Thursday, January 05, 2012

“A Scotsman walks into a bordello . . .”

On Ilkka’s recommendation (kind of), I watched the movie Welcome to the Rileys.  To recap:  a middle-aged couple whose daughter had been killed in a car accident attempt to reform a teenaged prostitute in New Orleans.

The movie makes a nod toward illustrating what a wretched creature a teenaged prostitute would actually be . . . though I hasten to add:  only a nod.  This is, after all, Kristen Stewart, whereas in real life (or at least the version as represented on HBO documentaries) retail sex workers are for the most part gross and disgusting.  But here we see Stewart’s prostitute ignorant of what should be common knowledge, like what a UTI is or how to open a checking account.

Through an barely plausible set of events, Riley meets Stewart in the strip club /bordello where she plies her trade.  Now, I guess if I had thought about it, I would have assumed that strip clubs are organized as to extract the maximum amount of money possible out of its clientele.  But the movie shows how this works in practice:  the client is offered a private lap dance.  But then you have to pay for the room.  And the room requires a bottle of house champagne.  And everything requires a tip.  And then you negotiate any, um, special services.  Etcetera.

I’m an unlikely patron of the sex trade, but even if I wasn’t, I couldn’t help but be irritated by all this for them same reason I’m irritated by Celebration Cruise Lines:  I want and expect price transparency for my purchases.  Not bait-and-switch or nickel-and-diming.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It would be way too risky for a lap dancer or masseuse to quote an all-inclusive price right off the bat. She first has to make sure as best she can that the customer is not an undercover police officer. She starts out by offering a legal service - a lap dance or a massage - and then, if she is reasonably confident that the customer is okay, offering additional services at an additional price.