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2 min

The sometime hustler

Author Darren Greer gives it up about his mostly former part-time job

Darren Greer, 42 and the author of Still Life with June, started hooking in university when he was 21. At the time, he was living in Halifax, going to school and working nights as a DJ. He was unable to make ends meet. That’s when his roommate told him he was hot and suggested he put his “goods up for sale” on the hustler stroll.

“I thought I’d give it a shot. [My roommate] told me where to stand. The first people to approach me were from Operation Go Home. They asked me if I was okay. I was upset because it was my first try and people were already trying to convince me not to do it. The next guy to come by gave me $60 to blow me. He became a regular customer,” says Greer.

Greer says he didn’t hook very often. Life was consumed by his studies, DJing and friends. But he says he enjoyed the work when he had the time.

By the time Greer was 30, it had been years since he had had anything to do with the sex trade. He was financially stable and was an established author with a common-law partner, a trendy Toronto condominium and money in the bank.

And then one day he found a note on a bathhouse door offering him $150 for sex.

“It hadn’t occurred to me to hustle for money, and I was already getting enough sex. But I thought about it and decided, What the hell. I took his $150 and put it into a bank account with over $200,000 in it. My partner found out I was hustling. We were upper middle class, and here I was working as a prostitute for $100 an hour. I couldn’t explain it. But I realize I was lucky to be able to do it just for the sake of doing it,” says Greer.

For now, Greer says he’s happy to focus on his writing career and other avenues. While still boyishly handsome in his 40s, he says he hasn’t ruled out the possibility of prostitution in the future. He recently turned down an offer from an older New York gentleman wanting a short-term companion.

“It was more about feeling wanted than the money. It was a really good feeling knowing people thought I was good-looking enough to pay me to have sex with them. Back then I looked good: I was 21 and I had a beautiful slim body. The desire in men’s eyes made it so easy for me to get hard. And many of these guys were well within my age range, and I had terrific sex with them, without entanglements,” says Greer.