Gentlemen, rejoice. In the past, I stomped on your fondest fantasy by saying that the escort business was forever one-sided, telling you that you would never get paid to have sex with women. But times have changed. I never thought I'd see the day, but I now know a few straight guys who see female clients. That market has come of age, and I think it will only improve.
Why? Three words: social networking sites. Women will spend money on a sexy experience—if they're approached properly. Male-for-female escorts must do a lot of digital courting. The ladies are simply not going to respond to a Craigslist-style classified ad with a crotch shot and an hourly rate. But a guy with a detailed profile somewhere they already hang out; a guy they can chat with over a period of time; a guy with lots of (clothed) photos, clever blog posts, a Twitter feed? Now he's a real person, and the idea of giving him an envelope and letting him work his magic seems not so scary.
HBO's new series lends a bit of trendiness, too. Hung is about a cash-strapped schoolteacher who turns to sex work. Ray Drecker is a likable character: a handsome single dad in tough times, just trying to pay the bills with his one noteworthy asset. If the show catches on, I hope it spawns some snappier terminology for male-for-female escorts. Negative phrases like male whore won't do, and terms like hustler and callboy are used by male-for-male escorts. The word gigolo, once made plausible by a young Richard Gere, has been lethally tainted by Deuce Bigalow. What's left? Manscort? Mantesan?
But titling the show Hung is a misfire—being hung is actually the least important professional attribute (though I'm unsurprised that male writers thought otherwise). In my opinion, a really big cock on a male escort is like really big boobs on a female one—making it the cornerstone of your pitch suggests that you've got nothing else in your toolbox. You need confidence, charm, and overall hotness. If you've got that, the endowment of a porn star is nice, but not strictly necessary. What HBO should have called the show is The Boyfriend Experience—because no matter what's in your pants, a Bush-era wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am will not satisfy your clients. If you insist on a one-word marketing strategy, I personally would go with "Tongue" before "Hung." For recessionisto rent boys like Ray Drecker, success depends on attention to those delicate, sensitive finer points.
In any case, success is a relative term. None of the M4F escorts I know are making a full-time living; they all have other jobs. So if you've got looks and charisma, paying your cell bill and getting expensive haircuts is doable. Saving your house from foreclosure? Dubious. Nonetheless, I expect to see a big rise—yeah, I said that—in the number of male escorts offering services. Then we'll see who can achieve market penetration.