girlfriend-experience-posterI’ve been following Laura Bramon Good’s writing since she spent some time at SPU as the year’s Milton Fellow, leading the Milton Center writers’ group. She’s an excellent writer with a big heart, and I love her contributions to the Good Letters blog at Image.

This week, she’s written on the new Soderbergh film, The Girlfriend Experience. Here’s an excerpt:

I’ve seen The Girlfriend Experience twice: once, under the guise of professional development for my anti-human trafficking day-job, and again, because I was eager to show Ben something that I thought had real worth in the larger conversation about the economy of sex.

Walking out of the dark theater—Ben in his hospital scrubs, me, giddy and talkative and tripping over an armload of dry-cleaning—his reaction was similar to the one he had had that evening by the highway in Wyoming. This time, though, his voice was less incredulous and more sober.

“I don’t understand,” he said, “why you like it so much.”

We walked silently down the brightly carpeted hallway of the theater. I waited for him to say something more. I started prattling about beauty and truth; I may have quoted Keats’ “Ode on a Grecian Urn.” I could not stop myself.

“The last scene,” I said, “I love it. It completely dramatizes the link between pornography and prostitution.”

“It’s about a lonely guy who wants to have sex.”

“But they don’t actually have sex.”

“But he pays her to do what he wants her to do.”

By the time we made it to the sidewalk, we were pitching for a quarrel.

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