Which profession was the male equivalent of prostitution.

…as in something only the most desperate, needy and vulnerable. Male prostitution is not nearly as widespread per capita as female prostitution, so omne wonders which job would be seen in that light, something you do when there literally is no other choice except starvation.

I thought the Army or the Navy, which attarcted the dregs of society in ints ranks. But this was truer during the European empire era, not in the Roman times.Any others?

ANd before someone says it, yes I know that the lot of prostitutes has varied in time and place, that some were well compensated and aquired power and status (Theodora, I am looking at you) , but this is about the generality not special cases.

Personal Servant / Slave?

Side Kick / Boy Wonder?

Laborer? Beggar?

Was thinking of the army also, giving up of one’s body, usually the only thing they have of perceived value, in places were member of the armed forces was a elite position it would seem selling oneself into slavery would also be comparable. In many ways both are the same thing as used in this application.

If you mean the male version of being forced into a desperate situation in a musical so that you win best supporting actor like Anne Hathaway, it would have to be rival gang leader like for George Chakiris playing Bernardo in West Side Story.

Politics. That’s where men, and to a lesser extent women, sell themselves for money.

“in places were member of the armed forces was a elite position”

First let me note that this is hardly ever true and AFAIK has hardly eveer been true in history.

Second, even if the army is viewed as an elite, why would you think that someone who would otherwise be a beggar could be an elite member of the army? No money for weapons, armor or mount.

Prostitution is about selling your body for sexual gratification; when men sell there body for sex it is over overwhelmingly to another man. Thus I’d say more male prostitution happens In the Navy. :eek:

Ditch digging. Or maybe hoe boy. (Farm laborer who does the worst, heaviest and smelliest jobs on the farm.)

Well, are we talking legal professions? Because I’m thinking that burglar, pickpocket, and highwayman all fit the bill.

If you wanted to keep it honest, there’s indentured servitude. Theoretically somewhat better than slavery, but in practice, it depended on how lucky you were.

And yes, you had to be pretty hard up or stupid to willingly sign up for life on a naval vessel, particularly before they figured out that whole “scurvy” thing.

Even hoe boys looked down on the “fork and hoe” boys. I may be a hoe, but at least I aint working at the Forken hoe! :smiley:

I can do this all day. I’m just a hoe boy no body loves me.

Yeah, I doubt “hoe boy” would look great on your resume.

Basically, you are asking what could someone do to get enough to feed themselves when there ws nothing else?

As mentioned, in times of war there was always canoon fodder.

In peacetime, make your own war - robber, highwayman, gangs in the woods (Robin Hood or Dennis Moore), etc. While women had a body that men would pay for (or parts of it) a man pretty much had nothing but his strength over those unable to defend themselves. Weapons helped.

For example, when Henry VIII turfed the monks and took their monasteries, crime went up (as did begging) across England. Heavy european warfare, when it ended, usually resulted in lawless bands of unemployed soldiers running loose across the landscape if the armies had grown too big and those armies had nowhere to return to.

Read Dickens’ “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” where he was paid by the word, and spent 3 pages describing the lawlessness in and around London. Presumably this was because there was no social safety net to speak of in pre-Victorian London.

I can think of a profession that has desperate men standing on a street corner waiting for someone to open their car (truck) door and offer them work.

They’re selling their bodies, not for sex, but for hard labor.

Security Guard: Seriously, never seek a career in security.

“Here’s $100, now paint my house.”

I read *The Jungle *recently. That book features dozens of jobs that no man would take unless the alternative was starvation and death. Even then, I had to question if I could bring myself to do that. Poor Jurgis never had to work in a mine but I would count that as fitting the OP’s criteria.

Of course, none of these is directly comparable to prostitution in that there is no one-on-one contact between the worker and the client. Given the choice, I would turn to prostitution long before I would work in a turn of the century meat packing plant.

For $150 I can give you a happy ending when I paint your house.

A couple of problems with considering the army the equivalent of female prostitution are that throughout history the government will just conscript or impress your ass into service when they need you, and if there’s not a war they need you to go fight there isn’t a near unlimited demand for the services of soldiers, while there is a near unlimited market demand for sexual services from prostitutes all the time, regardless of its legality. There always is (homosexual) male prostitution. At least according to here:

I second highway man, thief or mugger, also possibly mercenary.

And this is the point of my snarky responses; the male equivalent to female prostitution is male prostitution. :frowning: It’s generally the most degrading thing a man can do. Working hard for little pay isn’t degrading; going down on another man for money is and will get you put down and shut out of by the majority of society. More so than digging ditches or joining the army. :smack: