Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Just A Gigolo!

In Defense of Gigolos

Porfiro Rubirosa, a gigolo everyone wanted to know.

One distinction that appears to be made less and less within the ranks of fashionable society is that between a gentleman and a gigolo. For the better part of the last century, formalities required leading figures of the upper class to examine the backgrounds of their friends and associates to make a determination about where these individuals fit into the greater social order. Since tradition forbade the inclusion of anyone who didn’t hold a direct connection to a vast fortune, all men were invariably classified according to the source of their income. Those lucky enough to posses their own money were considered gentleman, and the others who were forced to rely on handouts from rich wives were referred to as gigolos.

In more recent times, affluent society has relaxed its exclusivity and offered admittance to successful professionals who, though extremely powerful, don’t necessarily have large fortunes to speak of. The inclusion of these individuals within the establishment has added new layers of nuance to the old system of assigning social labels. Originally, there were only three kinds of families included among the moneyed class: those who were rich on the paternal side; those who were rich on the maternal side; and, the most prevalent scenario, those who were rich on both sides. Back then, when society could be broken down straightforwardly into such basic and absolute categories, the title gigolo must have been easier to apply and decidedly less pejorative.

There is really no shortage of authentic gigolos living prominently alongside fabulously wealthy women these days. You just don’t ever hear of them, because the term has become so debased. No one wants to be associated with socially loathsome characters. But if you look around and scratch the surface of respectable society, you’ll see them all right. They still exist and, right along with their female equivalent, the gold-digger, they are usually making someone somewhere happy.

Complete article HERE.