Where am I? Who are you? Why are we here?

Hi! My name is Brooke Magnanti, although if you are over a certain age you may know me better as the former call girl and writer Belle de Jour.

In case you don't know me, here's a quick catch-up. In the early 2000s I was one of the first diary bloggers in the UK, and wrote anonymously about my time as a sex worker during the final year of my PhD. The blog later became a book, which became a television series called Secret Diary Of A Call Girl. I remained anonymous for six years before being outed at the end of 2009. After that I spent a few years going back and forth between work as a scientist, as a novelist, and as a newspaper columnist.

At the end of 2016, I moved back from the UK to the US with my husband. Since then, I have mostly retired from writing and entirely retired from science. This newsletter is a bit about me but also about the experience of being back in America after an absence of 20 years. So much about the way Americans live and work has changed in that time. I also wanted to return to the freedom of blogging where I could say what I wanted instead of having themes and deadlines set by editors with more of an eye on the bottom line than on the quality of content.

And yeah, I work as a cleaner now (among other things). Point a finger and laugh if you want. It’s an honest living.

Why subscribe?

Free subscriptions get access to unlocked posts, in the first week they are posted. Paid subscribers get full access to all archived posts and website. Never miss an update, comment on all stories, peruse the archive, and more.

If you sign up to the free email list, you can expect one or two articles a month. Paid subscriptions can expect three or four.

Stay up-to-date

By subscribing, you won’t have to worry about missing anything. Every new edition of the newsletter goes directly to your inbox.


How much does full subscription cost?

The full membership is $5 per month, or $50 per year. That’s 0.4 Amazons Prime, or about 0.7 Disneys Plus. And I promise never to inflict George of the Jungle 2 on you.

What do I get when I subscribe?

In addition to the free posts every month, there are special one-off posts that are only for subscribers. Plus other perks to come. I have no idea what those are yet, so this is a learning experience for us all I guess.

Can I forward the emails?

When it comes to the free posts, spread them as far and as wide as you like, on whichever platform you prefer. Twitter. Facebook. Spray paint them on the walls. Or hoard them for yourself, fill your boots!

To find out more about the company that provides the tech for this newsletter, visit Substack.com.