Dearest readers of 15MM,
Yes it’s been eons since you’ve seen an actual written post from me, but damn if there hasn’t been a terrible amount to discuss during the break. I leave torch-carrying and politicizing to others who have the free time. Now occasionally keeping up with online ramblings, internet gossip and industry trade, it’s clear that those of us in the ‘old guard’ run things quite differently than many who are now trying to make their name. I feel as if the savvy is gone from much of the new advertising content out there, as well as new guys not knowing how to properly harness the diversity of social media options.
The times they are’a chargin’… er, changin’ I mean.
Not for better, not really for worse… Just different. I cringe at some of the younger set who try to create a big online persona but don’t know how to push it past a few thousand eyes. While in some ways it’s gotten easier to find an immediate audience in social media, it takes a lot more work now to keep their attention. See, there’s a fine line between being the center of attention and then people disliking you for being there for too long. Toeing that line is key to finding a long-term audience. More importantly, it’s defacto in finding those who will meet with you and become the clients who are your repeat go-to guys . I’ve said it before and it’s served me well: The hourly client is only something you should focus on for the first couple of years of an escorting career. You compound risk in a variety of ways when you exponentially increase unknown face-to-face meets.
At the age of 35 and now being seen by the younger set as a ‘vinyl classic’ in this industry, I’m repeatedly asked what would I do differently if I had to do it all over again: Very little, actually. Sure, there are regrets in how I handled a few things, but overall, I’ve worked hard, led a sober, stable life and continue to be in fantastic condition. Early on, I was greatly benefitted being surrounded by good people who gave me smart, long term advice, they kept my ego in-check and it all allowed me to figure out what niche I served. I’m forever grateful for that.
My only glaring issue with most new guys today is the way they use social media, all becoming a carbon-copy of one another, not saying or doing anything to set themselves apart. It’s almost a gay mathematic equation now as to how they gain followers: Naked gym selfie + ultra masculine hashtag = 1500 new hits. It’s not that I take issue with stroking your own ego and showing off hard work, but at what point in this cycle does it become boringly repetitive? Your audience, whether you like it or not, is savvy and wants more than just another shirtless picture of you.
Ultimately, my two biggest pet peeves with many young guys I see is making the fatal mistake of giving too much away up front, totally forgoing any visual surprise when meeting for the client. Less can be more if you dress it up well. My second issue is with those who monetize everything about themselves (Amazon wish lists, selling clothing, etc). It’s a choice that some guys make for easy, quick cash, but it’ll keep them from attracting the truly amazing high-end clients.
Back on topic: Like any good film, it’s ingrained in humans to want drama, intrigue and a voyeuristic inside look into an interesting life. With escorts, sure, there’s the element of sex there, but never discount the whole life that goes on around that. That’s been my angle from the very beginning… It’s also why people have had a love/hate relationship with me. I’ve weathered some of the most insane discussions about me online and have been able to look back at most of them with a nod or a smile. The real key in success is knowing that you’re not going to be loved by everyone and if you spend all your time trying, it will eventually blow up in your face.
I learned that the hard way. It was a lesson I only had to learn once.
So, let’s sum up this little lesson in rentboy advertising 101: If you’re working in an image-based business, you damned well better be putting on a good show. There’s nothing more dull than looking at selfies of design-spartan apartments, piles of dirty clothing, unmade beds and a life that quietly screams ‘I really, really need that next hourly.’ If you’re going to keep them wanting more, you’ve got to have something to offer them in the first place. Make it creative, fun and exciting. It doesn’t take much to make Robin Leach out of Ramen Noodles.
Oh yeah, and this one is penultimate: Stay away from doing gay porn. It’s a trap. Gone are the days of large studio contracts. Unless you’re just a sociopath who loves the seeing his name on a gay club’s facebook page, I suggest anything but signing your image and name away to a company who will only use you for their profit. Don’t lose control of the product.
As for me, I’ve been keeping out of trouble thanks to the good people at American Airlines. I just hit the 6mm lifetime mark with them. AA tends to make a big deal about certain frequent flier milestones and in this case the captain of the flight I was on came out, shook my hand and thanked me for my loyalty. Sheepishly, I said thanks, but instead of feeling any sense of accomplishment, I felt a tiny tinge of sadness. Sad because in all of those 6 million miles- while I was fortunate enough to see the world several times over (and in awesome company)- it took me away from having anything close to a normal life. That was the price of the lifestyle… I spent my twenties on airplanes. I made my choice and now, I’m a lot more judicious in how much and where I travel, how many people I spend time with and how long I’ll be gone from home base.
I can’t end a blog without a shameless plug for my photo archive. Check out the newest images and some of my favorite places I’ve traveled by clicking…
Twitter remains my go-to spot for keeping up on the breaking moment. I can go days without posting, but watch out when I’m feeling like a smart ass. Stream of conscious thought does have the ability to get me in hot water, but thankfully (most of) what I say is meant with entertainment value in mind.