A Skid Row Sleepover

Wherein our intrepid writer attempts to pierce the veil of sleaze on Miami's main street

Soon, though, he caved to market forces. Clients paid $10 to $20 for sex. "There's a lot of guys out here, but it's not as lucrative [as the female trade]. With the women a guy can be on his way to work or dinner or wherever, and see something he likes and whoa! he pulls over. But gay males, as a rule, plan when they're going to go out and get a trick. The guys want to take you home, they want to love and caress and be with somebody."

Sonny says he's worked as a waiter, a cruise-line reservationist, and a bar back. He has repeatedly lost jobs because of his problems with drugs and booze, ending up back on the boulevard like driftwood thrown into the ocean. At times he has paid for sex. He also services jittery suburbanites who pull over and give him money to buy crack. His latest gig is a "houseboy job" (his term) for two gay men, he says. He cleans the house and has sex with them for $100 per week plus room and board.

He looks at me, trying to discern what I'm thinking. "I'm telling you, I'm straight. I like pussy. In fact I just broke up with the hottest chick out there, a three-year relationship, and I'm heartbroken."

Then he stands up. I say goodbye and he walks off toward the Amoco. He waves to a slender, white woman in a purple dress. Then he disappears around the corner.

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