Prostitutes, unless they’re the totally unrealistic Julia-Roberts-In-”Pretty-Woman” kind, are rarely given much cultural consideration outside of a very narrow scope. When you become a prostitute, it seems, you give up your personhood, often reduced to a two-dimensional stereotype that we all carry in our heads.
But sex workers are just like the rest of us — with hopes and dreams and curiosity about the world. Photographer Chris Arnade wanted to capture that, so he brought his telescope to the Hunts Point section of the Bronx, known for being a popular prostitution zone. Keep reading »
The Internet can be a dangerous place and it seems that adults are now in need of the same Internet safety classes as children these days. Take one Floridian model who traveled up to New York to meet a man she met on Instagram, only to be forced into sex slavery for 12 days. Keep reading »
Noted horndog and former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, 76, was found guilty of paying for sex from a 17-year-old at one of his famous “bunga bunga” parties and sentenced to seven years in prison. Although Karima El Mahroug passed herself off as being 24, the Moroccan nightclub dancer nicknamed Ruby the Heart Stealer was definitely not over 18, the legal age to pay someone for sex in Italy. Keep reading »
To celebrate International Day of Prostitutes (apparently that’s a thing?) on June 2, Brazil’s director of the Department of STDs, AIDS, and Viral Hepatitis devised an ad campaign to encourage the use of condoms in the country’s legal prostitution industry, as well as remove the social stigma surrounding sex work. Unfortunately, it turns out that most people didn’t feel that the ads’ message was quite appropriate. One PSA read, “I cannot be seen without a condom, my love.” But the poster that has received the most attention featured a smiling woman and the phrase “I’m happy being a prostitute.” Keep reading »
On Christmas Eve 2009, an escort named Lenora Ivie Frago refused to have sex with a client who hired her via Craigslist, so he pulled out a gun and shot her. Ezekiel Gilbert of Texas injured Frago in the neck, paralyzing her for seven months until she died.
Yesterday, a jury acquitted Gilbert of murder, because he said he was only trying to get back the $150 he had paid her. He didn’t intend to kill the 23-year-old escort when he shot her in the neck, you see. He was just trying to reclaim his stolen property! Keep reading »
Francois Ozon: I think women understand the film more than men. … I think women can really be connected with this girl because it’s a fantasy of many women to do prostitution. That doesn’t mean they do it, but the fact to be paid to have sex is something which is very obvious in feminine sexuality.
The Hollywood Reporter: Why do you believe that is a desire? I really don’t think that’s the case.
I think that’s the case because sexuality is complex. I think to be an object in sexuality is something very obvious you know, to be desired, to be used. There is kind of a passivity that women are looking for. That’s why the scene with Charlotte Rampling is very important, because she says [prostitution] was a fantasy she always had but never had the courage to do it. She was too shy.
How did you come to the conclusion that is a theme in women’s sexuality?
It is the reality. You speak with many women, you speak with shrinks, everybody knows that. Well, maybe not Americans!
This is the French director Francois Ozon, whose film “Young & Beautiful” — about a Parisian teen girl who becomes a prostitute — screened at Cannes. At first I was inclined to think, ‘Oh, those French men!‘ but I do think this exchange is worth a closer look because it reveals a lot about his somewhat limited view of women’s sexual fantasies. Keep reading »