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“When they finally let me out, I was in a singlet, shorts and socks. No shoes or jersey. But I did have my watch, which I told the time off and it was 11.40 pm on Christmas Eve. I didn’t know what to do. I had nowhere to go.”
The true story, of Aidan Cahill’s life as an escort, at 19. Of how he’s survived, so far. In his words: “The ups and downs. All the nitty gritty. Things people are usually too embarrassed to talk about, let alone put into a book”.
The extraordinary and inspiring story of an independant and uniquely qualified young gay man with a remarkable narrative from the margins of New Zealand society.
Aidan was one of dozens and possibly hundreds of young men and women on New Zealand’s streets. How do you meet someone in this situation, even if you have such an interest? How do they survive? Why are they in such a position? What are their aspirations? Such citizens of New Zealand are on the margins and few of us get anywhere close to those margins.
Aidan’s unconventional life story as an escort, so far, is a revelation for anyone interested in an aspect of life that is rarely, if ever, revealed with such candour. He talks about the challenges of his life as an escort. He discusses his drug use and his exploits with his clients in graphic detail. The “nitty gritty”.
His story begins in his home town of Christchurch, New Zealand’s Garden City in its South Island. His father died when he was four. His mother had her own challenges at that time and as a result, Aidan was left with an aunt, who having been asked to ‘baby sit’ him, did so selflessly for ten years.
Having moved to Wellington, New Zealand’s capital, at the age of just 16, Aidan soon moved to Auckland, where he lived on the streets of New Zealand’s largest city. There he worked out, on his own, how to survive in some of the city’s toughest neighbourhoods. You will read of his good and bad decisions. When he makes mistakes, he describes how, with brutal honesty.
Aidan has now moved from the streets to his own room with a good friend in a townhouse in an Auckland suburb. He has expanded his friendships to include people who are not necessarily on the margins of New Zealand’s society. And most importantly, he has learned that there is something he can do, other than contribute to the sex industry, and that is to write.
Aidan Cahill's teenage years end on 13 November 2017 when he turns 20!
"Australian gay men typically have a sense of New Zealand gay life as a placid backwater, but this candid and sexually explicit new memoir is likely to rock those preconceptions like an earthquake in Christchurch! Aidan Cahill is only nineteen-years-old but in this slim book he outlines in graphic detail some of his experiences as a sex worker - from drug-fuelled group sessions to being smeared with marmalade that was then licked off by a submissive foot worshipper!
The prose is sparse and often the reader is left wanting more detail, especially as Aidan has gone through some very major and often devastating life experiences. He’s been homeless on the streets of Auckland, been arrested and gone to court, and also had to face a devastating health development. These experiences are scantily narrated but the reality is that Aidan was poorly educated. His schooling was interrupted by a haphazard home life, then the Christchurch earthquakes, and being sexually abused by a married man who ended up being jailed for his offences. So given all of this, it is remarkable that Aidan can write and express himself as well as he does. This also explains any deficiencies that some readers may find, although no one could accuse Aidan of skimping on the details of his life as a sex worker, his various sexual encounters, and his use of drugs.
Aidan has been making money as a sex worker since age sixteen, meeting men usually through Grindr or Craigslist with eye-catching headlines such as 18-Year-Old Top for Rewards or Hung Son for Rewards. Shortly after moving to Auckland he worked for a period at a massage parlour off Queen Street that boasted a roster of international escorts. It provided somewhere for the then homeless Aidan to stay and was also where he met his one real friend Kenji, though it ended badly with the Chinese business owner fleeing the country. There is one rather poignant encounter narrated towards the end of the book when Aidan hooks up with a very hunky visiting Canadian and is so attracted to him, he actually gives the guy a freebie. The sex is fuelled by drugs but as soon as it’s over, the Canadian kicks him out. Aidan feels rejected, but the consolation is that he has the leftover drugs they bought together, and immediately hits up.
The road to recovery from addiction is fraught with numerous setbacks, temptations, and triggers to use again, however the writing and publication of this memoir is a major step in young Aidan Cahill’s recovery. Major credit for this important book must go to writer and publisher Peter Macky who has stepped up to bring Aidan’s story to light and support him, when many people would simply choose to look the other way."
Graeme Aitken, DNA Magazine
Hardcover, 106 Pages, Published October 2017
Author: Aidan Cahill