Can you be Bought? An interview with sex expert and author Anna David
Marvelous Girl recently caught up with relationship, sex and addiction expert Anna David, to discuss her upcoming novel Bought, a tale of high-class prostitution in Hollywood. Anna is a regular contributor to Details Magazine; has appeared as a relationship and sex expert for CNN, The Today Show and many other broadcast outlets; and has written for The New York Times, Maxim, Playboy, and more.
Here’s Marvelous Girl’s fascinating chat with the fabulous Anna David –
MG: Your latest novel, Bought, is a story about high-class call girls among the Hollywood elite. What was the inspiration for this book?
AD: Years ago, I wrote an article on high-class prostitution in Hollywood for Details. I had anticipated interviewing people over a few weeks and gathering some anecdotes, but I ended up spending about six months obsessively infiltrating that universe, getting to know the girls as well as the detectives, FBI informants and other denizens of the underworld. I was always disappointed that the article ended up being this 2000-word story that essentially just relayed how rich men got their rocks off and didn’t get into the dynamics behind any of it. So I decided to fictionalize what I’d learned and incorporate in aspects of some of the dysfunctional relationships I’ve been in to tell a story about how much we all sell ourselves to get what we want.
MG: From your experience, is society’s perception of women, sex and prostitution changing? If so, what conclusions can be drawn about modern day gender relations?
AD: I think when Paris Hilton became the most famous person in the world by starring in a sex tape, a societal shift occurred and suddenly being in the sex industry – or doing anything associated with it — not only seemed glamorous but also had the potential to make you famous. Case in point: post Spitzer bust, Ashlee Dupree got a record deal and started attending fashion shows. What all of this does, of course, is sweep under the rug the fact that some of the girls engaging in this kind of thing are acting out after having been abused and are seriously screwed up.
MG: In Bought and your previous novel, Party Girl, you explore the ramifications of trying to live a “celebrity lifestyle.” Do you think this lack of self and obsession with Hollywood glamour is a growing societal trend, particularly in women?
AD: Yes, it definitely is. In his book Fame Junkies, Jake Halpern cites studies showing that shocking numbers of teenagers these days list being famous as a career goal or rate being able to meet a Hollywood celebrity higher than being able to meet any political or world figure. And I know that, especially when I was a practicing addict, I was oh so drawn to the celebrity world. It was just another way to get out of having to feel my most upsetting feelings – focusing on how cool I thought I was because I knew celebrities rather than how empty I felt. I’m so grateful that I burned out on that, but there are people I know who are still so wrapped up in that world, not realizing that it doesn’t really have anything to do with them or that worshipping at the altar of celebrity is actually stripping them of some of their humanity.
MG: What advice would you give to these women?
AD: I’d say, look at a lot of these celebrities’ lives – the minute-long marriages, the disasters, and the breakdowns, all of it — and ask yourself if you really want to be living that way. And look at your own life. Are you using your fascination with celebrity-dom as a way to not have to focus on what’s going on with you?
MG: Are there any other trends you’re noticing involving women?
AD: Well, there’s the whole hook-up thing. Supposedly, high school and college students today are having sex with random people instead of going on dates and embarking on relationships. And, look. I can count on one hand the number of women I know who can have random sex and not feel like crap about it. It makes me feel about 180 years old to say this but if girls feel like that’s what they have to do to be able to be romantically involved with boys, that’s pretty scary. I’m certainly not suggesting anything nutty like abstinence pledges but I think they should still feel comfortable explaining to boys if they want something more substantial.