Because of the complicated situation present in Cuba today, many Cubans feel the need to look for creative ways to earn money. One of these is to illicitly offer services to travellers such as accommodation, restaurants, and excursions. These boys , commonly known as“jineteros” (“jockys” in English), are normally quite decent and friendly people, but unfortunately their persistence can become annoying.
What complicates the situation even further is that these jineteros often aren’t transparent about their business and disguise their motives, instead showing interest in becoming your friend. As a “friend”they can make money from you by finding you accommodation or restaurants and secretly taking commissions.
While the services of a jinetero can be useful (in helping you to locate accommodation and a decent restaurant), and the they can be quite charming and entertaining characters, what frustrates independent travellers, is that their local friend becomes pushy and manipulative in their quest to earn more commission and that the whole relationship is based on dishonestly and deceit. Furthermore, towards the end of your stay, the jinetero often pleads with you for money to help them better their life, and frequently invents a story about a sick mother or a daughter’s birthday as extra reasons for you to give them money.
In Noelle Stout’s brilliant documentary Luchando we witness first hand how young Cubans yield their sex-appeal into paid intimate trysts in order to survive in the crumbling economy of modern-day Cuba
A feature-length documentary film that chronicles the everyday struggles of four Cuban hustlers who set out to resolve their touching, and at-times humorous, dilemmas in Havana’s gay underground. Shot over sixteen months in Havana, the film combines verité footage and informal interviews to offer a first-ever look at same-sex prostitution in Cuba. Historically “luchando” has meant the fight for the Cuban revolution, but today Cubans use the word to describe the struggle of having sex for survival.The documentary provides a glimpse into the lives of four hustlers trying to make a living in Havana’s gay underground. The film combines footage of their lives on the streets with informal interviews to offer an unequalled look at same-sex prostitution in Cuba.
Refreshingly a majority of Cubans aren’t in this game and feel extremely ashamed about their fellow compatriots that are. Like people everywhere, they would feel very uncomfortable about asking for money from somebody they have just met. Most Cubans are very honest and generous people who are delighted to meet a foreigner with no interest in their money at all.
As mentioned before I have spent some time over there, and even for me a full-time escort here in the us, and being not only up front about my intentions but also proud and happy about what i did it was often very difficult to distinguish between friends and boys that just were looking for assistance..it became so annoying to me at some point, so i told the guys that it was so obvious to me and there was no need to come up with all the lies about their intentions, because I was doing the same at home, and just like that the situation transformed itself into an actually funny interesting and often informative entertaining time for both of us, and I made a few friends this way, just because they enjoyed my company and knew I was not looking to pay for sex ( I did once ). But most guys just havent seen people dealing with the subject so naturally and open like I was when I shared. Without shame but with a lot of advice and hope to maybe rescue one or two from messing up their youth or heath.
In my next entry I finally introduce you guys to some of the boys I have meet during the years and also Interviewed for you last week, Starting off with Manuel from Santiago de Cuba, he’s been living in Havana now for almost 3 years. Saludos Sascha