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male prostitute Male prostitution is the act or practice of men providing sexual services in return for payment. It is a form of sex work. Although clients can be of any gender, the vast majority are older males looking to fulfill their sexual needs. Male pro ...
or hustler is a frequent
stereotype In social psychology, a stereotype is a generalized belief about a particular category of people. It is an expectation that people might have about every person of a particular group. The type of expectation can vary; it can be, for exampl ...
in literature and movies in the West from the 1960s on, and especially in movies and books with a
gay ''Gay'' is a term that primarily refers to a homosexual person or the trait of being homosexual. The term originally meant 'carefree', 'cheerful', or 'bright and showy'. While scant usage referring to male homosexuality dates to the late 1 ...
perspective in which he may be considered a
stock character A stock character, also known as a character archetype, is a fictional character in a work of art such as a novel, play, or a film whom audiences recognize from frequent recurrences in a particular literary tradition. There is a wide range of s ...
. He also appears occasionally in popular music, some contemporary fashion advertising, and the visual arts.


Stereotypes

The most common stereotype of the hustler is as a sexy but tragic figure. This stereotype reveals both a fascination with the hustler as a sexual object and sadness or disdain with his situation and life-style. This stereotyped male hustler is often an underaged or teenage "street kid" or "
runaway Runaway, Runaways or Run Away may refer to: Engineering * Runaway reaction, a chemical reaction releasing more heat than what can be removed and becoming uncontrollable * Thermal runaway, self-increase of the reaction rate of an exothermic proc ...
" forced to leave home because of his sexual orientation or because of
sexual abuse Sexual abuse or sex abuse, also referred to as molestation, is abusive sexual behavior by one person upon another. It is often perpetrated using force or by taking advantage of another. Molestation often refers to an instance of sexual assa ...
. He is often portrayed as a
drug addict Addiction is a neuropsychological disorder characterized by a persistent and intense urge to engage in certain behaviors, one of which is the usage of a drug, despite substantial harm and other negative consequences. Repetitive drug use oft ...
or thief. The plotline frequently focuses on the crisis of leaving the trade or the street ("one last trick"), or on making enough money for an important use (a medical treatment, a gift). The climax often has one of two possible outcomes: the hustler either abandons the trade and re-integrates into society, or he meets a tragic end. This tragic image of the hustler can be contrasted with the stereotype of the female
hooker with a heart of gold The hooker with a heart of gold is a stock character involving a courtesan or prostitute who possesses virtues such as integrity, generosity and kindness. Characteristics The character type is defined by morally positive traits, which are contra ...
: instead of being portrayed as someone in control and contented, the hustler is lost, homeless, broke or exploited. In movies and books that take the point of view of the client or of a boy/girlfriend who loves the hustler, the hustler is often depicted as an impossible love object who will only bring hurt or frustration. The lover may grow jealous of and disturbed by the hustler's work; occasionally the loving boy/girlfriend will be drawn into the lifestyle of their hustler boyfriend. Older clients who fall in love with hustlers are frequently prey to emotional (and sometimes physical) pain; this is especially true in the case of "rough trade" (where the hustler identifies as straight), and this depiction has been reinforced by several famous incidents of violence against clients (such as the deaths of
Pier Paolo Pasolini Pier Paolo Pasolini (; 5 March 1922 – 2 November 1975) was an Italian poet, filmmaker, writer and intellectual who also distinguished himself as a journalist, novelist, translator, playwright, visual artist and actor. He is considered one of ...
and Rudolph Moshammer). In contrast to the previous depictions, the male
prostitute Prostitution is the business or practice of engaging in Sex work, sexual activity in exchange for payment. The definition of "sexual activity" varies, and is often defined as an activity requiring physical contact (e.g., sexual intercourse, n ...
has also sometimes been portrayed as an idealized rebel living outside the law and free of
bourgeois The bourgeoisie ( , ) is a social class, equivalent to the middle or upper middle class. They are distinguished from, and traditionally contrasted with, the proletariat by their affluence, and their great cultural and financial capital. ...
conventions. This almost
Nietzsche Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (; or ; 15 October 1844 – 25 August 1900) was a German philosopher, prose poet, cultural critic, philologist, and composer whose work has exerted a profound influence on contemporary philosophy. He began his car ...
an image of the hustler as moral and sexual outlaw owes much to the writings of
Jean Genet Jean Genet (; – ) was a French novelist, playwright, poet, essayist, and political activist. In his early life he was a vagabond and petty criminal, but he later became a writer and playwright. His major works include the novels '' The Thief ...
,
William S. Burroughs William Seward Burroughs II (; February 5, 1914 – August 2, 1997) was an American writer and visual artist, widely considered a primary figure of the Beat Generation and a major postmodern author who influenced popular cultur ...
and
John Rechy John Francisco Rechy (born March 10, 1931) is a Mexican-American novelist and essayist. In his novels, he has written extensively about gay culture in Los Angeles and wider America, among other subject matter, and is among the pioneers of moder ...
(among others). While less frequent in cinema and novels, the male prostitute with exclusively female clients (the "gigolo" or "escort") is generally depicted in a less tragic manner than the gay hustler (the gigolo is portrayed as older, athletic, well-dressed, etc.), and films like ''
American Gigolo ''American Gigolo'' is a 1980 American neo-noir crime drama film written and directed by Paul Schrader, and starring Richard Gere and Lauren Hutton. It tells the story about a high-priced escort in Los Angeles (Gere) who becomes romantically ...
'' have done much to paint the character as a sophisticated seducer. This portrayal has also led to cinematic satire (the '' Deuce Bigalow'' films). The portrayal of the client or "
john John is a common English name and surname: * John (given name) * John (surname) John may also refer to: New Testament Works * Gospel of John, a title often shortened to John * First Epistle of John, often shortened to 1 John * Secon ...
" of male
prostitution Prostitution is the business or practice of engaging in Sex work, sexual activity in exchange for payment. The definition of "sexual activity" varies, and is often defined as an activity requiring physical contact (e.g., sexual intercourse, n ...
in popular culture is far less codified than that of the hustler and runs the gamut from the lonely married man, the self-hating in-the-closet guy, the exploitative or endearing businessman, and even the serial killer. The diversity of these stereotypes reveals much about each author's or director's personal view of love, sexuality, power and morality. These stereotypes may have a basis in fact, but they should not be taken as true in all cases. The same issues that surround male prostitution (including the financial security and
social status Social status is the level of social value a person is considered to possess. More specifically, it refers to the relative level of respect, honour, assumed competence, and deference accorded to people, groups, and organizations in a society. St ...
of the young "kept" lover, the older lover's obsessions and insecurities with regards to his or her youthful love-object, the sexual freedom or moral indifference of the hustler, etc.) often appear in movies and literature that portray amorous or sexual relationships—without prostitution—between an older man or woman and a younger male lover; for example, in Pasolini's novel and movie ''Theorem'', Harold Prince's film ''Something For Everyone'' (1970) and
Bill Condon William Condon (born October 22, 1955) is an American director and screenwriter. Condon is known for writing and/or directing numerous successful and acclaimed films including '' Gods and Monsters'', ''Chicago'', '' Kinsey'', ''Dreamgirls'', ' ...
's film '' Gods and Monsters'' (1998).


In literature

The following novels, memoirs, and plays feature male hustlers as major characters.


In theater


In cinema


Films with a hustler as a main character


Other films that include hustlers

* '' Advise & Consent'' (
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...
: 1962, by
Otto Preminger Otto Ludwig Preminger ( , ; 5 December 1905 – 23 April 1986) was an Austrian-American theatre and film director, film producer, and actor. He directed more than 35 feature films in a five-decade career after leaving the theatre. He first gai ...
) – Ray Shaff, a former associate of Senator Brigham Anderson, now supports himself as a hustler in New York City. * ''The Cheat'' (''la Triche'') (
France France (), officially the French Republic ( ), is a country primarily located in Western Europe. It also comprises of Overseas France, overseas regions and territories in the Americas and the Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic, Pacific Ocean, Pac ...
: 1984, by
Yannick Bellon Marie-Annick Bellon, usually known as Yannick Bellon, (6 April 1924 – 2 June 2019), was a French film director, editor and screenwriter. Initially known for her documentary work, in 1972 she made her first feature film, ''Quelque part quelqu’u ...
with Victor Lanoux and
Xavier Deluc Xavier Deluc (born 18 March 1958) is a French actor, director and scriptwriter. He is most known for acting in TV series such as 'Marc Eliot' (a French police drama), Dolmen (Brittany based family drama) and 12 seasons of ' Research Unit' (anoth ...
) * '' JFK'' (
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...
: 1991, by
Oliver Stone William Oliver Stone (born September 15, 1946) is an American film director, producer, and screenwriter. Stone won an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay as writer of '' Midnight Express'' (1978), and wrote the gangster film remake '' Sc ...
) –
Kevin Bacon Kevin Norwood Bacon (born July 8, 1958) is an American actor. His films include the musical-drama film '' Footloose'' (1984), the controversial historical conspiracy legal thriller '' JFK'' (1991), the legal drama '' A Few Good Men'' (1992), t ...
plays a gay hustler associated with
Oswald Oswald may refer to: People *Oswald (given name), including a list of people with the name *Oswald (surname), including a list of people with the name Fictional characters *Oswald the Reeve, who tells a tale in Geoffrey Chaucer's ''The Canterbur ...
* ''By The Dawn's Early Light'' (
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: 1993, by
Knud Vesterskov Knud Vesterskov is a Danish film director who originally made his mark with a long string of experimental art films. He later wrote and directed two highly unusual hardcore pornography films, '' Constance'' (1998) and ''HotMen CoolBoyz'' (2000), b ...
, narrated by David Wojnarowicz) * ''
L.A. Confidential ''L.A. Confidential'' (1990) is a neo-noir novel by James Ellroy and the third of his L.A. Quartet series. It is dedicated to Mary Doherty Ellroy. The epigraph is "A glory that costs everything and means nothing"—Steve Erickson. Plot The s ...
'' (
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...
: 1997, by
Curtis Hanson Curtis Lee Hanson (March 24, 1945 – September 20, 2016) was an American film director, screenwriter, and producer. His directing work included the psychological thriller '' The Hand That Rocks the Cradle'' (1992), the neo-noir crime film ''L. ...
) – includes a subplot with a young would-be actor, played by
Simon Baker Simon Lucas Baker (born 30 July 1969) is an Australian actor in television and film, as well as a director. He is known for his lead roles in the CBS television series ''The Mentalist'' as Patrick Jane and ''The Guardian'' as Nicholas Fallin ...
, who agrees to sleep with the D.A. for cash, but ends up with his throat cut * ''
Boogie Nights ''Boogie Nights'' is a 1997 American period comedy-drama film written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson. It is set in Los Angeles's San Fernando Valley and focuses on a young nightclub dishwasher who becomes a popular star of pornographic fi ...
'' (
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...
: 1997, by
Paul Thomas Anderson Paul Thomas Anderson (born June 26, 1970), also known by his initials PTA, is an American filmmaker. He made his feature-film debut with '' Hard Eight'' (1996). He found critical and commercial success with ''Boogie Nights'' (1997) and received ...
, with
Mark Wahlberg Mark Robert Michael Wahlberg (born June 5, 1971), former stage name Marky Mark, is an American actor, businessman, and former rapper. He has received List of awards and nominations received by Mark Wahlberg, multiple accolades, including a B ...
and
Burt Reynolds Burton Leon Reynolds Jr. (February 11, 1936 – September 6, 2018) was an American actor, considered a sex symbol and icon of 1970s American popular culture. Reynolds first rose to prominence when he starred in television series such as ' ...
) * ''
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil ''Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil'' is a non-fiction novel by John Berendt. The book, Berendt's first, was published in 1994 and follows the story of an antiques dealer on trial for the murder of a male prostitute. Subtitled ''A Savannah S ...
'' (
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...
: 1997, by
Clint Eastwood Clinton Eastwood Jr. (born May 31, 1930) is an American actor and film director. After achieving success in the Western TV series '' Rawhide'', he rose to international fame with his role as the " Man with No Name" in Sergio Leone's "'' Do ...
, with
Kevin Spacey Kevin Spacey Fowler (born July 26, 1959) is an American actor. He began his career as a stage actor during the 1980s, obtaining supporting roles before gaining a leading man status in film and television. Spacey has received various accolade ...
;
Jude Law David Jude Heyworth Law (born 29 December 1972) is an English actor. He received a British Academy Film Award, as well as nominations for two Academy Awards, two Tony Awards, and four Golden Globe Awards. In 2007, he received an Honorary Cés ...
and
John Cusack John Paul Cusack (; born June 28, 1966)(28 June 1996)Today's birthdays ''Santa Cruz Sentinel'', ("Actors John Cusack is 30") is an American actor, producer, screenwriter and political activist. He is a son of filmmaker Dick Cusack, and his ol ...
) – based on
John Berendt John Berendt (born December 5, 1939) is an American author, known for writing the best-selling non-fiction book ''Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil'', which was a finalist for the 1995 Pulitzer Prize in General Nonfiction. Biography Ber ...
's best-selling book, a prominent Savannah citizen (Spacey) shoots to death his lover * '' Happy Together'' (
Hong Kong Hong Kong ( (US) or (UK); , ), officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (abbr. Hong Kong SAR or HKSAR), is a List of cities in China, city and Special administrative regions of China, special ...
: 1997, by
Wong Kar-wai Wong Kar-wai (born 17 July 1958) is a Hong Kong film director, screenwriter, and producer. His films are characterised by nonlinear narratives, atmospheric music, and vivid cinematography involving bold, saturated colours. A pivotal figure ...
, with
Leslie Cheung Leslie Cheung Kwok-wing (12 September 1956 – 1 April 2003) was a Hong Kong singer and actor. Throughout a 26-year career from 1977 until his death, Cheung released over 40 music albums and acted in 56 films. He was one of the most prominent ...
and
Tony Leung Chiu-Wai use both this parameter and , birth_date to display the person's date of birth, date of death, and age at death) --> , death_place = , death_cause = , resting_place = , resting_place_coordinates = , burial_place ...
; in Mardarin, Cantonese and Spanish) – the brash and irresponsible Ho Po-Wing (Chang) makes his money from the street * '' Artificial Intelligence: A.I.'' (
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...
: 2001, by
Steven Spielberg Steven Allan Spielberg (; born December 18, 1946) is an American director, writer, and producer. A major figure of the New Hollywood era and pioneer of the modern blockbuster, he is the most commercially successful director of all time. Sp ...
, with Haley Joel Osment and
Jude Law David Jude Heyworth Law (born 29 December 1972) is an English actor. He received a British Academy Film Award, as well as nominations for two Academy Awards, two Tony Awards, and four Golden Globe Awards. In 2007, he received an Honorary Cés ...
) * '' Vers le sud'' (''Heading South'') (
France France (), officially the French Republic ( ), is a country primarily located in Western Europe. It also comprises of Overseas France, overseas regions and territories in the Americas and the Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic, Pacific Ocean, Pac ...
: 2005, by
Laurent Cantet Laurent Cantet (; born 11 April 1961) is a French director, cinematographer and screenwriter. His film ''Entre les murs'' ('' The Class'') won the top prize at the Cannes Film Festival in 2008. Biography Laurent Cantet was born in 1961 in the town ...
) * ''
A Single Man ''A Single Man'' is a 2009 American period romantic drama film based on the 1964 novel of the same name by Christopher Isherwood. The directorial debut of fashion designer Tom Ford, the film stars Colin Firth, who was nominated for the Academy ...
'' (US: 2010,
Tom Ford Thomas Carlyle Ford (born August 27, 1961) is an American fashion designer and filmmaker. He launched his eponymous luxury brand in 2005, having previously served as the creative director at Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent. Ford wrote and direct ...
)


Documentary films


On television

The following television programs feature a hustler as a main character:


In photography

The following photographers, in their work, frequently use the image of the male prostitute: *
Larry Clark Lawrence Donald Clark (born January 19, 1943) is an American film director, photographer, writer and film producer who is best known for his controversial teen film ''Kids'' (1995) and his photography book ''Tulsa'' (1971). His work focuses prim ...
*
Terry Richardson Terrence Richardson (born August 14, 1965) is an American fashion and portrait photographer. He has shot advertising campaigns for Marc Jacobs, Aldo, Supreme, Sisley, Tom Ford, and Yves Saint Laurent among others, and also done work for ma ...
*
Nan Goldin Nancy Goldin (born September 12, 1953) is an American photographer and activist. Her work often explores LGBT subcultures, moments of intimacy, the HIV/AIDS crisis, and the opioid epidemic. Her most notable work is '' The Ballad of Sexual Depe ...
*
Wolfgang Tillmans Wolfgang Tillmans (born 16 August 1968) is a German photographer. His diverse body of work is distinguished by observation of his surroundings and an ongoing investigation of the photographic medium’s foundations. Tillmans was the first photog ...
*
Jack Pierson Jack Pierson (born 1960 in Plymouth, Massachusetts) is a photographer and an artist. Pierson is known for his photographs, collages, word sculptures, installations, drawings and artists books. His "Self-Portrait" series was shown in the 2004 Whit ...
*
Wilhelm von Gloeden Wilhelm Iwan Friederich August von Gloeden (September 16, 1856 – February 16, 1931), commonly known as Baron von Gloeden, was a German photographer who worked mainly in Italy. He is mostly known for his pastoral nude studies of Sicilian boy ...
*
Philip-Lorca diCorcia Philip-Lorca diCorcia (born 1951) is an American photographer, living in New York City. He teaches at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut.Release: David Zwirner - Philip-Lorca diCorcia: ''Thousand'' (February 27 - March 28, 2009). Retrieved ...


See also

*
Male prostitution Male prostitution is the act or practice of men providing sexual services in return for payment. It is a form of sex work. Although clients can be of any gender, the vast majority are older males looking to fulfill their sexual needs. Male pro ...
*
Gigolo A gigolo () is a male escort or social companion who is supported by a person in a continuing relationship, often living in her residence or having to be present at her beck and call. The term ''gigolo'' usually implies a man who adopts a lifes ...
*
Pederasty Pederasty or paederasty ( or ) is a sexual relationship between an adult man and a pubescent or adolescent boy. The term ''pederasty'' is primarily used to refer to historical practices of certain cultures, particularly ancient Greece and an ...
*
Sex tourism Sex tourism refers to the practice of traveling to foreign countries, often on a different continent, with the intention of engaging in sexual activity or relationships in exchange for money or lifestyle support. This practice predominantly ope ...
* Female sex tourism


Notes


References

* Katz, Jonathan Ned (1976). ''Gay American History: Lesbians and Gay Men in the U.S.A.''. New York, Harper Colophon Books. {{ISBN, 0-06-091211-1 (1985 edition). LGBT portrayals in mass media