Wednesday, 14 March 2012

And The Winner Is...


Many years ago I heard those words followed by my name, when the whole company of the play I was in at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe won the Stage Award for Acting Excellence. This time round, the talents I’m being recognised for are slightly different, but I’m no less thrilled to be considered. In the last few weeks, I have been nominated for two different awards. Firstly I was  nominated in the Best Bear category for the Raven’s Eden Porn Awards. According to Barry Cornelius, the owner of Raven’s Eden, nominations were based on customer feedback at Raven's Eden. Apparently I ended up in the "Bear" category because there was no "daddy" category this year and several of Barry’s customers placed me in the "Bear" category. “No matter the category, you are popular among my customers,” says Barry, which makes me very happy indeed. Voting has now closed and the ceremony will take place at the Raven’s Eden Fetish Fair in Wilkes Barre, PA on April 7th, at which there will also be a Porn Star Auction of Description: https://s-static.ak.facebook.com/images/blank.gifDVDs, posters, photos and even underwear donated by the various nominees. The proceeeds go to “Relay for Life”, which helps local people living with cancer. You can see the details at http://www.ravenseden.com/Fetish_Fair.php.

I was absolutley delighted to be nominated for the Raven’ Eden Award, so imagine how excited I was to then hear I’d been nominated for Best Daddy in the highly prestigious Hookies.  The International Escort Awards, also known as the Hookies, were founded by rentboy.com's Jeff Davids and Sean Van Sant. The first ceremony was held at the Roxy in New York City in October 2006, and along with others, rentboy.com is still the major sponsor of this award. This year’s event takes place at the Roselind Ballroom, New York on the opening night of the Black Party Expo and will be hosted by comedian, Alex Mapa. The awards process began in December 2011, with nominations starting online and continuing through February 15th, 2012 - nominations were open to anyone who logged onto a Rentboy.com escort profile, whether  a satisfied customer or an admirer. You could choose from your favorite escort listings to nominate contestants in one of 15 categories: 

Best Newcomer, Best Pornstar Escort, Best Top, Best Ass, Best Fetish Escort, Best Live Performer, Best Tattoos, Best Body, Biggest Cock, Best Duo, Best Boyfriend Fantasy, Best Daddy, Best Escort Blogger / Writer, Best Escort Agency, Mr.International Escort 2011

Nominations have now closed but you can still vote for the finalists and, naturally, I hope you will vote for me. 

It sounds as if it will be a great night and I really wish that I could be there – a little harder for those of us who live on this side of the Atlantic. However much fun the night will be though, there is a serious  side to the Hookies, as outlined in their press release. 

Escorts and bodyworkers are frequently stigmatized in the press, yet these courageous and skilled men provide an invaluable service, helping clients make meaningful physical contact, explore their fantasies, emotional needs, and desire for companionship. Rentboy.com has long been an advocate for a person's right to do what he or she likes with their body. We constantly reinforce the message that escorts should be proud of the services they provide and not marginalized or made to feel inferior to someone donning a suit every day and trading pork belly futures (see our manifesto at www.rentboy.com/rentboymanifesto). Today is the day we say come out and celebrate a unique occupation and above all be proud of how far we have come.
                                                                                                                                          
Anybody who knows me will know that I campaign continuously for greater acceptance, for the right of all of us to have the sex life we choose, without the stigma that religions and governments impose upon us. Even within the gay community, we often have to deal with prejudice and disdain. Many social websites ban escorts all together and some of those that do allow commercial profiles seem more interested in taking our money (a wapping £55 per month on Gaydar) than actually doing anything for it, like helping with marketing or promotion. Rentboy, on the other hand, is a model of what an escort site should be – there to cater to the needs of all its customers. They never forget that the escort is a paying customer and, as such, is entitled to customer service.

The Rentboy.com manifesto  states that, whilst this job may not be for everyone, it has its rightful place among honorable careers. There must be a reason why it is called the oldest profession in the world. Sex work is a valuable service like any other and should be treated as such.

We say, "Money can't buy you love, but the rest is negotiable." We hope to effect a change where gay pride extends to escorts as well as the mainstream gay community.

These awards (the Hookies)  make a difference, and whether I win or not on March 23rd, I support them wholeheartedly, though of course it would be nice to hear those words “and the winner is….” Followed by my name.

You can read my interiew on the Rentboy blog and please don’t forget to vote

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