In November 2009, Dr. Brooke Magnanti bravely outed herself as the “Belle du Jour,” a former sex worker whose blog Diary of a London Call Girl went on to become a smash hit book and Showtime TV series, “Secret Diary of a Call Girl.” A specialist in neurotoxicology and cancer epidemiology, Dr. Magnanti only revealed herself to be Belle because an ex-boyfriend was threatening to do it for her out of spite. She had worked as a prostitute in 2003 and 2004 to support herself while finishing up her doctorate.
These days, the 35-year-old research scientist at Bristol University is penning another book, this time under her own name. Sexonomics: An Examination of Third-Wave Feminism Through the Prism of the Sex Trade will be published in spring 2012. Keep reading »
“When I first started playing [Belle/Hannah], when I first read the script, I found it very hard to believe that those kind of women in that profession really [could be feminists]. I was quite judgmental about it. I thought ‘I’m not entirely sure that there’s any way that you could be that way and feel liberated and independent and call yourself an out-and-out feminist.’ It’s a very gray area. What happens with the character of Belle is that it starts off being, ‘This is who I am, this is what I am, it’s all fine, I’m in control,’ to feeling like she questions her ideas of feminism, and mostly down to the relationships that she forms with Ben and other people. It’s something she starts to question more and more. Actually nowadays, it’s really hard to define feminism in a way, because it’s hard saying ‘we’re strong women, we’re career women, we make our own cash, and [yet] we wear provocative clothes, and say provocative things,’ and the whole idea feels slightly flawed now to some extent. … It is a massive kind of compromise. In one breath it’s like ‘this is my life’ and, on the surface, very enviable, but it would take a certain kind of person to be able to do that as a profession.”
— Billie Piper, who plays Hannah/high-class prostitute Belle on “Secret Diary of a Call Girl,” on being called out by her boyfriend Ben’s mom about not being a good feminist. Do you agree with her? [TV Squad] Keep reading »
If you’re going to rape a 16-year-old prostitute, I recommend being a highly paid professional athlete. Last May, Lawrence Taylor, a former football player for the New York Giants, was arrested for hiring a 15-year-old girl who was prostituted out by a pimp at a Holiday Inn in New York. The 51-year-old was charged with third-degree rape because of the victim’s age, which includes charges of sex with a minor.
But oh look! Last week Lawrence Taylor accepted a slap-on-the-wrist plea deal. Keep reading »
Newspapers had a tough time in the recession with many shutting down, cutting staff, or starting mandatory furloughs. Kevin Provencher, a reporter at the New Hampshire Union Leader had an interesting idea on how to weather the storm. He became a pimp. This week, he was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in jail for running a prostitution ring out of his local SpringHill Suites hotel. Keep reading »
You can leave those extra panties at home, but don’t forget to bring small bills lest your hooker should consider you an idiot. Oh, and if you are buying “it” in the Bronx, a mandatory shot comes with most sex acts. To find out more riveting facts about the sex worker industry, like how much prostitutes charge in different boroughs and what kind of smart phones they prefer, check out Wired‘s exhaustive study of how technology and sex work mix in New York City.[Wired] Keep reading »
Another day, another story about abortion rights that will make you want to vomit. Yesterday, anti-abortion activist Live Action released an edited video of “sting operations” at Planned Parenthood, which show hired actors playing a pimp and an underage prostitutes. The footage, which was secretly taped throughout January, allegedly shows Planned Parenthood counseling a man who says he needs to speak privately about getting STD treatments for some young girls, some of whom are portrayed as illegal immigrants or as young as 14. In one of the videos, the Planned Parenthood employee seems to suggest the girl could lie about her age to get services. In total, actors claiming to be sex traffickers visited 12 clinics in Virginia, Indiana, New York, New Jersey, Washington, D.C., and Arizona and in all the cases, Planned Parenthood contacted the local authorities afterwards to warn about sex trafficking. Eventually, the organization caught on to the fact they were being hoaxed and penned a letter to the U.S. Attorney General on January 18 suggesting they were being had by an anti-abortion group. The FBI has now been asked to probe into the “sting” activities. Keep reading »
Call girls: they’re talented writers! First there was Dr. Brooke Magnanti, whose identity only became known after her blog, Diary of a London Call Girl, became wildly famous and spawned a book and TV series. Now there’s an anonymous East Coast-based woman going by the nom de plume “Charlotte Shane.”
“Charlotte Shane” pens a blog called Nightmare Brunette about her experiences in sex work. In a stellar piece on Salon.com, “Charlotte” explains she tries her hardest not to glamorize prostitution like Hollywood. “I never intend to glamorize my profession, and I don’t list expensive gifts I receive or lavish items I buy for myself,” she wrote. “I avoid rhapsodizing about exotic vacations or name-dropping hotels. I never disclose my rates and I don’t claim every encounter ends in mind-blowing orgasms — or any orgasm at all. That type of sensationalistic hype is really only good for selling books or selling face time on TV shows, neither of which I’m interested in.” She tries to be honest about what working as an escort really is: a job. Keep reading »
Katie Waissel, a contestant on the British TV hit “X Factor,” just found out that her 81-year-old grandmother, Sheila Vogel, works as a paid escort for a mature courtesan agency called Vintage Vamps. Check out this pin-up shot of her from the website, and let me tell you, it is tame by comparison to the other granny call girls advertised! Katie’s grandma makes a jaw-dropping $400 an hour. (Dang, I need to change careers once I’m over 50!) Clearly, this grams isn’t some ho on the corner or your average octagenarian either. The site says of Sheila: “Classic vamps are like fine wine and we are delighted to introduce one of our agency’s great vintages, the grand dame Cecilia Bird.” She added to her profile that, “Beneath my conservative exterior lurks the secret passion to meet up with like-minded gentlemen to share the taste of forbidden fruits.” Spicy, go get ‘em, Grams! How do you think your family would handle news if your Nana decided to do sex work? [The Daily Mail] Keep reading »
Annie Lobart, a 42-year-old former prostitute, is on a mission to save the souls of all the hookers in Las Vegas. In 2006, after 10 years as a Las Vegas prostitute, she retired her walking shoes after a bad beating by her pimp and a drug overdose left her with no one to turn to but the Lord. Keep reading »