Sex Work

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Published: 17 April 2024.

by Gerry Gaffney

This story contains sexual references and swearing.

Line drawing of a gin-and-tonic

"A gigolo." said Christopher. "For fuck's sake Jimmy, how did you come up with that idea?"

"I dunno. Ruth used to tell me I was handsome and I should trade on my looks. Before she dumped me. And, you know, I need something to bring in a bit of cash."

"You don't think maybe Ruth was being sarcastic or anything?"

Jimmy looked puzzled. "What do you mean?"


Jimmy took a sip of his pint then wiped his mouth with the sleeve of his jumper.

Christopher just looked at him.

"I just thought, you know, I was trying to think outside the box."

Christopher laughed.

"Outside the box. Oh, that's very funny. Inside the box, you mean." He laughed harder.

Jimmy just looked at him.

"What the fuck are you on about? Anyway, I thought your contact was supposed to throw some work my way. You know, after that job I did a few months back."

"Well to be fair that didn't go too smoothly. Doesn't really look all that good on your CV. Almost a disaster in fact."

Jimmy looked glum.

"So have you got any customers yet? Or clients, do you call them? Or what?"

"I don't call them anything 'cause I haven't got any yet. I put up my profile last week but I haven't got any hits so far."

"Let's see it," said Christopher.

Jimmy was reluctant. "You'll just take the piss," he said.

"No I won't. I might be able to give you some advice, some constructive input. Might be able to help you figure out why you're not getting any hits."

Jimmy fired up the app. He passed the phone over to Christopher and scraped his chair around so that they were sitting side-by-side. Jimmy looked around to make sure none of the other people in the bar could see what they were looking at.

"That photo is woeful. Where the hell is that, Temple Bar or somewhere? Who are all the people in the background? And what happened to your hair? It's all over the place. Was it taken in a storm? And why are your eyes closed? You look like fucking Quasimodo. Are you trying to attract women who'll feel sorry for you?"

"That's the best one I could find. It's not that bad."

"It's fucking worse than that bad. It's... I don't know, I can't describe how bad it is. It's like a voice in your head told you to pick the worst possible photo you can find and use it in your profile. You'll have to get a professional head shot."

Jimmy looked shocked. "Why would I need to get a head job?"

"Head shot," said Christopher. "A proper photo to use on your profile. And you'll have to have a shave and a haircut before you do that."

He continued reading.

"You've got a spelling mistake. That won't help."

"I'm looking for someone who wants a shag," said Jimmy, "not a lesson in spelling."

"Someone who wants to pay for a shag, as you call it, might want to feel they're with someone who can spell and not some gobshite from the boglands who can't read or write."

"What spelling mistake?"

"Discreet. You've got 'discrete.'"

"Autocorrect didn't find anything wrong with it," said Jimmy.

"Yeah, because it's a proper word. Just not the same as the word you want. You want 'discreet' - e, e, t not e, t, e."

"So what's the difference?"

"The one you have means something like separate. The one you want means considerate, careful."

Christopher started to laugh.

"Private and resentful."

"Where does it say that?"

"Right here under 'About me'."
"Oh. It's supposed to be respectful. Must be autocorrect."

"You have a very poor relationship with autocorrect."

Jimmy started to write a list on the back of a coaster. "I better write these down."

A few days later Christopher caught up with Jimmy in the sauna at the local gym. They had the place to themselves.

"Any progress on the Richard Gere front?"

"What?" asked Jimmy.

"The gig. The gigolo gig."

Jimmy looked smug.
"As a matter of fact, yes. I have my first one Saturday afternoon. Thanks for helping me fix up the profile. I think that might have made a difference."

"Where and who?"

"A woman. Anki. Oops, shouldn't have told you her name. Don't ask me anything else about her. She's in Dublin on business from Brussels."


"The Herbert Park hotel."

Christopher whistled, impressed.

"Cashed up, so. I hope she's paying well."

"250 euro."

Christopher whistled again.

"Nice. If you had 3 or 4 of them a week you'd be doing okay. Are you all organised?"


"Yeah, organised. Good clothes. Condoms, lubricant, sex toys, whatever."

"Ah, I have some condoms."

"Well that's a start."

"What do mean good clothes?"

"Well you can't show up in a fucking t-shirt and jeans. What were you thinking of wearing?"

"T-shirt and jeans."

"Jesus. You must have some proper clothes. Grown-up clothes. You know, respectable and respectful."

"I have the suit I wore to Mark's funeral. And a shirt and tie."

"Oh great, you can show up like the angel of death. I don't remember what you wore but I'd bet good money it's not suitable."

Jimmy was looking worried.

"Have you got clothes I could borrow?"

Christopher looked reluctant.

"Well, I could loan you a decent sports jacket. I guess that would fit you. But you'll need to get trousers, a shirt, shoes. Socks. I won't ask you about your underwear but I'd be very surprised if you don't need to make an investment there as well."

"I'm trying to make some money, not go fucking broke."

"Listen, Jimmy, you wouldn't show up at an electrical job without your gear. You can't show up at your gigolo job without the right gear either."

Jimmy didn't bother mentioning that he never finished his electrician's apprenticeship. It would only give Christopher more ammunition.

"Do you want me to drive you out to the hotel on Saturday? Give you some moral support. Immoral support I guess."

Jimmy hesitated.

"Okay," he said. "Thanks."

"How long is your bonking booking?"

"An hour."

"I can wait at the bar for you. I presume there's a bar. And listen, I can get Helen to take you clothes shopping today or tomorrow if you want."

"I'm not going to tell your sister I'm working as a gigolo!"

"You can say you have a job interview or something. Have you got any Viagra?"

"What would I need that for? What are you suggesting?" Jimmy sounded annoyed.

"Nothing. Nothing at all."

By the time Saturday came, Jimmy had spent almost the entire anticipated fee on new clothes, as well as a selection of sex toys and personal lubricant. He had everything in a plastic Tesco shopping bag when Christopher arrived to pick him up.

"For fuck's sake Jimmy, you can't go visiting clients with a fucking Tesco bag. Have you not got anything else?"

Jimmy went back into his flat and came out with a school backpack. It bore the Coláiste Dhúlaigh crest. "How's this?"

Christopher restrained himself.

"At this stage it'll have to do if you have nothing else. At least she's a foreigner and won't be able to read Irish. I suppose you've had it filled with enough contraband over the years for this to be a logical progression. But wipe the dust off it at least for Christ's sake."

Jimmy did so, and transferred the contents of the Tesco bag.

"This is better anyway, it's got compartments for the different stuff. Maybe I'll swing by the school and buy a new one if I start to get more business."

Christopher rolled his eyes.

They stopped at the Horse Show House for a quick drink to steady Jimmy's increasingly nervous disposition. Jimmy wanted to have a pint but Christopher persuaded him that he couldn't visit a new client stinking of beer. They settled for gin-and-tonic. Christopher made Jimmy buy some breath mints before they drove on to the Herbert Park hotel.

In the lobby, Jimmy made his way nervously to the lifts. At least there was no danger of him being stopped as a hooker, thought Christopher. He looked like someone's slightly overgrown kid, wandering around with the school backpack in hand. He was more likely to be asked if he was lost or looking for his mammy.

Jimmy knocked on the door of the suite 404.

A tall well-dressed woman about 20 years older than him answered the door.

Jimmy stammered. "I'm Jimmy. From the app. You know."

Anki smiled at him. "Anki."

They shook hands. His was sweaty.

She stood aside to let him in. He'd never seen such a luxurious suite.

About half an hour later Jimmy joined Christopher at the hotel bar. He looked dejected.

"What's the story?" asked Christopher.

"I couldn't get it up." He was very quiet.

"Here, wait, I'll get you a drink. What do you want?"

"Pint please."

Christopher signalled the barman and shortly a well-poured and expensive pint arrived.

"So," he said. "Tell me the details."

"It's too embarrassing."

He paused and took a large drink. He wiped his lips with the sleeve of his jacket. Christopher's jacket. Christopher said nothing.

"She was very nice. She told me what to do. She sat on the bed, and I took my gear off and stood there like an eejit. And I just couldn't get it up."

"Was she too old or what?"

"No she was hot. I mean, a bit old but that didn't worry me. I just couldn't do it."

"Jesus," said Christopher with sympathy.

"I tried to just think about Máire Considine - remember her? But nothing."

"If you can't get it up thinking about Máire Considine, you're in a bad way," said Christopher.

"Look, there she is," Jimmy whispered. He put his head down to avoid being seen, and turned his back to the lobby.

"Who, the tall blonde?"


"She's gorgeous. Call her back and I'll do her for you."

"Not funny." Jimmy seemed close to tears.

"Better get that Viagra next time," said Christopher.

"I don't think there's going to be a next time. I'm not cut out for this."

"Did you get paid at least?"

"No. How could I charge her when I did nothing?"

"Not a very good business model. How much are you out of pocket?"

"About 250 euro."

"Oh. Well, look on the bright side."

"What bright side?"

Christopher laughed, "If you ever get another girlfriend, you're well equipped."

Copyright © Gerry Gaffney 2024