I heard a jingle on TV today of a famous song from “Annie Get Your Gun” that goes like this: Anything you can do I can do better, I can do anything better than you. It’s a fun song that entices competition of the genders. Yes, well when you apply it to one of the world’s oldest professions (and I’m not talking about farming), it can be a little strange. Forgive me, but to describe this profession, I have to use a little Menglish, which writer Griffin Longley describes as “a language used of, by, to, and about men.”
So here it goes:
Prostidude (n): a male prostitute; gigolo (Urban Dictionary)
I bet you didn’t know they exist, but they do. Or, maybe you knew because like me, you’re quite aware of the most famous one of all: Deuce Bigalow, male gigolo. We’re all about equality, right? So why can’t a guy be a male prostitute? I can see it now, men lined up putting their fists in the air, fighting for equal rights in a woman’s world. And as the world economy goes down the drain, maybe prostitution is the way to go. According to Barbara Ross and Larry McShane of the New York Daily News, despite an economic meltdown, the prostitution business is still up and running and hasn’t really experienced the effects.
So enter 25-year-old “Markus,” America’s (and more specifically, the state of Nevada’s) first legal male prostitute who puts the “bro” in “brothel.” The Shady Lady Ranch hired him after successfully obtaining state and county approval, and since then, the controversy has given him his fifteen minutes of fame and a spot in Nevada history. Markus is not without critics, and perhaps the most ironic come from female prostitutes.
Markus is an ex-marine who did a short stint as a porn actor in Los Angeles, but dropped out because he thought porn degraded women. Great, a prostitute with a conscience. He was homeless and was living on the streets of Santa Monica before he made the move to Nevada. Oh, and he “sees himself as [a] sexual pioneer and likens his role to that of civil rights icon Rosa Parks” (Daily Mail UK). At least he’s active in other things, right?
I applaud New York Post reporter Mandy Stadtmiller who got the exclusive and had to go through great lengths (you’ll understand what I mean) to go where no reporter has gone before. And her article is insightful, especially of Markus’s “mommy issues.” It’s quite entertaining and informative, but if that’s not enough, check out the MSNBC article.
Here I am, tapping my feet to that famous Broadway song again. Anything you can do I can do better, I can do anything better than you. Well Markus, sorry bro, but this is a competition you’re probably going to lose.
What do you think? Do you wish him luck?
**Note: I am NOT a supporter of prostitution, male or female. I believe it degrades women (and I guess now, men too) and robs them of their self-worth and their dignity. It saddens me that prostitution still exists after thousands of years in civilizations around the world. As a researcher of modern masculinity, I thought this “prostidude” was an interesting look at how masculinity has changed and perceived today.