Swapping sex for money
by Selina Renfrow
I’ve been called a whore, but I’m not. However, I’ve wondered from time to time what it would be like to be paid for sex.
Recently a friend suggested watching the British TV show Secret Diary of a Call Girl. Not because we were talking about becoming prostitutes – we were talking about my column and she enjoyed the show because she found it to be similar to my column.
So I got hold of the three seasons and spent the hours I should have spent sleeping learning about Hannah and her alter ego Belle.
“The first thing you should know about me is that I am a whore,” says Belle in the pilot episode.
Belle is quite frank about the work she does – call her a whore, a prostitute, a call girl or an escort. What matters is that she’s a high-class escort; she charges by the hour and she has regulars. Over the course of three seasons we see Belle dress up in various costumes, pretend to be the clients’ girlfriend (called the Girlfriend Experience), get tied up, try being a dominatrix and of course have threesomes.
Belle came to be when Hannah realized after university that she hated hard work. She realized she loved sex and she loved money. Hannah created Belle to keep herself emotionally detached from her job as an escort. The whole show is about balancing her two personalities, which she never does successfully – it’s usually Belle that does well – something Hannah doesn’t mind since she loves her job more than she loves real life.
The series is based on the book, Intimate Adventures of a London Call Girl by Belle Du Jour and here is where I can relate. Hannah writes about Belle’s clients, what they do, how it makes her feel and the insights she gleans from her encounters. But honesty is tough. Belle protects her clients (discretion is key in her business) by giving them pseudonyms.
I’ve had fun giving friends and partners aliases to protect them. But unlike Belle/Hannah, Jaunty Jezebel/Selina are very much the same person. It’s great to be open and honest but it’s hard to have to admit to yourself that yes you did regret your actions.
As often as things didn’t work out and I embarrassed myself or made a huge mistake, I’ve enjoyed the people I’ve met, the things they’ve taught me and the experiences I’ve had.
It’s been great being able to share my experiences with others and I’ve learned a lot researching my column. Life is amazing and sex is a part of it; you’ve got to make the best of it.
While this is my final column, there’s a good chance I’ll continue writing my blog at www.jauntyjezebel.blogspot.com. Please comment on my blog or send me emails if you have questions. The Reflector has a new sex columnist, Vanessa Redux, and you can read her first column in our first issue for the fall. Thank you.