New York hustlers

Masculinity and sex in modern America

By Barry Reay

New York hustlers


  • Hardcover

Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-8008-1
  • Pages: 296
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £18.99
  • Published Date: August 2010
  • BIC Category: History, The Americas, History of the Americas, History & Archaeology, 20th century, c 1900 to c 1999, SOCIAL SCIENCE / Men's Studies, HISTORY / Americas (North, Central, South, West Indies), Society & social sciences / Gender studies: men, Humanities / Social & cultural history, Humanities / 20th century history: c 1900 to c 2000
  • Series: Encounters: Cultural Histories


This important new book, which focuses on the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s, but which looks back to the earlier decades of the century and has a conclusion dealing with the 1970s to 1990s, maps the world of those known as 'trade' - ostensibly straight men who would engage in homosexual sex - and hustlers - those who were paid for it. It was a milieu that was central to the sexual histories of several generations of twentieth-century American men and also influenced American literary and visual culture; the 'trade aesthetic' informed the work of a variety of artists, filmmakers, and writers. This sexual culture, though compelling in itself, also allows us to explore some key aspects of modern sexual history.

This pioneering work, which draws on a wide range of visual and literary sources, including previously unpublished material from the Kinsey archives, will appeal to a wide range of readers, especially those interested in the histories of sex, the city, masculinity, and American culture.


Provides fresh information and insight about the occupation of male sex work...(Barry Reay) makes an intriguing case study in midcentury manhood.
John Ibson, American Historical Review, 01/04/2012

In this path-breaking book, Barry Reay makes significant advances towards our understanding of human sexuality and behaviour ... Reay's work really does offer us a new angle on "gay" history ... Reay has indeed produced a compelling account of a little researched area of American life.
Kevin White, Journal of Social History, June 18, 2012


Table of contents
List of figures
1. Introduction
2. Contexts
3. Hustlers and trade
4. Sexualities
5. Effeminacy
6. Hustler hustled
7. Conclusion


Barry Reay is Professor of History at the University of Auckland, New Zealand

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