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The World's Best Male Escort Is More Than His Ten-Inch Penis
December 31, 2016 – 03:06 pm
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All photos by James Franklin

"This is who I am, fuck it, " said Rocco Steele, the newly crowned Mr. International Escort 2015. "And that's what you get when you hire me: a genuine person who will give his all to make sure you have a quality experience. You don't get any bull. You get the real me."

Last month, a glistening parade of man meat strutted the stage at Manhattan's OutNYC Hotel. More than 70 half-naked hopefuls competed at the Hookies, the annual "Oscars of escorting, " in 17 categories ranging from Best Ass, Best Twink, and Best Kink to Best Dressed and Best Social Media. Male escorts from around the world joked with drag queen host Alaska Thunderfuck, answered skill-testing questions, flashed a bit of peen, and flaunted the rest of their assets in front of 1500 cheering attendees and a substantial live-streaming audience.

The Hookies are put on by, the popular site that has been connecting male escorts with eager, mostly gay clients for two decades. About 60, 000 visitors a day come to Rentboy from all over the world, browsing on-demand fantasy men of all ages, types, looks, and sizes. The Hookies are a splashy celebration of the site's ever-growing stable of rearing stallions. "It's like the movie Showgirls mixed with testosterone, " Rentboy's marketing director Sean Van Sant told VICE after the ceremony. Users voted online for their favorite escort, propelling one of the contestants to the coveted Mr. International top spot.

This year it all came down to life experience: The title was snagged by the Manhattan-based Steele, a 45-year-old Ohio native with a rugged physique, a great hair cut, a law degree, and an extensive background in visual merchandising and product development.

Oh, and a ten-inch dick. (He also won "Best Cock.")

A full-time escort and gay porn actor for less than a year, Steele's cock-rocket to the top has been meteoric, the result of a blast of self-confidence, social media engagement, free porn clips, and a razor-sharp marketing plan. Many online hustlers are well-educated and market-savvy, and professional branding instincts are becoming the defining factor in an increasingly crowded field. The true measure of an escort is the size of his Twitter.

No, no, no. I hate it when people call me a hooker. It's belittling. Even worse is 'sex worker.' It sounds like I'm prepping someone for minor surgery.

Steele is the archetypal daddy. Gravel-voiced and naturally dominant, he's covered in tattoos and traffics in filthy bareback porn. Yet he cleans up real nice: a baby-blue-eyed dish on your arm at that high profile gala, or something more later, when the business negotiations continue into the boudoir. As his Rentboy profile states: "I do not accept money for sexual acts. I am compensated via contributions for my time only. Anything that happens during that time is a decision made between two consenting adults."

At Steele's current rate of $350 an hour, those negotiations can get pricey, although he does offer a convenient $1500 overnight rate. The high price point, he says, "helps filter out a lot of flakes." And while it's obvious that no one's hiring Steele to help solve quadratic equations, this noble gigolo balks at the "H" word.

"No, no, no. I hate it when people call me a hooker, " he told me. "It's belittling, so trashy. Even worse is 'sex worker.' It's too close to 'sex trafficker.' Or it's too clinical. It sounds like I'm prepping someone for minor surgery.

"I have no problem with people who consider themselves those things, " he continued. "But I am an escort. I'm more than just my penis. I wear my heart on my sleeve, and I come to every date expecting to fully live up to your needs, in whatever capacity."

That capacity can include everything from gentle cuddling to administering amateur therapy sessions. Apparently, a lot of people really do hire escorts simply to talk to someone. Just don't criticize Steele's decor. "The only time I had to call off a date was when some guy came over and started being really sarcastic about my apartment. He had to go."

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