"a gigolo if she wants one?"


Gigolos became a known quantity in the popular culture of the 1920s and 1930s with songs like ‘Just a Gigolo’ in 1929 and Cole Porter’s ‘Anything Goes’ in 1934. The ‘male lead’ in Good Morning, Midnight is known only by this title until his name (René) is casually revealed in part three in a note he sends Sasha. Gigolos have often been seen as male equivalents of the mistress – a parasitic and shady figure – rather than prostitutes. In post-World War I culture, handsome young men – a rarity after the recent bloodshed – would accept money to escort society ladies, and at the other end of the scale, a handful of silver for a turn on the dusty floor of a dancehall. Too obviously associated with the sex act for American mores, gigolos were mostly associated with Europe (‘The Old World’) and indeed the 1926 Hollywood film Gigolo (Dir: Cecil B. DeMille) starred Rod La Roque, in reality a French-Irish American.