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bomerrang
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Brilliant video. Having been a native of LA, 90% of the youths that I have talked to tell the same story of being forced from their homes, only to arrive in Los Angeles to face, abuse, drugs, fear, and a life on the street with the threat of HIV. I volunteered for countless years at the LA Gay and Lesbian center. Fact...LA will eat you up and spit you out, she shows mercy to no one.

 

That being said, you should not feel like an "exploiter." There is a far cry from what johns were doing to these kids in the video and you hiring off rentboy.

the greatest beauty is

Organic wholeness, the wholeness of life and things,

the divine beauty of the universe.

Love that, not man apart from that,

or else you will share man’s pitiful confusions,

or drown in despair when his days darken."

 

- Robinson Jeffers

 

B e l i e v e

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Yes, brilliant, yet also sad and very disturbing.

 

I have met - like many here I am sure - youth who are the image of the young man in the video. You find them on dark street corners, in parks, in alleyways. in movie theatres -- lonely, frightened, nervous, anxious to "just get it over with," trying desperately to keep enough cash in their pockets to finally (hopefully) get off the streets. While some do, many don't - nameless and homeless, unwanted by anyone.

 

I would hope that in the times I met these, I moved quickly from at the outset being an "exploiter" (trying to fulfill my own urges for a few bucks") to something else, getting the guy a hot meal, and giving him the "fee" without any sexual favors exchanged, if just to give him a modicum of human dignity for a brief moment. I look back in particular on 4 or 5 such young men who - 15 or 20 years after such a hopeless first encounter - have survived, but not only survived, they are leading better lives, finishing school getting employed (some even getting back their lives so much they are happily married and with children - we all know, despite our best hopes, not all of these young men were or are gay or even bisexual... just desperate).

 

I sometimes wonder if fear of being an "exploiter" is what has pushed me more and more to hiring men well past 25 or 30 years of age? There may be a lot of truth in that.

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Very sad, and unfortunately, very true. The Trevor Fund provides a hotline and other support services to LGBT youth who are contemplating suicide. I learned of the Trevor Fund last year when watching "Celebrity Jeopardy!" The contestants donate their winnings to a charity, and explains what the charity does. Anderson Cooper donated his winnings to the Trevor Fund, and that's how I learned of it. I am now an annual supporter of the Trevor Fund.

The Point Foundation provides college scholarships to LGBT youth who have been ejected from their homes when teenagers by homophobic parents. I am also an annual supporter of the Point Foundation. When I read the resumes and accomplishments of the scholarship recipients, and also hear their life experiences, I only wish that I were in a position to donate more.

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Guest Starbuck

The video is an effective call for attention to a tragic problem. I hope it moves all of us to contribute time or money to organizations that offer LGBT youth services. But by comparing it to hiring an escort, you are conflating two separate and distinct things. Always do your homework before you hire, and you can be sure you are not exploiting anyone.

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LAGLC does so much brilliant work. One of the two recipients also of the money from the AIDS Lifecycle ride (along with the SF AIDS Foundation). Another great organization in the NY area serving at risk LGBT youth is the Ali Fourney center.

 

In what shouldn't come as one of the biggest surprises, one of cities with the largest populations of homeless LGBT youth is Salt Lake City. But LGBT homelessness is a national problem.

Lee

 

=======

 

A friend is someone who reaches for your hand but touches your heart.

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I am stunned after looking at this youtube video, I feel like an exploiter when hiring a rentboy now.

 

Interesting first post, rapscallion. Not that I hire guys under 21, but my hiring an escort is no more "exploiting" them than a fast food joint is "exploiting" its employees, or than my employer is "exploiting" me. In this case, I suppose you're referring to definition #2:

ex·ploit (ksploit, k-sploit)

n.

An act or deed, especially a brilliant or heroic one. See Synonyms at feat1.

tr.v. (k-sploit, ksploit) ex·ploit·ed, ex·ploit·ing, ex·ploits

1. To employ to the greatest possible advantage: exploit one's talents.

2. To make use of selfishly or unethically: a country that exploited peasant labor. See Synonyms at manipulate.

3. To advertise; promote.

 

I certainly don't see anything unethical about two adults engaging in a consensual and mutually beneficial financial/labor arrangement. Quite coincidentally, I have a Point Foundation letter right now on my desk, on the top of my stack of charities to donate to. I should start on my pile now. My will gives out a large sum towards a university scholarship fund dedicated to those who have suffered financially as a result of their sexual orientation. The way the market has been lately, I should be rewriting my will to increase that amount. Let's hope the Democrats win the House next year, so the economic recovery can continue.

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On the topic of exploitation, many non-US (and some US) posters will comment about how not legalizing escorting is a sign of America's Puritan past and will talk about how "liberal" countries such as Canada and Germany have legalized it. What they either don't realize or aren't pointing out is that what most people wll agree are the most egalitarian "liberal" countries in the world (Norway, Sweden and Iceland) no longer allow escorting either. In an interesting twist they don't charge the prostitute, but arrest the john instead because in their viewpoint hiring a prostitute is inherently exploiting the prostitute, so paying for sex is a crime - but being a prostitute in and of itself isn't a crime.

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On the topic of exploitation, many non-US (and some US) posters will comment about how not legalizing escorting is a sign of America's Puritan past and will talk about how "liberal" countries such as Canada and Germany have legalized it. What they either don't realize or aren't pointing out is that what most people wll agree are the most egalitarian "liberal" countries in the world (Norway, Sweden and Iceland) no longer allow escorting either. In an interesting twist they don't charge the prostitute, but arrest the john instead because in their viewpoint hiring a prostitute is inherently exploiting the prostitute, so paying for sex is a crime - but being a prostitute in and of itself isn't a crime.

 

Thanks for posting this newtothis. I found the twist to be very interesting indeed. In many ways it mirrors what the OP originally was saying. I think the video clearly points the finger at the john for his exploitation, and indeed the OP mentions feeling like the exploiter.

the greatest beauty is

Organic wholeness, the wholeness of life and things,

the divine beauty of the universe.

Love that, not man apart from that,

or else you will share man’s pitiful confusions,

or drown in despair when his days darken."

 

- Robinson Jeffers

 

B e l i e v e

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In an interesting twist they don't charge the prostitute, but arrest the john instead because in their viewpoint hiring a prostitute is inherently exploiting the prostitute, so paying for sex is a crime - but being a prostitute in and of itself isn't a crime.

 

Completely asinine. Is the john "exploiting" the prostitute, or is the prostitute "exploiting" the john? Why is this any different from any other employer/employee situation--assuming there's no coercion involved? Of course, the video implied that the hustler was a child, and that's a different matter entirely. In any situation I've been involved with, however, it's one adult choosing to offer certain services at a mutually agreeable price. If he enjoys his job (and I hope he does), all the better. Of course, a lot of people do jobs they don't necessarily like. The fact that the employee needs a job doesn't make him "exploited." Unless the john or employer threatens the escort/employee if he doesn't do what he's asked, I don't see the ethical dilemma. Now if a pimp says "I'm going to cut you up (or smash your face or any other threat) if you don't go out there and score some johns!" that's a different story.

If someone thinks I'm exploiting the escorts I hire, please explain to me how it's different whether I answer an ad and say "I'll pay you $200 to trim the branches off my tree" from "I'll pay you $200 for an hour in the sack." Hell, I could even say "I'll pay you $200 to trim my tree, and there an extra two Ben Franklins for ya if you ravage me with your lovin' afterwards!".

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I am stunned after looking at this youtube video, I feel like an exploiter when hiring a rentboy now.

 

Make a second video profiling the kid across the street from this one. He's gay too. He grows up watching his friends bully faggots, and then finds out that the family across the street angrily, hatefully, and shamefully cast out their own son for being gay. So now this kid represses his desires. He goes to extreme lengths to buy gay porn magazines from out of the way stores, hides it with obsessive care, and plans his masturbation sessions around rare windows of opportunity so that he never can be "caught." He occasionally dates girls and even goes to the prom, but always goes home guilty, sad, and confused.

 

Provide some montages of his solitary, lonely life. He distances himself from friends in college and in his twenties to avoid contact with interested young women and to insulate himself from the awkward sadness of the straight social scene. Document the perpetual desperation to avoid being found out by his family and his peers. Now living alone he amasses an obsessive collection of gay porn magazines and videos.

 

You could take this a dozen different ways, but for the sake of the OP let's show this guy now hiring a succession of hot guys from Rentboy. The montages should show him pulling from the last of his available balance at the ATM machine to meet men who, on the surface, seem much happier than him and are living better. In some of the scenes the sex is boring and very abrupt and disconnected, and the business transaction seems cold. In others the sex is fulfilling and passionate, but the transaction at the end is clearly a let-down as the hot escort is clearly moving on with his real life and the guy is already bummed out by the time he gets home alone. Again the possibilities are endless, but for contrast let's stack the deck and show all the escorts as, on the surface, mature and together gay men who seem to be well adjusted.

 

Age this kid into his 30's and 40's, and show him sometimes holding a razorblade to his wrist, sometimes closing the garage door and thinking a bit with his hand on the car key before turning off the engine, sometimes tying a noose and then setting it aside, and sometimes staring for a while at a bottle of pills. Maybe intercut with some of the escorts growing older and hanging out with friends in Weho or at Folsom, or getting into gay weddings or commitment ceremonies. The video's sad, sad, sad, plodding background music will really start to wear on you and the singer's weary miserable voice will make your ears bleed by the time this guy dies perpetually unhappy and alone in his 60's or 70's.

 

Would you feel as though he exploited the escorts, or if the escorts exploited their own attractiveness, or would it be beside the point?

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I saw a 60 Minutes report a couple of years back which showed garment workers being lured from southeast Asia to work in factories in the northern Mariana Islands. They were told that they would be coming to the United States (technically true), working at good wages and eventually getting green cards (not true). When they arrived, they found themselves working below US minimum wages (the islands are exempt from US Labor Laws due to exemptions provided by Congress), with no way to go back (even if they had the money, their passports were often taken from them). These workers are clearly being unethically exploited (although, strangely enough, it's all apparently quite legal, with full knowledge of the US government). That does not mean that every garment worker in the world is being unethically exploited, however.

My sense is that there is a far greater percentage of garment workers who are unethically exploited than male escorts. I have personally never hired an escort in an unethically exploitative manner, and I've certainly never hired a minor. I found the [single-posting] OP's video not only emotionally manipulative, but also misleadingly and inaccurately suggesting how most male escorts operate.

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