I was just thinking of getting back to sex work – writing about it, that is – when the sad tale of Mistress Lucrezia and her dead client broke.
Here – from the Telegraph – is one of the least sensationalised versions: but to be honest, most papers have much the same story. 58-year-old businessman visits Belgian-based professional for a bit of high-end stimulation. Flakes out in shower after the event: is dead by the time the ambulance arrives.
There is some speculation about whether drugs were involved – and also some debate, on which further light will undoubtedly be shed when the coroner reports back, as to how far the sado-masochistic play which preceded the shower contributed to this sad event.
It really is a pretty ordinary story. A middle-aged not terribly fit male exerts himself, has a good time, and then – most likely – has a heart attack. Transpose it to rock climbing, an activity holiday, extreme sports, bungee jumping….and it merits a short entry in the local press. Not this sort of orgiastic national coverage.
But then, the professional in question calls herself Mistress Lucrezia – and describes herself as “Europe’s most perverted dominatrix”. (Personally, i doubt that: perhaps there is a trade description issue here?). Neighbours provide suitably shocking quotes about all hours sex parties. There are pictures of Mistress L wearing kinky gear…
My reaction? To press and kink community alike: get over it! There’s a lot of tight-lipped stuff in the kink community today about the report coming from the Mail. Not so…the Mail followed in the footsteps of the local Belgian Press and did very little to spice the story up.
One minor detail – they appear to have changed Mistress L’s real name from Ira D to Ira VD – is irritating. They also labelled the woman a prostitute which, protestations from her notwithstanding, is probably technically accurate in law.
Lots of tutting from kinksters about the drug allegations, which is nice, if a little prissy. There cannot be a single group on this planet that does not occasionally mix drugs and activity. Gays do it. Straights do it. Dangerous sports players do it.
I’m not condoning it. It makes any and every activity that bit more dangerous. But puh-lease! Its not quite the enormous thing its made out to be.
I find the arguing, in some quarters, about whether this is “prostitution” to be painful. Its sex work – and we all need to be a lot more grown up about the subject. Lets own up to the fact that some people are forced or tricked into sex work: that in some cases, sex work is little different from modern-day slavery and that we need to fight abuse wherever, however it occurs.
Let’s also admit that some sex work is just something that happens between grown-ups of their own free will. That society does not have a special right to poke its nose in or condemn because an activity is sexual…colourful.
In the end, this may just turn out to be a basic issue of health and safety. Insufficient attention paid to general health and well-being, before indulging in over-exertion. Let’s wait and find out.
Meanwhile, my condolences go out to Club Rub and Subversion, as well as Mistress Katya. All three receive “honourable mentions” in almost all coverage of this event and, with the silly season coming up, police raids or undercover reporting on any or all of these seem more than likely.
All, of course, justified as being “in the public interest”.
All, in reality, because far too many people find it hard to understand that other’s lives can be a bit more exotic than their own.