Porn and prostitution is difficult. I have sought an explanation in sexual addiction. I could feel an incredible high when I visit a prostitute or watch porn, and I quite naturally want to repeat that feeling. On the other hand, I have feelings of guilt, because I know what I'm doing is wrong. I could clearly see that some prostitutes absolutely hate it to have sex with me, and I still had sex with them anyway. And it is completely obvious that the various things the porn actors and actresses do in porn films, are absolutely harmful and degrading. And I still watch, while I am so aware of the abuse that happens in the sex industry. I still do it anyway. Sex addiction might be a part of the problem.
But there is an other issue. I am now fully aware that it is my ideas which make me visit prostitutes. I am completely convinced that for instance animal farming is very harmful. It is harmful to the animals, and also harmful to us. Think about the environmental degradation, the overuse of antibiotics, etc... There is no doubt in my mind that consuming animals is bad. And although I am very fond of cheese and grilled stakes, I don't eat it anymore, because I am fully convinced that it is wrong!
The fact of the matter is, despite all the frequent rants against the sex industry on my blog, I secretly believe pornography and prostitution are acceptable. I have read a lot about the sex industry. I know exactly how to use certain data to justify my behavior. There is a lot of pro-prostitution propaganda which seems very convincing. You can for instance read about reports which show that prostitutes don't suffer more stress than than the general population, and that their mental health is similar to people in general. See for instance this piece about it on my blog:
Sometimes police officers raid several brothels to look for forced prostitutes, and all in vain, they find nothing. All the prostitutes they interrogate say they work voluntarily in prostitutes. I know of such raids in the Netherlands when hundreds of prostitutes were interrogated, in two separate raids on the Achterdam in Alkmaar, and the Doubletstraat in The Hague. Similar raids (as a part of the operations Pentameter 1 and 2) have been carried out in Great Britain, with no results.
The evil voice within me says that prostitution is harmless. If no victims of forced prostitution are found during large-scale raids, and if the mental well-being of prostitutes is indistinguishable from people in general, what is wrong with visiting prostitutes?
The most difficult part are the stories which regularly pop up in the media, of women who tell they work in prostitution, and who say that working in the sex industry is no problem for them, and that they even enjoy their work, and that they like to meet a big variety of people with their big variety of sexualities. See for instance what I wrote about the research of Nick Mai (also known as 'Nicola' Mai).
Add to this the fact that many people who are against prostitution repeat the same obvious falsehoods over and over again, for instance that the average age of entry into prostitution is 13 or 14 years, or that most migrant prostitutes are not aware that they are going to work in prostitution, or that the sex industry has grown significantly in places where prostitutes is legalized or decriminalized. It reinforces the idea that there is nothing wrong with prostitution, and those who are against it have to fabricate data to prove their point.
And, it is obviously true that I have met seemingly very friendly and sexually tolerant prostitutes, who seemed to have no problem with their work. That makes it difficult, because with these women it feels as if everything is okay. I remember for instance when I talked with Eleni about shaving off pubic hair, that she asked me to touch her vagina to feel how smoothly shaven it was. It seemed so natural, so friendly. And obviously I keep visiting the nice prostitutes again (like Eleni whom I have visited multiple times), while I avoid visiting the clearly unhappy prostitutes again. I am not a barbarian who feels pleasure having sex with unwilling persons.
When I truly want to stop watching porn and visiting prostitutes, I have completely rid myself of any idea in my mind that prostitution could be good. I know prostitution is abuse. The constant rape that porn actresses and porn actors experience in pornography is not good. It is perfectly clear that nearly all prostitutes, porn actors and actresses, and cam girls enter the sex industry because of desperation or even direct coercion. It is not okay to use a person's desperation to gain sexual access to them. It is wrong. It is rape. Every argument against it is a weak distraction, for instance by saying we all have to work to make a living, or that it is not mandatory to like our work, or that all work could be a pain in the ass sometimes. And even the fact that prostitutes seem to be tolerant and okay with their work is a weak distraction. Eleni has told me that she is nice to her clients to increase the probability that they return. This strongly suggests that acting like the nice and tolerant prostitute is a strategy to earn more money. A client still abuses her desperation.
I have to stay in this mood, not stray from the path. And that's why I want to write something about a particularly destructive piece of propaganda written by Charlotte Shane, which I read several months ago. You can read it here:
This article is called The Professional and it seems to have been originally published on 22 November, 2010. This piece she wrote could be an excuse my mind can use to abuse a prostitute or cam-girl again, and this is something I absolutely have to prevent.
Charlotte Shane has worked as a prostitute (call girl) and as a cam-girl. Early in her article she says:
Disclaimer: coercion is wrong, kidnapping is wrong, and hiring someone underage is wrong. There are men (and women) in the world who want to inflict suffering on others, and hiring a sex worker gives them an easy way to do it.
But I’m tired of seeing men and women buy into the lie that male sexuality is inherently violent and sadistic. My experience as sex worker has taught me the opposite.
When I first began working in the sex industry, I believed the cultural script about the men who made it profitable. Male sexual desire consisted of seeing thin young women naked and suffering, handled roughly, used callously. I read and trusted every word by Andrea Dworkin and Catherine MacKinnon. There was so much evidence to support their theories of how male hatred of women was expressed through abusive sex.She explains that she started working as a cam-girl during the time when anal sex was all the hype, but luckily you can fake it, she met some very nice people, and:
I began to attract more and more men who wanted conversation, who bought me gifts and sent postcards and told me about their lives. They wanted to see me play with myself; they didn’t want to see me hurt. I became more vocal about what I did and didn’t like—in part because, for the first time, I was figuring out what I did and didn’t like. When someone told me to do something I didn’t want to do, I would refuse. I started countering requests for anal with “I will if you will.” It was possible to engage with them. It was astounding to me how many men would listen and suggest something else if I told them what I was doing hurt. They were free to leave and spend their money elsewhere, but few did.
It occurred to me that many men had trouble expressing empathy because no one had ever taught them how. Most were clueless, not brutal—although some were both. Lots of these guys had grown up so confused and undereducated about the female anatomy that they hardly even had a sense of what sensations might feel best or what activities were most satisfying.
The more men I talked to, the more sympathetic I felt. I was approaching the biggest epiphany of my life: men had as much anxiety and shame around sex as women did. We were all in this together, and any ideology that couldn’t admit as much was doomed to fail.She started to feel more comfortable about men, and she decided to switch to prostitution. She discovered that compared to the clients she had as a cam-girl, the clients she had a a prostitute were "downright vanilla". She says that some clients don't want sex, they just want to talk. She explains:
The longer I’ve worked, the more it seems that the sex is often a front. It’s an entry point that allows men to make their real request (for affection, understanding, and connection) while still satisfying stereotypical ideas of masculinity. What most men want is a great romance or, at the very least, a great friendship. They want to feel like they’re falling in love. They want to feel loved in return.
The clients who do want to have sex—and of course, there are many—don’t want that sex to be uncomfortable or unpleasant for me. They want to me to take pleasure in the act as well. They want to feel attractive and competent and gentle and attentive. Many of them are all of those things. If they express guilt about paying for sex, I don’t try to talk them into feeling otherwise. When one man said he should stop seeing me because the money he spent on our appointments should be going toward his kids’ college funds, I replied, “Well, if it makes you feel any better, it’s going toward mine.” (I never saw him again.)
Yes, I’ve met men who didn’t respect my boundaries and who harmed me, inadvertently or purposefully. But such men were few and far between, and I refused to see them again.I know rationally that what she says cannot be right. I know she is not telling the truth. We have seen this before! Anke Manschot has also noticed that when you dig deeper some of these "happy hookers" seem not to be so very happy. For instance, Margot Alvarez has presented herself as a happy hooker for years, but in one interview she says that there is hardly a healthy client, and that the situation is really bad. In Hoerenboek she says she finds all men assholes ("klootzakken"). Metje Blaak, also a prostitute who has defended prostitution, admitted in her book De Trukendoos that in prostitution you are only busy surviving, and that you don't have the time to think. She gave prospective prostitutes the tip that if you can withstand complete humiliation then working in prostitution is something for you. And she said in an interview that clients are like children, because they want to grab everything, and that she trained her regular clients to become 'nice', suggesting that clients in general are not so nice. Mariska Majoor of the Prostitution Information Centre on de Wallen in Amsterdam said, that when she worked in prostitution she wasn't thinking, and now that she is thinking she can't do this work anymore. Jo Doezema has complained in an interview with Wendy Chapkis (in Live Sex Acts) that when she worked in sex clubs she was in a continuous struggle to prevent clients from doing things she didn't want them to do, while still keeping them happy. She blames herself when she tolerates things she doesn't want clients to do to her, and she thinks "next time better" when a client has touched her breast. Again, read more about it here:
I discovered that my gut feeling was right about Charlotte Shane. Without intention I stumbled upon two articles which turned out to be written by her. One article is called Live Through This and it was published on July 26, 2012. You can read it here:
She reveals in this article something that she didn't mention in The Professional. She has been violently raped several times by clients while working in prostitution. She has a peculiar and very eloquent way of dealing with having been raped. What it boils down to, is that to her, it apparently isn't a big deal. She says for instance that an 11 year old friend of hers didn't seem too upset when she (the old friend) was raped by her 19 year old neighbor. She names the example of Jenny Diski who was raped at the age of 14, and who said: "I didn’t think it was the most terrible thing that had ever happened to me". Charlotte Shane blames the harm of rape not on rapists themselves but on the people who say rape is harmful to a person. She says:
No woman’s suffering (or lack thereof) should be a referendum on the suffering of others. One woman’s lack of trauma need not be construed as a judgment against a woman who struggles to regain her equilibrium after a sexual violation. It is only one of many possible responses, all of which are equally valid because rape is an individual’s experience, not a collective one, in spite of what current “rape culture” rhetoric often assumes. Just as I would like the right to experience my rape as not particularly upsetting, so I recognize the rights of others to experience it as the single most horrible incident in their life. It’s the insistence upon a single story that creates the problem.and:
Though some feminists regard “rape equals devastation” as sacred fact, the notion that a man can ruin me with his penis strikes me as the most complete expression of vintage misogyny available. Common sense instructs us that it is far more “dangerous” to insist to young women that they will be broken by an unwanted sex act than it is to propose they might have a happy, healthy, and sexually pleasant future ahead of them in spite of a sexual assault.I don't believe Charlotte Shane. I think that the fact she was raped was very traumatic to her. Saying to herself that it is not a big deal is a way of coping with it. It is often said that prostitutes are raped and assaulted so often that they even don't recognize it as something bad anymore. I see Charlotte Shane doing exactly the same thing. Charlotte describes how a client gave her and anal injury:
The second occasion (still during my massage days) a client left me with an anal tear and acute pain that I tried to live with for a year before finally giving in to surgery. People regularly get anal fissures, and many non-raped people have the same surgery I did. It cost about $10,000 and it was the right decision. In the years since, I’ve been able to defecate without crying. My doctor, a petite, elderly Jewish woman, spoke cheerfully of how I’d almost certainly tear again when — no “if” for her — I gave birth. I liked her despite of her pregnancy-centric approach.What she does here is to trivialize her being anally raped by saying that even many people who are not raped have to have surgery for having anal fissures, and that she probable would tear again if she would give birth. It think again that this is a coping strategy of hers. She needs this to glue together the rift within herself, and make prostitution acceptable. Later on, she explains that she has an appointment with the very same client again who had anally raped her! She says: "I didn’t confront him about the past and he didn’t cross any boundaries. Nothing happened." I think she doesn't realize herself how strange this actually is. And remember that she said in The Professional that she didn't see clients again who treated her badly?
The other article she wrote I was referring to is titled “Getting Away” With Hating It: Consent in the Context of Sex Work and it was published on March 21, 2013. You can read it here:
In this article she again says something that she didn't mention in The Professional. She actually admits that quite a lot of times she actually hates having sex with her clients (she mentions a percentage of 20% of the clients). This is a very eloquently written article in which she argues that unwanted sex is actually not a big deal, as long as it is "consensual". Again, she uses trivialization to cope with the unwanted sex. She says:
Imagine, for instance, a couple struggling with fertility who have dispirited sex in an effort to conceive; this would clearly not be a case of assault. I’ve unenthusiastically consented to sex many times in the past, and my reasons for doing so are myriad: I’ve felt obligated; I knew I would feel closer to my partner afterwards, even if I wasn’t horny in the moment; giving in was easier than having an argument about it; etc.She admits in the article that she would not insist on having sex if clients pay her full rates for not having sex at all. And although she sometimes has 'hot sex' with clients, she describes that sometimes she resents any sexual pleasure she feels, and that she has "feelings of self-betrayal, horror, and general displeasure that can accompany orgasming with a client", but "I’ve mostly gotten over revulsion towards my own body’s responses, probably because I’m better at controlling those responses now." This reminds me a lot of rape victims who feel awful when they experience orgasms while being raped.
She explains that she is actually negative about clients who want her enthusiastic consent!:
Every now and then, though, it’s one of my duties that I can’t or won’t complete. In fact, the clients who I have the hardest time doing my job with are the ones who make the biggest deal out of having my enthusiastic consent. Maybe they want me to tell them what I want (which should more honestly be described as what they want me to want) or maybe they ask for constant feedback on their cunnilingus skills. Maybe they refer to how they were driving me crazy, when I was really writhing in pain thanks to their untrimmed fingernails, and I have to bite my tongue and let them expound on their delusion. Maybe, as was the case with one guy, he takes me on dates where nothing physical happens because when we finally have sex, he wants to “know” it’s because I “want” him, not because he’s paying me. I don’t expect non sex workers to understand this, but I bet many other sex workers reading this feels down to her bones what a grotesque demand that was. Some clients want a good-natured disposition, pleasant company, and a willingness to indulge them physically. They understand the terms of the transaction, and they’re happy to behave accordingly. Other men are so desperately lonely, so insecure, and so floundering in their lives and in themselves, that they want a piece of your soul. (“What’s your real name? Do you like that, (real name)?”)Notice clearly that she doesn't dare to say anything to clients when they do something she clearly doesn't want and she writhes in pain and bites her tongue sometimes when this happens to her. Sounds very much like sexual assault to me. And notice that the idea of actual consent within prostitution is an oxymoron? Charlotte Shane herself rejects clients who want her to consent in the first place!
Ruchira Gupta, journalist and anti-trafficking activist, has spoken to several street prostitutes in New Delhi. You can find a short snippet of an interview with her on youtube here:
It was uploaded under the title Paid sex is an act of violence by Demand Abolition on 31 July 2015, with the accompanying text: "Ruchira Gupta, journalist and anti-trafficking activist of more than 25 years, explains how the act of prostitution normalizes sexual violence for everyone involved."
I have been asking a group of women on the edge of Delhi living in a caste ghetto, where they are suffering from intergenerational prostitution, and women are taken in taxis to the highway and provided at truck stops to different clients. So I asked them, have you ever faced any kind of violence? And they said: "No". So I was really surprised and I said, do you mean nobody beats you? Nobody slaps you? They said: "Yeah, all the time!". So then I said, nobody beats you? "Yeah, even with the rod". I said has everyone been uh hit really badly? "Yeah at least two fractures a month!". And one woman was murdered, her head was cut off. So I said, but that is violence. And they said: "No, but he paid for it". So what the sex industry also does, it normalizes the violence, uh, because it's paid for. Both in the eyes of the men who is buying violent sex, sex with violence, and he thinks it is normal, because he is paying for it. And it normalizes for the bought, because she also understands subconsciously that he is buying violence. And so, you know, it becomes, this is what is embedded in the whole thing.Agreed, this is the truth about prostitutes who say they don't have any problems with their work. They simply don't recognize the violence and the assaults, because after all, it is paid for, it is consensual. And consent means it is acceptable. But it isn't acceptable! So this means we have to watch out when prostitution defenders say we have to listen to the sex workers, because sex workers tend to deny or trivialize the violence they experience within the sex industry. And what Ruchira Gupta says also exposes how stupid the consent-argument is to defend prostitution. Nobody accepts to be beaten up, raped, to be sexually assaulted, or to suffer unwanted sex. The fact that people consent to it, is out of desperation. Consent doesn't mean voluntary.
I also stumbled upon an article about another happy hooker in Australia. You can read it here:
The article is named I love working at a legal brothel in Australia (written by Sarah Penello, who is not the prostitute herself, but she writes in first person as if she is the prostitute. There is no date of publication). I'll keep it short here. But she presents herself as a voluntary prostitute, who enjoys her works, and who is satisfied by it:
I worked for a legal brothel in Australia and it was the best job I ever had.
I don’t claim to speak for all sex workers, of course. This was just my personal experience, and it was great. Especially for someone so social, like me. I loved and admired the women I worked with. I took great pride in the pleasure I could give to people. It was a job that I enjoyed, and I was better at it because I enjoyed it.A very long and eloquent story follows, and then there is the kicker:
As you can see, I had a routine down pretty fucking pat that I didn’t alter all that much booking to booking. Most dudes didn’t know what they wanted, and what was an old standby for me was a fucking mind-blowing experience for them. My routine was essentially formulated to get the guy to cum as quickly possible. I learned that moaning “you smell so fucking good” into somebody’s ear is an extreme turn-on and almost guaranteed to bring a client over the edge. After the client came, we’d chat and sometimes cuddle. The experience was quite enjoyable for me.The question is, why if it is such an enjoyable and rewarding job, do you want the clients to orgasm as quickly as possible? Isn't this an unintentional admission that having sex with the clients is actually so degrading and invasive that you want to make it stop as quickly as possible?
I want to finish with an article written by an ex-prostitute in 1987. You can read it here:
It is called Women, Lesbians and Prostitution: A Workingclass Dyke Speaks Out Against Buying Women for Sex. It was written by Toby Summer, which is a pseudonym. And it was published in Lesbian Culture Anthology, edited by Julia Penelope and Susan Wolfe, Crossing Press, 1993, and originally published in Lesbian Ethics, 1987.
This article is mainly a criticism of the book Sex Work: Writings by Women in the Sex Industry, which was published shortly before she wrote her article. In this article she speaks about the Man's lie. I'll cite her directly:
The removing of oneself from one’s body is a strategy for immediate survival; many prostitutes acknowledge this. This numbing—whether done like other torture victims do it or done with drugs and alcohol—is flight from that which is intolerable. Numbing mechanisms become reflex quickly. Reversing the process, later or in other circumstances, is difficult. It is my belief that such numbing in sexual assault situations sets women up for tolerating abuse, especially prostitution and sado-masochism.
Although I used this strategy as often as not, I also used a more damaging one at the same time. Today, I call this second strategy the Man’s lie, but then I called it pro-sex (2) and my choice.
The Man’s lie is still passing as truth not only from the Man but also through the lips of women, who—like I did—believe the lie. I mean, when Scarlot Harlot quotes her friend, Priscilla Alexander, as saying, "The right to be a prostitute is as important as the right not to be one. It is the right to set the terms of one’s own sexuality…[my emphasis]" (Sex Work, p. 61), what I hear is that someone thinks that prostitution has something to do with women owning our own bodies—somehow—while at the same time selling the very same bodies to men who hate women, whores (3) and lesbians and who do not make any excuses for their hatred.
This mind-fuck is very familiar to me; I thought for the longest time that I had invented it. I double-fucked myself for years before coming face-to-face with the truth of how male supremacist sexuality got to me. Not just remembering, but feeling; not just looking at all of it momentarily, but living it; not just opened up, but analyzed from a radical feminist politic for what it is and does. I have not always been a feminist, but I have always wanted to be free and female.
What I did in my mind did have something to do with freedom when I spoke the Man’s lie silently to myself about prostitution. I felt closer to freedom when I told myself that I chose what happened (even the rapes), that I felt OK about what was done to my body (even against my will), that the sex in the room had something to do with me and my sexuality (even though when she was in the room, too—my lover—the only thing I tried to do was keep him interested in me so he wouldn’t fuck her…some butch role), that the nausea-alienation-bruises-humiliation-STDs (sexually transmitted diseases)-poverty-abortion all were somehow fixable with what amounts to an EST positive attitude.
Oppressed people develop a sixth sense with which we anticipate the next move of our enemy in order to try to be successfully out of the way or in the most acceptable pose. The EST positive attitude served that purpose, as well as twisting my own mind; that is, the Man’s lie not only took the truth away from me, but it also served the Man by allowing him to point to me and say, "See. She loves it. She chose it. She’s even a lesbian…they all want it. Women are whores by nature."
This strategic lie attempted to turn my degradation into something else, something more human, something that was not force and coercion. Poverty and oppression against women and lesbians certainly qualify as force and coercion, even if the barrel of the gun is behind the curtain of sex. What was accomplished with this lie was not a changed reality but merely a renaming of reality for something other than what it was. Reality did not change until I changed it, personally, for me; I got a different "job." I wasn’t successful the first or second times. Even after I got out, I took my EST positive attitude with me when I went. What it didn’t explain was why I’d rather work in a hot commercial laundry for $1.00 per hour than fuck another man. The Man’s lie should have been exposed at that point, but it wasn’t. I hid behind the fact that I was a lesbian; that is, I told myself that I just didn’t want to fuck men. There was no understanding that there was something wrong with what happened to me as a woman. That lie stayed coiled like a viper for many years, waiting.So, what she says is that saying to herself that she chose prostitution, was in fact a survival strategy, to cope with the harm of prostitution.
She also notices two prostitutes in the book Sex Work, who at first present themselves as having chosen this job, but who suddenly change their opinion:
Finally I want to say that—as an ex-prostitute, a workingclass woman, a radical labor organizer—I have to wonder if the women who are using the language of organized labor are seriously trying to make common cause with working people. I wonder about this because of the contempt that is frequently expressed for other women who work at low-paying, low-status jobs everyday, who do it all their lives, who frequently challenge their wages, hours and working conditions (including sexual harassment). For example, in Sex Work, Scarlot Harlot says, "Ex-prostitutes are out of touch with the true glories of the trade. Plus, they were never very good at it. That’s why they’re ex-prostitutes" (p. 123). (However, she also said on the TV show "People Are Talking," KPIX, San Francisco, July 2, 1987, that she didn’t want to be doing this for money but couldn’t make as much money otherwise. She was the only woman on the show who still did prostitution; no one asked her why she didn’t want to do it.) In Sex Work "Aline" says, "I much preferred exhibiting myself, flirting, showing off my body than working at some shit-job cleaning someone else’s toilet for poverty level income" (pp. 131-2). (However, on the next page she finds her "work" intolerable and says it’s "time to clean toilets.") Prostitutes, ex-prostitutes, and "feminists" cannot succeed in making common cause by ridiculing other women who are struggling to get by without fucking men.She also says:
Prostitutes have been known to express our utter contempt for the johns that use us, but usually only to each other. We do not correct the power imbalance when we do this, although it does feel briefly better to vent the outrage and disgust. This is one way to acknowledge abuse of our bodies while attempting to block the fact that we are second class citizens being used for what women are: sex. The bravado about having power over men because men buy us is simply bullshit. "When those who dominate you get you to take the initiative in your own human destruction, you have lost more than any oppressed people yet has ever gotten back."(8)She quoted Andrea Dworkin in the last sentence.
Finally, she also has the idea that I have proposed in the past, that sexuality in general is all about dominance, submission, and humiliation. It seems a strange and radical idea. I think it could be true. I notice that when I am in love with a person, I don't have any sexual feelings for her. All the sexuality that attracts me is the humiliating and sadistic sex of pornography. The only little exception is the sex I have with Eleni who I adore very much, but who clearly doesn't enjoy having sex with me. She goes through the motions.
I'll cite Toby Summer:
Dominance and submission is the basic dynamic of sexuality; regard for an equal is not sexy. Hierarchy is sexy. Power is sexy. Vulnerability is sexy. Humiliation is a sexual practice. It is humiliating to be a second-class citizen; that’s why men keep women second class. Men as a class devised male supremacy because men—but not only men—find it exciting to use force and coercion. "The good news is it isn’t biological."(6) This dynamic is best expressed through prostitution; ruling class men buying women to feel their power manifested. Workingclass men, middle-class men, men of all races and ages, disabled men and gay men are also to be counted as johns when I start counting. Name your category and I’ll tell you what he looked like. It is felt in bodies as sexual, this expression of power. (It is a sexual rush to just contemplate it; ever watch some up-scale man thumb through a Vogue magazine? He consumes it like other men do actual pornography. Watch the body language. Whores are good at noticing men’s body language. I watch them, openly. It disturbs them to be watched.)But to close off this blog post, I find it awful that I have become the person I am today. I could visit prostitutes and don't feel anything at all afterwards. I remember being very angry and upset when I heard about forced prostitution when I started visiting prostitutes in 2004. I stopped very quickly when I became aware not everything was okay in the sex industry. I felt very guilty when after several years, I visited a prostitute again. For several days after this, I was on the brink of crying. This should be a natural feeling. A person who cares about people should feel this way when he (or she) visits a prostitute. I should follow this feeling, my conscience. I let the dark side of me rationalize this feeling of guilt away. There is no excuse for visiting prostitutes, there is no excuse for using somebody's desperation to sexually abuse them. Don't believe the happy hooker stories.