Louis Theroux's New Doc 'Selling Sex' Looks At Prostitution In The Social Media Age
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In a new BBC Two documentary Louis Theroux will tackle the subject of prostitution - sometimes called 'the world's oldest profession' - in the modern day.
Louis Theroux: Selling Sex will see the award-winning filmmaker investigate sex work in modern Britain and how the economy has changed since the rise of the internet and social media.
BBC call it a "challenging and complex film about the modern face of one of the oldest taboos," which will see Louis, 49, meet three individual women with different paths that lead them to sex work.
"The exchange of sex for money is legal in Britain, so long as it doesn't involve coercion, exploitation, or any kind of public nuisance. Now, fuelled by websites and social media, a new economy has emerged - bringing a world of transactional sex to people who might have never previously considered it," reads a press release.
Speaking of Louis's subjects, the network says that "rather than on the streets or in illegal brothels, these women sell sex from their own home or hotels, utilizing (sic) technology to share photos, make bookings and vet potential clients - making the exchange more accessible and, according to some, safer than the illegal alternatives."
Louis calls the subject of selling sex one full of "ethical wrinkles - issues that are deeply felt, but are also divisive."
He adds: "[Sex] is one of the most straightforward, yet complex interactions that can take place between two people. On the one hand, none of the activities taking place here are illegal; everything is above board and both parties have mutually agreed on the arrangement. On the other, 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."
Louis continues: "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."
Louis last tackled the subject of sex work in 2017 with Sex Trafficking in Houston in which he investigated sex workers and their pimps in the Texan city, and before that in 2003 with Louis and the Brothel, in which he met owners and workers at The Wild Horse Ranch in Reno, Nevada.
The broadcaster recently returned to the Westboro Baptist Church thirteen years after his original controversial documentary aired to see where they are today and meet ex-member who have left in Surviving America's Most Hated Family. He also met mothers facing extreme postpartum mental illness in the highly-praised Mothers On The Edge.