Friday, February 19, 2010

FAQ

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Actually it is time after all those years to summarize all my hard work of finding out where to find the voluntary prostitute and what I learned about prostitution in general. So I wrote an SM Berg style FAQ. The acronym FAQ means Frequently Asked Questions by the way. I'm pondering if I should put links to the relevant sources, but I think it would be better just to use the search-option on this blog (on the top left of the screen). Okay here's the FAQ:

Why did you start this blog?
I'm having much difficulties finding information about how to distinguish voluntary from forced prostitutes and this way I can vent my frustration on the rest of the planet. Without much success by the way because only some 100 people a day visit my blog and many don't respond, although I've had some nice conversations with clients and prostitutes via email. A typical sex worker blog has 5000 visitors a day and receives many dozens of messages per post. Another reason for starting this blog: I want to share my shock with the world about the many horror stories about prostitution in the Netherlands.

Is prostitution dirty work?
Yes. Like cleaning the toilet. But this time the contents of the toilet rise up like slithering tentacles covered with cum, piss and shit, touching and entering your mouth and genitals. And while you chop of those tentacles new ones rise up like glistening wet leather.

Are clients of prostitutes evil?
Yes. They only seek the power to command another person and sexually use them at their will. Sometimes they feel good about themselves because after all they give money to a poor person who can then take care of her children. Like giving development aid. They also think about how good they are when they say how beautiful the woman is and then treating them as their lover, the so-called girlfriend experience. But all this is just to assert their power: look how rich I am, I can command you at my will, bow slave and I fuck you from behind.
Read more about how dirty prostitution is and how evil clients are: here.

Do women really choose to be prostitutes?
Yes. There are lots of SM types in the world (like myself) who enjoy to be dominated and to be sexually humiliated. It’s the forbidden fruit effect. If something is considered to be abnormal it becomes attractive. People become most sexually aroused when they do things they consider themselves to be inappropriate; like working in prostitution. So, there are women who have lived for years in a virtual corsage living a life of full chastity. Until something cracks inside of them and then it becomes very liberating to have sex with a filthy fat truck driver with greasy hands who totally treats them like a whore and puts his greasy fingers with his uncut nails into their maidenly asshole, and then to suck him without a condom and swallow his spunk. For these women being sexually molested is actually what attracts them. Actually, this was one of my favourite fantasies for years. So I can understand it. If I were a woman I would have worked in prostitution myself just to do something naughty.

Why did you call your blog 'fleshtrade'?
Well, because when I started it I was in an anti-prostitution mood. It switches from time to time. Sometimes I'm pro. The idea behind the 'fleshtrade' is that basically visiting a prostitute is like consuming meat, only this time the meat is alive, then the 'meat' is called 'flesh'. Hence the fleshtrade. I think the parallel is correct. If you eat meat you show utter indifference towards the hellish life of the poor animal which you have bought for your oral pleasures. The same is true for visiting a prostitute. The difference is that afterwards you spit the prostitute out for the use of other flesheaters.

But what about those reports which tell us that the job satisfaction of prostitutes is similar to those of other workers and that women enjoy their work in prostitution?
That tells us more about how bad the working conditions of people in general are. Perhaps, planet Earth is not such a nice place for many people to live on. And you could question if a woman really means it when she says she enjoys her work in prostitution. The outside world is generally against them and the women who are interviewed are aware that they disadvantage all the other people in prostitution when they say something bad about it. It could be used against them. That’s why they say they like it while in reality they hate it. Also read my rant about labour in general:
La revolucion

Wow, you really must be a frustrated guy aren’t you?
Yes, I am. Sexually frustrated that is. Sexually oversaturated by pornography and never had a girlfriend, not being able to socialize with people, let alone approach women. But, I notice that I’m not the only one and there are a considerable number of guys who have great difficulties with drawing the attention of women. I shouldn’t feel ashamed. It seems that women are actually the ones in charge when it comes to selecting a partner. The only problem is that many women don’t realize that. If women really want to they can take over the world. (Yes I know it, perhaps that I'm one of those guys who indirectly complain that Western women don't give enough sexual access to guys. But I believe men have no sexual entitlement whatsoever.)

Oh c'mon you just say prostitutes don't like their job just because you cannot get a hard-on.
There are two groups of prostitutes. The ones who say they adore their work and enjoy every aspect of it, having orgasms and such. And the ones who say they absolutely hate it: clients are dirty, don't respect the limits of the women, are drunk, treat them roughly, etc...... I don't believe that the two groups have entirely different sets of clients. So for me there are two possibilities: the ones who like it lie and the ones who hate it don't, or .... the ones who hate it lie and the ones who like it don't. I think the option where the poor women who suffer are telling lies and are actually horny is just so rude, it is such a harsh denial of their stories. I go for the other option. It is just the most safe option. That means: the ones who say they like it don't tell the truth, except perhaps for the SM-types who enjoy to be sexually humiliated. But also this option is hard, because it also denies their stories, but it is harder to deny the stories of the group who don't like it.
Read more about the question why some prostitutes say that clients are evil and other prostitutes say clients aren't evil: here.

Will you ever visit prostitutes again?
Perhaps that I will (update!!! - actually I'm doing it already). But my feelings at this moment say that I mustn’t do it. First of all, I'm sexually oversatured by pornography (update!!!! - yes I am). And second of all, there is absolutely no way for a client how to know what the prostitute feels about him and what her circumstances are. Quite naturally if you have sex with a person you must feel some kind of dignity for that person. And that’s impossible if you doubt the reasons why she has sex with you; has she been coerced or tricked to do it? Does she think you are a perverted jerk? I would say that the relationship between a prostitute and a client is extremely unequal and not mutual. On the other hand, perhaps the same problems that you have as a client of prostitutes also exist when you have sex with your girlfriend or wife. The question remains if she really likes all the things you do while having sex. Perhaps that your girlfriend/wife experiences pain and she feels so ashamed about it that she won’t tell you. Or she actually hates doggystyle but she allows it anyway because she wants to please you at all costs and she is afraid that you think she is an old tart if she doesn’t do it that way.

Okay, so you started to visit prostitutes again, explain
Yes, the last answer was a little out of date, because I wrote it when I hadn't visited a prostitutes for many years already. But in the meantime I slowly started to believe that forced prostitution is rare, and that many prostitutes have no problems with their work. I have behaved like a mad dog, and have visited about 27 prostitutes (since writing this as of March 3, 2013). I have neglected all the tips to avoid forced prostitutes (tips which I will give later in this FAQ). I can say that I have met some prostitutes who made no effort of concealing to me that they hated to have sex with me. Of one I have very very serious doubts, because she was very shy, seemed to be avoiding me, and could hardly express herself. But I did have some good experiences with prostitutes, and I must admit that I think about the experiences I had with them with warm feelings. There were some women among them whom in the past I would have branded victims of forced prostitution beforehand (that is: young Eastern European window prostitutes, as I will explain later in this FAQ). These women were very friendly and showed no signs that they hated their work. But all is not what it seems!!!! I knew this all along, because some clients had expressed to me such experiences when they thought they entered heaven on Earth but after winning the confidence of the women after several visits, it turned out that things were not so rosy.

Is working in prostitution traumatizing?
No. People are very capable of separating their minds from their bodies, turning the switch so to speak. Compartmentalization is perhaps another strategy: having the ability to split your mind in pieces, while one part is shattered other parts are kept whole, at the end of the working day the bad parts are deactivated and the person returns to a happy joyful life. And think about it: many people have jobs where on a day to day basis they experience the most horrible things; like doctors and ambulance personnel viewing people with awful injuries, butchers who have to kill and slay adorable animals (the biggest crime in the world in my opinion) .... you name it. Many of these people live happy lives outside of their jobs. Several studies show the astonishing result that prostitutes don't seem to be more or less traumatized than people in general. But should that be so strange? Read more about prostitution and trauma: here.

Is it true that many prostitutes enter prostitution because they are poor?
Yes, that seems to be the case. If you just look at the countries where many prostitutes in the Netherlands come from: Romania, Bulgaria, Colombia, The Dominican Republic, Thailand, etc..... all very poor countries. Also, in questionnaires many prostitutes often say they entered prostitution because of financial problems. However, according to Elène Vis, an ex-escort-madam many prostitutes use poverty as an excuse; they say they have debts, but when you ask further questions, their debts are not so high at all. According to Elène Vis many prostitutes enter prostitution not because of money, but because they are emotionally damaged. According to her, there are other ways to earn lots of money.

Is it really true that many prostitutes are victims of human trafficking?
It depends on how you define human trafficking. I you see human trafficking as first being kidnapped and then performing slave labour then the answer is a definite NO!!!! In that case human trafficking in the sex industry is really rare (relatively then, if you consider 100 kidnapped prostitutes a low number). In reality the large majority of women in prostitution consent to working in prostitution. But the conditions are often not good. What happens is the women consent to contracts which force them to work for several months or years in prostitution, working long hours and receiving only a small percentage of the turnover. There are also men who use romantic manipulation to persuade women to earn money for them in prostitution. These women technically consent, voluntary. What also happens is that men start a relationship with a woman who already works in prostitution and then use romantic manipulation to let the woman work harder and then take her money. What also happens is that criminal groups track down prostitutes and start to extort them.

Can you give numbers or percentages regarding how many prostitutes are coerced to work in prostitution or how to know as a client who are the voluntary prostitutes and who are the forced prostitutes?
After years of studying prostitutes I must admit that the world of prostitution is a very blurry world and often you come across many contradictions. Very positive reports about prostitutes are alternated by very negative reports. There are moments when I believe that I have discovered a pattern only the see it completely destroyed by new information I found. I seems that the world of prostitution is a very diverse world and it is absolutely impossible to extrapolate from one group of prostitutes to another.
From several surveys it emerges that a considerable percentage of prostitutes must have been coerced at least in the past. In 2009 a report was published by the RutgersWPF foundation about sexuality in the Netherlands. It is this report: SEKSUELE GEZONDHEID IN NEDERLAND 2009 (written by many persons, 2009), which you can download: here. 3207 women have been interviewed in this study. Interestingly many (former) prostitutes show up and a considerable percentage of prostitutes have been coerced or persuaded to do this, often by a man. Approximately 71 women were at least once paid for sex, 26 women have repeatedly been paid for sex, and 10 women have been paid for sex during the last 12 months. 39% of the women who have been paid for sex have been coerced or persuaded to do this, this means approximately 28 women. Because the sample is not very large the error margin must be big, but this surprising result tells me that the problem of "loverboys" or human trafficking is not a myth as some people like Laura AgústìnDr Brooke Magnanti and The Honest Courtesan may suggest. I tell more about the RutgersWPF study: here.
When researchers survey a sample of prostitutes and ask them if they are coerced, then typically no prostitute will say she is coerced at the moment of the interview. But many admit that they have been coerced in the past. The percentage typically ranges between 8% and 43% depending on the survey. The tendency is that over the years this percentage seems to drop. Ine Vanwesenbeeck has interviewed prostitutes in the eighties and in one sample 29% had been coerced in the past and in another sample it was 43% who said they have been coerced. She also did a survey around the turn of the century, and in this survey 23% said they had been coerced in the past. A research institute interviewed prostitutes in 2006, and this time only 8% had been coerced in the past. Does this indicate a downward trend? Let's hope so! But I'm afraid not. I'm afraid prostitutes simply become less honest. I tell more about this particular issue over here (this is a post about Dutch prostitutes, but I also mention the studies in which prostitutes are asked if they are coerced or have been coerced in the past).
It is impossible to believe that no prostitute is coerced at this moment while in the past some admittedly were. Something must be wrong here. Either way no forced prostitute is interviewed or forced prostitutes don't admit to researchers that they are coerced. So I basically turn to social workers and the police to find an answer regarding percentages and how to avoid forced prostitutes. I try to find as much information as possible. From here on I will answer the question for several subgroups. Like Dutch, Latin American, Eastern European, Thai and African prostitutes. I think this is the best way to do it. I think that I can see a pattern, I just think I can....

Tell me about Latin American prostitutes?

In the Netherlands are many Latin American prostitutes. They have been present in the Netherlands for decades. They are most notable in window prostitution. In the beginning, in the seventies and eighties, these women were very young and often were debt bonded. Later they gained a lot of independence and they probably belong to the most independent prostitutes in the Netherlands today. Often these women are very old, in their forties and fifties. They are of no interest to human traffickers and are left alone by them. The only downside for these women is that because they are not so popular, they are more or less forced to offer more dangerous and degrading services, like oral sex without protection, anal sex, French kissing etc..... This is true for older prostitutes in general. So, if clients are afraid that they visit prostitutes who are coerced or debt bonded or romantically manipulated or whatever, in principle, they could visit these prostitutes. One exception perhaps is Brazilian prostitutes who often work in clubs. There are reports about debt bondage among this group. Read more about Latin American prostitutes: here.

What about Dutch prostitutes?
This is the most mysterious group of prostitutes. There are strong indications that Dutch women who are coerced to work in prostitution predominantly work in window prostitution and are often young. If you make a statistical analysis of trafficking cases regarding Dutch women, in most cases they work behind windows. Often Dutch women who are coerced are romantically manipulated to do this work, by so-called loverboys, often of foreign descent, most notably Moroccan and Turkish descent. So a tip for worried clients is to visit Dutch prostitutes who don’t work in window prostitution. Only, there are eyewitness reports of a substantial numbers of Dutch women in clubs who are forced by their boyfriends. Also, Dutch prostitutes also often seem to be in an unhealthy or even violent relationship (as observed by David Farer). Also, there are multiple eye witness reports which tell us that many Dutch prostitutes are addicted to cocaine. However, I also must admit that if you ask these things directly to prostitutes in general that all of them will say that they are not forced to do this work and only a few say that they use cocaine. So what’s the truth? (and btw: many Dutch prostitutes are in their thirties and forties). Read more about Dutch prostitutes: here.

Tell me about Eastern European prostitutes?
There are many Eastern European prostitutes in the Netherlands. Their numbers are increasing since the European Union lifted its internal borders and when Eastern European countries joined the European Union. Eastern European prostitutes are often young, in their early twenties or late teens. The prostitutes from Poland are somewhat older. I have read a lot about prostitution in the Netherlands and in nearly ALL cases when you read about Eastern European prostitutes in this country you will read about: debt bondage, kidnaps, extortion, bad boyfriends, criminal gangs and the likes. A notable exception is Dina Siegel who has interviewed Russian speaking prostitutes who work in the illegal section of prostitution, so perhaps there are groups of Eastern European prostitutes who have liberated themselves from the influence of human traffickers. I don’t know if the situation of Eastern European is emblematic for other Eastern European prostitutes in the rest of the world. Perhaps that it’s not, I don’t know. It could be a typical Dutch phenomenon, just as with the Dutch women who are forced by the so-called loverboys. Read more about Eastern European prostitutes: here. Read more about Dina Siegel: here.

What about African prostitutes?
Also a mysterious group. There have been many of them in the Netherlands in the past, but their numbers have dwindled substantially. Many African prostitutes are from Ghana and Nigeria. The only pattern that I can find is that Ghanaian prostitutes seem to be more independent than the Nigerian women of whom many of the latter are rumoured to be debt bonded. A large percentage of the victims of human trafficking in the Netherlands are from Africa, but I suspect these women are mainly intended for the international market and not for the Dutch market. Many of these women are intercepted on transit at Schiphol Airport. Read more about African prostitutes: here.

And the Thai prostitutes?
Yes there are many of them also in the Netherlands. Their stories look like those of the Latin American women. Often they entered the Netherlands decades ago when they were very young and debt bonded. Now they often work in all-Asian Thai massage parlours. But their situation seems to be not good. They don’t speak Dutch or English and often they live and sleep in the brothels. They live in isolation. Read more about Thai prostitutes: here.

Other groups?
That was it really, perhaps we have the Chinese women. Often they work in Chinese barber shops. You really have to specifically go to these places to look for them. The stories that you hear about them are not positive: Debt bondage........ Perhaps some other small groups: Belgian prostitutes, German prostitutes, French prostitutes. There’s not much what is known about them.

So how many forced prostitutes in the Netherlands are there?
If you assume that the large majority of Eastern European prostitutes are forced then some 15-25% of the total number of prostitutes in the Netherlands are forced (I estimate that 15-25% of the prostitutes in the Netherlands are of Eastern European origin). The percentage of Eastern European prostitutes is increasing over the years, but the total number of prostitutes is decreasing. Perhaps today there several thousands of Eastern European prostitutes in the Netherlands. Add to that the Dutch victims of loverboys whose numbers perhaps run in the hundreds. There are not many African prostitutes in the Netherlands. I have also tried to extrapolate, but then you get very blurry results. Het Scharlaken Koord once in 2002 estimated that 450 of the 892 prostitutes it had contact with (mainly window prostitutes on De Wallen in Amsterdam), handed over all their money to their pimp. I consider these women victims of human trafficking. If researchers from bureau Beke are to be believed, they wrote in the study 'Kwetsbaar beroep' that basically nearly all victims of human trafficking in Amsterdam can be found in window prostitution (well that was in 2008 to be honest, perhaps it's not true for 2002). So let's keep it to 450 victims in Amsterdam in 2002. I have looked it up in the reports of the Bureau Nationaal Rapporteur Mensenhandel and during that period some 20% of the B9-appeals (25 of 123 cases in 2002) were related to Amsterdam-Amstelland. So an extrapolation would yield over 2000 victims in 2002. But then you can ask the question if these women are really victims of human trafficking then. What's so bad about handing over all your money to your pimp? Isn't that normal in a heterosexual relationship? And then you can ask methodological questions about error margins (how big is the error margin of 25/123?) and overlaps between different areas. So what do you really count as forced prostitution and how do you extrapolate? I go deeper into this issue in the following posts on my blog (I have to warn that each line is a different link):
Estimating the number of forced prostitutes in the Netherlands
How many prostitutes are there really?
Goals, methodology and conclusions

Are there more tips?
Yes, in general it seems to be that forced/debt-bonded/romantically manipulated/extorted prostitution predominantly occurs among young prostitutes. For the simple reason that they earn more money and are more lucrative to criminals. So a tip is to visit older prostitutes, preferably older than thirty. There’s one drawback however. Because older prostitutes earn less money they often resort to more dangerous or degrading kinds of sex which the younger prostitutes are better able to refuse. So, it is more easy for clients to play games on older prostitutes. Their negotiation position is far worse. In other words: it is more difficult for clients to track down what the prostitute feels because she says yes more often.

Is it true that many forced prostitutes work behind windows?
Yes it seems to be the case at first. Many of the bad stories about prostitution in the Netherlands are related to window prostitution. There are multiple reports that it is as a matter of fact impossible to work there independently! The pimps simple pose as clients walk along the windows and then extort the women. Except the older women are left alone because there’s nothing to take from them. Also the women have to pay exuberant rents to the brothel owners. But to come back to the question, if you simply look at statistical data about the prostitutes who are reported as victims of human trafficking also clubs and escort agencies are very prominent in the list. So the answer seems to be no.
Look at the statistical data I gathered about forced prostitution in the Netherlands: here
And look at the monthly reports by Comensha (Foundation against trafficking in women): here

Do you believe prostitution should be prohibited?
After contemplating for a very long time, I believe that it shouldn’t. I wonder how you should formulate such a prohibition: does everybody who lives of the avails of somebody who gets paid for sex be prosecuted. Should all people who pay for sex be punished? I think that many innocent people will go to jail in that case. So that would be a very bad idea. On the other hand, I believe that brothels of brothel owners who clearly allow forced prostitution in their brothels should be closed down. Same for escort agencies. If you clearly see these bad things happen as a government you should stop it and you have to hold people accountable. It is very clear in the Netherlands that for years violent pimps and sinister brothel owners were given a free hand.

What do you think about sex in general?
Personally, I feel it's boring, making those tenuous repetitive motions, and all the while knowing that your sex partner doesn't feel anything at all, that she's just acting.
Nowadays, I feel that's it's hard to be positive about sexuality. Just look at the porn industry. Many men, if not all, watch pornography. Modern-day pornography is very degrading towards women; think about all the many hardcore rough-anal, ass-to-mouth, ass-to-pussy scenes that are prominent in most modern-day porn films. Perhaps this is how men want to see women.
I also doubt female sexuality. Many women don't seem that much interested in sex, perhaps because of societal pressures or perhaps because they are simply not made for it. If men would have testosterone levels as low as women have them they would be surely impotent. Also many women feel pain during sex. I think women just go along with what their boyfriends and husbands want because they want to see them happy, by for instance: shaving their pussies, giving deepthroat blowjobs, allowing to be fucked doggystyle, receiving anal sex, etc..... Perhaps it would be better for men not to have sex with women, and just stick to kissing and cuddling. I believe that if you really respect a woman, you don't want to have sex with her.
Here some posts about this issue (okay, I exaggerate a little bit here, I don't know everything, I was in a negative mood here, and I have to warn that each new line is a separate link):
The myth of 'being in love'
All sex is prostitution, all prostitution is oppression
Women dont like sex any more than young boys do
Vulnerable women
All women like chocolate
No link between testosterone and sex drive

5 comments:

Atika said...

Hi, I'm a journalist doing a story on the decriminalization of prostitution. I'm comparing the Netherlands experience with other countries and I've been reading your blog with a lot of interest.

Would you be available to talk, off the record, about your research, experiences and why you started this blog?

Please let me know what you think. My number is +447827962328. Or you can reach me at atika.shubert@cnn.com

Best,
Atika

Anonymous said...

Hello,

I was wondering if I could have access to your email address? I am writing a college paper on the topic of Sexual Slavery in the De Wallen Red Light District. I am having a hard time finding primary sources. The class is World History of Human Sexuality. I would really love to pick your brain on the topic. Thank you!

A

Donkey said...

You can find my e-mail address under my profile:

http://www.blogger.com/profile/06456854894416544989

look carefully

Amber said...

Sorry, as a true (dutch!)prostitute - working voluntary and with pride - i am quite shocked about the amount of rubbish in this blog, especcially when knowing that you have read so much about this subject.
Clients are evil and the work is not traumatizing? Serious?
I feel disappointed about you giving this info to the world.

Donkey said...

You believe that clients are NOT evil, and the work IS traumatizing?

Explain....?

BTW: Thank you for reading my blog!