HUSTLING: Prostitution in Our Wide Open Society by Gail Sheehy

HUSTLING: Prostitution in Our Wide Open Society

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Gail Sheehy -- one of New York magazine's ""saturation"" reporters (some of tiffs material appeared there) who combines what amounts to the old human interest with what sounds toploftier, the New Journalism -- has written a much livelier book than Winick & Kinsie's Lively Commerce (1971) although its more serious intention is to show the ""criminalization of prostitution and pornography"" sometimes just reduced to a single word, greed. Here they are -- the not so happy hookers (they might make $70,000 per annum) to the ""flatbackers"" (call girls -- they earn a little less), the pimps and madams and Johns or someone like Jimmy Della Bella who runs the two busiest pross -- as you'll learn to call them -- hotels on New York's 8th Avenue. There are assorted profiles of a gal called Redpants (red velvet) or the widow of a board chairman who ended up as a chatelaine of a fortune with the obligatory Renoir and an obliging chauffeur. Miss Sheehy, as always (most recently Panthermania), has her own arrantly aggressive style which pummels rather than massages but assures your presence. Even when sometimes it's just too much: ""Plump, moist, wiggly, she has the appeal of a perpetually lactating spaniel."" Still it won't detract from the sad facts of life of a gift who only knows that ""Home is where your pimp is."" For a time.

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1973
Publisher: Delacorte