male-prostitute_2_18-year-old “James” (not his real name) dreams of one day being an award-winning filmmaker.

“I want to make films and be a director,” the young man tells Fusion. “I didn’t want to give up on that dream, and now I don’t have to.”

Why not? Because he has found a great-paying part-time gig making private house calls around Los Angeles offering erotic massages to wealthy older gents for cash.

“One night can pay my rent for the month,” he says, claiming he’s raked in as much as $1,000 in a single visit.

But James insists that he isn’t a prostitute.

“It’s more like I am able to make someone happy and stress free,” he explains, “and they’re willing to pay me.”

“Michael” (also not his real name) is an undergrad in Louisiana. He tells Fusion that he’s been working as a gay escort for the past two years.

“I am a biology student, I am a certified nurse’s aid,” he says. “I have to pay for my education, this is how I can do that.”

Michael says his clients range from everyday Johns to priests.

“It’s so funny how people judge,” he says, “considering my clients are city officials, lawyers, your friends, your co-workers—heck, your priest.”

Both young men say they typically find clients online, through dating apps like Tinder and Grindr, as well as escort sites like,, and, and even on Craigslist.

“I know I am a good person,” James says. “I like making people feel good. So now I just ride with it, and doing this allows me to take care of my mom and my sister.”

“I never imagined I would be doing this,” Michael adds. “I didn’t grow up thinking I would do this, but at the end of the day, you do what you gotta do.”

“You’re either doing it for free or you’re getting paid for it,” James says. “I get paid for it.”

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