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September 09, 2008

The Secret Diary of a Frustrated Television Viewer

If you asked me about who had it best: the 'sex' worker (one that actually has sex) and the professional 38160_1 dominatrix, I'd say that the second one has it best as she doesn't have to sleep with every single taker out there. That's my view anyway, and many of them make a good living out of it. Professional BDSM isn't cheap and if you put the wanky television series about 'escorts' aside for one minute and actually entertain the usual reality - many prostitutes have sex for a paltry amount (after all, not every woman can live the life of a 'Secret Callgirl' - yes I'm being sarcastic).

We fought over the television tonight, and that relates to the series that I haven't really developed a liking for, "The Secret Diary of a Call Girl." They air it on the Nine Network at half ten at night, and I haven't really read anything about it being a ratings winner. We're up to the second show and the opening had me less interested. I supposed it's aimed at men because some of the script can infuriate the ordinary woman; We 'Belle' go on about a regular client, the one she lost her 'cherry' to (her professional cherry that is), and then discusses the fact that the client's wife hasn't had sex with the poor dear for five years, therefore completely justified. One, two, The poor luv! His 'evil' wife! So I mentally switched off and gave housemate the 'look' that meant that he was watching rubbish, and when blokes say that something is interesting, and that something has a half naked woman in it, or a woman performing every sexual favor, then you know that the 'interesting' bit only relates to the sexual themes. For all anyone knows, I said to housemate, Belle is probably a fictitious being. "What if she was three foot tall and a hundred feet wide? No one knows who she/he is." Well he wouldn't have a bar of that. How dare I ruin it all by mentioning a 'male' possibility. I said, 'well it would be hilarious wouldn't it? Only a man knows what really titillates other men.'

Admittedly, I was picking on him a little bit only because i couldn't watch my television show (note to self: browse K-Mart for a second television). If you read the latest entry in the Belle de Jour blog, it isn't anything riveting, or enlightening, and yes, I know that'll upset devoted fans, but I'm betting a few people secretly agree with me.

Whenever these 'sex worker' confession books and television shows air, the subject of prostitution lights up the media. When politicians are caught in the act of paying for sex, the media goes crazy and starts focusing on the 'John': why did he do it and why this and that. The age old question becomes some sort of enigma, even though it's clearly the opposite or more explicit/obvious.

Why do men pay for sex?

Because they can.

It doesn't take a frigging genius to figure that out.

As for The Secret Diary of a Call Girl, with Billie Piper? It isn't 'controversial' to me, then again Australia experienced the TV show Number 96, which was well ahead of its time where sex, nudity and relationships were concerned. It was more than twenty years ahead of Melrose Place, and almost forty years ahead of 'Secret Diary'. To really appreciate the limited script of Secret Diary, you have to sit in a separate room, and listen to the dialogue (without watching the screen). The first two episodes are devoid of any humor. If it could be summed up, it would be, "I'm so beautiful and attractive, I fuck people for money, and I'm a hooker and I don't care what you think because I like it," (which only prompts me to think, "and I should care because?" and that is what is missing, the viewer really doesn't care because of the attitude or tone of the actress's portrayal. There is the other thing, the much debated authenticity of Belle de Jour as a sex worker, and I'm not the one saying that, but a madam (Cynthia Payne) expressed her doubts in the Guardian years ago (see below quote).

"This is a load of rubbish. It's unconvincing, it doesn't sound like a woman writing, and it certainly doesn't sound like a working woman. But worst of all, it's boring. I think it's written as a kind of posh pornography, but this kind of stuff isn't going to turn anyone on. All the girls I know on the game would be appalled by this behaviour from a client. They wouldn't want anyone talking to them so crudely, no matter how much they were paying, because it shows a basic lack of respect. And respect is very important in this line of work. No client would get the best out of a girl without respecting them."

Whatever the hell happened to interesting television series with good scripts, stories and engaging characters?

Cynthia hit the nail on the head before it became a television series, but people tend to prefer the poetic license by authors. According to Cynthia Payne:

"And if it does mean what I think it might mean, what kind of person describes it like this? An author, that's who - a bloody author. Someone who knows sod-all about it."

Cynthia is right about one thing or the thing she probably didn't imagine or expect at the time of writing her Guardian article. The show is boring to watch. You can't make a show 'intellectual' and deep with accented narration and trendy instrumental music....

I can hear something...

Housemate is telling me that I can have the television now...


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Agree! In the end, it is a relationship that really adds the zest to sex, provided that it is a fair, even, and considerate relationship. Note that I left out the word love here, but I would like to say that the feelings and emotional attachments that are usually described as "love" certainly add heaps to the enjoyment of physical closeness. I suppose that makes me a "romantic". So be it!! If the cap fits, wear it.

I reckon there are plenty of women that do pay for sex but it's seldom discussed, not that the glamorized depictions on the web are anything to go by, most of them lack authenticity, or are dressed up for attention. I've known a lot of guys (co-workers, etc) that have paid for it, and they don't really sit there discussing it to great detail, or if they do discuss it, they discuss it in a perfunctory tone, not like the sexual equivalent of a James Bond installment. At the end of the day (also, according to a recent survey of 28 000 men), men, like women prefer to have relationships than to spend half their lives paying for prostitutes.

Do women pay for sex? I mean money, here, not emotional costs, etc. I have never paid for sex in my life, as long as you don't count a car, a house and forty grand a year for life, paying for sex. Shit, maybe I have been missing something here. A few long ones an hour might have been cheaper. Bugger!!!

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