Archives for category: prostitution

In the United Kigdom it is legal for adults (those aged 18 years and older) to engage in prostitution. Many of the activities associated with prostitution are, however illegal. For example one man or woman may work as a prostitute from premises, however where two or more individuals operate together (even if one of those persons is only taking bookings, answering the door etc rather than working as a sex worker) then the premises is classified as a brothel and those working there are breaking the law. In 2008 Sweden took the radical step of criminalising the purchasers of sexual services while leaving sex workers free to ply their profession without fear of arrest. In contrast to sex workers, their clients are (if convicted of paying for sex) subject to a fine and/or six months in prison. In 2009 Norway introduced similar legislation to that in Sweden.
The philosophy underpinning the legislation is that women are the weaker party and, as such they should be protected from men. According to this perspective men have no right to “buy women”. Women do not voluntarily choose to sell their bodies, consequently those who avail themselves of the services provided by sex workers are guilty of “exploiting” prostituted women. The Swedish law has been held up by British politicians such as the Labour MP Hariet Harman as a model which should be followed in the United Kingdom (it is not currently illegal to purchase sex in the UK provided that the person offering sexual services is 18 or older and he/she has not been forced into prostitution). Let us leave aside for a moment the issue of whether men (and women) should be criminalised for purchasing sexual services. Instead let us turn first to whether the law has the effect claimed for it by it’s proponents, namely making the lives of prostitutes safer by detering men from purchasing sex. According to a recent article in “The Local” the legislation enacted in norway has made the lives of sex workers more dangerous than was the case prior to the legislation coming into force
“The 2009 prostitution law prohibits the purchase but not the sale of sexual services, with legislators seeking to stymie the trade by targeting demand.

But the Pro Sentret report indicates that the law has in fact made prostitutes much more susceptible to violence at the hands of their clients as the sex
trade moves further underground.

What’s more, prostitutes have become less inclined to seek help since the law came into force, with many now perceiving that they too are viewed as criminals,
the report says.

Many of the women also said the new law had scared off many of their more reliable customers, while troublesome and violent clients were relatively undeterred.

According to the study, titled Farlige Forbindelser (Dangerous Liaisons), 59 percent of prostitutes in Oslo have fallen victim to some form of violence
in the last three years.

”Violence against women in prostitution is brutal and frequent,” said Ulla Bjørndahl at Pro Sentret.

”Often the violence is extreme. Eleven people have faced death threats, many have been threatened with weapons, or have been exposed to robbery, rape, or
were threatened into participating in non-consensual sex,” Bjørndahl told newspaper Dagbladet.” (see http://www.thelocal.no/page/view/rip-up-prostitution-law-says-top-oslo-politician).
The research for the report was carried out between January-March of 2012 and entailed interviews with 123 women engaged in prostitution. Those interviewed included street prostitutes, ladies working in flats and women selling sex in massage parlours. Consequently the researchers interviewed a representative sample of those engaged in prostitution and their findings should be treated seriously.
Turning to the issue of whether prostitution necessarily entails exploitation, the reaction of French intellectuals to the French government’s proposal to prohibit the purchasing of sexual services is instructive
“Responding, the intellectuals said any move to liberate women from sexual slavery or the clutches of organised crime would be welcome.

But they argued that talk of “abolishing” prostitution was based on “two debatable assumptions: that charging for sex is an affront to women’s dignity
and that all prostitutes are all victims of their bastard clients.”

They added: “A women who prostitutes herself, whether she does so occasionally or full-time, is not necessarily a victim of male oppression.

“And the clients are not all horrible predators or sexual obsessives who treat the woman as disposable objects.” (see http://www.thelocal.fr/page/view/french-intellectuals-slam-prostitution-ban-plan).
Precisely so, I couldn’t have put it better myself. The idea that all prostitutes are victims and all clients are “bastards” is rissible. Having used the services of escorts over a number of years I know that the ladies do in the overwhelming majority of cases freely choos to enter the world of escorting. No big bad pimp is threatening them with violence, they see easy money and they take it.
None of the above is intended to deny that prostitution can (and often does) have harmful effects on those who engage in it. Dig behind the smile and one often finds deeply damaged individuals. However there exist other equally damaged persons who choose not to engage in sex work. Again by no means all who engage in prostitution suffered abuse as children. Despite what some would have us believe prostitution is (in most cases) a freely entered into choice. It may not be (and in most instances it certainly isn’t) the first choice of the majority of those who engage in it. It is, however still a choice.

“Maria, lonely prostitute on a street of pain,
You, at least, hail me and speak to me
While a thousand others ignore my face.
You offer me an hour of love,
And your fees are not as costly as most.
You are the madonna of the lonely,
The first-born daughter in a world of pain.
You do not turn fat men aside,
Or trample on the stuttering, shy ones,
You are the meadow where desperate men
Can find a moment’s comfort.

Men have paid more to their wives
To know a bit of peace
And could not walk away without the guilt
That masquerades as love.
You do not bind them, lovely Maria, you comfort them
And bid them return.
Your body is more Christian than the Bishop’s
Whose gloved hand cannot feel the dropping of my blood.
Your passion is as genuine as most,
Your caring as real!

But you, Maria, sacred whore on the endless pavement of pain,
You, whose virginity each man may make his own
Without paying ought but your fee,
You who know nothing of virgin births and immaculate conceptions,
You who touch man’s flesh and caress a stranger,
Who warm his bed to bring his aching skin alive,
You make more sense than stock markets and football games
Where sad men beg for virility.
You offer yourself for a fee–and who offers himself for less?

At times you are cruel and demanding–harsh and insensitive,
At times you are shrewd and deceptive–grasping and hollow.
The wonder is that at times you are gentle and concerned,
Warm and loving.
You deserve more respect than nuns who hide their sex for eternal love;
Your fees are not so high, nor your prejudice so virtuous.
You deserve more laurels than the self-pitying mother of many children,
And your fee is not as costly as most.

Man comes to you when his bed is filled with brass and emptiness,
When liquor has dulled his sense enough
To know his need of you.
He will come in fantasy and despair, Maria,
And leave without apologies.
He will come in loneliness–and perhaps
Leave in loneliness as well.
But you give him more than soldiers who win medals and pensions,
More than priests who offer absolution
And sweet-smelling ritual,
More than friends who anticipate his death
Or challenge his life,
And your fee is not as costly as most.

You admit that your love is for a fee,
Few women can be as honest.
There are monuments to statesmen who gave nothing to anyone
Except their hungry ego,
Monuments to mothers who turned their children
Into starving, anxious bodies,
Monuments to Lady Liberty who makes poor men prisoners.
I would erect a monument for you–
who give more than most–
And for a meager fee.

Among the lonely, you are perhaps the loneliest of all,
You come so close to love
But it eludes you
While proper women march to church and fantasize
In the silence of their rooms,
While lonely women take their husbands’ arms
To hold them on life’s surface,
While chattering women fill their closets with clothes and
Their lips with lies,
You offer love for a fee–which is not as costly as most–
And remain a lonely prostitute on a street of pain.

You are not immoral, little Maria, only tired and afraid,
But you are not as hollow as the police who pursue you,
The politicians who jail you, the pharisees who scorn you.
You give what you promise–take your paltry fee–and
Wander on the endless, aching pavements of pain.
You know more of universal love than the nations who thrive on war,
More than the churches whose dogmas are private vendettas made sacred,
More than the tall buildings and sprawling factories
Where men wear chains.
You are a lonely prostitute who speaks to me as I pass,
And I smile at you because I am a lonely man.”

What makes ladies and men for that matter turn to the world’s oldest profession? One may answer money and to those who have few (if any) financial resources prostitution may appear to offer them a way of obtaining financial security. However to state the blindingly obvious there exist ways for those lacking in resources to obtain money which do not entail becoming a sex worker. For example the domestic help industry is booming in the UK. In London a cleaner can earn between (approximately) £6-10 an hour for general housework including cleaning and ironing. I have employed a cleaner for many years and my current helper earns £6.50 an hour for 3 hours making a total of £19.50. No academic qualifications are required to enter the world of domestic cleaning and the market is, as I said above booming. Given the health of the domestic cleaning sector why do large numbers of ladies choose to become prostitutes rather than availing themselves of the opportunities offered by the domestic cleaning sector?
One obvious answer is that of money. While a small number of cleaners may earn £10 (and, very occasionally more) per hour, most domestics receive between £6-8 as their hourly rate. In contrast ladies who work as professional escorts can receive upto £1000 for spending the night with a client and, of course providing what is known in polite society as “personal services”. Many ladies will charge rather less for an evening’s company (anywhere between, approximately £500-800), this is however still a significant sum of money. Some may ask why given the lucrative nature of high end prostitution do not more ladies (and men) enter the world of sex work? Having used both cleaners and escorts/prostitutes I sometimes speculate on that very issue. My answer to the question for what it is worth is that most people have a deep seated aversion to becoming a prostitute (indeed the very idea would never enter the minds of the majority of people). The majority of ladies would rather launder my dirty socks for cash rather than service my more personal requirements and I can’t say that I blame them! To most individuals money is not the most important factor. They would rather earn £6.50 an hour and feel good about themselves than earn a great deal more but feel worthless.
No doubt some escorts will respond that they take pride in their work and do not feel worthless. I wouldn’t dispute this, however having used escorts for many years I know through having built up professional relationships with a number of ladies that beneath their smiles there often lurks deep unhappiness. A number of ladies have confided in me that they suffered abuse as children while others have been in (or still are in) abusive relationships. Abuse does no doubt act as a factor leading some ladies (and men) to sell their bodies. However many individuals who have suffered abuse do not go down this road, consequently abuse can not be sighted as the determining factor in explaining why people enter the world’s oldest profession      .
The fact of the matter is I simply don’t know why people enter the world of sex work. In truth there are many and complex reasons, however there appears to be no overarching explanation as to why ladies (and men) take this momentous decision.
I would be interested to hear your views on this interesting and contentious subject.

Your tight young body tempts me in but do you carry death within? We shag at night but is there something not quite right? I shoot my load, I’m not the first do you carry a secret curse? Your sweet poison soaks my naked cock, pleasure intense makes me rock. Your body is unblemished without a stain, but do you carry a deadly pain?

I have read Harry Clifton’s Monsoon Girl innumerable times, however I remain unable to fully comprehend the poem. On the surface Monsoon Girl is about an affair between a westerner and a Thai girl, however when one delves deeper Clifton provides hints that the girl may be a prostitute “Your nudity dapples the walls with shadows, and splashes the mirrors like a vision, in the blue light that bathes you, a pleasure-girl on a lost planet, sincere but only at night …”. The term “pleasure-girl” hints at a lady who in return for the things which money can buy provides sexual services, in other words a prostitute. However the words “We’ll come here again, as we did before …”. may suggest a mistress rather than a prostitute. In Thailand the line between prostitute and mistress can be very thin.
Clifton intimates that the relationship is not one of equals, ” … and dream the rainy months away on pampered beds where forgetfulness lies down with executive power …”. It isn’t explicitly stated but the implication is that the man in the poem is a rich western executive availing himself of the services of a Thai sex worker. Alternatively the girl in the poem may be an employee of the powerful executive who is engaged in an affair with him either out of love, for money or, perhaps a mixture of motives.
The poem ends with the implication of exploitation, “elsewhere the night will separate us, having sowed within you miscarriage of juice forever …”. I’m not sure what to make of these lines. Perhaps the man in the poem has infected his partner with a sexually transmitted disease rendering her infertile.

(For Monsoon Girl by Harry Clifton see The New Poetry edited by Michael hulse. Bloodaxe Books, pages 174-175).

As a child I was physically abused by my mum’s partner. The abuse occured over many years and entailed having my head held under water in the bathroom sink and being forced to hold a vacuum cleaner above my head for a prolonged period. One particular incident which sticks in my mind entailed my mum’s partner twisting my arm so hard that I thought it would break. My mum was outside the front door and was not able to see what was happening inside the house. She called to me asking whether I would like to go to the supermarket with her. I answered “yes” and Dave (I’ll use his real name as none of you know who I am) said I couldn’t go and twisted my arm behind my back until I called to my mum that I had changed my mind and that I did not, in fact wish to accompany her to the supermarket.
Another vivid incident which remains indelibly imprinted in my mind involved me reading an amusing book while my mum and Dave where watching television. The book being very amusing I laughed frequently. Once my mum went to bed Dave strangled me and said that I shouldn’t have laughed. Obviously he didn’t kill me  or I’d hardly be writing this now! However he did cut off my air supply for several seconds and I was, to put it mildly extremely frightened.
These experiences knocked a great deal of confidence out of me and I believe that they are a significant factor explaining why I use prostitutes. I like women and love chatting about books and other things which interest me. I often make ladies laugh and know that I have a good sense of humour. However I find it difficult to pluck up the courage to ask ladies out. It is all too easy to pick up the phone and order an escort from an escort agency. Encounters with escorts don’t entail love. At best one achieves a sexual release and can enjoy a conversation with a nice lady but, at worst they leave me feeling empty and sad.
I have had several long-term relationships with ladies including one failed marriage.
I need a proper relationship but to achieve this I need to give up my use of sex workers, take my courage in both hands and go out and meet ladies.

Our bodies entwined in my bed, I know not what thoughts fill your
head. Your skin is warm soft and near, but are “you” truly heare? Is
your mind in this place? No you inhabit another space.
Another guy pawing your intimate parts, something shrivels and dies
deep in your heart. Do you sense the pain I feel, or is your sadness
all that is real?
There is pleasure in your kiss, moving inside you brings temporary
bliss. You make me feel good for a while but as I fuck I die inside.
Prostitutes come and go the bliss of release fleeting as summer snow,
this pursuit of whores I must let go.