When I was looking for folks to profile in last week's Habitat, I stumbled upon an unusual Internet offer. The message read, "NUDE Computer Repair, Setup & Training." What followed that headline—found in the m4m Erotic Services section of Craigslist—was an offer with an "erotic twist."
The repairman was willing to share his expertise in the nude. But don't get the wrong idea. "Ben's" budding computer biz is "legit." That means no hanky-panky. "I'm here to fix your computer," says the lanky, longhaired lad. "I'm not your hard drive."
Ben didn't always plan to do his p.c. work sans panties. It was only after offering his freelance services fully clothed—and getting absolutely nowhere—that the ingenious genius came up with the idea of ditching his drawers.
"I needed to get my foot in the door," says the 22-year-old, who charges $50 to work on your computer "problem" whether he's wearing pants or not. That's why, just over a year ago, Ben started posting his clothing-optional services on Craigslist. That's when he watched his business take off. "I have anywhere from one to 20 clients a week," Ben says. He's so busy, he says, "I could actually use some help." But before he becomes the pimp daddy of his own nude computer repairmen posse, Ben needs to finish school. He's on the verge of graduating from Portland State University.
"A lot of people would like to do what I do," says Ben about other "nude repairmen" who have copied his idea on the Internet after hearing how successful he's become. "But every [computer] problem and every person has different needs. "
That said, this openly bisexual boy's biz is 98 percent male, both gay and straight. "Most of my customers are well-paid, middle-aged businessmen. There are times when I go to someone's door and realize, 'Oh, you're that guy.'"
"Happily single" and singularly motivated, Ben wants to become successful at something he has enjoyed ever since he was 10. "My first computer was a Packard Bell DX-33 processor with one gigabyte of hard drive," says Ben about his first love. "The salesman said that's all we would ever need."
It hasn't all been smooth sailing for the guy who advertises himself as "5'10", 130 [pounds] and smooth." Some men want more from Ben than his skills. "There was this one time, after I got to this guy's house, that he didn't even have the computer he described to me over the phone. That's when he said, 'I just wanted to give you a blow job.' I had to leave after he said that."
But problems like that are few and far between. "Most people get over the naked thing real quick," says Ben, who does about half his work out of his drawers. "Sure, they all want to see me naked at first, but after that, they just want their computer fixed. I get a lot of satisfaction when a formerly frustrated computer user becomes a happy user."
Need help with a computer problem? Contact Ben at firstname.lastname@example.org.