Jon Milwards Blog: ‘Dirty Words’ and ‘Life of a Call Girl’

Jon Millward's Blog - Call Girl 'Survey'

In October 2010 Jon Millward (journalist/writer/social commentator) carried out a textual analysis of over a million words used, in field reports, to descibe escorts by the men who had paid for them.  He looked at the frequency of descriptive words and plotted them on a scale.

” My intention was to find out something about the mind of the average punter by pouring over the words he unconsciously chose to use in his recounting of paid-for sexual experiences.”

There were some interesting findings such as: words like ‘slim’ ‘nice’ and ‘blonde’ were most poplular for describing girls and Milward also found the descriptions to be  “amazingly detailed, often bizarre, never degrading, and—at times—surprisingly funny” He went on to make an ‘infographic’ to place the results.

Dec 2011 – Life of a Call Girl: Fantasy Vs Reality (Survey of Escorts)

In December 2011 Milward followed up the ‘Dirty Words’ survey with  ‘Life of a Call Girl’ where he attempting to find out a bit more about the escorts’ thoughts and expereiences. He compiled a database of more than 700 ‘call-girls’ and sent them an email inviting them to participate in a survey. 300 read the mail and of these 30 women responded to a survey he had designed. The survey of 40+ questions about their experiences, history and ‘vital statistics’. He describes how he decided on the questions

“I spent a long time putting together the survey’s questions. I wanted to make sure I didn’t guide the respondents into answering in ways that might be pre-empted by my expectations or prejudices. To get around this, lots of totally open-ended questions were included. Others were multiple choice, but I think the most important ones provided a blank slate for the women’s answers.”

In true journalistic fashion Mr Millward was looking for controversy but found none. He thought perhaps the average age for first time sex  would be young but the results showed 16.5 years which is only 6 months below the national average for women. He says:

 “A negligible difference. That became the running theme when I continued to sort through the responses. Where I expected to find controversy, there was none (29 of the 30 women entered into the job by choice), and where I anticipated a mundane answer I got shocked practically into silence (just wait until you see the list of ‘most bizarre sex acts requested’).”

I wonder how a survey of 30 women with good advertising, computers and time can actually say anything meaningful about the whole escort experience, but it is fascinating nonetheless and i especially like the amusing extracts/comments.

There are a series of interesting infographics to describe his results.

This entry was posted in Research Methodologies, The Fallen Woman and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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