BAFTA-winning filmmaker Louis Theroux is returning for a one-off BBC2 special on women legally selling sexual services, as he investigates a world of transactional sex fuelled by the rise of social media and easy-to-use technology.
The one-hour film Louis Theroux: Selling Sex will see the documentary-maker return to the UK to interview woman who “sell sex from their own home or hotels, utilizing technology to share photos, make bookings and vet potential clients — making the exchange more accessible and, according to some, safer than the illegal alternatives”.
As he meets people participating in this brand-new sexual economy, Theroux will also explore whether sex can ever be a healthy way to make money.
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In a statement, he said that the experience of filming the series was “revealing and thought-provoking” as he followed three female sex workers.
“It’s impossible to deny that for many – maybe most – people, there is something unsavoury in the idea of accepting money for an act that is so intimate,” he said. “They have a problem with those who do it and see it as a symptom of a society that is controlled and dominated by men. For exactly this reason – because it is so controversial – I thought it would be revealing to speak to the women involved in the business of selling sex.
“Once we started looking we discovered that the sexual economy seems to have been turbo-charged by the prevalence of new websites and social media that allow users to meet up more easily, to write reviews of each other, and swap information. What we ended up with was a very intimate look at three very individual women and the different paths that led them to this field of work,” he added.
Patrick Holland, Controller of BBC2, said: “This is a challenging and complex film about the modern face of one of the oldest taboos. The contributors let us into their lives with exceptional candour. I’d like to thank Louis and his team for another exceptional documentary.”