Saturday, April 08, 2006

Voluntary prostitution

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Well, I have been pondering about prostitution (with the help of others). And I have expanded my horizons. I’ve discovered I have a very narrow view about the issue forced/voluntary in prostitution. At first, I counted being forced in prostitution by circumstances (like poverty) as “voluntary” prostitution. Besides, we are essentially all “forced” to work to make a living. We don’t say a nurse is forced to do her job. And if you view prostitution just as “work”, we don’t say that a prostitute is “forced”, even when she hates her job.

But.... I imagine myself visiting a prostitute who hates men and hates the world. I really don’t like the idea to have sex with such a person. I would have the feeling I’m sexually abusing such a person, because as a matter of fact, she does plainly needs my money.

And that means that prostitution is just not another job. And that means that prostitution forced by circumstances also should by counted as forced prostitution, just like human trafficking.

Only in the situation that the person who is the prostitute has no problems with his/her occupation, it’s okay to have sex with that person.

But on the other hand..... without money you can’t live......

For the prostitute, the situation must be very difficult. On one hand, he/she hates these the clients, on the other hand, he/she wants to have many clients to make enough money.

Also many prostitutes who are trafficked on the one hand hate their clients, but they are happy when they visit her, because when they don’t have enough clients, the pimp will become very angry and beat them up (one client told me that a prostitute told him that).

For many prostitutes the world must be a living hell.

We live in a complex world.

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Jonathan said...

Prostitution is just another job.
Therefore it can be unpleasant just like hundreds of other jobs.

Prostitutes who dislike their job usually behave in a fully impersonal way, to be not hurted by the unpleasant sides of their job.

I doubt there is a significant quote of prostitutes really wanting to choose another job: for a young girl there is a plenty of jobs they could do, if they really want.
The fact is, working for MacDonalds you can't earn so much money ...

Frankly speaking, I think there is no rational reason to look at reality in another way, just emotional reasons.
And it always seems to me really sad that a lot of people starts thinking in a purely emotional way whenever it comes dealing with sex, including when dealing with prostitution.

Donkey said...

Prostitutes who dislike their job usually behave in a fully impersonal way, to be not hurted by the unpleasant sides of their job.
No, that's not true. I don't know it from my own experience but from others. I know some Johns who told that they knew prostitutes who seemed like they really liked their jobs, with big smiles on their faces, etc...... Until they confided to them that actually they hated their job, and they hate men, and all men are pigs.

Jonathan said...

I repeat my point of view: if you really dislike that job and have even a small opportunity to do some other kind of work (and this opportunity is present almost in all cases), you stop working as a prostitute.
Masochist are just a very little fraction among human beings ...

You can even like your job in prostitution, because you make a lot of money, and dislike your customers.
That's true for a lot of jobs.
I suspect a lot of lawyers, for example, dislike their clients, that doesn't mean they don't like their job.
BTW, I've contacted many prostitutes, I'm quite sure the most of them don't dislike their clients much more than a bank clerk.

Donkey said...

After a while you get used to everythings. Some victims of human trafficking say that after a short while they get used to their new job.

I still hope to figure out who are the forced prostitutes and who are the voluntary prostitutes.

That helps a lot for clients.

Anonymous said...

A Letter from the Salvation Army to a news writer:

Dear Mr. Kristof,

That said I must raise concerns about your recent articles. First, one of your pieces details how a young girl was violently forced into the sex trade and how she ultimately accepted her role as prostitute and tried to attract buyers.

Professionals in the fields of torture, domestic violence, child sexual abuse, and commercial sexual exploitation refer to this process as seasoning, grooming, and/or conditioning. Biderman’s Chart of Coercion, published by Amnesty International in 1973, describes in detail coercive techniques (besides physical torture)—methods such as isolation, induced debility and exhaustion, threats, degradation, enforcing of trivial demands, granting of occasional indulgences, to mention a few — used to gain control of political prisoners. These are the same means (as well as physical torture) routinely used to subjugate women and girls in prostitution and pornography the world over.

With an understanding of these systematic techniques of coercion and control, one’s perception of the women and girls we see prostituting on street corners or in bars changes. The supposed “voluntary prostitute,” who may give every appearance of freely choosing to be there, is in actuality frequently constrained by unseen forces that have conditioned her to be there.

If you accept that conditioning occurs, which I believe you do, how then can any casual observer (like yourself) know whether someone is a “forced prostitute” or a “voluntary” one from mere observation? I also ask you, if someone who was once forced into prostitution, becomes conditioned to the life and “accepts” their fate, are they now a “voluntary prostitute”? Why is making the distinction between who is forced and who is not so important to you?

Or, does it matter more that we live in a so-called civilized world that sanctions the buying and selling of women/girls for sex as if they were commodities or objects? That we live in a world which overwhelmingly legitimizes the notion that there should be a supply of females whose purpose is to be on hand to meet male demand for sex?

Think again if you think you can judge who is forced into prostitution and who is not. Even if you can miraculously judge who voluntarily prostitutes and who doesn’t, is that the bottom line for you? Instead, how about standing up against the injustice of the trade in any and all female flesh.

Donkey said...

Yes, it's the conundrum again. You retrieved this letter from a blog.

Can you recognize forced and voluntary prostitutes? No, you don't. But there are some statistical tricks in the Netherlands. Choose an older prostitute and the probability is a lot smaller. Forced Dutch prostitutes often work in window prostitution. And forced prostitutes are often Eastern European and African.

But this is all inside information that I coincidentally know. And I don't even keep to all these tips myself. Okay I avoid the Eastern European and African prostitutes. But I prefer young Dutch prostitutes in clubs.

I said it myself: what if a prostitute hates to have sex with you? I have experienced it myself. These women made very clear through bodylanguage what they felt about me. This is not a nice feeling at all.

Prostitution is silly.

And perhaps all sex is silly. Many women don't like sex.

Here this report:
Sexual Dysfunction in the United States - Prevalence and Predictors
JAMA, April 7, 1999—Vol 281, No. 13

It seems almost half of the women are sexual dysfunctional. And more than a quarter of young women have hardly any sexual feelings.