I know callgirls are no longer the topic du jour, but until the next Spitzer Muppet surfaces, my MLK non-Jersey Shore veg out session has me re-digging The Girlfriend Experience’s poster. I love this image. I would love this image even if I didn’t know who Sasha Grey was, even if Sasha Grey was not a porn star, and even if I had ever seen Sasha Grey porn (which is to say I haven’t). The graphic does a perfect job of making an escort’s face seem anonymous. It teases about these women blending into the background and us not noticing.
In actual movie review news, I liked The Girlfriend Experience quite a bit. At the time of its production (height of callgirl scandal) I think there’s only one way to really tell a story like this, and that is with a very thinly veiled narrative, one with a lack of resolution. It’s dry with a low-budget aesthetic, but to expect Soderbergh to do anything else with this type of story would be a bit mistaken.
I haven’t deeply researched the politics of sex work, but in the last couple of years I have been moving more toward the argument that sex work should be legalized, specifically so that it can be regulated. Checks and balances are missing from an industry that has been villainized (That’s not an actual word.) for its bad apples (sex slavery at the very least). Whether or not we judge these men and women for their career choices (Again, I’m talking about those who willingly enter the industry.), we should at least protect their labor rights. Sure, paying taxes will be a new thing for them, but wouldn’t there be a long-term benefit for them to receive the enforcement of fair treatment and protection against abuse?
If porn is legal, why can’t sex work be legal?