Saturday, 3 November 2012

Could You Be a Prostitute?


There are many people on this earth who are single, married, in short or long term relationships or who have one-night-stands whenever they feel like it, but the common denominator is that the sex was consensual. Both parties were happy to oblige and happy to consent with no repercussions.

On the other hand, there are those that will do exactly the same as what I mentioned above, but will simply charge for their time. We call them prostitutes. Prostitution is mainly defined as someone who has sex for money. Simple.

So why do we stick a different label on it when it is still consensual sex, then?

You see, we all know that prostitutes exist, and every country has indirect forms of it, whether it be on the streets, brothels, night clubs, privately at home, massage palours or the escort industry, the list is endless so why the refusal to accept this as just a factor of life? 

Please note, that this is merely a discussion and I'm not here to promote or condone prostitution neither debate the legalities of it, I am also aware that there is another violent and coercive side to prostitution which is unacceptable. That's a different topic. 

Now, if a married woman is really not in the mood for intimacy and asks her husband for money as a kind of incentive for doing something she didn't want to (as an example, a bottle of Lambrini with the girls or a pair of Jimmy Choos shoes) when he wants sex - would you say she was a prostitute? But if that same husband was to go out and pay another woman for sex with the wife's consent, everyone would agree she was a prostitute. What if your partner had such a good intimate time that they decided to offer you a gift, are you then a prostitute? 

So, what's the difference and are we being coherent?


Supposing you had a one night stand and the person decides to leave you a gift or some money because they had such a good night, maybe you even fed them and provided the accommodation. Does accepting that money/gift make you a prostitute? Isn't that the same as what escorts do? They wine and dine and are paid for sex. 

My friend slept with a producer so that they could secure a part in a well known TV series. Would you say they were a prostitute?

People prostitute themselves for many reasons, not only for sex. Some use it as a way to get up the work ladder, to marry someone important, to get that important job etc. etc.  

What would you sell your body for?

In the Hollywood film 'Set It Off' one of the characters sleeps with a local hoodlum in order for her little brother to have an educational opportunity that will get him out of a ghetto situation. You may not want to believe this, but this type of thing happens every day. Is that prostitution?

Love to hear your thoughts, opinions or view on this.

51 comments:

  1. Well the one night stand mentioned above would depend on how much money was left (it could be for the food - if you live in a poorer area you may not be able to afford to give people food everytime you sleep with them). The rest (barring the relationship one - possibly) no matter how you argue it could be described as prostitution, the difference with the relationship one is that at some point the other half is going to be in the mood for sex and will do so freely. The gift could be just a reminder of how important they are to their partner (everyone likes the feeling of being worth someone's time and money). In conclusion if sex only happened when a gift/ money/ job was given then it does appear to be prostitution.

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    1. Thanks Jamie. Yes, I do agree that gifts or money soley for sex does appear to be prostitution, and I see your point about getting gifts/money in a relationship too.

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  2. Sex is a commodity. I have no issues with prostitution. So long as one engages of one's own free will, it's their body, they should be able to use it as they will. I have a friend who is involved in on line porn (basically prostitution kicked up a notch) and he is using it to put himself through school. Who is being hurt? No one. So how is this immoral? I guess I just don't think of sex as that big of a moral deal.

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    1. I guess that if you don't see it as an immoral act then it would be deemed as ok. I've heard of many people who go into the escort business as a way to make fast money in order to put them through university etc. Sex sells. Thanks Jamie.

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  3. I don't see prostitution as immoral; it's a business transaction. The only exception I can think of would be sex trafficking of minors or forcing young children into prostitution. I also don't view consensual sex as immoral. Equating the giving or receiving of gifts (after consensual sex) with prostitution is a bit of a stretch.

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    1. You and Jamiesmiles seem to be saying the same thing, so I think it does sometimes boil down to whether it hinges on your morals or not. Sex trafficking has been in the UK news a number of times recently, and they are asking people to keep a watch on what goes on in your area, and gave the signs to look for. It's very big business. Thanks Helena.

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  4. I only consider it prostitution if that is your only means of financial gain.

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    1. So Barbara, what if that was what the person did as a side job? ie: they had a day job but either wanted to earn excess money or enjoyed doing this, would you say it was still the same thing? Thanks for your comment.

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  5. Interesting. Never paid a prostitute, never going to. For me "morals" is a very vague concept so I don't think that prostitution somehow has negative impact on morals. On the other hand I wouldn't legalize it. It's better for it to stay hidden, 'cause if it wasn't everyone would have paid a prostitute at least once a year and there wouldn't be age limits, of course no minors but still, many teenagers would lose their virginity with prostitutes. Prostitution should not be a normality, I'm sorry for other people who think otherwise, is just my opinion.

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    1. I don't know where you live, but here it is very out in the open, and no, not everyone gets one. Here it has been decrimilized, and still yeah, don't know one single person who lost their virginty to a prostitute. Those are alarmist arguments against making the sex industry workers SAFE. Prostitution has always and will always exist, and making it hidden only causes harm.

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    2. @Gabriel.
      Thanks for your views. I see your point, but I think enough teenagers get free sex as it is, and can't see them paying for it, especially if prostitution was to become legal. I appreciate your opinions though.

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  6. I love this topic. In my opinion, we probably all sell ourselves in different ways, and in different degrees, at one time or another. With all the problems in our society, why take the time to focus on this? It's two willing adults making a transaction. Shouldn't law enforcement be investing their energies on violent crimes, etc? And as you point out, if prostitution was largely a main enterprise, would it even be considered a crime?

    On another note, I asked an old boyfriend if he'd ever paid for sex. He smiled. "Oh, I paid," he replied. "I always paid." I found that hysterical.

    Great post.

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    1. Thanks June. That line from your ex was witty! But seriously, I do think that there are a lot of people who have 'paid for it' but they are sometimes too ashamed or embarrassed to admit to it, as it could look as if you couldn't find a girlfriend, hold down a relationship etc etc and it's illegal.

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  7. I think the law gets in the way of far too many personal decisions. The decision of whether to go to a prostitute or not is a personal moral choice, no more or less. I wouldn't confuse the negotiations of a committed relationship like marriage with prostitution, however.

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    1. The place of the law in regulating the private lives of citizens is a whole separate topic in itself!
      Does this apply to the area of sex-for-money? I suppose any place money changes hands should be of concern to the law, as there is the potential for exploitation, fraud, tax evasion etc.

      Thanks for your comment Karen.

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  8. When I was going through the low point in my life, and having quite a bit of sex, I used to think about how I should be getting paid, because I really wasn't enjoying myself. That's pretty what prompted me to really stop that mess and work on me.

    Beyond my own experiences, where I might have gotten close, I knew a woman what would go down on her husband for spending money, and that's definitely prostitution.

    I don't know if you have time to read, or like novels, but check out Kushiel's Dart by Jacqueline Carey. At least read the bio at Amazon or something. Its based in a society where prostitutes are revered, because of a religious stance. The whole trilogy is really one of the best reads I've ever sat down and feasted upon.

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  9. In my opinion, paying for sex is no different than paying to see a therapist or paying to belong to a health club. It's a business transaction and, assuming we're speaking of relations between consenting adults, nobody's business but that of the people involved. Personally, I don't like the word "prostitute" at least when used in a pejorative sense, unless one is willing to label anyone who provides a service for money-lawyers, doctors, car mechanics, etc.-as prostitutes.

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    1. Funny enough NP, I remember back in the day when we did call lawyers, car mechanics prostitutes because they use to charge such high amounts of money for a very small service, so you do have a point. Thanks NP.

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  10. I've heard women say they will not have a relationship with a man who can't give them 'something'. Their relationships are based on the ability of the man to support them financially, and so these women are willing to swap one man for the higher bidder. They don't see themselves as prostitutes but rather as sensible women who will not let men used their bodies for free. They consider prostitution as having sex with a variety of men in the same time period for money. I am have argued against that attitude only to be countered with; "don't you sell you body for love and eventually heartbreaks?

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    1. So true, and yes there are women who are ONLY into having relationships with wealthy men, or men that will pay for everything for them. I'm not quite sure where that mentality comes from, as they don't seem to realise they need to also be self sufficient and not rely on someone else to cover their bills, expenses, make-up, dinners etc etc. Thanks Marva.

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  11. Love this post! Who, in a long term relationship, hasn't faced temptation.....?! Not many I presume. Your post has prompted me to look around me in a fun way and wonder "could she be? could he be?" I am pleading the 5th on myself....ha ha ha!

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    1. Thanks Michelle, I'm glad to have given you some fun :)

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  12. You've raised some interesting questions. Recently, Canada's province of Ontario's highest court has legalized brothels. I'm all for it. It could protect both client and prostitute as far as venereal disease goes. Also, it would probably make the women safer by making them less likely to be under the power of greedy and dangerous pimps.As long as you're not hurting anyone, it's an individual choice and serves a purpose. As one of your readers said, prostitution has always been around and will always be around.

    At the same time, I wonder what happened in Amsterdam. Back in 1979, we had backpacked Europe with our children and arrived late at night in Amsterdam. The tourist info. bureau sent us to a place in the middle of the red light district. We were surprised to find it open to the water, clean and interesting, not seedy. Various women sat in windows. They were clothed, some seductive, some not. We were again in Amsterdam a month ago. Today, the red light district is seedy and has a bad vibe. The prostitutes' quarters are now hidden in narrow alleyways lit by red lights. So, not sure what it means, but the area now has a "dirty" feel.

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    1. One of the things that people say, is that it would help prostitutes to be safer if it was legalised, so I see what you mean.

      I found your comments about Amsterdam very interesting. I'm now wondering what could have happened, unless there just wasn't enough money around to keep it in a clean upmarket, so to speak, state, so it then went downhill to become a seedy place. Thanks for commenting Diana.

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  13. If it would not be because this is a serious and painful matter, your question would be the most hilarious one I have ever heard!

    But "Let's go part by part" as Henri Désiré Landru used to say

    You describe only one of the many aspects of being a prostitute, at least from my viewpoint.

    The money side of it.

    But there are several others:

    The heck of it all!

    The fun of it all!

    The grieving side of it all!

    The need of it all!

    The dark side of it all!

    The "what-me-care" side

    And I could keep inventing sides, without telling the real sombre facet of it!

    The deep intimacy that sex imply, is the real creator of prostitution, not the orgasmic side.

    Prostitution is a neat destructor of the meaning of several things that are losing ground in this, our modern world, namely: love, procreation, sharing, companionship, et al.

    Of course, if we would be living in an Utopia, prostitution would be a despicable activity. But we are not, so in this dystopian world of ours, harlotry, to use an ancient and archaic, but lucent noun, has several aspects that make it, if not desirable, at least an useful tool for society at large. Some people need it desperately.

    On the other hand, our "new" discovered freedom about the right of each one of us of doing whatever we want, with no limits, for instance, the right a partner has, if in the mood of sex, to forget the feelings and needs of the other part, considered as a companion in life, helps to develop many situations where it even "seems" rational to cheat or use a "permit" for committing contemptible acts. That limitless freedom involve ugly things as murder and other uglier actions, so prostitution is low in the list of our weaknesses.

    Now, in the field of your lonely question about "What would you sell your body for", the truth is that I would not find a buyer even if I run thrice around the Equator!

    Sometimes I think about an old Spanish saying, in a loose translation: "There is always a rip for an unstitched" meaning that it does not matter how ugly the offer is, always there are suitors for it.

    Notwithstanding this optimistic viewpoint, I still think I am the exception that confirm the rule.

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    1. Prostitution is a major subject, and there is only so much I can do in a post, so yes, there are many aspects to it for sure. You mentioned that 'some people need it desperatey' - I have never understood when someone is having a really nice, close loving relationship and then secretely go off with prostitutes on a regular basis. Can't get my old head around it but I guess they would be the only ones who could answer. Thanks for your comments Untony.

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    2. It is a sure thing not to be easy to understand a person in a 'nice, close relationship' cheating miserably.

      But never forget those lonely people who are not in any nice environment, those who need to use a release valve for a lot of pressure in their life, those that need something to help them out of committing worse acts than pay to a prostitute.

      I am sure you will agree that in some ways, this vestals of sex are doing a service to humankind. I am not saying it is a wonderful service and I am not in the mood of defending their work, only I remember to have seen enough of our miseries as to accept if not condone the weaknesses of our poor species.

      N'est-ce pas? :)

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  14. These are all great answers. I must admit I'm not sure how I feel about it myself. I guess I keep on thinking of most of the women who prostitute themselves for money on the streets. Do they enjoy it? I'm guessing they don't. I can't imagine it's their first choice for a career. Is it a threat to their health? Yes. I can't see women doing it unless they feel they must. But perhaps some of these answers would change if it were legalized. Perhaps not. All I know is that in it's present form it's done a lot more to hurt women than help. Still, like you mentioned, in other cases women have used it as a tool to get what they want.

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    1. Thank you so much for commenting Janene. Prostitution does open up a big can of worms with many questions.

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  15. I don’t know why, but reading the question in the headline somehow made me laugh.

    My answer is definitely no. But then I’m not sure whether this is contradictory with things that happened in my past. As it was not voluntarily, it sure wasn’t prostitution. But when you think about it, not saying anything to someone else for the sake of, I don’t know what, maybe family peace, could fall under the definition.

    Anyway, I remember this person once even tried to offer me money for certain activities. (Needless to say, I didn’t take it, but it didn’t change the result, him being much stronger than me.) I’ve never felt more detestably than in this moment, being offered money, so I cannot imagine other women would enjoy this.

    On the other hand, it is their decision.

    If a woman lets her husband pay for having sex with her, that is maybe prostitution. I wouldn't do that.

    This is difficult… I wanted to add a few things, regarding prostitution in general, but I forgot what I wanted to say… It’s hard to put my thoughts into words.

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    1. Kleopatra. it sounds like you've been through a lot. Certainly no-one has the right to take from another, especially intimacy. I understand that it is hard for you to put into words or keep your train of thought.

      Thank you for sharing this and I hope you are able to put the past behind you well and truly.

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  16. We love to find words to define those we feel uncomfortable about, don't we? I would never ask my husband for something for a sex act. Now, if he wanted something that made me uncomfortable in complying, I have no problem with him finding it somewhere else, as long as he doesn't bring home any um unwanted gifts. I know. This makes me sound like a terrible person, but the truth is, look at the history of marriage. It was to strengthen two families in the community. And I say, we don't own anyone. But wait, because if he was having a secret affair, then he better start running - and faster than I can!

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    1. Donna, Thanks for commenting and being so honest here.

      Are you saying that as long as you 'know' your husband is with another woman then that is ok but if he doesn't inform you then it's not? If so, why is it so different because he'd be doing exactly the same thing that you don't mind him doing? I'm just intrigued.

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    2. No, I'm saying if he wants to pay for services I won't do and he lets me know he's doing it, then it's alright with me if I can't provide what he needs.
      But if he has an affair with a woman, well, somehow that would affect me emotionally - making me feel that he doesn't think I'm worth anything. Complicated, aren't I?

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  17. I am an outsider, I was rejected by the society as a schizophrenic that means I had sexual dysfunctions(horrible rapes from the distance, what is called hallucinations) and I was obliged to take psychiatric drugs for that my whole life. I hope I don't offend anyone by telling the truth, although my English is not perfect. I think many people are lonely and abused like I was. But I have to thank for this post and to all those who commented. I think I was a kind dinosaur with very strict puritan conceptions. But in the same time, even when I was thin and pretty no man wanted me, I was no sexually attractive. Some people told me I should have sex in order to avoid my sexual troubles but I never met a man willing to do that, being forcefully isolated and I could not take in my house a man from the street like others suggested to me. My family had no relationships with young men and in the University where I was a student there were only a few men, already engaged. I even tried to be a nun, but the church did not accept me because of my psychiatric past.
    If I have to answer to your question I would say definitely NO, I would prostitute myself only for the purpose of saving the life of my child, if I had one. For no other reason.
    But now I am more open minded compared to my youth age and I understood that maybe prostitution can be beneficial in some cases, even protecting somehow those like me (I am not sure about this). Thanks for your post who made me understand once more that I was too rigid and narrow minded.
    I have a homosexual neighbor and in the beginning it was hard for me, but now I am more flexible and I could cope with my feelings of rejection. But, sincerely, if I were obliged to talk and be friendly with a prostitute, it would have been very hard for me. I cannot understand their world and this is normal, I am 41, I suffered sexually a lot, without having a real sexual relation my whole life. I wanted a child more than anything else in the world, but it was impossible and I don't have the right to adopt. I think that prostitute's children are maybe a little unlucky. Yes, as a conclusion, I think that a prostitute's life is difficult and maybe they deserve more understanding.

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    1. I just need to add that I was poor my whole life and now it is even harder. But my education and my conceptions strongly forbid me to prostitute me for example, if it were possible to do that. This was me and I am not ashamed, the world is filled with this kind of losers. I would prefer to die of hunger than to do sexual favors to rich and ruthless men. But now I admit that sometimes prostitutes were more practical and knowing how to adapt compared to me.

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    2. Christina-Monica, thank you so much for revealing some of the most personal things about you here, I really admire your courage for being so frank and honest and appreciate your views on this topic.

      We all have things that we would do if we were starving to death or to save our children's life. Some people do just that in other countries in order to survive. In our country, we are fortunate enough to have a choice of many options although at times people do still do this as a means to earn money. Thanks again for your comments.

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  18. well this is rather a delicate subject! I am not against or i do not point out fingers to those who do this for a living! If it was my part I would legalize prostitution in my country, but I'm afraid my country is to far Catholic and conservative for such changes!.

    I do not agree with one night stands and sex for favours although I know who done it and in a way I do understand the reason...somehow.. also I would not call that prostitution..

    well hope i was clear enough and that my point got trough.

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    1. Thanks Hotei, you did get your point across very well, and thanks for commenting.

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  19. Hmm, there are so many questions that popped up in my mind. I had lived in a society once where having a boyfriend at times is considered to be a shameful thing, and if you live with someone, you are made into a social pariah, and no one, including your own family, will support you. However, it is perhaps in one's own mindset. If you do not consider yourself to be one, you are not. Right?

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    1. Yes, I live in a multicultural area in London, and there are some cultures who don't allow their female children to have boyfriends or move in with a man because they prefer them to first get married, otherwise they are stigmatized. And in some cases punished, including removal of the family support network.
      Thanks for commenting Poorna.

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  20. I believe our society views prostitution today differently than it did even 20 years ago. In some form, prostitution has been legalized in some places in the United States. Who would have ever thought that would happen? I do think, however, that when a man and a woman enter a committed relationship that neither partner should compromise that relationship through having sex with a prostitute. As you stated, there are other ways of prostituting oneself. Just as in sexual prostitution, those who prostitute themselves in other ways believe they have justifiable reasons why they do what they do. Personally, I would like to think that I do not prostitute myself in any way.

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    1. The world is definitely changing very fast and at times it's hard to keep up with all the different things going on. Thanks for commenting Frank.

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  21. To have sex for pleasure or to please is love sharing.
    To have sex, for survival, is a trade.
    To have sex,because you are unsatisfied, is called relief.
    To have sex, because you want something out of it, is called barter system.
    To have sex for fun, with anyone is called a whore.

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    1. Mister Potato, had no idea there were so many categories, and that's one way of looking at things. Thanks for sharing your views.

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  22. It's all prostitution if one thing is being traded for another...and neither of them is called "love."

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    1. Thanks for sharing your points of view Timoteo. I'm hoping you'll be back to read some more and interact with us here again.

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  23. Just come across this post, very interesting indeed. When you put it into everyday terms, im guessing alot of people will fall into that category. Think about how relations may be used in marriages! Ill do this if you do that! You can view it as a commodity and that is what they do for money. But saying that people also steal that commodity from the innocent.

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    1. I suppose reflecting on the previous comment love may be the answer. Two married people who love one another negotiating and haggling is a very different matter from sex which is traded purely for financial gain. And of course, when people are coerced into selling their bodies then that is a very different matter making it more akin to rape. Thanks Brainchild.

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