Here’s a link to a Newsweek article titled “The John Next Door”: http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2011/07/17/the-growing-demand-for-prostitution.html. Below the article is a “Comments” section where readers can post comments. There were multiple pages of comments posted, but now only the most recent page of comments is showing, which is very disturbing considering that there were so many excellent, insightful comments that now aren’t visible. Yet, some on the most recent page are still really good.
I’m providing a forum here where people can continue the discussion and the comments will stay up provided that they are constructive. People with different points of view may post here as I don’t like to censor, but I don’t allow any forms of slander, hate speech, or trolling.
Here’s my input on the article. First, it’s very overgeneralized and I get so sick of people bashing all of our clients. The claim in this article that men who don’t pay for sex are more respectful toward women than men who do is inconsistent with my experiences. When men continue to hit on me for free when I make it clear that I just want to be alone and am not interested in being hit on, that’s degrading. I don’t find it degarading when my clients compensate me for my time, skills, and talents; respect my boundaries; and don’t try to make our relationship into more than what it is.
Though I can’t speak for every sex worker, the vast majority of my clients in the legal brothels have been very respectful, sometimes more respectful toward me than people I meet outside of sex work. I realize that there are abusive and disrespectful clients. Yet, I also realize there are abusive and disrespectful spouses and intimate partners outside of sex work. Of course, not all are abusive and some are very kind and caring. Thus, villifying all clients of sex workers makes as little sense as villifying all spouses and intimate partners outside of sex work.
I also found the language in the article implying that our clients “buy” us to be extremely offensive. My clients don’t “buy” me. Rather, they pay me for work. My body still belongs to me and when I leave my sessions with clients, I still have it attached to me. Thus, I’m not “selling my body”.
It’s interesting how some of the same people who complain about how prostitution is so degrading are promoting degrading attitudes against us themselves.