Newsweek Article Bashing Sex Work Clients

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.

12 responses

  1. Pingback: Newsweek Article Bashing Sex Work Clients « Bound, Not Gagged

  2. “My clients don’t “buy” me. Rather, they pay me for work.” Thank your for clearing the matter up in few precise words and teaching us how to express our respect for sexual workers — whatever personal position we take on the subject.

  3. Vegan Vixen:

    This article gave me many reasons for pause and I agree with the degredation of us. I feel the feminist abolition/prohibitionists are the absolute worse in promoting harms to sex workers through actions and words. I think it is time I oust feminist abolitionist/prohibitionist attorney Beth Klein who was whored by the Hunt’s Alternative to push SB 11-085 (John School) in Colorado. She is against the harms to women in the sex industry and wants all purchasers to be punished. I have advanced academia and am a mental health professional in the community. I also have 18 years experience in the sex industry working as an exotic dancer. Who better then me to provide for this diversion? (I won’t even call it js) Ms. Klein, feminist – we must save the whores because they can’t save themselves, laughed at my offer to do so. Is that helping or hurting the us? They say they want to help us but they really don’t mean it! Possibly, if I had turned my life over to the late great jc or promoted harms by this industry like the other whore of Hunts – Marion Hatcher, I might have a better in!
    I also agree that sex work is labor providing a service through manual labor. It is no different than a dishwasher using their hands to wash dishes or a mailperson using their legs to deliver mail. Body labor may be a better term.

  4. im sorry i cant read this its absurd and offensive. im a “john”. ive been havin relationships with sex workers for all most 10 years. im 40 years old. i started out becouse i was lonely. im not lonely any more. im a sexual person who dose not want to be in a boy friend girl friend relationship. so i pay women for sex and companionship. ive never hated any woman ive ever been with, and violence does not turn me on, and i dont have fantasizes about rape. i dont want to degrade any one. i really like the woman im seeing now. sometimes i fantasize about being her friend. when people dont like something they demonize it. they want it to be ugly. becouse the uglier it is the more their discust and hatered is vindicated.

  5. Firstly, the prohibitions against sex work and recreational drugs are absurd and unjust. Government does not have the moral right to interfere in the private lives of the adult citizenry, particularly in that country which considers itself “the Land of the Free”.

    Secondly, Farley tries to paint all clients as violent psychopaths because she has no serious arguments to make, and she knows it. The one good thing about the article is that the police abuse/rape of sex workers is admitted (but the fact that criminalization is what facilitates this abuse is ignored, of course).

  6. That’s right, Gumdeo. Some people act like prostitution is inherently violent, while overlooking how oppressive laws encourage this. Also, prostitution exists within the context of a broader society, so the only way to guarantee safety in prostitution or anywhere would be make society perfectly safe.
    Considering that the U.S. is called the “Land of the Free”, what about freedom for sex workers in prostitution. I support this same freedom for sex workers globally.

  7. Melbourne’s Brothels are some of the most famous brothels in the world. There are over 90 brothels in Melbourne, all of them listed here, in the Melbourne Brothels Guide conveniently sorted by suburb. Melbourne is a city where prostitution is regulated by placing certain requirements on brothel owners and escort agencies.

  8. Articles such as the one in Newsweek/The Daily Beast, often seem to confuse trafficking with prostitution. There are already severe laws in place against trafficking. Prostitution, on the other hand involves someone voluntarily providing a service.

    I also believe that there needs to be a campaign to raise the status of sex-workers. They are providing an very important service to society and should be treated with respect and dignity.

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