New York's Best Escort!

Straining at the ropes at the International Escort Awards.

If you think the Oscars celebrate total whores, you should have been at Rentboy.com's International Escort Awards, a/k/a the Hookies, at Club Rebel last Friday. Every single nominee was an absolute prostitute, and there were no Dame Helen Mirren types to bring down the bar!

The event drew a massive crowd anxious to ogle some buyable flesh, though not all the winners showed up, since any hustler worth his lube is busy working on a Friday night. At least the ones that did appear made up for their stunning lack of articulateness by being willing to disrobe for the sweaty throng of credit card holders. The Best Newcomer winner thanked "all my clients," then obligingly took off his shirt on command, even without verifying our PayPal accounts. A guy who tied for Best Ass gladly bent over and showed his valley of decision in lieu of any oration. (That award was presented by Derek Hartley, who announced, "I'm from Sirius/XM, which none of you have, but I'm happy to be here.")

Of course I was given the honor of presenting Biggest Dick and joked that the smallest one definitely belongs to Sarah Palin. But the largest happens to be attached to the very available Barret Long, who wouldn't flash the serpent onstage, though backstage he gamely pulled it out for me, spun it around like a jump rope, and even licked it for effect while apologetically explaining, "It's soft." Does he charge himself for blow jobs? "I deposit it in a special account," Long swore in response.

As I prepared to head home and save some money, presenter Michael Lucas appeared as if in a cummy mirage to inform me that he's been asked to go to Oxford University to debate gay rights. And, by the way, he's for them.

So is Kathy Griffin, who is valiantly fighting to repeal "Don't ask, don't tell"—and I can only hope that applies to her onscreen conversations with Anderson Cooper.

Don't tell Jerry Lee Lewis that the guy playing him in Broadway's Million Dollar Quartet is gay music artist Levi Kreis, often seen on Logo. As Kreis just detailed to OurSceneTV, "I kind of went out of the religious closet after six years of reparative therapy to become straight, right into the entertainment closet. It was a long, hard process to realize that our stories may vary, but the vibration of our own struggles are all similar." The guy's got great balls of fire.

So does the gay-magazine-format show Under the Pink Carpet, which was recently picked up by Bloomberg's Channel 25. "Hey," says co-host Clover Honey, "that makes me the first drag queen ever hired by the City of New York." Except for Bess Myerson.

The drag-studded but predominantly twink- and muscle-filled Beige—Tuesdays at B Bar—is hot again, thanks to the warmer weather and the fact that the rival BonBon is gone-gone. And on Thursdays, gays now go to the Park for Fox, Josh Wood and Jared Needle's bash, which started last week with a bang—or at least some very heavy cruising.

And while the straights have their New York Film Festival, the gays will always have the Black Party, the annual hookie-filled debauch at Roseland that appalls red-state conservatives, especially when they can't get on the list. Every year, I go to the raunchfest around midnight and realize that no serious queen with kneepads on arrives till 4 a.m. So this time, I just went to the Black Party Expo before the event in hopes of getting an advance sampling of the camping and clamping.

Sure enough, there were booths promoting all the finer elements of our culture—Boy Butter, Fist ("the best aroma in the world"), 3-D porn movies (like Whorey Potter and the Sorcerer's Balls), and—in lonely counterpoint to all that—an organization called Crystal Meth Anonymous. The crotchy smell in the air (unabetted by Fist) gave me the wondrous illusion that I'd been to the actual party, but that wasn't enough for one shirtless fixture, who was filled with such anticipation that the metal balls in his butt almost melted. "It's great to get a lot of gays in one room and see what happens," he gushed to me, lust in his sockets. Honey, I do that every night.

Two Thumbs Way Up for French Movie Star

I'll continue with the butt talk, and I'll even manage to pull it off in the context of a foreign film event, just to show my amazing range. See, every year at the soignée luncheon for the "Rendez-Vous With French Cinema" series, a French actor has to submit to my trashtastic line of questioning before leaving in a straitjacket. But this time, it was Jean Dujardin, who was tres charming and absolutely unflappable, even when discussing his derriere (later for that).

Dujardin plays a suave but buffoonish spy in the OSS 117 films, and told me through a translator, "It's a parody of a certain clichéd stereotype. A magnificent dumbass. What's interesting is to have a Sean Connery–like distance about things and, at the same time, he has the empty gaze of the everyday Frenchman." Even through expensive Italian sunglasses.

In the newest installment, OSS 117: Lost in Rio, the character goes to Brazil to track down a Nazi in hiding in the '60s, though he doesn't seem that aware of what Nazis exactly are. "Some people in the French film industry advised me against making this film," Dujardin told me, "thinking erroneously that it would be racist. It's actually much more humanistic than that."

Especially during the scene in which the hapless spy gets fingered by a male hippie without realizing it! "It was a good memory," Dujardin said, laughing. Was he surprised to be nominated for a César for something like this? "No!" he said, mocking indignation. Pause. "Yes, because it's a comedy."

"To go back to the finger in the ass," he interjected, as I really fell in love, "there was a real will to damage the image of the secret agent, the James Bond image. So you can imagine what the third film will be like!" "A whole fist?" I wondered, zanily miming this possibility for the whole table. For once, I didn't require the use of the translator.

I should raise fists in the air over never getting invited to any Disney screenings, but at least I'm on the list for films about Disney—like Waking Sleeping Beauty, the absorbing documentary about the studio's renaissance from 1984 to 1994, when crabs and teapots elevated it from obsolescence. The movie probes both the artistic triumphs and the ego clashes that made that period a real-life fairy tale with all the dark trimmings.

At the premiere, the director and producer said they were cinematically saved by lots of old home-movie-style footage made by an insider, "illegally filmed on the Disney lot." Walt's frozen corpse must be rotating inside Cinderella's Castle.

More lightheartedly, hi-ho, I asked the doc's screenwriter, Patrick Pacheco, to name his fave Disney film of the modern era, and he picked Up, having identified with both the fat boy and the old man. Not me! I saw myself in Kevin the flightless exotic bird!

Ultimately earthbound, The Exploding Girl is the most energy-draining movie ever made about the mopiest people who ever lived. It makes Cassavetes's films look like the opening number of Hairspray. It makes mumblecore seem like That's Entertainment! Part III. But let me be, you know, a total whore and proclaim for the ads, "Exploding Girl explodes even more than my bowels did last night after Mexican!"

musto@villagevoice.com

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