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Hos, Hookers, Call Girls, and Rent Boys: Professionals Writing on Life, Love, Money, and Sex

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3.71  ·  Rating details ·  314 ratings  ·  38 reviews
The only thing the writers in this book have in common is that they've exchanged sex for money. They're PhDs and dropouts, soccer moms and jailbirds, $2,500-a-night call girls and $10 crack hos, and everything in between. This anthology lends a voice to an underrepresented population that is simultaneously reviled and worshipped.

Hos, Hookers, Call Girls, and Rent Boys is a
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Paperback, 333 pages
Published July 7th 2009 by Soft Skull Press (first published June 10th 2009)
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David Henry
Feb 08, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: i-wrote
The only thing every writer in this book has in common is that they've exchanged sexual services for money. Ph.D.s to dropouts, soccer moms to jailbirds, $2500 a night callgirls to $10 crack hos, and everything in between. This anthology gives voice to an underrepresented population that is simultaneously shamed and glamorized, glorified and vilified, reviled and worshipped.

Hos, Hookers, Call-girls and Rentboys is a collection of short memoirs, rants, confessions, nightmares, journalism and poet
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lola
Aug 25, 2009 rated it it was amazing
The best sex worker anthology I have ever read. And I have read them all. Literally. Way better than Working Sex, and I will paraphrase a line from my review of that book: "This should come with a sticker that says, 'Now with 25% less San Francisco Bullshit!'" ACTUAL diversity of opinions--like, you know, a pimp! Or a bunch of people who needed to be anonymous! Standouts: Sterry's chapter openers, mochaluv, Jodi Sh. Doff (too good), Kirk Read, Audacia Ray, a bunch of others I forgot but I don't ...more
Kelley
Sep 26, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: sex-uality
I picked up this book because, 1. I was shocked it was on the shelves of the public library and 2. the lovely Audacia Ray is a contributor. I have had a hard time putting it down for the other books I HAVE to read. The stories are almost all excellent, with the section on relationships with family my favorite by far. What I love most about this book is that there is a third-wave feminist, sex positive vibe that refuses to sugar coat anything - which is what sex positive feminism *should* be but ...more
MAP
Dec 19, 2009 rated it liked it
This book is split up into 5 sections (like the title implies...): life, love, work, sex, and money. And under each section several different people (sometimes introduced by David Henry Sterry, sometimes not, which at first made it difficult for me to know when we were switching authors) tell a story somehow involving this theme.

Like all anthologies, some stories are better than others. Some stories are hilarious, poignant, tragic, or beautiful, and some make you wonder if maybe your edition has
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Katya
Nov 21, 2009 rated it liked it
Overall an entertaining and educational read. There were some really amazing stories, and some mediocre ones, as is the case with most anthologies. Some perspectives interested me more than others. My main problems with this book was the fact that it seemed to be heavily skewed towards the 'gay rent boy' and 'poor street hooker' perspectives - I would've liked to see more stories from straight male prostitutes and higher class call girls to even out the ratio - and the introductions written by S ...more
Evan
This is an attractively packaged anthology of first-person oral histories -- each ranging in length from two paragraphs to five to six pages max -- penned by people in The Life: higher-priced call girls, street hookers, brothel workers, pimps, men and boys working off the streets or on Craigslist, S&M workers, trannies, strippers putting themselves through college, drug addicts hooking on the side, and a lot of other people whose modus operandi and identity are not always well elaborated.

Th
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Sophia
As the title implies, Hos, Hookers, Call Girls, and Rent Boys: Professionals writing on Life, Love, Money, and Sex this is a diverse anthology with contributions from individuals who have been paid for sexual services. Both their life stories and writing styles diverge greatly, ranging from PhDs to abused children, and from poems to interviews to autobiographical short stories. Since each piece is self contained, it's very easy to pick up and put down; unfortunately I didn't miss the volume when ...more
Stephen
Dec 25, 2009 rated it it was amazing
What an incredible mix. Most of us are blind to the this world, yet our beliefs and "values" judge at even seeing the title of the book. What a gift to expanding our world, what a challenge to suspend judgment, and perhaps even think, "I could have done that, I could have taken that path..." and then reflect, is that so "bad?"
Thanks DHS for doing this...
Todd Kashdan
Some fantastic stories that pull you to different corners of the dark, seedy universe that most of us have never experienced. Some will make you feel intense pain and hatred, especially the section on exploited youth. But like most multi-authored books, some of the poems and stories just don't work. Worth it for about 10-15 gems.
Ivy  Marie
Sep 18, 2009 rated it liked it
I wanted t like this far more, but to me, it re-enforced stereotypes, or perhaps it merely focused heavily on drug addicted street workers. In any case, I, who usually love sex worker books, didn't really care for this.
Shana
Sep 26, 2012 rated it it was ok
The “oldest profession” continues to be a great source of curiosity, disgust, and wonder even to this day, and I am not immune to the fascinating nuances of its practice. For this reason, I knew I had to read this as soon as I saw it sitting on the library shelf.

Sterry, himself a former “Rent Boy,” put together a compilation of diverse stories about the lives of sex workers. My fear when reading this at first was that it would glorify one aspect of sex work; namely the experience of the empowere
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Nine
Oct 24, 2009 rated it really liked it
(Originally published in The Skinny magazine)

Do you see what they did there? Despite the wordy title, the editors have managed to steer clear of the terms ‘sex workers’ and ‘prostitutes’, both of which invariably piss somebody off. This tactic is noteworthy, because here we have an anthology bringing together the broadest range of contributors with experience of the sex industry: from the big screen to the street, phone sex to stripping, and incalls to escorting. Between them, they’ve experience
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Juliane Roell
A long collection of essays and poems on sex work - it took me quite a while to get through. Some pieces are badly and some very badly written. The editor's chapter introductions are annoying. The structure of the book - I couldn't really follow it. But some of the pieces are so intense, so gripping, so clear and so insightful that I kept coming back to it, going back into the very diverse topics and themes that spring up from the stories. MAP writes: "I think people could get many different thi ...more
Caty
Feb 04, 2009 rated it it was ok
So far doesn't disappoint, and such a variety of experiences! Wish I'd been able to contribute. Why am I always irrationally jealous of Audacia Ray? Can't tell you which page I'm on, as I'm skipping around delightfully as one can do with a really good anthology. It's cool that D Henry Sterry, who was prostituted as a child, instead of joining the anti-traffiking movement, joined the sex worker's rights movement instead, recognizing his experience as isolated (though not isolated enough that the ...more
Danna
Jan 08, 2011 rated it liked it
The difficulty with a book like this is, since there are dozens of writers with varying stories, some of them I loved and some of them I couldn't stand. However, I felt the need to finish the book because I was worried if I didn't, I would miss my favorite story! I love what Sterry did, putting this compilation together and giving a voice to so many different sex workers. It really does run the gamut and challenge some stereotypes. I admire his attempt to uncover the different worlds of sex work ...more
Ken
Sep 19, 2009 rated it really liked it
A bold, sometimes raw, collection of essays/stories by those that populate the various levels of the sex trades. Not for the meek this writing is eye-opening in every way. The essays/stories will make you laugh or infuriate you while providing a critical bridge to the many damaged souls that have been swallowed up by this business. I was amazed at how powerful the writing was any almost all of these people were non-professional (writers). Sure at times I winced and forced my way through but if ...more
Emily
Apr 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
found this book eye opening and fascinating. all true stories and bits of poetry and spoken word. recommend it to anyone interested in real life sex work stories and gives an amazing insight in to the lives those who have been involved have lived and the amazing things they have done despite the appalling trials and tribulations (to put it mildly) they have overcome. amazing, amazing, amazing. but I did get some stares on the tube for reading it.... worth it.
Alexandria
Jul 23, 2010 rated it really liked it
This book did a wonderful job of portraying the range of sex worker experiences, from the crack ho who hustles to get high to the rent boy servicing a sweet older lady to the famous porn star to the myriad horrifying stories of pimps and abuse.

It is an engrossing read and I now want to seek out the memoirs of many of the contributers.
Ryry
Nov 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
cool book! lotsa short stories of different peoples experiences in the sex industry. especially with more input from non cis-woman than a lot of other books i have seen. i like how it is up to each contributer to contribute what they want and frame their own experiences on their own terms which reflects everyone's different experiences and perspectives on sex work and the rest of their lives...
Krestan
Mar 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
Really interesting stories; I must admit that I did skip through some of them but overall, it was a really great book to read. It definitely shows you how intricate the sex work industry really was (however, I would categorize some of these stories as sex trafficking instead of sex work...just a thought)
Sharon
Jun 17, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: did-not-finish
Ok, I admit, this is on the 'did not finish' list, but only because (I can't believe I'm going to say this) it was boring after a while.
Most writers tended to become repertious after a while, and I just could not be bothered reading it.
While this would normally be a intresting topic I would think, this book just did not cut it after a while for me.
hey.emily
The diverse collection of sex workers compiled in this anthology is amazing. The expertise and love with which Sterry tied everything together makes me want to check out his other work, including his memoir.

For anyone who has read anything about sex work and sexual politics: read this next. For anyone who hasn't read anything: start here.
Samantha
May 30, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: swapped-out
Interesting book. Some of the stories were more interesting for me than others. The shockingly young age that some of these people got to me. I can't even imagine what some of these people went through. Good read.
Monica
Aug 11, 2009 rated it it was ok
Well, I read a lot of it, but not all. Had to return it to the library. It was pretty good, but not phenomenal. Some of the essays, of course, were better than others. May get it out again at some point.
Daniella
Feb 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Some stories I loved, others I liked less. There were many voices to be heard in this anthology, and I deeply enjoyed reading it. Some stories made me laugh while others tugged at my heart and still others did both. For me, this was definitely a worthwhile read.
Shannon Barber
May 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is a very well edited, well put together anthology. The intros as gold and I would really love to read more from all of the authors. Great stuff, a diverse variety of voices (which can be rare) and overall an excellent read. I highly recommend it.
sara frances
there are some really amazing stories in here. i loved all the different voices that are included in this book. props to sterry for pulling it all together.
Zoe
Jun 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Everyone must read this book, not because I have a story in it, but because many authors are in one neat little book about the greatest profession...
Michele
Aug 23, 2009 rated it really liked it
i read most but not all of the essays. wonderfully vivid accounts from a variety of perspectives on selling sex.
Nicole
Apr 18, 2015 rated it it was ok
I enjoy reading about sex work, so I picked this up right away when a friend suggested it. Honestly, it would be a good book if the author had no voice in it. His attitude is obnoxious and his ego is out of this world. He constantly references his time as a rent boy, which, as far as anyone can tell, consisted of exactly one year. I'm honestly shocked he doesn't just ramble about himself for 332 pages. But I hear there's another book for that.

Once you get past the author it's an entertaining and
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David Henry Sterry

David Henry Sterry is an author, performer, educator, activist, and a man who hasn’t worn matching socks in 20 years. David is the author of 11 books, the first of which was published in 2001. Prior to becoming an author, David was a professional actor and screenwriter.

The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published (aka: Putting Your Passion into Print) (Workman, 2005). Base
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