The notion that it's ok for disabled men to pay for sex is rooted in misogyny and ableism

When I read Emily Lazatin’s Huffington Post article about a new Vancouver-based prostitution agency catering toward disabled men, I felt compelled to respond from my perspective as a woman with two developmentally disabled brothers (one blood-related, one in-law) and roughly a decade of work experience in Special Education and respite care. I’ve also spent nearly 10 years providing practical support to a group of former sex-industry women who do self-advocacy. I hope the combination of these experiences gives me adequate license to address the topic of disabled men using prostitution.

My brother, who has both Down Syndrome and Autism, was born two months before I started Kindergarten. The relationship I have with my brother has had a profound impact on me. It has been central to the formation of my personality and my choice of study, my career, and even my spouse. I’ll be the first to acknowledge that this article would carry more authority if I were a woman with disabilities myself, but I’m not. I have a point to make nonetheless.

This may come as a disappointment to you if you don’t have much experience with disabled people beyond Forest Gump or I am Sam, but individuals with disabilities do not exist exclusively to inspire the mainstream population and they are not immune to feminist critique. An uncomfortable but integral part of honouring the humanity of people with disabilities is recognizing that, not only can they be feminists and feminist allies, but they can also be misogynists, racists, and ableists. Frankly, I would suggest that disabled men who use prostitution to satisfy their sexual appetites are often a combination of all three.

When I hear non-disabled people frame the use of women in prostitution by disabled men as a human rights or sexual expression issue, my blood boils. There are three false statements implicit in this argument. The first is that disabled people are so sexually unappealing that no one would have non-paid sex with them. The second is that sexual preferences are a human right. The third is that the sexual appetite of disabled men should take precedence over the advancement of women’s equality. Let’s address these in order. Shall we?

People with disabilities do not need prostitution in order to have intimacy or to have sex. Many disabled people have sex with each other or with non-disabled people. Typically in the community of people with intellectual or developmental disabilities, individuals will have sexual relationships with others at a similar cognitive level to minimize the risk of power imbalance. The matching of cognitive abilities is not a concern for people whose disabilities are physical; indeed, I know of many with fully-abled partners. People with disabilities have dating relationships. They have marriages. They have casual sex. Occasionally they’re doing it in inappropriate locations or contexts but, trust me, they’re doing it. Get over it. If you as a reader were patting yourself on the back for being progressive enough to think that disabled people could have sex, you can stop now and don’t let your prejudiced condescension hit you in the ass on the way out.

This brings us to our second point. Sorry Ghomeshi, but sexual preferences are not a human right. They never have been and they never will be. As a result of porn culture, however, a lot of men in general (including men with disabilities) end up believing that not only do they have an inalienable right to partnered sex, but they also have the right to have sex with women that look and act like the women they see in porn. It is a grave mistake to conflate sexual preferences with sexual expression. We as humans are all sexual beings but partnered sex is not a requisite part of sexual expression. Some of us will have other people that play a role in our sexual expression and some of us (including both disabled and non-disabled people in my life) may not. On the other hand, when it comes to “physical intimacy” (as many sex industry lobbyists like to call it), sexist, racist, and ableist expectations (such as the desire to only have sex with thin, able-bodied women with hairless vulvas and perky breasts or the desire to sexually act out racist tropes) aren’t helping anyone. Prostitution harms intimacy development in non-paid relationships because it teaches men to order women the way one might order an americano misto.

Lastly, disabled men’s sexual desires cannot take precedence over the advancement of women’s equality. Even if partnered sex were a human right, it would not justify the existence of prostitution — a system of deeply entrenched inequalities. I’m not going to detail the “women’s liberation approach” to prostitution here (some call it the “Nordic Model” position and some call it the “abolitionist” position) but I would encourage readers to look into it in order to put my point into context. One tenet of this position is the idea that, unlike Nico from the Huffington Post article, the majority of women in the sex industry enter because of desperate material need. Even if disabled men weren’t able to find willing partners, would it be just for the most marginalized demographic of women — many of whom are physically, intellectually, or developmentally disabled themselves — to provide this “service?” I believe not. It’s unacceptable to pit the interests of two vulnerable people groups against each other.

I do recognize that society must be improved to make sex more accessible and enjoyable for people with disabilities. However, I do not see prostitution as part of this advancement. In fact, it is antithetical. We need to look to communication technology, mechanical technology, and public education instead. My brothers hold women in the utmost respect as their family members, friends, support staff, and caregivers. They don’t use prostituted women and they don’t need us to feel sorry for them. Any society that offers up prostitution to people with disabilities as a substitute for mutually gratifying, unpaid sex is a very regressive society indeed.

 

Jess MartinJess Martin is the founding member of Exploited Voices’ Allies, a group of advocates taking leadership from former sex-industry women. She lives in Vancouver.

 

 

 

 

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Jess Martin
Jess Martin

Jess Martin is a public relations professional, an aspiring writer, and an assistant editor at Feminist Current. She prefers to write about feminist topics, disability, or environmental issues, but could be persuaded to broaden her horizons in exchange for payment and/or food.

In her spare time Jess can be found knitting, gardening, or lying in the fetal position, mulling over political theory that no one in their right mind cares about.

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  • Yes, the whole idea that anybody has a right to sex is corrupt to the core. And thank you also for your incisive assessment of the reality of disabled people’s lives, Jess.

  • Amy

    very concise and well written. Thank you for expressing so eloquently what needs to be said.

  • Sabine

    Hear hear! As a social care worker I also have some insight into this issue and I heartily agree with Jess. This article comes a day after I witnessed the most disgusting misogynistic, sexist and racist behavior by a disabled acquaintance towards his Vietnamese fiancee. (I live in Vietnam…the tales I could tell!) When I pointed this out somebody started to use his disability as some kind of excuse. I was staggered.

  • simone

    Thank you. As one of the many prostitution survivors who has a disability due to prostitution itself, I ask those who advocate for this insult, why it is okay, not only to scapegoat a caste of women for male entitlement generally, but to give us a disability,(which 70 % of prostituted women end up with), in advocating the rights of disabled men?

    • Sab

      Hi,
      Can you provide a link for that statistic. I know many ex-pro’s and none with a disability.

      • huffysnappy

        I’m no expert in this area Sab, but really, it takes 5 seconds thought to come up with a disability that 70% of prostituted women could plausibly ‘end up with’, and about the same amount of time to then google ‘prostitution ptsd’. The first link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9698636 (Prostitution, Violence and Posttraumatic stress disorder by Farley and Barkan) and the relevant statistic from that link – ‘68% met DSM III-R criteria for a diagnosis of PTSD.’

        But perhaps, since you’re the sort of person who counters a prostituted survivors claim of ‘I have a disability from prostitution’ with a claim that you ‘know many ex-pro’s’, perhaps you’d like to quibble that 68% isn’t 70% or, whatever.

        (By the way, I guess you never stopped to think that of the ‘many’ formerly prostituted people you claim to know, that perhaps the individuals concerned wouldn’t necessarily tell *you* if they had PTSD or any other medical condition or injury?)

        • Sab

          Maybe you should call yourself HyperSnappy! I AM an ex-pro. Ptsd is not a disability. It is an emotional reaction that needs to be worked through. There’s absolutely no need to label people with it for life. Not only that, but I’m FOR the Nordic model. People like you, absolutely p me off because you actually try and silence US, the people who have actually worked in the industry. I know a lot of ex pros because we worked together. And I was ttalking to another person who worked in the industry. Unless you’ve actually worked in the industry, butt out!

          • Sab

            http://m.bjp.rcpsych.org/content/184/3/247.full

            “Conclusions Since post-traumatic stress was not found to be associated with disability, its clinical importance may be questionable.”

            There’s no doubt PTSD is serious and requires councelling but it’s not a life label nor a disability.

          • bella_cose

            In the U.S., if you are diagnosed with PTSD, you can receive social security disability benefits for it. I know a few people who are disabled because of PTSD, and that’s how they survive.

          • Sab

            I definitely agree with giving people help for ptsd because it’s a nightmare to live. Been there. I worked through it, not prostitution work; but I also recieved government funded councelling for two years, once a week. I did feel it to be stressful, darn near debitating but I never felt disabled.

            My issue with prostitution is that it, is absolutely damaging. It’s something thst can be recovered from. Any info spread that says, lifelong ‘screwed’ is something I fight because the belief in recovery matters a lot. It’s necessary to know it’s possible in order to get there.

            I’ve also had seriously problematic fibroids twice over and the only factor that shows correlation is sexual abuse. Again, I would never call this a disability. Challenging, painful, confronting, frightening – yes; but not disabling.

            To me a disability is permanent. Temporary disability exists but that, to me, is a life challenge to beat and overcome.

          • My PTSD has not been temporary so far. I am talking decades. I guess I should hide that fact in the quest for what? To be a failure at positive thinking class?

          • I’m trying to follow your reasoning Sab. How does considering certain cases of PTSD (it’s not a monolithic condition, obviously) a disability, and the adjunct SS benefits available as a result “silence” anyone? I would have thought that a financial benefits to people living with PTSD would have the opposite effect to “silencing”.

            Also, how does any of this equate with “silencing” ex-pros? You are as capable of commenting here, speaking publicly about what you believe to be constructive way forward, starting your own blog, lobby group, etc. as anyone else here. Also, how do you know that Huffysnappy is not an ex-pro as well?

            These are all serious questions. I don’t understand how this comment “silences” anyone and if that is the case I would like to understand it.

          • Sab

            Take a look at HuffySnappy response to a simple question. He/she literally makigowm up a bsckstory of who I am and what I believe. You think that spreading falsehood about a complete srranger isn’t silencing? You think the internet doesn’t jump on the bandwagon? Please show me how it’s even possible to come to the conclusions this person came to from one question.

            I am sick to death of everyone weighing in on prostitution. We already have our own movement. I started with that 25 years ago. And the problem today is the same as it was then, 2 views of us:
            -oh poor abused victims
            -choice feminisms empowerment model

            Both are ridiculous. It is possible to be abused before during and after. It is possible to feel powerful before, during and after. It is pissible to make choices before, during and after but none of these things define the experience or the individuals.

            Choices are made within the framework of society and the open doors available. Until such a time as 100% employment at living wage minimums exist, so too will limited choices exist.

            Until such a time as free anger management classes, school classes in speaking and listening including non-violent communication are part of the syllabus that every student learns growing up, so too will domestic violence exist and thus youth making limited choices to escape will exist.

            Until it is considered perfectly valid that taxes should pay full-time parents of under school-age children a full living wage, so too will solo mothers make limited choices to feed, clothe and house their children.

            The conversation hasn’t even got into the right ball park yet. It’s still on empowerment vs victim hood. Yet, those of us in the industry haven’t been silent. We’ve been silenced through stereotyping and through assumptions.

            The truth is societal sex and gender inequity causes financial coersion that enables the sex industry to profiteer off womens bodies. The fix doesn’t lay in defining prostitutes and ex prostitutes in terms of damage. It lays in constructive criticism of the institutions that negatively impact on women (and trans and gay men) both those who find themselves prostituted and those who don’t end up there but came very close or chose another path, such as drugs, theft, non-taxed and thus illegal work etc that is born out of institutionalised financial coersion.

            The problems of the sex industry extend far beyond the sex industry, to the point that getting out of the industry doesn’t necessarily fix the problem that placed the individual in it, in the first place.

            Does that clarify things for you?

          • memoir of a trespasser

            “We’ve been silenced through stereotyping and through assumptions.”

            Take it up with the multibillion dollar pornography industry, sweetie.

            Have you seen the disgusting words pornographers teach men to call people like you, names that are a thousand times more stereotype-laden and destructive to you than ‘sweetie’?

          • Sab

            Dear ‘Sweety’,
            It’s so obvious, that you would never perpetuate the stereoryping and condescension of “people like me” ( I assume by that you mean human rights activist, animal rights activist, environmentalist, double-degree holder, friend, daughter, cousin, sister, aunt, human being, tax payer…).

            Thank-you for incredibly thought-provoking and nuanced addition to the discussion.

          • memoir of a trespasser

            Careful, your hard-on of misplaced rage against feminists is showing.

          • Sab

            I AM A FEMINIST! If there was a non-feminist here it would be you.

            That double degree I mentioned; Sociology and Feminist Studies before it was renamed Gender Studies

          • Well it does provide some clarification, but it does not answer my questions.

            You wrote: “The truth is societal sex and gender inequity causes financial coersion that enables the sex industry to profiteer off womens bodies.” In this many regular posters here (who, by your definition, should not be speaking) agree with you. Most regulars also agree that casting women in prostitution as “poor abused victims” is not at all constructive. Actually, I’m not sure I’ve read anyone here who takes that position.

            You are telling HS, myself and other that unless we are current or ex “pros” we should remain silent. I am suggesting that you don’t know which of us are current or ex pros, which of us are multiple rape survivors, which of us has traded sex for financial security, approval, companionship or any of the other many ways we find ourselves offering/enduring sex acts for something we want or need. If my rapist bought me dinner; a bus pass; paid my rent, does that allow me to speak?

            I don’t get the point of insisting that the only people who can reiterate the fact that there is a very high percentage of PTSD in performers in the sex industry or that the fact that in the U.S. PTSD is considered a disability and compensated as such are people who were/are directly involved in that particular type of transaction.

            To say that the only people who are allowed to state the fact that within the number of citizens who have seen military combat there is a high percentage with PTSD, and that there are compensation programs for that, are those who have actually seen combat is absurd.

            It seems to me that the only person telling other groups that they have no right to state imperial fact is you. You are the only one who is silencing anyone else and I see no evidence of you being silenced by other people’s statements here in any way.

            You, like Huffysnappy and others, are contributing to the conversation and I really appreciate what you have to say, but I don’t see any grounds for you telling people not to speak about PTSD.

          • Sab

            You’ve ken what I’ve said put of context. I haven’t told people not to talk about ptsd, nor have I tokd people here, not to speak. What I did do was get
            peeved at huffy… for making up a back story and trying to pisotion me as anti the nordic model and as ignorant despite what I’d written which was nothing more than a request for a link. I have also stated that I’m tired of everyone weighing in; that runs far beyond this post and is
            contextualised to the
            general ‘debate
            ‘ which by and large
            absolutely ignores
            prostitute voices
            unless they fit the
            stereotypes. I also
            stated, “Unless you’ve
            actually worked in the industry, butt out!”,
            never once implying
            that I knew who was or ever had been in
            industry. That was
            what the ‘unless’ bit
            was. She/he could
            have responded.

            As I’ve already said, I
            do think mental illness
            or psychological problems need treatment but they are not disabilities. The USA is one country not the world. On top of that tje psychogical profession has no scientific evidence whatsoever for most of the ‘conditions’ in the DSM.

            If you want proif of that watch the documentary, The DSM: Pschiatry’s biggest scam. I’ve checked, it is on Youtube.

            It is well overdue time for those who’ve never worked in the industry to actually listen because for people who’ve never been its just theory. That doesn’t mean people can’t talk, it means they need to listen first. The stories are widely diverse and while people talking theory outnumber those talking experience, then the realities don’t get heard over the theory. Abd yes, that does silence voices of those who truly understand it from having lived it.
            To call all emotions
            that aren’t positive due to prostitution, disability, is to medicalise the bodies, minds and soyls of prostotutes and former prostitutes. That, in tirn, has a roll on effect of discrediting the vouces of those ‘mentally ill’ and ‘psychologically damaged’ people. It is just more of the same othering of prostitutes who are just people, not ‘those women, other than the general population’.

            There is a huge difference between fighting for the right of people to recieve trauma help and socially disabling and undermining them with permanent and damaging labels.

            Prostitution doesn’t need to be exaggerated to be taken seriously as problematic for the workers, whether by limited choices, trafficking or coersion.

          • bella_cose

            Actually, psychiatric problems can reach the point of being a disability. Count yourself lucky if you’ve never reached the point of not being able to get out of bed, or wash, or leave your home. Some people’s lives are torn apart by mental illness. Perhaps you should stick to talking about the subjects you know of from personal experience.

          • corvid

            Yes, psychiatric illnesses can indeed be disabilities. My father is so debilitated by his delusional psychosis that he lives on paltry disability payments in a dank basement. There have been many, many attempts to treat his illness but all have failed. I’ve been pushed out of jobs, abandoned by friends, and found solace in addiction, because of my own issues.

            Sab, discussing PTSD isn’t “calling all emotions that are not positive that are due to prostitution “disability””, it’s not a label, it’s a real phenomenon suffered by many women. Which is not to say it permanently marks anyone; it may be a disability, or it may not be, depending on the sufferer’s response to treatment. I certainly don’t feel that the women here are discrediting my voice (or my father’s) by pointing to this. I agree with the vast majority of points you’ve made on this thread and want you to know that you are supported here that and I support you, but I think you are barking up the wrong tree on this particular point.

          • Lee

            You’re in control, Sab. You’re in control. Just keep repeating it to yourself…

      • She probably means PTSD, which is generally debilitating. More prostituted women get PTSD than do combat vets.

        • Dewey

          Do you have any links to this research? I don’t doubt that it’s true, I’d like to add it to my own personal arsenal for debating MRAs and trolls on the subject. I already knew prostitution is the most dangerous profession in the world and now I’ve learned that it’s closely linked with PTSD (which is not at all surprising!).

          • Sab

            Interesting that you needed to add “I don’t doubt it’s true” after asking for links in order to avoid being attacked here!

          • Dewey

            I didn’t add it in to avoid attack, I added it to clarify intent. Requesting links is a common opening salvo in comment threads and I didn’t want FreeFromSexPozzies to get the wrong impression. I didn’t want it to seem as if I was going on the attack.

            I’ve been following your thread above and I agree with much of what you’re saying, I think the problem is that you’re couching it in this weirdly incongruous hostility towards the other commenters. It’s like, Hey, we’re on the same side but I’m now going to angrily dictate to you what you’re allowed and not allowed to say about my former profession.

            Prostitution is a hot button issue in feminism, it’s impossible to not have an opinion, so it’s kind of jarring to be told to shut up about it.

          • Sab

            Do white feminists have the right to tell black feminists what counts as black feminism?

            Do able-bodied feminists have the right to tell disabled feminists what constitutes disableism?

            Do heterosexuals have the right to define gay rights?

            Intersectionality means listening to the people living it.

            Riddle me this; why would prostitution be any different to every other form of discrimination so that intersectionality doesn’t apply?

          • bella_cose

            I’m going to be very honest here. I don’t only care about prostitution because of what prostituted women go through, although that’s a large part of it. Male sexual entitlement is a danger to every woman on the planet. Prostitution is an extreme example of it. Even if every prostituted woman was perfectly happy in prostitution, I’d still be against it. It’s another part of the culture of violence against women, and that affects all women.

            Misogyny affects all women, and acting like prostitution happens in a way that only affects prostituted women is naive and dangerous. Of course feminists should listen to prostituted women about their experiences, but we don’t have to experience it to know it’s wrong, and the mechanism which allows it to occur.

          • Meghan Murphy

            Yes, I agree. Obviously prostituted women suffer inordinately in prostitution but the existence of the sex industry impacts all women (and men). it impacts gender relations, gender equality, sex and sexuality, how men see women and girls, and how women and girls see themselves. Though marginalized women are far more vulnerable to exploitation and abuse, all women and girls are susceptible.

            This is where the argument the only current ‘sex workers’ may have an opinion or speak about prostitution fails — big time — current ‘sex workers’ are not the only ones affected. Women and girls who have not yet been prostituted, women and girls who were — but have since left the industry — are affected, as are all people. Like that prostitution exists impacts the whole of society.

          • Dewey

            As a disabled feminist, I’ve actually learned quite a bit about my particular brand of intersectionality from well-informed able-bodied allies. Anyone who cares enough and is committed enough can skillfully enact change without necessarily belonging to a marginalized group.

            That’s beside the point, however.

            I think it’s important to respect individual viewpoints, as an outsider, but you have to realize, on some level, that prostitution as a globally pervasive phenomenon affects everywoman, whether she has first-hand experience with the profession or not. The sex industry marginalizes us all, every woman and girl, through its pernicious thrall over the majority of the male population. It’s sometimes on a secondary social level, manifesting in men’s attitudes towards women, and sometimes the impact is felt directly through a boyfriend or husband who has slept with prostitutes, visits strip clubs, or watches porn.

            We all suffer because of it, we suffer social and institutional oppression because of it, therefore, every feminist has a right to an opinion and a right to voice that opinion.

            You don’t get to have the only say on the subject because you aren’t the only one to suffer the consequences.

          • Sab

            I need to repeat myself again.

            People have the right to talk about it but prostitutes and ex-prostotutes get define what the experience is.

            Of course it has social ramifications. I never once said it exists in an isolated bubble. Again, don’t take what I’ve said and expand it to an extreme position.

            Nothing brought up here is against my beliefs or really, in response to what I’ve actually said.

            So far, I’ve said PTSD exists and no matter who or how, help should be available. I’ve alao said, don’t label it a disability. Somehow this got skewed to, if it’s not a disability, it doesn’t exist or people should suffer in silence.

            Prostitutes and ex-prostitutes should define the experience and ramification of prostitution. And somehow this is skewed to, no one has the right to speak at all, ever or frame ot relationship to patriarchy.

            Wth?

      • lib

        Does mental illness count as disability? I’ve also recieved many injuries in prostitution, often the same tear again and again, never truely healing completely. And urinary tract infections and bacterial vaginosis and thrush yes I always use condoms but still have had these more than a couple occassions. Many girls have actual serious disabilities in prostitution,its one of the factors leading to the lack of suitable employment alternatives facing us.

        • Lee

          “Does mental illness count as disability?”

          Yes.

          • Lee

            Let me put it this way: no sane person can truly survive horrific abuse. Mental illness and abuse go together like bread and butter. If you haven’t read the book, ‘Anatomy of an Epidemic’ by Robert Whitaker, I wholeheartedly recommend it.

            Abuse makes people violent or crazy or both. It is a real phenomenon, it is not the fault of the victim (which is not a word that should be viewed with negative connotations because, yes, people are actually victims of things), and being damagedbecause otherpeople chose to abuse you is not something to be ashamed of. It is not pleasant, but disability due to harm done to you, whether physical or mental, is not some kind of flaw. It means you are a sane human being, underneath all the ‘crazy’ others have inflicted upon you.

          • Sab

            But people do, all the time. They hurt and work through and tap into reseeves of strength tgey never knew they had.

            If people truly became mentally ill and violent or crazy then the one third of the world starving to death would no longer know love, compassion, empathy… The same could be said of every area
            affected by natural disaster, earthquake, tsunami and uranium
            disaster of Fukushima, earthquakes and over 22000 aftershocks of Christchurch, flood disaster of Queensland that wiped out a third of
            the state, bushfires, hurricanes/tornados etc. Every rape victim of the world, every victim of violent attack and so on…

            But that’s not the general response. Somehow, all these people hold on to their humanity, their sanity, the lives and find inner reserves of strengrh that get them through it.

          • Nobody said that PTSD is permanent and that the women who enter the sex trade who have already been traumatized by rape or some other form of sex abuse/grooming or that that who are injured and traumatized for the first time or re-traumatized and further injured through the “work” never get over it. Lee did not say it. HuffySnappy did not say it. I did not say it. No one said that.

            Why are you inventing enemies where there are none and attacking people for things they have not written? Why are you one second saying that people who have never worked in the industry should not speak about the industry and the next second you are telling people to shut up – people who you know nothing about, including whether they have worked in the industry or not.

          • C.K. Egbert

            Sab, I don’t think anyone is implying that someone with PTSD is someone less than human. Nor does it at all imply that they are incapable of love, compassion or empathy.

            All that this is saying is that people who experience trauma are likely (because they are human and this is a natural human reaction) to experience distress as a result. At least it is going to permanently change them in some way. Acknowledging this is an acknowledgement of the harm that women experience and saying that it should be taken very seriously. That’s all.

            The fact that someone experiences great distress is also not necessarily an indicator of being “flawed.” If one didn’t experience any distress, it’s likely because one has become so numb/inured/disassociated and identified with abuse that one cannot “feel” it anymore.

            I think “harm” is a better term to use than “damaged” (because of the negative connotation of “damaged goods,” flawed, etc., as someone on another thread pointed out to me).

          • Sab

            I absolutely agree with you. There is definitely harm and ramifications to most ex-prostitutes. At the time dissociation is the norm. I’ve only ever met three women and one man who say they love/d the job and are/were career sex-workers. It took a long time for me to accept it and believe them. My first thought was – ‘ou’re in denial’ I was wrong.

            Every other woman I’ve met through working has been harmed by it in one way or another. I worked on and off from age 15-33 (over an 18 year period but not the whole time). I had dissociation disorder prior to working in the industry, so I don’t know if I would have developed it becayse of that. What I do know, is it’s manageable. There are techniques, many techniques, to ground oneself and stay present in life. There’s ways of identifying triggers and learning how to work with them, rather than avoiding them.

            I personally don’t use any drugs to help with emotional/psychological fallout. I believe they do more harm than good. I also, haven’t taken time off work (non-sex work) because of what I’ve seen with friends. Friends who have taken time out seem to have slid into depression and got stuck. One friend in particular has been unemployed for over a decade despite councelling, drugs and financial aid. I talked to a councellor about the pattern I saw in my friends and asked about it. She said, ‘even if you’re just going through the motions at first, staying involved in work, family and social activity is necessary for healing.’

            This is one of the reasons I believe in providing help without labels.

      • Ellesar

        I must admit that I immediately thought of incontinence.

        • Sab

          Hi Ellesar,
          I’ve never heard of incontinence being the result of sex, whether through prostitution or other means.
          Can you expand on that?

          • bella_cose

            Anal incontinence can happen from lots of rough anal sex. It happens to women in pornography. I doubt that it’s unheard of in prostituted women. I would guess urinary incontinence could result from damage acquired from repeated rough vaginal penetration. Not sure if stds could be a factor as well.

          • stop replying to Sab. Sab is a troll.

          • Sab

            I didn’t even think of fecal incontinence. I never did anal. But, of course, that’s a huge risk.

            I’ve not heard of urinary incontinence from coitus.

          • FrustratedRadFem

            Men who ask for anal are scum. I’ve never done it never will. I’ve seen men admit that they do it to see what they can get away with. It’s like about conquering women and seeing what they can make her do. Notice how they aren’t eager to perform cunilingus (properly).

            I don’t really believe the women who say they love the ‘job’ they may like the perks and feel validated by feeling desired but that’s not the what actual job is. Women are socialised to make excuses for men and denial can take years to snap out of. I’ve seen that many of the loudest female pro prostitution voices are actually pimps themselves.

  • Survivorthrrver

    The “right to sex” with a vagina is not a given. Each person has “right to sex” with their own set of gonads.

    But, males do not have a “right” to partnered sex with a vagina on demand. Period.

    The very definition of sex as “penis in vagina” has got to be rooted out.

    Sex = female orgasm. Hmm?

  • Vancouerite

    Thank you for providing an articulate, insightful and honest post about this issue. I have actually been struggling with this idea and appreciate being able to gain some perspective.

  • David

    Very good article, as a man that was also born with some mental developmental issues, I can attest that we know all about sex and can still get our fair share. My brother, who is also developmentally challenged has a child of his own and I have one myself. While we both have issues with anti-social personality disorders and social anxiety disorders, which has kept us from being able to remain in a long lasting relationship with a woman, and where we both have had to go months if not years without having any sex, we’ve never felt the need to hire a prostitute. We actually have an older sister who is just like you. Because of us, she has found a career working with children with special needs, as she’s now a speech therapist that works with kids in special education classes. She has worked with us ever since she was young and she still helps us, making sure we are able to get to work, find work, pay our child support, etc. I’ve seen where disabilities like autism are blamed for certain men’s behavior. I know the young adult male that went on a rampage and killed several people, including himself because a woman rejected him out in California supposedly had autism. Many people were blaming his actions on the fact that he was autistic, and not on the hatred he had for the women who rejected him as a mate.

    • “our fair share” ??

      unpack your assumptions, dude.

  • Meh

    Such a great article – thank you so much!

  • Jess Martin

    Thanks for the positive feedback! I much appreciate it!

  • Daleth

    Excellent, eye-opening piece. You nailed it.

  • Sarah

    I really appreciate this. When I was in inpatient psychiatric treatment for anorexia and PTSD a few years ago my roommate was a woman who had been a sex worker for over 30 years. Sh did it to feed her children but after they were grown they insisted she stop and get help for the severe eating disorder, PTSD, and Xanax addiction the prostitution work had left her with. This lady had been through some of the worst trauma I’d ever heard. Prostitution does nothing but degrade and abuse women. Most of them are not lucky enough to survive and get out, as she did…and she is doing well in recovery, last I heard.

    • That is a heartbreaking story hearing of your roommate. I’m glad to hear that she is recovering. And I hope you are doing well and recovering too.

  • Elaine

    When I was 5 years old, I was raped by a 16 year old boy who was developmentally disabled. I had always been told to be nice to him (he was a neighbor) because “he wasn’t as smart as the other kids.” After he’d raped and left, I had trouble walking. Mom kept asking me what was wrong, but I didn’t say because I knew it was my fault. I was supposed to be the one in charge. Forget that he was a giant next to me and I was only 5 — I knew it was all my fault.

    I wish someone had thought to tell us that not everything he did was okay and that I had a right to protect myself. Then again, who would think it would happen to such a young child and such a sweet young man. So yes, they can have plenty of sexual needs. It can really screw up a life, too.

    • That’s horrifying Elaine. To be left alone to carry an experience like that at 5 is triple assault: the rape, the rape at 5 years old, the rape at five years old with the young child as supposedly “responsible”. I can barely fathom it, but for what it’s worth, my heart goes out to you.

    • I am so sorry to hear that you went through that. That is heartbreaking to hear about, far less to suffer first hand. I can’t wrap my mind around what you must have felt like being conditioned to feel everything he did was OK and instead blame yourself.

  • Thank you for this. And thank you also for mentioning that disabled women are at higher than average risk of being prostituted. It would have been nice if you’d emphasized that more, as a counterpoint, so there’s more focus on disabled everybody rather than just disabled men. (I don’t know how myself – I just get too lost in the stress if I even think about it.)

  • Ellesar

    I think that there is also the subtext of entitlement only slightly different to that of able bodied men – you know the one, it goes ‘I can’t get sex for free so I have to pay because women are bitches’ – something like that. Yes, there are able bodied women who would not have a sexual relationship with a disabled man. But from my experience men are far more likely to leave a disabled partner (I worked with people with spinal injuries), and disabled women are more likely to have extensive periods of celibacy.

  • My experiences have not been as dramatic as those of some of the other people in the comment section (thanks for sharing your stories everyone), but at my high school there was this misogynistic, homophobic, generally reactionary bully who happened to have Aspergers Syndrome and other students excusd his behaviour because of his mental disorder. I know that people with Aspergers can have difficulty communicating with others and understanding which behaviours are appropriate or inappropriate within social situations, but this student was not simply rude. He said things that were blatantly and obviously offensive. He did not do it because he was angry or anything he did it because he could. Everyone attributed his behaviours to his disorder, but the way I saw it he was a reactionary bully, who happened to have Aspergers.

    One time he played a musical instrument in front of a bunch of other students during some lunchtime music thing and they praised him like crazy afterwards. Even my friends rambled on about how great he was, even though I was one of the people he bullied and they knew I hated him. I wonder if that ties in with the idea that people with mental or physical disorders are inherently inspiring, even when they are carrying out an activity that is not even impaired by the disorder. I have my disagreements with the disability activist movement, but I too hate “inspirational” things featuring disabled people. They strike me as sadistic celebrations of people’s suffering, which are aimed at stopping those who view or otherwise make use of such material from complaining about the problems they face. It is yet another way in which our society celebrates people who shut up and implicitly villifies people who do not.

    In any case, if somebody has a mental or physical disorder that disorder is just one aspect of who they are. It usually does not determine their entire personality, let alone their political ideology (misogyny and conservatism are not symptoms of Aspergers). Of course I was attacked for supposedly not being sensitive enough to the issue of mental disorders (in reality, I am actually very capable of detecting reactionary nonsense and have been attacked for that as well, I just do not have the same understanding of what is reactionary as most liberals do), but I think it is more prejudiced to assume that all people with Aspergers are automatically going to behave nastily and adopt right-wing ideas about the word. I know people with autism spectrum disorders who are perfectly decent people, some of whom are even involved with left wing politics. A human being is a human being, not a collection of all the “identities” that liberal academics insist on forcing onto everybody.

    • I am so sorry you went through that, not only with this guy’s bullying but also with your classmates’ refusal to acknowledge his abusive behaviour towards you.

    • I think you bring up a good point. Respecting disabled people does not mean seeing them as all good/saint type figures, it means seeing them as complex human beings. And respecting someone means that you don’t refuse to call them out on rude or wrong behaviour because, “He’s disabled I can’t say anything to him.” That’s actually sort of disrespectful. When someone truly respects you they are not only patient with you but they also will be honest with you and expect you to live up to certain standards, the ones which they respect you by.

    • David

      Supposedly Elliot Rodger, the young man that went on a rampage and attacked and killed several people in Santa Barbara California because a woman turned him down earlier this year, was mildly autistic and several people have been blaming his actions on the fact that he was autistic.

      • I know austistic people have difficulty communicating with others and I suppose that could be a factor in him developing misogynistic and generally hateful views, but I am concerned that the media may be focussing on his autism so as to give the impression that the problem was solely with him as an individual. We should not ignore broader social causes such as gender indoctrination (specifically indoctrination into masculinity), a generally violent culture, society’s obsession with sex, university culture (and its emphasis on mindless hedonism) and the way in which capitalism rewards competition and ruthless self interest.

        I am sure many radical feminists and other radical women have trouble communicating with university students and academics, not as a result of autism, but due to their unconventional and highly misunderstood ideas, yet most of them would never turn to violence as a result, because it just was not part of how they are raised. Autism can cause trouble for people, but my understanding of the symptoms of autism does not lead me to conclude that it makes people violent. There have to be other issues involved.

      • Ellesar

        And that is really insulting to autistic people!

  • Dusin

    Hmm… I must be doing everything in life wrong then. I am a 35 year old male, was always hard working, and I love and respect women, but I do not always blindly agree with their views. I believe that a woman should have every right to buy the services of a man, just as a man should that of a woman. I am not isolated from men and women who work in the service industry, nor do I use any of them. I also know several women trying to break into porn careers and I don’t really see anything wrong, as long as its what they, themselves, want. I have no mental disabilities, and am considered and am rated to be highly intelligent, I am polite, respecting and caring. However now, at 35, and not only still a virgin, but being in a wheelchair for the last 4 years, I see how hard it is for some people to just find someone, while all my friends got married and went their own ways around me, or continue to hit the bar and pick up women of their choosing, I just don’t see how it all works, and nobody has been able to help me. My friends have seen how it works for me and consider it almost a curse how women avoid me in public. Sure, there have been a few times I thought I was on the right path, up to the point of thinking that I found someone, but then I would find myself listening to the whole “you’re like a brother to me” speech and I don’t need anymore sisters. I don’t put up with abuse towards women, but I’ve seen just as many women abuse men, and get away with it, because the law is on their side. There is a bias to the system which keeps the men guilty until proven innocent, but it takes more than his own words to prove it. She just needs to claim a crime or threat, he needs 350 witnesses and a letter from the Pope. There are worse things going on, and this is what you choose to complain about? You make your choices, you can get help for them. Any working woman should have security, just my take, and a private and secure place to do business.

    • Lola

      You see, the whole point is that women don’t owe you sex. You are not entitled to sex just because. If, for whatever reason, you are not able to convince women to sleep with you, it’s not like they are being mean, you know.

      Prostitution wouldn’t exist if men didn’t have that pervasive feeling of entitlement to women’s bodies and genitals.

      • yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes YES.

    • “I love and respect women, but I do not always blindly agree with their views”

      Would that be the single set of views held by “women” as a monolithic group? Do you blindly agree with the views of “men”, whom I can only suppose you also “love and respect”, you know, as a reducible group?

    • Ed Drain

      Dustin, so your excuse for abusing a woman, is that it is too hard to meet people? Grow up! You can meet all the people you want, but if your heart is so ice cold to the suffering of the women that are forced to rent their bodies, than you don’t deserve to attract or keep any woman’s attention. To say that you love and admire women, while justifying your abuse of them is clearly propaganda and I am not buying it!

    • Laur

      Your misogyny and “poor me” attitudes are showing and I guarantee you neither of them are attractive. People like to be around other people who like themselves. Also, you weren’t in a wheelchair until four years ago, so don’t blame this all on the chair.

      • Meh

        That’s precisely what I thought when reading this. It’s his attitude, sense of entitlement over women’s bodies, and general “waaaahhhhhh wimminz are too privileged waahhh” tone than put me right off.

    • Lee

      Oh, see, I was so sympathetic until all your MRA BS at the end. That’s what your actual problem with women is — you are angry and spiteful and entitled and a jackass and unlikable. That’s why women don’t want to sleep with you. Awesome guy in a wheelchair? Totally into it. B-hole child who hates women in a wheelchair? Not so much.

    • Ellesar

      Law is on women’s side?! Try telling that to the majority of rape victims who never see their rapist held accountable!

      • Sabine

        I nearly choked when I read that line too, Ellesar. Believe me Dustin, your lack of success with women is NOT about the wheelchair…

    • harpy

      also this:
      “bias to the system which keeps the men guilty until proven innocent, but it takes more than his own words to prove it. She just needs to claim a crime or threat, he needs 350 witnesses and a letter from the Pope.”

      WHERE in the bloody hell do you live, because I sure would like to move there! here on the planet earth you have men raping, abusing and murdering women on fucking daily basis with like 99% of the crimes going unpunished. and if by some miracle there is a conviction, it’s usually a joke (Hello Oscar).

      • bella_cose

        Funny that most men seem to think that as well. I don’t know where they get these ideas, but it’s proof of their power in society to make up lies that benefit them and have people take them as fact, merely because men are saying it’s so.

  • Jess Martin

    Hi Dusin,

    Of course there are both ableist men and ableist women out there who would not consider a sexual relationship with someone with a disability so I’m sorry if you’ve been overly exposed to those women.

    I know for myself that if my husband had been in a wheelchair when we met I would have pursued him just the same. If he someday ends up in a wheelchair I will still have a sexual relationship with him. I can’t speak for all women but I’ve had attractions to men with physical disabilities that were at a peer level to me cognitively and I know that many of my female friends have as well.

    I also know many able-bodied women who are or were virgins at 35, not of their own choosing.

    We obviously have different perspectives on the merits of the sex industry. I believe that efforts to support people with disabilities with relationships or sex would be better spent facilitating an online dating site catering towards people with disabilities or doing public education dispelling myths around sexuality and disability.

    • Jess Martin

      I totally acknowledge that prejudice is an obstacle that people with disabilities have to navigate when they are pursuing a sexual partner. My point is this: let’s get rid of the obstacle through attitude reform rather than working around it using a system that harms other vulnerable people.

  • “Even if disabled men weren’t able to find willing partners, would it be just for the most marginalized demographic of women — many of whom are physically, intellectually, or developmentally disabled themselves — to provide this “service?” I believe not. It’s unacceptable to pit the interests of two vulnerable people groups against each other.”

    Yep. This is a good example of why arguments for disabled men to have prostituted women to use fails the test of intersectionality. Intersectionality (which third wavers seem to feel is their pet theory) states that all oppressions are interlocking and to work on one oppression and help one vulnerable group you cannot push down another group. Throwing prostituted women under the bus (to put it mildly) is not how you elevate and give increased quality of life to disabled men.

  • Uggh I just clicked on link to the Huffington Post article and read this, “St. John used to be a booking agent for a popular escort agency in Vancouver. She soon discovered high demand from disabled adults as well as parents of teens with special needs, but there was nothing that catered to those clients.

    After talking to people in those communities, she was horrified to discover that many had reported unpleasant experiences with sex workers. The clients said they were treated with little care and no compassion.”

    Look at how this was framed. Prostituted women are portrayed as being abusive and exploitative towards disabled men when that completely inverts the reality of who is being abused. Trish St John claims that she was “horrified” at prostituted women’s behaviour. This is appalling to read.

    • Diogenes the Cynic

      In what area were you a prostitute, Jan? And what negative experiences did you have? What factors led to you choosing the profession? Are you still a prostitute now or have you managed to get out of the trade?

  • Jen

    As a Disability Support Worker with qualifications in the field and years of experience in working with people who have disabilities, I feel that this service is justified and is much needed in most communities. This is not about objectifying and disrespecting women. Just because some people with disabilities can express themselves sexually with other people and have meaningful relationships doesn’t mean that they ALL can.

    This is about providing a service and equality to a minority of people who can’t otherwise have these intimate relationships whether it be due to the fact that their disability is highly physical and complex and they need mechanical help with hoists and the knowledge and skills that comes with using such implements or due to an intellectual disability that may not allow them to verbally express themselves enough or at all to have relationships with others.

    Going to a prostitute is not just about sex for some people. It’s about being intimate on an intellectual level. They want to feel like someone cares for them even if it’s just for an hour. They want to share a connection with a human being and not be constantly reminded that they are different to most people. And if that happens to be with someone they pay for, what’s so wrong with that? They aren’t just paying for sex. They are paying for compassion, understanding, knowledge and skills, professional curtsey and respect.

    Turning this into a argument of the negative treatment of prostitutes and women’s rights completely misses the point of the original article. It’s about helping men AND women with disabilities who otherwise would miss out on this basic human experience that most of us take for granted.

    • Does your disabled clientele include disabled people who are or have been in prostitution? Because disability is a risk factor for being prostituted. And you know the old saw, while disabled men may have a hard time getting laid, disabled women are at very high risk of being sexually abused. (This used to come up all the time when I was on Wrong Planet.)

      This is a gendered issue even within the disability community. Why should male desire trump female safety?

      • “Does your disabled clientele include disabled people who are or have been in prostitution? Because disability is a risk factor for being prostituted. ”

        You can say that again. This is not just in relation to physical disabilities but also mental disabilities such as PTSD. Just yesterday on the PTSD subreddit someone asked about work options for those with PTSD and a user responded that he found a job as a stripper in a gay club with a “very supportive boss” and fellow employees and was encouraging other people with PTSD to do the same, that it’s a great career for those disabled with PTSD. Not to mention this man apparently survived sexual abuse from his father. No one seemed to draw any connection. This was said on there and went completely unremarked on. If someone is disabled through prior trauma they are extremely vulnerable to abuse and revictimization.

        • I was thinking of intellectual disabilities, learning disabilities, developmental disabilities, and mental health issues not limited to PTSD, but of course previous sexual abuse can be a big factor.

    • Dewey

      Going to a prostitute is not just about sex for some people. It’s about being intimate on an intellectual level. They want to feel like someone cares for them even if it’s just for an hour. They want to share a connection with a human being and not be constantly reminded that they are different to most people.

      And these disabled men can only make this connection through sex? That’s the most insultingly misandrist thing I’ve ever heard. That a man can’t connect with a woman intellectually or emotionally unless he’s fucking her paints all men as knuckle-dragging animals incapable of meaningful human experiences with humans who aren’t men. Good word, you must hate men something terrible to say such a thing.

      • Dewey

        Another thought: These men do realize the women are only pretending to care about them, yes? Prostitutes are hired actors, they aren’t there to have a good time and make friends. You said this was a “basic human experience” and unless a person feigning interest in another person in exchange for money is a common human experience, I’m afraid you’re maybe unwittingly romanticizing what is fundamentally a business transaction. The commodification of women’s bodies. Renting out women as human toilets. Really romantic stuff.

      • Diogenes the Cynic

        Trolling Dewey?

        So presumably when a woman says “I’m a woman I have needs” she is being misogynist.

        Let’s not throw around words that mean “hate” when all we actually mean, at worst, is stereotyping. Personally I don’t think it’s specifically men that need physical intimacy in their lives but all human beings. I suppose in your eyes me saying that makes me a misanthropist.

    • Laur

      MAYBE in a sex-equal world, and a world with real economic and racial/ethnic equality, there wouldn’t be a problem with having sexual “helpers” for disabled folks as well as for people who truly have problems sexually.

      MAYBE. I don’t know, because we certainly don’t live in such a world.

      I don’t know how familiar you are with the realities of life for prostituted women, but in any event, I recommend the website prostitutionresearch.com

      BTW, you say you are a Disability Support Worker; is “supporting” disabled men sexually something you’d like to do?

    • Jess Martin

      Hi Jen,

      I wholeheartedly disagree with your position as someone who has very intimate family and friend relationships with people who are non-verbal and very cognitively “low functioning”.

      You cannot pay for intimacy, only the illusion of it. Men with disabilities that pay for sex (and it is just men as disabled women are not using prostitution) are paying for sex. As someone who has been an intimate caregiver – providing bathing, toileting, hygiene support etc.- I know that I am not being paid for intimacy. Sometimes intimacy does develop in a caregiver/client relationship but this exists outside of the employee/client dynamic.

      I have very strong friendships with some of my respite clients but I’m aware that the client’s family or caregivers are not paying me for intimacy. They are paying me to provide safety and entertainment for their loved one so that they have time to do self care. Any true intimacy (the reciprocal kind) happens on the side. I’m not paid for it.

      I will be clear about what’s wrong with paying for compassion, understanding, and respect; it’s the fact that people must have these things outside of a paid dynamic for it to be meaningful, for the person to feel valued, and for the person to know that someone cares about the fact that he or she occupies space on the planet without needing a fistful of cash first.

      If you know of disabled people that must pay for intimacy (which is a basic need, yes) then I’d be happy to develop a friendship with them and I hope you would too.

      Contrary to what you mentioned, there is NOBODY (EVER. PERIOD.) who’s needs are too complex to have unpaid friends. I have friends that are non-verbal, tube-fed, require full showering and bathing support, require peri care, need to be wiped when they take a bowel movement, need to be shaved, need to have their pads and tampons changed when they have their periods, make involuntary loud noises, you name it.

      This is besides the point, but if someone was so cognitively challenged and limited in their communication skills that they can’t develop unpaid relationships with others (as you said), it would be very difficult to assess whether that person is giving consent to a sexual encounter. The fact that a person’s body may respond sexually to having someone touch them or be near them unclothed does not necessarily constitute consent and neither does facial expressions. I think that rape of people with low-incidence disabilities within this context is another huge concern that sex-industry lobbyists would like not to discuss. I believe that if someone is capable enough to communicate consent, they are capable enough to have unpaid intimacy.

      I find this argument very patronizing to the people in my life. My brother is completely non-verbal and does not use any kind of communication aids. I’m sure lots of people believe that he’s incapable of forming intimate relationships but those people would be dead wrong. There are no “untouchables” in the special needs community. There will absolutely be people that do not have intercourse in the disabled community in the same way that there will be fully-abled people who do not have intercourse. As I mentioned before, it is not a requisite part of our sexual expression.

    • As a disability support worker you think it is appropriate to disable the majority of a caste of women as long as they re providing a service to disabled men? That is essentially what you are saying here. I don’t think you have considered the ramifications. And if going to a prostituted person to feel that someone cares is what a person is after, then one is barking up the wrong tree. We are no more or less caring than the next person, (like, erm, friends, counselors, therapists community groups etc..), but we are paid to pretend we love our job when we loathe it. And believe me, the men want sex. Some like to talk and feel loved but they want sex. Never have I encountered a client who didn’t want sex. You do know the job description don’t you?

    • Sab

      I just have to point out the really obvious here. Prostitutes don’t care about Johns. The experience contains no intimacy at all. It’s an act, a pretence. The sex is clinical, to keep every drop of bidy secretions away from each other. No kissing. Many don’t hug. It’s perfunctory with a fake smile, fake moan fake laugh. The prostitute wants the money, get the job done as fast as possible and leave. Can’t wait to leave!

      Sound like caring and intimacy to you?

    • Ellesar

      The problem with your apparently reasoned statement is that you use the word ‘people’ when you should be using the word ‘men’. In these debates NO ONE is suggesting that male prostitutes should be available to service the needs of disabled women. And yet disabled women have sexual feelings that they may not be able to satisfy on their own!

  • Michael Biggs

    The first priority is to protect powerless women and girls from exploitation, violation, assault and slavery. In Australia, much more active policing of existing laws, and activist protection of the victims, would be a good start.

    But of course, there are some very strong women running their own business in the sex industry, who don’t exploit other women. I was deeply impressed by Rachel Wotton in the documentary “Scarlet Road”. Her sex-work business addresses the needs of men with serious disabilities (and, indirectly, their carers). The movie shows a mature, strong and caring woman running a very lucrative, safe and legal business, which also shows kindness to the vulnerable. She is a role-model to women, reducing stigma against sex-workers, and I’d be proud of my wife if she wanted to do this sort of caring and professional work (of course I’m proud of her anyway!).

    • “I’d be proud of my wife”

      If you’re such a fan, why offer your wife’s body instead of your own?

      • Michael Biggs

        Silly question – I couldn’t offer anyone’s body except my own. And if I could meet people’s needs and make a good living in this way, I’d love to think that I could do it.

        • Meh

          Such a caring misogynist. It’s lovely xo

        • memoir of a trespasser

          Silly because you think women are natural whores, but men aren’t?

    • bella_cose

      What about disabled women? Perhaps you and your wife should set up shop sexually servicing disabled men and women. Then you could both be proud of each other.

      • Yes let him go prostitute himself. These men that defend prostitution would never think of doing that with their bodies. They’re too good for that, while they want all women to be their fuck objects available to them on demand.

        • Michael Biggs

          As I said above, I’d certainly be willing to do this work if the money and conditions were good enough. I think I might do some aspects of it well – but I doubt that I would get many customers.

          But even though there’s much less demand for men as sex workers, possibly many men would find it less demanding work than women do – if it’s true that its easier for many of us men to regard sexual acts as separate from our emotional life.

          • Michael Biggs

            This last remark of mine was very poorly written, and could easily be misunderstood in many ways. I hope some people might see what I was trying to get at, but I’m sorry if it sounds like I was minimising the terrible multi-level impact on so many women and girls who are damaged by sexual exploitation.

          • bella_cose

            What, are you kidding me? Most women have no trouble separating sex from emotion. Sex doesn’t create emotion, though I suppose it can amplify them if they exist.

            Prostitution would be easier for men, because they wouldn’t be getting penetrated over and over, unless they were screwing men. It’s really not equivalent to a woman in prostitution.

      • Sabine

        Hahahaha! Great comment bella_cose!

    • Dewey

      You’re the documentarian promoting your project, a friend/lover of Ms. Wotton’s, a PR agent hired by her, or just incredibly delusional. I’m saddened by the knowledge that I’ll never find out which. (Not holding my breath for any forthcoming confessions.)

      • Michael Biggs

        None of the above, I promise. A couple of years ago I saw a bit of the movie on TV, and then it turned out than many people at work (community services) had been just as inspired as I had. So at the time, I watched some discussions etc on the web – I’m sure there were some people who were cautious about it, but I can’t remember anyone attacking this type of work as “delusional”.

        • Dewey

          I said youwere delusional, not prostitution as a profession. Even the most naive newcomer to the profession would be disabused of all rosy illusions about the nature of the work in record time. Do you know where the majority of positive PR comes from? Brothel owners with dollar signs in their eyes. And it isn’t hard to squeeze affirming commentary from your employees when you know where to apply pressure. Does anyone, for example, really believe those fluffy Walmart commercials where workers testify about how awesome it is to work for a family of exploitative weasels? Those well-compensated liars accurately represent the workers, do they?

          For every sociopathic madam with a tear jerker of a life story, there’s a flock of impressionable misogynists, like yourself, ready to lap up every word as gospel. I know how your kind likes to rent your human toilets guilt-free.

    • Meh

      “She is a role-model to women, reducing stigma against sex-workers, and I’d be proud of my wife if she wanted to do this sort of caring and professional work (of course I’m proud of her anyway!).”

      A role model to women? Not this woman. There are other ways to support people. You don’t have to set yourself on fire to make others warm.

      And the bit about your wife – creepy. Just creepy.

      • Michael Biggs

        I remember Rachel Wotton talking about her partner in the film, and we get to hear a bit from him too, and he is definitely proud of her. You think this is creepy, but I certainly don’t. If you watch a 2 minute clip of Scarlet Road on Youtube, and you still think its creepy – well, we just have very different values.

        • Meh

          Um, yeah it’s still creepy.

          It’s sick just how much good old fashioned misogyny has warped into this, “Yeeaaah, I’m a caring partner. She’s just expressing herself and helping otherrrs” bullshit.

          It’s either you’re unaware of how misogynist you are, or you’re fully aware and being a troll. I really hope that you’re trolling.

          • Michael Biggs

            My approach is authentic and kind, so I really don’t think I’m a troll. But I’m often unsure about some aspects of radical feminism, so if that means I’m a misogynist, I’m happy to wear that one.

            But if you watch a little of Rachel Wotton speaking, I’d be surprised if you can’t see why I respect her, even if you don’t agree with me.

          • Meh

            I’m glad we agree that you’re a misogynist.

            Your heart bleeds for entitled men with lonely gherkins. Women are nothing more than fuck aids in the scenario you present.

          • corvid

            “My approach is authentic and kind…”

            Yeah, I hear that’s what consumers want nowadays.

          • Sab

            There are ex prostitutes on this thread that you choose to ignore entirely in favour of this wonan selling her ‘wares’ tgrough empowerment narrative.

            Johns ask, “So, do you do it for sex or money?” It’s the number one question asked. The answer has to be, ‘the sex’ because if it’s not, then the woman doesn’t get the money. It’s called fantasy. The truth is prostitutes are repulsed by johns, disgusted to the very core. You’re buying the fantasy being sold. It’s sold to financially survive and no other reason.

    • The stigma never belonged to us in the first place, so you’re not doing us any favours there! (“sex Worker’ is a sickening term, designed to obfuscate our lived reality.)Stigma belongs on the pimps and johns who prostitute us. I know a john when I read one.

      • Dewey

        He does give off a very strong John vibe, doesn’t he. I’ve talked to numerous Johns over the years about their experiences with prostitution and they always give me a glowing sales pitch for it, replete with words like “caring”, “empowered”, “safe”. And always delivered in the exact same lobotomized cult member sort of way.

        I’ve seen the same mindset at work in religious zealots. And sociopaths. They’re invariably empty husks desperately clinging to the artfully crafted and grandiose delusion that they’re above it all. Michael has watched an infomercial, sorry, a documentary that slapped a fabulous veneer on a very ugly cultural phenomenon and now he’s an expert on prostitution. Isn’t he the special one?

      • “The stigma never belonged to us in the first place, so you’re not doing us any favours there! (“sex Worker’ is a sickening term, designed to obfuscate our lived reality.)Stigma belongs on the pimps and johns who prostitute us. I know a john when I read one.”

        YES. Exactly! I want to upvote this x100. The stigma belongs on the pimps and johns not on you. I hope with the Nordic Model now the stigma will belong to fall in the right place on the people who deserve it, not on the exploited and victimized women.

      • Sab

        I used ‘sex worker’ instead of prostitute or ‘whore’ when wprking to protect myself from the reality. It serves two functions; to protect the prostitute and the john. I couldn’t use the word prostitute until I was well and truly out with an ‘ex’ prefix attached to the word. When talking to friends still in it, I use the title they’re comfortable with, out of respect for the individual. On a political level, I use the word prostitute. I abhor the word, whore. Escort, companion, working girl, play mistress, street walker/worker, private worker, masseuse with extras, and possibly many labels I’ve never heard or escape me right this moment are other terms I, and others used to mentally deal with it at the time by obscurring and softening the bluntness of the job.

    • “The movie shows a mature, strong and caring woman running a very lucrative, safe and legal business, which also shows kindness to the vulnerable. She is a role-model to women, reducing stigma against sex-workers, and I’d be proud of my wife if she wanted to do this sort of caring and professional work (of course I’m proud of her anyway!).”

      Since you watched an entire documentary about Wotton, care to tell us something about her other than how rich she is or how good she is at serving the needs of others? What hobbies does this woman have? She probably does something over then giving men orgasms, right? Or did you not think about that while you were watching this documentary? What kind of music/art/film/books does she like? What are her philosophical and political beliefs (aside from “men need orgasms)? Can you or any of the men she has serviced tell us anything about this woman that does not revolve around her ability to please others and become rich as a result?

      P.S. Telling us her breast size, waist size, leg length, skin tone or general level of prettiness does not count.

      Also, you really think people run “lucrative” businesses for the sake of benefiting others? Ever heard of something called advertising. Many advertisements contain statements like “_________ really cares about its clients/customers”. Do you believe all of them? And people think I have an overly optimistic view of human nature.

      • Michael Biggs

        Certainly when I saw the movie I wondered about her as a person, and what her interests are – probably more than I would with most people I would see on tv. In her case, it actually is possible to find out a little bit, because people have posted some quite personal speeches she’s given.

        But I understand the point you’re making – men who pay for sex are probably mainly interested in just the sex, not the woman (or man) who they are paying.

        • “Certainly when I saw the movie I wondered about her as a person, and what her interests are – probably more than I would with most people I would see on tv.”

          And yet you did not actually tell me anything about her.

          “In her case, it actually is possible to find out a little bit, because people have posted some quite personal speeches she’s given.”

          I bet no parts from any of these speeches made it into the documentary, did it?

          “But I understand the point you’re making – men who pay for sex are probably mainly interested in just the sex, not the woman (or man) who they are paying.”

          For once, somebody get my point. But it is no coincidence that the men using prostituted women/men do not care about the prostituted people as humans. I think you would have to not care in order to buy sex from people, when you could be going out and having genuine (non-economically coerced) interactions with people.

      • Missfit

        Surprisingly, men think good role-models for women are women who are dedicated into servicing and pleasing men…

    • “The movie shows a mature, strong and caring woman running a very lucrative, safe”

      You mean the FANTASY is that it’s safe and lucrative. It’s not safe. Prostituted women have a rate of death 40x higher than the general population and rates of PTSD higher than war vets. WHAT about that says safe to you ?

      As for lucrative, I would be willing to bet that any money made from prostitution is run through very quickly, due to the shame women feel as they are doing this. A survivor on twitter the other day was talking about how it made her feel subhuman (and the continued insistence on denying her exploitation and suffering continues to make her feel subhuman), do you think that a person who feels subhuman is able to have the self care necessary to safe money and invest it provide for themselves in future ? Do you think someone being degraded is able to have motivation to wisely manage their money when they are being made to feel subhuman ? Do you think they are able to regard themselves as deserving of the money or anything good in life ? I don’t know but I would be willing to bet if you do some surveys on it it is like those who win the lottery (and most prostituted women don’t even make anything near that much) any money acquired is gone in five years.

      One Danish sugar baby that I read about gave away the 6000 pound shoes a sugar daddy bought for her because they were so nauseating to her. She was so disgusted she didn’t even want to touch the money.

    • Meh

      Hey Mikey,

      I watched Scarlet Road last night just to see what you were fucking on about. It was shit. Full of inspirational/uplifting background music and misguided opinions.

      Wotton paints feminists who don’t agree with her as asexual, stupid and irrelevant. At one point she picks up a copy of ‘Anticlimax’ (I think it was) and says, “Sounds like she’s never had a climax before in her life” – because har harrr feminazis never climax because they don’t gots no sexy timezz LOLOLOL.

      She also has a good old lol with a “Swedish sex worker” about how dumb feminists are for assuming that a one hour session is “just non-stop penetration”.

      Then that dumbarse Eva Cox comes on talking shit like: “feminists who don’t like sex workers tend to be a bit grumpy at me”.

      The whole documentary was just shit. I’m glad I watched it though – it’s good to get an insight into how uncritical sex-pos horseshit really is.

  • Ed Drain

    Thank you so much for what you have written. I hear all the time about men who “need” to use woman in this disgusting way. I hear from men who feel like they are not “attractive” enough. How about they make their character attractive? How about they actually try to find some genuine respect, admiration and love for those around them? Why is this lost on so many men?

  • Madeleine b

    I call bullshit on this.
    Nobody is saying sex is an inalienable right.
    It is a need. Some people are fine with that need not being met, or simply attending to their own needs.
    For those that choose to pay to have that need met – why should they be demonized ?
    If I were disabled and single, you can bet your ass I would consider paying someone to meet my needs.
    There is nothing wrong with two consenting adults agreeing to this.
    Weird.

    • Meghan Murphy

      A ‘need’ is something you need for survival… Water, food, shelter, for example. A man doesn’t ‘need’ to be able to put his penis inside a woman’s vagina in order to survive. That’s ridiculous. He can masturbate if he likes. If it’s about physical affection, well, one also doesn’t ‘need’ heterosexual, penetrative sex in order to get physical affection…

      • Michael Biggs

        Obviously you’re right, Meghan. If a “need” is only something you need for survival, then sex is not a need.

        But going back to “Scarlet Road”, some men with disabilities aren’t able to masturbate, or even touch themselves. Some can’t achieve penetrative sex, but they can still desperately yearn for, and appreciate, intimate and sexual touch. Its easy to see why some of them would have such strong desires for sex that are prepared to pay generously for it (and if they can’t move themselves, they sometimes don’t have many other uses for their money).

        This doesn’t make access to women’s bodies their ‘right’. But its not surprising that they (or their carers) sometimes seek the service. And of course, its not surprising if there are many more disabled men than women seeking to pay for some sort of sex, although I’d love to know more about that.

        • Dewey

          Then why don’t you go round to all the guys who can’t masturbate and offer to hold a fleshlight for them? Why does your end of the conversation continually come back to hiring women as masturbation aids? Women’s bodies have always got to be involved, far as you’re concerned. The reality is that they don’t.

          You keep inadvertently proving the point that it’s about entitlement to women’s bodies. Nothing more.

        • Laur

          “But going back to “Scarlet Road”, some men with disabilities aren’t able to masturbate, or even touch themselves. Some can’t achieve penetrative sex, but they can still desperately yearn for, and appreciate, intimate and sexual touch.”

          These guys are creative. Don’t tell me they’ve figured out NO WAY to get off without another person by now.

          I hate this argument, regarding disabled men’s right to be sexually serviced. It acts like the only group of people being left out of the equation are disabled men, and that’s simply not true. Disabled men are still men. I am quite sure these men would be a lot happier if they stopped blaming their lot in life on women and found ways to be happy right now.

        • If you believe so strongly in the idea that disabled men need someone to give them a hand job or provide a lubricated orifice for their use, then why don’t you piss off and provide that service instead of arguing that other people must do it? Actions speak louder than words, Michael.

      • Madeleine b

        Most humans have sexual needs.
        This is not a new concept.
        These needs can be met in all sorts of ways.
        Reference any developmental needs model.

        • Meghan Murphy

          Sexuality does not necessarily = “sex” in a conventional/heteronormative sense. Also, sexual desires, for example the desire to have sex with a woman, are not sexual “needs.”

        • Dewey

          Careful there, you’re hedging on the assertion that rape is a natural, inevitable part of human society. If sex is a basic biological need, then it logically follows that men are entitled to get it any way they can.

          As far as developmental models go, I assume you’re referring to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Sex is in the bottom tier because humanity would cease to exist if people stopped sexually reproducing; it’s a propagation of the species thing, not an individual need. And we know for a fact that sex isn’t necessary for reaching self-actualization. Isaac Newton and Nikola Tesla were virgins when they died and I doubt anyone is going to argue that they didn’t get to fulfill their potential because they never got their rocks off (with assistance, that is!).

    • Dewey

      So if you woke up tomorrow as the sole survivor of a fast-acting plague with all the food, water, fuel, etc., all to yourself, you’re telling us you would still die?

      Weird.

      By the by, “consent” is a really tricky word when we’re talking about prostitution. By definition a prostitute cannot have consensual sex with a client, but she can consent to be raped by a client. Support prostitution, support rape. Where would you like your “pro-rape” button sent?

      • Madeleine b

        I would attend to my own needs in that scenario, but being the sole survivor I might die anyway, I expect, from any number of causes.

        Your ideas on consent and rape seem strange to me.
        I know what consent is, and I know what rape is, but thank you for telling me I support rape.
        I am familiar with both, but only support one.

        • bella_cose

          Well, at least you’re honest about supporting paid rape. If only all people like you would be so honest about it, and admit they have no desire to analyze the context in which choices are made, and how utterly meaningless consent can be.

        • Dewey

          In the context of truly consensual sex, women have the right to veto sex acts they aren’t comfortable with and partners they don’t want to sleep with. Prostitutes aren’t granted those rights, their bodily autonomy is null and void, and any sex acts performed under financial duress, which most prostitution is, is a form of economically coerced sex. Or rape. Wherever there is any form of coercion, there cannot be real consent.

          • Laur

            Exactly. Disabled men visit prostitues b/c these are the group of woman who can’t say NO to him!

          • Dewey

            I think this applies to allJohns. One of the major selling points of prostitution is that she has to do whatever you ask of her with a smile on her face. She can’t refuse or there goes her rent/groceries/gas/utilities/etc. walking out the door.

            What a powerful aphrodisiac it must be for those poor beta males who have been rejected time after time by cold-hearted bitchez to wield that level of power over an attractive woman.

            I think that could be the most dangerous aspect of prostitution, and porn for that matter: the way it eroticizes women’s subjugation. There will never, ever be equality as long as men are getting off on sexual domination. It further entrenches the notion that women exist to be controlled, used and abused.

    • Missfit

      Have you read the article? And you come back with ‘sex is a need’ (while it is not, as Meghan said)?

      If you read the artice, you clearly did not understand it. You’re saying: ‘if I were disabled and single, you can bet your ass I would consider paying someone to meet my needs.’ Well, I’m abled and single, should I consider paying someone to meet my ‘needs’? What about if I am disabled then, then I should? That is clearly ableist. What you said suppose that a disabled person should view himself as someone who will have to resort to paying if he wishes to be physically intimate with someone. And I intentionnally used the pronoun ‘he’ here because whenever it’s time to talk about disabled persons who may suffer from a lack of intimacy/affection and/or sex! (of course) it is always men. Men’s needs are always so important, that I know. But I feel disability is just an excuse some men use to overtly claim their right to prostitution; many men, disabled or not, would like to claim the same (I am too shy, not attractive enough, not alpha enough, socially awkward, to ‘get’ the woman of my choosing – I need prostituted women because what about my neeeeeeeedz).

      • Madeleine b

        I would consider iif i was a single able woman too.
        Why not?
        If you want to then you should be free to do that too!
        It may be preferable, and not some bastion of the damned, as you imply.

        I called it a need, not a right. As long as they can find a willing partner and it is legal, why should it not happen?
        There are many happy caring sex workers, and many who work with disabled clients and also advocate for reform and education.
        Is prostitution the real issue here?
        Nobody is claiming a “right” that exists in a vacuum.
        I know plenty of people who were absent a willing sexual partner,
        The response to this situation may include a range of actions, including doing nothing.
        Some may want to handle it themselves, others may save up for months for one night of physical pleasure.
        Ok
        Each to their own.

        • memoir of a trespasser

          “absent a willing sexual partner”

          When you pay for sex you are still absent a willing sexual partner, you’ve just financially extorted away her ability to say No.

        • Missfit

          ‘I would consider iif i was a single able woman too.’

          Do you just say that in an attempt to give the false impression that this is not a gendered issue or would you truly do it? Because truly, the truth is that women (single or not, able or not) do not hire men to sexually please them (and sorry but pointing to an exception does not change that). There are many women’s bodies advertised in my local newspaper for men to hire to sexually service them but no men advertised for women.

          ‘Is prostitution the real issue here?’ Well yes, prostitution is the issue here, wasn’t it obvious? And frankly, with all we know about prostitution, how patriarchy/capitalism/colonialism plays into it, it’s consequences on women, to see someone’s comment limited to ‘I don’t see any problem with this, I’ve heard there are happy sex workers’; is it possible to be more short-sighted? (I know many men turn so intentionally when it comes to this subject though).

    • Meh

      Sex is only a need in a reproductive context (and even then, it’s not needed). Stop making this a “but the menz need da sexy times bcos of da biologyyyy” argument.

      • Madeleine b

        I am not a man.
        I have sexual needs.
        Invalid.

        • bella_cose

          You’re not very smart, are you? You have sexual desires, not needs. Big difference.

        • Meh

          What a little dumbarse you are.

          You have sexual desires – they’re not needs. Stop being so dramatic.

          And don’t “invalid” me when your argument is utter bullshit. Stop embarrassing yourself.

          • Madeleine b

            It is clear to me now you are mra trolls trying to make feminists look like fringe weirdoes who are anti-sex.
            That, or you are too basic to remediate.
            Toodles and never give up on understanding big ideas!
            Reach up to mediocrity at least!
            I believe in you.
            Xxx

          • Meghan Murphy

            Ha! Yeah we’re the mra trolls… You got it.

          • Meh

            Stop attacking us and calling us names because you’ve embarrassed yourself through ignorance and we’ve called you out on it.

          • Meh

            **to Madeleine of course! Don’t know why it’s sending to Meghan lol

          • Dewey

            How very mature. “The commenters adroitly refute my every argument and that’s so frustrating! I know what I’ll do! I’ll call them names, stomp my feet and huff out of here. That’ll show them!”

            Consider us pwned.

          • Missfit

            mra troll, your projection is so obvious.

        • Sabine

          “I would consider iif i was a single able woman too. Why not?”

          IF (I am assuming that is what iif means?!) you were a single able woman. Not a man, eh? Please take your trolling and embarrassing lack of knowledge or insight elsewhere.

          • Madeleine b

            I am a woman, married to a man, who has no problem with legal consensual sex including prostitution.
            Mind blowing I know.

            Do you even know any sex workers? Or women?

          • Sabine

            “Do you even know any sex workers? Or women?

            How utterly lame. I know prostitutes (please give the sex worker term a rest) AND women, yes. Mind blowing I know… And my previous comment still stands. Ta-ta.

  • Survivorthriver

    Male sexual needs can be released with masturbation.

    What males state as a “need” is the desire to dominate females, to validate their male dominance rights over, and to reassure their ego.

    There is no longer any need to perpetuate the species as we have serious overpopulation. That is the reason we have to question the definition of “sex” as a penis in vagina act, period.

    The planet is drowning in seed. How many women and children trafficked to meet the “need” – wrong, it is a desire – the entitled attitudes of males?

    What would happen is males switched from focusing their obsessions on manufactured/commodified needs that are really rationalizations for delusional desires. What is males did not watch one to two hours of porn a day?

    What if beta males rejected the commodification of their community – their female co-workers, their children, their beta female partners – and, focused their energies on stewarding community, helping their brothers and sisters and putting a priority on making their world a better place? There might not be such an obsession with a bodily act confused as a “need” and a “right”.

    The patriarchal definition of sex, and the cultural treatment of women as sex objects has pornified the hive male mind.

    I say, spill that seed upon the ground and be done with it.

    • marv

      “I say, spill that seed upon the ground and be done with it.”

      Well we have to consider the hazardous ecological implications. The seed has been infected by porn exposure and by sexism in general. You never know what kind of mutations could evolve when contaminated semen comes in contact with other organisms on the ground or if it leeches into the water. Maybe the safest possible thing to do is dispose of the toxins in nuclear waste facilities. In the future we may be able to blast it into interstellar space. Ideally prevention is the best method but that would require castration. I prefer the last strategy though it is likely the most unrealistic to implement.

  • Champ

    Women CHOOSE to be prostitutes. Women see they have assets that they can turn into profit. If a woman advertises that she will trade money for sex, then she is getting exactly what she wants when someone chooses to utilize her service. To say women are victims of prostitution is ridiculous. How about not being a prostitute if you truly believe it is so degrading? You are very unintelligent if you feel it is the only option, yet continue because it is so degrading.

    • Sabine

      No, YOU are very unintelligent. Period. Have you read anything whatsoever on this website? Or anything at ALL about the prostitution industry??? Obviously not. But I guess research doesn’t feature much in mindless, tedious trolling…

      • Champ

        Yes, I have actually. Besides the few unfortunate women and children sold into the sex industry, women make a CHOICE to sell themselves. When you make a choice, you accept responsibility for your actions. So many comments say “look how these poor women are victims of prostitution; it left them with PTSD, addiction, etc.” Well, perhaps you can DECIDE to not sell your body and avoid all of the the consequences that come along with it. Are these women so greedy that they continuously put themselves in harms way for a quick buck?

        • Meghan Murphy

          Most women do not “choose” prostitution. They are either forced to make a “choice” due to circumstances (i.e. poverty) or are coerced or forced by family members, pimps, etc. There are many factors that lead women and girls into prostitution, but to say it is simply a “choice” is overly simplistic and ignorant.

          • Champ

            Whatever the motivation, most CHOOSE that lifestyle for the easy quick money. Prostitutes exist because of supply and demand. Disabled people have every right to pay for a service between two consenting adults.

          • Meghan Murphy

            You can be sure that they would “choose” something else if they had other options for survival.

          • Champ

            To say the majority prostitution is simply a choice is correct.

          • Meghan Murphy

            Oh yeah? Then how is it that over 80 per cent of prostituted women/girls are pimped/trafficked?

          • Champ

            This statement is false. Check your facts. Over 80 percent come from rough backgrounds, but they still have a choice.

          • Meghan Murphy

            I have checked my facts. A number of times. 84 per cent of women are controlled by a third party (i.e. a pimp). Tell us more, though, anonymous internet man!

        • Meh

          So you’re effectively saying that women who enter prostitution are extremely privileged because they get paid?

          • Meghan Murphy

            LUCKY LADIES AMIRITE

          • Meh

            Oh totally. There’s nothing hotter than being touched/penetrated by somebody that you wouldn’t ordinarily be caught dead with. CUZ, LIKE, WOMEN ARE GREEDY FOR MONEY N SHIT.

            A critical and nuanced discussion of women’s subordination/oppression under patriarchy isn’t necessary because ‘choice’, cuz Champ sez so… so yeah…

          • Champ

            I not saying they are privileged at all. I am claiming that they choose to sell their bodies because they see a way to profit from it. Poverty does not force someone to sell their bodies. If someone wishes to pay for the services that these women are offering, they are doing no wrong. This whole article screams victim complex, because a prostitute can’t be held responsible for choosing to sell herself, right? It’s all those damn men with their damn patriarchy for buying it blah blah blah. This article and majority of comments are complete ignorance. “The prostitute is not, as feminists claim, the victim of men, but rather their conqueror. An outlaw who controls the sexual channels between nature and culture.” – Camille Paglia.

            It’s a personal choice with consequences. Get over it.

          • Meghan Murphy

            Poverty and coercion are almost the ONLY things that force people to sell their bodies, actually. Unless you’re going to start providing evidence for your claims or just, like, not outright lying, I’m not going to publish your comments anymore, Champ.

          • Laur

            “It’s a personal choice with consequences. Get over it. ”

            What’s “personal” in feeling and believing you were put on earth to suck dick, that it’s the only thing you’re good at, good for? Because I see plenty that’s cultural, and even more that’s related to male power, than I do that’s “personal” in those beliefs. These are beliefs shared by many women about themselves, and a disproportional number of these are women who wind up in the sex trade.

          • Missfit

            Their conqueror? How having a stranger’s dick push down your throat while hear him say ‘you little dirty whore’ is conquering? Please explain.

            Is there anyone approvingly quoting Paglia besides MRAs?

          • Meghan Murphy

            “Is there anyone approvingly quoting Paglia besides MRAs?”

            MRAs and evopsych bros (so, MRAs).

          • FrustratedRadFem

            “Poverty does not force someone to sell their bodies”

            Yeah you’re right, poverty doesn’t force women to sell men do. Men have structured society so that women are put in a position that this is even an option. It wouldn’t matter how poor they were if men didn’t demand there wouldn’t be prostitution. Seeing as men are actively victimising women how about we do something about that.

            Victim complex? dude men are complaining they are put upon because they aren’t getting sexual access to women’s bodies men have killed and maimed women because they see women as oppressors for not fucking them. The fact the invented the ‘friend zone’ is proof of that. Men are the biggest whingers when they don’t get their way if you don’t believe me go look at the gaming community.

            Let’s be honest here ‘victim complex’ is coded language it means women should be held accountable for what men do to them. Women are the largest oppressed group (yeah including the western world) our issues are legitimate.

        • Dewey

          Greedy?! The majority of prostitutes are living in poverty, many struggling to support children as a single mom. High paid escorts are a very tiny percentage of the whole.

          Care to flaunt your glaring ignorance some more?

        • Missfit

          See, I CHOSE to work in prostitution. I wasn’t kidnapped and sold as a sex slave. I can’t say it was an informed choice though (I hadn’t feminist information then, thus I was uninformed about many things). It was an unhealty choice. I was young. I felt I wasn’t good at nothing, I viewed myself as a commodity, I felt alienated. Many women who end up in prostitution were sexually abused as children, did you know that? Don’t you think that might have had some influence on their ‘choice’? Now I am going to specify that I know this is not the case for every woman in prostitution before someone accuses me of saying so. But I sincerely believe that without patriarchal capitalism upbringing (and colonialism for many women), no woman would ‘choose’ to have their bodies used/sold like that. It is simply inhumane. It is anti-female. Do people who spew the choice rethoric even think?

        • Sab

          The choice between paying rent, electric, food, medical, clothing and transport

          Or

          The choice to be homeless, hungry, begging and if she has them, losing her children.

          Now that’s privelege. Not!

        • Sabine

          No, you very clearly HAVEN’T actually. Your total lack of comprehension on this subject is staggering along with a shocking absence of compassion or empathy for women forced and coerced into “choosing” prostitution to survive. Your “argument” is beyond simplistic. It’s utterly moronic. It’s not a “few” unfortunate women. This is something you would have immediately discovered had you taken the time to do even the most shallow research in order to attempt to back up your breathtakingly, desperately ignorant assumptions. Stop wasting everybody’s time with such callous nonsense.

          • Sabine

            P.S. This is in response to Champ’s initial response to my previous one! Make sense? 😉

        • FrustratedRadFem

          And there it is….. They make their choices so they can lie in the bed they were raped in. They aren’t using that money to buy shiny shit. You are just like the victim blamers who blame women for trusting men who rape them or for drinking. Yeah these women are so greedy trying to feed themselves and their family usually with a pimp on their case. Most of the women in prostitution have been abused before often sexually abused in childhood, there is a solid correlation. Most of the women in the sex industry are on some kind of drug to self medicate the pain away this also means if they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol they don’t have they capacity to consent to sex draw the unfortunate complications from that. If you medical professionals who deal with prostituted women (without violating patient confidentiality), they’ll tell you pretty much of the women they deal with have addictions, abusive backgrounds or mental illness.

          Seeing as prostituted women and girls have higher rates of PTSD than soliders and there’s no longer a draft (but men are always drafting women into prostitution) do you think soliders deserve the consequences of their action?

    • Laur

      Champ, where are you getting your information from?

      “You are very unintelligent if you feel it is the only option, yet continue because it is so degrading. ”

      Really??

    • Dewey

      I think you’ve just won the “Obviously didn’t read any of the comments” award.

    • Meh

      Champ, why are you here? For doodle attention?

    • ArgleBargle

      Champ, most women (and men) who have been raped by ‘johns’ were first hurt in this way when they were children, i.e. a large number 16 years and under and a larger number under 18. Go on, do a survey, see how many start as adults, not nearly as many as you think. Now, keep in mind, one of the tasks of adolescence is to firm up your sense of self, who you are in the world. Then ‘john’ comes along with 50 bucks or so to show them who they are. And once kids are labeled and treated as ‘whore’ and ‘prostitute’ it is very very hard for them to get past that shame, and it gets internalized. And just that, even absent any other thing such as economic need or force, is enough to keep a person traumatized and down and accessible to ‘johns’ for quite some time. So. Champ, please quit adding to the massive harm already done by insisting it must be choice.

      • marv

        Champ is a chump. He is an uncritical conformist to *man*stream thinking. He prefers to gnash his teeth in the outer darkness as opposed to stepping into the light of truth. It’s too bright for his eyes so he chooses to live in the shadow of hate.

  • Pingback: Betaalde seks voor invalide mannen | Young Critics()

  • Oh how boringly Heteronormative you all are! Maybe one day someone will grasp the idea of equality and do something with it!

    I do find it quite amazing that female sexuality is ignored in this article and as a Gay Cripple I know of many Straight and Queer Cripple Ladies who happily talk of their desires and even practices of paying for their ration. Not all the ladies are happy with a widow Comforter and 24/7 TV.

    Time to get with the Big “E” word!

    • Meghan Murphy

      Oh I see. Now buying sex from women makes you ‘queer.’ Minds like yours make me feel hopeless about the future of humanity. http://feministcurrent.com/9226/johns-are-now-an-oppressed-sexual-minority/

      • Morag

        Ewww … he thinks sex can be “rationed.” Like meat is rationed during times of war or economic depression. What a pig-dog. Phooey.

    • lo

      Just looked at your twitter, and you’re a MRA. Not surprising.

    • Missfit

      Have you made your complaint to HuffPo about their heteronormativity and their ignorance of Cripple Ladies’ sexuality?

  • Martin Dufresne

    Dear Ms. Martin,
    I have translated your excellent essay (above) into French and would like your permission to put it up on the abolitionist http://ressources.prostitution.wordpress.com and on my FB page. Meghan Murphy is aware of my work, as I have often translated her own essays.
    I am of course in total agreement with your points.
    Thank you,
    Martin

  • Edouard

    Dear Ms. Martin,

    I wrote an answer to your article, it’s been published here : http://studentsforliberty.org/europe/2014/11/24/disabled-people-pay-for-sex/

    I would be delighted to have an open debate with you.

    Respectfully,

    Edouard

    • Laur

      LOL at your “arguments.” Did you even bother to read the comments to this article? They’re almost all answered on this very page. Not to mention that all the articles and comments on the many, many other articles published on the sex industry on FeministCurrent.com

      And, um, the latest article on consent? You might want to check that out too. Really, it gets tiring responding to the same simple beliefs over and over.

    • Jess Martin

      I accept your proposal to engage in an open debate. What forum do you suggest?

  • Christian Muellner

    Dear Miss Martin, your argument is lacking of reasoning. I will explain. I am a disabled man: therefore I think I got a right to explain my thoughts about this topic. 1. YOu are speaking of disabled men, but you are not differentiating between disabilities itself – except for the >power imbalanceusing< of the example of disabled prostitutes on moral grounds…I don´t know what to say.

  • marcus perry

    not all disabled are monsters. some disabled will never be able to have sexual relations with regular women in regular ways.

    the notions you bring up are valid. of course. thier also heartless to an extent. you understand that women with these same disabilities can also call upon these services. should they be denied the right to express themselves in consensual sexual activities as well?? honestly i hope you agree cause if you dont then that is the route definition of a sexist thought.

    we all or most of the world understands that love can happen to us all. not all disabled or regular people have that option. women tend to choose healthy men to be with. are disable men supposed to just roll under a rock and forget their desires to have sex. prostitution will never go away. there are sex therapist that help patients get ready for sex. its an actual medical process. while it may not include actual sex the purpose remains the same. to help disabled live as close to a normal life as possible. disabled men and women.

    • Marcus,

      no matter what “desires” disabled men have, you are still in favor of a special class of women who are basically supposed to provide (sexual) services to men at men’s whim, in this case disabled men. That’s pretty much textbook male entitlement.

      And besides, “desires” are “desires”, not needs, like eating or drinking, that have to be acted upon in order to survive.

      • marcus perry

        thank you for commenting. i agree with you on everything especially that desires are desires. remember that the women in this special class did have a say in being there. some dont and that needs to be fixed, but history has shown that women can always make easy money in sex services. that is kind of uneasy for me to accept as well. history have shown it. im not only saying that its ok for the special class to exist for men. women can have this service of men or women as well. im not only defending the male side of this. while i do see what laur i belive said on how most of the services rendered are purchases by men. still the option should be kept somewhat available to all who are willing. it goes without saying that the work area should always remain safe and enjoyable for both parties. ive never said that its a one way streak. someone assumed that was my take on it.

        • @marcus,

          look, I’m not a woman, nor was I ever prostituted, so my insight is limited, but I strongly doubt that being penetrated by men is “easy money”. Really, only a male can think that. We’re doing a fine job, mate.

          Furthermore, the existence of this special class of women is misogynist *in itself*, it’s not something you can just reform or wish away, as well as all the men who go to prostituted women. If a man can go to one woman and insist he can buy her “services” then he can do the same with all women. A man who goes to a prostituted woman is basically saying that all women have a price, but some just haven’t realised it yet.

          • marcus perry

            hell no! i disagree completely with the statement that a man can ask that of any woman. you went from 1 to 100 there. the willingful selling of ones body must be a conscious choice on the participant. i said easy money to show that some women who do this do what men do with sex and love which is proven. they seperate the 2 as different things. so the person they are when doing the acts is not who they are after the act is done. alot of people do this in other areas of life too. sports, work and all kinds of areas. i read your name and i know your not a girl.

            if all your looking at here is service based on sex then lets explore this subject with real world practice. male strippers are not seen as victims as much as female strippers because the appearance of enjoyment to the person viewing them. like female strippers male strippers go through ptsd as well. another example to show this is male porn stars. its not secret that its not an easy job. they use viagra especially gay for pay actors…but my point is that to say this use them for all they got attitude is only in men is not correct. look at gold diggers. no money no pussy. what can he do for me. i was quoting actual things ive heard from gold digger freinds i used to have. its disgusting. they prove my point that this whole article is asking good question but are we open enough to really look at why things are the way the way they are. have you ever wondered are people really ready to change?? or do they just want to complain and hope it changes??

          • FrustratedRadFem

            Not really though male strippers are a novelty that isn’t really for women. Men in prostitution are the minority and when they are harmed it’s by other men. Besides you are working at a cost that it’s ok to have a small amount of men to sexually service other men.Women don’t exist to sexually service you. Many prostituted women (and women in general) are sexually abused as children and as adults that the basically think if they are going to do this anyway I may as well be paid. Does this make you comfortable? that other men have beaten her down before you met her.

            The implication of what you’re are doing isn’t just that women have a price it’s that women are natural whores this goes beyond the commodification on women and into male supremacy/female inferiority territory. This is so fucking dangerous for us you have no idea. It’s why women have to make sure nothing we do or say can be used against us in a rape trial.

            In men’s minds the whore is insatiable and of course wants to have sex whenever and however men wants but of course it’s her idea. She is fickle and doesn’t know what she wants, she’s stupid and childlike but also cunning as a fox and will be men’s undoing. She’s a reward but deserves to be punished. She is naturally masochistic and her organ orifices are not delicate membranes instead they are fuck holes for men. If she steps out of line there’s another one and if she causes to much of a fuss no one will miss her. The whore is any woman the man wants her to be which means your screwed if he decides it’s you. If you determined to be a whore you better hope you have a man to testify for you.

            Men straight porn use their dicks as battering rams on women internal organ orifices, they slap, punch, spit on, choke (with both their hands and penises) and call them woman-hating names (bitch, cunt, slut whore etc.) and mock them if the resist or cry. They are rapists and abusers even if they get paid to do it, they have the choice to say no the porn directors asking them to abuse and hurt women. But they take them up on that offer with glee how about you talk about these men’s choices.

            Check out invisible men on tumblr to see what I mean from the johns themselves.

          • marcus perry

            unfortunately alot of what you said is true for some.

            btw thank you for replying. i like alot of you said. i agree with most of what you said.

            im operating on a theory that if you do this right then these negative side affects wont happen as often if ever. that is a working goal of course. yes women do not use these services which are for most part illegal.

            even if they did you wouldnt hear about it. one of the key differences between men and women is that a man will tell his freinds when he has had good sex. a woman may but may not so that she can keep it to herself. thats not selfish of her at all. she has every right to be private and selective. that is one reason you wont hear of any services that exist for women today.

            i really appreciate you commenting. i enjoyed your whole comment. most of it. you are your own person and have your own opinion. i really do appreciate you sharing.

          • marcus perry

            i wanted to clarify i dont think your radical. your being objective and true to your opinion. i cant ask for anything more of you. feminist are firm in thier beliefs. cant waiver. its a respectable character trait. this was a reply for a later comment. im tired and dont feel like looking for it. only a fool would see you as raging radical feminist in a bad way to me. i appreciate you commenting. ill leave you alone now. i knew i wouldnt be able to agree with most of you here. its just too far of a stretch for most of you. nothing wrong with that to me.

          • Laur

            “have you ever wondered are people really ready to change?? or do they just want to complain and hope it changes?? ”

            Have you heard of the Nordic Model? You might want to have some clue what you’re talking about before you act like feminist abolitionists don’t know what we’re talking about.

            A persona selling sex may make fast money, but there’s nothing easy about it. That’s what the women on this site are trying to tell you, that you refuse to hear.

            Your comments about “gold diggin friends” only go to once again show the levels of your misogyny.

          • marcus perry

            explain your reasoning for this? im curious. i wont get mad.


            Your comments about “gold diggin friends” only go to once again show the levels of your misogyny. ”

            also i have heard of the nordic model. found it pretty interesting.

            i am not underestimating you as an abolitionist feminist at all. my standards for feminist are higher because of that title. thank you for sharing your view.

    • Morag

      “you understand that women with these same disabilities can also call upon these services. should they be denied the right to express themselves in consensual sexual activities as well?? honestly i hope you agree cause if you dont then that is the route definition of a sexist thought.”

      How, exactly, can someone (male or female) be “denied the right” to consensual sexual activity? Is that when the sex police barge into the bedroom and pull two consenting partners apart and arrest them for the crime of mutual, freely-given sexual pleasure? Or, is that simply when the desired partner says, “no”?

      Which “rights” are “denied” when someone — even a lonely, frustrated or isolated person — is without a sexual partner? Answer: none. No rights have been denied.

      Also: you don’t know what sexism is. Please find out before you ever again try to teach feminists that they are having “a sexist thought.” Good grief.

      • marcus perry

        your confusing consensual sex and non consensual sex. if a prostitute male or female makes a choice to sell thier body for money. that is a consensual choice they gave.

        surprisingly your being sarcastic about how consensual sex can be twisted and it does happen in principle to how you said by a lawyer, lying victim, or even a government official that just wants to put someone away. i found that interesting. these things really do happen. im not going into that subject. its depressing. i could respond better if you would have express questions like laur did. she was clear and objective. dont reply to me if you dont plan on being that way. this is a 2 way discussion and im very interested in hearing your opinion believe it or not. you made great points which did make me think.

        you being a feminist has nothing to do with how i respond. i could care less if you are a feminist or not. that title holds no power over me.

      • marcus perry

        i forgot to say that the only situation in which a consentual choice is not valid is if the person is not of sound mind and body to take care of themselves. thats still very broad depending on how you spin it.
        ive seen people spin it before. it can be used too often.

    • Laur

      Marcus,
      If no one wants to have sex with you b/c of whatever quality, why do you think a woman in prostitution would want to have sex with you? Oh yeah, I forgot. The money. Not desire, but the money.

      “of course. thier also heartless to an extent”
      Really? It’s “heartless” to think women should be able to live free from PTSD? Prostituted women suffer from PTSD at the same rate as war veterans.

      “you understand that women with these same disabilities can also call upon these services. should they be denied the right to express themselves in consensual sexual activities as well?? honestly i hope you agree cause if you dont then that is the route definition of a sexist thought. ”

      The point, Marcus, is what happens in reality. In reality women, disabled or otherwise, seldom purchase sexual services. In reality, disabled women are much more likely to be found selling sex than making the very real choice to buy sex. This is due to poverty, job discrimination, and previous sexual abuse, among other factors. Free choice, huh?

      “prostitution will never go away.”
      Murder will never go away. Let’s legalize it between “consenting adults.” You can also replace murder with war, incest, and so forth.

      “are disable men supposed to just roll under a rock and forget their desires to have sex.”
      Disabled men can stop complaining about their lot in life, realize everyone has obstacles they have to deal with, and due their best to live a fulfilling, meaningful life while not harming others. Many people, both men and women, want to have sex and don’t have an available partner.

      Your desire to fuck women does not come above women’s human right to be free from unwanted bodily intrusion. Also, most men who purchase sexual access to women’s bodies are not disabled. I’m tired of disabled men’s supposed “needs” being used as an argument for legalizing the purchase of sex for *all* men.

      Your questions and comments are incredibly entitled and really rather condescending. Also, they’re all answered elsewhere in the comment section, which you would have known, if you had bothered to read the comments to this thread before posting.

      • Morag

        ‘Really? It’s “heartless” to think women should be able to live free from PTSD? Prostituted women suffer from PTSD at the same rate as war veterans.’

        Excellent point, Laur.

        Did you notice, too, his use of the phrase “regular women”? Not sure exactly what this means, but it must mean either “non-disabled” women or “non-prostituted” women. Either way, it seems that he’s saying that disabled men don’t have easy access to “regular women” and that this is Very Bad and Must Be Fixed. What a disgusting comment.

        • marcus perry

          i replied to you in the overall comment. you didnt quite understand what i meant. regular women is more of a comparison to normal without disability. alot of disabled feel like aliens in society. not all thankfully but too many. thats all that was meant by that. not sure where you got what you interpreted.

          • “regular women is more of a comparison to normal without disability. alot of disabled feel like aliens in society. ”

            Well it’s pretty clear that you yourself see disabled women as “not regular” and therefore undesirable – I suppose because you don’t get sex in what you term as “regular ways”. It’s pretty rich that you expect us to support your justification that women service you because you are alienated when you yourself obviously perpetrate the stigma. If you could get over your conviction that women with disabilities are irregular, (and whatever misguided notion you have about sex ‘in regular ways”), others might find you much more attractive.

          • marcus perry

            so your just assuming things you have no knowledge of right now. you really have no idea what your talking about right now do you??

            “f you could get over your conviction that women with disabilities are irregular, (and whatever misguided notion you have about sex ‘in regular ways”), others might find you much more attractive. ”

            i find it entertaining that you think you know me. your wrong on all counts pretty much here. you assume i have something against disabled women when i love a disabled woman who im married to. you assume i have love life problems. its actually the opposite. my relationships are smooth and easy because i clearly communicate with my partner. a beautiful woman ive known for a very long time. dont pretend to know me. you clearly dont. im not against womens rights. this article does more harm than good. you cant coddle women or men and expect them to grow on thier own. their not stupid. thier’s more than one way to help someone past their pain. some need firm people around others dont. the people ive helped grew on their own. most recently i put this 19 year old girl on a bus to go with her grandma so she could get away from prostitution which she also offered me and i denied. in another comment i also said that i would never pay for sex. i dont lie. please tell me more about me since you think you know me so well.

          • Laur

            “im not against womens rights.”

            You believe it’s “heartless” to not allow men access to women’s bodies. You’re against women’s rights.

            And for the record, no, we don’t all have “a little bit of PTSD.” PTSD is a way the body and mind copes with severe trauma. It was first noticed in Vietnam War vets. People either have it or they don’t. Anyone who would dismiss the trauma of having a human body bought again and again is hardly for “women’s rights.”

            There is no middle ground on the issue of rape, paid or otherwise; abolitionists aren’t about to compromise.

            You’re just the average pro-prostituion man, disabled or not. We’ve heard all your excuses before.

          • marcus perry

            its not rape if the individual consents to being the provider of a service. that is not rape. you cant change a definition. a service in trade for money or greed is still consensual. your coddling women in the sex industry. your not helping them by saying this should all end. slavery is one of the oldest jobs like another commenter said. she is not slave to anyone elses desires if she chose to fulfill them in trade for money. your twisting my comment. if you dont like the subject material . it hard to agree with. its normal i expected that. calling this rape is incorrect. consent must be given for these acts to occur. in a healthy environment consent should be given by the woman to the man for any trade of services. it sounds heartless but its fair. you can flip to be consent given by the man to the man just as easily. the point of saying that most of the customers are men is irrelevant. its a fair concept.

          • marcus perry

            i dont expect you to compromise. but dont call this rape. thats a false statement and wishful thinking. like i said before i knew it was a stretch to discuss it here. i tried it anyways. you have your opinion and i have mine. sometimes middle ground cant be reached like you said.

          • marcus perry

            what im saying about ptsd is that it sneaks up on you. a major trauma to you may not be same level as me. thats my point.

            i expect you as a feminist to be firm in your belief. i didnt force you to talk about this. you volunteered just like anyone who wants to sell themselves for money. believe it or not you helped him or her do that by fighting for equality. so any people seeking this service should thank you. you cant just wish away a persons right to do with thier body as they choose. doesnt work that way. have to respect thier choice. you dont have to like it.

            one example of one i dont like but have to accept is the woman that sold her virginity for 2 million dollars. that was an all time low in my opinion. i dont like it but its not my body. not my choice. i dont expect you to like me. thats ok. i wont lose sleep over it. dont expect you to either. agree to disagree. i thought it would turn out like that.

          • Nope. Try to follow what’s ACTUALLY been said, Marcus .

            I don’t think I know you. I am pointing to what YOU wrote – the sentence I quoted.

            Let me make it super duper clear:

            If you could get over your conviction that women with disabilities are irregular, AS PER YOUR POST, QUOTED ABOVE (and whatever misguided notion you have about sex ‘in regular ways”, AS PER YOUR POST, QUOTED ABOVE), others might find you much more attractive.

      • marcus perry

        i replied to you as well. i agreed with most of what you said. you did what i was hoping someone would do. you asked me why? and added your own opinion. i appreciate that.

        to answer your questions. yes ptsd hits us all in some form. its not a War veteran specific thing.

        yes some disabled to go into prostitution to pay bills. they are not who im talking about. that is more the subject of state health benefits for disabled and family freinds support for that individual. im talking about something different. thank you for bringing that up.

        im sorry but what you said about murder is true. to an extent its is legal. war is great example. goerge zimmerman. oh that pist me off. war and prostitution are 2 different things. i wasnt referring only to penetrative sex in prostitution. i was more gearing it to people who just want to feel the touch of a woman or a man. i do know a wheelchair friend who loves him some man. a lesbian too. great people to know. dont take the comment out of context. bring more question for this topic. i like trying to meet in the middle ground with others of varying topics. all of these topics have answers where both parties win.
        just have to sit down and talk about it like adults.

      • marcus perry

        “Oh yeah, I forgot. The money. Not desire, but the money.”

        dont underestimate what people will do for money. almost nothing surprises me now adays. that put aside its still a consesual choice to do that even if motivated by greed.

        • Sab

          And your true colours show!
          Greed? Wanting to pay rent to live in a house/unit/apartment or even just a room is greed? Wanting to pay power and gas bills for warmth and cooking is greed? Wanting to pay for an education so as to work for a living in a job that pays more than waitressing tips is greed? Wanting to be able to pay medical and dental is greed?

          I think not! You’re completely out of touch with reality.

          • marcus perry

            i want to clarify that i have never said that anyone is garanteed sexual services without consent of person selling it for whatever reason they choose is worthy. thats all im saying. you dont have to agree with me. neither of us would be wrong to feel as we do. i keep saying that so its clear im not attacking anyone personally.

          • Sab

            Financial coersion is not consent.

            How many times do you need to hear it before it sinks in?

    • marcus perry

      your all over analizing the post. so ill clarify. first off i want to clarify that i dont care if your a feminist or not. your a person in my eyes with an opinion. ill hear yours just as much as the person next to you. so dont paint me as someone who just hates feminist. that always gets on my nerves when people who dont agree with me assume i dont agree because we are not part of the same equal rights club. same goal. just move on from that negative state of mind. it will get you nowhere in a real debate.

      prostitution will never go away. its been around for centuries. prostitution is the exchange of cash or other good for services of whatever nature is needed. that does not have to mean sex. prostitutes in healthy circumstances do not do the job by force. they do if for the quick money. so while i agree with your disgust in doing sexual services for money. i would never pay for sex. its still consensual. i have a friend who is a prostitute and she has a client that is disabled. he cant have sex sex by our definition. he is a paraplegic. he calls upon her and she does a process with him that makes him feel good. no one touches him at all. his disability does not match well with regular dating. this is what i mean by your intention is good but in some cases its heartless in reality. you have to try to meet most peoples healthy desires and needs somewhere in the middle. you could have an accident tomorrow and be in the same situation. now yes there are people that are forced into bad situations. thats why if you legalize prostitution like holland and parts of vegas have done, then these situations wont happen. or will happen only under extreme conditions. you cant prevent these sometimes. thats why most places that do have this form of service have health benefits and services to help them out.

      ive done some information on this subject just for you who cant fathom how this would go. the bunny ranch is located very near vegas. the male does not choose the girl. he communicates his interest to the girl and she reciprocates prices and etc. security is ready to come help the girls. no one can guarantee these girls will not have ptsd of some kind. im a veteran so i should know about this subject pretty well. all you can do to prevent this is to make the work area safe as possible.

      your over analyzing what i mean by heartless too. my comment is not actually meant to target prostitution. my comment is more meant just to defend disabled men and women which most you forgot i was talking about as well. life is difficult so if your gonna get mad at me for defending the right to consensual sex. why have any rights if you want to pick and choose the ones people have??? that’s the same thing dictators have done for centuries. this is not even an attack on feminist. im sure you will take as such anyways.

      here is the bottom line that most of you misunderstood. if you make a area safe and able to satisfy customer desires than it can prevent ptsd from ever being a possible affect. if customers have a way to express thier desires then they can fill certain voids that occur in thier life. one of the voids that comes with a disability all too often is the lack of romance or communication with people around them. instead of doing without ,which one of you mentioned, why not facilitate a way that is legal and healthy for all parties? think about that before you jump on others so quickly.

      • Morag

        “here is the bottom line that most of you misunderstood. if you make a area safe and able to satisfy customer desires than it can prevent ptsd from ever being a possible affect.”

        There is no misunderstanding of your pro-prostitution position.

        The bottom line is this: prostitution is male violence against women and children. It cannot be reformed, so it must be abolished.

        The central assumption in all arguments against abolishment, and in favour of harm-reduction, is that men’s “desires” must never be denied.

        The fact that prostituted women and girls (also, some boys and men) are inevitably harmed by men who use them, and that everybody knows men harm them, is a terrible inconvenience for the men who purchase women et. al, and use them like toilets.

        These men do not like it when little things like ethics and human rights get between their dicks and what they want. So, they try to remove that ethical barrier by promoting harm-reduction. They believe that society should spare no expense in ensuring that men have a viable supply of “un-harmed” and “un-traumatized” sex slaves.

        Harm-reduction in prostitution can be boiled down to this: punters should leave women in good-enough shape for the next punter to enjoy.

        • marcus perry

          your projecting alot of blame on men for a big portion of the demand for ease of access of sex or intimacy. i understand your point that it is should be consensual. what your not seeing or dont want to see is that desire is not a male only thing. the more independent women get the more popular these services become. ill elaborate. if everyone is working great 40 plus hour week jobs and have little to now time to go out and party. these services can be used. performed by conscenting and healthy benefited people who dont mind. you cant take away the possiblity of ptsd but you can reduce it. while i dont expect you to accept that proposal. i do hope you drop this incorrect notion that only men want more access to pleasurable sexual experience. thats just wishful thinking. if you make it safe and provide health benefits then health problems and unsafe working conditions go away. in cases like the bunny ranch the women chooses to be with the guy. that is how it has always been. it was a consensual act. i can understand with a limited view why you would be against this so strongly as i dont ever want to pay for sex. be with someone who doesnt want me for that matter. in cases of people who will provide said service. why stop them from doing so? what other reasons do you have other than you dont like it?

          • FrustratedRadFem

            Because men are to blame, they are the class that is responsible for the state of the world including relations between the sexes. Men are demanding access to women and girls bodies and doing everything in their power to make sure that the system that allows it to happen is in place. You see when somebody does a bad thing they are to blame for it. Don’t shift blame for your actions onto women take responsibility for the fact you are having sex with women that don’t actually want to have sex with you. It’s not genuine consent it’s submitting to your whims because they need money to live.

            Let me put it to you this these women don’t actually want to have sex with you why are you imposing unwanted sex on them?

            Prostitution hasn’t always been around in all places women were content before that. Women can live just fine without men’s disfranchisement we didn’t need to prostitute ourselves before men. Indigenous Canadian women have been organising against prostitution with the nordic model with some success it can be done but it’s like moving mountains.

          • marcus perry

            nordic model is pretty impressive. i agree with you there. you cant change the fact that mostly men use this possible service anymore than you can change that people will do anything for quick money. its certainly not easy money. someone brought that up in a comment earlier which i definitely agree with. you came closest to showing proof that harm is inevitable. if you give more control to the person doing the acts then ptsd is less likely to happen. they have more control over what happens so regrettable experience will go down as a result. ptsd can sneak up on you. i will not deny that. i have it. it snuck up on me.
            thats why i like this topic. its an uncomfortable subject but may have a silver lining. yes thats wishful thinking but it may pay off. maybe. id rather try and fail than to be closed to making a situation for things that will continue with or without my possible helpful contribution. working goal. hard working goal to achieve.

          • Morag

            “why stop them from doing so? what other reasons do you have other than you dont like it?”

            What other reasons do we have? Christ.

            Marcus, you are incapable of listening, and have proven yourself a colossal waste of our time.

            Plus, you sound like a manipulator who spends his waking hours hanging around vulnerable and exploited teens and women so you can perv on them while telling everyone, including yourself, what a nice guy you are for not buying their “services.”

            Get lost, creep.

          • Yeah, not liking rape, murder, coercion, injustice in the courts, and systematic exploitation is so RANDOM.

        • Sab

          The harm-reduction / harm-minimisation model is better than nothing but even this is clear in title; reduction/ minimisation. The harm is inherent and thus cannot be eliminated; only reduced / minimised. Those agitating for this model recognize the inherent harm and abuse. Their goal is to improve the situation within the current situation only.

          • marcus perry

            honestly we only live in the current. ive always thought if you decrease harm present it makes over time harm a controllable factor. you cant take it all out like you said. it may be able to knocked down to a somewhat healthy ammount. most of what we do in everyday is not free of harm. look at sports. athletes push thier bodies and when their older the pain of the past catches up. this should especially be taken into account for people considering this form of a career. it should be a clear and conscious choice always. know the risk going into the feild. no different than becoming a cop. just with different responsibilities.

        • Nat

          Morag, I like all your comments, especially this line which is so bang fucking on:

          “The central assumption in all arguments against abolishment, and in favour of harm-reduction, is that men’s “desires” must never be denied.”

          So quoting you on this in future prostitution articles I write (if you don’t mind).

          There is a youtube vid series of a debate called Is It Wrong to Pay for Sex, which Melissa Farley and Catherine MacKinnon give awesome arguments for, which many feminists have probably seen. Well there’s one mental midget dude (I forget his name), who tries to spin/sell the disability excuse with a scenario of a husband with a wife who became disabled and no longer able to “meet his needs”, thereby leaving him no choice but to go prey on the prostituted. Such ableism and small sexual imagination and even smaller, if not totally absent, understanding of intimacy is such a let down for any poor women out there married to men like him. :-/

          It’d be funny if it wasn’t so pathetic and enraging, how men like him scramble to dream up all sorts of scenarios to justify their sense of entitlement to women’s bodies.

          • Morag

            I don’t mind at all, Nat. Quote away! I hope, if possible, that you’ll share your article with us here?

            Regarding the disability scenario this man described to justify the need for prostitution: there it is again, right? Either the man is disabled and therefore requires paid access to women’s bodies, or the man’s partner is disabled, therefore he requires paid access to women’s bodies. Either way, men MUST have access to women/teens/children (or to other men) for sex.

            Of course, this fact is too obvious for comfort, so there are those pro-prostution people who try to obscure the truth by making a case for women having the same sexual “needs” and hence the same need for access to prostitutes. It’s laughable. But, oh, how they try! And how they deny and contort a reality that’s in plain sight. Only men feel — and, in practice, ARE — entitled to sex. If women were the same, that would be no victory for feminism. Yet, they try to sell that idea, too: that women being dragged down to male standards of sexual ethics (lack of ethics) is “progress.”

      • marv

        These remarks reek of sexism to high heaven because you think through your penis. You are belligerently refusing to recognize there are class divisions between men and women. Prostitution would not exist if there weren’t. Opposing sex exploitation (as you define it) without questioning gendered power relations innate to prostitution is an unforgivable position.

        In prostitution women are outsourced objects of consumption. Male founded civilization ritualistically maintains the illusion of consensual exchange in transactional sex. Men invent complexity as a means to confuse and delude then accuse feminists of a simplistic misreading of reality. Your ideological mystifications encumber feminist liberation, making these women appear extremist and irrational, deflecting attention away from the actual savagery of prostitution.

        Dare to consider the unthinkable. Cast your dick aside and ponder with a clear mind.

        • marcus perry

          one thing i dont understand is why all the people responding focus on a single sex as the victim. that in itself is sexism. maybe your part of the problem. im not denying classes of people exist or form. your denying that the interpretation is in the eye of the beholder. if a woman or man in this service knows their worth than that is not something that can be hung over their head. you giving class power not me. i never have. the lessons are the same no matter who you are.

        • Morag

          “Men invent complexity as a means to confuse and delude then accuse feminists of a simplistic misreading of reality.”

          Yes, marv, this is true. They do this on a systemic level, to confuse masses of women all at once, and they do it on an individual level, one woman at a time. In relationships, men can be very sophisticated abusers. Even the most idiotic man has a bag of emotional and mental abuse tactics that he can use once he has gained a woman’s trust. It’s really quite remarkable, I have to say.

          And men don’t invent complexity only; they will also invent simplicity, as when they tell women, “you’re over-analyzing, over-thinking, over-sensitive.” So, depending on what’s required to make the woman be quiet, he will accuse her of either being too simplistic (dumb) or too intellectual (paranoid). Sometimes, for an extra-fucky mind-fuck, he’ll use both accusations in the space of one sentence.

          And, the more a woman is abused in this way, the more vulnerable she becomes to more of the same kind of abuse from other men. Then SHE becomes the “common denominator” in all these “troubled” relationships, and in one stroke, she’s to blame, and the reality of male abuse is erased. Repeated rapes work the same way.

          One thing I know, in my head and in my bones: abusive men have an instinct and they know how to find women who have already been abused. This is why so many of them defend porn and fight to fully legalize prostitution. Whether they buy women or not, they want there to be an accessible supply of battered women available. They are even sentimental about it, and like the idea of “saving” one or two of them.

        • marv

          “one thing i dont understand is why all the people responding focus on a single sex as the victim. that in itself is sexism. maybe your part of the problem.”

          Preposterous! Can poor people be classist against the rich or the disabled to the abled? Sexism, ablism and capitalism are systems of power not reducible to individual conduct in itself. Men as a group have vastly greater authority in maintaining unjust social structures. You can’t invert reality with your mind. Dreaming is not the same as physical existence.

          “im not denying classes of people exist or form. your denying that the interpretation is in the eye of the beholder. if a woman or man in this service knows their worth than that is not something that can be hung over their head. you giving class power not me. i never have. the lessons are the same no matter who you are.”

          Again if classes exist, and they do, one can’t interpret them willy-nilly. Feminism is not one opinion among many about prostitution. It is direct knowledge of women’s experience. Sensible people wouldn’t trust capital’s take on workers’ plight so how could men’s views on sexism not be treated with incredulity by women? Class power can’t be disavowed because an individual says it can. He remains in the upper sex class until death or when classes are eliminated. So “the lessons” are NOT the same “no matter who you are”.

          Prostitution turns women into monetized things. The service women provide with their bodies to men for money make women the product which is bought. Women’s exchange value is embodied by men’s power to determine it. If that isn’t classist nothing is.

          Until this gender system is abolished, subservience will be “hung over” women’s heads not because I said so. It is what it is. And you are what you are: a misogynist.

          • marcus perry

            your absolutely right and that is thier chioce to make. all you can do is share information on what it will really be like and make the area safe. anything else you overstepping your boundaries and forcing your will upon others. thats a fair system. if someone does not want help than you cant force them to get it.

      • Sab

        “Safe area” – The only way the environment could be safe is if the sex and touching was 100% removed from the experience and it became an hour of conversation fully clothed.

        Think about it. Bodily autonomy means not being touched by strangers. Apply it to yourself. Get out of theory applied to someone else’s body, a body unlike your own. Now, lets go with an extremey mild, by comparison, imagining. YOU, not someone else, are walking down the street. A woman, who YOU are NOT attracted to stops you and starts touching you through clothes on your arms and shoulders; not even the genital area. She feels entitled to touch you. How do you feel? Would some money change that feeling? If so, exactly how can inanimate object change your gut reaction to be touched by a stranger?

        Prostitution, at its most mild, is financial coersion. The fact that no one does this ‘work’ for free, out of the goodness of their heart, tells you that financial desperation caused by societal inequity is why women ‘choose’ this ‘job’.

        If it really was an acceptable job that didn’t cause harm then high school career day would have a prostitution career stand, an employer could put his sexual needs in his secretaries job description, people could be cut off welfare for turning down money for sexual service, it would be more than an acceptable to provide university/college/tertiary diplomas and degrees on sexually pleasing the disabled.

        • marcus perry

          you made some good points but some are going further than im implying.

          “Now, lets go with an extremey mild, by comparison, imagining. YOU, not someone else, are walking down the street. A woman, who YOU are NOT attracted to stops you and starts touching you through clothes on your arms and shoulders; not even the genital area. She feels entitled to touch you. How do you feel? Would some money change that feeling? If so, exactly how can inanimate object change your gut reaction to be touched by a stranger?”

          you missed the mulitple times where i mentioned willing party to service. did that just skip over your brain?!

          no a boss who subjects his worker to that is harassing her. dont twist my words to mean something worse. clarify what you think i mean and ill respond to your post.

          your living in a dream world too if you dont think that part of prostitution is not about the emotional side to it. i mentioned that as well. you didnt read that part evidently. im not talking about horrific experiences. sure its not all good but that is for the person providing the service to accept and live with. if done correctly these theoretical situations wont ever happen.

          your underestimating the male need to please thier partner.

          • Sab

            “You missed the mulitple times where i mentioned willing party oand service. did that just skip over your brain”

            Financial coersion does NOT equal “willing party”. Did that just skip over your brain?

            If financial coersion is good enough to invade the bodily space privacy of one person due to the illusion of consent then why would it be suddenly different for someone else? Again, you seem to ignore that thete is no willing party.

            You say your not talking about horrific experiences but prostitution is by definition an horrific experience. I should know. I’ve lived it. People like you disgust me. You’ll say anything tp justify male sexual entitlement, including claims that women can use the ‘service’ too. Even, when multiple former prostitutes tell you it is, beyond all doubt, horrifying and sickenin, ; there is NO positive to it, consent is coerced every time; prostitution is not different to sexual assault, it is sexual assault; even after all this you think you know better and keep arguing for male entitlement. And by the way, “underestimating the male need to please their partner” is utter bs. A prostotute is not a partner, she is a coerced woman faking it abd watching the clock for the horror to end. I know. It isn’t theory.

          • Morag

            Sab — yes, he is disgusting, and sounds like a typical filthy John. His presence here is creepy, and in my opinion, he deserves no further attention.

          • Here here.

            His obstinate insistence on trying to convince everyone to stop talking about the real harms in prostitution (to someone who has experienced it first-hand, FFS!!) and arguing against acknowledging the danger that men pose to women worldwide – that we should instead attend to him and his Happy Hooker industry spin is creepy and john-ish.

          • marcus perry

            you can talk about it as much as you want. you dont need my permission. you choose to respond in my thread. your kind of bringing this on yourself. im not condoning harmful treatment of sex workers. most of you are saying its all bad. im saying parts of it are bad. its just a difference of opinion. nothing more.

          • Oh look Morag! Marcus thinks that when I respond to your comment, addressing what you have posted, I am responding in “his” thread!

            AND he’s generously letting me know that my “kind” bring “it” on myself! (Thanks for the tip Marcus. You’re true bro! I’d hate to have to contend with more “it” than is necessary!)

            (I almost wonder what the “it”in his little mind is – you know, like when you read comments on reddit, knowing you’ll feel sick afterwards.)

            I know I’m breaking my own decision by taking the “your kind has it coming” bait – It just sounds so rape-y, you know, amongst all of the blithering incoherence.

            Anyhow, I think it’s awesome that Marcus has let us comment so much on his thread. I wonder if he also thinks this is now his blog, or does he at least have respect for domain registration, if not for women?

          • Morag

            Snort. Well, he’s a real generous type, isn’t he, lizor? He’s told us so many, many times, and we have failed to appreciate that. Why, he even told one commenter that he finds her feminist opinions quite smart and interesting — “not radical” at all, says he. High praise.

            Yes, his rape-y statements about women “bringing IT on themselves” are now being dwarfed by his blithering incoherence. I’m actually starting to feel sorry. Please stop me.

          • Oh, do feel sorry. You’ll be a better (less radical) lady for it.

          • marcus perry

            there is a willing party. you cant coddle sex workers or anyone else cause you dont like the field of sex work. its up to them. you cant choose for them. all you can do is warn them of the realistic job outlook.

            on a legal standpoint if consent is given clearly then its not rape or any other crime. this does not cover sex trade like prostitution except in certain places. ive never denied the subject is not harmful. i just said its not completely sinful. you as an adult can pick your own poison. point blank. if you hate it then make sure anyone you knows what you feel on the subject. about all anyone can do. to cut off the supply that someone is willing to give is borderline acts against someones rights.

          • marcus perry

            “You say your not talking about horrific experiences but prostitution is by definition an horrific experience. I should know. I’ve lived it. People like you disgust me. You’ll say anything tp justify male sexual entitlement, including claims that women can use the ‘service’ too. Even, when multiple former prostitutes tell you it is, beyond all doubt, horrifying and sickenin, ; there is NO positive to it, consent is coerced every time; prostitution is not different to sexual assault, it is sexual assault; even after all this you think you know better and keep arguing for male entitlement. And by the way, “underestimating the male need to please their partner” is utter bs. A prostotute is not a partner, she is a coerced woman faking it abd watching the clock for the horror to end. I know. It isn’t theory. ”

            my bottom line is if you made a choice to do an act then you made a conscious choice as an adult to do so. thats it. im sorry if you have regrettable experiences. i really am, but you chose that. if you had horrific then i wish you could have had what i imagine as a pilot for more safe area. faking it in a safe environment is better than doing it in a lawless environment. like i said to someone else. all we can do is express our view on the subject and let that help others going into this area with current knowledge. im not saying anything radical. you and the others dont like it. nothing wrong with that. you lived it and you should write a book to be honest. i imagine it would be quite popular and very beneficial to your opposition on the subject. im not as bad as you think. i have to be subjective to see positives and negatives. you dont have to like me but i have good intentions. good luck with moving past your past experiences. i do mean that. ive been the same person in all my replies.

          • Sab

            Firstly, I was a 15 year old child actually. So, NO, I did not make a choice as an adult. Secondly, I was in New Zealand where it’ meant to be safe and legal! Thirdly, the police, helping agencies and so-called safe environment is what CAUSED this to happen at all.

            You are absolutely clueless! Legalisation and decriminalisation is what justifies blaming the victim. Just like you said to me, “it was your choice”. Blaming me, instead of goddam listening. I wasn’t in a lawless environment. I was in an environment that refuses to acknowledge the harm and has normalised prostitution as just another job and thus refuses to protect girls and women. And it is happening to others in their thousands as a direct result of people like you, who think you’re just expressing an opinion. What you’re actually doing is ensuring that thpusands upon thousands of girls and women will be refused legal protection from exploitation because ‘it’s normal’.

          • Sab

            Actually, I’m going to expand on this because it’s clear by your respinse that there’s hundreds of factors you’ve not wven begun to think about. You’ve said in another comment that you’re not a john. I’m going to assume truthfulness. The most highly prized sexual commodity in the sex trade is youth. Individual johns have their limits bit overall it boils down to, the younger the better. They’re more than happy to violate a child younger than their own daughters. That may be a hard pill to swallow for you but it’s the truth. It is the single most disgusting thing I learned about adult men; someone elses child is of nothing to them. Johns do not report underage workers, they get off on it. They want the fantasy that they are so exceptional as a man that a girl wants them to teach her and would do it for the sex, not the money.

            Occasionally they will ask why a girl is doing it, in an all-seriousness way that obviously does not call for the fantasy – after they’ve cum. When they hear about her escaping domestic violence, thete are two distinct responses. Guilt or saviour. The saviour becomes a ‘tegular’ who tips an extra $5-$50 and thinks he’s prince bloody charming for f***ing children and the guilty one reverts to the fantasy, ‘but its fun right?’ Neither stops f***ing children or gets helping agencies involved. That should say a lot right there.

            The correct avenue for a child escaping domestic violence may not be successful and has often been tried multiple times already. The result is usually a much worse situation.

            Now, the law. Childten can’t sign a lease, put their names on power, gas, phone, internet, water bills orr sign any legal document. So, whete does a runaway go? Brothels are more than happy to provide very passable fake ID’s. Flats may rent a room to a minor without id. Children can legally work for child wages from age 15 but child wages have no possibility of covering rent and bills.

            Police do not age id all prostitutes to ensure 18 + but will investigate a complaint. Who will make the complaint though? Certainly not boyfriends also under 18 living off the girl, not johns who want to use the girl, not brothels making money off the girl, not hour rental rooms who rely on the girl for their business to profit. Who? The answer is no-one. Or more accurately, an extremely rare individual.

            Girls may get arrested for indecent exposure, drunk and disorderly, vagrancy, disturbing the peace, littering etc but even then, no pimp, john or business is getting prosecuted. The girl is most likely to be sent back to the very situation she tried to escape, a violent home.

            Welfare is not available to under 18’s, so that is not an avenue.

            That’s what legalisation and decriminalisation looks like. Do not dare talk to me about ‘choice’.

          • Thank you for this Sab. And for all of your posts. I really hope he has the sense to shut up now. If there is the tiniest shred of humanity in him…

          • ArgleBargle

            Sab, I am sorry that some adult male pervert took advantage of your 15 year old vulnerability and innocence. This person was a child molester, and in an ideal world would be in prison to this day.

            It astounds me how many children are taken advantage of in this way in the USA, Canada and other countries with so little outrage expressed. These “johns” are child raping sex offenders, as harmful as Jerry Sandusky (maybe worse, since many of them pay to rape children over and over and over again). Yet, somehow, the fact that these rapists pay a small sum of money to either the child or their pimp suddenly turns a child rapist into a misunderstood john seeking to exercise his right to have his sexual needs met.

            I am also sorry that the harm caused you by this rapist was perpetuated by victim blaming social services and police. How traumatic must it be if you are a 15 year old child who has just been raped and those who are supposed to protect you instead arrest you, then send you back to a violent home.

            The good news is that the perception of children who are being raped by johns is changing and they are now, to some extent, being treated as the victims they are.

            The bad news is that the child raping johns are still getting a pass by many who should know better. We need more police arrests of these johns and long jail sentences, not ‘john school’. Every single apologist who sings the praises of how empowering sex work is should be aware that their advocacy helps support the current system where children can be raped with little fuss, as long as someone gets $50.

          • Sab

            I probably should clarify; tipping $5-$50 means on top of charges.

            I’m far more angry at the perpetuation of this situation than my personal past. I’ve spent time in councelling to deal with my own experiences. What I want to see now is the realities dealt with rather than the fantasies of empowerment masking the realities amd upholding the status quo and protecting grown adult men at the expense of women everywhere.

            I’m not one for ‘poor me’ or ‘bad me’; eternal victimhood or self-flagelation. The past is done. Tje only good that can come of it now is to use it to stop the abuse to others.

          • marcus perry

            sorry to hear that. my situation only applies to you if were legal aged adult in a territory that allowed that to be legal. want to clarify that. if it wasnt for you then im glad you got away from it. not sure if you read that comment earlier but the girl i saved from doing that never sold herself. i intervened just in time. i am so glad to know that. if you had someone like me around i would have tried to help you too.

          • Laur

            Many exited women describe prostitution as a practice of serial rape. Re-read what you wrote.

            “my bottom line is if you made a choice to do an act then you made a conscious choice as an adult to do so. thats it. im sorry if you have regrettable experiences. i really am, but you chose that.”

            Like Sab, most who enter prostitution do so as children. At what point is she magically “deciding” to enter prostitution? After it’s all she’s been doing for five years, with all her personal connections in “the life”? With no real job training?

            Even those who enter as adults are overwhelmingly disadvantaged in certain respects, as posters here have told you ad nausem, and they certainly do not know the full extent of what they are getting into. Nor is there any way they can know how hard it will be to get out and re-adjust to “square” life before they begin prostitution.

            Your entire focus is on the women’s choices, which is what is so maddening to so many of us. The men who purchase sex from these women have the money to do so. They are often lying to their wives or girlfriends to do so. These are mostly married men. They want the type of sex they feel can be gotten from a woman who will do anything (because she has no real choice), and they wouldn’t try it on a woman like their wife. They want a person they see as less than human.

            There is still an underground market when prostitution is legalized. If, in order to be “safe”, X, Y, and Z acts cannot be legally performed in licensed brothels, men will go to the illegal sector to get what they want. This is different than legalizing drugs, an inanimate object.

            “im not saying anything radical.”
            Who has said you’re saying anything radical? Quite the opposite. You’re reinforcing the status quo. You’re speaking in the same language john’s use, on behalf of john’s, whether you are one, or not.

            “you lived it and you should write a book to be honest.”
            Can you imagine what it would be like to sit down and write a book, where one has to re-live all these traumatic experiences? And then have people like you read it, perhaps seeking titillation? Survivor Rachel Moran did write a book, and it was no easy task. Her book is called Paid For and does break down the myths surrounding the sex trade.

            “im not as bad as you think.”
            Dude, the only thing we have to draw any conclusions about you at all are your own words. Considering you have just blamed Sab for her time in the sex trade and have compared prostitution to being a police officer or lawyer and call it “heartless” to say men shouldn’t have sexual access to women’s bodies, well, we’ve come to the conclusions we’ve come to. Your own words.

          • Sab

            Yes. 3 years older under the same circumstances there would have been some negligible differences and ‘adult choice’ could be used as a weapon. But the truth is, the age makes little difference. Circumstances of inequality cause this whether the girl/woman is 15 or 50. In France there is a growing number of women 50-70 years old turning tricks just to get by. I watched a doco on it. Little to no welfare, job losses and a devaluing of older women in the workforce (invisibility) means they’re stuck with the ‘choice’ to have their homes foreclosed or become prostitutes. Men’s value in the workforce increases with age and experience. Womens should too.

            I don’t think these women are less coerced than I was.

          • marcus perry

            womens experience does too. hell yea. that standard is the same regardless. every job ive had a few women bosses. very good bosses. you should watch a movie called “student services”. its about a young french girl who works as a prstitute in france to make ends meet. its not overly sexual. i think you’d enjoy it.

            i have a personal story of a freind to share with you that does express another example of the harm cause that you mentioned. there is a porn star cant remember her name. she was dating a guy and they were good. he got to the point where he was fine with her job. as long as he didnt hear about it.
            so time goes on and her friend had a little brother who was turning 18 and she asked her if she would give him a birthday blowjob. she made the mistake of telling her boyfriend this. i think it would have been wrong not tell him of course. in her mind a blowjob is just a blowjob. that suppports what you said earlier. thank you for sharing your experience. very eye opening. hopefully fewer and fewer have to deal with circumstances like that. i didnt want to ask you to share personal details cause that is more of a private matter. im not here to get in your personal business. none of you.

          • marcus perry

            “Like Sab, most who enter prostitution do so as children. At what point is she magically “deciding” to enter prostitution? After it’s all she’s been doing for five years, with all her personal connections in “the life”? With no real job training? ”

            your comment is very well written and expressed. lets look at sasha grey. i can tell with her interviews now that she just wanted to get into porn for money. now she can write full time and do her own thing. its very possible to start in one place not so well and only do it for a short period of time. get out as unharmed as possible. thats what i wish for sab if she didnt like what she was doing. i cant take away that she started so young. i wouldnt wish that on anyone. im glad she escaped that life relatively unharmed. i really meant it when i said that she should write a book. the experience of that may prevent another young woman from doing something like it. the people that dont heed her warning have to learn on thier own.

          • marcus perry

            great post and very true words. i wont deny the system would not be perfect. it doesnt just work out to benefit men. it needs be universal standard accross the board. no you probably cant completely get rid of bad people who rape kids and sell them and other disadvantaged to the dark side of sexual freedom type jobs of this sort. neither can you wish it away.

            in the research ive done on the subject all it really takes is a few precautions to help prevent major and leading to major crimes from occuring. security is a visual deterent, self defense is a deterent as well. condoms and safe sex practices is a deterent for getting diseases of any kind. its not quite the silver lining i want. ill take it. it allows someone who cant see there are better ways to make money or is working on better ways to make a better life to get from 0 to 10. hopefully they never have to go back. my tone changed not because i see things differently. i see them the same but you cant see that im open to your opinion so i need to be more delicate. i dont want to activate depression or some form of it to a past victim. ptsd has a way of sneaking up on you very suddenly. happened to me a few times with spells of depression. others are no different.

          • marcus perry

            ““you lived it and you should write a book to be honest.”
            Can you imagine what it would be like to sit down and write a book, where one has to re-live all these traumatic experiences? And then have people like you read it, perhaps seeking titillation? Survivor Rachel Moran did write a book, and it was no easy task. Her book is called Paid For and does break down the myths surrounding the sex trade.”

            she doesnt have to write the book. her experience can literally save lives. if she wants to do that then ok. if not than there are other ways to save lives from that life. i said earlier that only if she were of legal age and an adult would my comment count towards her. she was a victim. if she were an adult at the time. then she would be a victim of her own doing. that by means says that she doesnt deserve help or sympathy. she definitely deserves that an more to me.

            ““im not as bad as you think.”
            Dude, the only thing we have to draw any conclusions about you at all are your own words. Considering you have just blamed Sab for her time in the sex trade and have compared prostitution to being a police officer or lawyer and call it “heartless” to say men shouldn’t have sexual access to women’s bodies, well, we’ve come to the conclusions we’ve come to. Your own words. ”

            all a person has is thier own view really. it should be influenced by others. all of you are influencing my view of the subject. i see that if you make any form of an idea this what i call radical possible it needs to be done with extreme care. precautions to me can save lives.

            ill compare it legalization of marijuana. before it was expensive and risky now that its legal its taxed, regulated and safer. the same principle can be done to prostitution. im not going into that. the subjects just not for you. dont be surprised if in a few years or however long changes like this are done with a similar model to what im talking about.

      • Missfit

        The bunny ranch!? Seriously?

        And since you like to refer to women with disabilities who too, apparently, benefit from prostitution, is there a specific ranch they should call?

        Men dehumanize women.

        Two words: bunny ranch. Now go meditate on that.

        • marcus perry

          there are other places that cater to womens needs. as the demand grows then more places will cater to it. alot of places already do. just like clothes women have different needs. you have to tailor fit that as much possible if your going to go down that route. i would include women and disabled women in this. not secluding anyone.

          • FrustratedRadFem

            Except women aren’t demanding

        • marcus perry

          are you honestly going to come on here and say that women dont dehuminize men too? look at gold diggers, raging angry feminist(not all but bad ones) do the same thing. there are so many that feel like paychecks, free tickets to movies or dinner. let all the fucked up stuff that people do to each other and tell me honestly women are completely innocent here. your living in a dream world if you think people are nice to each other. be realistic. if you have a problem with marketing which has been doing that for centuries to men and women than let that be the case. dont say some dumb statement like men dehuminize women and deny that the opposite isnt true as well. we do it to each other. people today are more focused on making money than being nice the person next to them.

          “let that marinate!”

          • FrustratedRadFem

            Well I’m a raging angry feminist (the angry feminist tropes is sexist btw) and guess what I’m scared of men you guys have well earnt it. You just dehumanised us then complain how we ‘dehumanise’ you. Women make less have less opportunity but god forbid any woman want any financial support or anything nice. This kind of bs is why I reject anything from men even a can of drink.

            If you were a woman wouldn’t you be angry too? Have even ever tried to look at this through our eyes?

            Don’t use the term dehumanise lightly. Men dehumanise on a regular basis prostitution couldn’t be possible with the madonna/whore complex. Men persecuted hundreds of thousands of women (some sources suggest millions) during the witch hunts (plural) they tortured subjected them show trials and publicly executed them how was this couldn’t be possible if men hadn’t dehumanised us. Stop complaining about ‘golddiggers’ they are joking around.

            The women you buy access to are not obliged to be nice to you in fact no woman is. If you treat us as whores don’t expect us to be your madonna.

          • Sab

            Personally, I’d say, never expect any woman to be a madonna or a whore because neither stereotype is human and both stereotypes are harmful.

          • FrustratedRadFem

            I know but they divide us into either role and if you are knocked off your pedestal as the madonna you become a fallen woman and it’s pretty difficult to climb back up. They will disrespect you even if your in the madonna role and expect you to remain pure and well mannered, It’s annoying. Both roles are harmful and couldn’t exist with the other.

          • “gold diggers”? “raging angry feminist” (what’s bad about raging angry feminists?) ? “paychecks, free tickets to movies or dinner”?

            Oh, you poor dehumanised man. Having to give SO MUCH money for tickets and dinner and those gold digging wimminz won’t oblige us?! Oh, the wasted altruism! Woe is us.

            It’s nice to see your MRA-credentials, by the way.

          • marcus perry

            im not an mra. dont title me that. that is not what i am. bad stuff happens to men and women. thats all im saying. it can be skewed to one gender. im not trying to convince you its not.

          • Laur

            Your thinking is along the lines of an MRA though. If a man from an MRA site did start posting here, women here would not be able to tell the difference between you and him, marcus.

            The fact is, you’re unable to see the misogyny in your own statements. You continue making them one after another after another, despite the fact that you honestly believe you are not against women’s rights.

            To restate, the feminist perspective on prostitution is not about stopping women from doing what they want with their bodies. It is about stopping men from exploiting, abusing, and taking advantage of the very real social power men do wield.

            You have repeatedly called women “greedy,” including women in prostitution(!!!). By and large, women in prostitution come from an economic class with the least choices. They are teenage run-aways. They are women who already work 2 full-time jobs on minimum wage and still don’t have enough to pay for rent at the end of the month. They are prostituting to support a drug habit, a drug habit which they now need not only to block previous trauma, but also to numb the pain of prostitution. They have been previously sexually abused, in some cases pimped out by a boyfriend, and now believe their only worth is in selling sex.

            The fact that you are unable to see what’s wrong with the term “golddigger” and compare prostitution to self-respecting middle-class, and even-upper middle class jobs, shows how out of touch you are with the reality of prostitution. Ultimately, what you are arguing for is men’s right to continue purchasing sex from a marginalized class of women. Prostitution has nothing to do with “women’s rights.”

          • Sab

            Yes. He is absolutely indistinguishable from an mra whether he claims the title or not.

          • marcus perry

            i just dont like the title only focuses on one sex.

            people have to grow together.

            doesnt mean some of the things done dont fit me for better or worse.

          • marcus perry

            i called anyone who does something they hate for money greedy. greed is not a woman only thing to me either. i said that earlier or meant it when i said told you not to underestimate what people will do money. can you blame them for chasing based on greed. people just want to feel secure. somewhere that got changed to mean more money more comfort. unhealthy message to me.

            “women in prostitution come from an economic class with the least choices. They are teenage run-aways. They are women who already work 2 full-time jobs on minimum wage and still don’t have enough to pay for rent at the end of the month. They are prostituting to support a drug habit, a drug habit which they now need not only to block previous trauma, but also to numb the pain of prostitution. They have been previously sexually abused, in some cases pimped out by a boyfriend, and now believe their only worth is in selling sex. ”

            alot of what your saying is absolutely true. im not denying that. i dont expect you to like the field of prostitution. most people dont including me. i still going to side with its a adult man or womans choice if they want to do it for money or pleasure. some may do it for both. its not without its problems. freedom of expression should include right to do what you want with you body. regardless of how the scale is tilted. you think i wish more teens would prostitute themselves to pay bills. thats heartless. i dont wish that on anyone. in my honest opinion both pro prostitution and those apposed to it contribute the problem of it existing at all. i would like to hope that if you make it safer which you dont care to hear about then teens wont do this. can i stop that no. a persons will to do this wont stop them from doing it. im not in favor of minors and people not fully aware of what harm it does. neither are you. i will not waiver in thinking and knowing if a adult that entered the profession did it willingly it is not rape. you will never agree with that. nothing more to talk about on that specific topic in this discussion.

            men and women can be gold diggers. i didnt clarify that but maybe it will make you feel more secure im not just targeting women. i think as genderless as possible. if you wanted to have sex with you hot gigilo male neighbor then i would tell you to go for it. if both of you are willing. theres nothing wrong with that. if you have no time to date and work most of the week then when you wnat to get laid go call a gigilo. if they are selling themselves short to provide you a service than by all means. you feel it you do it. nothing complicated about that. yes their are health concerns. their are health concerns with any job. thier are concerns of fairness with all jobs. you dont see it as fair. that wont change. you pushing your self back to a corner on this. im not gonna change my mind and your not either. we’re at a stand still. this is kind of what i was hoping to see from a stong opinionated feminist. keep working on your goal to abolish all forms of prostitution. it may happen one day. you seem like the right person to make it happen. you dont have to agree with me for me to like you cause. if you save even 2 lives from prostitution like i have then congratulations 19 more were created. this is not a fight that is clear cut answer. my answer to the problem of it is to try to make it safer, offer medical dental, theruetic services security that people wont be raped. thats not your answer though. your answer is to do away with it. maybe it will happen one day.

          • Meghan Murphy

            ‘i called anyone who does something they hate for money greedy.’

            What??? So the bulk of working class people are ‘greedy’ in that case…??

          • marcus perry

            i meant to say if a feminist is just on a war path to create male suffering than thats wrong. thats more my point most feminist are not like that.

          • Meghan Murphy

            What feminist is ‘on a war path to create male suffering’?

          • marcus perry

            Aileen Wuornos
            “After being raped and brutalized by a client, Vincent Corey, Aileen kills him in self-defense and decides to quit prostitution. She confesses her action to Selby, while Selby has been angry with her for not supporting the two of them. Aileen tries to find legitimate work; but because of her lack of qualifications and criminal history, prospective employers reject her and are occasionally openly hostile. Desperate for money, she returns to prostitution. She robs and kills her johns, each killed in a more brutal way than the last, as she is convinced that they are all trying to rape her. She spares one man out of pity when he admits he has never had sex with a prostitute but eventually kills another man who, instead of exploiting her, offers help.”

            she acted out of survival assuming that they all wanted to rape her. she went on a war path. there are other examples of her. making jokes about castrating men and finding it funny like they did on the view on this link here

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nrvDhSB7GHk

            i will give credit to not just people who claim feminism but regular people as well that they dont accept this type of behavior. its there. i want to make sure you know that a woman called them cunts not me. i dont like the word. its so negative. i dont like it. its not in my vocabulary. all this is just examples that harm can be done to men as well. is it really wise to mess with the people that you are correct in claiming do most damage?? i wouldnt go down that path. it doesnt happen as often but the few times it does shows why it doesnt happen. the men reacted like a normal would they got physical. i think if a man is being attacked like by the prostitute who committed those murders. is she still a victim in your eyes? i think she is but she took it too far. whether man or woman i feel like if your being attacked only do what you have to do. immobilize but dont get vengeful.

            i want to clarify that not all feminist like this. the attitude that its ok to hurt men or women is apparently there. that is something that maybe we should really talk about the origens of. im not gonna say that men are innocent but niether are women. its both of our problem. im glad i dont have to deal with this as much as others. i would like to see a remedy for this attitude problem forming in both men and women.

          • marcus perry

            if you want proof she herself was a feminist or seen as feminist then here is your proof.

            https://feministrag.wordpress.com/2012/10/09/remembering-the-beautiful-aileen-wuornos-her-strong-brave-spirit-will-never-die/

            she was a victim in a sense of being a product of her environment but she went too far and commited murder. some of the men she killed were justly killed. i agree with there. its should have been up to the court system to do that. not her.

          • Nat

            Hi marcus, I wrote that Feminist Rag article about Aileen that you cited so I just wanted to clarify that I did not see Aileen as a feminist, nor am I a feminist as much as I am for DEcolonization and matriarchy and returning to Indigenous living, nor am I on a war path to create male suffering (lol!). Colonist & colonized men (and women) are doing a great job of sustaining human suffering across the planet.

            Aileen “went too far” because society didn’t do enough for her. Corner a dog and it will attack kind of thing. ‘The courts’ are a colonist tool of oppression and repression so we will never find justice or freedom within them. ‘The law’ is all about judgment and punishment/revenge, and nothing about prevention or rehabilitation or justice in the sense of making sure whatever heinous act committed, does not happen again. Undoing colonist behavior is far too radical for ‘the law’ to fathom, let alone deal with.

            Great article by Jess Martin here — NO girls or women (or boys or men) exist for the purpose of being dumped on ANY group of people who think they’re entitled to sex, or who society thinks are entitled to sex (i.e. poor disabled men who can’t get laid, such nonsense and perfectly debunked by Jess — disabled people can and do have a lot of healthy consensual sex, many of them have more sex than able-bodied people).

          • marcus

            i couldnt agree with you more on all counts. no one is garanteed sex regardless of who they are. i wouldnt call your article a rag article. it was well written. your not alone in thinking she was a product of her environment. i agree completely. i read up on her. she told authorities to give her the death penalty because she said she would kill again. she was mentally pushed into a corner like you said. i dont want to mistake you calling her feminist. i did note that many consider her a feminist. thats all that was used in citing your article.

            i dont think anyone has right to sex unless the person giving the service of intimacy is willing party that is not coerced. it does happen. we need to find a way for people who want to stay in this business to do it safely. that theory is too radical. i know that. i hope a better one comes from debates about it that is more realistic than wishing the problem to go away. that is just wishful thinking for anyone to do.

            keep writing, i enjoyed your article. i like jess’s writing style too. i failed to tell her that. i meant to. ive been busy working on saving this other young lady from prostitution. i have been kind of busy. she is tough person to get to trust me but she is coming along. i got her to agree to get tested so that is some good news i can give. unfortunately it took the death of a freind of hers. she called me crying and didnt even know why she chose to call me. my methods are weird but they do work.

            i believe the purpose of organizations that cater to these kinds of people with rare conditions is to build confidence in them to lives as normal as possible. many today believe that confidence can be given from not just willing mutual sex acts, but laughter and joy in everyday life as well. im glad to see they are exploring various options.

            if your interested in writing about elizabeth bathory’s case i would love to hear your opinion on her. she has a strong case against her but videos such as this make us all think what if in these cases.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6cYpqmAJ7GQ

          • marv

            ‘i dont think anyone has right to sex unless the person giving the service of intimacy is willing party that is not coerced. it does happen. we need to find a way for people who want to stay in this business to do it safely. that theory is too radical. i know that.’

            Your theory is not radical at all. It is conventionally conformist and therefore unremarkable. Radical is something far deeper than you realize.

            To say some women are willing parties to prostitution is like assigning agency to women Christian followers in Europe during the Middle Ages.

            Liberalism is in the social air we breathe as conservatism is/was. Your mind is undoubtedly controlled by it – not open to feminist liberation through hearing.

            All our experience is mediated through patriarchy. To know this is the beginning of wisdom.

          • marcus

            Marv
            great response but insulting me for being optimistic doesnt make you look more humane than me.

            on the subject of being unremarkable i would bring up that most southerners thought lincoln’s idea to take down slavery was also unremarkable as well. people didnt want to be open to other opinions and solutions than their own. you have your entire right ot think so the way you choose.

            The colors live a remarkable life of their own after they have been applied to the canvas.
            Edvard Munch

            http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/remarkable.html#kDbBFRwS37RoOpLB.99

            you say thier are no women in this lifestyle that like what they do.
            google more on this subject and it proves there are always people who love what they do. to try to bend their will as immoral or wrong is to force your beliefs on others. is it frustrating? yes of course it is. its still fair.

            i have a friend that is a cosplay model. she does have some social anxieties. what i want you to know about her is that she had breast surgury not only to appease others but also to increase her own comfort in her own body. some would consider her a victim. she is far from that. we met in military. her job was military police. she definitely knows how to kick some ass. she really enjoys being seen as a sex object by others. your guess is as good as mine why she feels that way. my only point is to show you that we can assume we know best for everyone but that will never be true. i really do admire your resilience to change. this conversation will probably be a stand still. keep coming at me with concerns. ill just adapt to meet both of our wants and needs till it fits. it may not happen.goes with the territory of floating in the grey area i live in. im not conservative or liberal. always been in the middle.

          • Morag

            The conversation came to a standstill a long time ago when Meghan stopped publishing marcus’ inane comments. Somehow, he’s managed to start commenting again, but he still seems incapable of understanding another’s point of view. He’s foolish, yet he uses a patronizing tone with others who are much more knowledgeable than he.

            I gently suggest that commenters don’t encourage him with replies. Waste of time and space.

          • Meghan Murphy

            Ugh… Sorry guys — I hadn’t even realized, from inside my moderation view, this was a previously dealt with issue/commenter.

          • Morag

            You’ve got your hands full, Meghan, with writing, creating and editing content, replying, conversing and managing problems all at once. Wow. Probably even more work that’s invisible to us, but that we’d notice and miss if it were gone.

            And these MRAs, trolls, fools, etc, can be so very persistent!

          • Meghan Murphy

            Oh they sure are!

          • marv

            Sorry Morag. You are right.

          • Laur

            Completely agree, Morag. M has been adamant that he’s not a john, yet he has mentioned multiple women he knows that are or have been in prostitution, two of whom he is trying to “rescue.” Most prostituted women would not want to share with a man what they are doing. Obviously johns are going to know men in prostitution. So for this reason, among others, I don’t buy his, “I’m not a john but I care sooo much about not criminalizing dudes!!!”” rhetoric.

          • Morag

            I noticed that, too, Laur. He’s seems to be well-acquainted with many women who sound as though they are vulnerable and exploited, and yet just “love” to be sexually objectified. It’s creepy as hell. Especially when he makes himself out to be some kind of hands-off-the-working-girls hero. Ugh. I can imagine him hanging out in the places where run-aways go to hunker down away from the elements.

          • Morag

            Oh, and marv: not at all! I agree with everything you’ve said to this guy. It’s always so damned tempting to give them a piece of our minds.

            I suppose it’s a valuable conversation for newcomers to read, though he’s pretty much a broken record who’s been adding nothing good from the get-go. Men like marcus make for a good example of why we have to keep on exposing and arguing against such liberal and individualistic bullshit rhetoric about “choice” and “freedom” for prostituted women and the men who buy, use and exploit them.

          • Sab

            Male violence is the majority of violence on this planet. Yes, let’s have a quick look at that. Show me obe news report ever from any year in recorded history, where a sports team of women got a single teenage boy drunk then gleefully gang raped him and committed violence on him. A google search could find countless of these incidences the other way around. Show me one band of female ISIS/ISIL militias beheading and burning people, or kidnapping boys for child-husbands. Oh, wait child-husband does not exist. It is child-bride. The en-masse sanctioned pedophilia is of girls at the hands of men, not boys at the hands of women. Show me the society where men must cover every inch of their bodies including their hair and faces with mesh over their eyes to avoid being to tempting to the female gaze that should a square inch of uncovered skin be seen the women would go on a mass raping spree.

            I dare you. Show me where these women driven dehumanising atrocities exist!

          • marcus perry

            child husband does exist. a 62 year old woman married a nine year old boy in africa.

            and you definitely do not want to go down the path of what women do in isis that supports radical husbands. they hide bombs in thier houses. suicide bomber kids running messages to hideout. you definitely do not want to go there.

            i never said its not more tilted to women. your claim that its women only victim list is wrong.

          • Meghan Murphy

            The exception does not make the rule.

          • marcus perry

            your absolutely right. i liked your comment by the way.

          • Sab

            Oh yes, I really do want to go there!

            All you’ve proven is the exception to the rule of overwhelming MALE violence. No-one said women are incapable of any violence. It isn’t just slightly tilted to male perpetrators. It is extremely tilted to male perpetrators. And you actually didn’t find en-masse child-husbands. Maybe you found one. One! You didn’t find an ISIS / ISIL militia of all women keading the way in committing atrocities. You didn’t find gangs of women raping teenage boys together etc etc. These are MALE problems and it is self-evident.

          • marcus perry

            we already knew that though. your absolutely right the system needs to be updated and adapted. couldnt agree with you more.

            with open ears id like to hear some of your ideas on how you can improve the way things are. please focus more on the applicable changes vs the complaints. i like you could probably talk about those all day as well. lets go somewhere productive with this open conversation.

          • Laur

            No one here has said only women are victims of male violence. This is your incorrect reading of.

          • marcus perry

            i apologize. didnt mean to assume anything.

          • marcus perry

            thanks for correcting me. believe it or not i am here to share ideas and listen to others. i may not completely agree with you but i can definitely see where your coming from. all of you. except that woman who was talking about castrating males. that was a stretch for me. yes men and women get out of control. i admit that. with the right approach i choose to be optimistic that things can get better with a little tweeking of how the system works. maybe im too optimistic. i will give you that to hang over how you view my perspective.

          • FrustratedRadFem

            Actually it wasn’t a real marriage, it was a superstitious ritual because of a dream or something.

            http://metro.co.uk/2014/07/19/boy-9-marries-62-year-old-woman-for-second-time-to-make-it-official-in-bizarre-south-african-nuptials-4803235/

            I’m not sure what the hell is going on and it is creepy. They didn’t ‘consummate’ the marriage nor was it official. It’s not actually comparable to child brides so nice try.

            Female suicide bombers are orchestrated by men and indoctrinated by men. They are convinced to do it when their families have been murdered and they often abuse them to make them more pliable. They are in a vulnerable position if they have no support system so they chose a death that was encouraged by manipulative men.

          • marcus perry

            “I’m not sure what the hell is going on and it is creepy. They didn’t ‘consummate’ the marriage nor was it official. It’s not actually comparable to child brides so nice try.”

            im very glad to hear that it was fake. that disturbed me greatly. i have a niece and a nephew that are 5 and to think about either of them being sold into that type of thing is heartless and cruel to me as well.

            thats different than my idea and understanding of paying for sex though. healthyish standard which does exist reduces chances of hardship happening to sex workers regardless of gender.

            the notion of a child being a bride or groom is disturbing to most. i cant see it and i dont want to.

            similar to your view on my idea. which is fine with me.

            they mostly are but its more to do with religion. not any better. the men women and children have this notion engrained in them. this is how it is. it could be better standard.

            goes to show there are radicals in every healthy idea ever created.

          • marcus perry

            i do hope there is a silver lining for muslim women. they need feminism bad over there. half of that shit would not happen to them if they had the guts of someone like you. the man gets in your face and you poor hot coffee on him and beat him up. he is now skeptical to mess with you. need more people like you around. im hoping to have daughters. if i do i can promise they will be thier own woman strong and fierce on their own accord. before you ask me how i feel about them doing this type of work. ill say id be disappointed that of all the things they could do. they chose that area of work .id have to get over that as a believer in her body her choice. she’ll always be daddy little girl no matter how old she is.

          • marcus perry

            Male violence is the majority of violence on this planet.

            your absolutely right. couldnt agree with you more. no one is perfect. you can help victims
            by giving them more support. making laws tougher to prevent crimes from being done to another person. do you have any other suggestions? id love to hear your take on how to make people feel safer again. even me as a man i feel unsafe going alot of places. sure thats nowhere near what a woman may feel like on a daily basis. there is no excuse for that. im glad your so eager to talk. your blunt. that is very nice quality to have. i respect blunt. im sure you think im sick in the head but i get results in almost everything i do. if i save one person im happy. move on the the next one. not sure one definite way of action is always best.

  • Survivorthriver

    Prostitution is not the oldest profession – slavery is. The word “sex” equates with penis in vagina acts in the mind of the majority. As a former heterosexual I can attest that males seek “sex” to salvage their masculine identity, to prove they can dominate another human being by penetration, use sex as a domination technique over their women. Look, men have hands. Why can’t they satisfy their libido with Mr. Lefty or Mr. Righty and not depend on subordination of the females for acts that are about power-over privilege?

    So, disabled men may feel inadequate. Sure, we all need some touch. Aren’t there legit body workers that perform that? I detest how disabled men use their disability to protect their “right” to access female vagina.

    Men are out of control on this planet. We are over populated. It is no longer about survival of the species. It takes NURTURING of a human life to ensure survival, not merely blasting out some goop with sperm. The planet is awash in seed, I say, spill it on the ground dudes. The male extractive and dominator mentality does not create life – it’s time for all males to be put in their place. In service to life and living human beings, or just jack your seed in a ditch. This world appears to be ending from the male dominator species…I’m sick and tired of the male myth perpetuation.

    Disabled men do not require vagina – they can use their hands or whatever else they want to rub with. Men use “sex” for a variety of purposes, least of which is their sex urge. It’s to make their fragile egos more whole at the expense of the cum receptacle female they think they require. I hope to see enormous female resistance to male dominator behaviors before our world burns up. Nothing left to lose – let’s organize our own street patrols, let’s take DNA from every male on the planet and just lock up and throw away the keys for all rapes. Castrate pedophiles.

    • marcus perry

      dont get the wrong idea that majority of men or women with a disability are doing this stuff. their not the majority. dont put that on them. this whole article is about options and a debate between opinions on how needs of others can be met while not impeding the limits of others. you certainly dont have to agree with my idea. people took it way out of context to what i meant it to be. my original goal wasnt even to target prostitution. it was to communicate that people have desires and if we can find a middle ground on letting those happen in a safe way then. why not talk about it. its not for everyone to accept. i accept that as a fact on a topic like this. all men are not monsters so the whole castrate thing is pretty inhumane and dumb as our bodies are set to do certain task when ready. you went pretty overboard there. very ” bitch manifesto ” of you. your obviously welcome to your own opinion. im not gonna try to change your mind. i just want to talk about it with open minded people who dont mind challenging regular thinking.

      • FrustratedRadFem

        How dare! you should call it ‘bitch womanifesto’ how very male centric of you.

        • marcus perry

          i appreciate the comment. i am a man but dont let that be your only evidence to say i dont want you and every other woman to be happy in their life.

          my goal is simple. i want each persons life to be their own again. if they want something then they can make it happen without a gang of people behind them. that’s not too much to ask.

    • Morag

      “The planet is awash in seed, I say, spill it on the ground dudes.”

      I love your entire comment, Survivorthriver. People — both men and women, but especially men, many of whom sympathize even with pedophiles — don’t want to hear it, of course. They call us crazy. But the situation on Earth, and for females, is as dire as you say it is.

      Just turn on the news, and it’s all around us. The breaking news should almost always begin: “look at horrors men have created today.” They rape girls to fuel their battles, drop bombs on women and children, burn other men alive as retaliation (and enjoy the spectacle), and promise retribution and revenge forever and ever. And, that’s just their wars — not the everyday horrors in times of “peace.”

      “I hope to see enormous female resistance to male dominator behaviors before our world burns up.”

      Me too, me too.

      • Survivorthriver

        Thanks, Morag. It’s an honor to have my words titled “bitch manifesto”. More of the same, dudes! You ain’t heard nothing yet.

        I have lived in fear my whole life of males. I am a survivor of….name it….and, now that there is truly “nothing left to lose” because males are addicted to necromancy and destruction and do not take any responsibility for their filthy violent ways – it’s time for the gloves to come off.

        FEmale genocide in China and India? Perhaps we need a decade or so of No Births, No Sex and male infantacide. Reverse this over-male population. Anyway. We. Can.

  • Marcus – the only reason prostitution continues is because men *demand* it. You yourself are making it clear that it should continue, however you nuance it. That means a man is demanding it. It is that simple. You can alter the word *demand* to *expect*, or *anticipate*, or whatever does not insult your sensibilities, but it is painfully ironic to know that only men can end demand and you, a man, justify prostitution by claiming it is inevitable (!) I will not go into how dangerous and offensive it is to assume that because a woman in prostitution is not being touched or touching a john, it is not psychologically harmful for her. Using a woman sexually-( what you describe *is* her being used sexually, in this case, perhaps not touching her is the sexual ‘kick’)-always has a psychological impact. One does not hire a person in the sex trade without using them sexually, *whatever* their perception of the ‘service” is. If she was hired to sit in another room, unseen and do absolutely nothing, it would still be for the john’s gratification. And while you are referring to how *men* may or not experience the ‘service’, you do *not* have an iota of authority, (again, not one),to speak for the experiences of prostituted women. (Inconceivable huh?) Being a war veteran does not qualify you (and we survivors have a bone to pick with all the veterans and current servicemen who use women in prostitution), nor does being a sensitive or caring person, nor any other claims you may make to enact your entitlement to your opinion. And on the note of your opinion, your perception of free speech has possibly misguided you on any right to decide what is good or bad for women, as Andrea Dworkin said,”The first amendment was written by slave traders”. Kick in the brainpan ain’t it?

    • Greg

      Women demand it too. I am a man that has been a “handsome companion” for 2 years. Women pay me to not only have sex with them but to spend time with them. I make a rediculous amount of money. People think I’m retired because I don’t tell them my profession. I work about 10-15 hours a week and make 5-7 grand. I am very well endowed and many professional women are looking for that. I think prostitution is a horrible thing if the prostitute is forced or a victim in any way but I know lots of women who do it because they like it. Look up the Suzy Favor Hamilton, she was an Olympic runner who did it not for the money but because she enjoyed it.

      • ArgleBargle

        Not according to Susy Favor Hamilton. In interviews, she points to troubles in her marriage and depression as a contributing factor. I’ve not seen her anywhere indicate she enjoyed either the money or the men. She lost a number of lucrative sponsorship deals when the Smoking Gun story hit.

    • marcus perry

      im not gonna deny that men mostly use it. in the topic of discussion is only talking about disabled men. i have a problem with that. intimacy is a tool for both sexes. i dont plan on paying for sex. if it is to be legal than it needs to be regulated as few places already do. health concerns need to be taken into account. the sex trade is not just iniated by men. male strippers are just as popular as female strippers. if the participant is willing to do these things for cash than that is more bringing up that greed has us all chasing money. there are so many gay for pay actors. im not gonna say they are wrong for doing it but you only have one life. choose carefully what you do. we cant coddle women and men making choices for them. illegal prostitution happens almost on a daily basis. no love or worry for them. some people wont stop trying to make a quick buck. so at least try to make it safer for all the parties involved. some of the places and things done are not as vulger as people portray it as. my point in commenting was to say that some people do just want to have dinner naked or whatever. its still up to the willing person to provide this. its not as barbaric of a concept as everyone thinks it is. it can be but that can be prevented too.

      • ArgleBargle

        Marcus, Marcus, Marcus, after all these thoughtful responses to your posts, why keep insisting so hard that we must accept your view that men should have the right to rape women, children and men? You say you won’t pay for “sex”, so you are not a john. Are you arguing for the rights of the men to rape these women? Then you are a pimp. Are you arguing on behalf of the women in prostitution to be available to rapist johns? Then you are a pimp. Or are you just insisting for the fun of it? Then you are a soulless troll. Too common, unfortunately.

        • michael barber

          ” Are you arguing on behalf of the women in prostitution to be available to rapist johns?”

          no im not. im saying if a person does this they need to know what they are signing up for. it doesnt have to be garanteed sex that is stretch. i admit that. im just exploring here. anything that happens needs to agreed on before anything is done. a safe area and prep as much as possible for this. the subject wont get easier to talk about. i know that. you can call me a monster all you want. i dont care about a title. i just care about saving lives. if i need to think outside the box to do so than so be it. your more than entitled to disagree with me. i wont challenge your right to free speech. i dont want you to challenge mine.

          • marcus perry

            michael barber is my real name. i just like the name marcus. sorry for that confusion.

      • Sab

        “male strippers are just as popular as female strippers”

        Oh, so that’s why their are whole streets of male strip clubs open 7 nights a week in every major city of every western country.

        Oh wait….that’s right, there’s not. They’re female strip clubs. A male strip club is an absolute anomoly.

  • Morag

    There are so many punters, Johns, creeps, misogynists, etc., trolling this thread, defending men’s right to purchase women’s bodies, that it’s got me thinking …

    What would happen if, instead of prostituted women turning up traumatized, battered, raped and dead, it was the other way around?

    Of course, it would never happen that Johns would be found, on a regular basis, dumped in a ditch, covered in their own semen. Aileen Wuornos did it, but they got rid of her in a flash.

    But, just as an imaginative intellectual exercise, what if an alarming number of men (meaning, the same number of prostituted girls and women) were being traumatized, harmed and killed by female “sex workers” everywhere, all at once?

    Would we then see a rather speedy end to prostitution?

    • Excellent point Morag.

      Cue: maelstrom of sputtering outrage – torrent of shocked admonitions at your “advocating violence”, “expressing hatred” and so on. The notion that females should commit against males the same acts that we as a class endure and which are accepted cultural norms is utterly incomprehensible to sexists – i.e. most of the general public.

      • Morag

        Thanks lizor! Yes, I’m sure it’s an outrage for me to even imagine it. I’m sure that a woman’s thought crime is roughly equal to a young man running away to join the Islamic State.

        Anyway, yes, when women do kill men (it’s rare, but it happens!) the general public does find it incomprehensible. Not because they think we’re made of sugar and spice, but because it’s so very off-script compared to men’s violence and criminality. Not that men aren’t condemned — they are — but their violence is more comprehensible and naturalized. As in: “men have urges which cannot be controlled, and, unfortunately, women suffer because this. Sigh. Whatcha gonna do?”

        There’s another thing that happens when women kill men: the public’s inhibitions are lowered, and they feel quite free to express their misogyny colourfully and without restraint. A woman on trial for murder is called murderess, whore, bitch, slut, monster, etc. Rape and torture will be wished upon her, and (in the US) men will get sexually excited by the thought of her potential execution being cruel and unusual — bonus if she’s physically attractive. Burn the witch! In fact, a violent woman, a female killer, is quite a cause for celebrations and festivities. People LOVE to hate a woman who kills, and they love to call her a liar if she says she did it in self-defence against an abuser.

        Male killers, on the other hand, are quite common, and hence, boring.

        • Yeah, Madonna/Whore is alive and well when it comes to women who have killed. If she’s not a broken victim driven to an unspeakable act, then she’s a maniacal villain in a special category of evil that males can never achieve. Both are conveniently fetishized to guard everyone from acknowledging what’s actually occurring.

          ” … a woman’s thought crime is roughly equal to a young man running away to join the Islamic State.” Yup. That.

  • Jess Martin

    For the record, as the person who wrote this article, I don’t think it’s appropriate to call Marcus a “creep” or a “filthy John” because he believes prostitution can be a safe and equal job. I wholeheartedly disagree, but he has made it clear that he does not buy sex and that he’s in a healthy partnership with a woman with disabilities.

    What is in dispute is whether or not prostitution is safe in fully decriminalised or legalised system like in New Zealand, Nevada, Australia, Germany, or the Netherlands.

    After about ten years picking apart research on prostitution, both the documents that support and do not support legalisation or full decriminalisation, I am fully convinced that the selling of sex cannot be made safe and would not exist in an egalitarian society. I have been mentored by women who have left the industry and have had many conversations with women who claim to choose and enjoy it over the years but I have never met one who didn’t have any of those push or pull factors that drive women into prostitution. I’ve heard women glamorise the practice and then claim that their poverty or addiction or childhood sexual abuse are irrelevant factors that don’t influence or constrain their choices. I agree that there are some women who embody the “happy hooker” persona as this is part of the prostitution practice. Portraying oneself as someone who does what they do because they have a heightened sexual appetite relieves the guilt of buyers and ultimately gets the seller more money per “transaction” and more regular johns. There’s just something about revealing to a john (or other men) that you consider them repugnant that kills the libido…

    There may be cases of privileged business women purchasing sex (as mentioned above) but this is a miniscule fraction of the demand for paid sex. Females make up the vast majority of sellers, followed by transfolk and men who sell to other men. The existence of female buyers does not negate the fact that buying sex is an entitled practice.

    As for my being “heartless,” I’ll have to disagree there as well. My argument is centered around the idea that disabled men can and do have non-paid sex and that there is no “normal” or “regular” sex. Often what men mean by this is that they are not getting the kind of sex they see in pornography, and they believe their disability is the only barrier to getting this kind of sex.

    • Sab

      Hi Jess,

      The link goes to a site run by a woman in the UK and a story of prostitution in New Zealand comparing pre and post decriminalisation. It talks aboit the financial coersion, not the emotional.

      https://abolishprostitution.wordpress.com/2015/01/25/new-zealand-isobels-story/

    • Greg

      Thank you Jess for not trying to make wild assumptions about how “creepy” or “disgusting” Marcus is. Clearly he makes his opinion without deserving to be spit on for being a man. I’m a male escort and I have a paraplegic customer, she was in a horrible car accident and was awarded a huge settlement. It’s her choice to call me for companionship. She’s told me before she has no interest in dating anyone because she’s worried the only reason they’ll want to be with her is because she’s rich. In our arrangement she knows what’s she paying for.

      • Laur

        And we should believe what you say because…? Do you have a website you can show us about your work, or are we just supposed to take your word for everything?

        • FrustratedRadFem

          Sounds like a boring movie. Besides statistical anomaly don’t change the overlying pattern.

      • Morag

        “Clearly he makes his opinion without deserving to be spit on for being a man.”

        Oh, please. After dozens of comments, including from women who have been prostituted and harmed by being prostituted, marcus proves again and again that he has not heard a word and, moreover, doesn’t intend to. He speaks about women in misogynistic terms, and throws out sexist tropes we’ve all heard a million times before.

        But, no, none of that matters: he’s been “spit on for being a man.” How dismissive can you be? Do you also have a reading comprehension problem?

        Marcus received many painstaking, detailed replies from women as well as from male allies, many of whom have been very patient with this fool who thinks he can convince us that, because it’s all Even-Steven out there in the world, women can be just sexist as men, that gold-digging women are out for an easy “quick buck” or a free dinner, or that the exploited women at the Bunny Ranch (who are free to consent, and to choose a nice punter, too!) can get pleasure from sexual transactions for money. Because Johns are so nice, see?

        He understands next to nothing, even when it’s explained over and over how prostitution harms women, even when it’s explained by the very women who have been there, who have been used, who have been traumatized.

        And he promotes disgusting, creepy, sexist stereotypes about women. But, when we name his behaviour, as I have, without mincing words, it’s not “appropriate” and we’re just making “assumptions.” Oh, dear, I forgot that pro-prostitution misogynists have feelings too!

    • @Jess,

      I’m sorry but marcus is basically defending prostitution in the name of servicing disabled men. I don’t care who he is otherwise but he’s pretty much “disgusting” in my books. And besides, he has some major MRA tendencies, as witnessing from some of his comments. If that doesn’t convince the I don’t know what does,

    • Laur

      “For the record, as the person who wrote this article, I don’t think it’s appropriate to call Marcus a “creep” or a “filthy John” because he believes prostitution can be a safe and equal job.”

      His statements are creepy, misogynist, and disgusting. He also pretends to know about things he shows before that he does not know anything about, such as PTSD. At one point he says “we all have a little PTSD” to write off the sky-high rates of PTSD found in prostituted women. Then he starts talking about how male strippers also suffer from PTSD. I agree that men in the sex trade suffer, but he has shown he doesn’t care about PTSD. Marcus also refers to females as “gold diggers,” a misogynist slur only used for women who are kept poorer so we are reliant on men. When called out on his use of this term, he defends it. Furthermore, Marcus puts forth The Bunny Ranch as a more ideal prostitution environment. A more ideal prostitution environment for whom, one might ask? Not him, that’s clear.

      I don’t mean to pick on one statement in your response. I just don’t believe Marcus is coming to this conversation in good faith.

      • Morag

        Thank you Laur. You and Thomas have said everything that I wanted to say to Jess Martin.

        I don’t mean to be disrespectful, either, Jess — you’ve written an excellent article and it’s provoked good discussion. But I do not understand why you would defend someone like marcus.

        • Jess Martin

          I should mention that I don’t defend Marcus’ position and I agree that the sexist terms used above like “gold digger” are offensive. Where I’m coming from on this is that I routinely get called things like “prude,” “moralist,” “jealous,” “man-hating,” “ugly” and have people even suggest I want to “erase sex workers’ lives” or even “kill sex workers” because I do not believe prostitution is compatible with women’s equality and I would like to see the Nordic Model used to eradicate it.

          I perhaps should have been monitoring the comments more closely before jumping in, but I did not want to see labels get attached to someone because they disagree with my position. In my experience, this has shut down debate and I was happy to see debate going on in the comments section as I think it’s a healthy way to wrestle with this topic. Debate has been a central part in the development of my feminist politics.

          On the other hand, my intention is, by no means, to try to regulate women’s frustration or speak over top of women who have experience in prostitution. If that was how my comment came across, I apologize.

          • Morag

            Thank you for replying, and for understanding our frustration!

            I appreciate your concerns, Jess, about shutting down debate, and about your not wanting the “man-hating” label attached to your work.

            Though, of course, those labels will be attached anyway, no matter how careful feminists are, or how clean/unoffensive our language is, when we assert our positions on pornography and prostitution.

            ‘Where I’m coming from on this is that I routinely get called things like “prude,” “moralist,” “jealous,” “man-hating,” “ugly” and have people even suggest I want to “erase sex workers’ lives” or even “kill sex workers” because I do not believe prostitution is compatible with women’s equality … ‘

            Yes, of course they say these awful things — they are standard anti-woman insults. They are all terrible lies, and the accusation that you want to “kill sex workers” is an unforgivable piece of audacious propaganda. It’s a complete reversal of the truth, and reveals how weak, dishonest and unethical the pro-prostitution contingent is that they are willing to stoop so low.

          • Sab

            I didn’t feel you were trying to speak over me.

            Thank-you for recognising the importance of allowing prostitutes and former prostitutes the right to define the experience.

            Though we all come from widely varying positions, we often face harsh discrimination. After outing oneself, even online using a nickname, all too often we are labelled mad, bad, crazy, bitter, hardened, victims, greedy, whores, untrustworthy, ‘trolls’ if we disagree on any point with the forum majority, suffering stockholm syndrome if we defend any aspect of the industry, many slurs and many accusations all designed to undermine the validity of our experiences and capacity to frame those experiences for ourselves. Prostitution itself is used as the reason we’re not of sound mind enough to articulate a clear and grounded position.

            It’s nice when the author of a piece is open about their opinion and understands the difference between direct and indirect experience. I can talk about what it’s like to live with someone who suffers depression but couldn’t talk about what it’s like to have depression. My experience is valid. My opinion is valid but I remain situated on the outside looking in. That frame of reference matters.

          • Holding men accountable and/or simply naming male behaviour gets spun as “man-hating”. Opposition that denies factual evidence gets whitewashed as “differing opinion”. Not all opinions are created equal. Some are bullying bullshit.

            This is a great article. To speak honestly on these topics requires a great deal of courage and sadly, I don’t think you can avoid the sort of mud-slinging that anyone who publicly calls for fair treatment of females is bound to receive. Nobody called Marcus “creepy” because he is a man or because he disagrees. He was called that because his repeated display of disregard for women who have addressed him seriously and respectfully fits within that descriptive category.

            Thanks again for your great piece.

    • FrustratedRadFem

      I’m Australian and legalising hasn’t worked here or in New Zealand. Trafficking rings have been caught and they often find children, indigenous women from both countries and Asian women and they are still operating. The bikie criminal gangs have links to it too including raping women and girls in a field. It’s dangerous as a young woman to be near the red light district and I’m lucky I don’t live near there. Because of budget cut backs social services are harder to obtain which means walk-in sexual health clinics are gone and underfunded. Unemployed women are being pressured by welfare to find jobs in a shitty economy and stripping is offered as an option if they don’t consider it then welfare may be cut off.

      Marcus is a creep, act like a creep be prepared to be called one. He is a john and saying “dirty john” is redundant.

  • Sab

    https://m.facebook.com/peacestudies/posts/10152885879130647

    There’s a few men here justifying mens entitlement to female bodies for sexual use. Just to balance the scales, here’s a link to an fb group of men against prostitution. I haven’t seen within the walls of the group. I’m female so I’m not sure if I am allowed to join, but I do like their mission statement.

  • marv

    Hey marcus. You are overstaying your unwelcome. If you genuinely care about women’s rights (which you have disproven so far) then you should be donating to the Feminist Current, minimum $5 a comment. It wouldn’t even come close to the distress and aggravation you caused but it would be a meager start. Realize Meghan, Jess and the other contributors volunteer their creations. They count on donors to help them survive. It would be indecent of you as a man to use a women’s forum for free – another act of sexism. Men assume women’s work to not be compensated. Are you one of those men? Prove me wrong by digging deep into your pockets.

    http://feministcurrent.com/donate/

    • marcus perry

      honestly i dont want to donate because i donate to homeless all the time. im the type of person who will give a dollar to help a kid who just wants food. in reality id just buy the food. i dont plan on donating to this site. the work they do is vital to me. these discussions need to be said. i help people in need directly as i come by them. i prefer to help that way as supposed to helping this way.

      i agree with you on me not being welcome but anyone who replies to me knows im going to reply. i dont care for the last word im not all in other people comment blocks. the mass of you commenting on my section are subjecting yourself to that punishment. moral of the story is dont reply in my section and you wont get a reply. been the case the whole time.

      • Meghan Murphy

        Oh fuck off, Marcus. YOUR behaviour is YOUR responsibility. It is not the responsibility of OTHER commenters to dictate or curb your comments. This is a warning.

        • Laur

          HIS comment blocks??! So, he is saying he will not comply with the wishes of the blog owner. His entitlement is showing, as it always has.

          And no, this is not about him being a man. We have other male commenters who no one has a problem with.

          The thing that bothers me most about marcus’s comments are that he will only focus on the people in prostitution, never discussing the demand (men) except to say sometimes women buy sex too. Any woman who has been in prostitution will tell you exactly how rare that is: it almost never happens. This is why we refer to the buyers as men.

          • Meghan Murphy

            I know, eh? This comment section belongs to him. Enter at your own risk.

  • Morag

    Someone* just wrote a comment stating that prostituted women should just “know the risk going into the field,” and that being prostituted is no different from “becoming a cop. just with different responsibilities.”

    I wonder, would someone say this to people considering joining the police force? Imagine saying, to a group of potential recruits:

    “Listen up, men and women. Police work can be very dangerous, so you should be informed of all the occupational risks. Becoming a cop is no different from becoming a prostitute. It’s just that cops have different responsibilities.”

    I mean, it’s absurd. How is it that prostitution is no different from any and all wage-jobs** in existence, yet the comparison doesn’t hold up in reverse?

    Is becoming a nurse or a teacher no different from becoming a prostitute? Sure, people make jokes about lawyers, politicians, etc., but that is to use “prostitute” as a “humorous” insult. The argument that a woman selling her body to survive is like any other “worker” is not a joke; it is a straight-faced argument that its proponents demand to be taken seriously.

    It’s crap.

    (*I no longer want to address Someone directly, but I did want to address this silly argument — once again, as so many others have before and will continue to do — because it’s so damned common and persistent).

    (**Yes, most people are forced to sell their labour to survive, and this is also an injustice, not a choice; but why use one type of injustice to legitimize another, even more harrowing, injustice?)

    • Meghan Murphy

      Thank you for addressing this yet again. I know it is tiring…

      • Laur

        Meghan, have you seriously thought about banning marcus? So many women here have spent a great deal of time and energy replying to his questions. He ignores our replies and continues babbling about his theories for improving safety in the sex trade. He has never been in the sex trade and refuses to listen to the women here who have been, so his theories are worthless. A theory has to work in the real world for it to be worth anything.

        When I start talking about the reality of women in prostitution, he brings up Sasha Grey as an example!! Clearly, she is not representative of women in prostitution in terms of the amount of money she has made and her fame. Furthermore, he doesn’t know that she’s emerged relatively unharmed. It’s a male fantasy to think a person, a woman, can have sex with multiple strangers a day, or a week, and emerge unscathed.

        Furthermore, he creates his own definitions for words such as “greed” and gold-diggers.” This is not a site about inventing your own terminology.

        I’ve never suggested somebody be banned before, but I think it this case that would be a good idea.

        • Meghan Murphy

          Yes. He’s taking up far too much space. Marcus can you please see yourself out? This has gone on long enough.

          • Sab

            I don’t see a need to ban him. I don’t like his opinion and I observe his inability to see beyond his own opinion while playing a pretence at agreement, “Yes…but…” However, he’s been polite enough in interaction to not be banned.

            Personally, I’m done replying to him because no information gets through.

          • Meghan Murphy

            Generally when people are taking up too much space in the comments in an unproductive way I ask them to stop/back off but don’t ban them… Hopefully Marcus will take the hint. If they don’t, I start deleting their comments in order to thin them out or I just ban them if they don’t adjust their behaviour.

          • Twenty posts yesterday alone. It’s like witnessing intellectual diarrhea. And I’m playing fast and loose with the term “intellectual”.

        • Survivorthrrver

          This personnveresation. Marcus-many-name should disappear. His twisted, obfuscatory and valueless rammblings are not helpful to my liberation as a woman nor to this conversation. Except as a reminder how male dominator species behave.

        • Survivorthrrver

          This Marcus-many-name person should disappear. His twisted, obfuscatory and valueless ramblings are not helpful to my liberation as a woman nor to this conversation. Except as a reminder how male dominator species behave.

          (apology for previous post, my laptop slipped and I accidentally hit reply)

  • C.K. Egbert

    The thing with the sex positivists and liberals is that they are all about making the conditions of sexual slavery, rape, and violence “safer” for women and never about addressing the core of the problem, which is men. Prostitution is unsafe? Give women condoms. Penetration is painful? Use more lubricant. Men like to torture women? Tell men how to do it without killing them.

    Of course it’s unthinkable that a woman should not be abused, and it’s even more unthinkable that men should not do things that hurt women.

    They act like these things are forces of nature that only women have to cope with, rather than acts of violence that men perpetrate against women. They don’t want to end violence against women. To rephrase MacKinnon, violence is not condemned but merely regulated.

    • Morag

      “Men like to torture women? Tell men how to do it without killing them.”

      Yes, this is the liberal solution proposed for the world-wide problem of men torturing women in prostitution (and also, in different ways, in marriage, relationships, the workplace, etc.).

      If women as a class, and particularly women with the least social advantage, were considered PEOPLE — even in the shabbiest sense, like oppressed men are — most supposed activists in existence would be outraged, and would be pouring out into the streets to protest the dehumanization of girls and women.

  • Sab

    Something I haven’t seen mentioned in this thread and have not ever seen mentioned in any harm-minimisation blog/article/comment section is the long-term harm that, as yet, no cause has been found. Cervical cancer, ovarian cysts, endometriosis, fibroids, polycyctic ovaries, dysmenorrhoea etc occur at far higher rates in women who have experienced incest as children, rape and ongoing sexual trauma including prostitution. Harm-minimisation arguments obviously avoid this topic because there is no way to minimise this type of harm. Personally, I’m of the opinion, that this, alone, proves the harm of prostitution. Whether the mind acknowleges harm or not, the body certainly does. If long-term unexplained medical problems are a result, how then, can harm be explained away, minimised or ignored entirely?

  • grandpa

    I just found this link through pinterest. Great article! I hope it’s still okay to comment because I’d like to add something.

    I see some attitudes any time prostitution or rape is discussed that are disgusting. First is the attitude of “She said yes! It was her choice! Yes is consent!” They fly that flag high and proudly as though that’s all that matters. It becomes their armor. Not only does it protect them legally, it protects them from having to think about what they have done and what their actions mean about them as a person. As long as there was a yes, no matter how it was obtained, they’re good. That thinking has to stop.

    It betrays their beliefs that, to these men, getting what they want is more important that women’s humanity. Men who think this way not stupid. They understand leverage, bullying, and duress but they only care about it when it happens to them. If I were to put them in a situation where they had to literally bend over and take it or else they would be kicked out of their home and left to starve, they understand that’s not really a choice. They understand when it’s their behind on the line that it’s not something they truly consented to. They know that a bullied yes is a desperate plea that is actually a no. They’ve done studies showing most johns know they’re dealing with women who’ve been trafficked, but they still do it. It’s because the coerced yes is different when it comes from a person (i.e a human, someone who matters – a man) than when it comes from a woman (a non-human thing).

    They believe the sexist trope that women always lie and exaggerate otherwise they’d listen and take their words seriously. That’s why it’s so easy for them to volunteer women for the job of sleeping with men to prevent them from killing (I’ve seen this suggestion thrown around a lot in discussions of Eliot Roger) or to comfort disabled men. They think women are lying about or exaggerating the mental, emotional, and financial effects of prostitution (and rape) because “it’s just a little sex. Even if they don’t like it they can lay back and get it over with for the good of men.”

    When these men start to feel guilty about the things they do, they try to lie or try to find ways to cover it up. Reading some of the disgusting comments above where a certain person kept trying to invalidate what he was being told in favor of his creepy harped-on fantasy that there are many women who choose prostitution for their love of sex*. If men like him can find ONE person who validates his fantasies and alleviates his guilt then no one else has to be listened to. That one outweighs the many. It doesn’t even matter if the person may or may not be lying about their motives either. You even see this in discussions of street harassment. Whatever makes the man feel less guilty and feeds in to what he wants to believe and hear, even if it’s a fluke or a lie, that is all that matters to him. The rest of women can shut up because THEY are the liars.

    Men, women are human beings. Just like you. They deserve the same automatic basic human respect you enjoy. The act of sex is not more important than women. The feelings of getting off are not more important than women. The desire to have sex is not more important than women’s humanity. The desires to dominate and degrade should be spit on and squashed. Instead of visiting a prostitute when you feel like you want to degrade or dominate someone, go to a therapist. You need the help. If you desire sex but cannot find a willing partner, use your hand or some other device. You are not entitled to intimacy, the act of sex, or use someone else’s body. Period. Full stop. Just because the option of visiting a prostitute is out there, doesn’t mean you should take that option. If you feel you are lacking in intimacy, try getting involved some activist work to dismantle the definitions we have regarding being a man. Men are taught not to talk about their feelings and to repel nurturing and friendly touch between themselves. If you feel emotionally isolated as a man, it is the fault of these horrible definitions and expectations. They are men’s fault and responsibility so if you don’t like it, help change it! Women are not your emotional saviors or the sole source of intimacy for you. Women do not exaggerate or lie about their experiences. Believe them. Shut up and actually listen to them once in a while, it will do you good. Repeat these things to yourselves until it sinks in.

    * I am not implying women don’t love sex. That is ridiculous. Most people do love sex, when is with someone they truly want to have sex with and it’s both safe and respectful towards them, and especially when it encompasses the things they find enjoyable as well. Maybe some prostitutes do make a real choice to enter the profession just because they do want that kind of sex. I don’t want to erase those women but I don’t think there is a big population of them. And let’s remember that even though they may have chosen to enter the profession with those ideas, it doesn’t mean they can’t change their mind later, see the problems in it, or that it’s easy to get out of.

  • Pingback: Let’s rethink what it means to be a ‘model’ with disabilities » Feminist Current()

  • Jim

    As a disabled person myself I object to you using ableism as a back up for an argument which does not involve the rights of disabled people. You’re entitled to your own opinions on the sexism argument in this article, but you should only argue ableism if it helps the rights of disabled people. If you separate your argument about sexism from your argument about ableism and consider the ableism argument in isolation, your argument appears to be that anyone acknowledging the fact that disabled people can often find love, sex and dating more difficult than neurotypical and able bodied people is an ableist assessment. Are you crazy? This is something which many groups supporting disabled people (like the national autistic society) openly acknowledge and provide support with. Your approach would have them abandon this offer of support for fear of offending us, but it doesn’t offend us many of us openly acknowledge this ourselves (and I understand that not all disabled people have problems with love, sex and dating, but I’m guessing that that was your interpretation of the article you are discussing and not what the article actually expressed). Using ableism to make arguments that don’t actually have anything to do with ableism harms disabled people when they are actually trying to argue about genuine ableism because it makes it harder to have our arguments taken seriously and therefore is a form of ableism in itself.

    Having disabled people in your family makes you slightly more credible when making arguments about ableism, but I strongly emphasise the word slightly because it certainly does not give you as much of a right as you seem to think it does.

    My second point here is that feelings of isolation and loneliness (including those which are due to not being able to date, love or have sex in the same way as other people) felt by disabled people is a completely different issue to male sexual entitlement and lumping the two together is a way of shutting up disabled men when they try to discuss issues which they struggle with on a daily basis. (Whether this makes it okay for them to have sex with prostitutes is not an argument that I am having, so don’t you dare try to misrepresent me. The opinions I’m expressing are still relevant regardless of the side you take on that argument.) I have attached a video clip of David Lynch’s The Elephant Man. The clip features the title character Joseph Merrick getting upset when he sees a beautiful women (obviously the majority of disabled people’s conditions are not as extreme as Merrick’s, but I think many of us will still understand the emotion he feels in this scene in some small way). The way Merrick acts in this clip is not the result of male sexual entitlement (to say that it is would devalue his experience and oppress him), it is the same way that a women would probably also react in his situation if confronted with an attractive member of a gender she was attracted to.
    May I just say Jess Martin that this article is very ableist and you need to fuck off!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Avq6f4JQYMI

    • andeväsen

      “Whether this makes it okay for them to have sex with prostitutes is not an argument that I am having, so don’t you dare try to misrepresent me. The opinions I’m expressing are still relevant”

      If you do not want to discuss whether it is ok for disabled men to seek prostitutes, your discussion is tangential, not relevant. The discussion being had here is specifically about disabled men seeking prostitutes.

      • Jim

        If a disabled person wrote an article about ableism that contained hints of sexism their whole argument would be instantly dismissed, regardless of whether the sexism related to their main argument. There is such a double standard in social activism, that dictates some topics being more important than others. This woman claims to stand up for equality, but makes huge ignorant assumptions that make it harder for disabled people to even have their thoughts and feelings listened to and respected. The reason she gets away with this is that neurotypical, able bodied, cis white women are the gatekeepers of social activism. Any topic that any other social group wishes to discuss must first gain their approval. Able bodied neurotypical woman have taken control of disability activism, despite not being disabled themselves. There is also many articles you can find on the internet by woman who aren’t part of the white ethnic category who never have their racial concerns listened to by the feminist community. It all just makes people think, why the hell should I back a group of people when concern will be purely one sided and they wont even bother to attempt to understand my situation in return.

        • Meghan Murphy

          “Cis white women are the gatekeepers of social activism.”

          Is this a joke?
          Leftist men are some of the most misogynist men on the planet. You’ll notice they are among the biggest advocates for the sex trade….

          Feminists don’t rule shit. We are no-platformed, harassed, and attacked left right and center. Literally.

          • Jim

            If you read you’ll notice I never said anything about feminists ruling anything. I mentioned a specific group of people within feminism. Most of those that attack feminists are from places outside of socially excepted social activism, so this does not disprove my point.
            I find it funny that you automatically assume that every person who disagrees with you is an MRA or something worse. I guess that helps your conscience justify not attempting to understand other view points.

  • Lincoln M. James

    Does the same hold true for disabled women paying for sex with male prostitutes?

    Are they also oppressing a fellow human being?

    i say this because 90% of debate on prostitution online posits prostitution as something that only men do and only ever to women; whilst I would agree that the majority, even vast majority, of prostitutes are female (at least amongst the mainstream heterosexual sex industry) and the vast majority of clients are male, that does not mean that there are not female clients of male prostitutes.

    So, then, if we state that prostitutes are by definition oppressed by their clients, is a female client oppressing her male sex provider? Or is she exempt from this label being as how she is female?

    I have spoken offline to people that have told me that they feel that a female client is oppressed by her male prostitute doubly; not only is she having sex, she is actually paying for it thus is doubly oppressed.

    This seems a little extreme a position to take but I’d be intrigued to see what others think here.

  • A Room Without Windows

    Deleted.

  • Hana Sheala

    I am disabled woman. I do lots of things – study, worked, etc. I have some issues in intimacy, and hiring a male escort might be something to give me controll. I know that even writing this is unsafe – yes folks, the world is not just unicorns and rainbows, how ever I wish it would be.

    So, this article is from my point really weird, as my experience is not relevant, or something. I know the author is not activelly trying to harm me, though, and if the circumstance comes, I still might want to do this – hire a sex worker to get some control over my intimacy.

    I do want not slap some less stigmatized label for it (sex therapist, tantric coach, etc). I just want to point out, that the Nordic model could be… well just a model. Not encompassing all.

    • Meghan Murphy

      The Nordic model targets men, generally, not marginalized women. That said, I’m curious to know why we should green light exploitation and misogynist/racist industries because some individuals personally like paying for sex. This seems to miss the whole point. We’re talking about social change and the collective liberation of women. What some individuals like is kinda beside the point.

  • Cameron Pierce Hughes

    Ugh.You forget(ignore?) that most disabled men are almost always immediately de-sexualized or seen as a fetish.
    It’s also so gross to compare the struggle to allow disabled people to actualize their intimacy to that of a serial rapist. Instead, you might be served to look at how institutions like nursing homes policies that deny their inhabitant sexual agency contribute to violence, and how that violence also disproportionately affects disabled Lgbt+ people.

    • Meghan Murphy

      We can walk and chew gum at the same time. The struggles disabled people face does not entitle them to exploit others.

  • northernTNT

    If you’re paying for it, it’s not “intimacy”. Copulation is NOT a human right.

  • Tiffany Richardson

    “You need to suffer more.”
    This quote is going to stick with me for a while. I take a lot of things for granted. I’m celibate (a lesbian that finds women insufferable and men unattractive) so I don’t think about others’ sexual needs/desires often. I think marginalizing the disabled to only deserving the minimum basic human rights in a society where money can buy many more pleasures of life… lame. If you can buy it from someone willing to sell it without coercion, it shouldn’t be anyone else’s business. And women who enter prostitution as a desperate bid to make money – that’s patently false. McDonald’s is always hiring and while it might not be lucrative, it’s enough to provide ‘basic human rights’ if you’re truly desperate.

  • Tia DeFye

    As a disabled person, I get so tired of able-ist views in the feminist community. Feminist who pat themselves on the back because they recognize disabled sex, or because they are pro-prostitution for the disabled. You very rarely hear these individuals talking about disabled women in the same context. I do wish that disabled people weren’t infantilzed, and where even educated on how to have sex with their disability. But legalizing prostitution for disabled men is still sexism. If the world was more equal to sex workers, and more women made the choice of prostitution from a position of equal power, and not desperation, and male sex workers were addressed too in the discussion- I’d probably be more accepting of sex-work as a whole. But as of now, most prostitutes are not making the choice willingly, and it is a very sexist industry. You can’t look at Denmark as the norm for what sex work is all about- we all know the Danes are special people, not like us mere mortals (Sarcasm)