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Thread: The inner world of a prostitute

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    Contributor DrZoidberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by James Brown View Post
    I would expect sex workers would regularly have to deal with clients falling in love with them.
    But I also suspect they get a lot of practice in how to deal with it. It's not an unsolvable problem. It's a question of clear communication.

    A customer wants/has to negotiate with the masculine, but fuck the feminine. Otherwise it'll go all wrong. So a prostitute needs to have the capacity to switch between these two gender roles. It means they need to acknowledge how the genders are different and understand the differences. So they need to be firmly grounded and not harbour any fantasies about how the genders are the same. It was quite refreshing to talk to someone who had a razor sharp understanding of how gendered behaviour worked and could talk about it so matter of factly, complete with examples. I guess it's just a matter of practice. Any prostitute with any other ideas wouldn't be able to do their jobs.

    The difference lies in that it's the role of the feminine to add mystery, and chaos. Make it interesting. While the masculine is predictable and stable. It's the contrast between these that makes sex good. So the prostitute needs to be in the feminine while fucking, or the sex will suck. But for a man it adds a hell of a lot of bullshit to put up with when it comes to getting laid. Bullshit the men are paying, to not have to deal with. So a prostitute has to find a way to be both. So the customer will be in love with the feminine. Once she switches to the masculine, all love interest has a way of dying fast. BTW, they didn't explain this at this weekend. My friend explained this a long time ago. Just repeating it here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Toni
    I've read the opposite about legalization decreasing forced prostitution--that it increases sex trafficking/forced prostitution. This is the primary reason that I am opposed to legalization. I would feel differently, as well, if numerous sources had not cited 15 (one or two a little older or a little younger but mostly 15) as being the average age that a prostitute begins sex work. At 15, we don't allow people to operate motor vehicles or perform other dangerous tasks. 15 year olds are not mature enough nor do they have the legal status that allows them to effectively advocate for themselves.
    I appreciate another woman adding her opinion, even if we disagree. Everything that I have read about the legalization of sex work, shows that there is a slight decrease in sex trafficking once sex work has become legalized. I think it's about 10%, but I would have to look it up, when I have more time to be sure that's the number.

    The way I look at it that a woman should not be punished if she chooses this line of work. In the US, it's almost always the woman who is arrested, and not the client. That seems unfair to me. When it's legal, the women can do their work without remaining in fear of being charged. It gives the work more dignity once it becomes legal.

    As far as working conditions in brothels, of course they need to be improved, but so does the working environment in many other areas which are dominated by females. I remember one nursing job that I had back in the late 70s where the hospital had unfilled positions for 58 nurses. The work was brutally stressful, as I worked on an as needed basis. I did get to choose my own schedule, which I liked, but I never knew where I would be placed, once I arrived at work. From what I've read online from other nurses who work in hospitals and some other areas of nursing, working conditions often remain brutal. There are often staffing shortages etc.

    While I'm not comparing professional nursing to sex work, in some ways, there is overlap. By that I mean, both nurses and sex workers provide an intimate type of service to people in need. I don't look down on women who do sex work just because it's something that I personally wouldn't find enjoyable. But, for me, it's a feminist issue to allow other women to choose this line of work. Those who choose this line of work, should not be punished because others are forced and/or treated badly.

  3. Top | #13
    Contributor DrZoidberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by southernhybrid View Post
    I appreciate another woman adding her opinion, even if we disagree. Everything that I have read about the legalization of sex work, shows that there is a slight decrease in sex trafficking once sex work has become legalized. I think it's about 10%, but I would have to look it up, when I have more time to be sure that's the number.
    A lot of studies just go with official statistics without enough discussion on what those numbers mean. Laura Augustin has a whole section on her blog where she talks about problems of collecting statistics on trafficking.

    https://www.lauraagustin.com/categor...king-smuggling

    All they're measuring is how often migrant prostitutes say they've been trafficked after their brothel has been raided.

    Here's an excellent example of what I'm talking about. In 1999 Denmark decriminalised all prostitution. Buying and selling. Sweden decriminalised selling sex, while criminalising buying sex. In Sweden sex trafficking went down while up in Denmark. In trafficking the women are forced. So their incentives shouldn't matter, only the brothel owner. So what's going on?

    If selling sex is legal in the country you are working in but you don't have a work permit you are breaking the law. So any prostitute checked by the police has an incentive to say they were forced even if they weren't. Because victims are not criminals, so are welcome back to the country, (to do more prostitution work). This makes the numbers extremely unreliable.

    Why are the trafficking flows going to Denmark? Because the Swedish system is dangerous to prostitutes. In Sweden customers refuse to give personal information to the prostitutes. This means that violent customers are harder to stop and harder to report to the police. While in Denmark there's a whole police task force working with making their jobs safe. It's in everybody's interest to cooperate with the police. So the prostitutes travelling around Europe are picking Denmark over Sweden, simply for safety reasons. But both say they've been trafficked when they get caught by the police.

    I'm not saying trafficking doesn't exist. But the numbers are most likely incredibly over-blown. I suspect very few of those in the trafficking statistic are actually trafficking victims.

    Anyhoo... you got to analyse the numbers. The same kind of calculation mistake makes it look like Sweden has a rape epidemic. It doesn't.

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    A search on Google Scholar turned up this article on the impact of legalization, which looks pretty good.

    I don't know if trafficking should be considered in isolation, though, you're measuring it against the impacts on legal workers. And that aside - if there is no moral reason a woman shouldn't be able to use her body how she pleases, on what grounds can you make it illegal for her? The crime isn't prostitution, it's trafficking.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    A search on Google Scholar turned up this article on the impact of legalization, which looks pretty good.

    I don't know if trafficking should be considered in isolation, though, you're measuring it against the impacts on legal workers. And that aside - if there is no moral reason a woman shouldn't be able to use her body how she pleases, on what grounds can you make it illegal for her? The crime isn't prostitution, it's trafficking.
    There's the thing: how many adults enter prostitution willingly?

    We do restrict what people can do with their bodies. Try lobbing off your own arm and see where you end up besides an ER. We restrict the ability of people to get tattoos and piercings without parental consent until they are 18 (most sources say prostitutes begin the work on average at age 15) and heavily regulate tattoo parlors--for very good reason. We restrict the consumption of alcohol and tobacco and forbid the consumption of a whole variety of substances.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Toni View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    A search on Google Scholar turned up this article on the impact of legalization, which looks pretty good.

    I don't know if trafficking should be considered in isolation, though, you're measuring it against the impacts on legal workers. And that aside - if there is no moral reason a woman shouldn't be able to use her body how she pleases, on what grounds can you make it illegal for her? The crime isn't prostitution, it's trafficking.
    There's the thing: how many adults enter prostitution willingly?

    We do restrict what people can do with their bodies. Try lobbing off your own arm and see where you end up besides an ER. We restrict the ability of people to get tattoos and piercings without parental consent until they are 18 (most sources say prostitutes begin the work on average at age 15) and heavily regulate tattoo parlors--for very good reason. We restrict the consumption of alcohol and tobacco and forbid the consumption of a whole variety of substances.
    That's a good question worth exploring.

    But wouldn't the underage problem be an issue of regulation and enforcement, though? I don't see how legalization has anything to do with teens being forced into prostitution, either way this problem is going to happen. But if you're an adult, and consent to sell your body, on what grounds should you be stopped?

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    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Toni View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    A search on Google Scholar turned up this article on the impact of legalization, which looks pretty good.

    I don't know if trafficking should be considered in isolation, though, you're measuring it against the impacts on legal workers. And that aside - if there is no moral reason a woman shouldn't be able to use her body how she pleases, on what grounds can you make it illegal for her? The crime isn't prostitution, it's trafficking.
    There's the thing: how many adults enter prostitution willingly?

    We do restrict what people can do with their bodies. Try lobbing off your own arm and see where you end up besides an ER. We restrict the ability of people to get tattoos and piercings without parental consent until they are 18 (most sources say prostitutes begin the work on average at age 15) and heavily regulate tattoo parlors--for very good reason. We restrict the consumption of alcohol and tobacco and forbid the consumption of a whole variety of substances.
    That's a good question worth exploring.

    But wouldn't the underage problem be an issue of regulation and enforcement, though? I don't see how legalization has anything to do with teens being forced into prostitution, either way this problem is going to happen. But if you're an adult, and consent to sell your body, on what grounds should you be stopped?
    Why aren't laws prohibiting underage prostitution enforced now? There are laws against prostitution, laws against sex with someone under the age of consent and in the US, no one is considered of age to consent to prostitution under the age of 18. I do not buy that law enforcement is unable to enforce laws against prostitution now or against teenagers being prostitutes because it's so hidden. I am pretty certain that if you don't already know where you could purchase the services of a prostitute in your location, you could find out within 5 minutes. So could the police.

    Moreover, legalization seems to normalize the idea that girls and women can be purchased to be used for sex whenever a male wishes to do so, that it is the right of males to have access to females whenever they want. As long as you throw some cash at them, the girls and women themselves do not matter.

    From what I have read, legalization increases rather than decreases illegal prostitution and trafficking. Instead it being like a WalMart out competing all the local businesses, it is more like, one bar seems to make it seem like a great location to put a second bar. Or same thing with Starbucks.

    There is a thriving market for young adolescent girls (and boys) to be used for sex. Also for younger kids. There are stings in my area more or less annually. Hint: if a 15 year old girl is offering herself over the internet, it's probably a 40 year old law enforcement agent.

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    Well, we could use the same argument for using alcohol. Should all adults be denied legally buying and drinking alcohol, because minors also use it illegally? Of course, we are entitled to our own opinions on this issue, but after looking into the positives and negatives of legalizing sex work, to me, it seemed like legalization was the better option for women, as well as for the smaller percentage of men who also enter this line of work.

    What would be ideal is for legalization with excellent regulation to make this line of work safer. Requiring a license, that included a mandatory course in self defense, ways to practice safe sex which limit the spread of STIs, and perhaps a few other things to assure that workers are protected by safe practice guidelines.

    A sex worker who is abused by a client is likely to report that client to the police if the work is legal, but may not be willing if the work is illegal. To me, that's another reason why legalization has the potential to make the work safer for women. I just don't see the downside to making sex work legal. I know that some feminists, like Gloria Steinem. for example, disagree with my position and while she is one of my favorite feminists, not all feminists agree on all things. I do wonder if such feminists have ever interviewed women who choose and enjoy this profession.

    And yes Toni, it would be much better if our laws against the exploitation of children and teens were better enforced, but I personally don't see how that relates to women who choose to work as sex workers. Children are often abused and exploited in many ways and our system often fails those children. It has failed many children who are brutalized by their own parents, but again I don't see a correlation with child abuse and legalization of sex work. There were always be unfit parents, and amoral people who exploit others, including children.

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    Moreover, legalization seems to normalize the idea that girls and women can be purchased to be used for sex whenever a male wishes to do so, that it is the right of males to have access to females whenever they want. As long as you throw some cash at them, the girls and women themselves do not matter.
    If this is what the women choose to do, why is that a problem? There are also men who work as sex workers too, so it's not strictly a female line of work. Plus, a woman who chooses this line of work, especially when it's legal, can choose who to take on as a client, what types of sex she offers etc. if she decides to work independently. Shouldn't a women be the one who decides whether or not she wants so sell sexual services? Do you think that all the clients of hair dressers, dental hygienists, private practice NPs etc. are cared about by all of their clients? I would imagine that men who use the same sex worker probably do care about them, at least as much as men care about the other women who provide them with personal services. I don't see it as the woman is denigrating her body. She is simply selling a sexual service, and if she's acting as an independent contractor, she's the one who decides which services she has to offer. I guess I just don't see sexual service as much different than any other personal service. Maybe that's where you and I differ. But, I think we both strongly agree that this line of work should be voluntary and the women who enter it should be able to practice their work in a safe environment. Much work needs to be done in this area. I've heard that some brothels in Las Vegas need to improve the way the women are treated. Well, women can unionize, or at least support each other and refuse to work for managers that don't treat them fairly. But, that can be said about all lines of work. Nurses who have unionized have been treated better. Some nurses in California came up with the concept of a "Code Pink", long before this became a female political movement. A Code Pink was called whenever a male physician was harassing a female nurse. The idea was that the nurse would call a Code Pink and other nurses would come to defend her from the doctor who was acting inappropriately. We women in female dominated professions always have to deal with shit form men. We need to be strong, and united.

    And, just to add an anecdote.....Many years ago, there was a member of IIDB who took total care of his dependent wife, who suffered from a neurological disease. I think it was MS. One day she told her husband to go out and find a sex worker and enjoy himself as she was no longer able to participate in sex with him. He took her advice and thanked her for giving him permission to enjoy himself. I thought his wife must be a wonderful, caring, selfless person to be able to give her husband permission to occasionally receive sex from someone who chose to offer that service, when the wife herself was no longer able. He was an older man who had always been loyal to his wife. She just wanted to show her appreciation to him. That's love imo.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Toni View Post
    I've read the opposite about legalization decreasing forced prostitution--that it increases sex trafficking/forced prostitution. This is the primary reason that I am opposed to legalization. I would feel differently, as well, if numerous sources had not cited 15 (one or two a little older or a little younger but mostly 15) as being the average age that a prostitute begins sex work. At 15, we don't allow people to operate motor vehicles or perform other dangerous tasks. 15 year olds are not mature enough nor do they have the legal status that allows them to effectively advocate for themselves.
    And if it were legal it would be a lot harder for those 15 year olds to work as a prostitute. In a realm where it's legal few people are going to take the risk of going to an illegal prostitute. (And note that those 15 year old prostitutes are mostly coming from very bad homes. Fix the real problem, the prostitution is a symptom.)

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