"The Girlfriend Experience" and the World's Oldest Profession

Adult film star Sasha Grey stars in The Girlfriend Experience, a new film by Steven Soderbergh that recently premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival. The title refers to, among other things, a special type of service currently offered by many escorts, which aims not not only to provide traditional sexual fare, but also the sense of intimacy and closeness normally provided by a girlfriend.

We were confused by this concept because we would assume most men who are frequenting prostitutes and escorts, high-class or not, would not be interested in a girlfriend. And we might be right—it seems that almost everyone in the film, from Chelsea's (Sasha Grey) devoted boyfriend, Chris Santos, to her wealthy clients, seem to be lost in the gray area between fantasy and reality. Although she charges upwards of $2,000 an hour for her services, Chelsea seems to be the only one who realizes that no matter what label is used, she is still practicing the oldest profession in the book, albeit at a really high profit margin.

Steven Soderbergh's basic statement in the film seems to be that everyone's a business, whether or not it is as literal as it is in Chelsea's case. We can relate to Chelsea's everyday struggles with her boyfriend and constant preoccupation with money and investments, which left us wondering why prostitution is illegal in the first place. If women are truly capable of turning the world's oldest profession into a business that neither degrades or puts them in harm's way, then who are we to judge? Watch the trailer for The Girlfriend Experience below and tell us: Do you think prostitution should remain illegal?