Something to watch?
In the past I covered sex workers in a few blog posts; I wrote HOW MUCH DO YOU KNOW ABOUT THE UK SEX INDUSTRY? – PART 1, then PART 2, and also covered more recent trends such as in COVID-19, ONLY FANS, SEX, AND SOME BELLA THORNE DRAMA.
I was chatting to a friend recently, and she mentioned a tv show from the ’00, about a sex worker, that I hadn’t heard of before: The Secret Diary of a Call Girl.
The TV show (available on Prime) has 4 seasons that run from 2007 to 2011; each season has about 8-9 episodes of 20 mins each. It is based on a book series, written by Brooke Magnanti under the pseudonym of Belle de Jour. Brooke was a doctoral student who made some extra cash working as a call girl in London. She started blogging, and her blog got a lot of attention. She had a witty and clever personality, and that gained her a few contracts with some publishing houses. Brooke wrote the books in the format of a diary, and she published a few, including a couple of her most popular ones: The Intimate Adventures of a London Call Girl (2005), Belle De Jour: Diary of an Unlikely Call Girl (2006).
I enjoyed the tv show, it was cute and funny, however I must admit, was a little disappointed. It felt like the show painted the sex worker industry with such negativity, and such misogyny, it kinda made me cringe occasionally
Repeatedly, Belle (the protagonist) had to apologies for her just being her, for just doing her job, and for enjoying doing her job. Over and over, episode after episode, I saw this woman who was passionate about her job and what she did, apologising to men in her life for being a call girl, for being a sex worker, for being a prostitute, for being a whore. Sex work is work. No one should apologies for working.
Other than that, I have to admit that Billie Piper in the role of Belle is absolutely fantastic. She’s light and charming, just like candy floss! She has that intelligent and witty charisma, that really cuts through the grimness of the situation, the job, and how the industry is portrayed (another character I really enjoyed on screen was Charlotte, season 4, watch out!). The show also covers a few femdom (female domination) scenes, and I feel like they could have covered the topic more in-depth, but I might just have to do it myself here at some point! 😉
She often describes herself as not just a whore, but also a confidant, a therapist, and a friend. When she meet a school friend who works in advertising, she jokingly says “So, advertising? uh… at least I am an honest prostitute!” and they talk about their work as if it’s just a job. As it should be (although it doesn’t last long!).
Continuing talking about sex, and therapists, I would like to mention a sex therapist I have been recently following: Pamela Stephenson Connolly on the Guardian.
She’s a New Zealand-born psychologist, writer, performer, and patron of COSRT – College of Sexual and Relationship Therapists.
Her writing is direct, simple and honest, and it really resonate with me. I have read many of her articles, such as ‘My girlfriend rarely wants to have sex with me – but she won’t talk about why‘ and ‘My partner and I haven’t had sex for two years. How can I tackle my issues with intimacy?‘. And every time it made me wish she was my friend when I was younger 🙂
If you fancy, check her out on the Guardian, I always like to get some perspective on thing in life, and she offers great insights.
Not a trailer, but one of my fav clips below (S04 E04).
The best part part is missing thou, which is the end bit, when the client reveals the reasons behind his kink, so I wrote his lines here:
“You know this is my favourite hour of the week. I don’t want to leave. When it’s over I think, can I really go back out there, where everyone wants a piece of me? Work, home… sometimes the responsibility feels too much. Yeah I know, I am supposed to be boss, father, husband. Sometimes is just so nice to have somebody take care of ME for a change.“