Even now, now, very now, an old black ram is tupping your white ewe. – William Shakespeare, Othello (I, i)
I couldn’t continue to call myself honest if I avoided a subject merely because it isn’t politically correct, and since I raised the subject in yesterday’s column it’s time to talk about it in full. Though I cannot speak for escorts in other cities, it is a fact that most of them in New Orleans dislike seeing black men. Please put aside your tired stereotypes about Southern racism before reading any further, because this aversion has nothing to do with bigotry and everything to do with the way many black men behave toward prostitutes. The strongest proof of this I can offer you is that while most white girls can be persuaded to see a black client if he is well-spoken and/or lives in an affluent neighborhood or stays in an expensive hotel, many black escorts will not see a black man under any circumstances; in the words of Tina (a simply gorgeous black girl who was Flavor of the Month for quite a while), “They’re too cheap, too rough and too full of themselves.”
Obviously, this isn’t true of all black men; I had several black regulars over the years (including a salesman who saw me about once a week for quite a while), and the only complaint I ever had about any of them was that one poor guy tried so hard to make himself agreeable to me that his skin always smelled and tasted like soap! But what about the rest of them? I’m afraid I have to agree with Tina; the majority do tend to be exactly as she described, and I think the reason they are that way has to do with their subculture. For reasons others are more qualified to analyze than I, the typical male role model for young black men is exaggeratedly masculine, physical rather than intellectual and tends toward violence; he is a sports star, a “gangsta” or a “bad-ass” action hero. And one doesn’t need to be a sociologist to recognize that this self-inflicted stereotype is related to a deep current of misogyny in the black community; it has become fashionable in recent years to blame “hip-hop” culture for all this, but that’s utter nonsense. The stereotype of black male physical prowess goes back as far as the legend of John Henry, the myth of the Negro as sexual superman goes back long before Mandingo, and the breakdown in gender relations in the black community started many years before anyone ever heard of “hip-hop”.
Because these warped ideals instill in young black men the notion that women will crawl to a “real man”, they come to believe that their maleness and sexual potency should be enough to attract all the women they want; this of course results in deep feelings of resentment when they find that it is no more true for them than for men of any other color. So when a black man (especially a young one) finds himself in the position of actually having to pay for sex, he is bound and determined to get as much for his money as possible in order to justify the expenditure. Their attitude is basically “If I’m going to pay for pussy, it had better be good!” Consequently, black men are well-known for trying to talk girls’ prices down and/or time requirements up, for trying to get every service they can think of included, and for using every last minute of the call in active sexual activity.
This resentment no doubt also fuels their excessive roughness; a man who is angry at a woman isn’t likely to treat her gently. The very fact that a woman has charged him is perceived as an insult to his masculinity and sexual potency, and this in turn engenders an “I’ll show her!” mentality. The typical black man seems to believe that the point of intercourse is to damage a woman’s sexual equipment as much as possible; I’ve heard more than a few of them say “I’m going to bust that pussy up!” and they constantly attempt to raise one’s legs up so as to penetrate as deeply as possible even if they’re already bottoming out. The most egregious example of this behavior is the bizarre technique I already mentioned in my column of August 16th, which involves the man constantly moving his hips from side to side, trying to enter the woman from as many different angles as possible, as though he were trying to distend or even puncture the vaginal walls. When the man who does this is of average size it’s merely uncomfortable, but if he is well-endowed it can be excruciating. And this, of course, brings us to Tina’s third complaint; if a woman can’t tolerate the pain of this strange activity and pulls away or asks him to stop, he concludes he is “too much man for her” and his ego is restored from the damage dealt by having to pay for what he needed.
I mentioned above that few black escorts would consent to see a black client, but it was rare that one ever got the chance to anyway; in the entire time I owned my service, I only once had a black client ask specifically for a black girl. Most of the time they ask for white girls, often for blondes, and occasionally for Asians, but never black girls. To a large degree white women represent a “forbidden fruit” to black men, something that was off-limits to them for a long time; and though society no longer prohibits interracial relationships a white sex partner still spells success to many black men, which is why so many wealthy ones (such as O.J. Simpson and Tiger Woods) marry white, usually blonde, women. Those who don’t request white women generally express no color preference at all; I suspect these are mature and experienced enough to have learned of the way hookers feel about black men and don’t wish to limit their chances of getting a woman to see them.
In my experience, intelligent black men do their best to offset the stereotype by being as generous and appreciative as possible; one of my favorite mid-career regulars was such a man. When I first spoke to him I was not even aware that he was black; he lacked either the dialectal accent or the characteristic vocal timbre of a black man. He lived in a large and beautiful house in an affluent section of town, and when he opened the front door the first words out of his mouth were, “I forgot to mention on the phone that I’m black, so if you don’t want to stay I’ll understand and pay your cancellation fee.”
I replied, “There’s a vast difference between a gentleman who happens to be black and a hoodlum from the projects.”
He was visibly relieved and said “I’m glad you feel that way; a lot of escorts don’t.”
Since it was obvious to me that he was an intelligent, reasonable man who would not be offended, I explained why many of them felt that way and added, “But you accepted my price without argument and it’s clear you don’t have an overinflated ego, so I don’t think you’ll be rough either.” He promised he would not be, and indeed he wasn’t.
As his house suggested, he was quite wealthy; he owned several fast-food restaurants around town, so he could afford to call me fairly often, and sometimes he tipped me with certificates for free food at his restaurants (which I appreciated, since I enjoyed that chain). He was a gentle, considerate lover who never did that weird hip-swiveling thing, and rather than insist on filling every minute with physical activity he enjoyed lying with me and talking afterward. There was not a trace of misogyny in his character, either; he respected my intelligence and would talk to me about an independent study he was making in order to expand into another business. He even took the trouble to let me know when he became seriously involved with a woman so I wouldn’t wonder why he had stopped calling me, and though I always hated to lose a good client I was certainly happy he had found someone to share his life with.
Whores are the most pragmatic of all women; I can assure you that if more black men were like this client most of them would have no more issue with black men than with white ones. I said at the beginning that I don’t know for sure that working girls in cities other than New Orleans feel the same way about black clients, but I suspect they do because the norms of American black culture which give rise to the offensive behaviors are the same all over this country, and I never noticed a difference between locals and tourists. If New Orleans Ladies are more sensitive to the problem than our sisters elsewhere, it is most likely because the city had a black majority and thereby offered more opportunity to discover it.
NOTE: Every writer, especially when first starting out, writes a few things that, on looking back, cause her to say something like “Was I smoking crack when I wrote that?” In fact, there are a LOT of things I wrote my first year that make me feel that way. However, I’m a big believer in transparency; before the Internet, one couldn’t just “un-publish” embarrassing articles, and I don’t think it’s ethical or even wise to try that now just because one can. You can’t un-ring a bell, and you can’t unsay hurtful things, and to attempt to do so by shoving mistakes – even ugly ones – down the memory hole is to attempt to rewrite the past, a favorite pastime of censors and tyrants through the ages. I’m a real, flawed human being, and though I’m not a racist or any other flavor of bigot sometimes things don’t really come out like I wanted them to. This post is hands-down my most controversial; there are a lot of people who have called me a racist and worse because of it. However, I’ve also received a lot of mail from black men thanking me for explaining it, even if they sometimes (rightfully) chastise me for the crappy, sloppy, careless, insensitive, amateurish, assholish, and unnecessarily hurtful way I expressed it. I apologize to any readers who may be offended by my language; please believe that any hurt I caused was wholly unintentional.