Male prostitution by blue-collar/working-class kids was a staple of St. Louis life at least to the first part of the 20th century. People I knew (I was the pet of an old crowd starting when I was 15, and I'm 58 now.) said it always was that way.
On the South Side the focus was Tower Grove Park, in my neighborhood. One contingent would hustle on Grand by the main gates, others would be in the Columbus Statue area, others would be in the center circle area, and so on through the park. It was like a food court for johns. And "straight" guys would go from school to the park and pick up some easy money. Most of the ones I recognized were the jocks, greasers, motorcycle and low-end types I knew from Catholic schools. They weren't shy, didn't usually care if they were seen - after all, they were straight and if someone wanted to get them off via a blow job and pay them, fine. It was only after meeting some of adult men doing the picking up that I realized this was a cover - most would get fucked or blow the john, or end up in three-ways with another hustler. And prices were very cheap.
Another hustler area on the South Side was Cherokee Street. That was more for public school guys. And the Hill (Italian neighborhood), which was rough trade, families of brothers, and some younger kids.
Some of the hustlers were more mobile. And very young. I knew of one 13-year-old who was servicing an entire fire house (Soulard area). They would fuck him in shifts. He was paid quarters - this is the truth.
This continued well into the AIDS epidemic, although over time the hustlers gradually were more drop-outs and transients. Drugs became a bigger piece. The police clamped down, published names in the papers, and things finally slowed down and moved on. Sickly-looking hustlers moved farther south on Grand.
But in the heyday it was amazing to see. Lined up, the kids who would punch me for being a sissy, nodding at cars, rubbing their crotches - my own bf would drive slowly by.
I figure 20-25 percent of the guys were doing it. I never had sex with any of them, including my future brother-in-law, who repeatedly asked me. The idea of prostitution and hustlers didn't turn me on.
Oh, they're still at it, but in much smaller numbers, and the guys are trashy. (I moved back to the neighborhood after many years.) Two groups of three brothers each are active - if you like young, they pass the kid brother to the john. Older? The older brother takes over. In one of the families the mother acquiesces. Amazing.
Thanks for asking, R85.