Some men’s views on prostitution

// 24 February 2008

There was a thoroughly depressing article on the BBC news magazine pages last Friday, focusing on men who say they are not ashamed to use prostitutes, and their justification for their ‘hobby’.

If reading that makes you despair for the male sex, this riposte by Nottingham’s Mr Sex on Todger Talk may cheer you up a little:

Well, that puts a new spin on ‘trickle-down’ economics.Yes Patrick, all of these women desperately wanted to grow up to make a living by sucking on some sweaty, half a century-old IT spod-cock. Presumably, this twat also thinks that, by racking up another line of Wanker Powder on a toilet seat, he’s helping to put a Playstation 3 in the hands of some poor Bolivian urchin.

Thank God at least one man gets it. I’ve said it before, Laura’s said it before, hell everyone has said it before, but as long as men like ‘Patrick’ think this:

I want to pay and someone wants to sell. As long as I’m not hurting them in any way what harm am I doing. I’m distributing my wealth to people who don’t have it.

then it bears repeating.

The OVERWHELMING majority of women working as prostitutes – effectively all of them – are in it against their will. Either explicitly because they’ve been trafficked, or indirectly because they are hostage to substance abuse or poverty. There may be a handful of women out there who enjoy it – probably those who aren’t so desperate for the cash they can’t afford to pick and choose their clients, times and locations – but they’re few and far between. The chances that you’ll pick one of those women up off the street or from a calling card have got to be monumentally small. Facts on this sort of stuff are everywhere, but doubting Thomases can start with the Home Office prostitution strategy, which finds that 95% of prostitutes are drug users, homeless or both.

The question is not whether it’s theoretically possible for sex to reduced to an economic transaction, but whether in the real world anyone can ever be reasonably sure that the transaction they’re involved in right now is consensual. If a man cannot establish beyond a shadow of a doubt that the woman he is paying for sex is doing it of her own free will – and I would argue that he almost never will be able to – then he is not taking part in some benign free market transaction, he is a rapist. The next time someone tells you ‘it’s just supply and demand, innit?’, remind them of that.

Comments From You

Alex Corwin // Posted 25 February 2008 at 2:05 am

In a recent conversation with my Dad and step mother I was shocked by their belief that lots of prostitutes do it of their own free will and enjoy it and that it was a simple case of supply and demand that has always existed. Sadly I didn’t have any statistics to hand to prove them wrong, so thank you for the home office link! I have now burned “95% of prostitutes are drug users, homeless or both.” on to my brain for future reference!

ceejay1968 // Posted 25 February 2008 at 2:47 am

Here is what I tried posting to that BBC article. They didn’t publish it though, at least not in the twenty-four hours since I hit “send:”

The men who are paying women for sex understand, on

some level, that THESE WOMEN DO NOT GENUINELY DESIRE

THEM. If they desired you, they would not require

cash payment! I have certainly never asked a man with

whom I desired to have sex to pay me! This means

that, when a man is paying, he implicitly understands

that the woman does not TRULY find him desirable. Yet

he goes ahead and does it. Shame!

Helene, the reason so many prostitutes have drug

problems is that the majority (85%, according to most

studies) have been molested and abused as girls. They

suffer from P.T.S.D. and fail to see themselves as

anything other than objects for men’s exploitation.

They don’t need legal and societal approval of their

further exploitation, in the form of legalized

prostitution. What they need is social services.

Gary and Sandy, If you do not understand that

penetrative sex for money is invasive in a way that

handing out burgers for minimum wage is not, there is

truly something wrong with your heart – and your soul.

Notice that when American troops at abu Graib wanted

to do something REALLY humiliating and nasty to

prisoners, they didn’t force them to hand out

hamburgers in the soldiers’ mess hall. Instead, they

stipped them naked and compelled them to do sexual

acts. This suggests that we understand, at least on

some level, that SEXUAL acts have the potential to be

more humiliating – because they are more personal –

than any ordinary, frustrating, mind-numbingly boring

minimum wage labor.

Abi, I agree fully that the West is repressive of

women just as Moslem countries are. Religious

fundamentalists – Moslem and Christian – want to keep

women under control and close to home. Liberal

western cultures want to control women in the public

sphere – yes, they may have careers, but their bodies

are exploited for marketing purposes, and most liberal

western men are enthusiastic about legalized

prostitution, legal abortion, easy access to birth

control, and lots of quick hook-ups. In other words,

fundamentalists tend to focus on women’s availability

at home, liberal men tend to focus on women’s public

availabiity, but BOTH want women to be members of the

sex caste and at their service.

Steve, You say that you are 50 and are not seen as

attractive by most women you approach in bars. Then

you go on to discuss your ideal prostitute, who is

attractive and youthful. But YOU ARE NOT attractive

and youthful! I suspect you are trying to bed hawt

young babes and then feeling frustrated by the

rejection. Indeed, you mention that you often find

you are expected to pay for things, which is what I

have so often observed happening to middle-aged male

friends who insist on trying to bag hawt young babes –

these babes don’t take them seriously and use them as

sugar daddies if they bother with them at all. Duh!

Meanwhile, women who are these men’s peers, in years,

experience, wisdom, and financial independence, women

whose lovely bodies are rounded by childbearing and time and

whose faces are creased by laugh lines are ignored by

shallow, insensitive middle-aged men still focused on

chasing the young girls. You can’t get what you want

without paying, Steve, because you are looking for all

the wrong things.

Safiya Outlines // Posted 25 February 2008 at 3:15 am

Great post, which sums up my feelings exactly.

I used to live near a city centre red light district. Most of the women working there were clearly afflicted by substance abuse and I just could not understand the mentality of the men who paid to have sex with them.

There were several women murdered while working there as prostitutes too. Such a dream job *eyerolls*

Lindsey // Posted 25 February 2008 at 10:46 am

The thing that really got me about these men is that they seriously believe the prostitutes they regularly visit are their friends. Are they really so stupid/deluded that they can’t see that they are also paying for the ‘customer service’ aspect? That these women are only being nice to them to ensure repeat business? The men just sound like they are desperate to be liked and get a little attention – buying it is the lazy if quicker way to get it, whereas most of us find if you’re just nice to people they will be nice to you back.

Laura // Posted 25 February 2008 at 12:53 pm

Great post, Lynne, that article made my blood boil.

*waves to Alex!*

Damon // Posted 25 February 2008 at 9:26 pm

“If a man cannot establish beyond a shadow of a doubt that the woman he is paying for sex is doing it of her own free will – and I would argue that he almost never will be able to – then he is not taking part in some benign free market transaction, he is a rapist.”

I disagree. The man in the scenario may be a lot of things, but he is not a rapist. A rapist is somebody who forces themselves onto another person, engaging in sexual acts without consent. Whilst some men do rape (my definition) prostitutes, the majority possess a similar attitude to Patrick, paying for what they consider to be a service. Also, a monetary transaction (prostitution) is completely different to a display of physical force (rape).

You highlight many of the problems prostitutes face which (to varying degrees) hinder their ability to consent freely. However, they still offer (some) consent. A rape victim doesn’t consent whatsoever.

I agree that the current situation for prostitutes is dire, but I think the situation is dire enough, without mislabeling what’s going on as rape.

Just my opinion.

Lynne Miles // Posted 25 February 2008 at 10:09 pm

Rape isn’t defined by physical force, nor by the perpetrator’s intentions. It is defined by an absence of consent.

Under the Sexual Offences Act of 2003 the definition of consent requires someone to have agreed to sex by choice, and to have the freedom and capacity to make that choice. Where freedom of consent is disputed in court it is for the jury to decide on individual circumstances, in which case the perpetrator is required to demonstrate that his belief in consent was reasonable. Again, it is for the jury to decide whether his belief was reasonable, and they will have regard to the steps he took to ascertain consent. In particular, when someone has been abducted it is presumed that consent was *not* given unless it can be proved otherwise (for more see here).

So for a crime to have been committed it makes no difference what men like Patrick think, it only matters whether consent was actually freely given. For a conviction it must be proved one way or the other in court, in which case what the jury can be convinced of is what matters. But the outcome of the court case will make no difference to the existence of the crime.

I can’t see why every ‘client’ of a brothel found to contain trafficked women can’t be prosecuted for rape, under the law as it exists. Seriously. It’s not like trafficked women don’t have a fairly high media profile at the moment. What sentient man hears an Eastern European accent in a brothel and doesn’t have pause for thought? Can we accept that he has a reasonable expectation of free consent? And if he is suspicious, which he should be, are there any realistic steps he can take to reassure himself of consent? Surely not … asking “are you sure you want to do this?” when the woman is being imprisoned by some gangmaster who’s probably just outside the door hardly constitutes reasonable steps… I think these men should be worried they’ll face a rape conviction. And I don’t see why a jury shouldn’t hand one down.

I agree questions where women are not forced by others, but feel they have no free choice because of addictions or poverty are a more difficult area. In my view those circumstances cast very grave doubts on whether consent can be legally given, but even if you disagree with my casting of it as (legally defined) rape, it’s obviously a very grave exploitation of economic and power differentials in the sexual context and therefore morally indefensible (as you point out).

Marci // Posted 25 February 2008 at 11:15 pm

I’m intrigued to the diversity of responses this article has accumulated.

I myself am a red-blooded individual, highly sexed and have had many sexual partners. I feel that Prostitution is a service, yes. However, I also think that the sex market exudes sleeze, and to have such an opinion does not determine ones attitude to sex in general.

In a market that depicts that the only side that may not be a participant through choice, i.e. the supplier/workers that have been ‘commodified’ to feed a desire,indicates that there is a grave Ethical issue with regards to the market itself. (This applies to any commodity).

In other words, if the supply side consists of workers that for any reason is coerced, forced or is involved on a last resort basis, then it’s wrong.

The number of women who are particularly fortunate to be high-class sex workers and aspired to be what they are, making great money and has NEVER felt vulnerable and afraid, is in the very minority and are extremely lucky.

The sex-market ultimately exists to satisfy and empower men and it generally puts women in a potentially vulnerable position. To the many who are in it as a last resort, comes at a cost that is fundamentally detrimental to them.

It’s arguable whether issues such as STD’s, relationship breakdowns, drug/alcohol addiction, abuse, trafficking is cause or effect of the sex market. People do get hurt. The unsuspecting wives, the workers, the buyers. At the end of the day, the industry is grim. It’s a vice. It devalues the act of sex in its purest and most meaningful form and it’s very dangerous.

If feminists have an issue with the sex markets, it’s not because they are ‘frigid’ or anti-sex, its primarily because they are trying to dismantle patriarchy and stop the ‘commodifying’ of women.

Lara // Posted 26 February 2008 at 6:18 am

I cannot believe you let sexist idiots like “Damon” comment on here. As if he knows anything about rape or what it’s like to be raped. Rape is NOT some fucking abstract concept, it is a reality for lots of women. If a woman does not explicitely say “yes” in one way or another and the man keeps going, it is rape. And money ALWAYS negates consent. Because consent is the act of two people WANTING to have sex with each other. Not the case with prostitution. EVER.

Whether women are in shitty run down motel bedrooms or in lavish settings (golden cages, basically) it’s still a fucking cage. And the OBLIGATION to have sex with men for money is not sex at all, it is rape. Period.

I have lost all tolerance for men and their self-congratulating use of privilege, their righteousness, their thinking that they are the damned arbiters of “what is sexism?” “what is rape?”, their attempts to make rape, violence, and abuse of women into abstract concepts that can be “debated.”

I wonder now, Damon, how many times you were with a woman who was just slightly hesitant, was not all that enthusiastic, about having sex with you but you kept going… that is a relevant thought, since your personal opinion obviously influences your life and those around you.

EBaeza Chavez // Posted 26 February 2008 at 8:08 am

I agree with Lara on the above post. There is a stark contrast between consenting and merely submitting to something you feel you don’t have a choice in. Re: the if its ok to give it away for free, its ok to sell it argument, we can make the same rhetoric apply to the sale of organs. Sometime we need to legislate to protect women, even if that means curtailing a so called freedom (as if selling sex ever was!?!).

I don’t buy the economic argument that we are all exploited either.

I can always leave my job, take my employer to tribunal and demand certain statutory benefits, you can’t with prostitution, further its dangerous, soul destroying and stigmatised. I think its part of a wider malaise, regarding the economic position of women and legalising prostitution won’t solve that. We need to incorporate the Swedish model here, decriminalise it for the women but make it illegal for those trying to buy sex or procure sexual services, and seriously long sentences for those trafficking women (and men & children– I’m sure it happens).

A part of me wonders, having been to a strip club ( an uncomfortable experience), whether the whole thing is really about sex at all. The feeling I got, was that the thrill these men have of being able to “buy” and control another human being, however briefly was the real goal, especially for those men unable to view women as equals. Its prevents them from actually humanising women or seeing them as individuals with dreams, feelings and dignity. They are just another “commodity” to be bought, sold and traded.

AlexMagd // Posted 26 February 2008 at 2:46 pm

The variety of responses on this article is interesting, and first off I’d like to say that I agree with Lynne’s article and most of the comments that follow: prostitution isn’t just a transaction, and consent is generally given only under duress. The people in the BBC article are ignorant and extremely naive about the industry they’re supporting, and there really needs to be a change in the way people are educated about prostitution.

In regards to Damon’s post: just because he doesn’t *fully* agree with you (and note he does believe that the prostitution situation in this country is dire) to accuse him of rape is appalling. The accusation is not even in the sense that is being discussed – whether or not prostitution should be considered as rape – but actually goes so far to suggest that in his own life Damon would disregard the misgivings of a partner to the point of rape. Accusations of that kind based on a few lines of comment do not constitute “a relevant thought”. Then comes the labelling of all men as sexist and self-righteous. I’m sorry but no, we’re not all like that. Damon’s post indicates he generally agrees with Lynne’s article and he was offering his opinion of the very strong point about rape made above, which was obviously intended to inspire debate. His comment may have been naive but a personal attack of that nature is in no way the kind of constructive criticism that encourages discussion. The very valid points Lara did make about prostitution are undermined by it.

This comment in itself is not meant to be a personal attack on the poster, but to allow allegations of rape to fly around unchecked and unchallenged would be moral cowardice on my part.

Lynne Miles // Posted 26 February 2008 at 5:53 pm

Erm. I think that accusing Damon of rape is totally out of line here. Just to clarify, we won’t generally be publishing comments with personal accusations in them – this one slipped through the net obviously. Sorry, Damon.

EBaeza Chavez // Posted 26 February 2008 at 6:09 pm

I just wanted to clarify, I agree with Lara on prostitution, but not the implication that Damon is a rapist. Its an unfair aspersion and out of line.

Laura // Posted 26 February 2008 at 6:12 pm

Lara,

I think it’s rather unrealistic to expect everyone to hold a feminist view of consent and rape. The dominant view of rape, consent and sex is patriarchal and it is this patriarchal view that most people, socialised into patriarchy, will hold. Rather than accusing every person who holds this view (or sth similar) as sexist, I’d engage in dialogue with them. Yes, there are dickheads who will never accept any kind of feminist theory on sex and consent or anything (see Comment is Free, grrr), and they can indeed fuck off, but I really don’t think Damon – or anyone else who simply voices a different opinion in the interest of open debate is one of them.

Do you really think men cannot change? That people’s opinions cannot change? I blog here and engage people in debate because I believe that patriarchal socialisation can be broken – if we just write off everyone who doesn’t immediately agree with feminist theory then I really don’t think we’ll get very far.

And I second Lynne, there’s no need to accuse anyone of rape, nor is it fair to assume whether someone has experienced rape or not.

Having said all that, I definitely agree with your analysis of consent in your comment – good stuff.

Damon // Posted 27 February 2008 at 2:12 am

“I can’t see why every ‘client’ of a brothel found to contain trafficked women can’t be prosecuted for rape, under the law as it exists.”

Taking on-board the legal definition that you’ve offered, I agree with you that rape is being committed in this instance.

My question to you: If a man pays to have sex with a trafficked woman in a brothel, whilst totally oblivious to the fact that that woman is a sex slave, should he be labelled and prosecuted as a rapist?

I agree here, that rape – by the legal definition – has been committed. But is the man a rapist? The man, in this instance and in my eyes, is guilty of unintentional rape. It would seem unfair to label and prosecute the man as a rapist in this instance, since he was unaware of the fact that he was raping the woman.

Alternatively, if a man visits brothels host to European women, fully aware of the problem of people trafficking and sex slavery, he (by my book) is a rapist, and therefore should be labelled and prosecuted as one.

Do you not think that there is a discernable and relevant difference between the above two scenarios?

“I agree questions where women are not forced by others, but feel they have no free choice because of addictions or poverty are a more difficult area. In my view those circumstances cast very grave doubts on whether consent can be legally given, but even if you disagree with my casting of it as (legally defined) rape, it’s obviously a very grave exploitation of economic and power differentials in the sexual context and therefore morally indefensible (as you point out)”

I agree, but I’m curious as to how far you’d take this statement. Is wage-slavery morally indefensible in your eyes? Aren’t many poor jobs just prostitution without the sex? If no, then you need to establish why ‘the selling of sex’ is a special case. Baring in mind that sex means different things to different people, can you establish sex as a special case without privileging your own thoughts and views on sex?

Concerning Lara, I’d just like to thank you guys for supporting me there. She did say one thing I would like to address, though:

“And money ALWAYS negates consent.”

Can I assume that you to be a vehement opponent of wage-labour? Money is a fact of life in capitalist society. It does problematise issues of consent, but I don’t think it negates consent. Perhaps you could elaborate on that one further.

Jess McCabe // Posted 27 February 2008 at 6:04 am

“Baring in mind that sex means different things to different people, can you establish sex as a special case without privileging your own thoughts and views on sex?”

Rape is not the equivalent of what you call ‘wage-slavery’, it is the equivalent of actual slavery. Trafficking is actual slavery.

“If a man pays to have sex with a trafficked woman in a brothel, whilst totally oblivious to the fact that that woman is a sex slave, should he be labelled and prosecuted as a rapist?”

Yes! Absolutely, yes. I’ve got a feeling it would be difficult to prove in court, but I would see that as rape.

Men who use prostitutes know that the person doesn’t want to actually have sex with them. The prostituted woman or man is putting up with sex for money. Regardless of anything else, this is not about sex – it is abusive. The fact that prostitution is abusive is not a secret. Neither is trafficking a secret.

Not knowing is not an excuse. What does that change for the woman who has been repeatedly raped by lots of men who – what, just didn’t notice?

Laura // Posted 27 February 2008 at 9:26 am

“If a man pays to have sex with a trafficked woman in a brothel, whilst totally oblivious to the fact that that woman is a sex slave, should he be labelled and prosecuted as a rapist?”

If a man doesn’t want to risk raping someone, he shouldn’t visit prostitutes; the choice to do so demonstrates that he has no concern for the woman involved. There is something very wrong with society when men want to have sex with women who don’t want to have sex with them.

Rebecca // Posted 27 February 2008 at 3:49 pm

I think for many prostituted women and girls the experience of having to have “sex” with any man who chooses to pay for sexual services, feel like being raped over and over.

There is no choice for the prostituted woman or girl about what man goes with her. Her safety is disregarded. Her dignity is unimportant.

As an ex-prostitute I know I was raped over and over. But I also know that those rapes were consider to be consensual, just because there was an exchange of money.

Most prostituted women and girls have been brainwashed by the sex trade or previous abuse to believe that they deserve to be treated as a piece of dirt. It can almost impossible when in the “life” to know that you do not have to put with violence and hate that too many men pour into prostituted women and girls.

It only if you are lucky to leave the life that you feel the abuses done to the body and allow yourself to grieve, and have some anger.

The violence that men do prostituted women is mental and physical torture often a long period of time.

Many women who left prostitution have extreme PTSD and pain from the past abuses.

Prostitution can no longer be tolerated. It is a violataton of woman’s or girls’ human to safety and dignity.

Too many women and girls are being raped and tortured to have a laissez faire attitude.

Too women and girls are being killed.

Damon // Posted 28 February 2008 at 1:43 am

In response to my question:

“”If a man pays to have sex with a trafficked woman in a brothel, whilst totally oblivious to the fact that that woman is a sex slave, should he be labelled and prosecuted as a rapist?”

Jess, you responded:

[Note: a, b, c, and d are my additions to allow for a clear response]

” (a) Yes! Absolutely, yes. I’ve got a feeling it would be difficult to prove in court, but I would see that as rape.

(b) Men who use prostitutes know that the person doesn’t want to actually have sex with them.

(c) The prostituted woman or man is putting up with sex for money. Regardless of anything else, this is not about sex – it is abusive. The fact that prostitution is abusive is not a secret. Neither is trafficking a secret.

(d) Not knowing is not an excuse. What does that change for the woman who has been repeatedly raped by lots of men who – what, just didn’t notice?”

My responses:

a) Do you not consider ‘intention’ to be pertinent when it comes branding somebody a criminal?

b) Not true. The prostitute does want to have sex with the man, but for different reasons. The man is primarily interested in sexual gratification; the woman gaining money.

c) Is ‘sex for money’ (taken on its own) inherently abusive? If it’s ‘the paying for’ you have problems with, then consistency would mean you ought to have problems with wage-labour. If it’s something specific about sex itself, then that’s a value judgment about sex, which not everybody will share.

d) If the trafficked woman at the brothel shows no signs of being in duress, how is the man to know any different? I appreciate that this is no good for the woman who has been raped. It may not seem this way, but I consider rape to be the most heinous crime of all crimes. But as heinous as it is, I would only support the harshest punishments that society has to offer for those bastards who run and profit off of making sex slaves of women. The men who unknowingly raped the trafficked women of the brothel (I hope) have to deal with guilt and shame. Emotionally, I want these men to be punished too, but logically, I have to factor in ‘intention’.

Laura, you wrote:

“(a) If a man doesn’t want to risk raping someone, he shouldn’t visit prostitutes; the choice to do so demonstrates that he has no concern for the woman involved. (b) There is something very wrong with society when men want to have sex with women who don’t want to have sex with them.”

My response:

a) If the problem of human trafficking was common knowledge, I would agree with you. Unfortunately, I don’t think that it is. The vast majority of people either a) don’t read a newspaper, or b) read the Sun, or other right-wing publications. I’ve only ever seen coverage of the aforementioned in publications such as the Guardian and the Independent – both of which are the least bought newspapers of the mainstream.

b) Is this any more wrong than both men and women working a degrading job, doing something that they don’t want to do? If so, why?

Also Laura, I’d appreciate it if you could respond to my previous point:

“Is wage-slavery morally indefensible in your eyes? Aren’t many poor jobs just prostitution without the sex? If no, then you need to establish why ‘the selling of sex’ is a special case. Baring in mind that sex means different things to different people, can you establish sex as a special case without privileging your own thoughts and views on sex?”

Thanks.

EBaeza Chavez // Posted 28 February 2008 at 5:51 pm

Hiya there

I’d like to address a couple of points. Firstly “intention” is included in the mens rea for crimes of this nature. The two aspects of rape are the actus reus,i.e sexual intercourse and mens rea, i.e the reasonable belief that the woman (or man) in the case was consenting. If there was a reasonable belief that the prostitute consented to sex then there should be reasons, if not then on what basis was it reasonable to assume consent? I think it is pertinent to take issue with consent here, is it truly consent or mere submission?

A better question might be, but for the payment of money, would this woman have agreed to sex? If the answer is no, then I would call that submission and the act of sexual intercourse, rape.

Wage-slavery is of course indefensible and interwined here. There is an economic argument that undercuts prostitution, if these women could earn the same money from legitimate enterprise, prostitution would cease to exist. As I mentioned in my post above, however crappy my job I have associated statutory rights, i.e sick leave, maternity benefit etc. Prostitution puts women beyond the sphere of legitimacy and legality. It makes them vulnerable to trafficking and exploitation and weakens the protection they can expect from the law and the police.

I put selling sex in the same category as the sale of organs. It is moral indefensible because the economic positions of those buying and selling are necessarily unequal. It opens up a huge potential for abuse and exploitation.

I don’t think sex is a special case in itself, there is plenty of alienation of women’s labour and property in their bodies, such as the act of giving birth to a child. Should women seek renumeration for this? If not why not? The position in the UK at least is that paid surrogacy should be illegal, so at what point do we say this action is sacred and special and we should seek to prevent it becoming commodified? Why priviledge pregancy or organ donation above the selling of sex?

I go back to the point Laura made, if it is consensual sex that these men want, why not go to a bar or club and try pick up a date. Why go to a prostitute? Because the money/ power differential mean these men get to control these women and the acts they perform. The fundamental concept of free will is completely undermined.

Who but a rapist would be ambivalent about the quality of the consent given or whether consent was being given at all?

Beth R // Posted 7 March 2008 at 1:13 am

Firstly, I’d just like to say that this is a really thought-provoking topic, with a lot of really great contributions.

Damon – “Aren’t many poor jobs just prostitution without the sex?” – Um, prostitution without the sex ISN’T prostitution

“If it’s something specific about sex itself, then that’s a value judgment about sex, which not everybody will share.” – “I consider rape to be the most heinous crime of all crimes.” It might be worth you looking again at your own thoughts about sex (not meant aggressively). I suspect that in a lot of situations you do see how sex is different from other acts – otherwise you would not feel the level of revulsion you rightly do at rape. If sex is the same as any other act then rape is not uniquely or even unusually horrific – and clearly it is. Prostitution is to crappy jobs what rape is to locking someone in your house for an afternoon and forcing them to hoover your living room at gunpoint – pretty shitty, but not really in the same league.

Ruththomson // Posted 19 March 2008 at 10:58 am

rape is not necessarily using physical force. Rape can be very insiduous as well…via coercion followed by submission into sexual acts that do nothing to honour, but to dehumanize or reduce the other person as an object.

BW // Posted 11 February 2009 at 2:44 am

WOW my husband fucked 12 prostitutes. I read this whole thing to him. completely made him feel like shit!

Anna // Posted 11 February 2009 at 1:07 pm

‘I want to pay and someone wants to sell. As long as I’m not hurting them in any way what harm am I doing. I’m distributing my wealth to people who don’t have it.’

Oh, right. He’s being socialist! Because, like, if you’re worried about someone’s poverty the only way to help them is to fuck/rape them first. Right?

Kate // Posted 11 February 2009 at 5:39 pm

How worrying these men think the girls are their friends

I’m no male basher – but articles like this make me lose faith in the male sex. They’re paying for sex. The only way they can get sex is by paying young girls to have sex with them!! Stupid to say these girls, students like myself, young asian girls enjoy old men going near them – it’s the money they like and not them.

There is no such thing as all men being evil, but there is an inherent creepiness within the male sex we all seem scared to admit exists. Those silly feminist prudes making laws are the problem, not men who abuse a disgusting position of power over women.

For speaking against such evil acts you suddenly become the mad feminist, whereas men are the normal ones being men. Legalising prostitution would yet be another ‘like it or lump’ it handed to women with regards to men and what they can get away with because of ‘nature’. Women are sadly half the world too, except why are we still living in a disgusting male culture that considers making prostitution legal?

In an equal world and one where young men were out of bounds and highly desired, this would not happen.

I commented:

” Make legal prostitution but expect a backlash – millions of women are already rising in standing against misogyny; don’t give women this excuse to be more disgusted by men than ever.

There’s good in the sex, people like you just disgrace it. ”

Oh all pity you, laws are in place stopping you buying a commodity in the form of a woman. The world is against you poor men :(

atypicalnomore // Posted 11 February 2009 at 5:43 pm

There are some women out there that are atypical of what one thinks of when they think of a “hooker”- I can attest to that first hand.

Sadly, in the end, the damage it does to her soul is just as excruciatingly painful, and irreversible, to the hooker that charges $1000 an hour as it is the the street walker that charges $20 for a blow job. no woman should ever know the secrets of men as we do, by being one of their “secrets”.

Helena Wojtczak // Posted 24 July 2009 at 10:48 am

To all who defend prostitution, I ask two questions:

1. How many men would be harmed (and I don’t mean disappointed, out of pocker or forced to resort to masturbation, I mean genuinely physically or psyshologically harmed) if all men stopped using prostitutes?

I suggest “none”.

2. How many women would cease being harmed, or be saved from harm, if all men stopped using prostitutes?

I suggest “millions”.

So, to my mind, there’s no argument. The greatest good for the greatest number.

As well as the obvious forms of masturbation, men already have at their disposal a huge number of devices and appliances that they can buy in sex shops on which they can take out their rampant sexual urges without ever having to resort to using/abusing a live human being. Women seem to be satisfied with their electronic “rabbits” and their fantasies of the latest hunk, why cannot men?

Lastly, to answer the question: “if it is consensual sex that these men want, why not go to a bar or club and try pick up a date”, I have heard men complain that they have done this, paid out for drinks, perhaps food, and a taxi, and still not got what they wanted in the end. With a prostitute, they are at least guaranteed sex, is what they say.

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