On Friday night at New York City’s
Splash Bar Club Rebel, the Fourth Annual International Escort Awards — better known as The Hookies — were handed out to honor persons in categories like Best Ass, Best Top, Biggest Dick, and Best Tattoos. The brainchild of Rentboy.com’s Jeff Davids and Sean Van Sant, The Hookies are a celebration of America’s often illegal participation in the world’s oldest profession. Actually, starting this year, it’s not just the U.S.; it’s an international affair, with escorts from around the world invited to compete in this bloodsport.
At its core, The Hookies are really a small business awards show. Or so Van Sant would have you believe: “So these boys are now running their own Internet business. They are working for themselves. We don’t take any money. People used to work for an agency. We’re not an agency. We don’t take any money or percentage from any business that anyone does. They just post their own ad on Rentboy and then run their own businesses. It’s all in their hands. It’s much more photo-driven now too. If you don’t have a good photo or good text and computer skills, you’re not really going to get the business online.” And who can argue with entrepreneurship?
And really, these guys are heroes: “It does take courage. Everyone loves to put down a sex worker. It’s partly because we as gay men love our porn stars, and we love our hot men. I guess it feels good to put down the guy you can’t have. Everyone wants to gossip, so it takes a lot of courage to put your sexuality out there for everyone to evaluate.”
The winners list is here. And you can be sure Gio, pictured above and who was named Mr. International Escort, just doubled his out-call rates.