Pop Cultcha

I’m finally reading a raft of sex worker memoirs I should have years ago, but didn’t. Those that populate the current pile follow the same arc: good white girls gone wild, took clothes off for money, “explored” their “bad” sides, “learned something.” They represent four decades of personal writing about sex work. They aren’t even all that inaccurate. They’re just more representative of what editors like than what sex work is like.

The book I am waiting for is the one where the author admits that sex work didn’t actually make her “interesting,” or radical, or different. That she crossed no great line.

(image: Sydney Biddle Barrows, “The Mayflower Madam,” for New York Magazine)

It’s been a bummer news week around here. Let’s watch The Happy Hooker, the film adaptation of Xaviera Hollander‘s memoir of the same title, or at least as much as YouTube provides:

The trailer, with a lot of “whacka-whacka” and whipped cream and a German shepherd, and the rare on this side of the 20th century tagline: “It’s the life of a real woman, and a woman tells the truth.”

An uploader describes this as a “Sensitive beautiful lesbian dance.”

The “love theme” was called “Put Yourself In My Hands, Baby”:

Xaviera recorded some dance music herself. This track is from 1984. It’s called “My Faithful Friend,” and it’s about her vibrator:

A little bit Ann Magnuson, right?

Sin Street, by Dorine Manners (alternate cover), 1950.

(via Laura Agustin)