masc. proper name, Biblical archangel (Apocrypha), from Late Latin, from Greek Rhaphael, from Hebrew Repha'el, literally "God has healed," from rapha "he healed" + el "God."
So this weekend a friend from Pittsburgh came to Chi and I was the unofficial guide to his visit. We had a blast. We went to Boystown, we shopped the Magnificent Mile (well, he did, I tagged along and caught some sale goodies at Zara and Topman, hehe) and we ate at fab restaurants (we did Cantonese, French and a tiny deli on Wacker that apparently only the fucking Illuminati know. We popped my Opera cherry (Cendrillon, natch) and had an overall great time. Fun, fun.
Apart form going to the opera, though, my friend had some other surprise in store for me. Some background: he sings for the Pittsburgh Opera and we went out with his friend Jimmy (who works for the Lyric Opera in Chi) and of course there were drinks to be had. I learned that it may be true that the Irish can indeed hold their liquor (they are both Irish), that the opera gossip is juicy and that he likes escorts.
When they were in their fifth Whiskey Sour and I was in my third Sprite (I really don't drink, to be honest) the conversation turned to his last trip to New York and what (and who) he had done. Apparently, he had a great time and Rafael Alencar was directly responsible for that outcome. I, of course stopped caring about mezzo sopranos and started asking questions about Rafael. How? When? Where? How many times? Important questions, you know. Inquiring minds and all that.
Apparently Rafael is everything he seems to be and MORE. Not too tall (my friend is about five feet eleven and Rafa apparently is shorter. Absolutely buff (you can bounce the proverbial penny off that ass), enormously talented (objects may appear bigger in person) and totally charming. He arrived to my friend's hotel on time and was all smiles and nice cologne and proceeded to put him at ease. A total pro.
All in all, it was apparently a very good night for my friend, but I could not get over the fact that he had slept with Alencar. Really. You have to take into account that it had never crossed my mind to seriously pay for sex. Let alone to pick up the phone and call a porn star and ask him to come to my hotel room. Apparently there are several ways you can contact one of these gentlemen and ask for their time. Then you invite them to be your guest. And of course there was a 'gift' involved. Apparently that's how you talk about the honoraries: the person you invite asks about the 'gift' you got them. Logistics, I guess related to the fact that prostitution is not legal in most states.
I was endlessly fascinated by the story and asked all kind of stupid questions. But really. I'm all sex positive and all that but I have never invited a sex worker to my room. Yeah, I've listened to Dan Savage's podcast. Yeah, I've read The Stranger and the back pages of the free newspapers in some of the biggest cities in the U.S. Yeah, I know about SESTA FOSTA and I know that Cheeto signed it into law. But this kind of thing only happened to Julia Roberts and Richard Gere. I had never met someone who had actually slept (well, really more than sleep) whit a bona fide porn star.
I told my friend that I thought it was awesome and that if you can pay for such a beautiful man to be your date for a night, then go should go ahead and knock yourself out. Have fun. I know straight men pay strippers and call girls for their time all the time, but I did not know any gay men who had done something like that. So if you have the time and the money and want some sexy, handsome man to provide some company, go ahead. It may cost you a pretty penny (I did not go and ask what Rafael's going rate was right away out of discretion, darn it) because that 'gift' you have for your 'date' may be in the hundreds. But according to my friend, it was worth every single dollar. Each and every one. So go ahead... I support you.
I better start saving, I guess? Rocco Steele probably does not come cheap. It may take me a few years to get that dough.