Friday, September 01, 2006

Hustling world-wide

Here are some terms for "male prostitute" from several cultures. (An excerpt from a Wikipedia article)

Bachá - in northern Turkic-speaking areas of Central Asia, an adolescent of twelve to sixteen who was a performer practiced in erotic songs and suggestive dancing and was available as a sex worker.

Hijra - in the Indian subcontinent, a physically male or intersex person who may enter into prostitution.

Jineterismo - literally "horse jockeying" (i.e. a generic term for the practice of "riding" tourists), this is a term used to describe Cuban male prostitutes (female prostitutes are called "jinetera") who play a large role in Cuba's booming tourist industry.

Kagema - young male prostitutes in Edo period of Japan whose clients were largely adult men.

Köçek -in Ottoman culture, very handsome young male rakkas, "dancer," usually dressed in feminine attire, employed as entertainers and sex workers.

Kathoey - in Thailand, sometimes referred to as "ladyboys, a male-to-female transgender person or an effeminate gay male; many kathoey work in entertainment and tourist centers, as dancers, in cabaret shows or as prostitutes.

Tellak -masseurs/sex works in Turkish hammams

Sanky-panky - a male sex worker in the Caribbean who solicits on beaches and has clients of both sexes.

Closer to home a friend reports a rare first instance of the current US favorite "escort" in a newspaper of 1941. "Escort" is a good example of a camouflage word. For those in the know, it means sexual services, or usually does. Others can assume that it just means a companion for dinner and the opera. Thus it provides plausible deniability. For this reason it is the favorite term for sexual services on the Internet (where some photos leave the nature of the service quite clear). It will not be long before the "secret is out," and the term simply means prostitute (of either sex).

In German such terms are sometimes called Tarnwoerter, from the legendary Tarnhelm, a piece of headgear that renders the wearer in invisible. As with Wells' "Invisible Man" the invisibility wears off over time.


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