Prostitution in Primetime

Prostitution in Primetime

How realistic is "Secret Diary of a Call Girl?"

Showtime's "Secret Diary of a Call Girl" is the fictional story of Belle, a high-class prostitute. The series, which ended on Monday (although if you have Showtime you can still get it from OnDemand), received mixed reviews. According to the New York Times, "the series disarms viewers with the flattering pretense that they are watching a witty social satire and not merely a soft-core romp." But over at Salon, Ondine Galsworth calls the show "well-crafted and witty." She goes on to say that, "though the show is sexy -- with plenty of unblinking bedroom romps -- it is also funny and perhaps even, dare we say it, informative, with juicy tidbits about a taboo and complicated life."

But, Galsworth wondered, how realistic is it? Is Belle an accurate depiction of the modern, classy hooker? To find out, Galsworth interviewed some actual call girls. Here's what they had to say…

On what they relate to:

"Her loneliness. It is very stressful to lead two lives, to have to lie all the time." Also, "her attachment to Ashok, her first client, her devastation when he chooses another girl. Sometimes you get attached to clients like that."– Cindy

On what was unrealistic:

"Lots of things. How much time she spends with her clients. She lingers and hangs out. In real life you are looking at that clock all the time, and when time is up, it's over." – Cindy

"I found [Belle] to be very cold in many ways to her clients. It's very much about the sex with her. High-class clients are more interested in the overall experience. In fact, the sexual aspect is the least important. I would not class Belle as a 'high-class' escort -- more middle of the range." – Stephanie

On kissing:

"Some guys want the 'girl friend experience,' and they pay for that. That would be like the all-nighter Belle does twice a month with that guy Ash, who basically wants to have a girlfriend for a night. They screw, they exchange books, they hang out -- that's gonna cost him. There she would be expected to kiss. But a regular one-hour client, no kissing is required." – Magical Lizzie

On internet reviews:

"On the internet, everything gets reviewed to death. There's very little discretion in either direction anymore. will say stuff like, 'Tiffany gives a full menu,' whereas will tell you whether she waxes or shaves, how she smells." – Magical Lizzie

Good thing online dating sites don't have reviews like that...