Peddling flesh in Atlanta
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Soft hearts vs. hardons
If anybody told me that I strongly romanticize erotic experience I’d have to own they are right. If I felt impelled to defend myself I’d point out that I don’t expect others do to the same (like those gay virgin boys who hold themselves pure waiting for Mr. Right). Only a fool despises simple lust.
Although I grew up masculine I’ve often felt that my bias for idealized sex (which isn’t contradictory with the sex being rough and raunchy) is part of my psychic inheritance from my momma. I need to break this digression and get on with the first of my stories of vending male bodies.
Moving from Savannah to what was then Atlanta’s raffish midtown, street hustlers were among my earliest acquaintances. Mostly small-town bumpkins, they let men pay to suck their cocks. Too stupid, too lazy, sometimes too addicted to cope with the boredom of a regular job (screaming like a baby I fought against it myself).
In the early 70’s I worked on Atlanta’s only gay newspaper, The Atlanta Barb. As ‘associate editor’ I was typist, copyboy, secretary – did everything that the owner and publisher didn’t do.
A gay hotel in Ft. Lauderdale invited me to come stay for free. (They weren’t crass enough to say that they’d expect a free write-up in return.) I didn’t give a damn about Ft. Lauderdale (my image of which was based on an old Connie Francis movie Where the Boys Are). It was a chance to beg for advertising from south Florida gay bar owners.
Party boy whores
I called on the owner of Party Boys, a local gay escort – call boy - service. Unlike the bar owners, he was my age. Wanting to expand into Atlanta he asked if I’d like to open a franchise. You’ve seen the ads aimed at lazy people: Earn Money At Home In Your Spare Time. By his account all he did was wait at home for the phone to ring, dispatch a boy, collect his cut.
Back in Atlanta I talked about it with Bill, the Atlanta Barb’s publisher. Seemed like a way to make some of the money the paper never did. I shared a house with Bill; it was the only pay I ever got from the paper. We’d run it there. Bill was the closest thing to an official gay representative to the city government so it was all put in my name. I became President, CEO and only stockholder of Youngman, Incorporated (a Delaware Corporation).
”Roger the Masseur” had been advertising in The Advocate, a twice-monthly tabloid that was the only national gay newspaper. Our only competitor, only one man.
The art of hiring a male whore
I’m sure there are many business books with edifying chapters on the importance of employee recruitment. No enterprise could be more dependent on its workers than the sex for hire trade. So talking to wannabe male whores was crucial.
Straight or at least het-identified men were crossed off the list. I’d met a few old guys who thought only straight cock was worth having. One of the few sexual inclinations I couldn’t accept. (And looking like rough trade I drew a fair measure of them.)
Others I rejected because they didn’t have the minimal skills for dealing with people. Some of the clients were going to be skittish, many closet cases calling from hotels. A few seemed too stupid to be trusted to get to the right place and on time.
I hired a couple of friends. Mark wasn’t particularly good looking but he had a knack for winning people’s confidence. Being readily cheerful and amiable was often as good as being physically beautiful. And he was skilled at faking orgasms.
My friend Dick was cute, invariably polite and dressed well. Men would ask for him again and didn’t mind that the clock was ticking while they took him out for a good dinner.
Beloved, nelly David wanted to be a whore. Or at least make money without working. I didn’t know why. Mommie and Daddie gave him such a huge allowance that he always had his designer jeans dry-cleaned and pressed. There was no market for my type of guy. (“No fems or fatties” – do personal ads still start out that way? It was my first inkling that the majority of gay men despised the graceful persona that I adored.)
Size does matter
The prospective male prostitutes were sent to the bathroom with rulers to measure their cocks. I made it clear that if they lied and the client didn’t want to pay it’d be their fault. Nobody claimed to be amazingly well hung. One black man brought photos of himself nude. It looked like he’d taken at least the two biggest cocks I’d ever seen in real life and sewn them together. All by himself he could've created the folklore about black vs. white genital size.
To see if they were able to treat themselves as packages in a meat market I told them that before they’d get the job they had to sleep with me. Not that they had to, it was just a test. I needed to keep their trust and respect anyway. There was a cute blonde bottom I was tempted to take advantage of but didn’t (damn that romantic streak). Not that I’d ever have requests for a bottom (not that the term existed then). One of scattering of data points that makes me wonder if most gay men are bottoms. That has worked out fine for me but I do wonder if it is true and if so why?
I wanna be a happy hustler when I grow up
But. A fifteen year old had read the Happy Hustler and called me hoping he’d be hired. I said no, no way at all. My own taste for youngish fellows aside I wasn’t going to prostitute them. He asked me if he could come by and talk to me. Figuring I’d talk the nonsense out of him I said sure. He seduced me. Not hard for a young boy with a nice body and cute face. But there’s an art to getting someone naked and in bed without them really noticing the transition. Saying I had a “dick of death*” he introduced me to frotting. Surprised me that I could have an orgasm that way. Didn’t hire him. (* Yeah, I know how that sounds. I make no claims. In revising these old things I’m trying to kill the reticences; anyway why should anybody care?)
The guys I hired were very conventional. K-Mart managers, commercial artists, people without sexual hang-ups who wanted some extra money. So mundane it kills the illicit allure of paid sex, isn’t it? Well, RTP’s local BDSM group meets at Golden Corral for their get-togethers.
I Was a 20 Year Old Pimp
In my spare time and in my own home I answered the new telephone. I’d tell the client the fees and ask him about the kind of guy he wanted. In most cases he’d get whoever was available. Since I’d only hired intelligent, likable men the visits went fine.
I don’t have any funny stories. One man liked Dick so well and my voice so much he invited the two of us to have an expensive lunch with him. Another guy who liked my voice I let talk me into coming over. He was looking for someone like Lee Majors. I probably looked more like a drug addict.(Although this would’ve been about the time my little sister weirdly said that I looked like Rod Stewart.) Never made that mistake again. One boy didn’t collect his fee when the client’s boyfriend came home. (I paid him what he’d have earned.)
My only kinky request was from a guy who wanted a black man to make him wash his car and then do push-ups in a mud puddle.
For reasons I’ll recount elsewhere I got sick of working with Bill. I left. He kept the business and I was penniless. Being broke wasn’t that bad. I had some good times and a few adventures. Later I’d again be selling male flesh in San Francisco (including my own) and West Hollywood.
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