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"Girlfriend experience": Splendor and misery of the courtesans 2.0

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Girlfriend experience. I had heard the term for the first time years ago. It sounded glamorous, also because I didn't know what it meant. It wasn't quite that glamorous after all. Because he described a very tough courtesan business model. He described the relationship between men in positions of power and the well-dressed, educated girls they met for dinner, sex, or recreational activities. Men who wanted nothing to do with prostitutes and brothels. The length of the respective meeting was not fixed. It could last a night or a month. Problem discussions, arguments and any obligations were not provided. Affection could be simulated.

The advantage for the man: He had a "girlfriend" who was there when he needed her, otherwise there was no need to worry. Advantage for the woman: She enjoyed a certain luxury and was able to pay off her college debts with the remuneration for her work, finance her education, transfer the rent, i.e. make a living from it. A professional mediator was not always involved.

Steven Soderbergh's new television series tells of this branch of the economy The Girlfriend Experience. The student Christine (played by Elvis' granddaughter Riley Keough), as an intern in a law firm, gets an insight into her future reality as a lawyer. The corporate world of work turns out to be a cold hell, and as a beginner it is worthless in the law firm. Her fellow student Avery's part-time job, on the other hand, is much more amusing and effective. Avery's business is doing well as a "girlfriend" and persuades Christine to take part every now and then. Soon we see the two of them lying on hotel beds in bathrobes, ordering the most expensive wines in the world and talking shop about luxury cars in underground garages. A kind of beginning of the end, because such a life is not as nice as the days in a bathrobe.

Sex, money, clothes, power

The "girlfriend"-World, seen through Steven Soderbergh's X-ray eyes, looks stylish, gloomy and hypothermic. His main character is not particularly nice, morally incorrect, and manipulative; she likes sex, money, clothes, and power. "She acts like a man," said Soderbergh. The series shows girls in anoraks and lace blouses who think how a man should think, who feel how a man should feel. The girls must have an internal cold and heat regulator, which has perhaps always been the basic requirement of a successful courtesan.

Soderbergh's work starts at a certain point in time. It is the time when America is wondering what prostitution is, what survival strategy and what excesses of sex the internet will bring us. Article in New York Magazine, new Yorker and Vanity Fair report on the normalization of sex work, which blurs the lines between Tinder dating, making a living and prostitution, but it's the SeekingArrangement website that gets the most attention. There you can as sugar baby (or sugar boy) are looking for suitable financing partners or as a financing partner for temporary companions of both sexes. The focus is on women. Brandon Wade, software designer and founder of SeekingArrangement, describes the website as "modern feminist," after all, women decided how far they went. Meanwhile he maintains a second page. MissTravel provides women with one companionwho finances their vacation.

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About "10 to 8"

In the evening at 10 past 8, the unseen becomes relevant, the established is questioned and the invisible is revealed.

We are a diverse collective of female authors. We write ourselves and look for texts that open up new worlds or let familiar ones appear in a new light. We invite writers, journalists and scientists, but also experts in special fields, to write with and for us; We have guest authors who are no longer allowed to publish in their countries or whose countries are barely reported on at the moment. We are curious about new perspectives, new stories, text for text, with us, twice a week, always at 10 past 8.

Here you can find all the texts that 10 after 8 appear.

About the authors

The editorial staff of 10 after 8 consists:

Marion Detjen, Contemporary historian
Hella Dietz, Sociologist, family and organizational advisor
Heike-Melba Fendel, Author and agency manager
Annett Groeschner, freelance writer
Masha Jacobs, Journalist, co-editor of the magazine Pop. Culture and criticism
Stefanie Lohaus, Head of Communication EAF Berlin and editor of the Missy Magazine
Lina Muzur, deputy publishing director at Hanser Berlin Verlag
Catherine Newmark, Cultural journalist
Annika Reich, Writer and activist
Elisabeth Wellershaus, Journalist

The new thing about the courtesan economy 2.0: It is no longer perceived as scandalous. Rather, it is a gap in the system. A void that young women "can benefit from" as one of them does in one Vanity fairArticle expresses. Another explains she guess as "girlfriend" her independence, especially when she looks at the everyday marriage of her downtrodden and unhappy girlfriends. She wanted nothing to do with a life like that. So she decided on the alternative model. It all sounds as sad as love in the days of Donald Trump.