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Monday, August 10, 2015

The Sex Worker Debate

I just watched a documentary on sex workers - or more specifically the debate on them. Both sides of the debate agree that sex workers have no protection against exploitation, violence, and even murder. Making prostitution illegal means that the women (and occasionally men) get the full force of the blame. They "obviously deserved" to be beaten up because they dared to sell their bodies for money, or worse, they deserved to work for a pimp who felt that they were absolutely nothing but property that works to death to make him (her) money.

The other side of the debate is a bit more sensible to me. Legalize it. However they also go wrong because the countries who have more famously legalized it did so by shifting the crime and the blame to the men who buy sex from the prostitutes. They claim that this supports the women by giving them access to healthcare and support. They no longer go to jail, bear the brunt of the shame and stigma, and can work to change their lives. It has actually decreased prostitution because now that the men go to jail if caught instead, they have stopped using prostitutes as much.

I'm willing to bet that the crime rate for rape has gone up. That law - and those who defend it - have basically said that normal men - the ones who actually obey the law because they are otherwise decent men, now have no legal outlet for their needs, and make no mistake, they are NEEDS.

All humans have a biological need to have sex. Both men and women. The root of the problem is that women - usually mothers with younger children, and some older women in general - have a diminished sex drive. Some women just never really wanted sex, and some dry up at some point for various reasons. This does not mean that they don't love their husbands/significant others. It simply means that THEY do not want sex. Or more specifically, they probably want sex, they just can't get into the mood to actually have it.

Thus the man who has a strong urge to have sex but is paired with a women who has little to no sex drive might decide to cheat on his wife with another woman, OR he might go to a prostitute in which there is no emotional attachment. This paid sex worker might do things for him that his woman never liked - such as blowjobs or anal. He gets his needs met and can go back home to his wife happier and more attentive. I think she might even be relieved if he doesn't pressure her for sex.

In a perfect world, he will have asked her for her permission and she will have gladly given it, but sadly, this is not a perfect world. Women are raised believing that if their man wants sex with another, there is something wrong with her and she should be upset and offended. If a man legitimately wants to have a calm and serious discussion in which he asks his woman with no libido if he can have permission to have sex with someone else, chances are very likely that she will flat out say no.

This is what I love about polyamory and open relationships. Couples can talk openly about these things and not get upset. Often a satisfactory solution can be found. Maybe just maybe, a valid solution to the woman's dry spell might be finding a new lover of her own to reawaken her passion. I submit that she might like to take advantage of a male sex worker, shrugs.

Anyway, getting back to the sex worker debate, I feel that it should be legal. End of story. Make sex work legal, but give the workers and customers protection. For one, make each worker independent. Make it illegal for pimps to use and abuse them. They work for themselves period, and if they want to join together to for a co-op slash brothel, they can so long as they are part owners rather than simple workers. Allow these women to run their business in whatever manner makes them feels safe - such as hiring bodyguards, or maybe working from home with someone who can check up on her if things sound like they're going wrong.

Basically this goes back to consent. I wrote about this not too long ago. Consent is everything and if a woman feels that she wants to have sex for money (or a man) then she should be allowed to. She should not be criminalized or shamed. There are some things that only a person that really loves sex can do for others. I think that if a person loves to be spanked, but their significant other does not, then it just makes sense to be allowed to find someone that likes to spank for playing.

Prostitution has been illegal for a very long time, but it hasn't stopped because you can't stop men needing sex. Sometimes kinky and adventurous sex. I will admit that a lot of women who become prostitutes do so because they are abused or forced into it. Some feel that they have no other choice. These women should be helped and encouraged to change their lives for the better.

I'm not really talking about those women who are forced into prostitution, because I think that if the industry in general is legalized and all of the power of it given to the sex workers themselves, then the chances of being forced into it are likely to go down. I'm talking about the women (and men) who legitimately want to have lots of sex and wouldn't mind getting paid for it.

For example, if someone likes to receive pain during sex, but is in love with someone who is squeamish about giving pain, then it only makes sense that the masochist seek out the sexual pain from someone else. Why not let them earn a living while they're at it?

Just like domination. Everyone has heard about a Dominatrix at some point, and most people think that knowing a professional Domme would be awesome. She's performing a service to men who want to be submissive and dominated. I really don't see why her service should be illegal. She's consenting, he's consenting. This consent is symbolized by an exchange of money. Why is it anybody's business what they are doing?

Bah! Thinking about things like this makes my head hurt. Basically, I'm saying that prostitution - like all sex - should be based on consent. If it's consensual, then it shouldn't be illegal. Making it illegal not only takes away the ability to consent to a paid sexual experience, but it also places all the power of such a situation into the hands of people who just want to use others as a commodity - a cash crop, if you will. Taking away the consent of the worker doesn't stop her from being a worker, it just forces her to work for someone else, and then if she tries to complain or quit, it's her who bears all the brunt of the so called crime.

I mean think about it, she can't exactly go to the police and say: "I want to stop being a prostitute but my pimp won't let me!" Because then the police would just arrest her, charge her with a crime, and then throw her back on the streets when she's done her time or paid her fine. She end up right back in the hands of her pimp, and he'd just beat her for trying quit.

It's a sucky situation all around, but I truly believe that legalizing the situation would give the sex worker the power to protect herself, say no if she doesn't want to for any reason, and even quit when she's had enough. Not to mention, legalizing it would give the workers the ability to get medical care and STD testing. This would not only protect them but also the customers. They'd be paying taxes, which could boost a state's revenue.

Can anybody think of a good reason why this SHOULDN'T be legal???

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