a discussion about selling sex
Emma gives some great thoughts on what sex for sale means in human society, over at The Arbourist. For me, the comment is excellent: she makes great points that should be pondered by everyone. The Arbourist shut down conversation on the topic, so I especially wanted to republish it to give people the opportunity to openly discuss their experiences and opinions on this important issue.
I tried to reblog the post but my button didn’t work, so it’s a copy and paste job.
There is very little in terms of a meaningful convo on this subject with people who insist that having sex is like going to a restaurant.
It’s not just a different outlook on life, it is a different universe altogether, made impenetrable by either a complete absence of conscience (or even “simple” imagination) or its willful (?) shut down . Been there, done that, got tired of debating the gloriousity of “sex work.”
But I have yet to meet a girl who dreams of becoming a masturbatory receptacle, a sexual outlet/toilet, for men. Doing “sex work” one day is not something little girls aspire to. When I grow up, I want to make a life for myself by being penetrated in every possible way, often violently, by multiple strange men — many of them disordered and deranged, and unable to find a woman to form a relationship with for obvious reasons — who, after ejaculating into me, will care about me as much as about used tissue –
said no little girl ever.
Just like there are no girls who dream of becoming an object to be used and abused (sexually and not), there is no parent who would encourage and champion that kind of “career” for their child(ren). And that includes the johns, pimps, and “sex workers” themselves. I don’t know of a “sex worker,” even a “high class escort” or a “happy hooker,” who would encourage her children to pursue this line of “work.”
Check out this report, “Welcome to Paradise,” about German legal brothels:http://s.telegraph.co.uk/graphics/projects/welcome-to-paradise/
Here’s the end paragraph:
[The brothel] Paradise’s [owner] Jürgen Rudloff appeared in a documentary, “Sex – Made in Germany”, which aired on the German public broadcaster ARD last summer. In one scene he’s sitting in his spacious kitchen dressed in an open-necked white shirt and linen jacket, surrounded by his four shiny-haired, privately-educated children.
Would he be happy for either of his two daughters to work at Paradise, the interviewer asks. Rudloff turns puce. “Unthinkable, unthinkable,” he says. “The question alone is brutal. I don’t mean to offend the prostitutes but I try to raise my children so that they have professional opportunities. Most prostitutes don’t have those options. That’s why they’re doing that job.”
He pauses and looks away.
“Unimaginable”, he repeats. “I don’t even want to think about it.”
That from a man who knows this “business” as few others do; he runs it, after all.
He does not even want to think about this option for his daughters, but he has no qualms “encouraging” unrelated women to join his “business.” Like so many johns and pimps and sex “business” owners, he’d do his very best to prevent his daughters from going into this line of “work,” but it does not stop him from exploiting other, powerless young women.
This peculiar mental split is depressingly common, and one dark aspect of male sexuality that nearly all men are in denial about and unwilling to explore, ever. Any attempts to have them try to even acknowledge and look at it are usually met with violent and/or hysterical reactions, accusing the questioneer of misandry and similar fairy tales, of demonizing male sexuality and trying to shut it down, etc. And, oh, freedom, wouldn’t you know. It’s as predictable as clockwork.
One thing that’s certain about human beings (apart from their endless stupidity) is their bottomless capacity for rationalization. There is no behavior, no matter how depraved and evil, that cannot be rationalized away by its participants and/or perpetrators.
I don’t have time at the moment to rehash my censored response over at Arb’s blog, but stigma of the profession definitely doesn’t help matters, and of course little girls wouldn’t be interested in it as interest in sexuality doesn’t tend to show up until puberty. At that point, I’m sure there are some who are quite interested in exploring sexuality-related occupations.
To provide additional perspective on my views, here is blub I wrote in an email exchange (obviously not with Arb) stemming from the conversation:
I see no issue with a service being provided for which there is a demand and where no one is being victimized. It is when people are being victimized that there is a problem. When there are people being victimized, that doesn’t mean the whole occupation is the problem – it means the situations where people are being victimized need to be improved.
I believe the same about when men are being paid to be objects of labour. If there is a line of work where men are being hurt or killed, that doesn’t mean that line of work should be shut down, it means improvements need to be made to the situations where the harm is being caused.
It almost seems like you didn’t read Emma’s comment. I have no moral objection to people selling their bodies to do any kind of work they choose to do. But my detached view has to end right there. You’ve seen all the statistics on the harm that prostitution as an industry brings to millions to women, even when it’s decriminalised, and you still think it can be viewed as a perfectly reasonable occupation. I don’t get it. Do you have kids? Maybe you have to imagine it as a ‘career’ for someone you really love before you can truly acknowledge that these are real people, and it’s never a happy or pleasant choice to sell an intimate part of your body for someone else’s sexual satisfaction. Would you be happy to sell your anus or your mouth to randy gay men who couldn’t find willing partners without paying?
I don’t think simply decriminalizing is enough. I think it is an important step in reducing the organized crime element and bringing better opportunity for those in the business to get out of it, but there should be standards put in place to improve the safety and conditions of the work environment, much as there is with other potentially dangerous occupations.
I don’t have kids, and without the line of work having appropriate safety standards I would not be so fond of it as an option if I did. If there were good safety standards in place, that’s another story. Even better if it is incorporated as a way to help people improve their sexual and emotional health.
How can you be so sure that it’s never a happy or pleasant choice? I can recall a conversation I had once of a girl that enjoyed giving guys sexual satisfaction … for free. If she enjoyed it then, just imagine how much more she would enjoy it to be paid to do it.
I’m not so sure how safe anal sex really is as that’s not exactly the appropriate use for that body part, and I’m not really into oral sex to begin with, but if there were guarantees that they could be done in a safe environment and the financial compensation was appropriate – why not!
Another thing, if sexual services were available in varying degrees between none and full intercourse, then I suspect that could significantly reduce desire for full intercourse. Therapeutic rub n tugs? Heck, I think the Chinese have even made a machine to help guys with their sexual frustration. Start incorporating some of these measures and I bet prostitution would show a decline.
Interesting thoughts Jason. None of it changes the fact that given the current situation for most women selling sex, men who see it as a simple transaction are either ridiculously ignorant or simply don’t care. Nothing in our speculation about what the future could hold for any kind of oppression-free sex industry changes the fact that it is a damaging and oppressive practice that illustrates the worst kind of power imbalance that still exists between women and men. I can see why people are afraid of making it legal, regardless of the protection that could provide, because it essentially sends a signal that society supports women being so desperate that the only way they have to make money is to allow random men to have sex on them. And that’s the reality. Not harmless ‘therapy’.
Power imbalance? Depending on supply and demand, the balance of power can lean either toward the provider of services or to the client.
Due to the personal nature of the service though, it is especially problematic when the balance is tipped to the benefit of the client.
If you read the “Letters from Johns” link I posted earlier, you might find that it is the Johns that are desiring something more while the sex workers are the ones treating it as a simple transaction.
Simple transaction, eh? Have you considered what it does to their mental health? Considered they have ‘switched off’? What about a bit of posttraumatic stress disorder?
“Dissociation occurs during extreme stress among prisoners of war who are tortured, among children who are sexually assaulted, and among women who are battered, raped, or prostituted. Dissociation, depression, and other mood disorders are common among prostituted women in street, escort, and strip club prostitution. Dissociation in prostitution results from both childhood sexual violence and sexual violence in adult prostitution. At the same time, dissociation is a job requirement for surviving prostitution.”
It sounds like that quote is talking about when women are forced into it. That would be traumatizing for sure to not be doing it by your own decision
“This peculiar mental split is depressingly common, and one dark aspect of male sexuality that nearly all men are in denial about and unwilling to explore, ever.”
Not necessarily true, Violet. There are men who speak of what it is like to be addicted to porn, to be compelled to seek out sex that must be paid for. While our culture likes to put the emphasis on how women are victimized, and they are, we don’t focus much on what it must be like for men, desperately seeking something, but having no understanding of what that even is. While I can empathize with what it is like to feel as if you have no choice but to engage in sex work, what must it be like to be a man whose only hope for something resembling human contact is paid sex?
There is enough injustice and brokenness here to go around. Something women rarely face, young, old, attractive or not, is a lack of male attention. In fact, listen to us complain, it is the very fact that we are recipients of so much male attention that often creates outrage. Seldom do women ever seek out paid sex or any form of human contact, because we are often inundated with it from day one. As unpleasant as that can sometimes be, I think it must also be somewhat grievous to face nothing but constant rejection, to be rendered invisible.
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What about a massage? Lots of sensuous human contact and attention, but no ejaculation.
And- is it that men could not get sex any other way, or is it that they don’t want to give anything other than money for it- a reciprocal relationship would demand too much from them.
I have a few friends who have never met that special someone they expected in life. They are female, and as far as I know it hasn’t crossed their minds that life owed them a man, or that they should buy sex from often drug-addicted men trying to escape poverty, or men who had experienced abuse as children, or indeed most of whom had entered the ‘profession’ of selling sex as teenagers. It wouldn’t. However, men buying sex all seem to happily overlook these facts. Why is that? Because they are conditioned from youth into thinking that women are objects to have sex on – if you can’t get one ‘naturally’, it’s fine to buy one. You really don’t think that’s foul? I feel sorry for men in that position too, but I want them to understand it, I don’t want to feel justified in their harmful thinking and actions – I want them to confront it and actively change these base assumptions that neglect reality.
In regards to women not seeing out prostitution vs men seeking it out, I wonder how much the physiological difference between men and women comes into play. The male body produces ejaculate constantly – the urge to get that stuff out to make room for more seems to make for a much stronger sex drive than what women have to deal with.
Upon a quick internet search, this article on WebMD goes into it and seems to strongly agree:
So do you think women with higher sex drives would overlook the dire situations of men selling sex just to get an orgasm? I think it’s more than that. There must be something about societal expectation in there – a willingness to reduce a person to a receptacle for your pleasure, regardless of their personal circumstances.
Oh probably, if it wasn’t already so easy to find guys to take care of that for free.
So we’re concluding this comes down to standards? Men will have sex with any woman, just to feel sexually satisfied, whereas women are more selective. That’s fine. It still doesn’t excuse what you are so artfully ignoring – most sex workers are there because they are drug addicts, they were abused or they simply have no other way of earning a living – it’s hardly ever a choice. It’s desperation and a last resort, which is why it sickens me that so many men are willing to exploit that for their own selfish gratification. And it’s sickening that you continue to try and make it sound ‘nice’ in spite of the fact you know this. This is the heart of the battle we face trying to change attitudes in society towards selling sex – lack of choice on the part of the women, and lack of respect or empathy on the part of the men. In the past we might have concentrated on the typically sexist exclamation “what kind of woman would do that??”. The tables are turning. We now know it’s more appropriate to ask “what kind of man would do that??”
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More like women have more available selection while men are more prone to sexual desperation due to lack of available partners.
We definitely should be looking at why people on both sides of the transactions get involved in the world of prostitution.
Essentially, we should be looking at ways to naturally decrease demand and bring a safer environment to those who supply while connecting the people involved with opportunity to get out of any destructive cycle they may be in.
As for sex workers being mostly drug addicts and abused children, apparently it is trending away from that being the case as it once was.
But I do agree that it is sickening when people in vulnerable positions are exploited like that.
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“Because they are conditioned from youth into thinking that women are objects to have sex on..”
Or perhaps there’s thing called biology and perhaps a need to seek out females has been hard wired into them? What is nature versus nurture or perhaps a lack of nurture? Regardless, I cannot perceive men as “foul,” not even when their behavior sometimes is.
Indeed. Most of us must be hardwired to find a mate, and it’s going to be difficult to separate how much of that longing is influenced by society. I think respect is a big problem here though.
This post does the ultimate injustice to women.
It casts men as the all-powerful, devilish villain and the woman as the saintly, powerless victim.
The Bible does this exact parody in the Adam and Eve story.
But supporting and perpetuating a demented parody of women is what feminism has always been about.
The Bible does this exact parody in the Adam and Eve story.
If you don’t believe this part of the bible, SOM, at what point, may I ask, do you begin to believe the stories?
I do believe the Bible.
In the Adam and Eve story, Satan goes after the woman and debases her.
Adam debases himself by just standing there with his pants down around his ankles and his short little dong swinging limply in the wind.
In the feminist narrative, man (Adam) gets assigned the role of the EEEEEvil One.
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I actually get your point SOM. All men aren’t horrible, certainly. But we can look at trends and suggest places where change could usefully be made to benefit everyone.
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First, this latest post of yours is just tremendous! I enjoy the no end the multipronged conversations that get started.
Second, I wanted to ask you about a woman’s right to choose.
If the woman’s right to choose is indeed a right, that means there can be no moral down side to it.
How then can we see the ravages that so-called right to choose and then set about cleaning up the mess?
Don’t we simply just have to live with it like we do freedom of speech?
I’m not sure what you mean here SOM.
Prostitution brings up some interesting perplexities to ponder. On the one hand, why should we make it illegal and/or look down upon a business transaction by willing participants that involves an act done every day by millions?
On the other lies the desperation, exploitation and victimization that underlies the motivations from both parties. “Johns” will say it’s just physical and means nothing more than satisfying a need, which as IB points out is really a sad situation of not having the intimacy of human contact/connectedness available anywhere else. For the women, even the ones who feel “empowered” as prostitutes, there is a world of emptiness inside keeping them enslaved to this mentality.
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But I wonder though…
…In a world where the genocide of the unborn is justified by renaming it, “a woman’s right to choose;”
and pornography is a constitutional right protected by the first amendment…
…What could possibly be immoral about a woman selling the use of her vagina and other body parts to men, for coin?
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Good point as well Silence. Does a society that’s lost its understanding of the value of individual life have the moral upper hand arguing against prostitution? I don’t just don’t know.
It’s not immoral as such to sell your body. The problem arises solely in the harm caused by a culture that encourages it as fine – when clearly many are forced into it and are victims of violence because of it.
I think it’s immoral to sell your body, even if you’re doing so willingly.
Some good points Tricia. The reality for most people selling sex is really grim, and it’s an industry that creates, or at least perpetuates harmful attitudes towards how we view and treat other human beings – in a way we would never wish for a loved one. It undermines the Golden Rule. Unless we can all agree that in circumstances of choice we would sell our bodies to strangers and face a high risk of violence in doing so …
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The Swedish Model, anyone?
Their official position…
”Prostitution is considered to cause serious harm both to individuals and to society as a whole. Large-scale crime, including human trafficking for sexual purposes, assault, procuring and drug-dealing, is also commonly associated with prostitution. (…)The vast majority of those in prostitution also have very difficult social circumstances.”
Seems fairly straightforward to me.
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Abortion, the genocide of the unborn, results in the buying and selling of butchered baby body parts for simple profit.
And you see absolutely nothing wrong with that.
So if abortion is “a woman’s right to choose,” why isn’t selling her vagina so men can use it for awhile, also her right to choose.
And since when are the Swedes the arbiters of female morality?
Shouldn’t women be the judge of what they can do with themselves?
Based on the findings – and overall success – of the Swedish Model, it seems apparent that while some might see this as infringement of rights the evidence would suggest otherwise and it has resulted in a positive cultural shift.
Yes, there are probably are a minority of women and men who might actively pursue a career in prostitution. However, by and large the industry is mostly exploitation.
Also, ”knowing” you, your comment is not so much defending the rights of ( mainly) women to be prostitutes ( which I sincerely doubt) as the agenda you always carry in your back pocket.
Would I be correct in this?
If you want to open/carry on a discussion on abortion write a post on your blog and I will gladly engage you on it. Can’t be fairer than this, right?
As usual, the atheist states a personal opinion as if it were the Gospel truth.
Based on your opinion, the Swedish Model is an “overall success.”
Further, if that were so, than abortion would have to be eliminated along with gay marriage and other myths like global warming.
You are trying (all be it unsuccessfully) to use the same reasoning to limit a woman’s right to use her body as she so chooses, as the Evangelical.
Why is that type of reasoning good when you use it, but bad when an Evangelical uses it?
No, based on the results – ie that prostitution is an entrenched cultural more that by and large has depicted women in a negative subservient role.
Also, the objective was to curtail human trafficking and related criminal activities which the Swedish Model has taken great strides in doing. Hence it has been adopted by several other countries as well.
And based on the responses from citizens only 7% of women stated the law should be repealed.
That sounds as if the Law is working,and producing positive results, don’t you?
Like U already said, if you want to write a post on the other issues you have in mind , go for it, and I will be more than happy to
tear it to shredsengage you on your blog
A woman’s right to choose is a RIGHT.
That means that neither you nor the Swedes get to tell women what they can and cannot do with their own bodies.
If women want to sell the use of their body parts to men, that is their right.
And that is the exact same argument you make for justifying pre-natal genocide (abortion).
Well, if you read further down, you will notice that Jason gave me a heads-up to a link that offered a different perspective. Seems things aren’t always Black and White?
I wholeheartedly agree with you that it is the inalienable RIGHT of the individual. My point, though I may have been a bit muddled with it, is this:
Do women become prostitutes because they truly want this as a career choice or are they somehow steered toward it because of circumstances and if other options were available would they choose an alternative or still go with prostitution?
What do you think they would do?
Success is in the eye of the beholder is therefore 100% personal opinion.
Western ethics states that it is unethical to achieve a good end through evil means.
And since traditional Western ethics hold that prostitution, abortion and pornography are all immoral, they cannot be condoned in any way shape or form, regardless of anyone’s personal opinion or “method” or supposedly good outcome.
That is way “a woman’s right to choose” is completely bogus and completely immoral.
*See my latest reply.
My point in this type of discussion (objective morality vs the “right” to choose) is that the “right” to choose is not a right at all.
Any choice must be determined on the morality (goodness or evilness) of the choice.
You demonstrated that a woman’s right to choose is not moral if the results of her choice (prostitution in this case) are lead to immoral results.
Prostitution is immoral because it violates the dignity of the human person.
Selling one’s self so that others may use it violates the dignity of the human person.
That is the definition of injustice.
Since law is about justice, prostitution must be against the law.
I am not arguing morality other than it would be unethical to coerce a woman into prostitution.
But, from my perspective, which is only an opinion,I would tend to agree that, on the face of it, it does seem to violate dignity.
Although I am sure those who claim they entered the profession willingly and without any sense of coercion would probably disagree with this.
So, do you believe women are generally steered toward prostitution because of circumstances?
A presentation to the Scottish parliament on the Nordic model (pdf): http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/S4_JusticeCommittee/Inquiries/HTE13Academics.pdf
If that is too long: http://theconversation.com/heres-why-the-uk-should-make-it-illegal-to-pay-for-sex-54500
Oh, I hope I get the chance to check that out, looks interesting. By the way, are you following that Storyteller? Her last post was a really good read – interesting story and thoughts, I really enjoyed it.
The Scottish Parliament has decided prostitution is violence against women. There is the summary. I agree.
As for Storyending: I stopped a dick mid-swing, but unless it is cut off completely, it will live to swing another day, knocking down all women in its path. Wow. I would love to read his account of the evening.
Wasn’t it interesting? And she can’t confront that kind of thing without alcohol and she spends most of the evening wanting to kill him?? Wow. It was like a great novel. My new favourite blogger. 😀
I find it terrifying. That is not how I relate to people. I have hated people, rarely or never despised them, and would not go out for a drink in those circumstances. Did he have an inkling that she writes about him as DB?
Is the Swedish model successful though? Could it have maybe pushed prostitution more underground so it is more difficult to count accurately?
Interesting, Jason. Thanks for the link.
Always two sides to the story, yes? And if Christians are involved around 40,000. 😉
While I have no really strong feelings about what anyone does with their body once they are of legal age, the idea that any woman would willingly and enthusiastically choose prostitution as a career choice seems completely out the park to me.
Would you suggest the majority of prostitutes enter the profession as a “first choice career” or end up in it because of negative circumstances?
I’m going to read more on this Nordic model. Clare’s for it as well. I can’t get my head round how criminalising any aspect of the sales part can help women out of it, or make it safer.
My understanding may be narrow but on the face of it it seems like an attempt to make the best of a bad situation by shifting ”blame” to the buyer (largely men)
Although from the link Jason provided, how effective this has been seems questionable.
And the other question of related crimes inc. human trafficking I don’t think has been addressed. Or maybe I missed it?
All said and done, I still cannot get my head around anyone truly wanting to be a Prostitute.
And somehow I very much doubt the idea of a Pimp and a bevy of scantily clad Prostitutes pitching up on Careers Day at high school is likely to catch on any time soon.
But maybe I’m wrong on this too?
How many people in the general population choose the job they do willingly and enthusiastically? I’m not so sure that’s the best of arguments against prostitution.
Due to the underground and unlawful nature of the business, there are definitely many who are unwillingly sucked in to the business. That’s why I advocate for legalization and control. Prostitution needs to be taken out of the hands of organized crime and brought into more public control where there can be more safeties put in place. I can’t imagine it to be a line of work that will become obsolete any time soon, so trying to eradicate it seems foolish to me – much like America’s failed war on drugs.
Also, sex-related work can be quite lucrative. Here in Canada many years ago there was a crackdown on bringing foreign workers into the country to work at strip clubs. The result? An opportunity was opened for university students to make some extra money working at the strip clubs. If the money is there, people will be open to doing the work.
In South Korea on the other hand, where there is not much of a social safety net for the elderly and women were typically housewives, there has been a problem with older women prostituting themselves in order to survive. It’s a really sad situation as they are acting out of desperation and basically are doing the work for pocket change. It is against the law there too.
It’s definitely a complex issue.
I have no stats, Jason but how is it in countries where it is legalized?
And specifically, do woman suffer similar abuse via pimps and Johns etc or is the industry now relatively safe and viewed as simply a job?
Not long ago I was shown a map of Europe showing sexual assault/rape cases and I dug up one showing which countries have legalized prostitution and I didn’t see any clear pattern.
As for safety in the industry, I can’t recall seeing any info on that. I would be curious to see which countries have legalized it and begun work on establishing employment standards to promote safety of workers, as simply legalizing it surely would not be enough.
Assuming for argument’s sake that in some countries the stats are more favorable do you think under normal conditions were alternatives are available and the social infrastructure (medical, unemployment benefits etc) is at least present, do you believe more women would choose prostitution as a career?
Where the social infrastructure is solid, I think less would choose the career out of desperation, but more would choose it for the improved income that would come with less supply being available to meet the demand.
Both cases are not ideal though, as there should be increased focus on improving the sexual health infrastructure, which I think would bring a reduction in the demand for full intercourse prostitution.
Serious? You truly believe girls would consider this as a career option once they had left school?
”Hey, Mum. Guess what? We had a career talk today and I have decided I am going to be a Prostitute. Good hours and great pay plus a super medical scheme and I only have to get fucked five times and perform three blow jobs per day.”
”Oh, that’s marvelous dear. ( turning to her husband) What do you think, dear?”
You have always struck me as a reasonably sensible straight up and down sort of bloke, Jason and here you are discussing this as if were discussing a Burger Franchise or Wheel and Tire fitment centre.
I am beginning to feel you are having a wind up with this.
If it is done in a sexual health context aimed at helping people, I think the stigma could be reduced. There is definitely a strong stigma now, but I think that is largely due to troubles of pregnancy, disease and addiction that have had strong connections with the line of work. That’s how morality works – things with negative consequences become seen as bad.
Minimize the negative consequences, and there is the possibility for sex-related work to actually be a positive contribution to society.
I know it’s a tough idea to consider as it’s essentially been indoctrinated into us all that sex-related work is taboo and/or should be looked down upon.
In the way I’m thinking, I think the conversation would be more along the lines of …
”Hey, Mum. Guess what? We had a career talk today and I have decided I am going to be a sexual health practitioner. Good hours and great pay plus a super medical scheme and great equipment and techniques to help people (though mostly men) receive some sexual peace as well as emotional guidance to help prevent them from taking their physiological frustrations and social disconnect out on others.”
Sorry, I don’t buy it. But that’s me.
Oh, and would I be correct in saying that the vast majority of ”johns” are married men, or is this a false assumption?
Did a quick search and came up with this:
men who had been arrested while soliciting prostitutes were only “slightly less likely to be married, slightly more likely to be working full-time, slightly more sexually liberal, and slightly less likely to be White” than men who hadn’t been arrested for buying sex — in other words, pretty similiar to “normal men.”
Though it goes on to say that those buying online are more likely to be wealthy white married guys.
Well, there’s another stereotype out the window!
Perhaps after all it is simply a matter perspective?
Not my cup of tea … but then, neither is Disco music.
Hey Ark, I just started a new comment thread on the posting with a couple of links – Letters from Working Girls and Letters from Johns. Pretty interesting stuff that shows the various perspectives involved.
Like I already said. Sorry. Typo.
Women are drawn to porn and prostitution for money – period, and they’re brutally exploited by men – period. The argument (even by the women themselves) that there is any sort of “choice” in the matter or empowerment is – in my opinion – just ultimate proof of the abuse.
If it wasn’t so sad to think of where this “empowerment” argument came from on the matter of selling sex, it would be utterly ridiculous.
Even the women who say they “chose” their profession and that they call the shots. Really? Explain to me how you got to the position of where you can now call the shots for one, and decide whether you want to stay in the industry or not. How did you “earn” that power? Where did you have to start out? How did you be sure you got noticed? And how did you finally make enough money to be able to have any of those choices available?
I know the path for all women, say in porn, was not perhaps as harsh as it was for most of them, but even still – they still had to put themselves in degrading “scenes” or situations that for anybody will always have an impact on the psyche and take away from someone’s sense of intimacy and their life.
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I don’t know, I don’t begrudge any individual woman’s sense of feeling empowered – who am I to judge that? All I can comment on are the general trends that are clearly visible in the sex industry as a whole – women entering from a young age, often with a background of abuse, often with drug problems, and usually facing violence. And the attitude of men that it’s fine to buy sex in such conditions is worrying.
Respectfully, I’d have to disagree. I think that such a statement of not “begrudging any individual woman’s sense of feeling empowered” is too limited in scope to be pragmatic.
For instance, would you want someone to feel “empowered” to fly when they’re standing on the roof of a highrise looking to jump? That’s effectively what I think happens when we say, “You go girl!” to women in the sex trade – even escorts who do have far more discretion and choice compared to others. What sort of situation or life are we encouraging them into?
My personal belief, then, is that I don’t begrudge anyone’s actual choices where their own life/body is concerned, but I do judge their excuses for those choices, and I haven’t heard a single one that to me justifies that line of work.
And it’s the same on the guy’s side in paying for it, too. Haven’t heard one good reason.
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I just came across an interesting blog!
Letters From Working Girls & Letters From Johns
(there are more sex-related letters sections as well)
Quite interesting and quite varied in the experiences shared, definitely worth a look to really get to the heart of the situation.
This working girl letter in particular stood out to me as one that seems to fit with my views of how the business could be more like:
There are of course plenty of stories with negative slants as well that suit the views others in this conversation tend toward. Well worth a look to see what kind of experiences there are from those who actually have been involved in such transactions.
Since you are so enamoured with prostitution and see it as an attractive career, what are you waiting for? Hit the streets, buddy!
Gonna tell your Mum? 😉
Have you read all his comments? He says he would.
I wonder if he means he’d have sex with men or women. . .
Check out the conversation. I asked if he’d sell his anus or mouth to randy gay men who couldn’t find sex any other way, and he didn’t rule it out.
Hello Violetwisp, I am rather new to your blog, and i see you have a lot , lot of comments on this subject. However I would like to add something I did not see in the other comments. First I agree straight up sexual exploitation of ANYONE is wrong. I wish we lived in a world where our bodies were above others taking their pleasure in them without our consent. I won’t address those who say females do this because they have no other choice than to say shame on you for not doing the best you can to provided that choice.
( I wish I lived in a world where every sexual encounter, every touching and exploring of that area of the body was totally what all involved wanted and no one could ever force it to happen, where if it was consensual it was OK, if not it simply never, never could happen )
However it sadly is just not females who are victims of this and even more so today. Males, especially boys, very young boys are forced into sexual slavery , not given a chance to agree to it or not, they are simply either sold into it, or forced by threats to their life, and then drugged into addictions to simply lay there and give their bodies up. What makes it even worse is there is many who were first done that way by those they lived with, their ” parents” and in an attempt to make their life better or to avoid having to do it ran right out into the same situation only worse. Rather than one or two males raping them now they have to let as many men as their “owners” want have them. It hurts so much to talk about this. There are children who are given as sex toys by their guardians, parents, those who control their life , for such things as money, to settle drug or gambling debts… so much more. I wish none of this was true, but it is. I was an abused child and my body was used by adults as made them happy. I just wanted all your readers / viewers to understand it is not just girls… it is boys, it is young.. so very young,.. it is teens… it becomes older ones who feel trapped and have no way out, nothing else to offer.
Schooling, education, counseling, so much else could help cut this down and empowering kids to say no, I wont lay here and let you do that to me.. that would mean so much. Got to go, this is hard for me. Thanks for addressing it, it is something most wont even talk about or acknowledge exists. It hurts, it hurts every day. Hugs
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Hi Scottie, thanks for commenting. So sorry to hear that happened to you. It’s a good point to bring up, as you’re right that we tend to concentrate on how this affects women. But this attitude to sex being something that can be bought and and sold, even traded on behalf of someone else, opens everyone up to exploitation. And at its most shocking and harmful in the lives of children.
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Thank you. I was grateful for your post. Your post may change things for those that do not understand what is really happening. Be well and hugs.
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I think your post is great in that if it saves one person, changes one mind, keeps one kid from .. … then thank you very much. Be well and hugs
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That is awful, Scottie. Just horrendous.
Those who abuse the defenseless are the lowest of the low.
I’m glad you spoke up. Keeping those secrets to ourselves can be a crushing burden sometimes.
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Though the conversation has dried up on this post, I just came across a very interesting article that goes into the conflicting feminist views about prostitution, accompanied by commentary by someone who was raped and the views she now holds about it all.
Feminists Take Opposite Stands on Prostitution
Thanks, the article has quite a useful overview in the introduction. I’m interested in this strictly anti-sex feminist camp and the parallels with religious beliefs about sex.
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Thank you for the post. I apologize as I tried to read the comments but the became too triggering for me, so I slipped past them to here. If what I am about to write has already been posted please delete it. I am sorry I just could not deal with the topic completely.
I wonder first of all if it was only young females he has working for him ( the brothel owner in the post ) I ask this as I have seen shows that show that just as underground prostitution of young boys is as common in human trafficking as young girls, but in some cultures it actually is more prevalent. Recently here in the USA, in the southwestern part of our country it was recently disclosed young boys were more profitable for traffickers than girls. I am sorry this is such an upsetting topic so please excuse any typos I make.
There is no way any one can make an excuses for taking the body of another against their will, especially the young. I do not care what gender or even what age. I suffered unwanted sexual penetration and other things, I got out of it by joining the US military… twice. That option doesn’t seem to be open to some. I think what we have to do in any case of some one selling themselves, is to ask a couple questions… one do they want to do this if they could have another choice, and second is someone forcing them. The next question is .. if they don’t want to do it, how do we help. I am not so set on gender as I am the unwanted abuse and selling of the body to survive. I just read a report that says gay boys make up only maybe five percent of the population but 40 percent of the homeless youth, who have to sell their bodies to eat, sleep safely or other things.. I am sorry I can’t continue… I have to go calm down and watch something else to get my mind off it. Thanks for bringing the subject up and defending those who can not defend themselves. Many hugs