A gay hustler searches for an exit out of a puzzling apartment building where he catches sight of himself in director Joseph Graham's debut feature Strapped.

The boyish hustler (played by Ben Bonenfant) eagerly molds himself into whomever the men he encounters desire.

For the strapping young man who brings him out of the rain and into the labyrinthine apartment, the hustler becomes Alex, the man's boyhood friend who did not return his love.

In the hallway, he morphs into Eddie for a man looking to reconnect with his youth, and is pressed into service as entertainment once inside the man's apartment. Now joined by three other men, Eddie dances against a surreal starry backdrop as the men get high on cocaine and booze.

The party's host Leo insists he's shared a colorful past with Eddie, describing in lucid detail how Eddie turned down a well-heeled future bankrolled by his father to be as God made him, a “dirty, butt fucking, cum eating whore.” But two seconds later, he's asking, “Who are you?”

With another man – an allegedly straight sociopath who baits the hustler to an empty basement for a blowjob, after which he turns violent – he's nameless.

An aging civil rights warrior, expertly played by Paul Gerrior, rescues the hustler, now going by Jeff, and tends to his wounds in his leaky attic apartment. After selling him sex, Jeff tenderly puts his hero to sleep.

Still lost and searching for a way out of the building, the hustler returns to Eddie when he stumbles across one of the men from Leo's party.

Once inside Gary's apartment, Eddie rejects hundreds of dollars to make out.

“Sorry, I don't kiss,” he says.

“I don't want to fuck,” Gary says. “I want to kiss you. I want to kiss you deep. For like days.”


“'Cause I know you're going to touch my soul,” he implores. “That's really where I need to be touched right now. OK. Not my cock, not my hole.”

“Right here,” Gary begs, pointing at his heart. “Right here, this is my hole. And I'll gladly pay for it.”

Sharp dialogue and riveting performances seamlessly glide a story of self-examination and discovery to a satisfying end, making Strapped an easy recommendation.

Strapped is not rated and is available on DVD December 7.