But no one really knows like Silky, a real-life pimp featured in the new photoessay book Gentleman of Leisure: A Year in the Life of a Pimp. Originally published in the '70s, and reproduced for ever-relevant release this week, the book is filled with fascinating commentary and gritty black-and-white photos of '70s pimp life (Rolls Royces, white mink hats, women in shorty shorts and all).
This may be one of the most inspirational coffee table books you could own, and it's without a doubt the most fascinating one we've come across in a while.
Here is just a sampling of pearls from Silky:
Silky on the Word "Pimp"
The term is pimp, but I don't use it. I'm a professional gentleman of leisure...it's a graduated version. I have a Ph.D. in pimping. I have absolutely nothing to do. I stay in bed and take showers. I'm just a connoisseur of resting and a television freak. I do make more money than the President of the United States.
Silky on Fashion
Women are attracted to me because I wear my money. I have a certain mannerism and style. I design all my own clothes and they are made to order. I also design my jewelry. To some individuals, I don't look masculine. There's a lady in my building...she asked me if I fooled around with fellows. That was her interpretation of a lace shirt and curly hair. I'm confident in my masculinity...I'm about five years ahead of the times.
Silky on His Ride
When you buy a car like mine, it is definitely for attention...I've put about ten thousand dollars into customization. I have a Rolls-Royce grille, alligator-skin roof dyed gold, and the orange bubble. It expresses me. That helps with the girls. My own girls are proud of the car. The car has served its purpose...But I'm growing out of it. The customization singles me out for the police. Almost every day I get hassled.
Silky on the Solitary Nature of Pimping
Pimping itself is mentally hard. Everything you're doing is with yourself and for yourself. You have no one to answer to except yourself. You make a mistake and it's against yourself. I'm running my own business. I'm the president and the whole corporation. I am selfish. Silky likes Silky. Silky only thinks about Silky.
Silky on Love
I'm not extra romantic. I just don't say, "I love you"...I'm not a woman. If my emotions get the best of me, if I couldn't control myself, it would be dangerous. I must treat all my girls equally and with cool. I've got to control them.
Silky on How Many Women He Can Handle
If a girl comes to me now, and I have seven or eight women, she couldn't possibly be jealous or complain to me, because she knew all about my women before she came on board. One-eighth of me is not too much, but the girls are satisfied. That is my talent.
Silky on "Square" Girls
There are things I can't do, regardless, as a professional. I cannot take up with a square girl. It wouldn't be fair. My girls are out in thirty-degree weather, working and earning money for me. I can't sit home, warm and in the company of a straight lady...[it] would be disrespecting my girls...it would put my status down. It would be simping, not pimping. Simping is half-a**ed pimping.
Silky on Childhood Pimping
It seems as though I've been pimping all my life...I used to bring two or three girl friends home at once...At six, having several girl friends didn't seem peculiar. But I've continued to do this. When my mother realized I was a pimp she asked me to get a job and settle down with one girl...I'm breaking the law and she wanted me to be a doctor, a lawyer or an Indian chief. I still think I'd make a great Indian chief. Maybe I'll do that when I retire.