Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Hard to Miss

When Pretty Woman was released in 1990, not everyone was taken in by its post-modern take on the Cinderella story. Arguing that the film couldn't have been more fantastical if Julia Roberts had faced off against a flaming Balrog, critics accused movie producers of portraying the world's oldest profession in an irresponsibly positive light.

They had a point. Vivian may have been treated to a shopping spree on Rodeo Drive, but for most streetwalkers, real life is decidedly less romanticised. And it's fraught with danger.

As well as STDs, dubious clients and unscrupulous pimps, prostitutes have a whole bunch of other risks to contend with. Thongs can cause terrible chaffing, stilettos lead to all manner of calf and ankle complaints, and then there's the hairspray asphyxiation. As careers go, it's more fraught with peril than mining in Chile.

Over in Spain, another occupational hazard has been identified for those hard-working ladies of the night - rural traffic. Apparently, hookers plying their trade outside of the Lleida city limits are hard to spot and have been told to don the appropriate safety apparel.

The women have a simple choice (no, not in-the-front or round-the-back) - wear a high-visibility yellow vest or face a €40 fine. Local police claim that they're not unfairly targeting the girls, but the policy was necessary because they actually pose a danger to drivers.  If nothing else, it's going to make curb-crawling a hell of a lot easier. 

Still, you have to feel for the women who are now expected to ensnare sexually frustrated yokels whilst wrapped in nylon outerwear seldom seen outside of a building site. Any man who finds the luminous yellow vest sexually appealing probably isn't looking for a comely young lass to spend the evening with. 

Then again, what do I know? The Telegraph reports that a recent survey found that one in four men has paid for sex, so in theory the women could dress themselves in binbags and still not see a dip in trade. And if they decided to add a few bedazzlements to pretty up their work-wear, they'd be even easier to spot on a moonlit country road. Everybody wins. 

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