It’s a bizarre twist on the gender equality battle. Last week the Shady Lady Ranch, one of the few legal brothels in America, hired the country’s first legal male prostitute. “Markus” is a 25 year old college dropout who did a brief stint as a porn star before being hired as a prostitute.
The internet is predictably abuzz with commentary ranging from high praise to vitriolic criticism. Female prostitutes and gays are mad at him because he’s openly straight, and doesn’t offer services to male clients. It’s discrimination, they say. Other people are less specific but no less adamant. “You can’t have both (male and female prostitutes) in the same building or adjacent to each other, in my opinion,” offered Arie Mack More, who just happens to own a rival brothel.
After his initial interview, Markus has been unavailable for further comment. (Hopefully he’s better at sex than he is at diplomacy.) But at this point, the commitment has been made, and for better or worse, America has a legal gigolo.
I don’t really know how to start guessing what will happen. In principle, I have nothing but respect for both the state of Nevada and the Shady Lady for taking the risk. It’s probably as much a commentary on human nature as politics, but allowing female prostitutes and not males is discriminatory. The United States is supposed to be founded on equality, and any step in the direction of real and complete legal equality is a good thing, in my opinion.
The gauche side of me has logistical questions. If this guy gets a long client list, is he going to start mainlining viagra? Will he get an endorsement contract? I’ve always had a sense of awe for male porn stars who can seemingly achieve erections at will, and I’m going to wager a guess that most of Markus’ clients will not be as physically charming as the average porn star. How much would it suck to be a woman who pays for sex and then the guy can’t get it up? That’s some serious performance pressure for him, and if he starts getting bad reviews, the gig is up. Or… flaccid.
The Shady Lady reports that they have received “dozens” of emails expressing interest in Markus. That’s honestly not a bad start. Again, I really want to know who these women are. It occurs to me that there are female truck drivers, and the road can’t be any less lonely for them than males. And I wouldn’t be my outspoken, tactless self if I didn’t mention that there are a lot of women in the world who have grotesque deformities and perfectly functional sex drives. Will any of them go to a prostitute? I have no idea. I get the feeling high powered businesswomen aren’t going to be carpooling with Japanese businessmen after their flight into Vegas.
Health issues have been raised, and there’s some validity to them. Male clients are thoroughly washed and examined before being allowed into the bedchamber. I doubt it will be feasible or practical to have a gynecologist on staff to give female clients the speculum treatment. Herpes and genital warts can live on the inside of vaginas, not just the outside. How long will Marcus be able to stay clean?
There’s also been some hubbub about the comparison Markus made between himself and Rosa Parks. Some members of the African American community are upset that a civil rights hero is even being mentioned in the same sentence as a sex worker. That’s a giant can of worms that I’m not sure I want to open, but let’s try to keep something in mind. Markus is not an intellectual giant. He’s a 25 year old dropout. The fact that he knows the name, “Rosa Parks,” and knows that she did something good for equal rights several decades ago — that’s not such a bad thing.
And let’s ask the more pointed question: Is it fair to say that blacks were reviled and discriminated against at least as much as sex workers are and have been? Wasn’t it personal opinions about the value of blacks in society that caused whites to hate them? To legally discriminate against them? So… if someone is personally strongly biased against sex workers today…
I’m just sayin’.
So there it is. In a country mired in depression with escalating unemployment, one job hire has the whole country agog.