Prostitution: Men’s Entitlement and Accountability

By Eric Adriaans

Recently, there has been some debate among several well-known opinion-holders…namely Heather Mallick, Jackson Doughart, and Veronica Abbass … all on the subject of a recent prostitution bill. In their public dialogue, it seems to me that some people are talking past one another.

Prostitution is a complex issue well beyond my knowledge or expertise (probably also outside of the expertise of all of these opinion holders) – but there are some basic and fundamental attitudes that I think any non-expert can approach.

The word entitlement caught my attention as one of these basic concepts in this debate. Introduced by Heather Mallick, “male entitlement” appears to be a concept which gets people going. So, what does entitlement mean? I think entitlement refers to the concept that something is guaranteed to someone. So, interpreting Heather Mallick’s comments, I think she’s saying that prostitution emphasizes, in a very egregious way, that there are still men who think they have a guarantee of sexual access to women – and, by extension, that men still think they have a right to participate in oppressing women.

Doughart appears to think that Mallick’s position is problematic because “she by definition cannot empathize with the great many men who are depressed, anxious, and unwanted by women, and who, in a very small minority, seek the attention of prostitutes on account of their loneliness, not a desire to oppress women.” I’m not sure which “definition” Doughart is talking about, but probably not the definition of entitlement.

Is Doughart talking about the definition of empathize?

On the Public Health Agency of Canada website, I learned that “one in 7 adults (13.4%) identified symptoms that met the criteria for a mood disorder at some point in their lifetime, including 12.2% for depression and 2.4% for bipolar disorder. Studies have consistently documented higher rates of depression among women than among men: the female-to-male ratio averages 2:1.” It does lead me to the conclusion that any randomly selected woman is about twice as likely to “empathize” with issues of depression and mental health as any randomly selected man … so perhaps Doughart shouldn’t be referring to the definition of empathize.

Perhaps Doughart’s point is that some men are “unwanted by women.” Indeed, in Doughart’s article, he writes that he objects to “Mallick’s heartlessness and disregard for the legitimate sorrow of men who are diffident or otherwise unskilled in social relations with women.”

What I understand from Doughart is that he thinks men who don’t know how to talk to women (or perhaps more accurately, girls) or who have faced rejection by women are rather sad, and somehow, Doughart thinks this sadness justifies men’s use of the sex trade. Well, that and Doughart’s ear, apparently.

If that is the case, Doughart appears to be substantiating the observations of people like Mallick who identify “entitlement” as a real factor in the sex trade. How does one person’s sadness obligate another person (or category of persons) to participate in something as complex and problematic as prostitution?

It seems to me these sad fellows would be doing everyone a favour if they spent some time solving the real problem – their own lack of social skills and attractiveness to women. All this assuming any of us actually believe Doughart’s argument; personally, I think his argument is hogwash.

I am very skeptical of the notion that men-who-don’t-know-how-to-talk-to-girls, even “in a very small minority” as Doughart puts it, are the primary group out on the streets buying sex. Instead, it seems much more probable that “a great many” johns do indeed know how to talk to girls – right to the extent of knowing how to offer them money for sex. Not exactly timid would be my observation. It seems to me that Doughart and his friends (sad or otherwise) just don’t want to be accountable for their own actions and attitudes.

I’m also skeptical of the notion that the “legitimate sorrow” Doughart is proposing creates a legitimate entitlement to sex trade workers or generates a lack of accountability for the effects of the sex trade. People are accountable for the effects of their actions whether they intended them or not. Doughart’s suggestion that purchasing sex is “not a desire to oppress women” is obtuse – or, since his comments are directed mostly at women – maybe he just doesn’t know how to talk to girls.

What troubles me is that people like Doughart ignore something called “accountability.” Do people like Doughart think that a lack of empathy for “johns” makes those “johns” less accountable for their role in the sex trade?

I think it’s important to note that Doughart criticizes Mallick’s “empathy” and “sympathy” but not her understanding. Doughart seems to think that women are supposed to, what? . . . connect with the sexual longings of Doughart’s many sad, diffident friends? Isn’t that kind of attitude the whole point about the perceived male entitlement to sex? Are women supposed to be complicit in perpetuating the attitude that men aren’t responsible for their own actions?

I suspect that Mallick and Abbass understand the situation pretty well. I suspect most women understand the situation about twice as often as men, too.

Take Doughart’s line of thinking for a bit of a walk and see where you end up . . . I’m pretty sure you’ll conclude that the notion that people shouldn’t be held accountable for the outcomes of their actions, even if they didn’t intend those outcomes, is very problematic indeed.

42 thoughts on “Prostitution: Men’s Entitlement and Accountability

  1. I find this line of argument mystifying. Feminists… and even Canadian law has given women, with regards to reproductive choices, the absolute right to make decisions. Full stop.

    A woman can choose who to have sex with, and when, and at any point can abort, or give a baby away without legal repercussion. (Patriarchy fail, since men are only entitled to the first two)

    And yet, there is still an argument about whether women are entitled to formally choose to use their bodies for financial gain.

    It’s as if, all of a sudden the government has turned women into little idiots who can’t consent or decide for themselves, but only when money is involved. (Apparently even some feminists believe women are still really bad with money)

    Do women have a choice about who to have sex with, or not?

    Unless you think the government has a right to control what women do with their bodies, I don’t see how you could possibly let any ‘anti-prostitution’ law stand.

    There are still laws about making threats, extortion, and assault, that protect everyone from exploitation.

    As to the poor lonely menz… well… I’m sure most of us have the problem well in HAND… regardless of any legal questions. I’m still entitled to that… right?

    • Joe says ” I’m still entitled to that… right?”

      Are you waiting for an answer?

    • I wonder if we feel prostitution is a type if slavery. By “we” I mean, those who hold secular liberal values in the West. You cannot sell yourself into slavery (indentured slavery) so perhaps prostitution, with the idea of selling your body or “self” carries the same contamination as slavery. .

      • If “we” do, “we” would be a very confused group. Because by that logic, everyone who does any kind of work with their bodies is a slave. Fashion models are slaves because they’re monetizing their bodies for the enjoyment of people who pay for them to display themselves; professional athletes are slaves because they’re monetizing their bodies for the enjoyment of people who pay for the pleasure of watching the physical feats they can perform; even construction workers are slaves because they’re monetizing their bodies to provide a service for property owners. The only difference between a sex worker and any of those three (and many other) types of jobs seems to be merely that the client enjoys the body of the worker – or reaps the benefits of the service provided by the worker’s body – from a distance rather than close enough to touch.

        I think “we” should be a little more careful about throwing around a word as heavy as “slavery”.

        • I think we can be careful about not calling it slavery once it’s legalized. Until then, once again, it’s damned near slavery for a very large part, and should be called so.

        • Models are actually there to show clothing and sell clothing, not themselves. Athletes are there to win games, not sell themselves and construction workers are there to build things and repair things, not sell their bodies. All the above may be physical work, but it isn’t the end goal of the work.

          Lastly, if you read my comment again, you’ll see that I didn’t “throw around” the word, “slavery”, I wondered if prostitution to us feels like slavery. Whether it is or not, it still has what I called a “contamination” of slavery. Exploring why we have a reaction to something is miles away from saying that thing is that something.

          • They are not selling their bodies.

            They are selling a service. Sex is not a body part.

          • Models are actually there to show clothing and sell clothing, not themselves. Athletes are there to win games, not sell themselves and construction workers are there to build things and repair things, not sell their bodies. All the above may be physical work, but it isn’t the end goal of the work.

            As Ultra already pointed out, the exact same thing could be said about prostitution. Like many other jobs, their work is just “physical work”, where they use their bodies to provide a service – same as athletes (no, professional athletes are not “there to win games”, they are there to entertain fans and earn paychecks for doing so – if all they wanted to do was win games, they could win far more by not becoming pros and just totally kicking ass in rec leagues, and the paychecks they earn are directly proportional to how much the fans enjoy watching them perform), same as performers (are the Cirque du Soleil acrobats “selling their bodies”? they’re certainly not “selling their minds”), same as anyone who does physical work.

            In fact, arguably their work is less exploitative than professional sports, because they are doing far, far less damage to their bodies every “performance” than the average athlete (it seems to me that it is less cruel and barbaric to pay two sex workers to engage in consensual sexual acts they both enjoy (and enjoy being watched doing) to entertain an audience than it is to pay two people pummel the shit out of each other in a boxing or mixed martial arts match). Frankly, i can’t see any meaningful difference between sex work and work as a professional masseuse (for example), except that one has a nasty stigma attached to it that forces the work and the people who do it underground, where they are usually without normal social protections and thus horribly exploited.

            Lastly, if you read my comment again, you’ll see that I didn’t “throw around” the word, “slavery”…

            I didn’t say you did throw the word around, and in fact i assumed the exact opposite. I assumed you were using scare quotes around “we” because you meant “most Western secular liberals like me but explicitly not me”. I used them in the exact same way. If i had intended to say you were the one carelessly throwing the word around, i would have said “you”… not “‘we'”.

            … I wondered if prostitution to us feels like slavery. Whether it is or not, it still has what I called a “contamination” of slavery. Exploring why we have a reaction to something is miles away from saying that thing is that something.

            Well then let’s explore it.

            The only way prostitution can have the stink of slavery is if people believe that prostitutes do not and would never choose to be prostitutes if they had any other options that would allow them to avoid it. I think that’s obviously not true – I would imagine it won’t take long to find prostitutes who have [i]plenty[/i] of other options, yet continue to work as prostitutes because they like the work.

            But regardless of whether it’s factually true or not, perhaps that’s how “we” feel – people feel that no one would have sex for money if they had other options. If that’s so, it is probably because sex is seen as some kind of magical, romantic ideal. It’s only “good” if you’re having sex with your one, true love with whom you share an intimate connection, and the sex is an expression of that deep connection you share. It’s “bad” if you’re just bonking someone you have no connection with because you were bored, or it was hot, or you thought he/she was cute, or because you’d never banged someone with red hair before, or because they offered you twenty bucks. It seems to me that’s just being unjustifiably judgemental of other people’s decisions. Assuming the person is an adult and they’re not being coerced, what right does anyone else have to decide that their reasons for having sex aren’t good enough? Who gave those people authority over that person’s body?

            If you ignore the concerns about the health, safety, or possible exploitation of prostitutes, that’s really what opposition to prostitution boils down to. It’s other people asserting authority over people’s bodies. If it were really about health, safety, or preventing exploitation, the right thing to do is legitimize prostitution – not just legalize, legitimize: stop talking about it like it’s dirty and shameful, so that prostitutes can shamelessly be open about what they do, and get the support of society for their health, safety, and well-being.

            Frankly I find Jackson Doughart’s response a little creepy and entitled, and entirely off-point. Legalizing prostitution is not about the poor men who can’t get laid. It has absolutely nothing to do with what’s good for clients. It about is pulling the practice out of the shadows so that the people doing it can be protected by legal and social oversight. When prostitutes have the cops and the law supporting them, rather than threatening them, they will be a lot harder to victimize and exploit.

          • Apologies for reading you wrong….I’ve been strawmanned a lot in the recent past.

            As I thought about the “contamination” of slavery, I thought of Steven Pinker’s book, The Better Angels of Our Nature. In it, he talks about two things that may be relevant:

            1) The contamination concept – for example, wearing Hitler’s sweater would be “icky” because the object carries contamination of the “ickiness” of Hitler.

            2) The difference in the way men and women view sex. Pinker argues the following:

            The difference in the sexes’ conception of sex translates into a difference in how they perceive the harm of sexual aggression. A survey by the psychologist David Buss shows that men underestimate how upsetting sexual aggression is to a female victim, while women overestimate how upsetting sexual aggression is to a male victim. The sexual abyss offers a complementary explanation of the callous treatment of rape victims in traditional legal and moral codes. It may come from more than the ruthless exercise of power by males over females; it may also come from a parochial inability of men to conceive of a mind unlike theirs, a mind that finds the project of abrupt, unsolicited sex with a stranger to be repugnant rather than appealing.

            So I wonder, is it all mixed up with aggression, rape, etc.? Is there possibly all that mixed in the minds of people thinking about prostitution? Do females recoil more than males?

            Then there is the question that I believe the various articles have touched on…what do we mean by “prostitution”? Commenters may be thinking of completely different mental models from one another. Some prostitution is slavery: women sold into slavery and forced into prostitution. Even some marriages are prostitution (in Europe, there were cases where German officers forced women to marry them and if they refused, they would kill their families). The marriage could be seen as a slave like prostitution.

            Then there are the women that, to quote Bill Maher, “like being hoes”. What of them? They are doing what they like to do – this is yet another model for prostitution.

          • Ah, okay, I get what you’re getting at with “contamination”. And I think that it’s probably true that many people have mixed up prostitution and forced prostitution. I actually make a point of distinguishing that whenever i discuss the topic, because so many people assume all prostitutes are victims in some form or another, which is ridiculous. Forced prostitution is a serious and pervasive problem, but it’s one that can’t be solved by continuing to keep the practice confined to the shadows.

            But some of the leaps i see are just absurd. Some people can’t seem to distinguish between prostitution and “any kind of sex that’s coerced” or prostitution and “any kind of sex that is done for reasons other than committed (mutual) love”. Mixing up prostitution in general with forced prostitution is understandable (because unfortunately there’s way too much of the latter)… but how does anyone get from rape to prostitution? Rape is pretty much the exact opposite of prostitution – rape is person A forcing person B to have sex that A wants but B doesn’t (A has all the power, B is just a victim)… prostitution is person B not letting person A have the sex they want until A has made it worthwhile enough for B (for example, by payment) that B is okay with doing it too (B has all the power, A is going to get nothing unless B allows it).

            And how does anyone get from sexual aggression to prostitution? I can’t even fathom how that connection is made. Sure, maybe some clients want to be rough with the prostitutes they hire… but then there are surely some who want the prostitutes to be rough to them… and then there are certainly plenty of couples who have really, really rough sex without a hint of monetary exchange. And i mean, come on, there’s no shortage of sexualized domestic violence.

            And how could anyone consider forced marriages “prostitution”? That makes no sense whatsoever. The whole point of prostitution – the very definition of the term – is sex for money (or other goods). How is the woman or girl in a forced marriage getting money (or other goods) for the sex they are being forced to have? That’s so far away from making sense, it’s almost like it’s come back around the other side and lapped it. Forced marriages aren’t “prostitution”, they’re straight up rape (which, as i’ve already mentioned, is the complete antithesis of prostitution).

            I agree with you that there are people that probably make these connections, but i think it’s important that we call these notions out for the lunacy they are. Stigmatizing prostitution this way only harms and demeans the people who choose to become prostitutes, and keeps prostitution confined to the underground… which is where the abuses can happen with impunity. (And that even applies to Bill Maher, for using “hoe” like it’s a dirty word. There should be nothing at all shameful about being a whore/prostitute/harlot/hooker/rentboy/whatever – we should remove the old-fashioned religious moralizing stigma from those terms, same as we need to do for words like “godless” (often used to mean “evil”), “apostate” (often used to mean “traitor”), or “infidel” (often used to mean “person who should be killed”).)

          • And you, in your own right, can be accused of seeking to over-isolate the distinction between prostitution and forced prostitution, leaving yourself open to being accused of idealising, or highlighting the minority case, just to fit your argument.

          • And you, in your own right, can be accused of seeking to over-isolate the distinction between prostitution and forced prostitution, leaving yourself open to being accused of idealising, or highlighting the minority case, just to fit your argument.

            Except that anyone making that accusation would have to be conveniently forgetting or failing to notice that every single time I mention the reasons for legalizing prostitution, I explicitly explain that the point of legalization (and legitimization) is to bring the practice out of the shadows so that society can clearly see what is going on, and specifically so everyone involved in prostitution can get full social and legal protections. Anyone who accuses me of “idealizing” and ignoring the nasty bits would thus be an idiot, and not worth taking seriously.

          • “how does anyone get from rape to prostitution”

            Forced prostitution can very well be rape. The girl doesn’t want to do it. She is forced by her captors. Even if not exact, you can see why people with this mental model of prostitution would equate it with rape because the act is forced, not consensual.

            “how does anyone get from sexual aggression to prostitution?”

            Same way as above. Force because the girl is not compliant.

            “how is forced marriage getting money (or other goods) for the sex they are being forced to have”

            They are having sex with someone (in the marriage) so that person doesn’t kill their family. Again, no consent by the female but she takes the exchange of protecting her family for providing sex.

            Indeed, marriage itself can seem like formalized prostitution. Think about Beyoncé’s lyrics “if you liked it, you should’a put a ring on it”. IE I give you sex if you give me a material item (a ring). I’ve always found this rather amusing about marriage. Even the “giving away” as a virgin (in a white dress). It has all the trappings of an exchange of sex for money.

          • There is also the notion of forced prostitution, as in forced by societal inadequacies/circumstance.

            It would be great, if we lived in a perfect world and all decisions were pure individual choice, however these are the exact kinds of problems, surrounding choice, that make up our reality and have been doing so for as far back as we can see.

            Indeed, prostitution and pure slavery clearly have a long history of being tightly bound together.

            But even if we consider a woman practicing prostitution entirely out of what we might call her own free will, there are still factors which might dictate that she is forced to service maybe 10 or more men a day, to her great displeasure, whereas she would be happy servicing 1 or 2.

          • Forced prostitution can very well be rape. The girl doesn’t want to do it. She is forced by her captors. Even if not exact, you can see why people with this mental model of prostitution would equate it with rape because the act is forced, not consensual.

            I’m sorry, but I still can’t see how it makes any sense. That mental model is completely broken. Forced prostitution is (indirectly) rape (but not always!)… *but forced sex is actually rape*. Yet no one thinks all sex is rape (well, not most people anyway) simply because forced sex is rape, so how does it make sense to think all prostitution is rape just because forced prostitution (in some cases) is (indirectly) rape? The part that makes something rape is the forcing… not the details of what is forced. Forced sexual anything is rape, whether it’s prostitution, marriage, or missionary position. Consensual sexual anything is not rape, whether it’s prostitution, marriage, or missionary position. The same logic also applies to sexual aggression and marriage – consensual, okay; forced, bad.

            If i see someone trying to argue that prostitution is bad because forced prostitution is rape, i know immediately that that can’t be the real reason they’re against prostitution… because it’s gibberish – it’s as silly as saying “tonguejobs are bad because forced tonguejobs are rape”. Which leads me to suspect that their real motivation is the old puritanical religious sex-shaming (and woman-shaming) morality that they still haven’t managed to shake.

            Indeed, marriage itself can seem like formalized prostitution.

            I fully agree (and i’ve made the comparison myself in the past). So why is traditional marriage all good but actual prostitution bad?

            To me, the answer is obvious: there are attitudes that our society has, especially those involving sex, that are still stuck in the mire of religious morality. We’ve advanced in some areas – like accepting sex outside of marriage – but this is an area where we’re still fettered by our religious past.

            There is also the notion of forced prostitution, as in forced by societal inadequacies/circumstance.

            It would be great, if we lived in a perfect world and all decisions were pure individual choice, however these are the exact kinds of problems, surrounding choice, that make up our reality and have been doing so for as far back as we can see.

            Indeed, prostitution and pure slavery clearly have a long history of being tightly bound together.

            But even if we consider a woman practicing prostitution entirely out of what we might call her own free will, there are still factors which might dictate that she is forced to service maybe 10 or more men a day, to her great displeasure, whereas she would be happy servicing 1 or 2.

            You’re either forced, or you’re not. End of story. All forcing of any kind of sex or sexual service is bad, no matter who does the forcing or why. The hairs you are splitting don’t really exist.

          • I’m sorry, but I still can’t see how it makes any sense. That mental model is completely broken.

            It comes back to contamination. I bet it is the feeling many women get before thinking things through. They think of girls being forced to service men, against their will. I think this occurs because of how women and men view sex and sexual aggression differently (as outlined in the Pinker quote upthread). I’m trying to get to the reasons behind feelings toward prostitution, reasonable or not.

      • The prostitution industry seems to be factually heading more and more towards a slavery industry.

        Complete with container shipments of girls.

        • Farm labour has a history of slavery too. And still exists as slavery in some places. Outlaw agriculture.

          Marriage involves unpaid work. Every action can be monetized. Outlaw marriage… dating and friendship. Buy all the things!!!!!

          • Read my reply to Indi. My position never said prostitution=slavery. I’ haven’t decided what it is, but many people clearly have a feeling that it is. But go ahead, enjoy your argumentum ad absurdum over a strawmen.

          • Sorry. Farm labour may seem to… someone like slavery…

            This sort of equivocating feelings is nonsense.

            All social interaction can seem like an exchange of value… to unnamed someones.

            Sex is a form of social interaction that can seem like such an exchange.

            All sex can therefore seem like prostitution to someone.

            Prostitution can seem like an unfair exchange to someone.

            Unfair exhanges can seem like abuse to someone.

            Therefore all prostitution can seem like sexual abuse.

            So all sex can seem like rape… but because patriarchy… only women can seem like victims… to someone…

            And of course all victims can seem like slaves and all oppressors like Nazis.

            To someone with the right and proper feels.

            Oh gee.. I think I may have soiled myself.

          • This reductio ad absurdum brought to you, as always, by Ultra with the bonus Godwin’s Law thrown in.

  2. I thought that the statistics say that 9 out of 10 johns are in fact, married men?

    If that’s the case, another reason to be very skeptical of the notion that “men-who-don’t-know-how-to-talk-to-girls” are the primary group out on the streets buying sex.

    • I recall reading a stat that said a high percentage of prostitute purchasers were married men as well but I can’t recall where and I wonder how rsuch data was collected.

    • There are a lot of mythological stats brought up when anti-sex/anti-sex work believers start talking. I’d take any stat that you read with a heavy dose of salt, until you figure out what the source is.

  3. The obvious flaw here is that “entitlement” is not something you pay for.

  4. I’m mystified as to where this, what seems to be misplaced, concentration on “diffident” and “socially awkward” men is coming from. Possibly the movies?

    My impression of typical “Johns” are: overbearing, over-confident, do what ever they please types, usually also married, who if they didn’t happen to get any particular piece of tail that they spent 20 minutes trying to get, will just as easily head off to the prostitute’s right after.

    In fact, the notion that if it doesn’t work out, they can just pay for it, is probably where they get a large part of their confidence from.

    It’s definitely curious why people are so ready to fall for this “diffident” guy ruse. Probably to satisfy some sort of psychological need to transfer the profile to a different, undeserving, type.

    I dunno, but definitely strange.

    However, I do have beef with women who call themselves feminists, or even progressives, but are so easily dissuaded from talking about the bigger picture of lack of adequate childcare, lack of adequate representation, lack of adequate pretty much social everything, just because these topics usually bring on the largest and most menacing blowback from the very male entitlement that we still honestly see everywhere.

    And I do have beef with women who will complain to their heart’s content but stop short everywhere but privately, when it comes to calling out the still huge problem of women’s deference and contributions to male entitlement.

    • “My impression of typical “Johns” are: overbearing, over-confident, do what ever they please types, usually also married,” and “In fact, the notion that if it doesn’t work out, they can just pay for it, is probably where they get a large part of their confidence from.”

      In response, I can say that I have known men (casually) who were using the services of sex workers. After reading the interesting comments in this thread, I seem to be the only one.

      I met these men through a close friend in the brokerage industry during the pre-2008 mania when things were flying high and the money was flowing. Bubba’s impressions would seem to be spot on. There were a good number of brokers who went to sex workers every week – usually at lunch and definitely on the road. In one case, I was told one sex worker would literally go from room to room to room in the hotel. At the risk of being labelled an arm-chair psychologist, these men were as Bubba described – aggressive with an incredibly inflated sense of self – and all either married or with “attractive” girlfriends that they planned to marry.

      What I found particularly disturbing was their lax attitude towards using any techniques for safe sex.

  5. I find this bizarre. Women own themselves, and all parts of themselves. The have a right to charge money for any services they are able to provide with said selves, full stop. It has nothing to do with male entitlement other than men have an inherent right to purchase services of any kind from any woman who is interested in expressing her inherent right to sell those services.

    As for the lonely man trope, this is plainly inaccurate. Statistics do reveal that most men who go to prostitutes are married men, who in my estimation, are bored with their sex lives and/or enjoy having sex with women other than their wives, and don’t want the drama or obligation of an affair.

    Does prostitution represent a romantic ideal? Plainly not, but in so far as nobody is being coerced, it is a voluntary exchange, and therefore none of the government’s business.

    • That doesn’t obsolve society’s duty to better look out for women, however. Especially if the husband is spending half the income on premium prostitutes because he doesn’t want to debase himself with the cheaper ones, all the while his kids are having to skip their afternoon snacks and piano lessons to accommodate.

      • Oh noes!!!! Not the piano lessons! Not the snacks!!! Think of the children!

        • Dude, just because your father beat you regularly in drunken rages, DOES NOT mean that all children should have the same and that it’s the only sign of a loving father.

          Go learn the guitar on youtube.

          • I just took snacks from the piano kids at recess. Problem solved.

          • Look, all I’m saying is just try and remember, from time to time, that weird lady from across the street who used to sneak you strange foods wrapped up in large white paper napkins, as you laid a wet bloodied crumpled heap on your front lawn, because she was trying to feed you nutrients, which is what really resulted in you growing up big and strong.

          • I do so love your stories, tell me more…

          • Man you’re greedy.

    • It’s not supposed to represent a ‘romantic’ anything, that’s the point of it. Just as Sheen said you pay so the escort leaves, sex workers are also not looking for full time long term commitment. They provide a service, they’ve put the value on it in order to someone to access that service. If that ‘entitled’ client doesn’t see the value, they don’t pay, as in they aren’t ‘entitled’ to anything.

      People like to say the demand is there, so there is a supply. But in Canada, for example, the supply is legal, and the payment is legal, so the majority of clients partake because it is available, not because they have forced the supply to be available to them at their convenience.

  6. The focus on the psychoanalysis of the Johns is just bizarre in both examples. Would the same argument be made of gay men purchasing the services of a gay prostitute? Are they lonely? Are they socially inept? I think when you put it in that context, removing the worries about patriarchal oppression, it becomes much simpler. Some dudes like sex with strangers, and this is one method of getting it. They don’t have to diagnosed with some severe mental failings.

    And I guess it needs to be said, I have no interest in prostitutes of any gender.

  7. @Diana

    I wonder if we feel prostitution is a type if slavery.

    Well, I certainly don’t.

    Surely slavery is defined by the relationship between employer and employee – the former legally owns the latter, or exercises a degree of control comparable to legal ownership – rather than by the type of work performed. The migrant workers who are currently building World Cup facilities in Qatar, or at least a good many of them, are a lot closer to being slaves than are prostitutes who are working on their own terms and not being coerced in any way (probably a fortunate minority within the profession, I realise).

    For some people I’m sure engaging in prostitution would indeed feel like selling the “self”. However, there are artists who would probably say the same thing about selling their paintings, and nobody goes around comparing them to slaves. There are also artists who are happy to churn out one quick commercial piece after another with very little emotional investment, and they probably have their equivalents in the oldest profession as well. If by some miracle a woman had offered me fifty dollars to spend a night with her when I was young and unattached, would I have taken her up on it? I’m not entirely sure, but if I’d said yes it wouldn’t have been with any great sense of being degraded or temporarily enslaved.

    For that matter, if we have “bodily autonomy” and an expectation that signed contracts will be honoured, maybe legally competent adults should be allowed to sell themselves into slavery? That’s probably another discussion, though.

    • Take a look at my reply to Indi – I have some other ideas about “contamination” and perhaps how women and men look at sex. Also, the mental models of prostitution. I think the word has a broad set of meanings – some that could be slave like conditions and some that are not.

      Clearly there are reasons people are repulsed by prostitution and it must go beyond the puritanical. Take a look….

  8. Pingback: The Case for “Male Entitlement” | Canadian Atheist

  9. S. Korean ‘comfort women’ for US military sue state for forced prostitution

    I wonder if we can say that from an evolutionary psychology/sociology point of view, the only reason war exists at all is because men (and women) know they will be provided with prostitutes.

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