Described by CBS as "a muscular college dropout," who's done stints in the Marines and porn, "Markus" has become Nevada's first legal male prostitute - or "prostidude," to those who apparently fantasize about paid sex with stoned college sophomores:
"Markus" was banned from giving interviews after he claimed in a weird interview with Details that his new gig was "just the same as when Rosa Parks decided to sit at the front instead of the back." He's attracted criticism (despite Shady Lady's assertion that any prostitute was welcome to cater to all customers) for refusing to bed men - when girl-on-girl is standard practice for any of his female equivalents. (Frankly, it just seems like bad business.) As Markus says,
I think gay people are very put-together. I think they're very classy, very well-organized people. They have great personalities. I have nothing against them, but that's not me.
However, this could allay the fears of other brothel owners, who are concerned about introducing gay male sex into Nevada's equation - and that the resulting scrutiny could jeopardize their business' legality. As one such business owner asserted (from the Guardian): "We've worked hard for years to make the traditional brothel business in this state socially acceptable … something we can be proud of that most Nevadans accept. We have some concerns that this can be diluted by what Ms Bobbi Davis wants to try." Shady Lady's owners, however, say this kind of talk is pure homophobia - not that they cater to the gays, mind you. Quoth Jim Davis to CBS, "All this gay homophobia in this country is horrible...Everybody's so damn scared two men might have sex - it's happening every day in Las Vegas. Not going to happen here, but that's all the big fear, is gay people." (In addition, there are concerns that female clients will be more difficult to screen for disease, possibly resulting in increased risk to sex workers and customers.)
But there's long been an argument that, without the gay market, male prostitutes simply won't pull the clientele, a debate as old as Heidi Fleiss. Whether this comes down to a basic negation of female sexuality or is a testament to women's genuinely higher fastidiousness (or more complex needs, prostitute-wise), it's not a notion that's gotten much real-world testing, making Markus' an interesting test case, if not the civil rights triumph he fancies.
As for Markus, he's just aiming to please, telling Details, "Whichever woman may walk through that door, she's appreciated...A surrogate lover will love that woman for a whole hour, or however much we charge here, and she'll leave feeling much more empowered and much more confident in herself." One thing's for sure: never once in the coverage has the notion of exploitation or ambivalence even come up: it seems to be a general assumption that for this young guy, formerly homeless, and by his own admission emotionally damaged, this is a dream gig - or at least, just business. And that's another assumption that at least bears examination.
Male Prostitution Comes To Nevada [Guardian]
"Prostidude" Begins Work At Nev. Brothel [CBS]
Heidi Fleiss, The Would-Be Madam Of Crystal [HBO]
Exclusive: Meet America's First Legal Male Prostitute [Details]
[Image via Details]