..Or ‘The Vivisection of Vivienne’.
(She uses her real name for a start. Pffft…amateur..)
Now, this is an epic post, I apologise in advance. But I thought it best to clarify a few things in case people were a bit confused about the difference between me and Julia Roberts. It’s easy to get us mixed up, I know.
Of course, I clearly know the difference between reality and fiction, but some people out there do not. So let us suspend our suspension of disbelief for a moment. (A long moment, granted. But it’s got pictures!)
The idea that escorting is a bit like being Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman is something that has followed me and cropped up a lot through my time as someone who is Pay-per-Lay.We get asked many questions based on it’s portrayal of prostitutes, and their clientèle, and many assumptions are made.
No, we do not fall in love with our clients – the are perfect strangers, and we’ve only known them for an hour. During that hour, we’ve seen the depths of their depravity.
Not snuggled and read each other poems
Do we get paid monumental amounts of money to spend long periods of time with them, and get taken to sporting events meant only for the higher echelons of our society? No, we get paid the rate clearly marked on our websites, despite their attempts to offer less. As for any events we might get taken to…well, the only polo I ever saw was the one a client asked me to chew before giving him a blow job.
Obviously I know about ‘Pretty Women’. I know it’s vague storyline, and we’ve all seen the scene where she walks into a dress shop, gets refused service, and comes back when she’s pretty and loaded (and thought how awesome it would be to do that, natch). However, the rest of the film had been lost on me. My teenage self was a fickle beast, and would have been more interested in watching a Rocky Horror/Shock Treatment double bill than anything of the Julia Roberts variety. Which may have explained why I didn’t have many friends…but had a kick-ass strut!
However, it was only last night that I actually watched it. Watched what had – for so long – been the world’s main reference point to whoring.
Oh My Lordi! Do we have some work here boys and girls!
So, get comfortable, pour a cup of tea, and lets go in to Why Escorting Is In Now Way Anything Like ‘Pretty Woman’. What-so-fucking-ever.
1. The Client
The film gives more of an insight into a client than I normally can, but it’s probably not too far from the truth! In the first 5 minutes, this stone-faced prick has monotonously declared he needs his girlfriend with him, then just hung up when she said she can’t make it. In fact, she even goes so far to say she’s moving out because he doesn’t spend any time with her..so we know he’s clearly not making an effort when it comes to the Ladies.
You go girl, he’s not worth it. Especially as in less than a minute, he’s driving off to find a hooker. Not putting the time in to find a classy escort even..nope, a streetwalker will do, despite his uber bucks. What a catch :/ Ok, technically he’s going to find his hotel, but he’s nicked his mates car to do it rather than just get a taxi. Something is definitely on his mind.
2. The Hooker
..and not a very good one. Waking up at 9pm??
That just shows a total lack of ambition to me. So not even using your days for education, 2nd job maybe? No? Just party all night, sleep all day…
…and she still hasn’t even got enough to pay the rent. Down to the last quid in the toilet..but out she skips anyway, pausing briefly to see if one of her friends has been murdered along the way.
Homicide glossed over, she carries on and meets her flatmate/mentor Kitt.
Ahh, we find it’s this reprobate who has taken the rent money to buy drugs! Of course… because that’s what we do, right? We sit in bars with men of dubious character and snort our way into debt, just so we can have the pleasure of ‘working’ it off. (On a side note, it still amazes me that behaviour like that is seen as the woman’s fault – that it was only her to blame for falling under the control of drugs whilst some nasty sleezebag ploughs them into her so he can make cash from her opening her legs.) Most uncool, Ladies.
But then, our Vivienne knows that doesn’t she? Because they go on to say how ‘new’ she is (although old hat enough to be able to run in them boots)
Now, they’re obviously trying to show Kitt as being a bit of an idiot…which I also have a problem with. My WG friends are some of the smartest, savviest, business minded and resourceful ladies I know. As I mentioned in my previous post, they’ve learnt many practical skills through escorting, so to see this battlescarred veteran suddenly think they need a pimp?! What the hell? Stick to your own advice – ‘We say who, we say when, we say how much.’
Correct! Best advice in the whole film.
(Although this scene did remind me of a ruck I nearly had about ‘turf’. All I was trying to do was flyer for the show, and someone sad their manager was going to come out and fine us £2,000! I was ready for a fight..ain’t no one steppin’ on my flyering pitch, bitch!)
Now, it was at this point that I was ready to just let the rest slip and gallop forward. After all, you don; want my commentary on the whole film. We all know what happens – Richard Stoneface Gere comes along, he waves his cash, she waves her tits, happy endings all round. But then she did THIS!
She got in his car… in his car!
For only $20 no less! Even today, that’s barely about £15. And she was supposed to be the sensible one! Jesus Christ on a stick *headdesk*
Then he tells her the car isn’t his.
Her – ‘Stolen?’
Him – ‘Not exactly.’
When the correct response should have been ‘Just drop me off here…’
All the way through this he’s been stoney faced and monosyllabic. I think they should have gotten Crispin Glover to play this part. Same script, same director, whole different movie..
Him – ‘My first car was a limosine’
Me – *Eyeroll* What a twat.
Anyway, so they get to the hotel and rather than see her wait at a bus stop, he decides to let her in for $100…
Which brings on this this look of pure derision…
‘A buffet of safety’
Damn right! And don’t you be looking at the magnum. We all know you ain’t no magnum boy. This buffet is biblical, and something to be congratulated, not snorted at. Man, I’m going to bitch slap you so hard..
And then he faffs around, asking if they can just talk..
Seriously? When a gals ready to go..she’s ready to go! And you want to talk? What a clit tease. Nevermind about the fact that she’s only just met you. He starts prattling on about his ex-wife, and ex-girlfriend, and she quite rightly mentions she’s on an hourly rate. The girls’ busy after all, places to see, people to do..
Gents, you might not realise this, but it is very hard to actually try and talk to a punter. We all know why you’re there, and what you’ve come for, so let’s just start enjoying ourselves! We can always talk afterwards, but there’s no point in delaying the inevitable.
But he’s clearly a bit of a sociopath and lives an empty, hollow existence and wants to cotinue chatting and asks her how much it would be for her to spend the night.
Her – $300
WHAT?! Have you gone completely off your box?! How long is a night? 12 hours. How much is your hourly fee? $100. The maths, my dear, are not beyond your ken. You’ll get there, one day..
Ok, so in the world of negotiable affection, you don’t always have to charge your hourly rate for an overnight. Afterall, it’s not like you’re going to be going at it every hour (although some folks have tried, and received a stern lecture for their efforts. Complete with a flip chart demonstration and glossary of terms such as ‘lock jaw’ and ‘as arid as a mummies clunge’)
But still, knocking it down to $300 is, to put it mildly, fucking retarded.
Ok, so he’s plied her with booze, hocked her up on sweets from the mini bar, and let her regress to a childlike state on the carpet in front of the TV. And this, this is when he thinks it’s ok for her to give him a blow job.
Just when she was enjoying herself!
And then he mutters those immortal lines..
Her – What do you want?
Him – What do you do?
Her – Everything.
Now, long term blog readers/anyone with a bit of common sense will realise that’s not strictly true on her part (‘Fuck me up the arse with a champagne bottle, you say? Errr..maybe not..’) and completely annoying on his part!
Just tell me! Tell me what you like! I’ve sat here all night and you haven’t made one move! I cannot go through my complete lexicon of sex until we hit something you like. This is supposed to be seduction, not trial & error.
Her – But I don’t kiss on the mouth.
Well, then you’re missing out.
This has accentuated this massive myth that we don’t kiss on the mouth. Some girls don’t even know why they don’t kiss on the mouth, they just know that she doesn’t in Pretty Woman, and that’s that.
It’s ok to kiss on the mouth! Coldsores, that’s where it comes from. Good old herpes. Nothing more romantic than that. Me? I love a good snog, gets me right in the mood as it does for many other ladies, and I’ve always been coldsore free. Just use your eyes and judgement, not an overly romanticised hollywood depiction of prossies.
Won’t kiss on the mouth, but she’ll suck him off.. where she can also p-p-p-pick up a coldsore.
Then it’s the awkward morning after the night before moment.
The ‘Should I Stay or Should I Go Now’ quandary. Never an easy bridge to cross, but here our hero tackles it nicely by throwing three grand her way to get her to stay. Although, as he has correctly surmised, if he wants to start bringing dates to his business meetings he does indeed need a professional. That’s basically what you hire us for – to be completely free of emotional/relationship/uncertainty.
Although being at someone’s beck and call for a whole week is about as appealing as sticking hot pokers in my eyes whilst doing the Macarena. In the real world, you seriously have to be concerned about what that’s going to involve. In my Crispin Glover adaptation, she doesn’t spend the next hour shopping…
(Although it’s not totally unrealistic. I once had a money slave who enjoyed taking me out shopping so he could spend his had earned cash on my frivolous wardrobe. But it’s a far flung cry having a 50 year old panting after you through Brent Cross and wanking into his wife’s underwear than moseying through the shops of Rodeo Drive with the help of Ultra cool Hector Elizondo.)
And that’s the bit we all remember isn’t it?
She’s gotten dolled up, and reeked her revenge on the bitchy boutique that refused to serve her. Well done you.
However, what they’ve also sneaked in is this little scene -
- where our stone-faced, monosyllabic, and possibly slightly peadophilic leading man is getting ready to lay waste to a family business. Taking no prisoners, he’s going to put thousands of people out of work, destroy a legacy, tear a family apart, and ‘turn 40 years of hard work into a yard sale’…all in the name of a capitalist lead market economy.
Money. Shit it.
And that’s where she comes in, isn’t it? To make him look more human, give a friendly face that will smile and charm Old Man Morse whilst Eddy kills his hopes, dreams, and retirement plan. I hope he chokes on the escargot. He’s even buried what hopes Morse has of rebuilding his business by using dirty politicians!
So when they’re talking about the meeting later, he comes out with -
Him – ‘You and I are such similar creatures Vivienne, we both screw people for money.’
No, no you’re not similar! Because when she screws people for money, she leaves them feeling good afterwards!
Anyway, because he’s Mr Megabucks, he fucks off to tinkle the ivories and keep all the waiters well past their clocking off time. He’s probably paid them to stick around and half heartedly clap between ditties. She, meanwhile, has obviously forgotten to get herself a sensible nightie in the sales.
And then, without asking, he fucks her on the piano.
I’ve heard of public displays of affection, but really.
Anyway, next day, and it’s more distraction tactics. He takes her shopping, and leaves it to Jimmy Carr to sort out whilst he works on ways to destroy an old man’s business.
By now, we’ve learnt that ‘he’s mortgaged everything he owns, right down to his underwear.’ Uh-oh..things aren’t looking good for grandpa If this film was based on his perspective, the premise would be ‘An old man stands to loose everything he has to a cold-hearted business tycoon who spends his money on hookers.’
When he gets back to the hotel and they have a mini therapy session in the bath, we learn he even sold out his own dad. He has issues.
Which is clearly demonstrated the next day when his odd choice of lawyer accuses her of industrial espionage. Daddy Warbucks prooves he’s just as unimaginative as we all suspect, and completely fails to tell a small white lie on her behalf. No chance of respect here, he tells him precisely what she is to a man who – having thought she was a star before – now calls her a bargain basement hooker. Well done Eddy, well done *slow hand clap*
In the real world, I don’t mind telling people what I did, but it’s up to me who knows. It’s my decision if I want people who I’m meeting and hanging around with if they give me that look or not. Some people, fine, no problems. But others can just take their judgement, and stick it. And if I was with a client and he wanted to start spouting it? No way, mother trucker.
People have a bad habit of being proud that they know what you don’t think they know. Sly comments, cheap jokes, hinting remarks. They do precisely what this guy does, and let you know they’re in on the ‘secret’. Whatever, cock-knocker.
Her – Why didn’t you just let me wear my own clothes? When I’m wearing them, I’m prepared.
And she’s right. When you’re ready to face the questions/looks/accusations/judgement/high fives, you stand a lot more chance of being able to stand your ground. Answer, be succinct, intriguing, and confident. When it hits you by surprise, it’s like a bus out of nowhere, and you’ve been thrown under it just because some twat-hammock thought they had the rights to your life. ‘I say when, I say who..’ doesn’t just stand for the job in hand.
What a Fuckwit.
Tragically, it’s Hollywood, they have a quota to fill, so it can’t just end with her getting the money and getting out, selling the clothes and investing the money in her own business or going to school. No, she has to be stupid, leave the cash, he gets gushy and says he was jealous of her talking to another man (issues) and they’re back in bed. Talking.
He does the typical thing ‘You could be so much more..’
Well, you could give her a job, maybe? Nothing too big, just stuck in an office where you don’t have to see each other. Doesn’t have to be head of finance (we’ve worked out she’s not too good with numbers after all), but just say ‘I’ll hook you with an excruciatingly well paid job somewhere.’ Thanks very much. Or..a small loan to get a business up and running? Pass on some of that Alan Sugar nouse? No, instead he takes her to the opera..wearing a necklace that would make a lovely start-up fund.
Oh look, she’s persuaded him to take a day off and he’s reading Shakespeare to her in the park.
Just, forget about this being about prostitution for a minute. But has that actually happened to anyone, ever? It sounds lovely and romantic, but in reality, I think I’d feel totally mortified. If my date turned round and said ‘Hey, let me read you some Shakespeare under a tree’, I’d kind of feel like I was kicking a puppy if I said ‘Umm..can’t we just go to the pub instead?’. So I’d have to sit listening to quote after quote, looking, and feeling, like a bit of a dick. Or having to watch those droopy eyes staring at me as I read?? Not sure what’s more creepy.
But this is her teaching how to ‘live’ I guess. I would have chosen champagne at Claridges, he can afford it..
Well, whatever your poison, it’s enough to finally get her to snog him, even though it was ‘too personal’ before. A moment he takes full advantage of, even though the next words out of his mouth are..
‘..this will be our last night together, and I’ll finally be rid of you.’
Bitch say WHAT?! Oh no you Di’ent!
It’s not the saying of it, we all know it’s going to happen. It’s the sweet talk, and the kissing, and the taking things that shouldn’t have been taken if you had no intention of following anything through.
Hooker or no, that’s gotta hurt. It always does.
Look, here’s a heart on a plate. You could cover it in cling film, and keep it safe, just pop it back to the owner and say ‘Naa, not for me.’ Or you can trounce all over it, rub it in your face and squeeze it like mad cos it makes you feel good, knowing you’re only going to put it back on the plate, expecting it to be unharmed. Then try justifying it by saying ‘you knew this would happen. It’s your fault really..’
Ok, that’s me getting personal, let’s get back to prossies…
At this point, he makes an unreasonable amazing offer. Now, I haven’t been too keen on him until this point, now the tables turn.
‘I’ve arranged a house, a car, enough stores to suck up to you..’
AND SHE GETS HUFFY!!
What the fuckity fuck?!
He’s going to set her up with a sweet place to live, nice car, all her clothes and shopping paid for, and she gets stroppy?! You need to check yourself before you wreck yourself.
Him – ‘For one thing it would get you off the streets.’
Her – ‘That’s just geography.’
Hold the Mother fucking goddamn phone! Her definition of geography is obviously a lot different to mine. Mine is doodling on textbooks whilst I listen to my 6th form teacher waffle on about rainfall in New Zealand, hers is turning down an amazing offer to help her have a decent life and not be worrying that the next dead body would be my best friends.
Frankly, that would be sweet as. Everything paid for, and I don’t even have to see him on a regular basis. He’d wander in, wander out, and leave me to get on with whatever the fuck I want to get on with. Anyone going to say no? Anyone?
No, thought not.
Oh Vivienne, Vivienne, Vivienne, *shakes head* Off you go, back to digging out dollars from toilets, checking dead bodies, and stomping along your stars on the boulevard.
Look, I’m not saying it has to be a permanent arrangement. But certainly having a few choice things paid for whilst you go to school, get a job, or start a business is something you;d have to be a bit of a dick to turn down. Yes, it’s lovely to think of people making it by themselves and scrapping themselves off the gutter, but what’s wrong with having a little help? Alan Sugar prattles on about starting off selling from a wheelbarrow and working his way up, but maybe if he’d had a mentor, or a little helping hand along the way, he might not have chosen to turn down having the Internet on his computers!
It just seems like she’s not only looking a gift horse in the mouth, but punching it and kicking it’s balls at the same time.
Baaaah.. waffle waffle waffle, she wants a fairytale waffle waffle..
Her – ‘Never, in all my dreams, did the knight say to me ‘Hey baby, I’ll put you up in this great condo.’
No, but I’m sure he never said ‘How much for anal?’ either, but I bet you still did guys who asked.
Oh, and look…
Turns out he’s not going to bumfuck Grandad after all, because he’s become such a ood human being thanks to..err…well, I’m not entirely sure what she did. I must have been gooey eyed and reading Shakespeare quotes when that happened.
Meanwhile, back at the coz little ‘saferoom’ they’ve set up for themselves, our fried the sleezy lawyer makes an appearance.
He’s obviously decided that a prostitute is free trade. See? This is what happens when you allow the wrong people to know your details. We say who, we say when, and we definitely say How Much. I get asked a lot why kind of clients I used to have, and I say ‘My Kind!’, because it’s true. I’m the one taking the calls, I’m the one deciding if they sound like a nutjob, or a sleezy bag, or just a bag of dicks in general. If you work for an agency or brothel, you might not be so lucky. Which is why I never did.
Anyway, back to Shortround.
I’ve never been a victim of violence in my work, but if I was, it’s within the safe knowledge that I totally have a right to stand up for myself and get help from the police. I had a mini twitter face-off this morning because not everyone feels they can go to the police without fear of prosecution/persecution themselves.
A lot of people bunk sex workers and ‘Illegal activities’ in the same bracket. But I, like many other WGs I know, work for ourselves, pay our taxes, live lawfully in this country, have nothing to do with drugs, traffickers, and – quite frankly – would kick anyone who stands to make a profit from our work in the nuts. As I believe it, you can have up to two sex workers in the same flat with a maid. Simples. No-one profiting, you can still have a bit of safety, and do what you enjoy – not what someone’s made you do.
If you’re a law abiding citizen, you have nothing to fear and should go to the police. Crimes should always be reported before they try it again.
I’m sorry if you’re not a ‘legal’ WG, but don’t put us all in the same boat. If I found myself in a foreign country, having to do sex work to survive and be a victim of crime? I’d go home. And if the police investigate you to see if you’re here legally? Well, that could happen in any job. If you’re a bar tender, and you get glassed, what will you do? If you’re a cleaner and you get raped by some twatty guest, what will you do? If you’re a lolly-pop lady who gets run over, what will you do? It’s up to that person to get a visa. I’m sorry not everyone who wants/needs one gets one, but crimes happen in any walk of life you choose, but don’t say Sex workers shouldn’t report crimes to the police otherwise they will get investigated, cos some have nothing to hide, but will fear going if they hear stuff like that.
Anyway, we’re so close to the end, let’s not waste more time. I’m sure we all want to go home for tea…
So it’s back to buggering about and being all Knightly whilst exclaiming that he’s impossible at relationships. That it’s his ‘special gift’, By anyone’s standards, that’s a shit superpower. I’ve kind of gone past caring at this point.
Finally, the money exchanges hands. Three days too late IMHO, but there you go.
And then, after all that, he asks her to stay the night. ‘Not because I’m paying you, but because you want to.’ Now, freebies are a law unto their own. I’ve known some ladies hand them out willingly just because they’re having fun, and I admit I’ve done it once or twice myself. But when things are getting too deep, that’s when you step back. First impressions count, and your first impression on a client is being a whore, plain and simple. You can woo each other until the cows come home, unpack, then decide they want another week off, and come home again, but you ain’t never gonna shake that first impression off.
She’s wearing a fucking awful culotte suit BTW. One that makes you glad that awkward transitions from the 80′s to early 90′s is over.
Anyway, she’s off having shunned his offer, and he’s – quite rightly – decided he’s not going to be bullied into a relationship. Que ‘Roxette’ and the cross-fades.
Aaaand, we’re back on the boulevard-
Our Viv’s packing up after finally realising she should move and go back to school, which is great! L.A’s a shithole.
Edward, meanwhile, is doing the 90′s equivalent of checking his phone for texts every 5 minutes. No SMS in those days, this was 23 years ago after all! *Hands out razorblades*
He’s gone to the ultra cool Concierge-we-all-want-in-our-lives, Barney.
If Hector Elizondo does nothing else in his career, he will always be remembered as the cool and kind Barney Thompson. Every hotel should have a Barney Thompson…although I’m not too sure how good the service would be on my budget. No personal call to the boutique for me, but he might be kind enough to give me a 50p coupon for New Look..
But he spills the beans! He tells Edward the driver took Vivienne home yesterday. Complete with a knowing look. That knowing look pretty much seals the deal. We all know how it will go, Ed’s off to Viv’s – ‘appy days.
Flowers are bought, Opera is sung, and he does the uber creepy thing of finding out where she lives and turns up without any notice whatsoever.
Now, to me, it doesn’t matter what kind of car you turn up in, it’s by appointment only!
And for god’s sake, be discreet.
I’m not sure how many times I got asked ‘Is your place discreet?’ but it was certainly enough to make me consider serious violence. Were they expecting a neon sign? Red lights in the hallway? Dancing pogo girls in the carpark? Yes, I have all that, because I delighted in telling the neighbourhood exactly what I was going to be doing for the next hour.
A WG friend once told me about how she got grilled about having to be discreet by a guy on the phone, only for him to turn up to her quiet Kent Cul-De-Sac in full Hasidic regalia.
And there it is, folks. End of the film. They kiss, and enter a Brave New World. On where he’ll always wonder where she learnt to do that. Where she’ll always wonder if he’s told anyone what she used to do. One where she wants to get married, and he feels just a little bit pushed into it.
Hooray for happy endings!!
Now, don’t start thinking I’m taking this all a bit too seriously. This has all just been a bit of a laugh. I warned you that I was suspending my suspension of disbelief, and I pretty much lost any point of what I was writing about a long time ago.
But I hope it’s been fun!
Let’s recap on what we’ve learnt;
* Dont step into stolen cars.
* Never judge a book by how many condoms they carry.
* Kiss on the lips, as much as you can!
* Accept free stuff.
* If you see Hector Elizondo, give him my number.
There, I think that about covers it.
But if you haven’t seen the film, then you should. And remember, it’s all good fun! After all, who am I to judge? If they ever made a film out of my life, it would be just like ‘Miranda’, only with more oral sex. Hopefully.