I was horribly disappointed by Superbowl XXX, and the recent XXX Olympiad did not live up to my hopes. My own XXX Birthday, on the other hand … :)

There’s a lot of stigma attached to hustling … even the term is judgmental. And it extends to both sides: the johns are seen as desperately losers who can’t even get horny gay men to fuck them, and the hustlers are seen as sluts who’ll do anything with anyone for money. Both are terribly unfair assumptions.

Sex for pay is a fee for a service, fundamentally no different from cutting and styling someone’s hair for pay. As long as both parties are consenting adults (and the client hasn’t sworn to someone else that they’ll only let that person cut their hair), no one else should have any problem with it.

There’s an old punk slogan “employment is prostitution” and the reverse of that’s true too: prostitution is employment. We’ve all had jobs that were less-than-ideal: some good things about them, and some bad. Hustling’s like that too. It isn’t anyone’s dream job. (Well, there are people who might imagine that it is, but they don’t understand what the job’s really like.) But how many people get to do their dream job? We do the best jobs we can get, and for some people, at some point in their lives that job is a blowjob.

Some people find it weird, but I like to talk during sex. Now, obviously there are certain activities that make it pretty much impossible to carry on a conversation, and I do consider it rude to just chatter away at someone while their mouth is full. And sometimes, I don’t want to spoil a good anonymous fuck with smalltalk. But especially with a stranger (and extra-especially with a paying client), good communication can be essential to a satisfying time. So some chit-chat here makes sense.

The first topic, on the other hand, is a bit touchy. For gay men, you’re a child until 18 (or 16, local laws vary), a cruisable adult after that, and then when you hit 30 … well, if you plan to continue being sexual, and you aren’t coupled … you’re a “daddy” now. It’s a bit like how women used to (?) be judged: at a certain age they’d become an “old maid” and no longer eligible for romance (or sex). After all, if you haven’t been paired-up with someone by then, then there must be something wrong with you. They’d make a limited exception for widows, of course, but that doesn’t seem to count among gay men. If anything it acts more like a red flag: not defective, but certainly damaged goods.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t bothered at all by the passing of landmark birthdays like the one depicted in this Tale. They kinda push you to take stock of where you’ve gotten to in life, with the realization that there’s a literal deadline on it all. And the answer isn’t always a good one.

At 30, I wasn’t all that happy with where I was. I wanted to have a life partner and a job I found satisfying. Instead I was a widow (unofficially) and unemployed. Ouch. But at 30, there’s still time to start over: I could go back to school. I could still find someone else. (It’s not as if I was 40, or even 50, when that would be …. inconceivable.)

And yet I was experienced enough to have some wisdom worth sharing with … someone I saw as a younger version of myself.