BY
August 21, 2008
1,658 views
11 Comments
Enough With The Hooker Chic!

When we first heard about “Secret Diary of a Call Girl,” we were totally excited: finally, a break from the story of sex worker as tortured and abused woman, desperate to escape her pimp/captors/whoever. Finally, a television show that would show sex work as a line of employment that (some) women choose, with all sorts of ups and downs — just like any other line of work.

And that sort of happened. But even more so, it seems to have launched (or at least been a part of) a wave of “hooker chic”: stories of “high class” escorts who are oh so glamorous — “hipster hookers,” in the words of Radar.

And here’s the thing: we’re totally pro-sex work. But it would be nice to see the mainstream media offer up some actual depictions of what sex work is like, from people who’ve been in the business for more than, oh, an evening. What we wouldn’t give for a mainstream article that references, say, NSWP or $pread, or someone who knows what they’re talking about.

In the meantime, we offer up Debauchette’s advice for aspiring call girls. If the mainstream media won’t bring us the voices of real sex workers, we’ll just go to them ourselves.

[Photo by annieominous]

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Comments

  • Camille says :

    Oh dear, I just finished reading that Tracey Quan tripe, I think this show is based on. God save us all, it was the most nonsense I’ve ever put my two hands on. It wasn’t even believable as a dairy. It actually made me miss Brigitte Jones, for shame!

  • Camille says :

    Oops I looked at the website I guess this is based on another crappy call girl diary. When will it ever end?

  • Melissa Gira Grant says :

    I was pretty surprised that all three women interviewed in the Radar article referenced their membership in a sex workers’ organization — rare that something like that gets a mention, especially in a story so very lifestyley.

    Likewise, Tracy’s new book has a subplot involving sex workers at the International AIDS Conference. Again, it’s no manifesto for labor rights — but it’s there.

    Bottom line — squeezing whore activism into mainstream media takes as much finesse as giving a client what they think they want, but how you want to give it to them.

  • Lux Alptraum says :

    I should add that my issue with all of this isn’t really related to sex work at all — except in that sex work is a marginalized industry that rarely gets a voice in the mainstream media. What I take issue with is seeing any lifestyle/career get reduced to a hip trend piece. Especially when the underlying issues are as complex as they are here.

  • Alexa says :

    Camille, you can’t even get your facts straight. The show was based on Belle du Jour’s book, not Tracy Quan’s. To the best of my knowledge, no one is holding a gun to your head forcing you to read anything. So, the outrageously simple solution to your problem would be to not read them any more. Compre?

  • Camille says :

    I have no problem with the sex work either. I actually support sex workers and I especially support sex workers advocating for labor rights. What I DO have a problem with is bad sensationalist writing, and it seems both pieces (Belle du Jour and Tracy’s book) are guilty of that.

    In that first book, Tracy’s discussion of sex workers unionizing was a slightly offensive subplot. Again, maybe it was there to do some consciousness-raising on that Sex In The City, Devil Wears Prada - reading crowd but it felt forced, pandering, and almost like a disservice to the sex workers movement.

  • Camille says :

    Dear Alexa,

    Give us a break, will ya?

  • Pixie says :

    I’m not mainstream media by any standards (just a little girl with a little blog!), and I recently posted a story, just a play-by-play of my first ever sex-work experience, and my thoughts and feelings about it both at the time and now. Not glammed-up or -down one bit, just me being honest and telling a real story, for the interest and education of my readers.

    …and it wasn’t more than an hour before I got a message from someone upset that I was “glamorizing prostitution” - because it was his “understanding” that “most of those women don’t really want to be in it”, and that by saying I had voluntarily chosen to be an escort/domme and enjoyed the work, I was somehow invalidating the experiences of women who are trafficked or who enter prostitution out of poverty and desperation (as opposed to me, who entered it because I was young, pretty, living in a major city, and bored with day jobs and their low pay).

    I suppose writing about prostitution is like anything else - you can’t make everyone happy.

  • Lux Alptraum says :

    Pixie:

    Oh yeah: I hate the people who assume that since you’re not saying that you ended up on your knees crying and hating yourself, you’re glamorizing the industry and telling all the impressionable little girls to run out and find a john.

    Frankly, I think real experiences are what we need more of, and I’m glad you shared your story.

  • BOINKOLOGY | Commenter Of… says :

    [...] let the sex workers tell us themselves! This week’s prize goes to Pixie for, well… for doing just that: I’m not mainstream media by any standards (just a little girl with a little blog!), and I [...]

  • BOINKOLOGY | Sex Workers … says :

    [...] our fatigue with “hipster hookers”? The $pread blog weighs in on the same Radar piece: I feel like, [...]

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