If there’s one thing to take away from last night’s Sex, Lies and Rinsing Guys it’s that lots of men clearly have more money than sense. Or perhaps more accurately, more money than sex.
This was a fascinating documentary about three young women who, by dint of their glamorous appearances, are able to solicit expensive gifts and cash from wealthy men in return for nothing more than, say, a friendly tweet, a phone call or the chance to treat the girl to dinner.
Indeed, their “businesses” are based on cultivating “friendships” with these men, who are then expected to pay for the privilege of attention from these modern-day sirens. But make no mistake: these women aren’t prostitutes, and sex is strictly off the menu. After all, as Jeanette from Liverpool said during the programme: “I do nice things for my friends and don’t expect to have sex with them.”
Though if these chaps stop doing "nice things," if the cash dries up, then these friendships are over. Nightclub dancer Hollie from Nottingham said: “If I’m not getting what I need or what I want, then I’ve got no need for that friendship or that guy.”
Sounds brutal, doesn’t it? But the male supplicants were only too willing to keep paying for the most meagre of rewards from the girls. The ladies realised that a lot of these men are lonely and took full advantage of the fact, charging them hundreds of pounds for a brief chat on Skype. “I love you,” said glamour girl Danica Thrall as she hung up on one “friend”. “I love you more than you love me,” came his pitiful reply.
Of course, the girls professed to find the situation strange and spent most of the show belittling their wealthy, besotted patrons. “Muppets,” “mugs,” “suckers,” that’s how these men were described by the girls, but it didn’t stop the chaps from showering them with gifts. The ladies attempted to explain this by hypothesising that some men get an ego boost from knowing that their donations have enabled girls to wear glamorous clothes or sport expensive make-up.
Though Hollie for one knew full well that there’s a submissive sexual element to it all too, which she took advantage of as a “financial dominatrix” on the web, castigating one of her financers for being fat, poor and pathetic during a web-chat. “Yes mistress,” said the chap time and again, enjoying her derision. Financial domination, as it’s known in the trade, is clearly a viable business.
However, the ladies’ callous, materialistic and amoral attitudes seemed to stem not solely from greed, but from bad experiences earlier in life: Jeanette and Hollie both claimed to have been bullied for being ‘ugly’ while they were at school, and Danica reported having been sexually exploited during her time in the glamour industry. Two of the girls were single mothers, and all the women insisted that they weren’t looking for romance in their lives, that they had almost given up on the idea of finding happiness with a man.
In fact no-one seemed particularly cheerful in this documentary. Sure, the girls looked like archetypal carefree lads’ mags pin-ups and the gents were all successful businessmen, but everyone featured on the programme was living a life that revolved around humiliation and exploitation, where ideas of love and friendship were seemingly irreversibly warped.
This was a cracking one-off from Channel 4 which, possibly for the first time on British TV, shed light on the weird world of financial domination and the psychology of the individuals involved. If you missed it and are at all interested in the odder ends of human sexuality, this is well worth a watch on 4oD.
Fingers crossed C4 can convince more of the men being “rinsed” to appear on camera for a follow-up. Who knows, maybe they could even convince them to pay for the privilege…
Sex, Lies and Rinsing Guys is repeated tomorrow night on Channel 4 at 12:15am.