10 Male Sex Workers Who Made History

Once we consider well-known prostitutes, we normally consider ladies. Royal mistresses like Madame de Pompadour or Nell Gwynn, the hetaerae of the traditional world like Aspasia or Phryne, the ladies of the century demimonde like Marie DuPlessis (immortalized in Verdi’s La traviata) or La Belle Otero, or more moderen ladies like Xaviera Hollander (The Joyful Hooker) or Brooke Magnanti, writing underneath the pen title Belle de Jour.

However male prostitutes have made historical past, too. They’ve impressed poets and artists, led rebellions, introduced down highly effective political figures, and turn out to be notorious serial killers. Two of those males, Lao Ai and Shai Shahar, are well-known for his or her liaisons with ladies, whereas the others primarily served different males.

Listed here are a number of the most well-known—from historic occasions to as we speak.

10 Phaedo Of Elis
Fourth Century BC


Phaedo, a good-looking younger man from an aristocratic household, was captured within the warfare between Elis and the allies, Athens and Sparta. He was enslaved in Athens and made to function a prostitute.

Phaedo was serving purchasers at an occasion the place the thinker Socrates was current and pleaded for his freedom. Socrates’s mates purchased Phaedo’s freedom, and he turned a thinker himself.

Plato’s dialogue Phaedo is known as for Phaedo, and he was current at Socrates’s demise. After Socrates’s demise, Phaedo went again to Elis and fashioned his personal faculty of philosophy.

9 Lao Ai
Died 238 BC


In the course of the regency of Qin Shi Huang, ruler of the Qin state and later the primary emperor of China, Lao Ai was recruited to turn out to be the queen dowager’s boy toy. He was smuggled into the court as a eunuch, though he was no such factor. In truth, it was the dimensions of his tools that caught the queen’s eye.

Lao took benefit of his maintain over the queen and publicly boasted of his energy. Lao and the regent Lu Buwei conspired unsuccessfully towards the longer term emperor with the queen’s tacit approval. After their coup try failed, Lao was killed, Lu dedicated suicide, and the queen was positioned underneath home arrest.

8 Febo di Poggio


Febo di Poggio was certainly one of Michelangelo’s many male fashions and lovers. In accordance with Michelangelo’s poetry and up to date rumor, di Poggio was fickle and mercenary and demanded so many items that Michelangelo referred to as him “little blackmailer.”

Michelangelo was so enamored that he wrote two poems to di Poggio, G. 99 and G. 100. Consistent with Renaissance poetic custom, Michelangelo included a number of performs on phrases in these poems, referencing di Poggio’s final title (which suggests “of the hill”) and his first title (equal to “Phoebus,” one other title for the god Apollo) in these poems.

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Nonetheless, the connection ended after a comparatively quick time and Michelangelo moved on to new loves.

7 John Saul


Though John Saul was born into determined poverty in a Dublin slum, he turned probably the most well-known of London’s male prostitutes and was concerned in each main male prostitution scandals of the Victorian interval. He may need been the writer of the 1881 pornographic novel The Sins of the Cities of the Plain; or, The Recollections of a Mary-Ann, with Brief Essays on Sodomy and Tribadism.

In 1884, Irish nationalists alleged that there have been gay orgies on the citadel and named Martin Oranmore Kirwan, the son of a distinguished Galway landowner, as one of many contributors. Earlier in his profession, Kirwan had paid Saul for sexual favors. Saul was delivered to London to testify, though he wasn’t truly placed on the witness stand.

In 1887, Saul was one of many in-house prostitutes at 19 Cleveland Road, which was concerned in a significant public scandal in 1890. Saul brazenly testified in the course of the associated trial that he labored there as “a professional Mary-Ann,” the present slang for male prostitutes.

Nonetheless, he was by no means prosecuted, probably as a result of the authorities had been afraid that he may title different Cleveland Road purchasers, together with Prince Albert Victor, Queen Victoria’s grandson and inheritor to the throne at the moment.

6 Herbert Huncke


Herbert Huncke, whose final title is pronounced “hunky,” was one of the distinguished Beats of the publish–World Battle II technology and was certainly the one who named the Beat motion. He got here from a middle-class household however discovered road life much more compelling.

Huncke, who briefly labored for Al Capone’s gang, began his prostitution profession in Chicago. However Huncke didn’t make it huge till he moved to New York Metropolis in 1939, the place he was often known as the “Mayor of 42nd Street.” He was hooked on medication, particularly morphine, from an early age.

William S. Burroughs wrote his first novel, Junkie, about Huncke and Jack Kerouac later used Huncke as the first inspiration for the character Elmer Hassel in his well-known e-book On the Highway. As well as, Alfred Kinsey used Huncke to recruit topics for his sexual analysis.

5 Jean Genet


Jean Genet was one of many best-known dramatists and thinkers behind French Modernism, inspiring Jean-Paul Sartre and Jacques Derrida, amongst others. The son of a prostitute, Genet wrote about his experiences servicing sailors in his autobiographical novel, Our Girl of the Flowers.

This e-book’s frank depiction of life amongst prostitutes and the legal courses turned an instant scandal and is now thought-about a basic piece within the literature of homosexual liberation. Genet adopted the e-book with the performs The Balcony, The Blacks, The Maids, and The Screens. He additionally wrote the novels Querelle of Brest, Funeral Rites, and The Thief’s Journal, and a brief movie, A Love Music.

Genet turned a political activist in addition to a playwright and even impressed a David Bowie track, “The Jean Genie.”

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4 Denham Fouts


Denham Fouts led a colourful life. He counted the rich, artists, and royalty amongst his purchasers in addition to most of the interval’s most well-known authors and Brilliant Younger Issues amongst his mates.

Within the Nineteen Twenties, after Fouts robbed a Greek millionaire shopper and was sentenced to jail, the Welsh poet Evan Morgan (the 2nd Viscount Tredegar) bailed him out and supported him. Fouts left Tredegar for Prince Paul of Greece, however Paul ended the connection when he turned king.

Fouts then took up with Peter Watson, an industrialist and writer of the literary journal Horizon. Christopher Isherwood mentioned Fouts was “the costliest male prostitute on this planet.” He fell in love with an image of Truman Capote and despatched Capote a blank check and his deal with in Paris. Fouts died younger of coronary heart failure in Paris.

3 Shai Shahar
Retired 1999


Shai Shahar, a former soldier in each america and Israel, was the primary man to go on show within the well-known home windows in Amsterdam’s red-light district. He claimed that his clientele, there and elsewhere, included royalty, politicians, and film stars.

Shahar additionally claimed to have had intercourse with 500 completely different ladies and 40 {couples}. After retiring from prostitution, he turned a singer and promoter for burlesque productions in addition to an advocate for authorized prostitution and intercourse employee rights.

2 Mike Jones
twentieth century


Mike Jones, who prefers to be referred to as an escort fairly than a prostitute, turned well-known for outing his shopper, Reverend Ted Haggard. Haggard was one of many best-known evangelical leaders in america and was an everyday adviser to President George W. Bush.

Haggard, a married man, was an energetic proponent for the Protection of Marriage Act, which banned same-sex marriage. This advocacy made Jones determine to out Haggard, regardless of understanding that it could virtually definitely value him his profession. “This [hypocrisy] is so robust for me, and it damage me so deeply, that I merely reached the purpose the place I had to say something.”

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1 Jeff Gannon
Born 1957


Jeff Gannon (born James Dale Guckert) lived two lives, one as a member of the White Home Press Corps throughout George W. Bush’s administration and the opposite as knowledgeable escort named “Bulldog” who marketed on web sites akin to militaryescorts.com. He didn’t, nonetheless, have a navy background.

Gannon was in a position to bypass the usual clearance procedures for White Home press passes, which later raised suspicions that he had acquired particular therapy. Throughout a press convention on January 26, 2005, he requested President George W. Bush, “How are you going to work with folks [Senate Democrats] who appear to have divorced themselves from actuality?”

This overtly partisan query introduced him to nationwide consideration. Reporters started digging into his background and revealed that he had been a male escort. In 2007, Gannon revealed a e-book, The Great Media War, about his expertise and the media on the whole.

+ Andrew Cunanan


Andrew Cunanan was a really profitable prostitute on the West Coast of america who made a superb dwelling off a number of purchasers. One, Norman Blachford, flew Cunanan around the globe and gave him a automotive, housing, and an allowance.

Cunanan was a routine liar, exaggerating his background and ceaselessly pretending to be independently rich. For some unknown purpose, he launched into a violent murder spree in 1997.

His first sufferer was Jeff Path, a former lover, adopted by David Madson, an architect. Cunanan then murdered Lee Miglin, a well-known and rich actual property developer, which put Cunanan on the FBI’s Ten Most Wished Record. He then killed cemetery caretaker William Reese, the primary sufferer who had no obvious preexisting hyperlink to Cunanan.

Then Cunanan fled to Miami, the place he shot and killed designer Gianni Versace and later shot himself. Up to now, no investigation has uncovered a motive for the killings.

Ann is a researcher, author, and presently, a job hunter. Study extra about her on LinkedIn or see extra of her writing on Medium.

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