Respecting Prostitutes

Disclaimer:
It wasn’t easy for me to write this – it is the first time I’ve targeted a topic so controversial and have probably spent more time struggling to straighten out my thoughts than ever before. I have also never enlisted the services of a prostitute or approach them to speak in regards to their career, but let my prose be more than mere speculation. My English teachers back then always commented on my essays for being unsubstantiated with empirical evidence: which was fine, and like before – I wish to win you over (or at least have you read my prose) through my handling of Logic. Also, the content below might be a little NSFW.

Of Prostitution

It is as if their work renders them inhuman. They are “fallen women”, and what they have fallen from is humanity itself.
-Brooke Maganti on The Guardian

Prostitution is different from copulating with your spouse: it strips away a valuable part of an intimate part of a relationship, leaving only the bare minimum. Primitively, the copulation between males and females are largely dependent on a form of socio-economic exchange; pleasure for protection and survivability. Perhaps there have been more intricate details to the mating of two primitive neanderthals, but as extreme patriarchy would be present during that time due to the physically stronger male, perhaps it all boiled down to fulfillment.

And the female is no longer seen as an equal being, it would seem. She is objectified and lusted over, and what makes matters worst is that she allowed it to happen. She has willingly degraded herself from a human being to an object to be made use of; and this form of self-degradation is seen as an insult to her own dignity, abuse even.

Generally, our society tends to look upon such profession with disdain. We say that it abuses our invaluable dignity and no matter what plight should befall you, your self-respect should remain unshaken.

Well that’s pretty easy to say when you’re not in someone else’s shoes.

But why?

Group A: Women do so because they have no other source of income.
Group B: Women do so because they see it as a service in high demand.
Group C: Some do so because they enjoy sex and turning it into a source of income.
Group D: Forced prostitution.

The women in Group A do not want to become prostitutes, but are forced to do so under dire circumstances. Pressed by economic necessity, these women are forced into the career because they lack the skills to obtain a “reputable” career. Some others require that fast cash flow to either pay off a debt or to feed an addiction.

The women of Group B treats her vocation just like any other occupation – an instrumentally valuable form of copulating. Prostitution can easily pay higher than your average office job when you earn a hundred for a one-hour session. Desperation is not the cause, and they are probably able to secure other jobs if need be. But they choose to do so because it pays well; sexual services or not doesn’t matter.

Some women enjoy sex and see no problems in it being a career path; and are more than happy to do so. I do believe it is theoretically possible for a woman to love sex and actually does wish to turn that passion into livelihood.

Some unfortunate women, dealt a heartless hand by fate, are sold and forced to work in brothels with horrible working conditions. The criminal enterprises involved in prostitution rings often obtain their “goods” through kidnapping, blackmailing or similar illegal means.

A Personal Choice

Prostitution, at most times, is a personal choice.

For some, it is the only way for them to survive. They are only doing so because this is the best job they can do to keep themselves and loved ones alive.

I abhor the idea that, when these people are living excruciatingly painful lives, are still subjected to the psychological pressure of your subjective morale ideals.

It is easy to say from the point of view of a relatively well-off human being that prostitution is an abuse to one’s dignity; but until you know true hopelessness, you know of nothing of what you speak.

And what of the rest?

Those who willingly subject their body to the trade? We still face the same dilemma: is turning the human body into an object of commerce objectionable?

The hypocrite?

Truthfully, I find prostitution a must.

A man’s ability to attract women is highly correlated to his level of attractiveness and socio-economic status. Men who are neither physically attractive nor wealthy, and those with otherwise unattractive or struck with disability must endure years of grinding celibacy; or they can pay for sex.

And yet, I would never want to see my daughter work in the porn industry. And when if I were to sleep with a prostitute, I imagine something within me wouldn’t feel right.

Conclusion, and the Leftovers

So what’s wrong with girls working in brothels? Them being forced to work in brothels. You have a problem with human traffickers and their criminal involvements in prostitution? Then your problems are with human trafficking.

If I were to purchase a loaf of bread from a baker, and all I want is an amazing loaf of bread for my breakfast, and I using the baker as a means to an end?
And on the page of dignity, would you think that the grave-digger, the guy who pumps out sewage and the garbage man have any of their own?

It is a little counter intuitive to be using logic to dictate a moral compass, but perhaps the concern of a human dignity in regards to prostitution is misinformed. I’d like to see prostitution regulated, but as for legislation of prostitution, I’m not too sure. To bring legislation brings the fear that it might collaterally cause it to be normalized.

Some would argue that it is in their freedom to do what they wish with their bodies, but the other would admit that sometimes freedom tends to be misused.

There are pull and pushes in view of legislation; and with the gay-marriage movement, previously frowned upon and now frantically pushed for, perhaps there is now a pulling back. With the decelerating assault on the limits of decency, some are prepared to expand its limits.

———-
This is an article written by PP1MT.
He blogs at pp1mt.com, and his articles are free for sharing, reuse and reblog.
He is also interested in your thoughts on the subject 🙂
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p.s: used a stunningly low amount of images this time round; googling for prostitutes stock images isn’t very healthy… :/
Also, this video in particular helped me understand a lot more about the subject matter. It contains NSFW content, but is otherwise very enlightening. Please do check it out.

9 thoughts on “Respecting Prostitutes

  1. I agree. It’s a silly argument to me that it is a question of one’s dignity. People allow themselves to be used for extrinsic reasons every day in every profession. The fact that I only care about you because of your capacity to hand me the hamburger I bought isn’t a degradation of human dignity, it just indicates that I don’t know you and that you aren’t a major priority of mine right now. Similarly, it also does not mean that it is impossible for me to ever care about or appreciate you as a dignified human being.

    I think the modern view of prostitution tends to gloss over the periods of history where the practice was at least more decriminalized than it is now. It also takes a decidedly crusader view of females. Yes, women are equal to men and capable of having sex for sex’s sake. Yes, women do own their own bodies and have the natural authority to do with them what they will. And yes, just because a woman has chosen prostitution as her profession, it does not necessarily follow that she is a princess in need of saving from evil men, a drug addiction, or financial hardship.

    I doubt I’d use the service, but I have no issue with well-regulated, legalized prostitution. I personally feel that sexual repression is a far more severe issue, and that it leads more often to bad marriages, sexual crimes, and other problems. Legal prostitution could help with sexual repression in many ways.

    1. Yes, legalizing prostitution can bring in a lot of benefits, but will it ever escape stigmatization? Or would I even want it be normalized? The only deterrent here, at least for me, is that one day my metaphorical daughter would dream to become a world class prostitute.

      Very hypocritical, as I would say again. But it seems that right up to now I’ve only been preaching tolerance, and not acceptance.

      1. Let’s assume that it does escape stigmatization, that it is seen as any other job, and for a select few talented people a physical artform.

        Do you still object to your future daughter dreaming of becoming a world class prostitute?

      2. Hmmm…respect has a price, doesn’t it?

        A “cheap whore” would live in a world of antipathy while the “Social escort” can afford a more luxurious blindspot in many judgemental attitudes.

        Social image and moral quality shouldn’t be conflated, but they are sometimes. The prostitution may be morally acceptable or not, but their social image is a separate issue.

        It burns down to me being able to accept my daughter using her body as a commercial product – and whether it goes against my moral standards.

        I would think so.

        But it would largely depend on her attitude in doing so; I wouldn’t want her to settle on the vocation because she’s only in it for the money. I’d want my daughter to benefit the society in which she is brought up in, and if her intentions were truly to be so, then she has my approval.

  2. One of my best friends is a prostitute and she only looks at it as being a job. Nothing more, nothing less. It’s her source of income and it’s how she supports herself. I don’t necessarily consider prostitution a bad thing because I know many prostitutes and many of them are out there because they can’t find any other forms of work. Others are like you said forced into that situation either by human trafficking or by something tragic that’s happened to them in their lives.

    1. It’s like how most people hate their day-job, but can’t quit because, similarly, that is their livelihood.Very rarely does a person truly wish to commit to prostitution out of passion, I guess many do so out of necessity and circumstances. My heart goes out to those who are forced to do so under those inhumane working conditions.

  3. For such a difficult topic, you’ve done a wonderful job. I agree with you and C.T. Murphy that prostitution isn’t in basis different from other jobs–many teens don’t like working in a fast food restaurant, but they do it because they need the income. And we as consumers don’t go to fast food restaurants to meet the people working there, but to get our food–and the people working there understand that. It was their choice.

    But prostitution definitely needs regulation. The women who choose to do this, for whatever reason it is, need to be protected. And they definitely need to be respected.

  4. Thanks for this post. I have never paid a prostitute, or lived off the avails of prostitution. I know many prostitutes and their reasons for joining this profession are varied. I’ll speak of one person. Her name is Joy. She has low self esteem due to physical and sexual abuse as a child. She also has bipolar disorder and is agoraphobic and psychotic. Medication has been prescribed, but is not always accessible. She became involved with drugs at the age of fourteen and was forced to leave her parental home. She then joined a biker gang. Gang life required that she do what she was told, or face consequences, even death. Being a drug addict, she also had to pay for her habit.

    Joy has five sons. They live with other members of her family. With some of her earnings from prostitution she bought her mother a house — the same mother who threw her out on her own at age fourteen. For the past fifteen years, Joy has been a panhandler, often sleeping behind a dumpster.

    Joy did what she had to do to survive. She does the same today. Legalized prostitution, to me, seems the best solution. It would provide protection for the sex workers, and safe, sanitary working conditions for all concerned. Also, if a crime were committed against a prostitute, she would be able to report it to the police. As it is now, prostitutes have no protection by the police. ~ Dennis

    1. Thank you for sharing Joy’s story. Some people tend to forget that these sex workers are humans as well, and would more often than not harm them – I’m sure you’ve heard of the numerous incidents. Some serial killers prey upon these workers, fueled by the belief that “Whores are insignificant beings, and no one would realize if one or two were dead”.

      And prostitutes in the more rural, destitute areas should be protected in the least; given contraception and a proper understanding of STDs and various risks of the professions.

      I just read your blog and only then found out about what you’re doing – it’s amazing. My heart goes out to Joy. Please continue providing support for these people that society has seemingly forgotten.

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