Saturday, December 05, 2009



I have to admit that all my attemps to convert Laura Agustín (and all my attempts not to watch pornography) have failed so far.

She keeps on believing that sex traffickers are simply misunderstood and in reality are nice people who help other people out.

But in reality I made a small victory. She admits that clients cannot know the difference between forced and voluntary prostitutes, and those who care better should not visit prostitutes.

Demand: Clients who want to know who’s free (December 3th 2008)

I receive requests from clients asking how they can distinguish between coerced or trafficked sex workers and those more or less freely on the game. Given all the anti-demand and hate-men projects around, it’s a fair question. And, obviously, sensible clients don’t want to be told to just ask the sex workers themselves. Some say that they have met women they believed worked voluntarily, but afterwards it turned out they had been forced into it.

It’s easy to snicker at re-education projects like Johns’ Schools and say what seems obvious, which is that anyone who gets picked up while negotiating with a worker in the street probably just turns to another area of the sex industry, such as the Internet or indoor venues like massage parlours. And I don’t want to exaggerate, as some might, the significance of clients who help rescue people in trouble, but I did write about this once long ago: They Speak, but Who Listens?

The UK’s Home Secretary has proposed legislation not criminalising all buying of sex – the so-called Swedish Model – but only the buying of services from people ‘controlled for another’s gain’, which I wrote about in the Guardian recently in The Shadowy World of Sex Across Borders. And which, I learned yesterday in Copenhagen, is the Finnish Model.

In this context, I would like to come up with some advice to clients. I’m wondering what other working people advise, since I tend to think that any client genuinely worried about this should stop paying human beings for sex and move onto some other form of commercial pleasure. Why? Because, as I write ad infinitum, it is vexingly difficult to distinguish levels of will and choice, except at the extremes of the continuum where pure freedom and pure slavery supposedly exist.

And it is perfectly true that sex workers may lie about or exaggerate their happiness in their work in order to get custom, or be afraid of telling anyone the truth, since that might lead them into trouble if they are found out.

So what do people think?

Laura Agustín
So that means that in a perfect world where all people care about other people prostitution cannot exist.

Now the task for me is, to put that all in practise. My latest visit to a prostitute in April this year was a colossal mistake. And I must also admit that I do actually regularly watch pornography. I do agree with radical feminists that pornography is simply sexual violence caught on film. I can see that with my own eyes. I feel very ashamed that I get sexually excited by all this torture. But unfortunately, my highscore of not watching pornography stands at 3 months, my latest attempt lasted 2 weeks.

My only excuse for now is that all men and women watch pornography (look at all the women who shave their pussies).

Violence becomes the norm anyway nowadays.



Anonymous said...

There are several feminists making their own pornography, which is by definition woman-friendly.
There's also erotica, both written, photographed and drawn. The porn industry isn't monumental.

Donkey said...

True, friendly pornography is possible, and so is humane prostitution. In principle.

It is just theory versus reality. I recently read an article which said that it was normal in the porn industry when an actrice first sleeps with the producer. And the producer usually treats the women very badly. When the producers needs them they don't call the women by name but says: 'Bitch come here'. Very normal in the porn industry. Friendly porn is the exception.

When you watch a picture of a nude woman you likely watch a person who is horribly exploited. Not that it is by definition bad to look at nude pictures, just reality versus theory. Look at a film of people fucking, and you likely see exploited people who are abused.

In reality, who will watch feminist porn? Too soft. People like hardcore, the pain, that turns them on. People want to be shocked when watching porn.

Perhaps I could buy the playboy and look at Patricia Paay. She's doing it voluntarily.