Anonymous Prostitute Blogs About Condoms, Sex... And Healthcare Reform

Illustration for article titled Anonymous Prostitute Blogs About Condoms, Sex... And Healthcare Reform

Now that Belle de Jour has been unmasked, the niche for anonymous prostitute/blogger is wide open. Helping to fill it is Las Vegas Courtesan, who has strong opinions on condoms, manners, and healthcare reform.


According to Richard Abowitz's profile in The Daily Beast, the Courtesan is nearly 29 and has been blogging since 2006, but recently enjoyed a popularity boost when she started her Twitter feed. Some fellow sex workers are worried her blog [NSFW] will bring them unwanted attention, and casino security guards say they read it to see how call girls get past their defenses — and, of course, for entertainment. If anything, Las Vegas Courtesan's popularity shows that America's appetite for the private musings of prostitutes is almost as great as its desire for their services.

What's most interesting about the Courtesan's blog is its combination of mystery and demystification. Its author regularly post erotic photos of herself — a nipple, a thong — in which her face is cropped out or obscured. In these she's every bit the unattainable sex goddess, offering you a tiny glimpse of her body and her life. And yet, she also posts workmanlike descriptions of her trips to Costco (to buy condoms in bulk, natch), and servicey pieces about how to greet an escort without raising suspicion. Her blog works the job-like-any-other angle while remaining unabashedly sexual. Abowitz notices this dichotomy, and seems into it. He writes, "For the best-known unknown hooker in Vegas, Cali's life is almost shockingly prosaic. Today, a Sunday afternoon, is the day she runs errands." And,

Like a doctor, today she is on call. Sunday is her favorite day to work.

"For a lot of people, it's their last day in Vegas," she says. "They are going to blow the rest of their money on something." She keeps a pair of heels in her car for when the call comes, and shows up to meet her clients in her regular clothes. "The first time I was nervous, but guys like the girl-next-door look."

She seems to have applied her promotional savvy to her blog as well, reasoning that readers sometimes like the "girl-next-door look" of Costco posts, especially mixed in with thong shots. This isn't, however, the only contradiction in the Courtesan's work. She tells Abowitz that Fox News has asked her for an interview, which she declined because, "I hate Fox News. And, hello? I am not going to be on camera! They offered to disguise my face but I am not a fan and don't trust their message." However, she's in line with that message in one way — her Twitter feed is full of criticisms of healthcare reform. She writes, "People don't realize that socialist nations (ie UK & Spain) are drowning from programs. On a whole different level of broke," and, "what is there to lose? Everything the founding fathers fought for: freedom and a smaller government." She's like a combination of Belle de Jour and Glenn Beck — no wonder Fox is calling.

Vegas' Mystery Sex Blog [Daily Beast]
The Las Vegas Courtesan [Official Site]
Vegascourtesan [Twitter]



I wanted to write about this the last time there was a Sexy Sex Worker Has Blog of Fabulous Sexiness (I think it was to due with the Belle du Jour phenomenon) but I wasn't a commenter then and thought it would be too weird to do for a first comment and probably wouldn't be approved. So it will be more about the sex worker celebrity phenomena rather than the social welfare issues.

I want to talk about the elephant in the room when it comes to the glamorfication (totally not a word I know) of the self-employed, in-control sex worker: beauty privilege.

Generally speaking, the $1000 a night/hour/whatever sex workers, including the "celebrity" blog ones, and including people like Australian writer of "In My Skin" (I do think that one is just as much, if not more, about Kate's heroin addiction as about her work in the sex industry, from street level to a high class place, as well as being very well written) come from a place where they are able to do all that is necessary to adhere to conventional beauty standards. They've come from backgrounds where they've had the benefit of good health and welfare, education and empowerment to make informed choices, and are stable and healthy enough and had enough disposable time and income in the first place to maintain personal appearance standards that made them big earners in the first place, and to maintain those standards once they were working consistently.

When women talk about sex work as if it's always empowering, including several Australian actresses on a cable TV show here set in a high class brothel called "Satisfaction" in which very glamorous and conventionally attractive actresses play very glamorous and conventionally attractive call girls, they're not thinking of the trafficked women, or abused or disempowered women, or even just the not quite as stunningly beautiful women who work at the low or middle level of the industry, who don't enjoy the benefits and privileges that come from looking like Hollywood's image of a high class callgirl.

I am totally not saying that in order to be a successful sex worker one has to look like Billie Piper, or the original Belle. But in an industry where, to unfortunately paraphrase the movie "Moulin Rouge" a woman is only worth what a man considers her to be worth, a lot of that is based on how she looks. Let's face it, when a client goes to a place and is introduced to all the girls present, he probably isn't (I never saw it) having a five or 10 minute conversation with her first, getting to know her as a person, and making his choice based on both her looks and what he thinks of her character and personality.

Please please don't think I'm getting into Derailing for Dummies territory, or making the mistake of thinking things I've seen for myself and heard people I know discuss means that anything anyone else has seen or discussed is irrelevant. But from what I've seen of the sex level industry, emphatically at the lower and middle levels, the girls who weren't absolute stunners had it tougher. They had to work on other ways to attract clients, from changing wigs and personas from shift to shift trying frantically to gauge what worked best, to offering services they weren't totally comfortable with, or lowering rates significantly.

I knew a girl in an agency once, who was stunningly conventionally attractive. She was one of the biggest and most consistent earners for the agency. She was fully booked every night, and never had to do anything with clients she wasn't comfortable doing. She was also one of the most horrible women working at the agency. In the girls' lounge, in front of colleagues of Indian, Asian and African descent, she would say loudly and repeatedly how she never went with Indian or Asian or black men as "Boongs and chinks and darkies" "turn [her] stomach" and "make [her] want to puke". If a client who wasn't white turned up she wouldn't ever even go out for introductions. The other girls of ethnic descent were upset and discomfited by her racism, but were too intimidated to say anything as, in most workplaces, if you make waves about someone who happens to be one of the most popular and influential employees there, there will be negative consequences of some kind. Someone did complain once, and was put on another, less busy, shift.

Stuff like that is why I am patently disinterested when another glamorous sex worker turns into a celebrity. Because she wouldn't be talking about how glamorous it is, or how it's totally the best way she could imagine earning an income, if instead of the tall leggy creature of desire with the background and privilege that developed in her the nous to see right through a man and know specifically how to cater to his whims and fuel his fantasies/delusions, but instead the shorter, less toned, less groomed, less privileged girl in the corner who had to agree to anal sex in order to get a booking . . . well, yeah. She wouldn't be where she is today, reminding the rest of us just how society tells us life would be easier if we looked and acted a certain way. Because we don't get reminded of that often enough.