Last night radio 4 broadcast two programmes on relationships of a revealing nature.The first was called Sugar Daddy, Sugar Baby and was about young female students who utilise websites to find a sugar daddy to finance their studies. It was an interesting programme though I wondered if it was a honest one. The presenter Emma Kirby could not disguise her disapproval bordering on disgust. She did refer to double lives. My concern is how truthful were the interviewees. If they were discreet about their extra mural activities outside the lecture hall and concerned they might be revealed, why should they go own programme to discuss it with someone who disapproved of them? One of the first interviewees was an American who run such a site. She said that if anyone used it for services of prostitution they would be booted off. I thought that she would have to say this or in the memorable words of Mandy Rice Davies during a trial when a prominent figure denied an improper relationship “Well he would, wouldn’t he? “
This disingenuous line was adopted by some of the girls interviewed. The older man was lonely, seeking companionship, they said and sex was not necessarily on the agenda. The presenter switched to men. An American banker said he felt uncomfortable with younger girls around 21 and did give up the practice to return to his wife. However this was less out of morality, more utilisation of his time. Another simply said he liked beautiful women and had on one occasion shelled out £40,000 on a weekend to Las Vegas to please his companion.
I prefer the French attitude reflected in a film called Elles with Juliette Binoche, in which she plays a journalist (Anne) investigating a student prostitution ring who interviews one, Charlotte.
Anne is married with 2 young children and she is disillusioned. She finds herself comparing her own unhappy life style to the free-spirited Charlotte who confesses that the only part she cannot take is the lying.
Peter Tatchell was given much air time to express his strident views. I suspect most now are tolerant that men no longer have to hide their feelings for one another and of their wish to formalise this relationship. I thought the programme would be more interesting if it investigated those areas where there is taboo: religion, soccer and the armed forces.
This was quite daring broadcasting particularly for Radio 4 and, if I did not agree with all the content or conclusions, I was absorbed by the two programmes.