The thread dealing with the "Myth of the Happy Hooker" story got me thinking about the other side of the coin: male prostitution. Ruhama doesn't seem to deal with guys: their website only mentions offering support for women.
Many of ye will probably have heard of Gaydar, a website gay guys use to contact each other. There is a section in the website called "Commercial" used by businesses who wish to target the gay demographic. You will - for example - see entries there for major pornography shops advertising their wares. However, most of the ads are for what are, quite frankly, male prostitutes.
Most of the guys in the Dublin area seem to be non-Irish. They seem to jet in for a week or so, ply their trade and move on. Their profile very often contains a schedule: Dublin April 14-21, Berlin April 21-28, Sitges April 28 - May 5 etc. Leaving aside the seedy aspect, it almost seems glamorous and with their fit physiques and perfect grooming, they don't appear to be particularly vulnerable or in need of help.
I met a male prostitute once. He was a big strapping guy from up north, certainly not the sort of guy anyone would push around easily. He had a medium term plan to get out of the rent boy scene and the plan was to set up an online gambling business (very lucrative back then) but he needed someone with a background in IT. He contacted me one night via Gaydar because I had browsed his profile a couple of days previously and he'd seen from my profile that I was in information technology. (Yeah, yeah, I do sometimes look - I don't buy.)
So we met and it turned out that I wasn't able to help him (as I'd suspected). The sort of technologies needed were areas I had little experience in - I'm a mainframe geek. Anyway, everything from his designer clothes to his well-manicured nails suggested someone who was doing very well indeed. I'm no expert on northern accents but this chap was not from the red-bricked streets of Belfast or Derry, north County Down would have been closest to his pronunciation.
Of course, the male prostitution scene in Ireland isn't just about well-heeled guys earning hundreds of euro per day. The Irish Health article below (which I think is from 2002) mentions a "two-tiered system", the lower tier consisting of guys from far more impoverished backgrounds soliciting in public spaces with all the risks that that entails. That's a scene that remains far more hidden. There doesn't seem to be the same level of assistance out there for male sex workers and the few policy documents (sources 4 and 5) I've seen on the internet seem to be over a decade old - hardly a positive state of affairs.
1. Male prostitution & health - irishhealth.com
2. Married men are main clients of male prostitutes | Irish Examiner
3. Confessions of a male escort - Independent.ie
5. Stigma of male prostitution hampers health aid - irishhealth.com