Meet Sleazy Michael. He’s a 59-year-old male escort from Cambridge who appeared in a recent episode of The Sex Business in the U.K.
Before becoming a sex worker 13 years ago, Michael says he lived a “very nice middle-class lifestyle.” That is until his wife discovered pictures of him engaging in gay sex acts on the family computer and chased him around the kitchen with a knife.
“For 23 years I was like a time bomb about to go off,” he tells Pink News. “I had to repress that desire to have sex with guys.”
After being kicked out of the house, Michael was free to explore his sexuality openly. And that’s when he discovered escorting.
“The way it happened was all organic,” he says. “I’ve got a very high sex drive, and my attitude is that I love having sex, so it’s a bonus if I get paid for it.”
“If I hadn’t been in the closet all those years, maybe I would never have become an escort.”
Related: I can’t stop buying male escorts and think I’m getting addicted. Help!
Michael quit his job with a railway company and began selling his body. Today he makes £100 an hour and says he feels totally fulfilled.
“It’s awesome, being my own boss. I do things and I see their eyes light up.”
Michael says he usually one or two clients per week. Of those clients, he estimates that around 80% are married and that “99% are fantastic and respectful–we’re both giving something to each other.”
“I’m helping them to fulfill a fantasy,” he says. “What I do probably saves some marriages because if they didn’t go to a male escort to live out their fantasy, the alternative is that they start having an affair… It helps keep them going, you know?”
He continues, “I’ve had some virgins and it feels so amazing because they’re never going to forget it. I’m very gentle and never cross boundaries.”
Michael says he’s aware of the stigma that is often attached to escorting, but he doesn’t care what people think about him. He’s just doing what makes him happy.
“I don’t have any hang-ups about the ethics of being an escort,” he says, adding that he could see himself working well into his ’80s. “It’s the best job I can imagine.”
Related: Self-Proclaimed “Number One Escort In The World” Says He Likes His Men Old And Ugly
No need to go in on Graham’s continued obsession with prostitution, drugs and promiscuity. And I’m not hating on this “escort”. Do what you want with your body, especially when you’re 60 years old. However, it does seem “gay media” and “gay culture” loves to promote stereotypes above all else and tends to reduce gayness/queerness and male same sex relationships to mere sex. That may be one of many pieces as to why so many still have an issue with fo’ real coming out and why internalized homophobia is still so prominent.
Well, there’s that, and then there’s the real feelings of hatred and disapproval that many gay, bi and trans people actually feel based on treatment in this and other societies that are actually quite homophobic. Yes, things have improved considerably since 1969, but homophobia, heterosexism and heteronormativity are still problems, and not just on a personal basis, but in structural and systemic ways.
That said, I think it’s fine to highlight people like this guy. It’s a fascinating story; he was closeted for decades and then, after coming out, is living the life he wanted to live. He’s not a 20-something twink, but a middle-aged man who is living his truth. It would be great for this site to couple this with more articles about same-sex couples or middle-aged gay people who aren’t sex workers, etc., but I realize that even posting this might get this comment deleted, since it’s not super-positive.
It’s never one way or the other. People love to talk about homophobia, religion, the pressures of sociology, etc. Internalized homophobia, general mental health, disfynctional and degrading hetero worship, self-misandry, self-misogyny, childhood trauma and how irresponsible, shallow and agenda pushing “queer media” often is are things that are just as problematic. Gay media and culture being so hyper focused on promoting and selling sex and people perceiving a “gay lifestyle” to automatically equate to certain things is definitely a big reason many have a difficult time truly coming out and gaining self-comfort and a solid ego. I know this firsthand and from friends.
This is at least a slight more interesting story than their typical promotion of sex work. At least he’s not a guy in his twenties with a six pack.
I’m no prude. And this is not something I bytch about a lot. But it does get tiresome. I thought the passing of gay marriage (not that everyone should be getting married out here) was going to alter some perception and change how “our” media handles male gayness and same-sex relationships, alter some of the focus from sex, partying, youth, straight-guy worship, and actually get to some real and uncomfortable issues. But it hasn’t changed much of anything. In fact, things have gotten even more one-note and pc. It makes me realize that the problems are deeper and more convoluted than I once thought and that many are willing to admit.
And I’m cool with some Colton dating stories. As far as we know he’s only had one legit bf, who he married and divorced in less than a year.
Kangol spent half the page defining why this could be important. Getting older, finding yourself, etc. Its a bit different so i think it does have some value.
I do kind of agree with you on your points. Too many gay men are stuck in the world of Peter Pan. It’s like I loved the series Queer as Folk but even they had to grow up eventually.
Does he have another job? 1 or 2 clients a week at 100 pounds per hour?
Even if he spends 2 hours with each person that is still only 400 pounds a week. Doesn’t sounds like he’s making much of a living.
I agree, though this might be supplementing the dole, since he might be too young for retirement at 59, right? Or maybe the UK’s pension benefit plans are different.
He might own his own house, so 400 a week isn’t that unbelievable to keep you going. If he’s self employed his tax contributions will be lower
UK’s version of social security and his pension probably covers his other expenses.
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