Exposure of Prostitution
This article entitled “Why Do (Some) Men Cheat?” seemed worth some comment.
In the article, three prostitutes asked customers about their experience of and reasons for using their services. The title of the article was noteworthy to begin with. Putting the “some” in brackets served to imply that it may be not some but all men who cheat. And why would the man be the one being seen to cheat when visiting a prostitute? Isn’t the prostitute also cheating a customer’s wife and family, not to mention any social obligation to respect boundaries around marriage?
The men’s answers provide insight into prostitution and contradict the “poor exploited women” picture.
Firstly, these prostitutes knew that the some of their customers were married or partnered and that when found out the men were likely to experience huge trauma and loss, risking their emotional and financial welfare and the welfare of any children who would lose the identity and security of their family unit at the very least (but more likely experience worse as their separated parents become embroiled in expensive Family Court battles and the children lose their relationship with their father largely or completely, possibly to suicide, given the moral opprobrium that will be heaped upon the father for his secret predilection). In the meantime, the prostitutes’ service distracted the men from addressing and improving dissatisfactions in their own relationships. But the prostitutes cared nothing for such risks or harms as long as they could profit financially.
Secondly, the men visit their prostitute often and their narratives suggested various degrees of addiction to the activity, one man actually using the words “addiction” and “withdrawal symptoms” (pun unintended!) and another the word “habit”. The prostitutes appeared happy to foster such addiction because they were able to profit from it. Most other addictions with potentially harmful effects tend to be discouraged, disallowed or strongly limited and controlled by governments rather than being legalized with little restriction. Is the exception for prostitution related to the fact that it is mainly women who profit?
Thirdly, the men demonstrate considerable delusion concerning the prostitutes. One saw the prostitute as experiencing pleasure in their sexual intercourse, moreso than did his recent girlfriend; another believed he had pleased the prostitute during intercourse. One believed his prostitute would never let him down, and the others expressed caring and trust towards the prostitutes, one even vowing to pay off the prostitute’s mortgage if he won a lottery and another seeing the prostitute as a really good friend. These men’s natural bonding, caring and protection instincts have become directed towards the prostitutes who gladly encourage this state of affairs through pretence at caring about, listening to and gaining pleasure (beyond copious $$$) from their customers. The reality of course is that the prostitutes would abandon these men as soon as it suited, or sell them down the river if that yielded greater profit, even more easily than married women can do to their husbands. So another risk the men face is that of emotional loss of bonds that were always predicated on pretence, and a sense of rejection and worthlessness. And, unlike helping professionals, for prostitutes there is no code of ethics, legally enforced or otherwise, holding them responsible for their customers’ emotional safety.
Fourth, the $$$ are significant. Although only mentioned once and without details, the money was “a few hundred dollars for a few hours”. Women’s sexual power means that through basic, relatively unskilled labour they can earn as much as highly experienced professional people who studied for years and worked for years more to be in that position (pun unintended!).
Fifth, notice that one of the prostitutes blames her ex who “stopped paying maintenance and she found herself struggling to raise their two children alone”. What might the real story be here? Another of the prostitutes also “found herself struggling to bring up two children on her own” after “her marriage broke down 10 years ago”, and this was the reason she became a prostitute. Well, the fact is that most fathers are keen to provide significant or equal care to their children. What happened in these cases for the fathers to become distanced from their children and their paternal roles? Further, these prostitutes appeared to work from home, presumably subjecting their children in some way to a procession of sexual customers. What do/did their children’s fathers think of that?
I am not particularly opposed to legalized prostitution, but I would prefer the trade to be better controlled to reduce risk and harm to individuals and to society. The Clark government’s legalization of prostitution involved serious denial about potential harm, promoting instead a “poor exploited women” story that was ironically shared by the religious opponents to legalization. Nobody dared to offend political correctness by appearing to criticize the prostitutes or their trade. This article, despite itself, may help to promote realism about the industry.