The Velvet Collar Interviews

VC1 Storm Rica Abel
Storm, Rica, & Abel from Issue 1 of Velvet Collar:Unhappy Endings. Artist: Dave Davenport

The creators of Velvet Collar, a comic book series which examines the lives of male sex workers and the impact of the rentboy raid, are sex worker Bryan Knight and queer comic artist Dave Davenport. I interviewed Bryan in person and Dave by email for Tits and Sass.

Bryan’s describes his concept:

“..all five characters are based on workers or porn performers, active or formerly active. I wanted the characters to be inspired by real people and stories. Several are personal friends; they’ve signed waivers, legally allowing me to use their likenesses and names, although I stick with their performer names.”

Thanks to Caty and Josephine at T&S for the thoughtful edit.

 

 

Grindr Reviews

“Even the effects of pheromones can be programmed.”

The essay I published in December, “A Project in Written Persuasion”, discusses the impact of GPS-enabled cruising apps on gay culture. I called the new paradigm an efficient, globalized, government-funded ecosystem of desire. These apps grant us superpowers: we see each other through brick walls; we detect prospects with these prosthetic antennae.

It seemed apt to provide the link to the essay in my profiles on Scruff and Grindr; however, the developers frown on links in profiles. So I provided the search terms Kink + #4 + Rumpus. I doubted cruising guys would bother to key in the search terms, let alone read the essay. But they do, all the time, and I get reviews:

Quoted: Lily Burana’s piece for the Cut

Highlighting the prevailing media treatment of women in sex work: “visual titillation with a side of moral rebuke,” LB discussed the rentboy.com shutdown, power narratives, agency,  and the real harm of policies conflating trafficking and sex work.

A well-read sex worker knows that male prostitutes are rarely, if ever, written about, or spoken of, with such condescension. Dominick, a former escort who, for three years, wrote the popular Ask Dominick advice blog for Rentboy says, “The disparity boils down to sexism.” The “Pipe down, you poor, prostituted women, and let the real feminists tell you what’s what” tack is, he says, “trite heroic fantasy couched in paternalism.”

Big Bad Rent Boys, Sad Little Call Girls, and the Language of Sex Work

Savage Love Column

After appearing on the podcast, Dan Savage passed a question on to me from a straight guy wanting to be an escort, for women. Despite my discouraging comments (“There is no gigolo industry…”), I received hundreds of inquiries from all over the world from men wanting to be straight male escorts.

Money quote:

“…pursue a profession with the potential to bring you into contact with a wealthy female clientele—business consultant, art handler—and be exceptionally good and loving to all the women in your life.”

SavageLove

Savage Love