Can Prostitution Ever Be Justified?

Today’s topic is a touchy one. One that I have taken on before.

I should note that it’s less about the topic than it is the argument provided. The viewpoint that is there is no way that prostitution can ever be morally (ethically?) justified.


When I last tackled this using an article written by Christopher Hedges back in 2015, I took issue based on the fact that this view seemed to have a glaringly obvious flaw. That is, blanket justifications leave no room for deviating opinions. To be frank, activists speaking on behalf of all women. All seemingly drawing conclusions both based on a flawed view of reality (the sex work status quo will ALWAYS be as dangerous as it is now!) and seemingly abandoning a core principle of feminism. The notion that is, your body is your domain.

However, times have changed and so have I. As such, maybe it would be helpful to revisit this topic and see if I missed something. See if I may end up coming to a different conclusion.

In pursuing this, I will quote and comment on yet another Truthdig article. This one written by Julie Bindel (journalist, researcher and activist in the global campaign to end violence against women and children).

“I honestly believe it stops rape,” Benjamin told me. “It allows men to let off steam and have our natural urges met.” Benjamin was talking about the benefits of prostitution. It is good for women, he argued, because rather than rape, men can have sex how and when they want by paying for it with a prostituted woman. For men, it ensures their needs are met. In Benjamin’s view, everyone is happy.

But his assertions are as far from the reality of the sex trade as possible. Men are not programmed to rape if they cannot get immediate access to sex, and there is no such thing as a “right” to sex. “When men claim that prostitution reduces rape,” sex trade survivor Fiona Broadfoot says, “What they really mean is that it is OK to rape prostituted women, which is how we experience sex with johns. Prostitution is rape.”

Nothing like getting a running start. Oh boy . . .

1.) I have heard the sexual needs and urges line before. Hell, if I’m honest, such may have even escaped my lips at some point in my life. Not speaking about ME per se, but of the male experience generally.

Is sex a necessity for males?

According to Focus on the Family, yes.

One of the biggest differences between you and your husband is the fact that he experiences sex as a legitimate physical need. Just as your body tells you when you’re hungry, thirsty, or tired, your husband’s body tells him when he needs a sexual release. Your husband’s sexual desire is impacted by what’s around him but is determined by biological factors, specifically the presence of testosterone in his body.

Immediately after sexual release, men are physically satisfied. But as their sexual clock ticks on, sexual thoughts become more prevalent, and they are more easily aroused. The physical need for sexual release intensifies as sperm builds in the testicles. The body continues to produce and store sperm, although sperm production fluctuates based on levels of testosterone and the frequency of sexual release.

Gotta admit, I never thought that was going to be the first stop on this journey.

Samson was a strapping young man whose attention was seized by a beautiful Philistine woman. He told his parents, “Go get her for me,” which they did. (I guess they never read The Strong-Willed Child!) During the wedding feast, Samson taunted the Philistine guests with a riddle, betting them that they couldn’t solve it. Samson’s brand new wife told her kinsmen the answer to the riddle and ended up marrying Samson’s friend. The next time we see Samson with a woman, he is sleeping with a prostitute.

Fast-forward several years to Delilah, another beautiful woman. Three times, Samson lied to Delilah about the source of his strength. Three times Delilah betrayed her lover. Yet Samson stayed with her and eventually confided the true secret of his prowess. As strong as Samson’s muscles were, his sex drive appears to have been stronger.

We often look at a man’s sexual desire as a weak link or an Achilles’ heel. As with Samson or David, the promise of fleeting pleasure has the power to strip him of all that he values in life. However, what can be a source of evil can also be a force of great good. Just as twisted women are able to pull men into sin, virtuous women can use the influence of sex to call men to morality, love, and godliness.

Like many wives, you may be desperate to work on your marriage. You may long for your husband to read relationship books with you or attend marriage seminars (and actually take notes). If you really want his attention, work with the way God designed him. A great sex life won’t solve the problems in your marriage; however, it will fortify your husband’s desire and commitment to work toward intimacy. Your sexual relationship may be the “on-ramp” to communication, conflict resolution, and building the emotional intimacy you are longing for.


I didn’t think I would EVER find myself referencing Focus on the Family for ANYTHING, let alone their Understanding Your Husbands Sexual Needs series. However, running into the piece brought to mind another entity. An entity that seems to be operating out of more or less the same theistic headspace, but with a much different take on the issue.

Let’s just say the duties you have to your husband or partner are more than just implied.

Dr. Jordan Peterson, firebrand Canadian psychologist, was described recently as suggesting that enforced monogamy would be a way to reduce male violence. Peterson allegedly stated this in response to a question regarding the recent Canadian violence involving an individual involved with the “Incel” online community. The Incel term describes males who report they are “involuntarily celibate,” and unable to secure a girlfriend or female mate. These online discussion groups have become increasingly misogynist, with the premise that women are treating them poorly, withholding sexual contact.

Following the Incel incident in Canada, there was a brief flurry of outrage in response to suggestions that society “redistribute sex.” An economics professor, Robin Hanson, who suggested this, argued that the Incel movement reflected an uncomfortable truth, that there were men who wanted to have sex, but were unable to do so. Their angry, even potentially violent, dissatisfaction, could, in theory, be assuaged by tactics which increased their access to sex. Hanson suggested that legalized prostitution, education or training, promotion of monogamy and discouraging promiscuity, were all strategies which might more equitably distribute the opportunity to have sex across a wider range of persons.

The redistribution of sex was widely reacted to as indicating some form of legalized rape, where women might be forced somehow to be sexual with men they would not otherwise have chosen. The history of child brides for instance, married off to wealthy men in state- and religion-sanctioned communities, seems an example of this – on the face of it, an unlikely idea, showing that in fact, there are societies where women are forced to be sexual with men in order to serve social interests.

Both Hanson and Peterson seem to believe that monogamy is, in some ways, a social protection or prevention against violence. Peterson later argued that what he was referring to was the history of social enforcement of monogamy, and not the idea that the government should somehow get involved in regulating or mandating monogamy within consensual relationships.


I would love to hear what both Hanson and Peterson think about a legalized and well-regulated sex trade industry as a possible solution. Okay, not REALLY (I hate Jordon Peterson). I just . . . figure that this likely didn’t occur to either. Entirely possible, since reading this brought the whole Incel thing back to my attention.


Note, however, that all of these arguments are based on the treatment of sex with females, and reproduction, as economic commodities. Women have something which men desire, and perhaps even need, in order to reproduce. When female sexuality is treated as an economic resource, it does indeed support the notion that this resource may be utilized or controlled in utilitarian manner, to further social interests. Men who cannot mate or get a date, are viewed as inferior, broken and worthless.

In much of today’s world, however, far different than our history, female sexuality is not seen as property, to be sold through dowries or taken as a right of privilege. The #Metoo movement, amongst a long history of feminist reform, has placed control and “ownership” of female sexuality in the women themselves, rejecting the “rights” of powerful men to treat women as sexual objects. It has only been in a few societies in human past, where women held economic control or independence, and in those rare societies, women often also held control of their sexuality and mated with whom they chose.

Where Peterson and Hanson’s arguments fail, is that they are using data, research, evidence, and theories, based on our dark past, where women did not hold the right to choose what to do with their own sexuality. The history of socially- and religiously-enforced monogamy was one in which female sexuality was property, and marriage was based on economics. The reason that the Incel movement is angry at women, rather than society at large, is that these young men recognize that when women are given the right to choose, they are not choosing them.


One thing we can all agree on, we all THINK that appeasing the male libido is a necessity of life. Though calling it a necessity is certainly a stretch, it’s not a stretch to say that sex adds to the richness of many lives. If it is a consenting act between 2 or more adults (who are we to judge?), then I don’t see the problem.

However, no one is owed or entitled to sex. If your approach to this topic is on that basis, then you are WAY off the mark.

End of story.


But his assertions are as far from the reality of the sex trade as possible. Men are not programmed to rape if they cannot get immediate access to sex, and there is no such thing as a “right” to sex. “When men claim that prostitution reduces rape,” sex trade survivor Fiona Broadfoot says, “What they really mean is that it is OK to rape prostituted women, which is how we experience sex with johns. Prostitution is rape.”

It seems that we find ourselves going full circle. From men that think they have a right to a woman’s body, to women that think they have a right to speak for all women. There is no such thing as truly consensual sex with a prostitute, as this survivor would have you believe.

I do understand what she is saying. When the sex trade is the last option you have for making a living, the act of sex (whether or not John’s take it too far) is less intimate and pleasurable than it is invasive and shaming. If anything, it is an indictment of a society at large that left so few options open for women in such a situation.
I would be remiss if I didn’t also take into account sex trafficking. Not all prostitution is necessarily consensual, even on the basis of my previous statement.

Having taken that all into consideration though, I still am unwilling to concede to a blanket statement speaking on behalf of an entire gender. Though I don’t disagree with the points as raised, I have to add the caveat that this is pertaining to the sex trade as it stands now. Which would seem to make this viewpoint akin to supporting the criminalization of drugs on account to all the problems brought on BY an unregulated drug market.

Where I was going to go from here was “Not unlike with drug legalization, the world has yet to experiment with the concept of a society with a fully legal and regulated sex work industry”. The problem is, that isn’t true. Though many first world nations seem to have settled for the decriminalization of the sale but criminalization of purchase, many nations have gone further than that.

Prostitution laws vary across the world. Some countries, including the United States, outright ban prostitution. Other nations such as France, Canada, Iceland, and Norway do not prohibit the selling of sex but have made it illegal to pay for sexual acts.

In other nations, prostitution is legal. These countries include:

In some nations, local laws are used to regulate, permit, or prohibit prostitution. This includes:

When it comes to sex trafficking, I would argue that the current day status quo of most destination countries of victims has a lot to do with why the phenomenon is still so prevalent. Let’s take, for example, Nigeria.

Nigeria has a rampant sex trafficking problem. Although with the caveat that most of that traffic seems to be outbound. Vulnerable women tricked into what is increasingly often a long and dangerous journey by sea into Europe (and elsewhere).

According the US State Department’s latest Trafficking In Persons report, last year NAPTIP reported 654 investigations, with 23 convictions for trafficking offenses.
“We’re prosecuting the small fries in Nigeria,” says Julie Okah-Donli, director general of NAPTIP. “Absolutely the number one problem is the inability of destination countries to clamp down on their own criminal networks.
“We’ve looked at the root causes in Nigeria without addressing the root causes in the destination countries,” she says. “What is being done to reduce the demand for this crime?”
If I were to speculate, I would say that the message between the lines is more prohibition is wanted on the part of the destination countries. Or at very least, more clamping down on the supporting criminal enterprises. More of the same, which equates to putting a bandaid on a reoccurring issue.
Say what you want about the market for sex. How it ties into the inhumane nature of capitalism. It’s certainly symbolic of a greater picture.

Even if one chooses that stance, however, we know where this leads if we legislate on this basis. Criminal organizations don’t care about your moral or ethical objections to prostitution. Just as criminal organizations don’t care about your moral or ethical objections to the sale of drugs. Morals and ethics be damned, there is a market (there always has been, and likely always will be!) for sex.

The only rational reaction is one of pragmatism.
You CAN keep sticking to your morals or ethics as a guideline for legislation. But in the real world, such is hardly more productive than praying for the victims. Because it will ALWAYS be easier to run a criminal enterprise in a prohibitive country than it will be for the country to eliminate ALL of the offenders. PERIOD.
In this light, it would seem that moral and ethical stances are worth little more than personal comfort, possibly even agents of absolution.
I didn’t do this . . . I’m on the right side of the situation.
Meanwhile, women and girls are still being trafficked out of exploited nations and murdered in an effectively lawless paradigm.

Over the past two decades, I have interviewed scores of men who pay for sex—in legal brothels and illegal massage parlors, and on the street. I have heard every justification from these men, including one about helping women feed their kids with the money exchanged for sex. Although prostitution—both buying and selling sex—is illegal across most of the U.S., very few sex buyers are ever arrested. Prostituted women, however, are heavily and unjustly criminalized, despite evidence that the vast majority are coerced and exploited into the sex trade.

2 words.

Coerced and exploited. I again wonder if this is just status quo tunnel vision.

The link in the paragraph above contains this:

If the demand to purchase people for sex did not exist, then opportunists such as pimps, traffickers, and exploitative adults would have no one to sell to. However, there is a demand, and a very profitable one. The selling of people sexually grossed an estimated $32 billion in 2012 (United Nation Office of Drugs and Crime, 2012).

The majority of those who purchase someone for sex acts have a regular consensual sexual partner (Durchslag & Goswami, 2008). The person purchased for sex is often viewed by the purchaser as less than human. This dehumanization of those involved in prostitution is a key factor in the high levels of sexual and physical violence perpetrated against them, as evidenced by these quotes from a 2008 study by Durchslag and Goswami:

In a confidential survey conducted by the Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation (2008, 66% of those interviewed who had purchased someone for sex said they believe women became involved in prostitution out of economic necessity. In addition, the study noted the following:

54% of those interviewed had exchanged drugs for sex.

19% had exchanged shelter for sex; other items of value exchanged included food, transportation, and clothing.

57% believed the majority of women in prostitution experienced some type of childhood sexual abuse.

32% believed the majority of women in prostitution entered before the age of 18.

20% stated they had bought sex from women who had been trafficked from other countries.

The qualitative responses of those interviewed in the survey that admitted to purchasing people for sex demonstrate that those driving the demand are well aware of the harm being done and that those they purchase are exploited:

Criminal Justice Responses to Purchasers of Prostitution

Educational programs and initiatives have been instituted to deter the sexual purchasing of others and to punish consumers. People who purchase others sexually are often refered to as “johns”. Therefore, the term “john schools,” describes programs designed to deter men from continually purchasing commercial sex. John schools provide information about the legal and health consequences of purchasing sex, the social dynamics that play out in prostitution, and sexual addiction (Gillings & Willough, 2010).

Proponents of john schools believe that these programs are the best way to lessen the demand for prostitution. On the other hand, there is research that suggests that john schools are not adequate deterrents on their own merits. A primary component of john schools involves requiring participants to pay a fee for the course; however, often this does not serve as a deterrent for the large population of customers that have substantial financial means. Many cite the cost-effectiveness of john schools using this fee-for-service model, but there is not substantial data indicating the true effectiveness of these types of programs. Although john schools might have their place in the spectrum of deterrence, there are other, more effective mechanisms for deterring the purchasing of commercial sex acts.

What have we learned from this pamphlet?

1.) Many sex industry workers are there due to coercion or exploitation

2.) Johns (at least the ones that tend to respond to surveys) tend to be assholes

So the solution to this problem is . . .  John Schools. Let’s make these men pay to take a class to educate (shame! Let’s be honest here) them out of ever paying money for sexual gratification again. Because that method worked SO well when it came to steming the market for drugs over the 50 odd years of the ongoing drug war.

This pamphlet is not helpful to the overall cause it claims to tackle. It’s just a condescending document which effectively enables EXACTLY the phenomenon it claims to be fighting.

Pragmatism saves lives. Moral grandstanding just drives the industry deeper underground.

Nevada is the one state in which prostitution—including pimping, brothel owning and sex buying—is legalized. It is allowed in only seven of its counties, but research into the Nevada sex trade shows that legalization has resulted in prostitution becoming normalized across the entire state. The majority of visitors to Las Vegas believe that prostitution is completely legal in the city. That allows men to easily justify paying for sex.

With debate currently raging in Nevada about whether or not to close its legal brothels, and pro-prostitution lobbyists in New York City now pushing for its sex trade to be decriminalized, it is imperative that the focus shifts from the women selling sex to the men who drive the demand.

That is why recently published research on men who pay for sex, by Demand Abolition (DA), a U.S. group that campaigns against sexual exploitation, is both timely and vital.

Its research shows that the majority of men in the U.S. choose not to pay for sex, but that the “creeping normalization” of the sex trade leads to a prevailing view that prostitution is a victimless crime. And in countries and states with legalized prostitution, rates of sex trafficking increase.

First off, I don’t think anyone should have to justify paying for sex. Period.

When it comes to Nevada, although having debate is a healthy thing, one benchmark that should be considered is risk analysis. Anti-prostitution activists feel that the data is on their side. But some also point out that the data has a distinctly cherry picked quality.

Even more misleading are No Little Girl’s charges that legal sex work makes a woman 26 times (or, as another statistic claims, 1,660 percent) more likely to be sexually assaulted than women in neighboring counties. While these stats are based on real FBI crime statistics, they only take into account a few years of data in just two Nevada counties. A broad look across all of Nevada — including counties with legal sex work where assault rates are low — show no correlation between assaults and the presence or absence of legal sex work.

Meanwhile, a number of studies of countries where sex work is legal have routinely found that legalization or decriminalization of sex work is often correlated with lower rates of sexual assault. When Rhode Island accidentally legalized indoor prostitution (a rewrite of its overly broad prostitution laws wound up deleting the language making it illegal) for a number of years, reported rapes declined by 31 percent after; when the Netherlands opened “tippelzones,” or areas where street prostitution is legal, reports of rape and sexual abuse declined by a similar percentage over the first two years.

This decline could be attributed to a number of other factors — including country culture or other laws related to sexual assault — but it’s worth noting.


None of this is to say that a legalized brothel system is perfect or above reproach. Nevada’s regulations dramatically limit who can participate in the legal sex work system — if a brothel doesn’t hire you, you can’t work legally. Since few brothels are interested in hiring men or trans women, the system is effectively closed off to those groups. Additionally, some of the expenses and registration requirements can feel punitive and off-putting, making it harder for the most vulnerable women to work safely and legally within the system.

It’s these types of restrictions that have led many human rights organizations, including Amnesty International, to argue that sex work decriminalization — or the removal of criminal penalties for sex work, without additional regulation or restrictions on who can sell sex — is preferable to some legal sex work systems, such as those found in Nevada, Germany, Amsterdam, and Tunisia.

Yet in spite of its flaws, the Nevada brothel system is still leaps and bounds ahead of the criminal penalties most of the country imposes on all people who choose to exchange sex for money. Rather than rolling back the progress Nevada has achieved, we should be looking to the state as an inspiration for pursuing even more progressive policies that empower and uplift people who choose sex work as an occupation.

But so long as we allow our arguments about sex work to be led by morality rather than harm reduction, we’ll continue to fall prey to the kind of knee-jerk anti-sex work zealotry displayed by No Little Girl. And our sex work policies — and the safety of sex workers — will continue to suffer as a result.

Truly understanding the lives of sex workers, and the policies that help them, requires putting aside our personal feelings about sexuality and listening to the experiences of sex workers. It requires recognizing that sex work is work, even if it’s work we’re not interested in or willing to do ourselves. It requires understanding that eliminating sex work is no more feasible than eliminating abortion — people will find a way — and that making sex work safer should be our collective goal.

Don’t think I could have said it any better.

Its research shows that the majority of men in the U.S. choose not to pay for sex, but that the “creeping normalization” of the sex trade leads to a prevailing view that prostitution is a victimless crime. And in countries and states with legalized prostitution, rates of sex trafficking increase.

Speaking of cherry picking, I return to this quote.

First off, I don’t disagree. It’s a matter of supply versus demand. Where a market is opened up, someone is going to fill it. In this case, the authorities have only tackled half the problem. Though they greatly reduced many of the risks involved in sex work, human trafficking was not considered as a factor.

Going about this the proper way involves us to collectively confront what is normally an icky topic for many of us, it would seem.


They have different reasons, from the religious to the ridiculous. But most of them leave no room for the acceptance of true sexual freedom. And no, I don’t mean freedom for pigs to go on raping sprees without consequence. I mean, the freedom for women to openly share their positive relationship with casual sex without having to dodge the idiotic double standards that societies are all too happy to promote.
It’s honestly hard to see how this doesn’t factor into the whole “prostitution is not justifiable. PERIOD” movement. When it comes to women open to (or embracing) sex work as a profession, I suspect they are not consulted because they are looked down upon.

Either way, the path to puting a big dent in human trafficking filling market voids with indentured sex workers is frankly, to promote the profession.
Yes, I know that even the most progressive societies are likely around 60 years behind embracing such a movement. But it is the only way. It is ridiculous that double standards still have so much power to hold down half of the worlds entire population. Enough with the high school antics.

It’s time for our species to collectively grow up.

And speaking of cherry picking . . . a segment from the study linked in the Truthdig article.

The article concludes: “The likely negative consequences of legalised prostitution on a country’s inflows of human trafficking might be seen to support those who argue in favour of banning prostitution, thereby reducing the flows of trafficking. However, such a line of argumentation overlooks potential benefits that the legalisation of prostitution might have on those employed in the industry. Working conditions could be substantially improved for prostitutes—at least those legally employed—if prostitution is legalised. Prohibiting prostitution also raises tricky “freedom of choice” issues concerning both the potential suppliers and clients of prostitution services.”

Thank you.

Back to the original article.

The DA research is based on the behavior and attitudes of johns. More than 8,000 adult men across the U.S. were interviewed, and a number of sex-trade survivors were asked to give their views on the research and make recommendations for change. One survivor involved in the research is Marian Hatcher. Hatcher, a victim advocate in the anti-trafficking division of Chicago’s Cook County Sheriff’s Office, was one of the peer reviewers.

“The report benefits survivors by acknowledging [that] the unequal playing field needs to be leveled, holding buyers accountable,” Hatcher says. “It provides victims and exited abolitionist sex-trade survivors [with] hope, hope that they will live in a society that provides exit opportunities and educates would-be buyers of the harms. I would like to see the policy recommendations in the report applied to both the illegal and legal sex trade. You cannot adequately impact one without the other. Together they promote the commodification of human beings, promoting violence against women and girls.”

The commodification factor is there, no matter what. All the education and deterrence in the world is not going to change this.

The answer is:

1.) Lessoning the inherent risks of an underground industry by moving it above board.

2.) Allow women to have true freedom of autonomy.

I’m starting to feel like I am being repetitive.

The DA interviews focused on “push factors” (why men pay for sex) and potential deterrents. The group considers the act of paying for sex harmful, both to the women who are exploited and to wider society, because a global culture of misogyny is on the side of the john. There are some universal similarities about men who pay for sex. Research I conducted with Melissa Farley, a clinical psychologist and coordinator of the California nongovernmental organization Prostitution, Research & Education, found that among U.K. johns, one key push factor was peer pressure from other men, within the culture of acceptance that surrounds prostitution.

The U.K. research concluded that even the lightest of deterrents, such as the threat of arrest, the risk of family members or employers being informed of johns’ actions, or details being added to a police database, can be effective. Aside from entrenched buyers, such deterrents would usually make men think twice about paying for sex.

The DA findings tell us that only about 6% of American men who pay for sex (outside the legal zones in Nevada) report having been arrested for it. When buyers perceive that risk, it could lead them to alter their activities. About one-quarter of buyers “strongly agree” that “the risk of arrest is so high I might stop.”

We are having (in some ways, have already had!) this conversation. Just switch out sex for marijuana use and procurement.
Yes, apples to oranges. None the less were dealing with an inevitable tide. If all of the might and resources of the United States Government could not stomp out drug use, how do you expect to completely stomp out an activity that is arguably even more of a human right?

We’ve been down this road. It has not helped. It WILL not help. PEOPLE ARE STILL DYING!

Shall we still keep digging in our heels, then?

The DA research found that what the group referred to as “high-frequency” buyers account for a disproportionately large share of the illegal sex trade. Around one quarter of active johns report paying for sex weekly or monthly, and these transactions account for almost three-quarters of the market. These buyers are more likely to have started at a young age, with the help or encouragement of others in their social networks.

There is a lot of money involved in the sex trade, with much of it going to pimps, brothel owners and drug dealers. On average, American sex buyers spend more than $100 per transaction. Prostitution generates vast profits—estimated at $1 billion a year in the U.K. and $186 billion globally. It is capitalism at its most ruthless and predatory, with human beings as the products.

How is it, then, that so many men consider the pinnacle of women’s freedom as being penetrated by multiple male strangers? And why have so many leftist individuals and organizations, such as the International Labour Organization and Amnesty International,  adopted the pro-prostitution line?

Who appointed you and your like-minded colleagues the official representatives of half of an entire global population?

And do you have any real world deployable solutions to this problem that are NOT completely tied to the rest of the world fully sharing your world view?

These so-called human rights organizations take the “sex work is work” line, despite the adoption of the Nordic Model, or, as it is increasingly referred to, the Abolitionist Model, by Sweden, Norway, Finland, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, Israel and France. Under this approach, prostituted people are decriminalized and given assistance in exiting the sex trade, but the buyers are criminalized. Although there is significant and growing support for the Abolitionist Model, those who believe in the inalienable right of men to buy sex consider it an abomination. When the law was being debated in France in 2013, a group of high-profile French intellectuals signed a petition that stated: “Some of us have gone, go, or will go to prostitutes—and we are not even ashamed.” They added, “Everyone should be free to sell their charms, and even to love doing it.”

A recent op-ed in Teen Vogue by a South African doctor, titled “Why Sex Work Is Real Work,” made the claim that “[t]he clients who seek sex workers vary, and they’re not just men. The idea of purchasing intimacy and paying for the services can be affirming for many people who need human connection, friendship, and emotional support. Some people may have fantasies and kink preferences that they are able to fulfill with the services of a sex worker.” Aside from the disgrace of a publication aimed at girls and young women promoting commercial sexual exploitation as a viable career option, such propaganda perpetuates feelings of male sexual entitlement.

Well, I guess I know where we stand on my previous proposal. Sex as a career opportunity . . .  NEVER!!!!!!

The op-ed actually discusses an interesting dynamic which isn’t often discussed openly. The fact that societies are growing more and more isolated. In particular, younger generations are entering a world which is often devoid of meaningful opportunities but filled with terrible role models. Though the vast majority of this isn’t tragic . . . some of it can go to REALLY dark places.

Where the sex trade could fit into this paradigm, is apparent. Though I have to be careful not to go the Peterson route, if people want to pay other people for companionship . . . so?

A person wants to pay an openly consenting partner to do things that are not typical behaviour in an ordinary bedroom?
Why should I care if they pay someone or meet someone on a bring like minds together app?

I’ve become convinced that author Julie Bindel is less concerned about saving lives than she is in forwarding an agenda. An agenda that is hard to describe as anything BUT anti-female autonomy.

The continued existence of the sex trade relies on misogyny, class prejudice, racism, colonialism and imperialism. “If leftists can’t see how harmful the sex trade is to women,” says Bridget Perrier, a Native Canadian survivor, “you would think they would give a damn about the racism and colonialism it is built upon.”

Many of the 50 sex-trade survivors with whom I spent time while researching my book on the global sex trade, “The Pimping of Prostitution: Abolishing the Sex Work Myth,” told me about the racism, bigotry and prejudice they faced as women of color. Indeed, many black sex-trade survivors link their prostitution experience to that of slavery. Vednita Carter, an African American sex-trade abolitionist, says, “The slave-trade era is where sex trafficking began for African American women. Even after slaves were free, black women and girls were still being bought and sold. Today, there are too many poor urban areas that middle-class men drive through for the sole purpose of finding a woman or girl of color to buy or use.”

In the U.S., prostituted women are disproportionately young African Americans and other women of color. One john I interviewed in a legal Nevada brothel told me that the main reason he paid for sex was so he could “try out different colors of chicks without dating them.”

I’m not going to take a black or Latino to meet my folks,” he told me, “but they sure are hot to fuck.”

In a country and a world that is built on the mistakes and flaws of the humans that constructed and run it, is it a surprise that this also shows up in the sex trade?

To say yes would be an indicator of extreme naivety.

Also, there is no need to keep backing up these claims using the quotes of assholes. We get the point. Some people are garbage.

According to the DA research, buyers and non-buyers hold strikingly different views on masculinity and sex buying. Non-buyers are much more likely than buyers to say that purchasing someone for sex involves treating females as objects, and that those actions exploit others.

1.) I have to wonder if the same feeling applies to the career prostitutes in Nevada who have no issue with their choice.

2.) Exploitation seems directly tied into how many opportunities are available OUTSIDE of the sex industry. If women are having to turn to sex work in lieu of having any other opportunities available, then why isn’t there more focus here?

These problems won’t be solved by moral grandstanding. Or feeling guilty.

Active buyers are very likely to say they are “just guys being guys” or “taking care of their needs.” But the research also found that many men who have bought sex in the past wish to stop. About one-third of active buyers interviewed said that they do not want to do it again.

Nevertheless, the strongest support for legalizing the U.S. sex trade, aside from the pimps and brothel owners, comes from buyers.

Many active buyers believe that the women “enjoy the act of prostitution” and “choose it as a profession.” During a recent trip to Amsterdam, I met a young man in the notorious window brothel area who told me he had first paid for sex when he was 12. “My father took me to a brothel, and said I would learn to be a man,” he told me. “It is legal here, so there is no problem.”

So, many buyers are naive.

This is something that a good non-judgemental public education campaign can hammer home. If it’s run in all public facing media spaces, it can be acknowledged without the need to actually seek out the information. A plus for those that might be seeing prostitutes on the down low.

But that is just the beginning. You know where I am going with this . . .

Prostitution is, in fact, fraught with danger. A review of homicides of women in street prostitution found that they are 60 to 100 times more likely to be murdered than other women. Johns and pimps are the main perpetrators of homicide and other violent crimes toward prostituted women—in 2017, between 57% and 100 percent of homicides of prostituted women in the U.S. were committed by sex buyers.

Research by Farley has found that men’s acceptance of prostitution helps to encourage and justify violence against women; DA research reached a similar conclusion. When men feel entitled to rent the inside of a woman’s body for one-sided sexual pleasure knowing that she is consenting because of the cash, it is no wonder that these men consider women to be subservient to them—an attitude that breeds contempt.

“Look, men pay for women because he can have whatever and whoever he wants. Lots of men go to prostitutes so they can do things to them that real women would not put up with,” one john told me. I have heard countless men describe the act of prostitution as masturbation without the effort.

The DA report concludes with recommendations that are endorsed by the sex-trade survivors who helped analyze the findings. One is to roll out public education messages that challenge the normalization of sex buying, and to focus on education and public health sectors to spread the word about the realities of the sex trade. Another is to implement mandatory minimum fines for convicted johns, which would go toward exit services for the women, education programs aimed at johns, and the policing of sex buyers.

When women are forced into seclusion when it comes to flaunting (or selling!) their sexuality due to societal discrimination, they end up in disproportionately more dangerous situations than if the transaction were to be legally condoned in a less risky environment. As long as prohibition is enforced on EITHER side of the fence (buyer or seller), women will remain in vulnerable situations. Sitting ducks for any and every person with any kind of malice intent.

Prohibition does not work.

Now, the final paragraph of the OP article:

The research could make a difference, by providing more evidence of the harms of prostitution, and by helping those struggling with the polarized debate on whether we are talking about “sex workers’ rights” and “women’s agency,” or the commercial sexual exploitation of vulnerable, prostituted people.

The 2 sides are not mutually exclusive.

What is needed, alongside such research, is for every one of us to imagine a world without prostitution, and to ask the question, “Why does it exist?” In a world where women and girls were liberated from male supremacy, in which we could live as equal human beings, prostitution would be starved of oxygen.


We know why prostitution exists. Most societies can’t handle dealing with the icky details in which actually tackling the problem constructively would entail. So as a result, you either have societies collectively plugging their ears and yelling “LALALA!” when concerns are raised, or instituting half measures. Which entails either decriminalizing half of the transaction OR legalizing but otherwise staying hands off. Actions meant to combat an issue that can no longer be ignored (DEATHS!), but at the same time, keeping the issue at arm’s length.

It’s time to grow up and move on from this puritanical nonsense.

Prostitution is dangerous at the moment. And it is very much tied to human trafficking. However, with a bit of collaborative global leadership with the end goal of legalizing and regulating prostitution, I think that this black market could be dealt a huge blow. Though this won’t totally eliminate the black market sex industry, it will remove a lot of the risk by empowering women to come out of the shadows and into safer spaces. Rather than being forced into some strangers vehicle (or other spaces wherein they are vulnerable), they might be able to meet in a controlled space (like a regulated brothel!). A place where raising the alarm is as simple as a scream, or the press of a button. A place where both genders (no, ALL genders) can exercise freedom of choice. Away from the judging eyes and prying fingers of agenda-driven activists of all stripes.

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