about this blog

I started this blog in 2007 at the same time that Secret Diary of a Call Girl started on television. Many people have criticised this programme, they say that it sanitized and glamorized prostitution. They say that it did not show the unpleasant reality of prostitution. It may seem that my blog is another criticism of the programme but I think that Belle de Jour (Dr Brooke Magnanti) has done a valuable service in showing one type of prostitution.

There is nothing fictionalized about what I have written. I do not invent characters or events. I do not exaggerate anything. If I am not sure of facts then I have said so.

Why have I called myself Bête de Nuit? It is the opposite of Belle de Jour. Belle means beauty and Bête means beast. Jour means day and Nuit means night. Bête de Nuit means Beast of the Night. That's nothing like what I am, it's a joke.

In my blog I have tried to show a different type of prostitution, at the cheap end of the price range. I do not say that I show the 'dark side' of prostitution because I have no experience of places like Brixton Hill in the early hours of the morning. That is the darkest side. I am not a kerb crawler, I do not have a car.

I lived in south London and I have met local prostitutes and ones on Tooting Bec Common. On the PunterNet forum I wanted to share my experiences. I thought that people might want to learn what I have learned. I had learned that street girls are not like what most people think they are like. However, people preferred their preconceptions to the truth. After a lengthy and heated discussion, the subject of street girls was forbidden on the PunterNet forum. So I decided to start this blog.

In 2007 I wrote 4 posts, about women that I met in my neighbourhood and on Tooting Bec Common during the day.

In 2008 I wrote only 3 posts, 2 of them were my response to inaccurate TV reports about Tooting Bec Common.

In 2009 I wrote 22 posts. I wrote more about south London prostitutes. I started to write about my experience of prostitution in Soho. I wrote about a TV documentary called Vice Squad. I wrote about Elizabeth Valad, the murdered prostitute.

I gave my thoughts about escorts and cocaine. I came in for some criticism for suggesting that even high-class prostitutes often take drugs. I showed it to be true in a number of ways; research, what escorts have written on the PunterNet forum, and the fact that Brooke Magnanti's father was a crack addict and spent time with escorts. More recently, Clare Gee's book Hooked revealed the world of escorts and cocaine use and addiction. I'm not saying that sex workers are more likely to take cocaine or other drugs than bankers or doctors.

In 2010 I was concerned about the introduction of the new law and wrote quite a bit about it. Also the report on the Swedish law, Pentameter 2 and information about trafficking. I commented on the TV documentary The Hunt for Britain's Sex Traffickers.

I wrote more about Soho prostitutes, and a high-class prostitute in Streatham. I also wrote something about food in Soho. I considered the books of 2 authors, Clare Gee and Clayton Littlewood.

In 2011 I reviewed the autobiography of Sebastian Horsley after he died. He lived in Soho and visited many of the prostitutes. I also found out a lot more about Chinese medical establishments, where a basic sexual service is often available.

In 2012 I was in contact with a street girl who I had known on Tooting Bec Common. She wrote two accounts of her life which I put on the blog. At her request I later removed them; she was worried people would know she had written them. I found out more about the few walk ups in Mayfair/Shepherd Market.

In 2013 police raided many of the walk ups in Soho. I commented on that. I reviewed several books: Lucky Girl by Violet Ivy; West End Girls by Barbara Tate; Living Dolls by Natasha Walter and The Sex Myth by Dr Brooke Magnanti. I wrote a guide to types of women in Soho walk ups.

In 2014 I moved from London to the North West of England. I tried an escort for the first and only time when I was staying at a hotel.

In 2015 I started going to Manchester where there are many brothels and prices are cheap. I also visited the brothels on the eastern side of the Wirral, just across the river from Liverpool.

Recently I have tried to put my opinions onto the pages - like this page - of this blog, and to use the posts just for my experiences. Most people who read this blog will read it for the account of my experiences, and not my opinions about prostitution. I don't want to repeat my opinions too often because that will make my posts repetitive.

There are a number of themes on this blog. I will outline them below.

  • A simple change in the law would mean that prostitutes will be safer. If two or more prostitutes decide to work together for safety, convenience and companionship in a flat or a house, it is regarded as a brothel and is illegal. There is no reason why prostitution more than any other means of making money should be dangerous. It is people who support stupid laws who endanger women. Women working together is different from what people normally think of as a brothel. It's better if women keep the profits and organize themselves.
  • Any woman who takes drugs could end up a street girl. I have met many street girls and only one of them conformed to the classic stereotype of a girl who was abused in childhood and grew up in care. Most of the women I have met of Tooting Bec Common have had a normal life before they encounter crack cocaine and heroin.
  • There are different types of prostitute but no dividing line between them. Some 'street girls' don't take drugs and many escorts do. An escort can end up as a street girl.
  • When women work as prostitutes from the street or in a park, half of them will not be drug addicts. It's only after there are police crackdowns that we see most or all street girls being drug addicts. When I first started going to Argyll Square and Tooting Bec Common I estimated that about half were not drug addicts.
  • Police crackdowns usually harm prostitutes by forcing prostitution further underground. Women may have to abandon flats or established red light districts. They may be more isolated and vulnerable to murder, injury and rape. They may have to spend more time as a prostitute and do things they would not previously have been willing to do. They may have less time to figure out if a man seems dangerous because they or the man is wary of detection by police.
  • Some people say that prostitution can never be truly underground because if punters can find prostitutes then so can the police. It does seem however that there are many Nigerian prostitutes that the police don't know about. Knowledge of them is spread by word of mouth within the community. This could be the future of all prostitution in Britain if the prohibitionists get their way. We know that drug dealing is underground. Addicts can find dealers even when police can't.
  • Middle-class property owners, the police and the state work together to try and get rid of prostitution in a way that harms prostitutes and is unfair. They are aided in this by many feminists, who should be helping these vulnerable women. Anti-Social Behaviour Orders are being used against categories of people instead of individuals. If an ASBO is used against a thug repeatedly terrorizing a disabled person on a housing estate, then I am all for it. But ASBOs should not be used to control the behaviour of types of people, especially if what they are doing can hardly be described as antisocial. If you have an individual street girl who really is being antisocial, then yes, use an ASBO. But don't blame all street girls for what one or two might have done, and don't make up stuff about drugs paraphernalia that isn't true. The names of street girls and their photographs should not be published on the Internet or in the press.
  • In the future, the police may want to use ASBOs to control the behaviour of other categories of people, such as protestors. If we accept the use of ASBOs against certain types of people then this could happen.
  • Middle-class property owners are not 'the community', and they have no right to bully everyone else. Prostitutes are part of the community too. The middle-class should not seek an extension of state control of people's lives and then talk about a smaller state. The middle-class should not pretend they want lower taxes when what they really want is a shift of public spending from social welfare to prisons and the police. This is what seems to have happened in America. (They also want lots of public spending on roads for their cars, but that is another matter.)
  • Statistics about trafficking and other statistics about prostitution have been fabricated and distorted by some feminists groups and some official groups like the Home Office to try to manipulate public opinion. What they really want is to ban prostitution but they know that the public don't want this (yet). They are supported by assorted religious groups. Their motivation is unclear. They say they want to help the victims, but they must know they are doing the opposite.
  • There are people who want to take away people's rights but want to pretend that they aren't really trying to do that. They might admit that the majority of prostitutes say they are not being coerced or emotionally damaged. But they say that when prostitutes stop being prostitutes they change their minds about that, and that therefore prostitution is not a genuine choice. There may be individual former prostitutes who say that but they are very few in number.
  • There are many false statistics about prostitution, either showing that women are damaged by it or that most of them don't choose to do it. It isn't true that most sex workers are pimped, trafficked or drug addicts. Most of these statistics come from Melissa Farley, an American feminist who worked with small numbers of street prostitutes in America. Her research methods are poor and she is biased.
  • The Swedish system does not mean that sex workers in Sweden are not penalized. If two women work together for safety they are arrested for running a brothel, as if they were pimps. This happens in Britain too. If the police identify a sex worker they get her evicted. This doesn't happen in Britain. Landlords are threatened, told that they are living off immoral earnings, but if they evict their tenant they will not be prosecuted. So in Sweden a pimp can be a sex worker or her landlord.
  • Men who go to prostitutes are not buying women's bodies. They are paying for a service or for some time. A man does not have a right to sex with a prostitute, it's about negotiation as with other services. They negotiate about the price, what the man will get in return, and any ground rules the woman has. The nearest thing to this is going to see a masseur/masseuse. I can understand why a religious person would think that sex and massage are two different things morally, but why would a secular person think this way? Radical feminists think that most people are brainwashed by society, and that they are the only ones who can see the truth. Perhaps the reality is that they more than anyone have internalized the values of traditional society. They associate sex with aggression, violence and death. They would reject the idea that they have anything in common with religious people. However, often they cooperate with 'faith groups'. Marxism was always a religion for people who don't like religion, with its puritanism, persecution, orthodox texts and heresies. Radical feminism was influenced by Marxist ideas and has much in common with them. They will say they are trying to protect exploited women, but where is the evidence that in Britain most prostitutes are exploited? They have failed to provide proof of this. There is some exploitation, but this is due to British laws, and the radical feminists are standing in the way of sensible laws such as allowing prostitutes to work together for safety. They are contributing to the problems faced by prostitutes.