Forget about Californication, Showtime's sexiest and guiltiest pleasure has got to be Gigolos, the reality show that chronicles the lives of five diverse men living in Las Vegas and practicing the world's oldest profession: “escorting,” aka providing sex for money.
Though the show — season one is available on DVD and Netflix, while season two is currently available via Showtime on Demand — has been met with controversy and skepticism about both the validity and legality of the transactions shown, it's proven to be an international cult favorite regardless.
It's no secret that men hustling for gay men thrives, but women paying for it (and agreeing to have it filmed) is a bit harder to um, swallow. But not so much when you take a gander at the fervent fanbase of one of Gigolos' stars, Nevada native Steven Gantt.
The handsome 34-year-old father and former businessman has cultivated droves of drooling lady love not only via the show, but via social networking.
Follow the flirty fella on Twitter or Facebook and it's clear, he's quite the communicator. At this point, he's financially secure enough so that he can pick and choose his clientele, too, even without the TV show, which by the way is produced by Richard Grieco of 21 Jump Street fame.
He owned his own escort company in Chicago a few years ago so he definitely knows what he's doing. On Gigolos, he comes off as suave and a little serious, yet sweet. Sure, he can ravage on demand, but however absurd it sounds, the guy's a romantic.
It's telling that most of his clients are married women who, as he puts it, “lack something at home,” and often want companionship rather than sex (something the salacious, soft-core porn-like half hour TV show does not portray much).
So what can men (and women) learn from a seasoned pro like Steven? Here, illuminating tidbits and sexy suggestions from — as the show dubs Gantt and his pleasure posse — one of the country's most elite male escorts.
Men: Go Old-school
From his penchant for suits to his attentiveness for his regulars and returning clients (usually older women), Gantt approach is relentlessly retro.
“I think we should look to dating rituals of the 50's,” he says. “We need to bring back some class and charisma to dating. It's not just about swagger, it's about a slower seduction. You can't fuck 24 hours a day, there has to be more than that. I love sex, don't get me wrong, I'm a freak. But it's the chase. It's the dance of the whole thing.
Men: Slow Down!
Gantt says relaxed mental “massages” will lead to more hands-on ones.
“Women are more intellectual,” he insists. “They're more turned on by connecting on an emotional level. Mental stimulation is so much more important than how hard your body may be. Put your best self out there and leave her wanting to know you better. Stop trying to get laid and then you will, trust me. “
Men: Play Her Like An Instrument
How does one give a grand performance in bed?
“You know that famous picture of the woman's back painted as a cello? Imagine that,” he advises. “Listen to the way she moans and breathes and moves…then you can learn how to play her. Don't just stab away with your bow. You won't make beautiful music that way and that's not pleasurable for anyone.”
Men: Don't Let The Mojo Flow
While men are usually advised to masturbate before a date so as not to be too anxious, Gantt says keeping it in, so to speak, is better.
“It helps you keep your motivation and strive to be your best self.” (And in case you're wondering, yes, gigolos play with themselves just as often as regular guys.)
Women: Do Tell
Ask for what you want ladies!
“Sit down and have dinner, write erotic stories to each other and put into your stories what you each like,” says Gantt. “Texting's fun, but email gives you a lot more space. Better yet, get a pen and some paper and write a letter.”
Women: Feign It
“Enthusiasm is huge,” assures Gantt. “Find out your man's idea of sexy dress and do it. Smile when you give a blow job. Have sex for a week straight, even if you're not that into it at first. Trust me you will start to be. “
Men and Women: Switch Roles
Many of Gantt's clients are powerful, professional women. Submission, it seems, can be the biggest turn-on of all.
“If she's an alpha at work, you know she doesn't want to be an alpha when she comes home. Sometimes she wants someone else to run the show. Men enjoy a break from being in charge sometimes too.”
Men and Women: Don't Date Just to Date
Surprisingly, this gigolo says, he's always looking for something more when he meets a woman, professionally or not.
“You should be dating to build a relationship, otherwise why waste your time?” he says. “Even if you're not looking for something serious, or just dating someone for a week or decide you just want them as a friend, it's still a relationship.”
The Gigolowdown on Gantt:
He services about a client a week and claims he makes about six figures. Though he says the show does a good job of depicting the lifestyle, it is “reality TV,” so editing and casting are involved to make things more interesting. He won't elaborate on this.
You can find his profile on the Cowboys4Angels.com, the agency seen on the show, but for the most part, he's a free agent.
For the ladies wondering, he does date for fun outside of his working hours… when there's time. See more at Stevengantt.net.