The psychological and physical qualities that make for a great male escort may be debatable, but at least a few of them were on display March 21 in New York City, during the eighth annual International Escort Awards, known appropriately as The Hookies.
Organized by the Rentboy escort site in association with BPX: The Black Party Expo, this annual event gives the general public a chance to vote for their favourite escorts from North America and beyond in some 15 categories — ranging from Best Twink to Best Top, Best Bottom and Best Boyfriend Fantasy. Voting took place online between Dec 15, 2013 and Feb 21, 2014.
Actor Leslie Jordan — known for his Emmy Award–winning recurring role as the tart-tongued Beverley Leslie on Will & Grace and, more recently, for playing a warlock on American Horror Story: Coven — returned as emcee to provide fast quips during the presentation, which took place at BPM, the nightclub at the OutNYC hotel in midtown Manhattan.
Recording artist Cazwell also graced the stage while performing one of his latest singles, No Selfie Control, surrounded appropriately enough by a bevy of underwear-clad cuties.
But the focus of the evening, of course, was the award winners, who were announced with all the excitement of the Academy Awards, albeit with less clothing. A crowded red carpet area allowed for nominees and other noteworthy guests to stop for photographs and interviews with the always-smiling mr Pam, who is billed as the only female director of gay pornography.
Granted, there is a lot of self-promotion in The Hookies — all the award winners (and the nominees, as far as I can tell) have a presence on rentboy.com, the event’s organizer. But considering the thousands of men who offer their services on the site, there is still reason to pay attention to those who won.
Among the most celebrated escorts of the evening was New York City–based Duncan Black, who won awards for Best Newcomer and Best Ass (he could have also won for best smile, if there’d been such an innocent-sounding category).
Also taking home multiple awards was San Francisco–based Leo Forte, who won in the Best Kink Escort and Best Style categories (his large gold ear ornaments were proof of his style; evidence of his kink prowess was not provided during the ceremony).
The top award-winner of the evening was Boomer Banks, a New York City escort who carried away the prize for Best Cock and then beat eight other nominees (including Mr Spain, Mr France, Mr United Kingdom and Mr Canada) to walk away with the title of Mr International.
Banks was so happy to take top honours in this final award category that he dropped his pants onstage, showing why he won in the previous category as well.