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social sciences

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Sex Work and Prostitution: Male  
page: 1  2  3  4  

The life cycle or "career" cycle of men who work in the sex industry is subject to the same dynamic. One of the most important factors in this process is the sex workers' declining ability to sustain the fantasies that they provoke among their steady customers. Of course, this dynamic is especially important for those forms of sex work that have significant fantasy components--such as strippers, porn stars, and phone sex operators.

Porn actors, in particular, are aware of this dynamic, which is often characterized in the porn business as "over-exposure." While many leave the industry or move over to jobs behind the camera, other performers will try to hold onto their fans by expanding their sexual repertoire in order to enhance the "fantasy potential" among their fans.

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But often this progression leads to appearances in lower budget productions. "One interesting thing about this business," director Kristen Bjorn observes, "is that the longer you are in it, the less money you are paid. Once you are an old face, and an old body, forget it. You're through as far as your popularity goes."

Male sex workers in other genres also react to the retrogressive dynamic by expanding sexual repertoire, or, where possible, by working in other markets and locales.

Male prostitution and sex work has long been a highly stigmatized activity--because it is often illegal and widely considered shameful, but also because it seems to contravene conventional masculine roles. Nevertheless, it is an activity that in many new forms has become increasingly significant.

Jeffrey Escoffier

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social sciences >> Overview:  Gay and Lesbian Bars

The centrality of gay and lesbian bars to glbtq culture has been reduced in recent years, but they continue to fulfill important functions; and, in many areas, they remain the most visible manifestation of glbtq presence.

arts >> Overview:  Pornographic Film and Video: Bisexual

Bisexual pornography began in earnest during the mid-1980s, but the quality and number of bisexual videos has decreased dramatically since their heyday in the 1980s.

arts >> Overview:  Pornographic Film and Video: Gay Male

Gay male pornographic film and video, which dates from the release of Wakefield Poole's The Boys in the Sand in 1971, has provided gay men an all-too-rare positive image of gay sexuality.

arts >> Overview:  Pornographic Film and Video: Transsexual

Most of the pornography that features transsexuals is neither made by nor for them, but in recent years trans porn activists have began to produce pornography for transsexual and other queer audiences.

arts >> Overview:  Porn Stars

Because pornography is an accepted part of gay male life, performers in gay pornography hold a relatively esteemed position in gay culture and several have emerged as idols and icons.

social sciences >> Overview:  Sex Work and Prostitution: Female

Sex work has long been the last resort of desperate women and girls, but more recently some women--including some lesbians--have been drawn to the profession by a renegade ideology of sexual liberation.

arts >> Overview:  Subjects of the Visual Arts: Sex Workers

Although art historians have given very little attention to representations of sex workers, images of same-sex prostitution extend far back into history.


Adams, Matt. Hustlers, Escorts, Porn Stars: The Insider's Guide to Male Prostitution in America. Las Vegas: The Insider's Guide, 1999.

Brook, Kerwin. "Male Prostitution in the Twentieth Century: Pseudo-homosexuals, Hoodlum Homosexuals and Exploited Teens." Journal of Homosexuality 46.1-2 (2003): 1-77.

Cressey, Paul. The Taxi Hall Dance. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1932.

De Marco, Joseph. "The World of Gay Strippers." The Gay and Lesbian Review 9.2 (2002): 12-14.

De Walt, M. "The Eye of Kristen Bjorn." Blueboy (January 1998): 52-55.

Escoffier, Jeffrey. "Gay-for-Pay: Straight Men and the Making of Gay Pornography." Qualitative Sociology 26.4 (2003): 531-555.

_____. "Porn Star/Stripper/Escort: Economic and Sexual Dynamics in a Sex Work Career." Male Sex Workers. Todd Morrison, ed. Binghamton, N.Y.: Haworth Press, in press.

Flowers, Amy. The Fantasy Factory: An Insider's View of the Phone Sex Industry. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1998.

Friedman, Mack. Strapped for Cash: A History of American Hustler Culture. Los Angeles: Alyson Books, 2003.

Mumford, Kevin. Interzones: Black/White Sex Districts in Chicago and New York in the Early Twentieth Century. New York: Columbia University Press, 1997.

Weeks, Jeffrey. "Inverts, Perverts, and Mary-Annes: Male Prostitution and the Regulation of Homosexuality in England in the Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries." Against Nature: Essays on History, Sexuality and Identity. London: Rivers Oram Press, 1991. 46-67.

Whitaker, Rick. Assuming the Position: A Memoir of Hustling. New York: Four Walls Eight Windows, 1999.


    Citation Information
    Author: Escoffier, Jeffrey  
    Entry Title: Sex Work and Prostitution: Male  
    General Editor: Claude J. Summers  
    Publication Name: glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual,
Transgender, and Queer Culture
    Publication Date: 2005  
    Date Last Updated August 19, 2005  
    Web Address  
    Publisher glbtq, Inc.
1130 West Adams
Chicago, IL   60607
    Today's Date  
    Encyclopedia Copyright: © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.  
    Entry Copyright © 2005, glbtq, inc.  


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