Sunday, 25 May 2008

Rent Boy Revelation

I hate to flag up the NOTW again this week but it does have a couple of sexuality stories (perhaps an indicator of the old saying that nothing sells quite like sex). The first story concerns TV presenter Craig Revel Horwood. Apparently, he has a new book coming out and so in a bid to stir up interest and potential sales he has revealed he was once a "rent boy" or male sex worker.

For me the story is significant in a number of ways. Firstly, the story works by playing into the public conception of sex work as a bad thing. That provides the shock value. Secondly, it sexualises a public figure and that engages us. Finally, despite the first, it highlights how sex work can be a transitional activity for some. An activity that people make an informed decision to do and an activity that enables them to achieve a goal in their life so they can then move on. If people spend more than a second thinking about this story, it actually puts a positive spin on sex work.

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