“Diary of the call girl”, interview of an ex-escort

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She was hiding behind the pseudonym ” Girl for a Day”. For several months, Brooke Magnanti held a blog to tell her daily life as a prostitute in London. A virtual diary that has been adapted into a book, then in series. In “Diary of a call girl” (released March 7 in France at Editions First), the young woman, now a researcher in neurotoxicology and cancer epidemiology at the University of Bristol, reveals everything about life luxury escort from late 2003 to 2004. Exclusive interview.

How did you come to prostitution?

Brooke Magnanti. I lived in Scotland and came to London to prepare for my PhD in science. It is a very expensive city. All the money I saved was quickly spent. I needed money, but I did not want a job that would take me too long. So, I decided to join an escort girl’s agency. My first client was perfect because he was a regular. I found him in his London apartment. It went very well and it even became a regular customer.

Why have everything told in a blog?

Brooke Magnanti. My friends and family did not know what I was doing. I dreaded their reaction. But that did not stop me from really wanting to tell this story and all the funny things that happened to me. So, I chose to write under the nickname “Belle de jour” (feature film Luis Buñuel, ed) because it is one of my favorite movies. I also thought that people would understand the reference. It is a feature film that talks about prostitution, but without its exploitation side.

“Diary of a Call Girl” has been a bestseller in the UK. How do you explain the success of the adapted book of your blog?

Brooke Magnanti. Beyond my work, the book is about my life, my relationships with my family, my friends or my boyfriend. People are passionate about my story because I’m pretty commonplace and far from the image of a call girl. I could be the person sitting next to them on the subway.

After the publication of your book, some have accused you of being a man. How did you experience the speculations around your identity?

Brooke Magnanti. I was not the only one. Melissa P., an Italian who had also published a book talking about sex under pseudonym, had to face the same accusations. She decided to reveal her true identity because she was fed up with being accused of being a man. It was very frustrating to read everywhere that I was a liar. I did not want to come out of the shadows, but I was a little forced. In 2009, I learned that the daily newspaper “The Daily Mail” was on my trail. One of their reporters followed me and even tried to enter my apartment. So, I decided to anticipate the publication of their article. I told everything to another newspaper. It allowed me to give my version of the facts, to keep control of the situation. Everyone supported me a lot anyway, including the children’s hospital where I worked. My family was great too.

What do you say to those who accuse you of glamorizing prostitution in your book?

Brooke Magnanti. This remark often comes up. Yet in my book, I speak only of one facet of the world of prostitution. Things are not all white, nor all black. There are indeed prostitutes who are raped or assaulted. But there are others like me who come out unscathed. “Diary of a call girl” tells only my personal story and I am aware of being lucky. I would like other sex workers to come out of the shadows to tell their own story.

Are not you afraid to incite prostitution by giving it a glamorous image?


Brooke Magnanti. I think the current economic situation will encourage more young people to prostitute themselves than my book. When the British government wanted to increase university tuition fees, I said, “Do not be surprised if you see more students doing the pavement or the striptease”. The cost of studies is very high in Great Britain. In addition, the country is in recession. No wonder more and more people are turning to this business to pay their debts.

You are also a fervent advocate of prostitution.

Brooke Magnanti. I think it should be decriminalized. In the UK, the authorities do not bother the escort girls too much. They are relatively quiet. On the other hand, the police do not stop to call prostitutes who are in the street. As a result, they end up with a criminal record which makes it even more difficult to change their life. Instead of helping them, the situation gets worse.

Do you consider yourself a feminist?

Brooke Magnanti. I thought I was like my mother and my grandmother. But the feminist reaction to the release of my book was very violent. It really cooled me down. In short, they told me that I did not have the right to identify with their group. But that will not change my beliefs. I am always in favor of equal rights for men and women.

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