To write about the prostitute is akin to engaging in a discussion about the psychological condition of a split personality. Except, in this case, the split is not in one person but rather, in the sexual nature of an entire gender as expressed by the different expectations of a wife and a prostitute. This unnatural duality is a measure of how female sexuality has been ripped apart, distorted and used to subjugate and denigrate women with the prostitute being the lesser of a lesser species. The principal function of the prostitute woman is to sexually please the male any time and in any shape or form without reciprocity; that is the raison d’etre of her existence.
Part 1 can be read here
Her soul and spirituality have been extracted from her sexual nature that is often equated with vileness. In other words, her sexuality is dead; she is a mere vesicle, a cavity, a hole for the male to masturbate into.
Conversely, the sexuality of a woman who is molded to become a wife is stunted and is insecure in its expression as it is required to follow society’s strict rules as to when and how it can manifest itself ”“ at times therefore, her sexual nature is also forced to be dead. This creates great confusion, feelings of guilt, and extreme frustration within the female as her sex drive is constant and strong and is not attached to a dimmer switch that can adjust it and turn it on or off. Both culturally induced aspects of the sexual female have been used to divide women into good and bad and to pit them against each other – all in the name of paternity. Rather than giving equal responsibility to both genders to ensure paternity, patriarchy selfishly chose, through the use of brute force, to make women the sole gatekeepers. Thus, it created the prostitute.
Although prostitution originated in Mesopotamia four thousand years ago (see Part 1), in today’s society, the role of the prostitute remains strong. This, in spite of the fact, that the continuation of a separate and inferior class of females is at odds with the advances made in the principles of ethical thought as well as in liberal and progressive discourse, not to mention human rights.
The ‘work’ of a prostitute
Whether consenting or forced, whether on the street, in a legal or illegal brothel, or in the Plaza hotel, prostitution is:
…. the use of a woman’s body for sex by a man, he pays money, he does what he wants. The minute you move away from what it really is, you move away from prostitution into the world of ideas….Prostitution is not an idea. It is the mouth, the vagina, the rectum, penetrated usually by a penis, sometimes hands, sometimes objects, by one man and then another and then another and then another and then another. That’s what it is…. Source
She meets ”˜tricks’ – aka kerb crawlers – on the street, gets into their cars and performs for and upon them whatever they ask. She forms the underbelly of the prostitution industry; she is asked to do a lot for very little money and is often met with violence. Young girls that come from broken homes monopolize this type of prostitution. As one girl said, “We’ve all been molested. Over and over, and raped. We were all molested and sexually abused as children, don’t you know that? We ran to get away. . . . We were thrown out, thrown away. We’ve been on the street since we were 12, 13, 14“. (pdf, pg, 5)
Then there are the brothels, legal and illegal, where consenting and trafficked prostitutes work. Although the PR claims otherwise, an investigation into the legal Nevada brothels has shown that the prostitutes work under slave-like conditions. The brothel owners are outrageously strict and demand exorbitant fines from the prostitutes for the slightest infraction. Fall asleep on your 14-hour shift and get $100 fine, late for a line-up, $100-500 in fines. The brothel owners typically pocket half of the women’s money”. Although more than 80% of the prostitutes told the investigator that they wished to leave prostitution no exit strategies were in place.
A grotesque exercise in the dehumanization of women is carried out routinely at Sheri’s Ranch, a legal brothel about an hour’s ride outside of Vegas. There the women have to respond like Pavlov’s dog to an electronic bell that might ring at any hour of the day or night. At the sound of the bell, the prostitutes have five minutes to get to an assembly area where they line up, virtually naked, and submit to a humiliating inspection by any prospective customer who has happened to drop by. Source
The situations of call girls and high end prostitutes are less traumatic. While these women enter prostitution voluntarily, they are not immune to physical assault and psychological damage. Some escorts experience violent incidents that require a visit to a hospital an average of twice per year. These women are attracted to the quick and high financial gain afforded by working as a call girl or escort and become addicted to the high lifestyle. Their double life however, takes a toll and they may turn to drugs as the business grinds them down emotionally and spiritually. Since their work depends on their young age and good looks, at the end of their brief ”˜career’ they often find themselves without marketing skills and experience a deep dive in their income. Although a few call girls are university students that have used the money to obtain a degree. Since the invention of the Internet the demand for call girls has increased ”“ and 50-75 % of men who seek out escorts are married.
That said, despite the fact that the higher priced and consenting prostitutes present only a tiny fraction of the sexual underworld of prostitution, the pro prostitution lobby mainly focuses on this group to defend the practice of visiting a prostitute. They wish to ignore the fact that it is the demand of every individual man combined that drives all forms of prostitution. The middle aged man, who can afford to order an escort from his hotel room, like he would order a pizza, is as responsible for the trafficking of women and extensive violence committed against prostitutes elsewhere. But the principle of cause and effect that is vigorously debated in the current financial meltdown is conveniently ignored when discussing prostitution. What is even more disturbing is that, despite the common awareness of the psychological and physical harm done to prostitute women, males do not abate from patronizing the sex trade. While fundamentalists tend to focus on women’s availability at home, liberal men tend to focus on women’s public availability, but BOTH want women to be members of the sex caste and at their service.
Ironically, women that enter prostitution or run prostitution enterprises voluntarily are complicit in the continued degradation of their own gender. As with the women that choose to wear veils, a large number of females in the west, prostitutes and non prostitutes alike, have similarly adopted and internalized the gender specific cultural view of themselves, a view they took no part in shaping. Some women, like the consenting prostitutes and the one that offered Graham a ”˜blow job’, therefore, have no qualms about taking advantage of exploiting their culturally assigned role as ”˜sex object’ for the considerable financial reward it reaps. That women respond in the sexual acts that dehumanize them is testimony to patriarchal construction of normal sexuality. (pdf, pg, 35) Nevertheless,
many experts argue that the female sex workers are not the real drivers of prostitution. Instead the business survives because of demand from the legions of males who have problems in their relationships with women. Source
In a comment to my previous essay, I was reminded that human males have an increased tendency towards violence and that this violence can express itself in all aspects of social interaction. One does not have to be an archaeologist to understand that the natural aggression of males was originally intended to be used as a tool to survive. When the prehistoric male employed his physical strength to aggressively kill an animal to provide food for the women, children and elderly in the camp, or to protect them, his aggression was used as an act of survival and love. Since women, as gatherers and hunters of small game, also contributed to the food basket there was no reason for the males to beat them up. Their gender specific activities were equally important and valued. Furthermore, before awareness of paternity, women were revered for their reproductive capabilities, as evidenced by the worship by both genders of numerous ancient fertility Goddesses. It would appear that since the vast majority (over 90 %) of human images from 30,000 to 5,000 B.C. are female, the feminine principle dominated human consciousness far longer than the masculine principle. It is only with the introduction of Patriarchy to the human story that males began to use their physical strength against women in order to control them. The violence against women exhibited by males therefore, is not biological but rather, a product of patriarchy with gender inequality being the root cause. Patriarchy is not biology; it is a weltanschauung that distorts biology.
The Middle Assyrian Laws allowed a man to abuse his wife with impunity, so long as the abuse was confined to whipping her, striking her, plucking out her hair, or mutilating her ears. Source
Once enshrined into law thousands of years ago, violence against women remains a prominent symptom of our androcentric social organization even in today’s democratic society. While all women may be subjected to male violence, the prostitutes, as an inferior class, are particularly vulnerable as the statistics bear out. The torture inflicted on trafficked women and children to deliver them to the European and North American sex market in a state of docile compliance is unimaginable. Women that were abducted on their way home from school report having been raped, severely beaten with belts, and thrown in a bath filled with ice cold water (Approximately 19.000 females are trafficked into the U.S. each year. If each woman is forced to have sex with 7 men per day, times 6-7 days a week, how many American men abuse/rape women each week? You do the math). Women in local prostitution industries experience similar kinds of violence as internationally trafficked women (pdf, pg, 18). Women in strip club prostitution are also subjected to physical and verbal abuse. They are often grabbed on the breasts, buttocks and genitals as well as being kicked, bitten , slapped, spit on and penetrated vaginally and anally (pdf pg, 21), and referred to as whores or sluts. Although no one is going to feel sorry for call girls earning thousands of dollars, but that doesn’t mean women avoid exploitation, violence, and danger altogether by making more money than they would on the streets. The panic buttons in the rooms of the legal Nevada brothels indicate that physical assault is to be expected. The legal brothels in Amsterdam may have as many as three panic buttons in the rooms. Australian women in legal prostitution are advised to take classes in hostage negotiation. (pdf, pg, 30) Not surprising that the majority of prostituted women, when leaving prostitution, suffer from PTSD. Prostitutes in the U.S. in particular, are subject to high levels of violence – this is a direct result of a combination of the extreme power imbalance between the male and the prostitute, the distorted and negative view men hold of the sexual female, and the desire to dominate women.
Regarding the issue of consent and ”˜free will’, there can be no argument that a woman who has been trafficked or coerced into prostitution through poverty, past sexual abuse etc., or is controlled by a pimp who has groomed her to the point that she now consents to be violated, cannot be considered to be in a position to freely choose to consent. The pro prostitution lobby however, desperately clings to the notion that, if a woman, without those extenuating circumstances, consents to be prostituted, she is expressing an act of individual choice that should be accepted and respected as such. This absolves even intelligent and progressive thinkers of any complicity in the objectification, degradation and humiliation of women as it is viewed as a freely chosen agreement between two consenting adults. One has to wonder why supposedly enlightened men who eagerly engage in deep analysis of a multitude of issues never question what would be the underlying reason for why a woman would allow herself to be objectified and dehumanized. Maybe it is because consent to violation is a fact of oppression (pdf, pg, 65) and the dominant class tends to shy away from seeking truth, especially in the realm of sexuality. Familiarity and a feeling of comfort with the state of supremacy may lead some to view gender equality ”“ the great unknown ”“ as something to be feared rather than as an ideal to strive towards.
The apparent and in some cases, real consent of some women to do prostitution is held up by some as proof that self-determined choice can exist. The angle of women’s accommodation to and conditioning by patriarchy is dismissed. The contradiction between individual will and common good is dismissed. Because the fact remains that the institution of prostitution is one of, if not the most blatant form of subordination of women’s bodies and personhood to men’s interests. The consent of some, condemns all women as a group, to continue to be defined as possible providers of sex or sexual merchandise.” Source
There is no typical ”˜John’ as men from all walks of life visit prostitutes. The reasons why men use prostitutes are varied. Following is a list:
1. Sexual frustration because they are not getting satisfying sex elsewhere
2. To appease a sexual appetite – they are hedonists who want to live out their erotic fantasies in a red-light setting.
3. Feel freer to experiment than with their wives or girlfriends.
4. Fee for romance ”“ some men seem to be pursuing the ideal of love in a fee-for-service setting. Many johns prefer to go back to the same prostitute over and over again. (Prostitutes suffer psychologically from trying to wall off their own emotions so that they can sell intimacy as a commodity).
5. Real relationships with women are risky and complicated. Prostitutes are far less exacting than girlfriends and wives and may even be soothing to the psyche. Ordinary men buy sex to deal with their psychological insecurities as well as their sexual needs.
Other researchers disagree that prostitutes serve as a balm for the woes of essentially normal men.
6. John’s are necrophiliacs who commit their acts on socially ”œdead” women. These are men whose sexual desire is switched on by not having to care about the prostitute as a human being””the opposite of the intimacy hypothesis.
7. What turns johns on is the women’s powerlessness. Sex with a prostitute is more about seeking revenge on women or exerting control over them than about a quest for intimacy and romance.
8. In a speech he gave to the European Parliament in 2006, MÃ¥nsson pointed out that johns frequently speak about sex ”œas a consumer product rather than an expression of intimate relations.” One man, he reported, compared sex with a prostitute to ”œgoing to McDonald’s.” Indeed, on the Internet, where a person can remain relatively anonymous, many johns refer to women as ”œmaterial,” Gerheim notes, and may also describe misogynistic submission fantasies.
9. For many of them, MÃ¥nsson opines, a prostitute’s bed represents the last bastion of antifeminism. Only there can men reestablish the traditional male dominance over women. This view is in line with Kathleen Barry’s thesis in her book: “The Prostitution of Sexuality”, which is, she explains, the continuous reconfiguring of sex “on men’s terms” to sustain women’s subordination. (pdf, pg, 37)
Considering the high level of violence against prostitutes, and the continued resistance to gender equality, the latter reasons are the most prevalent.
So what about the non prostitutes – the girlfriends, the partners, and lovers – the ones that are molded to become future wives, and the current wives? Although the pro prostitution lobby objects to any kind of moralizing, there is no shortage of moralizing when discussing female sexuality and no one complains about that. Concern about sexual repression is often brought up in relation to male sexuality but no one seems to worry about the centuries long sexual repression of the female gender. Where can women find satisfying sex if not from their partners? Where can women go to experiment more freely than they might with their husbands or boyfriends? Where can women go to deal with their psychological and sexual needs? Where can women go to get a ”˜boyfriend’ experience? Where can women go for intimacy and romance on demand? But of course, there is no place for women to go. They are the designated ”˜gatekeepers’ of paternity ”“ a decision that was made four thousand years ago, without female consent, no less.
In the West, extreme toxic language rather than the more barbaric form of acid and stone throwing, has been and continues to be effectively used to control the female libido. The English language is saturated with words that have a negative and derogatory connotation for all things related to female sexuality. Since women have been taught to please men (in order to survive), they’ve accepted these descriptions of themselves. Some women therefore, in a show of submissive compliance to the prescriptions of female sexual behavior by the dominant class, may also refer to their sexually active sisters as sluts, cougars, nymphos, or whores. (I remember being called a slut by a woman when I was 19 for innocently having flirted with a couple of boys on a beach). Moreover, the only way non prostitute women know that they indeed are not whores is by insuring that some women are sustained in a separate category, whether they call it prostitute, or they call it “sex work.” (”œThe Prostitution of Sexuality”, pg, 73). Meanwhile, the terms applied to sexually active males are often heralded as statements of high social status among the fraternity and include titles like: player, lady-killer, Casanova, Don Juan, etc.
The extremely negative value judgments attached to the sexually active woman, OUTSIDE OF MARRIAGE, force women to see marriage as validation of our sexuality, in fact, as the ONLY validation available to us The stereotype of the sexually promiscuous woman, the prostitute, makes it easy for patriarchal societies to keep us in our “place.” The terror of being called “a slut” or “an easy lay” is used to bludgeon us into submission, into accepting marriage as a “wife” or “mother” as a more tolerable, less despicable form of slavery. Source
Fortunately, the situation has improved somewhat. Many couples are happily married and neither the wives nor the husbands would consider their marriage slavery. Besides, marriage, if it is egalitarian, is worth saving. Female sexuality also is slowly being released from society’s tight grip despite the fact that occasional attempts to promote modesty for the female gender only continue. Until recent times, to have attributed open sexual desire or the shameless pursuit of physical pleasure to a woman would have been to insult her character (BTW, there is a cure for modesty). But the genie of liberated female sexuality is out of the bottle and there is no turning back. However, thousands of years of neglect has left women’s sexuality somewhat in a state of disrepair that is made worse by prostitution. Prostitution does not empower women and it does not assist either man or woman to make positive use of their sexuality. In fact, prostitution harms men and women alike. Consider the fact that a fair number of men prefer the one-way, selfish and disembodied sex with prostitutes over reciprocal sex with other sexually available women. The john is rejecting the sexuality of women society has specifically molded to become (or who are) wives and to bear children.
So what does the culture of prostitution in which THE PENIS rules supreme do for women in general? It’s outright harmful. For example, why is it that many men still fail to understand women’s sexual preferences and that women are still afraid to tell them what they are? Where does this fear come from? “Why do women continue to defer to men” a poster asked on this blog. “Why do we do it”, another said. The answer is simple. Fear has been forced into women’s psyches – their minds are still living with the remnants of the centuries long beatings and shaming practices they have had to endure in order to remain controlled. The authors of the book “Loving to Survive” propose that women’s current psychology is actually a psychology of women under conditions of captivity. Letting go of the fear and charging full force ahead to challenge the status quo requires strength and is often met with severe pushback. When it comes to female sexuality even some of the so called liberal and progressively inclined men leave their worldview behind and step back into the dark ages of repression of the feminine principle.
It is striking to note that while the male and female essences are seamlessly blended or eternally shifting in many myths and customs of cultures around the world, the currently accepted, bifurcated sense of sexuality is not only split; it is predominantly preoccupied with only half of the spectrum. Like nervous photo editors airbrushing away inconvenient reality, the female half of human sexuality is largely missing from the picture. Source
Finally, where do we go from where we are now? If men could shift their focus from themselves for a minute, and look at women with an inquiring mind, they will find that not all women are alike as a new generation of men are already discovering. Some women enjoy rough and tender sex at different times; others like Domination/Submission games, kinky sex (positive), threesomes; some are bisexual while others are homosexual. But they all crave cunnilingus ”“ yes, “it’s the clit, stupid and some lovin”. And casual sex is healthy, fun and is becoming more popular by the day. The point is women enjoy experimenting as much as men do and dislike ”˜boring’ sex just the same. There is no such thing as normal sex and there is more variety within a gender than between genders. Periods of voluntary celibacy are also an option and can be rejuvenating for both sexes. One can employ certain practices and use imagination to keep the spark alive in a monogamous or marital relationship.
I am not advocating for an immoral and decadent society. What’s needed is a new morality for the 21st century – a contemporary morality, not dictated by organized crime or religion but by free men and women who take equal responsibility for ensuring paternity. It requires a weltanschauung that does not view the female as a lesser sexual being but rather, respects and cherishes her libido, allows it to bloom, and places it side by side with her male counterpart. We deserve a society where neither the male nor the female principle dominates but are unified in an egalitarian culture that has no need for prostitutes. Where do we begin? Just remember that, for women, ”œequality” is the greatest aphrodisiac and eventually, it will be for men too. The desire and preference for sexual expression that’s natural, reciprocal, and sometimes spiritual rather than dehumanized and paid for, is the revolution that needs to happen.
I would like to dedicate this essay to the legions of prostitutes, our universal sisters and daughters, who have met a violent and tragic death on behalf of the male sexual experience. Following is a poem and a rose in memory of ”œTHE UNKNOWN PROSTITUTE”.
Cracking in the stiff breeze
Demarcation of death
A life thrown carelessly in a pile of trash
Blue-white glimmer of cold limbs
Odd angles insulting the sidewalk
And a frozen stare defying the moon
Who was she … this delicate corpse
Naked in her un-virginity
Cast aside in bestial rage
A tiny particle of life force
Snuffed out as easily as a candle
Who was she … this scrap of being
No more to offer her immortal soul in exchange
For fleeting comfort for her flesh
She is like soiled garments
Cast aside on concrete’s bosom
Of no more use to man or beast
She lies in clean white splendor now
Not in the tarnished sheets she’d known
But steel … cold and unyielding cradles her
In bright lit splendor while clinical hands
Perform intricacies on her cold flesh
Searching for the essence of her adulterer
What drove that brief span to end so soon
What karmic force took such a precious jewel
What crime against humanity deserved such sentence
Sleep peacefully now sweet flesh
No more will violation be your existence.