Louis Theroux’s New BBC Documentary Will Look At Prostitution In The Social Media Age

Joshua RogersJoshua Rogers in Entertainment, TV
Published 08.08.19

They ain’t no stoppin’ Mr. Theroux.

I recently watched his return to the Westboro Baptist Church – the infamous and highly controversial Christian ministry (cult) that has picketed at military funerals and other high-profile events with deliberately provocative and homophobic placards.


Although their actions are inexcusable, I couldn’t help but feel sorry for some of their brainwashed members, especially the mother who was losing her children one by one as they came to their senses and left the church.

But now Louis will be returning to the UK for his next project as he meets women that are legally selling sexual services, either to make a living or to supplement their income.

Called Louis Theroux: Selling Sex, the BBC are saying it’s “challenging and complex film about the modern face of one of the oldest taboos,” which will see Louis meet three individual women with different paths that lead them to sex work.


However, rather than sell their services on the streets or in illegal brothels, these women sell sex from their own home or hotels, utilising technology to share photos, make bookings and vet potential clients – making the exchange more accessible and, according to some, safer than the illegal alternatives.

“The exchange of sex for money is legal in Britain, so long as it doesn’t involve coercion, exploitation, or any kind of public nuisance. Now, fuelled by websites and social media, a new economy has emerged – bringing a world of transactional sex to people who might have never previously considered it,” reads a press release.

Louis calls the subject of selling sex one full of “ethical wrinkles – issues that are deeply felt, but are also divisive.”

“I’m always drawn to stories that involve ethical wrinkles, issues that are deeply felt, but are also divisive, and in which good-hearted people can come to opposite conclusions,” Louis said in a statement.

He adds: “[Sex] is one of the most straightforward, yet complex interactions that can take place between two people. On the one hand, none of the activities taking place here are illegal; everything is above board and both parties have mutually agreed on the arrangement. On the other, it’s impossible to deny that for many – maybe most – people, there is something unsavoury in the idea of accepting money for an act that is so intimate.”


Louis continues: “Once we started looking we discovered that the sexual economy seems to have been turbo-charged by the prevalence of new websites and social media that allow users to meet up more easily, to write reviews of each other, and swap information.”

“What we ended up with was a very intimate look at three very individual women and the different paths that led them to this field of work. I found it revealing and thought-provoking to make – I hope viewers have the same experience.

“Mainly, I’d like to thank the women who so openly and honestly let me in to their lives and helped broaden my understanding of their lives and experiences.”

It sounds fascinating, but then again I’d watch Louis go out for a pint of milk.


Love the guy.

Louis Theroux: Selling Sex will air on BBC Two sometime in the near future. Will bring you a premiere date when we get the info.

Images via BBC