Archive for March 26th, 2011

Women need a reason to have sex.  Men just need a place. –  Billy Crystal

One of the very first topics I covered in this blog (on July 20th and 21st) was the fact that, for the most part, the female customer of male prostitutes is a myth.  Here’s what I said about it in “The Myth of the Wanton”:

But the strangest symptom of the general ignorance about women’s sexuality is the persistent myth of the female customer, the woman who is so desperate for sex that she’s willing to pay a man for it.  Hollywood loves to perpetuate this one, and not a month passed that I didn’t get a call from some guy who wanted to work as a male escort catering solely to women.  Despite the fact that my ad clearly stated “female escorts,” I always took the time to explain to these fantasy-addled men that the only way for male prostitutes to actually make a living is to see men; I was generally met with incredulity and I’m sure a number of them only called another service after hanging up with me.  They just couldn’t get it through their thick skulls that WOMEN DON’T NEED TO PAY FOR IT.  This obvious fact even seems occasionally to escape the minds of people who should know better, because every so often somebody announces that she’s going to open a brothel or escort service featuring male prostitutes who cater strictly to women.  The service opens to great fanfare, then within a few months either closes or starts accepting male customers.

The perfect illustration of the concluding point of that passage came just one year ago today as “Markus”, America’s first legal male prostitute, quit just two months after his much-ballyhooed arrival.  The reason?  He had fewer than 10 paying customers in all that time, as described in this excerpt from The Huffington Post of March 29, 2010:

America’s first legal male prostitute has left a rural Nevada brothel after a two-month stint that generated plenty of attention but fewer than 10 paying customers.  Brothel owner Jim Davis said Friday (March 26th, 2010) the Shady Lady Ranch had parted ways with the “prostitude” who worked under the name Markus.  A replacement has been hired…a Las Vegas man in his mid-30s who works under the name Y. Not and has had about 10 customers.  The focus of the business, however, will remain on women prostitutes serving men…Male companions were “never the main course,” [Bobbi Davis] said. “We’re going to try it for a while longer.”

The Shady Lady Ranch created a stir in Nevada’s brothel industry when it successfully won state and county approval to hire a male sex worker.  After hiring Markus, the Davises cut him off from speaking with reporters after his first two interviews, in which he compared himself with Rosa Parks and Mahatma Gandhi…

Though I remember the media circus surrounding his hire, I missed the announcement of his resignation last March, probably because there was almost no media attention to it and I wasn’t writing this blog yet (and therefore had no readers to call it to my attention!)  If I thought about him at all I assumed he had either quietly quit or just as quietly started taking male customers so he could actually make a living (back when his hiring was first announced my husband said, “He’s going to be the poorest man in Nevada.”)  But recently, regular reader Sailor Barsoom mentioned the article after encountering it himself in a link from an article about Harry Reid’s asinine remarks of last month, and I decided the anniversary of his departure from Male Fantasyland on a one-way trip back to reality was worth noting.

Why did the Davises hire him in the first place when they knew full well he wouldn’t get enough business to pay his way?  Publicity, of course, of which they got plenty.  Much of it was bad, but some people believe there’s no such thing as bad publicity.  Perhaps; if things go as they usually do it’ll be about four more years before someone tries this particular publicity stunt again.  In any case, the rest of the brothel owners knew better; back when Markus was first hired Dennis Hof, owner of the Moonlite Bunny Ranch, said “What woman with any money is going to go that three or four hours out of their way to do this?  Nobody.  A year from now, we’re going to have a good laugh about this.”  And I’m sure they’re doing exactly that.

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