Sunday, March 11, 2012

The quest for the voluntarily prostitute has ended


I say in the header of my blog that I am a John whose quest it is to find the voluntarily prostitute. However, I slowly realised that I am not searching for a voluntarily prostitute at all. My tactic is to find involuntary prostitutes, and to look where they work. Then I assume that prostitutes must be working voluntarily if they don't work in places where involuntary prostitutes are often supposed to be working. I notice that forced prostitutes in the Netherlands mainly work in two types of prostitution nowadays: window prostitution and escort prostitution. Forced prostitutes don't seem to be showing up much often in sex clubs and so-called ‘privéhuizen’, these types of brothels are indoor brothels, with a bar and without a bar respectively. So I conclude that prostitutes who work in these types of brothels must in a large majority work voluntarily.
But I never was much interested in stories about voluntary prostitutes to begin with. You regularly read stories about voluntarily prostitutes, many times they are very positive about the profession. These prostitutes tell that they enjoy being together with their clients, they enjoy the sex, they enjoy the personal contact, and they enjoy to meet interesting new people. I have problems believing these stories. Honestly, I cannot really believe that women genuinely enjoy the sex with so many, often old and dirty clients. Unless you are a masochist of some sort, enjoying the humiliation of having sex with men you would detest under normal circumstances. I can believe that a woman works independently in prostitution, without a pimp or somebody else who exploits her. I believe that some women have made a conscious decision to do this work. But do they really enjoy it?

I wonder if these stories aren't really masked advertisements. There are sex magazines which feature short interviews with prostitutes. A photograph of the prostitute is depicted alongside the interview. Also the name of the brothel or escort agency is added. In these interviews the women obviously tell that they enjoy their work a lot. But that is so obvious, they wouldn't tell that they don't enjoy their work in what is clearly an advertisement. In women's magazines you often read stories about happy hookers. And also these stories seem to be masked advertisements. There are many stories about prostitutes who work for the escort agencies 'Women of the World' and 'Vialet Escort Service'. Also these stories are really positive. But perhaps I should give them the benefit of the doubt. These are high-class escort agencies. Usually rich businessman use the services of these agencies, often for many hours, 300 euro per hour. The prostitutes are especially selected regarding their beauty, intelligence, and sexual and conversational skills. Also the clients are screened, they have to give their full names and addresses to the escort agencies. The agencies check if these persons are real.

I read a book written by Lindsay Momerency, which is called 'Studente ontvangt – Bijverdienste in de prostitutie' (2012). She interviewed prostitutes who work for 'Vialet Escort Service'. One prostitute tells that she has worked with other escort agencies, but she wasn't satisfied about every single one of them. Sometimes she was paid too little, or the boss was annoying. She read something in the paper about Zoë Vialet and then she tried it with this agency. She is satisfied about it. She really started this for the kick. It seemed terrific to her to do something that really shocks people (See!!! Sexuality is all about transgression!). She doesn’t want a boring life. Another prostitute tells that if a girl isn’t satisfied about a client, then he is removed from the system. So, that means that this client cannot approach this escort agency anymore.

This mode of conduct is unusual for an escort agency or brothel. Usually escort agencies and brothels don’t screen their clients. I believe that if the rotten apples are removed, then it could be possible for prostitutes to work with a high degree of safety and while also having a high degree of respect from the clients. So perhaps I have found the voluntary prostitutes I was looking for. In my opinion sexuality is still something bad, but perhaps you could create some special situations where there is some mutual respect, albeit very little. In my opinion, sexuality is always something abusive. A man can only develop an erection through objectification and transgression. However, if a woman doesn't bother about being the object of objectification and transgression, then perhaps it is okay. But it is still silly.

Some time ago, the students magazine Folia featured a story about two student prostitutes, called Cindy and Anna in the article (‘Het is eigenlijk jammer dat je het niet op je cv kunt zetten’, Annemiek Recourt, Folia, weekblad voor de Universiteit van Amsterdam, jaargang 64 19/11/2010 nummer 11). They both work for 'Women of the World'. The article has made an impression on me. (From here on I mainly follow the text from the article). They offer the client a girlfriend experience, where talking and kissing are just as important as sex. Cindy believes that people underestimate the work: 'They believe that you lie down and then it's done. But you have to give yourself both mentally and physically. The clients are often highly educated, successful men, mostly from abroad. You entertain them on multiple areas, talk with them about politics, about art. It is certainly no assembly-line work.' Anna says: 'Often the client books a dinner package. That consists of two hours dining and two hours private time in the hotel chamber. When I started to do this work, I especially worried about the first thing: if I was interesting enough as a conversational partner. You must have a lot going for one. It is actually a pity that you can’t put it on your CV.

And the sex? Being an escort is more than just talking pleasantly. Anna: 'Yes, of course, you must actually like sex. But I don't have much difficulties giving myself physically.' She believes that she experiences a lot of nice things. Recently, she set off with five colleagues: booked by a group of six men. 'One of them had arranged it as a surprise for the rest. It was a cosy evening, which only ended at seven o'clock in the morning.' But also the Hindu doctor, who never had sex with somebody else other than his own wife, made a big impression. 'He wanted to have more confidence about his achievements in bed. That was a special experience.'

Are Anna’s stories not much too rosy? These often older men can't possibly be always friendly and attractive. Both Cindy and Anna believe however that in most clients you can discover 'something nice'. Cindy: 'is a beautiful appearance necessary to have a good time? An interesting personality or a passionate story can also be very charming.' Okay, sometimes you have bad luck indeed. Last week, Anna had 'such a person with whom it didn't go smoothly. Above all, he spoke English badly. Then it is really hard work. And yet, you get over it; after all, you offer a service which has been paid for."
When somebody is drunk, or really unpleasant, then the women make a U-turn on the spot, although that has never happened yet. They also don't do just everything what has been asked of them. Fortunately, the men indicate their wishes (think about: anal, sadomasochism, fetishes) when they book.

Cindy has had several jobs on the side, but she found them all equally 'dull', and she emphasises the emancipated character of her present source of income: 'I must offer a certain quality, I am my own boss.' Doesn’t she struggle with the ethics of her work? 'No, actually not.' Cindy is silent for a while. Then: 'I enjoy it and I harm nobody with it. So I see no problem.' Anna is sometimes sick about having a lesser evening. 'At such a moment, you are confronted with what you are doing: then you are a whore anyway. Because we mustn't also idealise it: such a man pays for you, it is no pretty woman.' But she also is very enthusiastic. 'I push back my boundaries this way. I have learned that some things are sometimes scarier than they are, and that I dare to do it anyway in such a case. I find that tough of myself.' (Once again: see! Sexuality is all about transgression!)

Both call girls are convinced that this work is not suited for everybody. Anna emphasizes that money shouldn’t be the main drive: 'Having a great liking for sex is an absolute prerequisite, you must be in for strange things.' (See! Sexuality is transgression!) It also has a lot of impact on your social life. Cindy explains: 'Even if you are only booked for two small hours, you have lost your whole evening.' And mentally you must be very strong: 'The moment that I enter somewhere, I turn the switch and change myself into Cindy, who has a different age, a different study, a different birthplace. That's why my work name is so important.'
You must also be able to combine it with your ideas about love. These ideas have changed for Cindy because of her work: she doesn't believe in monogamy anymore. Anna has an open relationship. Her boyfriend knows of her 'hobby' and doesn't find it a problem, according to Anna. 'He says: "you are not my property". He believes that it is a phase which I have to go through.' She does realise how special his attitude is, and she is happy with it, because she 'wouldn't be able to keep silent about something important like that'.

(Here I go back to my own musings) Now the point is, if it is really true that only voluntarily prostitutes work at these particular escort agencies, why shouldn't I make use of that? I have enough money to do it. And above all, they offer me a girlfriend experience! I have the opportunity to kiss women this way, something that is unavailable to me in real life. The probability that these women are coerced is practically nil. And these women are not offended by me having sex with them. They don't have low feelings about their customers. So what's the big deal? I think it's just the whole fuss about arranging the whole thing; phoning to the escort agency, going through the whole screening process, arranging a hotel, going to the hotel, paying the prostitute, paying the hotel room, the insecurity about the person you are about to meet, the insecurities about having sex, do I actually want to have sex?, do I actually need sex? It is much easier to just go to a random brothel, pick a woman, and have sex with her. And this is also a big deal. I think it would be better just to lie down on my own bed and to masturbate. It is cheaper, and I harm nobody.

By the way: I masturbated again, after six weeks. :( Against all my promises…..

Oh, I promised to be an asexual six weeks ago.

Anyway, I harmed nobody. I just wanted to know what happens when you masturbate after six weeks of abstention. Really, I didn’t enjoy it at all. I can do without it.

(I am really sick)

And I went to the red light districts of Amsterdam again, two times, not actually visiting a prostitute, just looking. This is so sick, the red light districts are just the absolute worst places to go to as a client, given all the forced prostitution that happens there. Luckily I didn’t feel anything sexually. Perhaps becoming an asexual is really easier than I thought.

I am sick. I must visit a shrink who really understands me, my behavior is really obsessive. :(


Anonymous said...

Donkey, this is Anna, who has been writing on your post about Maggie McNeill.

I want to say that I am again moved by your struggle, which you tried to get help for from Maggie McNeill. She only yelled at you and told you that you have mental problems, but I see the problem the opposite way that she sees it. I think the way you see sex, as something that is always abusive, comes from the fact that you yourself have abusive thoughts about women when you have sex with them. It's your thoughts that are abusive, not the act of sex itself. That is why you are addicted to prostitutes, because then it is already an abusive transaction and that's where you are comfortable. So what you have to work on is your anger towards women or towards the world. You have to try to figure out where your hate comes from, the hate that in turn drives your desire to abuse. Sex that is not coerced is not abusive, or does not need to be. Plenty of people have equal sexual relationships, but you will not find that with a prostitute. I think you may be a masochist yourself, or a melancholic. You are guilty because your own thoughts are dirty and bad, and you are addicted to feeling bad about yourself, which drives the need to do something forbidden, like visit a prostitute. I would recommend reading Alfred Adler for help with that.

Donkey said...

I think I'm rather influenced by Sheila Jeffreys and Andrea Dworkin. No, I think in a patriarchal society it is difficult to have equal and mutual sexual relationships between people. I even think that if people truly lived equally that sexuality would disappear altogether. My theory is that sexuality is always sadomasochistic. Just look at all these porn sites. Why aren’t men looking at tender sex on their computers, if sex is so beautiful and equal? This is what Sheila Jeffreys and Andrea Dworkin try to explain. And I must say, I agree with them. If I fantasize about sexuality, always something weird of transgressing must happen in order to get excited. I see the same thing in porn. Probably, all the other men feel the same thing.

This is not melancholic or something. It is the truth.

But I don’t want to exaggerate. Sadomasochism can be done in a relatively respectful way. If there are clear agreements. No means no. Then sexuality becomes more like a childish game of humiliating and being humiliated.

It is not the biggest crime in the world. But in a truly equal society where people fully respect each other, in believe that people don’t need the urge to humiliate or to be humiliated.

Anonymous said...

Ah, I see, you are influenced by Dworkin and Jeffries. Well I have to say that I don't agree with those ladies on that point. I think they go way too far. I know a lot of men, and I've only been with one or two that thought of sex in that way, and it really taints their relationships with women. But I do agree that the pornography and prostitution worlds are selling a sadomasochistic fantasy, and that men get off on that. Yes, there is something sexy about a man dominating a woman, but that is something that is biologically wired into both men and women. That mechanism only works for women though if they have chosen their own partner. Many women have fantasies of being dominated, and that is normal. It is not abusive. It is only abusive when they are being forced into it for some reason that doesn't have to do with their own natural sexual response (like all prostitutes). Many men can and do have successful relationships where they love and are loved normally and have exciting and mutual sex with their partner. There are degrees of equality, and those degrees matter. Maybe there is not true equality even between a loving husband and wife, but to lump that together with prostitution is absurd.

Anonymous said...

It's as if you are saying, "all sex is abusive, so I may as well visit a prostitute."

Anonymous said...

I do think that many men want to punish and humiliate women, that's true. But that's the ruling class trying to hold onto its privilege. But times change, and the men themselves are shaped by the porn they watch. Men just want to get off, and the industry creates harder and harder material to make them orgasm faster and make more money. Men used to be okay with just a bathing suit photo or a glamor nude. It's the sex industry that fuels the appetites for sadism and humiliation. And early porn was often about loving couples. Take a look at NAKED CAME THE STRANGER by Henry Paris. It's about a husband and wife who love each other and the great sex they have.

Anonymous said...

By the way, I am curious about why you can't imagine yourself kissing a woman who is not a prostitute.

Anonymous said...

Sorry for so many posts! But I wanted to add that I think it's a really bad idea to demonize male sexuality, as bad as it is to demonize female sexuality. That's why I say that those feminists went too far. Jeffreys hated D.H. Lawrence for instance, who was a great writer who just happened to be a male, and to write honestly about his desires. He tried to write equal about men's and women's desires though, and very few men or women have ever achieved what he did in that area. Sexuality is a part of the total human being, and it should be honored in both the male and the female. In prostitution only the male is honored, and in many relationships too, and that is why these women got so angry. But it is the wrong approach.

Donkey said...

I never read Naked Came the Stranger. On Wikipedia I read it was a deliberate attempt by the writers to write a lousy book full of sex, and just see how well it sells. It is a hoax, a parody! Perhaps it was a cheesy book compared with today’s porn standards. But that what it is not about. It is all about the SHOCK!!!! Perhaps at that time, people liked the book because it was vulgar and shocking, from their perception. Perhaps not now. But that’s why men need stronger stimuli nowadays.

I fantasized about kissing women whom I was in love with. But this is not sex isn’t it? I think sex and being tender are separate things. You can kiss or caress a person without having sex with that person. The other way around, you can have sex with a person without being tender, without kissing and cuddling and caressing …. Combining both is a very strange combination. But I read something about sadomasochism on Wikipedia, and there is the observation that somehow, for masochists, being tortured is an act of love!

According to Andrea Dworkin, D.H. Lawrence says that for men sex must always be dirty. He writes it somewhere. I think that is what she means.

It still beats me why women don’t watch pornography in large numbers if they like being dominated. Is it because they can’t identify with the women in pornography?

Anna said...

Well I'm not talking about the book NAKED CAME THE STRANGER, but about the movie which was very different than the book. Henry Paris (a.k.a Radley Metzger) had an agenda with his pornography to make sex sexy for both men and women. My point was that not all pornography is about debasing women. His pornography is considered by most connoisseurs of porn to be the best pornography ever made and is widely enjoyed by both men and women, partly because it is about mutual sex. Lots of early porn had this goal, and men got off on it.

You will drive yourself crazy if you keep making these separations between sex and love. Kissing is part of the sex drive. Of course it is. There are types of kissing that are non-sexual too. You don't kiss a woman you are attracted to the same way you would kiss your mother (one hopes). But this doesn't take away the sexuality of the romantic kiss. Anything actually can be sexual, because sexuality is in the mind.

The reason women don't watch pornography in large numbers is because they are not as aroused by visual stimuli as men are. It's that simple.

Anna said...

Andrea Dworkin had to ignore all the other great writing Lawrence did to pick out that one quote. He said all sorts of conflicting things. HIs writing was an attempt to make sense of sexuality in a way, and many points of view were brought out at different times. D.H. Lawrence was in essence a prude who was afraid of female sexuality but was trying to come to terms with that and to see a woman as an equal sexual partner. That was his goal, his fantasy. But he was raised to think of sex as dirty, so his sexuality was formed that way, with a fetish for dirtiness. His books are great because they reveal things about consciousness, especially male consciousness. The feminist writers are wrong to condemn a great writer for being a male and writing about his consciousness.

Anna said...

What I was referring to is a lecture by Jeffreys where she read a passage from LADY CHATTERLEY'S LOVER in which the female was worshipping the penis of the male. That is what she found disgusting. But she leaves out the parts where he is worshipping her female parts. What they are doing is worshipping one another sexually. They have love together, and the nature of that love is sexual. In Lawrence's novels, sex itself is spiritual. He was revolutionary in that he made sex not the dirty thing you shove aside, but the essence of the male-female bond. There was not this separation between love and sex. I think that's how it works in nature when we don't have too many detours that cause us to develop anxiety around sex.

Donkey said...

Anna, I think we will never agree. I believe kissing is not sexual.

I think why women enjoy sex is because of the kissing and cuddling. The sex is something people do, because that's just what people are supposed to do. It’s something cultural. In the past people didn’t do much more than the so-called missionary position, that is the man on top. They didn’t even kiss and cuddle!!!

I think it’s like when you are looking for planets revolving around stars. It is difficult to find them because the star radiates so much more light. I think you can compare the kissing and cuddling to the star, and the sex to the planets.

I think what people enjoy about sex is not the sex, but the kissing and cuddling. Even if the sex is very humiliating if you look at it objectively. But that’s outshone by the kissing and cuddling.

Anna said...

I will concede that perhaps for "you" kissing is not sexual. But you are not the only person who exists in the world. And your sexuality is not the only sexuality. You even go so far as to suggest that people do not enjoy sex! That is a crazy thing to say. How do you think you can decide what sexuality is for other people?

I think what's happened with you is that your sexuality has been formed only by porn and by prostitutes, and you extrapolate out from that to the rest of the world. You have no actual experience with sex that has not been packaged for you. Real men and women are not like porn actors or prostitutes. They love to have sex, it does not humiliate them usually, and kissing is a part of sex that can't be separated from the whole sexual feeling of arousal. Only, in porn people do not kiss, and prostitutes usually don't kiss. So you have missed that part of life.

I will continue to insist that it is unbearable for you that women should like sex, and that's why you've come to this conclusion. Your conclusions are based not on reality but rather on your own emotional needs. If you feel this way about women, then you will certainly never have a girlfriend, and you will never be put to the test of perhaps failing with a woman. And this is how you want it. But it is not reality, it is your own construction. There is a direct connection to kissing and to genital arousal. Anything that arouses people sexually is sexual, even if that is just a thought.

Anna said...

That people only like kissing and cuddling, and not sex: that's only true for asexual people, or for people with a very low sex drive.