On Belle de Jour…

I know I’m being obtuse, but I’m really not getting the whole Belle De Jour obsessiveness that’s spiralling its way across the web and into the print media. The latest incarnation of this particular ludicrousness comes from the Independent newspaper (Who is the real Belle de Jour, the internet’s best-read whore?), in which the woman in question is variously identified as Sarah Champion, Michel Faber or – of all people – long-time favourite Andrew Orlowski. The latter has certain perverse logic to it – his journalism has a tendency to roam near the outer edges of the barely-plausible and uses such blatantly evocative rabble-rousing language and vitriol that you can’t help but view everything he says as being heavily coloured by his own spitting phobias and/or desire for attention. Certainly I wouldn’t put it past him to take that final leap into fantasy in order to make a point. Assuming of course it would be fantasy and that The Register haven’t just run out of money…

But who cares?! I know I’m missing something here, but how can we really be so shocked and startled by the idea that one of the enormous number of prostitutes in the world has decided to write a weblog? Certainly it’s worth a read. She seems like a nice, sorted, intelligent person. And yes – she can write reasonably compelling posts in good quality English. Certainly it’ll get more people going to it than some site about a granny and her cats. But realistically, does it warrant this level of media attention? It’s not like sex is something that only the terribly rich and the morally repugnant can get away with! It’s not like she’s in the middle of Iraq having sex on top of Saddam Hussein’s palace! It’s not like she’s fellating moon-chimps on CNN or inventing orgasm-generating laser beams! So she reads a few books! What’s the big deal? My theory: England has too many sexually-frustrated journalists without book deals. If we want a better press, getting them laid would be a really good start.

43 replies on “On Belle de Jour…”

The reason Belle is such a fascinating read is because prostitutes, as a group, are necessarily secretive about the details of their work, and of course entirely confidential about their clients. The anonymity of Belle’s weblog provides a way to get past that and find out what everyone wonders: what a prostitute *really* thinks about her clients. Does she hate them? Pity them? Secretly desire them? It’s fascinating. And it’s more fascinating since Belle herself is a very interesting character: she is a clever, articulate, well-read person, who could easily get a job doing something else. She is not a whore through desparation, but through choice. That makes her even more interesting.
The issue of her real identity is entirely separate and secondary to her readability, and is generated by an entirely different group of people who, faced with a fact that someone doesn’t want them to have, feel compelled to seek it out — and also, we want to know if she’s *really* a prostitute. The compelling thing about her writing is its authenticity, so it’s essential that she not be a fake. Otherwise it’s just somebody imagining what a prostitute might think, which is not interesting at all.

In a nice coincidence, given the subject matter, there’s a great essay by Michel Foucault called ‘What is an author?’ which discusses, in part, just why anonymity is such a frustration for literary scholars: the ‘author’s name’ isn’t important because of the person per se, but because it allows for categorisation, authentication and so on.
We now ask of each poetic or fictional text: from where does it come, who wrote it, when, under what circumstances, or beginning with what design? The meaning ascribed to it and the status of value accorded it depend upon the manner in which we answer these questions. And if a text should be discovered in a state of anonymity -‑ whether as a consequence of an accident or the author’s explicit wish -‑ the game becomes one of rediscovering the author. Since literary anonymity is not tolerable, we can accept it only in the guise of an enigma.
And in a sexual analogy, identification is the money shot, after which… well, disappointment. Give me the perpetuation of anonymity — a flirtation with identification rather than a dogged pursuit — rather than that.

I don’t think anyone is really shocked and startled as you said, but just curious. Belle’s blog – in case it’s not just fiction – allows people to relate to a hooker on a different level through short stories and musings, and there’s no need to read a whole Houellebecq.

Independent — Orlowski is Belle De Jour
[bdj] Who is the real Belle de Jour, the internet’s best-read whore? — The Independent suggests that Andrew Orlowski is Belle De Jour.

I’m with you Tom.
It’s this faddish, award/attention-seeking approach to weblogs which marginalises the genre and popularises the growing media disdain for weblogging in general.
It’s no different to what happened when the www kicked in – loads of crappy homepages, water-cooler webcams and porn porn porn.
Belle de Jour is nothing more than the t-shirt of the month, and I can’t really agree that ‘her’ weblog is well-written.
My own site is hardly a model of grammatical correctness, but I spot howlers on Belle’s site every other day.
Let’s hope the hype settles down soon – for that is all it is:

“She seems like a nice, sorted, intelligent person. And yes – she can write reasonably compelling posts in good quality English.”
Is this an inverted way to deride her? Obviously she can’t possibly be a talented writer actually succeeding.
Anyway here’s something funny that may strike your fancy – – scroll down to March 19…the permalink doesn’t seem to work.

I think that in fact, “Tom Coates” is a fiction suit inhabited by Andrew Orlowski…

She’s getting so much attention because she sounds like the prefect fantasy woman. Intelligent, beautiful and filthy as hell. That’s why people want to know if she’s real or not.

Er. Ok! I don’t think it’s a bad read at all! I think it’s a good weblog! I think she’s a good writer! Assuming of course that she’s real, I’m very very glad to have her on the web as a weblogger. I’d be delighted if she got lots of people reading her, and I’m delighted that she’s got a book deal out of it. I’m not in any way passing judgement on her. I wouldn’t presume to! I think the whole point of weblogs is that people get to express their voices and have people actually listen to them.
What I was kind of taking the piss out of was the extent to which the press is fascinated by her. I mean you have to admit it’s a bit out of proportion – articles in the Independent newspaper obsessing about her identity, enormous conspiracy theories involving Andrew Orlowski. I mean, it’s clearly the combination of her skill in writing and her profession that makes her so interesting to her – but I wonder if she had a less sex-oriented job if middle-aged hacks would be so interested. Or even more interesting, I wonder whether if it was a guy who was writing about sex with men whether or not it would be so interesting to them.
But that’s not supposed to take any credit or kudos from Belle – I really do think she writes extremely well, and I look forward to her upcoming book. I just won’t be spending a lot of time in the meantime puzzling over her identity.

How odd – I seem to have read an entirely different post than the commenter above. How strange to be accusing the author of being a wet blanket, when I gauged that he was actually striking out against what most of the blogworld appears to be dribbling on about and suggesting that Belle de Jour *is* worth the page it’s typed on.
Perhaps if I refresh the page…nope, still the same…

I may accidentally have deleted that guy’s post while very purposefully removing his post about how God would tell me off for supporting gay rights in another thread. I’m going to put this one back again underneath. Sorry if it makes things look confusing.

Blogs are very diverse things, and the majority are undertaken by nondescript, ie non-media-professional people, for personal reasons. You sit there at the BBC, hob-nobbing with your media and homosexual chums, passing judgement on anyone who dares to have a different view to yours. You speak as if you represent the entire blog phenomenon, and you don’t. You seem to lack warmth and humour – the closest you get is little narcissitic self-parodies – and these are the reasons why you don’t “get” Belle de Jour. Why the only way you can ‘understand’ it is with snipey remarks re. sexual repression and Belle’s popularity. I wouldn’t say you are jealous, because you are probably feeling completely content with your 25,000 visitors (“cor!”). But I do think your pseudo-intellectual blog-defender stance does not qualify you to pass judgement on a bit of fun, on interesting self-disclosure, on using the blog format to express a unique life situation (fictional or otherwise). At the very least, the latter is a truly interesting aspect of the blog phenomenon, based on its unique capacity to be both high profile and anonymous, at the same time. You live, write and blog within the ivory castle confines of the professional media world. You are not qualified to judge others (which is 80-90% of blogs – the ones you don’t read), and it is mean-spirited and dumb to attempt it. Belle is a great example of a succesful blog which is NOT one of these mutually back-scratching media blogs, and that alone is reason to enjoy her success. If she really is a prostitute rather than a journalist with ambitions, it makes her blog and her success even more interesting and laudable. The fact that you are insensitive to this possibility speaks volumes about your narrow and intolerant attitude, your narrow view of the value and possibilities of the blog format, which you talk about as if you were a special expert -which you are not. Belle doesn’t fit your blog world-view, but it is eloquent and interesting/fun, so your comments say more about you than her.

I’m going back to Belle de Jour.
Not for the vicarious sex, but because it represents breaking barriers of convention, etc.
What is wrong with a hooker writing a blog? I think it is great.
The underlieing theme of most of the reactions about her are:
1. Pro – the ones who think it is great, I think are really applauding her breaking out into a new freedom and do not do so because she has some great literary talents. (even though they may think they think that) Let’s face it, she isn’t another Tolstoy or Henry Miller if you know what I mean. But Jeez, we are talking about a blog here people.
Anti – Hookers are supposed to stay in their place. Hidden, used, treated bad, and ashamed. After all, blogs are really for us self proclaimed moral types. Usually morally judgemental for others and not for ourselves.
As for most of the major media, I consider most of it a wasteland. Dumbed down to the point of ridiculous and 90% spin.

It’s hardly as if she’s the first “working girl” to keep an online diary. Javina got loads of attention back in the Open Pages/early online diary days, in part for her well-known “Prostitution FAQ”. This whole thing is frustrating to me, since BdJ seems like such a santized, *safe* vision of prostitution – whereas Javina refers to it as “the worst, most difficult job I’ve ever done” (Prostitution FAQ) – which is not quite the best book cover blurb for an airport lobby, I suppose. Also Devon, a gay escort in SF who loves his work, although he’s discrete about client encounter details. Probably a ton more.
It would be nice for people to quit acting like BdJ is the first prostitute who can write and find his/her way online.

It goes back to Xaviera Hollander with the Happy Hooker column in Playboy in the 1970s, then her subsequent book, and probably a few before that.
Hell, all of the major advertisers have been using sex to sell things for most of the last century, but it is OK because they were/are considered respectable.

Well, the subject of her identity would indeed, matter, if one were — let’s suppose — planning a trip to London and, in a — merely scientifical and entirely unrelated note, of course, shall we say, as an afterthought? — spur of the moment, decided to email Belle and ask her if she would “service” one of her Blog Readers — bear in mind we’re still in the realm of the completely hypothetical — then… then one… er… that person… would fear for one’s hypothetical privacy, and perhaps fear having one’s said email mistakenly printed on a book about the bunch of perverts that undoubtedly email good old Belle, who, if she were not who she says she is would, purportedly, be mildly offended by one’s rather… egregious propositions expressed in said electronic missive. Which was left unanswered… hypothetically.
Soo… that would be a reason, I’d venture a guess. Not that I know. Or care. No. Not at all.

I was all for BDj…she was a good read after work got over and it was no surprise people all over thought it was a journalist because a hooker who reads would just be far too groundbreaking…however i gave up reading the blog when suddenly she got pulled into the complete commercialism and now they have bloody T- shirts…T- shirts and mugs!!!… a book deal is fine but is nothing free from commercialism any more…i was kinda dissapointed after that…cos everything gets tainted these days..

A great discussion – with virtually all sides of the current debate regarding the BjD phenomenon expressed. I’m not sure if Tom Coates and yeahright are really disagreeing too much about what they recognise as Belle’s achievement – you both seem to have more in common than you may think. What is it with this hostility towards media types and their lifestyles? Explain yourself coherently or get over it!
I’m surprised that people are still getting sidetracked by the identity issue, and concerning themselves with the degree to which it affects the quality or honesty of any author’s writing – surely all storytelling is a construct – whether it represents itself as fiction, news journalism, commentary, political speech making, UN resolutions or judicial reports on the machinations of government. Haven’t we all accepted that by now. Surely we all gather information from the environment we inhabit and choose to convey it in the way we see as being appropriate to our medium, audience and ends.
At the receiving end surely the process of interpretation is the same in reverse. Who are we when we read or hear something? Are we the same person all of the time? And do we truly know who we are? It is all constructs being deconstructed and reconstructed in different contexts over and over again. (By the way I am not the nick who posted the Foucault link – and I wonder just why “literary anonymity is not tolerable”? Its not a zero-sum game – after all, who was William Sakespeare, really? And why is it so important when the words are the message?)
Regarding whether Belle is worth the Blog she’s written on – its merely a case of personal judgement – either you get something from it, for good or bad, and choose whether or not to carry on reading as a result. That’s the case with all written words and stories – you care or you don’t.
Regarding the commercialism of Belle. Its unfortunate that the manufacture and purchase of a thong or a t-shirt, a book or a film, to signify an association or convey a message conjures pejorative reaction – but how on earth do ideas disseminate wholly outside of the pecuniary marketplace whilst there is still a material world out there beyond the free exchanges of the net that we are now so familiar with?
Regarding Belle being the latest in a long line of a particular genre: is there any singularly unique new genre out there that I haven’t heard about yet? Surely a writer’s challenge is to be conscious of the genre/tradition in which they write and to extend it knowingly. Is Belle guilty of failing to do this any more than say virtually any published author in the world today?
I don’t mind admitting that I enjoy Belle’s writing for what I take it to be – which is lots of different things that change over time – but on balance I continue to read. And that is the only measure by which I can honestly judge anyone’s story – no matter who they are, or why they tell it.
Finally, does anyone know Lisa Hilton? And has she made any public or private statements regarding whether or not she has a blogger account responsible for
If I’m missing the point – please rattle my cage.

There’s nothing wrong with the media lifestyle any more or less than any other, and I never suggested otherwise. I think there is something wrong when the internet web log is first dominated by media folk, and then other kinds of blog are undermined and criticised by them. I said all of that: my views are elaborated above and very clear.
I don’t understand why there is such passivity over this. NO ONE has an exclusive and overriding take on blog culture, and yet this is exactly what Coates attempts. He only HALF jokingly refers to himself as Minister For Blogging Affairs etc. and what he does is define what is interesting and valid and what isn’t, and no one can do that because what people think and feel about their blog is distributed, variable and personal, just like the medium. So intentionally or otherwise, the result is building up an empire of influence and visibility. He even suggests, for example, that blogs are comparable to academic citation, and then passes that off as a widespread subject when it’s not: its just Coates-speak. And it is ridiculous, because it only applies to a small minority of blogs, the ones that are concerned with information – like his. I assume that not many people protest this because its mostly his chums that read him. The media blogs are an extension of the traditional media world, written, read and developed by media folk. In that respect I don’t think they embody what I like to think of as the ‘spirit’ of the blog – democratic etc. I think both BdJ and Scary Duck are nice examples of the blog spirit and the success of both was hugely enahnced by the Guardian – a competition which Coates strongly objected to. In fact I think the G competition is a more laudable idea than the Bloggies awards because the latter focus on the media blogs – and surprise surprise, Plastic Boy is always highly rated. I think the G are doing a great job because they point people towards refreshingly different content which is not part of the incestuous media world. There’s not really anything for me to “get over”, but are there are things to consider as I have outlined above.

You’re exaggerating Coates, as usual. A few articles is not disproportionate to the size of Belle’s readership. The same thing happened with Scaryduck, and others. I wouldn’t call that “fascination”. And guess what? Sexy stuff does generate interest! Wow! Think Lady Chatterley, or Page 3. So why is it surprising? And I’m sure there would be less interest if it were homosexual. Guess what again? The vast majority of Humanity are heterosexual. Go figure! As for the identity question, well its called f-u-n. It looks like s/he’s going to be successful, so working out who s/he is an inevitable little game – is s/he taking the piss, or genuine? All of which makes for something refreshingly different from the sooo fashionable permalink/meme/media stuff that dominates the blog world. Marco: I agree that most of the media is spin, and that this attitude and tone extends to the blog world. The media blogs, anyway. And yes, that’s why Belle is a refreshing read.

I’d just like to say that until such a point that you’re prepared to post these things under your own name I’m not going to bother to respond to them. If you post any more like this I’ll just delete them. And please be aware that you’re not as anonymous as you think you are – I’ve still got records of your comments about gay people and I’m quite prepared to send them to Manchester City Council or wherever it is you work alongside the IP address / time of your posting to the weblog. Now please – either stand up and be a grown-up or piss off.

I think its unfortunate that “yeah” does not publish a name, email address, or blog url. They are making some interesting points, albeit they seem to resent the host of this blog for various reasons which don’t fully add up as far I’m concerned. How can anyone set themselves up to comment and analyse blogs without passing judgements even if they are implied. We all have our perspectives afterall. As for removing comments – I think that can be necessary for racist, sexist or other offensive expressions of prejudice – but in this case I’m not sure “yeah” fully warrants censoring – they have views in common with many others and these views are best heard than suppressed – surley its by having them stated and considered that will lead to better understanding.
Regarding Belle, where has everyone’s curiosity gone? The story is ticking, the writer is unidentified in the papers, and the blogging community has become seemingly apathetic and thereby lost the plot of potentially the most intersting phenomenon to hit the net this year – the publishing house hijacking of blogs for the purposes of drumming up book sales prior to publication – is anyone really buying of this “she is the real belle de jour, honest!” nonsense?

Nick, you are right on the Belle de jour story. It really seems to have dropped away, depite no denial from Lisa Hilton. Maybe so many publications are in on this or have signed non-disclosures that no-one has any interest any more to expose her? That being said, Belle’s blog seems pretty lacklustre nowadays, and even dispirited. I wonder if anyone will buy the book when the blog is exposed as a fake? Or if the publishing deal would stand in such a case?

Catfunt exclusive” Stella Vine’s ‘Belle de Jour’
We can today reveal as an exclusive Stella Vine’s painting of top blogger Belle de Jour. Of the many pieces about the Belle de Jour phenomena my favourite is Tom Coates somewhat patronising hissy-fit which just strikes me as blogger

It *was* weird the way the press whipped this up. The whole ‘who is it?’ thing smacked of a publicity campaign to me, not a genuine story. In any case, I’m not convinced of the attraction of reading a blog as a book unless the style or the content is something really special?

Oh Tom, What’s really the need for a “real” name? What’s wrong with a bit of anonymity? I for one think it be one of the lovely parts of the internet. Remember that commercial, where there was a black man, a young girl, an older lady, an asian woman, etc. – and they were all stating that on the internet, no one judged them by their appearance. You let me know if you want to. I’m absolutely open to a different view point on this. Oh, and it seems negative posts might construct negative responses.

Belle de Jour has now denied being Lisa Hilton. I personally hope that Belle is Belle, whoever that may be, and that she is a previously unpublished author set to take the publishing world by storm. In a sense I regret ever doubting her, but you can’t be too careful these days. With regards to Lisa Hilton – I love the journalism and must get hold of the books – they sound marvellous.

Nick, there’s no denial there at all. I think every author has the licence to allow their fictional character to talk to them, even to compliment their physical attributes. To me that blog passage confirms the Hilton connection. Given your compelling evidence the author(s) have given ground, conceding that Belle at least knows Lisa Hilton. Whether there are two or more authors (the Erotic Review Conspiracy theory) or it is Hilton ghost writing for the real item we will probably never know. But I for one am now convinced this blog is a hoax.

By the way, I’ve just noticed that the Belle de Joru book has now been RETITLED on Amazon, from “Belle de Jour – the Diary of a London Call Girl” to “Belle de Jour – The Intimate Adventures of a London Call Girl”.
I think I’ll rest my case. The initial “diary” plus weblog gave the impression of a first person, honest account. “Intimate Adventures” is cover for fiction. The author and publishers are now covering their butts in relation to the recent or imminent outing of the author. Not much really to discuss any more is there? Pity really.

To me that blog passage confirms the Hilton connection.
Quite. I want to know just how Belle can comment on Ms Hilton’s ‘abs’. Now, I know that Ms Hilton swears by 100 sit-ups each morning; but that’s only because she told me a long time ago.

It’s also strange that the press has not jumped on Lisa Hilton as the new lead suspect behind Belle de jour. Given the hysteria in March over the “outing” of Sarah Champion the yellow dogs seem strangely muted. Unless of course that is why Belle is on “holiday”…

Of Five and Six Figures, Gnash Gnash
Farewell, Sarah Champion (or was it, Andrew Orlowski?). (I can’t be the first in the blogwhoresphere to make reference to Belle’s departure, can I? Not taking full credit. Jessica did tell me over the phone first. Don’t think that’s why she called. We…

Ah, still here. Surprise: thought I’d have been deleted.
OK heres a suggestion Coates. Re-post my other writings, so everyone can see “what I said about gay people”. So they can make up their own mind. Because in fact, “what I said” was a satirical little sketch in relation to male homo-sexual activity, which I find weird and repellent. Yes, that activity. I find it weird and repellent.
Now, whats the deal here? Are you suggesting I am not allowed to feel this way, and then I am not allowed to communicate it to other people?
Hmm interesting.
Or are you just saying you dont want it here? Which is not the same thing at all.
IP away. And if you want to complain show everyone what you are complaining about, and explain what is wrong with it. Distinguishing, of course, between your personal feelings and anything else.

I’m not terribly interested in what you think about gay sex to be honest. You’re entitled to your opinion. Similarly I think narrow-minded cowardly homophobes are repellent. And people to undertake ad hominem attacks on people – they’re pretty repellent too. So please – feel free to start a weblog and post your petty ranting.
With regards to comments on this site though, I’ve made my position clear. If you’re not prepared to stand up in front of the world under your own name and say this stuff then you’re a fucking coward. And I’m not interested in building a platform for you to rant – so either use your real name or piss off.
I just think you’re a fucking coward if you’re not prepared to stand up and put your name to your opinions

I haven’t got a phobia Coates – I had one when I was a child and I know what they are like. Nor am I phobic towards aspects of politics, religion or anything else: but I do have adult opinions. Nor do I like homosexual propaganda, and even the idea of what homosexual men do with each other. None of which is “phobic”, its just adult personal opinion in a free society where narrow-minded PC-think hasn’t yet become 1984. And cowardly? No, just strategic when you are able to delete posts, make defamatory accusations and threaten an IP witch hunt. And I’ve seen what you are capable of, with other people you disagree with. So really, don’t take the moral PC high ground, OK? It might wash with your media and homosexual chums, but that’s as far as it goes. I don’t accept your right-on anti-homophobe stance; it is totally predictable and as narrow-minded as it gets.

Oh, and one more thing Coates. Since you volunteered a psychological evaluation of my opinions (“phobia”), I will do the same with you: I suggest that much of your homosexuality is tied up with your absent father, a subject you once wrote about. I suspect that this is true for a large percentage of homosexuals, and maybe we need a name for it to counter the ‘spin’ of homosexual propaganda.
Rant? No, actually: just an alternative viewpoint to yours.

God you really are a idiot, aren’t you. I’m quite prepared to accept the possibility that my sexuality was the result of my relationship or lack-of with my father. I don’t think it’s true, to be honest, but I don’t mind you suggesting it. If you were saying that it was something that could be cured and that turning out as gay meant was something to be ashamed of or something, then I’d protest, but I’m quite happy to think about any and all forms of causality – whether they flatter the egos of gay people or straight people or whatever. I don’t think it really matters how people become gay, whether it’s genetic or environmental or whatever. I think the important thing is that being gay doesn’t hurt anyone, that gay people view it as core to their sense of self and that they don’t feel any less fixity in their sexuality than straight people do. Given all this, they should be allowed to live their lives and talk about it as freely as straight people and should feel no compulsion to apologise for it.
I’m going to say again though, that it’s incredibly cowardly of you to come on here and drone on about all this stuff without being prepared to stand up and use your real name. If you believe the stuff you’re saying, you should be prepared to stand up and be counted. Hiding behind a pseudonym is frankly pathetic beyond reason.

Ah, moving down to the level of abuse. Well, you go ahead; I’ll decline.
The implication is, that the term “homophobia” has a high degree of spin, that it’s part of homosexual propaganda. I think its very likely that absent father syndrome is a widespread factor of homosexuality, and it does indeed raise questions about faulty psycho-sexual wiring. So protest – but don’t pass it off as righteous and accurate superiority – be honest, and just say thats what you like to think. Damn it, I will move down and join you: you are smug and self righteous Coates, expressing personal agendas that you present as some kind of general fact, like you are some kind of Renaissance artisan-man. Thus on this point, there are plenty of psychologists who understand that homosexuality is attributed to damaging circumstances, some of whom offer to “help them have normal lives”, for which some homosexuals are presumably grateful. I’ve known people like that – who did not like their condition but felt they had to live with it. “Protest” all you like Coates. You’re not the God of the internet. None of these points have anything to do with freedom of expression or politics – the personal agendas that blinker your outlook.
I’ve already answered your camp little objection that I’m a coward. I’ll also add that its ridiculously pedantic and groundless, when there are many posts every day that may or may not fully reveal a personal identity; that your own site has posts like that – and so what? Shall I say “I am Peter?” What does that achieve? Nothing, actually. I’m not one of your media chums with a media blog that you could spit at from your high profile site. But I have seen you do that to people. You have already stated that you have my IP address and “I am not as anonymous as I think”. Absolutely correct. I am not anonymous: you could track me down if you wished – so do it, the way you threatened, or stop whinging about a matter of no consequence. I like ‘yeahright’: it carries neither more nor less value than ‘Peter’, ‘Stuey2000’, or anything else. Your self righteous morality is what is pathetic. And to return to what I said before – some of the things you presumably do with your little boy-chums are wierd and repellent. It’s a free society Coates – that’s not a phobia, its a personal viewpoint.

(1) Some psychologists may believe that gay people are damaged or broken or suffer from a psychological disorder. Orthodox medical opinion does not say that – the BMA does not consider homosexuality a disorder. I’ll accept they could be wrong.
(2) Some gay people definitely wish to be straight. Some of those may view their sexuality as a disorder and attempt to cure it. And while I do not personally believe it to be possible, some may believe in all good faith that they have cured themselves or been cured of their homosexuality. They may be right. The balance of probability suggests to me that they are not – medical opinion suggests at the moment that they are not – but they may be correct.
(3) But this doesn’t really matter very much to be honest. Because if – as you say – gay people are psychologically damaged by absent fathers, then the only people who can cause homosexuality in other people are straight couples – when they break up. Therefore it’s not in any way contagious and cannot be spread. And given that most of the people who are gay feel it to be core to their personalities and would not change to be straight, and can have no influence in terms of sexuality on straight people, then they’re hardly a threat to anyone.
So I say again, given that the vast majority of gay people view their sexuality as fixed (and medical opinion tends to agree), given that most gay people do not believe that there is anything wrong with their sexuality and, given that it doesn’t hurt anyone else, then there can be absolutely no reason for any even vaguely free society to condemn gay people or stop them leading their lives as they see fit. The only possible reason for freaking out about gay people is that you don’t like how it looks or sounds or that it creeps you out or whatever, which realistically is your problem. If you find what I do with other men weird, then – well – I find people who line-dance weird. If you find what I do with other men repellent, then – well – I find pickled eggs repellent. All I can say is, maybe you should just get over it.
With regards to homophobia or whatever, well I’ll take that back. I don’t know whether or not your personal distaste for gay people derives from your own repressed homosexuality or your shame at what i consider perfectly untroubling sensations of attraction to people of the same sex (cf. pretty good definition of homophobia). So I’ll stick with saying that given (1) your description of my retorts as ‘camp’, (2) your description of anyone I might have had a relationship with as a ‘boy-chum’ and (2) your conviction that gay people are psychologically damaged (despite medical opinion rather strongly disagreeing with you), that you’re just a wilful bigot.
You should really read your employer’s policies on discrimination against gay men by the way. It’s good, and reasonable, humane and intelligent stuff.
Anyway, that’s enough, I’m closing comments on this post now.

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