Has it really been a whole year already? If black is the new black, size three the new six and Lindsay Lohan doing Lifetime television, then hell if 2013 isn’t the new 2012… Isn’t it amazing that the older you get, the more true mother’s logic becomes: ‘It’ll all just fly by’ she would say. I would, of course, disagree, as at the tender age of 19, I knew everything. Didn’t we all.
Now, at the not-as-youthful-but-equally-as-tenderized age of 32, I realize that the smartest person in the room is always the one who’s quietly listening. Sort of the ‘Mister Ed’ school of thought: Only speaking when one has something to say. In an on-demand age heralding the 24-hour news cycle, it’s a rare miracle that we get a moment of pure silence… It’s those few dollops that allow clarity. If 2012 has taught me nothing else, it’s that you hold close those who are dear to you and figure out who in life is just bringing you down. Cut the slack. Remove negativity. Keep moving forward. If change in life were a bottle of Massengill, consider this past year a gigantic flood of vinegar and water. 40 days and 40 nights of dynamic life douching.
One big plus for this year is that I’m in the best shape of my life, thanks mostly to hard work, a little complaining and wanting to really offer the guys I see something different. I’ve never been out of shape in my life, but have always been on the thin side- the 6’3” thin side- and I eventually wanted to make sure every inch of my frame was filled out. I’ve gained nearly 15lbs in muscle this year, kept my body fat percentage under 8% and am now in a maintenance stage of just keeping what I’ve built. Don’t let anyone fool you: It’s work. Especially when you’re taller. Building long-lean muscle versus what shorter guys can achieve in the same amount of time can be frustrating, but as one trainer told me ‘Dude, you’ve got what they can never have… Height.’ A minor consolation to me at the time, but with visual change came the want to keep working harder. I’m not exactly where I want to be, but will keep up the grind through 2013 and see where that takes me. Plus, I don’t plan on getting shorter anytime soon. Always good.
The travel mileage total for 2012 was almost exactly on par with 2011. Without all of the bonus miles that airlines are hemorrhaging now, I ended up at 315k BIS miles (Butt In Seat). It kept me top-tier in three programs, I status matched into a couple of others and now have serious trepidation about where my airline of choice is headed in 2013. American Airlines has been sniffing around a merger with US Air for months now, leading commercial air insiders to say that it’s only a matter of time before they get together. If it happens, I’m hoping that it’s AA who swallows USAir (shades of the TWA buy-out) and they all end up staying in OneWorld… With so much of my travel now on British Airways and Cathay, I’d hate to see those upgrades vanish into thin air.
I’ve been asked to do a wrap up on the industry, who’s up and coming and where I see things headed, but frankly it’s a little tough for me to do. I just not keeping current on escorts as I used to. My personal time has grown to be one of the more precious things to me and when I’m home, my usual routine doesn’t include contacting the people I know with all of the inside information. In my estimation, 2012 seemed to bring a lot of financial trouble to many young escorts who never took the time to build a strong circle of clientele to begin with. The guys who targeted only the hourly gig were left to lower their rates to a point of absurdity and couldn’t money-manage standing firm in their standard rate. While it’s normal to me getting email replies that attempt to haggle on my rate, I have never wavered. If there’s one thing I can implore on young escorts, it’s that if you’re offering a premium product and can keep that high level of standard, you should never have an issue finding business. Bryan Young, a successful former escort and one of my mentors in this industry, once said to me: ‘Ben, you don’t go looking for Chanel at the flea market and you certainly don’t attempt to bargain at Barneys.’ Wise words.
Which brings us to the longstanding accusation of writing 15MM as nothing more than cotton candy fluff: Talking only about premium travel, exclusive resorts, theatre (that’s ‘re,’ not ‘er’), gym time and tech gadgetry. And guess what… They’re right. I’m not writing the next great American novel here. I no longer weep silently in not submitting my Steamworks adventures to the Nobel literature committee. I started this blog- the longest continuously running blog in the escort industry- to impart a little of my life on the road and to generally let me write in a way I wasn’t used to. I have a strong background in independent writing, but it’s mainly formulaic stories that didn’t allow for anything too indulgent. My blog would be different- And for the last 8 years, it has been. While I find it entirely easier to update my on-the-go photoblog, I know I need to get back onto a schedule with 15MM or simply close it down for good. More on that in the future. Lots of things to think about. I don’t know if I’m ready to let go of this soapbox just yet. Not when there are a few more good fights left in me.
Santa Fe over Christmas was magical. Rosewood hotels are always on top of things and as if on cue, it began to snow on Christmas Eve as I was walking through the Plaza. Ridiculous as a Jimmy Stewart film, but something I won’t soon forget. Spent a day tub-jumping at Ten Thousand Waves, got my stress worked out of me on heated massage table and ended it with an incredible dinner at Geronimo’s on Canyon Road. Nice to see the taste of art is changing in Santa Fe: The typical Georgia O’Keeffe desertscape is being knuckled-out by more contemporary offerings. As the new, younger money comes into town, local business is adapting… They have no choice. The best part about it all is that you can now fly directly into Santa Fe without having to make the typical ABQ run. Santa Fe’s airport is small, but functional, reminding me quite a lot of EYW in its pre-renovated days. A bit old school, but it was charming and saves you a ton of time.
Heading to Hong Kong soon, but back just in time to catch a day of sleep and fly out to Las Vegas, a city I haven’t seen as much of this year, so every visit now feels as minty fresh as a stripper’s breath at the Spearmint Rhino. I’ll be doing another stay with the Mandarin Oriental and will diligently report back on the state of affairs now that they’ve had a solid year under their belt. From what I’ve read on TripAdvisor, it appears they’re doing just fine and have secured the top hotel rating in Las Vegas listings: That’s no easy task in a city filled with resorts. As all of Steve Wynn’s hotels have now turned into nothing more than machines, filled with high-end clubs and even higher-end assholes, I continue to throw support to Mandarin as the only mainline hotel that really is worth staying at in LV.
Many thanks to those who have taken the time to submit questions to the Q&A. I’m a little backlogged in getting responses out right now, but I plan on using the wifi on the flight over to Asia to get those taken care of. Your patience is appreciated. I’ll continue to answer any and all questions submitted as candidly as possible.
I’ll close out this last edition of 15MM for 2012 with a serious thought: This year I had three friends of mine find out they were HIV positive- All were under 30. Each of them could have easily prevented this diagnosis, but they were young, indestructible, etc. What’s done is done, but it reminds me that one bad decision can effect your life forever… And that even the safest of sex doesn’t really make it safe. I don’t disparage pleasure, but what makes my blood boil about this industry is the open hypocrisy amongst those who criticize one person for something trivial, but totally ignore the fact that their ‘favorite escort’ was once doing bareback films for sale. Some things, like health status, just shouldn’t be kept quiet, especially when you’re in the business of selling sex.
The hard truth: I really don’t care how nice he seems. If he was dumb enough to bareback that publicly once, it’s likely he’s still doing it and could care less about his own health, much less yours. Your bad decisions might cost you a lot more than just money. Why not make 2013 the year to really think before you hire… It could save your life. As a friend and one-time client of mine used to say ‘DO YOUR HOMEWORK.’ Ain’t that the gospel truth.
Coming up in the next edition, look for scathing remarks on the new Les Miz film (I’m still dealing with it through Elisabeth Kubler-Ross’s little-known ‘Stages of Schmaltz’ technique), as well as breaking apart the misty shroud that is the very-rigged Rentboy Hookie Awards– Considering I’ve won two of them in my time, you might not want to miss this smackdown of epic proportions. I’m naming (porn) names and pointing (well-manicured) fingers. I don’t plan on cutting slack until I get a cease & desist on my front door. I’m also dishing about a certain long-time Southern gent escort who’s using his home-based boyfriend to do his web dirty work against other working guys. 2013 is starting off with a bang… And I’m dropping the hammer.
Wishing everyone a wonderful holiday and a very safe New Year’s Eve. You can be assured that as you read this, I may already be getting comfortable in my airline seat, stifling my in-cabin laughter as I watch Auntie Mame for the thirtieth time. I literally begin to shake uncontrollably when any scene with Gloria Upson comes on. At that point, I sound something like a Irish sheep giving birth over an intercom system.