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'Upscale' babes don't do it for dough

First of two parts

Posted: March 21, 2008 11:42 p.m.
Updated: May 23, 2008 5:02 a.m.

During a recent trip to San Francisco, I accidentally discovered that a vast array of eager, pleasure-oriented female (and male) "dates" is easily available through that city's Yellow Pages.

How did that find occur? I'd dropped the phone book while looking for a restaurant.

Lo and behold, it randomly landed open, and on a section titled "Escort Services."

Nicknamed "Miss Inquisitive" 50 years ago by my grandmother, I am certainly no less curious about the world today than I was as a youngster.

So I looked.

Amid at least 100 escort service ads, their descriptions (some wholly oxymoronic) included: high class, upscale, young and attractive, sophisticated and petite, jail babes, alluring older women, centerfold-quality, Asian males for men, black beauties, groovin' grannies, Podiatry School dropout bombshells, starving college co-eds, transgender beauties, Brazilian babes, soccer mom hotties, lovely Latinas, girl-next-door types, affordable angels, all natural, high heels and garter belts, prompt, professional, and discreet.

Oh, and lest I forget, those five favorite words were also present: "All major credit cards accepted."

Such a sight made me wonder about something I have thought about before.

Do escorts "do it"?

With all their tempting descriptions (easily found today in phone books throughout the nation, as well as in personal print ads and on the Internet), these folks surely aren't paid for their presentation good looks or deep-tissue back massages alone. But if they do "put out," isn't that prostitution? And if that's the case, how can they advertise in the Yellow Pages?

After a few "tsks" (and stomach growls), I turned the pages and eventually found my dinner destination.
End of subject - so, I thought.

* * *

That topic reemerged when now-former New York governor and forever big time hypocrite Eliot Spitzer got caught in an escort service sting.

The anti-hooker crime fighter got nabbed recently for hooking up with a hooker.

That tawdry blockbuster, along with its ensuing legion of newspaper, TV news and Internet revelations about the rapidly growing and lucrative escort and porn industries, finally laid my wondering to rest, causing me to scratch my head and ask, "What has happened to this world?"

Why are so many gals (and guys) seeking "fame" and fortune on their backs and knees?

What's happened to self-respect and an honest day's work?

Again, I asked myself those questions while looking for something of value on television the other evening.

As I checked out my cable channel lineup - most of the shows saturated in guts and butts - I noticed that the "Adult Video Film Awards" were on.

What in the heck is that? I'd never heard of those before.

Like the rubbernecking phenomenon that so many of us do when passing a freeway crash, I had to slow down and look.

Boy, was I in for an eyeful and earful.

The grand and gala, Tinsel Town-esque, music-filled showroom was packed with "leading" men (some in tuxes, others in designer jeans, gold chains, and macho shirts nearly open to their manhood), and "leading" women (all decked out in heavy makeup, glitzy, low-cut ball gowns easily revealing their beach-ball-sized, augmented bosoms, and artsy tattoos).

Soon, the assemblage's much-anticipated award for (um, how do I say this politely?) best "backdoor" scene was announced.

As the drum roll played (and actual raw film scenes displayed in the background), my jaw dropped further.
The award recipients, a man and a woman, triumphantly galloped to the stage to proudly claim their statues.

It was as if they were accepting Oscars for "Gone With the Wind," only once at the podium these stars traded kudos for whom did the other better.

One actress/award winner, while openly reflecting on her successful porn career, giggled and casually announced something to the effect of: "I was already a 'ho,' so I figured, why not make money at it?"
Hearing that, many in the crowd laughed.

Some did not.

* * *

Again I ask: What has happened to this world? When did sex work become so mainstream and trendy?

Oh, I know there are folks who will say that people prostitute themselves every day, through personal relationships, career building, politics, etc. And to some degree, I believe that's true.

I also know that the movie industry, while striving to appear wholesome in its past "golden" years, also had its share of dirty little secrets and sexual improprieties, both heterosexual and homosexual. But none of that was openly celebrated, as it seems to be today.

Despite my somewhat liberal leanings, I've long been revolted by the thought of anyone selling their body for "bling" and short-term "screen recognition."

Deep within the souls of those who do, when they're alone with their thoughts and the cameras are off, how can they tolerate their existence?

How will they explain these "occupations" to their progeny?

How will their "professional achievements" read in their obituaries?

Sure, they may be laughing all the way to the bank and "VIP-only" dance clubs now, but that high can only last so long.

Diana Sevanian is a Santa Clarita resident and freelance writer. Her column reflects her own opinion, and not necessarily that of The Signal.


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