Suspension of Disbelief

“Incompetent amateurs have given prostitution a bad name”

Camille Paglia

I first came across the term “Suspension of Disbelief” in the movie “Basic Instinct” with Sharon Stone and Michael Douglas by Dutch director Paul Verhoeven. According to Wikipedia, it was coined by the poet and aesthetic philosopher Samuel Taylor Coleridge, who suggested that if a writer could infuse a “human interest and a semblance of truth” into a fantastic tale, the person who reads it would suspend their judgement with regards to the implausibility of the narrative.

As a young man, I was fascinated by the movie because of Sharon Stone starring as femme fatale. I even admit that I went to see the picture twice in a row. Who doesn’t remember the mythic moment during the interrogation at the police station, where she crosses her legs to reveal she has no underwear? She has been dining on that scene ever since. Less well known is the rumour that Sharon used to be a high-class prostitute. Commanding 1000 $ per hour. Michael Douglas allegedly discovered her when she paid him a visit as an escort if some American sites are to be believed.

Online, you can also read how the set of Basic Instinct was turned into a brothel for the day. Since we know that you would never sink so low as to read gossip, I sacrificed myself quite happily, dear reader. Mike decided that the non-orgasmic Sharon needed to get the hang of it. The infamous sex scene was apparently for real. Afterwards, Michael invited the producer and director to join in on the fun. Sharon allegedly was very fond of the bondage scene which ensued. She was screwed by Mike for half an hour whilst the two men held her down. Reportedly never had sex like that in her life and couldn´t get enough of it. Six orgasms that day and paid an extra 10.000 $ for that little encounter. Se non è vero, è ben trovato…

But let’s get back to the subject of this article, being the suspension of disbelief. For me a good session is when I forget I paid for it and believe the escort also enjoys it or at least has such good acting skills that I believe she is into it. You could compare it to a trancelike state where daily worries and social demands fade away. Do I fool myself? Is it a fantasy? Probably from time to time but on the other hand when you visit a theatre and get carried away by the spectacle, it is also an illusion…

Or do you prefer apathetic and cold professionals? On the rare occasion where I had a bad experience, that was the reason. Those amateurs give prostitution a bad name!