|Fandom:||Star Trek: The Original Series|
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.
It has a sequel called A Priori.
"Cadet Spock decides to investigate a well-known pleasure house where he buys the services of a young man who turns out to also be a Starfleet cadet."
Reactions and Reviews
As far as favorite stories go, I think The Hustler is a delight...upbeat, clever, yet keeping the characterization intact even in the alternate circumstances. 
Described as "a very alternate universe story", this is one of the few stories in the Out of Bounds series that I out and out enjoyed with absolutely no reservations.
Basically, Kirk is paying his way through Starfleet Academy by working during the summer recess as a hustler on Falworth - it's the best-paying job he can find. Enter Spock - on the last day of his shore leave before joining the Enterprise - curious about the accuracy of a library tape describing the attractions of the place... and buys a night of Kirk's time so that he can ask a few questions about the work... and the hustler's motivations.
This is a story where the reader quite frankly has to take disbelief by the scruff of the neck and the seat of the pants and defenester it. Yet at the same time, I can see JTK being pragmatic enough to accept that, if he must work to help support himself through the Academy, working in a whorehouse is going to be the best-paying job around.
One of the big plusses in the story, for me, is the speed with which Kirk and Spock develop a friendship and Spock's determination not hurt his new friend, even although they know they may never meet again.
Yet they do, thirteen years later, and resume their one- night's-friendship as if there has been no gap at all...
This is a beautifully crafted story, well-paced, with just the right amount of humour and some lovely moments. In a way, I think my favourite comes just after Captain Kirk has joined the Enterprise; as soon as he and Spock are alone -
'"Hello, Spock." Command bearing had evaporated in the glow of Kirk's old, familiar smile, and suddenly, thirteen years seemed to dissolve with the word. It was the acknowledgement Spock had been waiting for... hoping for. He felt the air lighten in his lungs with relief; Kirk wasn't going to pretend or ignore or disguise. It meant he would not have to either.
"Hello, Jim," he answered after a pause to steady his voice.'Such a simple little exchange - and yet it says so very, very much. 
I love this story! One young and very naïve Vulcan visits the planet Falworth, and is seduced by the Body Shop’s most expert hustler. Guess who. Aww...you guessed! I think the thing I like best about this story beside the sweet way James Kirk goes about initiating Spock into the mysteries and pleasures of sex, is the total lack of angst on his part. The captain-to-be makes good money doing this on his vacations from the Academy, and generally takes pleasure in doing his job well. The description of Kirk in his white satin jumpsuit and white knee high boots is to die for, and what happens thirteen years later when Kirk assumes command of the Enterprise balances the story beautifully. 
Wandering into the pleasure district of a planet, shy and curious ensign Spock finds himself drawn to a no-nonsense, friendly blonde male prostitute he later discovers is a Starfleet cadet. Engaging and refreshing portrayal of "prostitute Jim" where he is unashamed and matter-of-fact about his choice of profession and actually enjoys it. Lovely innocent-but-eager Spock as well, and I love that the story brings them back together in regular TOS timeline. 
A young Spock conducts "research" at a pleasure house with a friendly whore named Jim. Thirteen years later, he welcomes his new Captain aboard the Enterprise. Very sweet; I love the virginal but not at all reluctant Spock. 
- from K/S & K.S. (Kindred Spirits) #1
- from The K/S Press #17
- from The K/S Press #87
- 4 September 2009 Master List of K/S Favorites *Updated Nov 19, 2013*, Mary Monroe
- Recs by Rhaegal, also in The K/S Press #189