Last night, PJ and I watched Strapped, a small gay independent film written and directed by Joseph Graham. Ben Bonenfant plays a male prostitute who easily adapts to each client’s needs. After coming home with a John — literally, since the character’s name is John — the hustler becomes trapped in an apartment building, meeting some of its various tenants. He sleeps with some of them, but he learns a little more about himself from each person he meets. Here’s the trailer:

We first see him with a client who tells him a story about the guy he loved when he was a teenager in Russia. Bonenfant’s character immediately replies with his own revealing tale of childhood abandonment. He then meets a queen, instantly becoming a queen himself and pretending to be a version of Keanu Reeves’s character in My Own Private Idaho. He hooks up with a closeted married guy while pretending to be straight himself, blows a guy at the queen’s party, and gets fucked by an older gay activist who’s grateful for the opportunity to have sex with a such a hot guy. He also runs into a guy who just wants to kiss and have his soul penetrated.

The Hustler–we never know his name in the film–adapts to each client’s needs, but he also shares tender moments with most of the men, connecting with them in some deeply personal way. But is it really connection? Or are the tender moments just another part of his professional toolbox?

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