Assuming the Position: A Memoir of Hustling

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9781568582023: Assuming the Position: A Memoir of Hustling

Rick Whitaker divulges the complex reasons that drove him to prostitution and reflects on the cost of a life of half-truths and emotional lies. With an unsentimental eye, Whitaker chronicles his descent and eventual resolution.

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Review:

Although Assuming the Position is, as Rick Whitaker describes it, "a memoir of hustling," don't expect it to be particularly erotic. Whitaker thoroughly deglamorizes male prostitution, depicting it as banal and emotionally numbing rather than sexy or transgressive. Any potential arousal to be gleaned from his exploits is further dampened by the book's highly mannered tone and the rather ordinary quality of Whitaker's psychological discoveries: "I was always pretending to be somebody's friend when I really only wanted his money," runs one such moment of self-reflection. "Of course this is just an extreme form of something we all do in order to get ahead, but such seeming friendliness is never good or heartfelt and it is always a cause, at least for me, of mental and emotional fatigue." Readers may also find themselves frustrated by the memoir's lack of narrative tension: Whitaker did drugs and had sex with men for money for a while, then he stopped, then he wrote a book about how it made him feel. Unfortunately, being able to write grammatically correct sentences about his unusual experiences isn't enough to make Assuming the Position an interesting book. --Ron Hogan

From the Inside Flap:

Only one year after his last trick, Rick Whitaker divulges the very personal and complex reasons that drove him to prostitute himself. He reflects on what it cost him to live a life of half-truths and emotional lies, a life of sex and drug dependence, depression and near life-threatening despair.

Not unlike many young New York-bound writers, Rick Whitaker arrived at the Port Authority by bus from the Midwest with only a few dollars. He hadn't anticipated the turns his life would take, but he ventured forth willingly, entering into prostitution--first on his own, then through escort agencies--for the money, or so he told himself, and to spite a lover who had left him.

Whitaker takes hustling out of the realm of cop shows and tabloid tell-alls. He looks at his life straight on, with an unsentimental and unsparing eye for detail, from his unconventional upbringing to specifics about paid encounters with men. Whitaker brings prostitution into everyday settings: at the doctor's office, in a wealthy Upper East Side gentleman's penthouse, at a lonely lawyer's apartment in Brooklyn.

Although Whitaker doesn't fit our comfortable stereotype of a prostitute, he found himself at a point in his life when hustling made sense. Now, with the distance of time, he delivers a story both compelling and repelling, a chronicle of his slow descent into prostitution and drug addiction and his real-life resolution.

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Book Description Avalon Publishing Group, United States, 2001. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Rick Whitaker divulges the complex reasons that drove him to prostitution and reflects on the cost of a life of half-truths and emotional lies. With an unsentimental eye, Whitaker chronicles his descent and eventual resolution. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9781568582023

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