Escorts, rentboys, male hustlers

(Only a bit about language, and given the topic, not for kids or the sexually modest.)

The subject of the 2009 book:

Escort: 40 Profiles with Photographs of Men Who Sell Sex (text by David Leddick and Heriberto Sanchez, photographs by David Vance)

(#1)

(cover model: Stefan Pinto)

Leddick has a significant career writing about male nudes and male photography, and Vance is a well-known male photographer (though almost always modest in his work, concealing genitals in one way or another, as in the cover photo).

Background X-rated material from AZBlogX, in a posting yesterday on “Guys for hire”, about the Escort book: models Tony Serrano (#1) and Sloan Christian (#2) in full-frontal shots, model Chris (broadly smiling in #3 and #4) in a clothed/unclothed pairing (a common visual scheme in male photography). (Note: all the models are referred to by the pseudonyms they use in their sex work.)

From the book: a variant of the clothed/unclothed pairing, model A. Gabriel (or just A.G.), Israeli-born, now doing sex work in South Florida, broadly smiling, first in (some of his) business clothes (he has a parallel career as an accountant), but featuring a jock strap and athletic socks, and on a bed, paired with him doing a cock tease pose in army camo (he actually served in the Israeli army, and says he hustled while on duty):

(#2)

(#3)

Backgound about existing Pages on this blog: one on postings about concealing and revealing, covering both photographers’ preferences for one presentation of male bodies over the other and also clothed/unclothed pairings; and one on postings about  male prostitution.

Background about Leddick, from his own website (note the source):

[Born 1930 in Detroit MI, now living in Miami Beach,] David Leddick is known world-wide for his novels and homoerotic art books. The author of the Lambda Award-winning books: “Naked Men” and “The Male Nude”, David Leddick has published no less than 27 works [including gay novels]. His latest book is “I’m Not for Everyone. Neither Are You”, from Black Irish Press, Spring 2014.

Leddick has also written musicals with Andrew Sargent as composer: “The Secrets of the Chorus”, “Quentin and I’, “Presenting Gilda Lilly” and “RentBoy… The Musical”, are some of the shows in which he starred.

Previously he has been an officer in the U.S. Navy, danced at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, directed TV commercials and was the Worldwide Creative Director for Revlon at Grey Advertising and International Creative Director for L’Oreal at McCann-Erickson, Paris.

Leddick’s current presentation of self seems to be as an outrageous old queen, a role he performs beautifully. A recent book: Gorgeous Gallery: The Best in Gay Erotic Art (2012):

(#4)

(a young man in awe of David’s dick)

Background on Heriberto Sanchez, a young man originally from San Juan PR, working here on his first photo-journalism project. He begins his introductory essay, “Reflecting on Escorts”, with a really fine bit of anaphora into an anaphoric island:

I’ve never escorted nor hired one.

where the nominal anaphor one conveys ‘an escort’, linking to a noun escort that doesn’t actually occur in the preceding context but instead is evoked by the verb escort ‘work as an escort’ that does occur there. See the “Anaphoric islands” Page on this blog.

Sanchez emphasizes that the book is not intended to glamorize prostitution, but to humanize it — to reveal something about the (very diverse) lives of guys in the business.

Background on David Vance, treated at some length in a 3/25/13 posting on this blog (with a number of examples of his work), which is both male art (with the male body as its focus) and character study (with the nature of the subjects revealed especially by their facial expressions, but also by their carriage, posture, dress, and their surroundings).

And as male art, the work is both an aesthetic enterprise (an appreciation of the male body) and an unashamedly homoerotic one (an invitation to arousal).

As I noted above, in most of Vance’s work, he shears away from showing the model’s genitals, supplying instead head shots, torso shors, butt shots, and the full range of cock-tease poses. But even in the full-frontals that Vance shot for the Escort book, it’s the faces that catch your eye first: the face, then the dick, then everything else. A broadly smiling face, as in #2 and #3 above (A.G.), and #3 and #4 on AZBlogX (Chris); an intense, welcoming gaze-lock as in #1 above (Stefan Pinto) and #1 on AZBlogX (Tony Serrano); or a playfully cocky face as in #2 on AZBlogX (Sloan Christian).

And then there’s Arpad Miklos, a high-end pornstar hunk (and total top) and much sought-after escort who used his right hand to call attention tio his beautiful uncut dick, while offering a gentle soulmate face. Here with the dick cropped so you can focus on his face:

(#5)

The escorts’ life stories are all over the place. Some of the men are jaunty, resilient,  entrepreneurial, happy in their sex work. Others are conflicted, trapped, hiding their dirty secret from family and friends, even desperate. It’s hard not to think that most of the difficulties of being in the life stem from social stigma (some of it internalized) and legal penalties rather than from individual failings or the intrinsic evils of prostitution.

Despite his great success in porn (mostly gay, but also straight) and escorting, Arpad Miklos fell into depression and committed suicide in February 2013, at the age of 45 (alas, old for a pornstar). Because of this, I was hesitant to include Miklos in this posting, despite the attractions of Vance’s photo — but I need to observe that the man had a career as a chemical engineer before he got into porn and escorting, so he wasn’t necessarily confronting a dead end in his life; some individual stories take a sad turn.

One Response to “Escorts, rentboys, male hustlers”

  1. Mike Says:

    You presented this in a charming and sensitive manner. Nice!

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