Once upon a time, the first rule of being a high-priced male escort was that you didn't talk about who's sleeping with you, the high-priced male escort.
Simple enough, right?
Since the dawn of time, when man no doubt used shells and sticks to acquire such services, the ability to "rent" your fantasy partner has worked well for the famous and for those who wanted an extra layer of anonymity.
It was understood that as a male escort, you were not only required to please your client 110 percent of the time, but to also keep every minute of that time in the utmost confidence. This was, obviously, before the days of celebrity browbeaters like Nancy Grace and other scandalmongers in the modern media. Sex scandals are just too good for the ol' ratings to pass up.
This past week, the media have been doing their level best to make Pastor Ted Haggard a household name. Thanks to their efforts, Haggard will without a doubt take his place in the pop-culture pantheon of Family-Values Hypocrites.
It was a bad week for the good pastor. The ultraconservative, anti-gay Christian evangelist was not only fingered for hiring a gay male prostitute, but for buying meth off the sex worker as well. (The sex worker claims he didn't sell Haggard the meth, just hooked him up with someone who would.) Haggard has since resigned from the 14,000-member New Life Church, the Colorado Springs, Colorado, megachurch he founded.
Mike Jones, the male escort in question, has since embraced his 15 minutes of fame, hitting as many media outlets as he can. Jones was quoted as saying that he was "sad for [Haggard] and his family" and that it wasn't his intent "to destroy him and his family... My intent was to expose a hypocrite."
Give me a fucking break.
You were paid for sex, Mike. The most important rule you can follow when taking people's money in exchange for sex is that—no matter what—their lives stay their own and whatever passes between the two of you remains private. Period. Your leap from paid crotch monkey to gay-rights crusader certainly doesn't impress your fellow sex workers. If this had happened in any other form of organized crime, you would be found in the trunk of a 1992 Lincoln Town Car three weeks from now. So consider yourself lucky that you're getting off with a scolding.
Now don't get me wrong; I'm no apologist for Haggard. He crossed a line by attacking gay people while enjoying gay sex, to say nothing of deceiving his children, his wife, and his congregation. Does Haggard deserve this media hailstorm? Possibly. Did he deserve to be outed by this hooker with a heart of lead?
No, he didn't.
When Haggard paid Jones for these "massages," he was in effect not only paying for the intended sexual action, but also for something much more important: privacy. Any professional in the sex industry worth his or her salt would agree that Jones was wrong to expose Haggard, however offensive the pastor's hypocrisy.
In my four years in the gay-escort industry, I've worked hard to earn the trust and confidence of all the men I see. I strive to be professional without seeming clinical or businesslike. This has helped me become one of the most widely recognized and busiest male escorts at work today. Whether I'm seeing celebrities, politicians, athletes, or anyone else, it's my job to make sure that each person is treated with the same respect and confidentiality. If a client's actions inside or outside our time together affect me in a negative way, then I can drop that particular client. I don't pass judgment on them, and I sure as hell wouldn't "out" any of them.
How dishonorable. I hope that Jones feels great shame in knowing he's ruined someone else's life, while also confirming the worst stereotypes about male sex workers: that we're a bunch of drug-dealing whores. The vast majority of us are no such thing, of course, but it will be harder to convince people of that now. So thanks for nothing, Mike. Now, in your quest to achieve secular sainthood, maybe you can adopt a Namibian child, help Al Gore save the planet, or find a cure for HIV.
Whatever you do now, Mike, your 15 minutes won't last much longer. So you might want to get that book deal inked while you still can.
Benjamin Nicholas blogs at www.15minutesmore.com.