a professional sex-slinger ... male or female.
Yeah, that's the thing -- to date, the biggest cultural touchstone we have on the subject of male prostitution is the Deuce Bigalow series, and the only real lesson that can be gleaned from those films is "how to punish your children on movie night." So, we spoke to two men who chose to try their hands (etc.) at a life of legal, government-registered prostitution, and, as it turns out, there are some surprising differences between the sexes of sex workers, even in a country where all prostitutes are guaranteed equal protection of the law:
Both Sexes Will Hire Prostitutes, But Most Males Are Too Scared To Follow Through
We're not here to promote prostitution or anything, but we do want to show you a picture of one of our sources, Ryan James:
Several of you just boarded flights to Australia.
Guys tend to assume that heterosexual male prostitutes would quickly go out of business -- after all, if a woman wants to get laid, can't she just stroll into any bar and say, "Who here wants to get their fuck on?" But, women seek out the pro's services for all sorts of reasons. "I've seen a girl who was studying full time and working a lot, and she was about to turn 21 and wanted to lose her virginity before [then]," Ryan says. "But, she 'couldn't be bothered going out' to find somebody she wanted to sleep with. [I also saw] a 50-year-old lesbian who had 'sleep with a guy' on her bucket list. She just wanted to see what it was like."
Ryan services women only, and our other source, Albert, markets to the dudes. But, he found that servicing male clients is tricky. There is still a significant social stigma associated with homosexuality, so any male prostitute has to build in a certain amount of "expectation of failure" every time a man calls to book them. For instance, a significant number of the folks who contact Albert ask him to do an "in-call", meaning they want to come over to his house. That's still illegal in his part of the world, unless you've paid to have your home brothelized. "Generally, they ask to do an in-call because they're closeted," Albert says, "or cheating on their wife/husband, and they just want to remain as anonymous as possible and don't want a 'rentboy' in their house ..."
"So, where would you feel comfortable doing this?"
"Uh, do you have a passport?"
And in general, males just tend to get cold feet at the last minute. "Out of every three clients who book me and say, 'I want you to come over at X time and fuck me,' probably about two-thirds of them cancel," Albert explains. "So, if I have a new client scheduled ... I plan that evening as if I don't have that client. For instance, I have a new client for Wednesday, but there's a [66 percent] chance he's going to cancel, so I've also got plans with a friend to hang out and watch TV." Albert basically just has to prepare for a Wednesday evening that could go in one of two wildly different directions.
Other male clients will try to get as much "service" as they can without actually following through with the transaction. " ... [there are] guys who like the fantasy of hiring a rentboy, but don't want to go through with it," Albert says. "There was one guy who would call and ask, ' ... What are you wearing? When did you fuck last? Did you like having your dick sucked?' At first, when I was new, I talked to him. But, I very quickly realized he was just in it to jerk off over the phone for free."
Why don't you just call Domino's like a normal pervert?
This isn't the only time Albert's been cheated by a potential John:
" ... I've had guys who wanted me to jerk off on webcam for them. And when I was new to it, I sort of opened to that idea and was like, 'OK, if you pay me an advance over Paypal or a bank transfer, that's fine.' Eventually, I settled on, 'Here's my Amazon wish list. Buy me something, and I'll jerk off on camera for you.' Then, a couple days later, I noticed that he had cancelled the purchase. Now, I don't do anything on cam for anyone."
Therapists Will Refer Patients To Sex Workers
We're going to guess that exactly zero of the people reading this have ever had their doctor look at an X-ray, furrow their brow, and say, "You know what you need? To go find a hooker and get yourself laid, bro!" If he did, the odds are he wasn't actually a doctor. But, in a country where prostitution is legal, it can totally happen -- Ryan has had clients who were referred to him by sex therapists.
"Take that prescription to Craigslist, and we'll meet again next week for high-five exchange therapy."
One woman had a problem with vaginismus, an involuntary tightening of the vaginal muscles that makes any kind of penetration extremely painful. "There are various methods sex therapists and psychologists use [to treat it]," Ryan says. "One method [involves] these things called 'dilators,' dildos ranging from a small size to a normal size." Unfortunately, the telescoping dildos didn't work in this particular case, so the therapist sent the poor woman to Ryan with a referral. "And essentially, I just took a very long time making her comfortable. We spent basically two hours on foreplay and oral, building up to one finger, then two fingers, then full-on penis-and-vagina intercourse. That was a gradual build-up over the course of two hours."
And yes, there is at least one study saying sex work and therapy are more effective at treating vaginismus than just therapy alone. Another woman Ryan saw hadn't had sex in 20 years because of some abuse she had suffered when she was younger. "She used it as a stepping stone," Ryan says. "It was a safe environment for her."
Sex Workers Can Advertise
In Australia, you can run an ad in the yellow pages and openly offer to let men and women pay to fuck you just as freely as you could advertise a yard sale or a litter of kittens. There are some limitations, however -- you can't show your nipples (even if you're a guy), you can't talk about your dick, and you can't explicitly talk about sex in your advertisement. Consequently, the physical ads wind up looking pretty tame:
"Hi, I'm calling about your ad. I understand you're selling $24.99 hot tubs?"
Even on the Internet, where things are a bit looser, personal ads tend to be fairly subdued:
"Most clients find me through my [Internet] ads," Albert says. "One is on Rentboy Australia, and probably half to two-thirds [of my clients] message me on that. The other half message me based on my ads on a site called Squirt.org, a gay hook-up site that allows you to escort as well." As its name probably suggests, Squirt.org is somewhat less subtle:
Yes, that's a semen droplet dotting the "i".
Meanwhile, we showed you Ryan James' website earlier, and he orchestrates a lot of his bookings through social media:
"I get a lot of work through [Instagram and Facebook], and people are directed to my website from them ... Twitter is the main one for escorts in Australia ... I'll say, 'I'm going to be in Perth on such and such day', so anyone following me on Twitter will know when I'm in town so they can book me. People don't just want to see a page with a profile written about a person, they want a bit of personality -- to feel like they can get to know that person. It helps people get a better idea ... women might be hesitant and nervous about booking a guy, [social media] gives them a bit more of an idea of what they're going to get."
Drugs And Erections Are A Challenge
Erections are troublesome things sometimes, and they're doubly troubling when doing your job requires you to achieve one and see it through to the end. Albert has his own strategies for ensuring his salami doesn't turn into a tube of ground beef. "I think about sexual encounters I actually enjoy -- imagination and Viagra almost always do the trick. I don't need to stay hard the entire time I'm there, just at the critical moments. And a lot of guys understand if I have a little difficulty getting hard. When you're nervous, in a new situation, it's harder to get aroused. "
Ryan actually worked part-time in porn, and he found it much easier to "remain vigilant" during his work as a prostitute. "It might sound surprising ... it's a lot harder to get an erection in porn than in escorting, regardless of how the client looks or how attracted I am to them. In porn, it's about what you're capturing on camera; it's not about the two performers. You're focused on the performance. In escorting, you're focused on the physical act. You're more able to focus and concentrate. I just find it easier."
Whoever would've guessed a cameraman trying to get a low-angle penetration close-up would be distracting.
Further complicating matters is the fact that clients often want you to do drugs with them. Depending on your attitude toward drugs, this can be a wonderful perk or a constant annoyance. According to Ryan, "Clients who are into sex and drugs say something like, 'Do you mind if we're wired for sex?' or 'Are you into wired' play?' That means meth. I'll usually say, 'No, meth isn't my thing, I can't help you there.' One time I said that and the client said, 'No, by wired, I meant MDMA, we're old school.' I was like, 'Sure, I'm up for doing E with you guys.'"
STDs Aren't As Big A Problem As You Might Think
Sex work, like sex, comes with a few risks. Albert's lived them. "I actually did have a scare in March ... One guy I hooked up with tested positive [for chlamydia] and told me, 'Hey, I just tested positive. You should get checked out.' That day, I went and got tested [and] treated ... and I immediately texted everyone I slept with who could've been exposed, including clients, saying, 'Hey, I just got chlamydia.' I probably lost a few clients thanks to that. But, most of them appreciated that when I found out, I let them know immediately ... One client was like, 'I've gotten chlamydia before, it was nothing,' and then, later in person, told me, 'I've actually never had an STD, I just wanted you to feel better.'"
Our other source, Ryan, hasn't caught an STD from his work. And he's actually closer to the norm than Albert -- less than 1 percent of Australia's sex workers test positive during studies of the industry. That's actually a lower rate than the general population, which means that, statistically speaking, it's way safer to pay for sex in Australia than to go out trolling for strangers. However, as you may have already guessed, the risk is greater for female sex workers -- while male prostitutes like Ryan and Albert are rarely, if ever, asked to tear off their condoms like Clark Kent's suit, female sex workers there are frequently offered extra money to have unprotected sex.
"Sorry, but the only 'big tip' I'm interested in is the reservoir."
But, sometimes, not even a condom is enough. " ... there's a lot more to it than 'use a condom and get tested,'" Ryan explains. "I get tested monthly. You're supposed to get tested every three months, but it's down to the individual. The police won't knock on your door if you don't get tested often enough. I use condoms, [but], if you're not using lube [as well], it's going to get dry and tear."
The very first legal prostitute we ever interviewed mentioned doing dick checks on clients to make sure everything was on the up-and-up. Ryan doesn't work with dicks, but he does do vagina checks. "When you see a client for the first time, you inspect down there. I try to work it into the physical act [because] women get uptight when you say, 'Let me check down there.'"
If you need to get a really close look, work in some "sexy optometrist" role play.
Ryan points out (and this is confirmed by the CDC) that condoms aren't 100 percent guaranteed to prevent a herpes infection because herpes is spread through skin-to-skin contact rather than through bodily fluids. So, any piece of skin that isn't covered by the condom, at any point during a spirited bout of intercourse, is at risk, including any bits that might become exposed by a storm of latex-tearing passion. "And you can visually see an outbreak," Ryan says. "You can't slap a condom on and forget about it."
Men Don't Make As Much, But Also Don't Suffer The Same Stigma
So, do guys get rich doing this? It depends.
Albert only does it on the side, and sex work is easy enough to get into that it can make a pretty solid part-time gig ... provided you're a man. Unlike their female counterparts, male prostitutes are pretty free to dip their toes into hooking without facing the same social stigma -- the whole "studs vs sluts" double standard even holds true when everybody involved is just punching a time clock. They're more free to pick their level of commitment to the field.
"I know some guys do it full time," Albert says. "The ones who really make an effort can make about $1,500 a week ... It's inconsistent, though. When I did it full time, I'd go one to two weeks with no clients and then get four to five [clients] in a [single] weekend. So, I would go from nothing to $2,000 in a weekend. I probably averaged about $600 to $700 a week, when I was doing it exclusively. Now that I have a 9 to 5 job, I've scaled it back a bit. But, I still make, on average, $300 to $400 a week."
Which is still probably more than some of you reading this.
Ryan, on the other hand, made his full-time living this way. And while the money was good, the market isn't anywhere close to what it is for a female. "[Females] can charge up to two to three times as much as the guys, and get two to three times more work, some of them." But, that comes at a price, even in a country where sex work is legal. " ... women are judged much more heavily than men are," Ryan says. "I don't get too many people who hear what I do and judge me. People don't swear at me or insult me for what I do. I think it is a little bit more accepted here because of that, but I think there's probably a long way to go in terms of acceptance for sex workers."
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