In recent decades, male sex work has emerged as an important area of study, as well as a social activity in its own right. As new ways of thinking and speaking about male sex work have emerged, it is no longer conflated with homosexuality or the female sex industry. Historical and cultural variations in male sex work are now acknowledged, enabling this activity to be understood in complex and dynamic terms, thus challenging older perspectives that view male “prostitution” as deviant and pathological. Previously neglected aspects of male sex work, such as servicing a female clientele (the gigolo) and upper income types of service (escorts), have gained both scholarly and popular attention.
Recent scholarly writing on the male sex industry has largely come from two areas: the social sciences (e.g., psychology and sociology) and the humanities (e.g., history). A range of popular works on male sex work in the visual arts has also emerged, including cinema and literature, most of which has not been accounted for in scholarly writing. For the first time, this work integrates these separate disciplinary approaches in one comprehensive volume.