Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Dear John


On Monday night, a few hours after the Spitzer story broke, I was approached by a Newsweek editor who had found my online project, Letters from Johns, where I post anonymous stories written by johns about their experiences soliciting sex, asking if I would write a story about why men pay for sex. And now you can read it: "Dear John."
As a journalist I've covered the sex beat for over a decade. I've interviewed call girls and johns, adult film stars and dominatrixes, strippers and pimps. I've seen a side of America that most Americans don't see. In the movies there are heart-of-gold hookers like Julia Roberts in "Pretty Woman," falling in love with a john who happens to be a sensitive guy capable of overlooking her profession. But in reality we don't know much about johns or the complicated reasons they pay for sex. So when New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer, a zealous former prosecutor of prostitution rings, was accused of using one himself, many people questioned how such a smart man could have put his family and his career on the line...