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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this is an uncensored reality show about the lives of five male escorts living and working in Las Vegas. The subject matter alone is enough to propel the series into "off" territory for teens. But the show's visuals are even more shocking, with graphic depictions of real sex (minus pornography-level shots of penetration or oral contact with sensitive body parts) and unblurred shots of bare breasts and male and female genitalia. The language is frank and unbleeped and includes audible words like "f--k," "c--k," and "p---y" (which are often used in the process of sexual intercourse). There's also some social drinking before, during, and after dates with clients.
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What's the story?
The Showtime reality series GIGOLOS centers on five male escorts living and working in Las Vegas. Nick and Jimmy worked together as exotic dancers before branching out into professional \"entertaining,\" Steven got into the business through modeling and is also the father of a 5-year-old son, Brace is an industry veteran who's seen it all, and Vin is an eager new recruit. Together, they take on clients of every shape, size, and sexual fetish.
Is it any good?
Describing Gigolos as "good television" isn't really accurate. But for adults who can handle its unblinking look at the barely legal sex trade, it is oddly compelling in a sexual train wreck sort of way. Even though the frank talk and graphic visuals might be too much for sensitive viewers (and a few scenes will shock even the most open-minded), by sticking around, you'll get an eye-opening look at human sexuality, self-esteem, and the services that people are willing to pay for in a capitalist society.
Indeed, one of the most uncomfortable plot lines involves a new kind of "date" for the veteran gigolos: a divorcee whose sexual fantasy is to have sex with four men at the same time. But in the process of delivering the foursome that their paying client wants, the guys find themselves openly questioning how far they'll go for money. Brace is fine with it in theory, but once things get going, he's visibly bothered and hides out in the bathroom while his co-workers take care of the client. "To me, it's freaky," he says ruefully. "I feel like I'm on the ... set of a porno, and if I wanted to be in a porno, I'd do porno."
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the explicit nature of the show's sex scenes. Do you consider them pornographic or just graphic? What's the difference, and where do you draw the line?
What are the consequences of making a living as an escort? As far as you can tell, are the men using protection when they have sex with their clients? What are the health risks of having multiple sexual partners?
Are women less likely than men to hire someone for sexual pleasure? What's your opinion of a woman who would pay for male companionship -- and, presumably, sex? Is it more common -- and generally acceptable -- for a man to do it? Is there a double standard?
For kids who love reality television
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