max 10th February 2015 The other side of prostitution The very first time I had to deal with a ‘belle de jour’ was several years ago when the Bunga-Bunga scandal broke out and we were trying to find girls that offered their services to former PM Silvio Berlusconi. Though job, but somebody had to do it. During the past year I came across, quite randomly, several ‘pretty women’ that lived in my neighbourhood, I discovered that there was a brothel right down the street where I lived and met people who shared a flat with gigolos – and were warmly invited to clear the flat on weekends due to planned orgies. The underworld of prostitution is complex – many women are subjugated and forcibly dragged into selling their bodies for money; minors are thrown on the streets every day and human traffic still represents a stigma for first world countries. For this piece I adopted another approach. I wanted to hear stories from suburbia prostitutes that independently decided to go into this peculiar business: immigrants that try to cope with London’s high living standards, webcam girls in search for easy money, full-time accountants and part-time cross dressers and male prostitutes who take their job very seriously. No judgment, of course, just a glimpse in a line of business we think we know but we actually don’t.