Belle du Jour? Here’s the real story

// 11 December 2007

Belle du Jour has been commissioned for a second series. But this isn’t a review of it. This is about the reality of prostitution in the UK. The Guardian has a piece on the realities of prostition for the (now minority) of sex workers who are British entitled

‘You’re consenting to being raped for money’. And the truth isn’t sexy (which is also the name of a very successful campaign against prostitution – see here for more details). The article includes the accusation that Belle de Jour is:

glamorising prostitution and portraying an unrealistic image of the sex industry. “It is highlighting in a big way a very tiny segment of the industry,” says Karen [the sex worker whose experience is at the heart of the article], “The majority of what this industry is about is a lot of pain, misery and distress. It annoys me that the media like to highlight only the prostitutes who say how empowering this is. There might be a few out there who think that at this moment in time, but that is not true for the vast majority. What pisses me off about [Belle de Jour] is that you’re very rarely going to have a client that you like having sex with. You have to learn to disassociate your body from your mind which is dangerous for your psyche. For the vast majority of prostitutes, it isn’t glamorous – it is damaging and dangerous – yet it seems to be promoted as some kind of career option.”

From The Guardian

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