Tricks of the Trade
Tricks of the Trade

The minute I saw him, I knew his motives. He had blond hair, blue eyes, and a gorgeous physique. I would peg him to be in his mid-twenties. Unlike the rest of us cruising the baths, he was not completely naked. However, he was shirtless, wearing his pants just loose enough to show the top of his briefs. So, what type of guy do you think I am describing? If you said a hustler, you’d be right. The giveaway was that he was semi-dressed. He would have stripped off his clothing like the rest of us if he were a regular customer. The fact that he was not in a towel meant the hustler did not feel like getting sexual. But to get any business, you must show something as a form of advertising. It is all about the tricks of the trade.

Anyone who goes to a bathhouse regularly will encounter a hustler sooner or later. There is nothing a bathhouse can do to stop it. It is, after all, the oldest profession in the book. I once went to a bathhouse out of town. Upon entering, the first thing I saw was a sign saying no solicitation allowed. Thirty minutes later, a hustler propositioned me for an $85 experience. How can you tell when you get propositioned? Here is an easy way to know. Suppose an Abercrombie and Fitch type comes up to you and starts to make conversation; he is a hustler. Abercrombie and Fitch types who are not hustlers are only attracted to someone like themselves. If you don’t fit the mold of an Abercrombie and Fitch type, and someone like that approaches you and initiates conversation? I can guarantee that they want to make a fast buck.

The blond guy sized me up and approached me with a friendly hello. We eventually ended up in the lounge talking. That is the first move a hustler will make. Experienced hustlers know which men to target – Asians and Older Gay Men. These guys have no luck getting any action at the baths. Men get horny after watching porn movies in the lounge and observing naked bodies walking around for hours. Enter the hustler. They know these men need to get off, so they start a conversation, saying they are working. They dangle their sexuality and body in front of these men to the point where they cannot refuse.

The blond guy and I exchanged names, his being Stephen. I ask him if he is gay, and he tells me yes. I look at Stephen and try to visualize his life before he wound up hustling on the streets. He looked like the typical homogeneous suburban twink. Well-liked in high school, athletic, a ladies’ man. What could go wrong? Perhaps he got kicked out of his home for being gay? It is possible. It is 50-50 when it comes to the sexual orientation of a hustler. Almost all of these young twinks have been hustling on the streets for the sheer sake of survival. Having left broken homes, these guys wind up on the streets. Doing whatever it takes to make a buck and turning to drugs such as Crack or heroin to numb the pain. Eventually, an addiction gets formed, and these twinks now hustle not to eat. But to keep their habit alive.

Stephen and I chit-chatted briefly, and then he told me he was working. There are two types of hustlers that you will encounter at the baths. The first type advertises as “masseuses.” They will go up to men asking if they want a massage. Generally, a masseuse will charge 70 to 100 dollars for a rub down. Unfortunately, while some are good at giving a massage, most of these hustlers who pitch themselves as masseuses could be better.

They move their hands over your body, not getting into the muscles. But all of these masseuses have one goal in mind. To get the customer sexually aroused. That is when extras get offered. Typically a handjob is an extra $50, oral $75, sexual relations (kissing, sucking) $75, and full-fledged anal $200. These extras are in addition to the massage, which could net someone over $200 for an hour’s work. Some men have been doing this “masseuse” thing for years and do not fall prey to drugs or street life. It is the career they have chosen. Some are still plugging away in their mid-forties, with a full slate of regular customers.

The other type of hustler will cut to the chase and offer a scale of prices, similar to the masseuse. The trick here is for the hustler to spend as little time as possible. If half an hour is agreed upon, the hustler will generally perform for only 20 minutes. The customer is never the wiser; he just got a blowjob and feels fabulous. These hustlers get hardened fast. In their minds, a trick is not a one-night stand. An excellent trick is when you get a customer returning for more. That way, a hustler has a guaranteed source of income, for a while anyway, until they can line up another trick. A friend of mine fell into that trap.

In the early 90s, my friend was a sugar daddy to a hustler. It was during a period in his life when he had no self-esteem. This hustler was an addiction, as my friend kept returning for more. The loads of money he spent on this hustler were obscene. My friend had thought they had a relationship. But now he knows better; the hustler was just there for the money – to support his massive heroin addiction. Be aware that these hustlers are out for as much money as they can squeeze from customers. Just because a hustler may appear friendly, does not mean they will not screw someone over for a buck.

Regarding my friend’s trick, he is grateful that personal information never got exchanged. They initially met at the Baths and kept everything in that environment. Later, my friend heard through the grapevine that his former trick was in prison for drug offenses. So he is lucky to be rid of him.

Stephen strikes me as the typical hustler. They all act the same. Once they get someone’s sympathy, they know they have a shot at the money. Stephen is no exception. He starts to tell me a sob story about how he is homeless, with no money and no place to stay. He only has the bathhouse now, and his time is almost up. I feel sorry for Stephen, so I gave him $10.00 for his locker renewal and a coupon for a free room for a future visit, no strings attached. He asks why I do not want to sleep with him.

You should have confidence in yourself to know that you should not have to pay for sex. However, there is no shame to have hired a sex worker. Some men have no self-esteem, making them an easy target for many hustlers. If the only thing standing between you and a cute guy is 100 dollars, why not go for it? But here is the problem – a majority of hustlers have no passion. To them, this is work. It is not sex that is enjoyable.

Many of the hustlers are straight. One gay-for-pay hustler told me what drives him during sex is not sexual gratification for himself. But to please the customer as much as possible. The ultimate goal is to get a good trick, so they keep returning for more, thus regularly filling the hustler’s wallet. Another straight hustler I know has been hustling for the past ten years. He got into it by doing the next-door neighbor, and it just snowballed to where he does it occasionally to make an extra buck. Whenever he is between jobs and has no money, he picks himself up and heads to the baths to seek a score. He even has some regular customers. I once asked him how he could do that. Be with a guy, and have sex with a guy when you have no physical attraction. I cannot imagine myself being with a woman. He told me, you do what you have to do to survive. So he will suck, kiss, and cuddle. But he draws the line at anal sex. Plus, he is selective about the guy. Overweight or senior citizens are where he draws the line. But as I had mentioned, these hustlers (most of whom are straight) have a drug habit of supporting. Hustling is the one way they can make money, hence their motivation, despite zero attraction to their customer.

Some hustlers have a work ethic like the ones I have described. Others are like rag dolls. They lie there, expecting the customer to do all of the work. Or you will have to direct (and I do mean DIRECT) the hustler as to what you want him to do in bed, and they are robotic, just going through the motions. So, if you are passive, hiring a hustler at the baths might be a waste of money, depending on the sex worker you hire. If you are aggressive, you’ll get your money’s worth.

You then get in that sticky situation of running into that hustler again at the baths. Remember what I said earlier – a good trick for a hustler is getting customers to return for more and more. It is awkward to turn someone down who is desperate for cash. My advice is to say you did not expect to run into them and have no money.

Getting back to Stephen, he gets out his pipe and inhales Crack. In between his inhaling, I learned a bit more about him. I find out he has been hustling for about ten years (he is 30 now). He is from a broken home, has no prospects other than hustling, and has just been released from jail (for assault). His lean muscular body is a result of being in prison. There was nothing else to do other than lift weights. I shudder to think about what type of sex he had or if he injected heroin in prison. I would not be surprised if he has HIV.

We talk for a bit longer, and then we exit my room. As I head to hit the showers, Stephen makes a detour to the locker area. He is checking out of the Baths as he wants to score some more Crack. As he heads out, he says, “The way I am going, death is just around the corner.” You know what? I believe him.

8 thoughts on “Tricks of the Trade”

  1. “Towel boys” nowadays have t-shirts that say Monitor and spend most of their time cleaning rooms after usage, disposing of condoms, wiping the cum off the walls, etc, Also showing newly arrived patrons to their rooms. Trying to get into their pants has been difficult for me.

  2. I am an escort – years ago, I worked in a bathhouse, actually more that one. I was what was called a “towel boy” which was the term then for an in-house whore.

    I learned much of my “trade” in these places. It was fun and I would work in the same type of places again. But, I am afraid that they have changed much from when I was a young whore (oops, I mean escort).

    This site is fine. It works real smoothly and contains much valuable information. Thank you.

  3. But even these experiences, renting hustlers, that can be regarded as being the result of not having self esteem, will become memories that you will cherish for life. I’d rather have a very rich life, than to have superfluous self esteem but never having experienced anything out of the ordinary at all.

  4. I spent the better part of my teenage years as a street kid, not only dealing drugs and running with gangs, but as a hustler. I logged in plenty of time at the baths. I always found Asian dudes an easy mark. I had an Asian daddy that basically put me through college; he liked nothing more than to go down on my long white boy cock.

    I’m a big fan of Asian guys, but I would not consider myself a “Rice Queen” by any means, I dig all ethnic types, Latinos and Brothers, just as well. The stories herein present an interesting perspective on the baths – yes, a very destructive place an many levels (drugs, disease, low self-esteem), but at the same time a great refuge for many guys. I know that when I was on the streets, it provided me with shelter many times. Fortunately, I tried to be as safe as possible given the nature of the business, and stayed away from the hard drugs, so God willing I am healthy at 40.

    But I would say that the time spent hustling the baths was better than committing petty crimes or dealing on the street, certainly less chance of getting shot or arrested (the Juvi record is sealed, so I am off the hook for all that). They always treated me very well in the baths; sometimes it felt like a sort of home. My favorite was the one in the Astoria Hotel on the upper west side, plenty of generous daddies, who likes it rough.

  5. How do teen hustlers and runaways get into the bath house if you have to have a membership to get in?

    1. I started “working” in a bathhouse when I was 16 as a towel boy. I lived with my dad. He was busy fucking his life up and never asked because I never asked for money.

      We weren’t allowed to trick there, but it was a good place to hook up with sugar daddies who would entertain you at home.

      I cleaned up a lot of dried cum and learned how bleach is the answer to all laundry challenges. We used to wear t shirts and gym shorts. I would get my package and my ass rubbed as i swished on by.

      I worked there until I was about 19 and had developed a steady clientelle. I got out of the trade after college. A couple of my regulars opened doors in finance. Twenty years later I have a great business career. Most of my client skills I learned as I developed from towel boy to escort catering to grown men who liked to be dominated.

      1. I know a guy named Todd with a similar story. Todd K is that you? I learned about male hustlers in bathhouses and bars, watching them prey on older men. I never noticed them targeting Asians, just older man or less appealing younger men. A couple of more worldly buds provided the narrative to the visual/experiential education.

        I don’t begrudge anyone their livelihood or their pleasures, so long as they don’t hurt anyone (who doesn’t beg for it). An honest transaction is an honest transaction. Not my thing – never was – but to each his own.

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