Good piece on sex work by Laurie Penny

(498 Posts)
SolidGoldFrankensteinandmurgh Thu 20-Dec-12 15:43:42

Here. She puts it a bit more elegantly than I usually do...

CailinDana Thu 20-Dec-12 16:02:35

Interesting article. I have to admit prostitution is something I find hard to come to terms with. For me, the thought of selling sex seems absolutely abhorrent, and I just can't imagine being ok with it. So I suppose that puts me in the "saving women from themselves" camp - I would always assume, however erroneously that a prostitute has been pushed into for some reason, rather than doing it by choice. That said, I freely admit I haven't a clue - I have never met a prostitute and I have no idea what their life is really like.

I would be interested to know what your thoughts on this are Solid - what's the political argument that this piece comes from? I see what she's saying in the article, but would she be in favour of regulated brothels and prostitution being presented as a career choice on a par with any other? Or is that missing the point?

StewieGriffinsMom Thu 20-Dec-12 16:35:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

StewieGriffinsMom Thu 20-Dec-12 16:39:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AlexanderS Thu 20-Dec-12 16:54:04

"The UK Feminista founder, Kat Banyard, who does stalwart work training activists, claimed in the Guardian that "astronomical rates of post-traumatic stress disorder" among sex workers are evidence of "the inherent harm at the heart of this transaction". That there is little evidence that sex workers experience any more or less sickeningly unacceptable levels of rape and childhood abuse than women who don't sell sex, according to a study by the Journal of Sex Research, is beside the point."

Um, you can have post-traumatic stress disorder without being raped or abused. I read somewhere about a well-respected study that showed prostitution tends to destroy a woman's sexuality - generally prostitutes eventually get to a point where they no longer have sex for pleasure. Which is common sense if you think about it - I don't think I'd enjoy sex any more if I had to do it over and over with men I didn't fancy, even if it was my choice to do it for the money. This same study showed that prostitutes tend to feel contempt towards their clients, which can't help either. Oh, it must be a miserable business.

MooncupGoddess Thu 20-Dec-12 16:58:13

The comments underneath are worth reading.

I find it quite odd that the article doesn't mention men at all... and this paragraph is very strange:

'This sort of ugly moral judgement is what feeds the myth, widespread amongst both clients and law enforcement, that it’s impossible to rape a prostitute. So-called 'radical' feminist groups point to high rates of rape and assault experienced by sex workers as if this were an inevitable, natural consequence of selling sexual services rather than an atrocious working condition made actively worse by the fact that so many sex workers are even more afraid than other women to report their rapists to the police - particularly if they are black, Asian or transsexual. It’s as if someone who sells sex should have no expectation of consent at work.'

I have never yet met a radical feminist who thinks it's impossible to rape a prostitute. It's a bizarre thing to say.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Thu 20-Dec-12 17:02:01

MooncupGoddess, I think she's saying that clients and law enforcement subscribe to the myth that a prostitute cannot be raped, not that RadFems do.

AlexanderS Thu 20-Dec-12 17:09:26

I don't know this for sure, but I suspect even if prostitutes were quite happy to report rapists to the police they would still be more likely to be raped because by its very nature prostitution encourages the objectification (and therefore abuse) of women.

MooncupGoddess Thu 20-Dec-12 17:11:27

Well, one can read the beginning of the paragraph like that... but the next sentence is all about rad fems, and she leads straight from that to 'It's as if someone who sells sex should have no expectation of consent at work.'

OldLadyKnowsNothing Thu 20-Dec-12 17:17:12

Actually, thinking about it, the RadFem attitude is that a prostitute is raped every time she has sex with a punter, so hardly likely to deny it happens.

StewieGriffinsMom Thu 20-Dec-12 18:19:28

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LapsusLinguae Thu 20-Dec-12 23:13:08

What changed my mind was beginning to listening to sex workers who they say that what they need is protection from abuse, better conditions at work and the ability to work without fear of arrest, thank you very much.

I don't like this implies.

Radfems want sex workers to have protection from abuse! Also to remove fear of arrest (Norwegian model).

I need to re read her book (female flesh ) loads of that seemed very radical when I read it...

LapsusLinguae Thu 20-Dec-12 23:13:42

*don't like what this implies

SolidGoldFrankensteinandmurgh Thu 20-Dec-12 23:17:27

I think perhaps what she was getting at is that the insistence by some feminists that sex work is always rape is another denial of the agency of the sex worker; not allowing the sex worker to distinguish between sexual activity that is pre-agreed and paid for, and a sexual assault where there is no agreement and no pay.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Thu 20-Dec-12 23:46:50

Radfems want to protect prostituted women (they don't like the term "sex worker") from abuse by denying them an income stream, and putting them at risk of homelessness.

Radfems have their view of "abuse", sex-workers (and sex-positive feminists, aka funfems) have a different viewpoint.


KRITIQ Fri 21-Dec-12 00:37:36

There are feminists who would not describe themselves as either radical feminists nor liberal/libertarian feminists who believe prostitution is a form of violence against women (and largely homophobic violence where sex is bought from men and boys,) that selling sex should be decriminalised but that seeking to purchase sex should be an offence and that increased resources are needed for effective programmes to support those leaving or who have left prostitution.

Penny's article isn't based on evidence, but rather her conversations with a handful of people who are currently involved in prostitution. More mileage would be gained talking also to those who have left prostitution. In my experience, when one feels "stuck" in an undesirable situation, you sometimes sort of lie to yourself that things are okay as a way of coping. Fibbing to others that all is tickity boo may be an extension of that.

Frans1980 Fri 21-Dec-12 05:55:06

This is interesting to watch. Recently on Sunday BBC politics Dr. Brooke Magnanti a former sex worker debates with a rather nervous and hesitant MSP Rhoda Grant over a consultation (which is now closed) over criminalizing the purchase of sexual services.

MSP Margo McDonald makes an excellent point around the 3 min mark. If a man is arrested on suspicion of paying for sex, then to get a conviction the sex worker will need to give evidence against him in court. Do you really think that is going to happen? Do you think sex workers are going to want all their customers in prison?

As for the whole "reduce demand" thing I pretty much doubt it. Have the laws on drugs stopped people getting hold of cannabis for example? If anything any clients who are deterred will be the ones who treat the sex workers well. The abusive/dangerous clients certainly aren't going to be put off by any new laws.

Another good point Brooke makes is at the moment with sex work being legal sex workers and clients are often the best source of information on trafficking which they pass onto the police (that's right, clients of sex workers often inform the police if they suspect the worker they were with is trafficked).

Frans1980 Fri 21-Dec-12 05:56:37

Radfems want to protect prostituted women (they don't like the term "sex worker")

I get the impression sex workers themselves detest the term "prostituted women".

StewieGriffinsMom Fri 21-Dec-12 11:07:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SolidGoldFrankensteinandmurgh Fri 21-Dec-12 11:55:51

Kritiq: And there you go again, insisting that sex workers don't know their own minds and you know better than them.

Frans1980 Fri 21-Dec-12 13:50:41

I said I got the impression I didn't say it was fact.

The only people I've noticed use the term "prostituted women" are the radfems.

Frans1980 Fri 21-Dec-12 13:54:51

A lot of sex workers use the term to try and enforce the fact what they are doing is work, and they should have the same rights as any other job.

Countries which do implement laws against sex work often do so without consulting the views of sex workers. It must be the only profession where that happens.

ThaliaS Fri 21-Dec-12 23:29:09

"The only people I've noticed use the term "prostituted women" are the radfems."

That's such an obvious lie. Prostitution is now and has been for many, many years called prostitution and the women in it have been called prostitutes by everyone who doesn't use nasty slang terms to call them worse. On the other hand "sex worker" is ideological jargon mostly known only to in-crowd persons which serves to blur lines between various sexual exploitations. Prostitution is different from stripping is different from phone sex operator, but "sex work" puts Dita Von Teese's face on the magazine cover as the new face of "sex work" instead of the non-white, impoverished young women who make up the majority of the world's prostitutes.

Laurie Penny trying to pin the blame for male violence against women on other women is no better than all the other anti-feminists who try to blame women for men's violence.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Fri 21-Dec-12 23:33:13

I don't think it is a lie. Prostitutes have indeed long been called prostitutes, but there's a difference between a woman who works as a prostitute, and a "^prostituted woman^" who has her prostitution forced upon her. Active, rather than passive, although of course Radfems don't believe that anyone, anywhere, has "freely" made the choice, and they deny the agency or free will of prostitutes.

Ideological jargon indeed.

ThaliaS Fri 21-Dec-12 23:38:15

To 99.9% of people there is no difference between "prostitute" and "prostituted woman" and any differences there might possibly be are not determined by whether she is forced or not. Public consciousness of prostitution is not where you think it is.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Fri 21-Dec-12 23:47:02

There is a huge difference to prostitutes, don't their feelings/voices count? Oh, no, not to Radfems, how silly of me.

ThaliaS Fri 21-Dec-12 23:51:20

How silly of you indeed.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Sat 22-Dec-12 00:02:56

I find it interesting that the only group of women whose voices are routinely ignored, shouted down and insulted by Radfems are prostitutes. I wonder why that is?

Remind me, when Radfems were shouting about 80,000 trafficked sex-slaves working in British brothels, which resulted in not one but two multi-million pound police operations, involving 55 police forces nationwide raiding brothels on and acting on "information" (Operations Pentameter I and II)... how many convictions were there?

Personally, I can't help feeling that that money and those resources would have been better spent on, ooh, I dunno, DV fast-track courts? A bit of DV training for police, prosecuting solicitors etc?

But no, not if you're a Radfem. You go, gurl!

Frans1980 Sat 22-Dec-12 02:59:48

There are supposedly hundreds of thousands of trafficked sex slaves, so why can't we find them? If there were as many as claimed a UK-wide crackdown involving all UK police forces busting into flats, saunas and brothels would at least find some don't you think?

Such operations cost a heapload of money. And countries which enforce anti-prostitution laws spend so much money trying to enforce them. And in Sweden the money comes from funds that could have been used for social work (page 38 of link below).,Rights&Health-EN.pdf

Frans1980 Sat 22-Dec-12 03:04:45

"Personally, I can't help feeling that that money and those resources would have been better spent on, ooh, I dunno, DV fast-track courts? A bit of DV training for police, prosecuting solicitors etc?"

I agree. I feel busting into random homes and brothels all over the country to catch sex workers in the act "in case they might be trafficked" isn't the best way to spend money. Perhaps spending it on services for workers like giving them free STI checks or free condoms or services to help them leave the industry (if that's what they wanted) would be a better use.

ThaliaS Sat 22-Dec-12 19:36:51

Having just days ago read about Susana Trimarco and her struggle to find her sexually enslaved daughter, I'm not going to waste my time debating rape deniers who say there's no such thing as slavery.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Sat 22-Dec-12 22:13:56

Er, I think you're the first person on this thread to even mention slavery. confused And wtf is a "rape denier"?

SolidGoldFrankensteinandmurgh Sat 22-Dec-12 23:02:09

No one is denying that slavery and trafficking exist. The insistence that all sex workers are trafficked slaves, even the ones who say they are not, is what is harmful. There is also trafficking and slavery involved in other industries such as catering, agriculture, domestic work and clothing manufacture, but no one makes a big deal out of telling the people who work in those industries of their own free will that they are deluded or lying.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Sat 22-Dec-12 23:15:54

The Chinese cockle-pickers who died in Morecambe Bay were trafficked, but not for sexual purposes. People still pick cockles in Morecambe Bay.

Frans1980 Sun 23-Dec-12 01:43:22

Exactly. When people think about "trafficking" they generally think about women forced into prostitution, but don't forget people are also trafficked for non-sexual work eg labour.

I haven't seen a single person on this thread deny trafficking exists. But wildly exaggerating trafficked statistics to create scaremongering and trying to paint all sex workers as victims and all clients as sex predators will benefit noone.

Anaitis Sun 23-Dec-12 02:31:24

I just don't understand why it's OK to buy sex from anyone.

Frans1980 Sun 23-Dec-12 04:26:32

"I just don't understand why it's OK to buy sex from anyone."

If it's between consenting adults indoors in private what's the problem?

StewieGriffinsMom Sun 23-Dec-12 10:54:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SolidGoldFrankensteinandmurgh Sun 23-Dec-12 12:35:33

I don't think that argument holds water, actually. To use the writer's example of it being 'shocking' to offer payment for a family festive dinner: there's nothing shocking about it at all, it's something that some people actually do and the world doesn't end. There are all sorts of activities that people engage in out of friendship, affection, duty, idealism, for sheer pleasure which some people mightalso do in exchange for cash: cooking meals, playing musical instruments, any of the performing arts, giving sympathy and advice (people pay for counselling, and being a counsellor can sometimes be boring and/or distressing).

People who object to the exchange of money for sexual activity are people who have an issue with sex in that they consider it such an intensely different activity to anything else human beings do, that they can't accept it simply isn't such a big deal to others, and that people can choose to engage in sex for money because they find it OK, neither delightful nor horrific, and as such they should have a right to do that.

AnyFuckerForAMincePie Sun 23-Dec-12 12:46:56

The high rate of PTSD in ex-prostitutes might also point to the fact that they also attach a "different value" to selling sex as opposed to selling, for example, carrots

OldLadyKnowsNothing Sun 23-Dec-12 14:09:26

Do we actually know the rate, high or otherwise, of PTSD in ex-prostitutes? Do we actually know how many people in the UK have even worked as prostitutes? How many tried it once or twice and didn't like it; do they count as ex-prostitutes? How many times, or how long, do you have sex for money for you to be considered a prostitute, and does every experience you have afterwards have to be viewed in that light? Do ex-prostitutes declare themselves as such at every available opportunity?

Or do we only look at stats for "people we treat for PTSD" and consider the percentage of ex-prostitutes to be high?

I imagine (but I can't be arsed hunting for numbers) that the percentage of "people we treat for PTSD" who are ex-military will be "high" (given there are charities aimed specifically at them, and not at ex-prostitutes) but I don't see a strong demand that we stop fighting wars.

FestiviaBlueberry Sun 23-Dec-12 14:37:08

"So-called 'radical' feminist groups point to high rates of rape and assault experienced by sex workers as if this were an inevitable, natural consequence of selling sexual services"

It's an inevitable consequences of interacting with men who don't believe women are really human. Men who believe women are human, do not believe that they have the right to stick their cocks in them and use them as wank-socks, just because they've paid for the privilege.

Whenever this topic is discussed, the people who are in favour of the sex trade, never want to discuss the sort of men who are prepared to buy the right to use a woman's body as a masturbatory aid without her enthusiastic participation.

The rape and assault dangers are precisely because of the nature of the clientele - it doesn't matter what legal rights you get, whether the brothels are equipped with clean sheets, whether you get the right to paid holiday and sick pay, the sort of men who feel entitled to buy women's bodies to use as they wish, make them disproportionately more dangerous to women who permit them access to their bodies, than interactions with the average man. They HATE women and they often express their hatred, during encounters with women they have paid to sexually abuse.

No one ever wants to discuss the attitudes of the clients. And how dangerous they are. And how legitimising of those attitudes, support for the sex industry is.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Sun 23-Dec-12 14:47:34

Teela Sanders' research suggests that men who use the services of prostitutes are indistinguishable from "the man in the street". The vast majority do indeed at least hope the prostitute isn't horrified/traumatised/trafficked, and is happy in her work. As noted earlier, a trafficked/traumatised/abused/forced prostitute's most likely saviour would be a punter; who else would know?

Of course, just as there are abusive wankers in real life (see Relationships forum) there are abusive wankers who pay prostitutes. But at least prostitutes in brothels have a chance of their screams being heard, and help appearing. A woman working the streets has no time to even start to assess a punter when he's anxious not to be arrested.

FestiviaBlueberry Sun 23-Dec-12 14:54:02

Oh that's all right then.

Let's just support men's right to treat women as wank socks then. Becuase some men do in normal everyday life, let's give them the right to pay for it and call it a legitimate transaction.

And again, we are accepting men's right to treat women as lesser human beings by accepting the argument that because so many of them do that in everyday life, we might as well commodify it and give women the chance to make money from men's god-given entitlement to abuse us.

No. We deny their right to abuse us.

The problem with all these arguments around prostitution, is that they ignore the actual context of patriarchy - the actuality of unequal power-relations. If men and women were equal, prostitution as a thing wouldn't matter. But we're not and until we are, it has to be dealt with in real terms, not in abstract ones.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Sun 23-Dec-12 14:59:55

And in real terms, working as a prostitute pays significantly better than working in Tesco, and the hours can be to suit. If you're not the sort of person who is traumatised by having sex for cold, hard cash, why should we deny you the right to do just that?

FestiviaBlueberry Sun 23-Dec-12 15:21:38

Because your right to do that, impacts on the well-being of every other woman in the world. And particularly on the women who do not make the choice to sell their sexual services in a non-coercive context.

And until it doesn't, the well-being of the majority is more important than your right to sell sex IMO. Just as with every other thing in the world - when it causes more harm to society than it brings benefit to you, then you shouldn't be insisting on your right to do it.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Sun 23-Dec-12 15:30:57

In what way does an individual choosing to earn cash through prostitution "impact on the well-being of every other woman in the world", and in what way is that different from any other way of earning money? It could easily be argued that working for anyone else supports an exploitative capitalist system which oppresses women worldwide.

grimbletart Sun 23-Dec-12 15:58:48

* The vast majority do indeed at least hope the prostitute isn't horrified/traumatised/trafficked, and is happy in her work*

'Hope' being the relevant word in this sentence.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Sun 23-Dec-12 16:03:18

Do you spare as much thought for the person working the checkout in your local supermarket late on Xmas Eve?

SolidGoldFrankensteinandmurgh Sun 23-Dec-12 16:13:13

Festivia: that's one of the arguments the patriarchy uses against women: that what any woman does affects every other woman therefore women should always put other people's interests ahead of their own.

And, actually, in practical terms, (speaking from personal knowledge), it's often those who have chosen to sell sexual services who offer non-judgemental practical help to those who have been forced into doing so. Sex workers who are fighting for their right to work without harassment and stigma, violence and exploitation, are also helping other women rather than harming them, same as everyone fighting for better working conditions is helping other workers.

FestiviaBlueberry Sun 23-Dec-12 16:45:49

Yes, point taken SGB but my point isn't that women should put other interests ahead of their own: it's that they should put their own interests ahead of their own IYSWIM. I think we are just going to have to disagree on this as usual. "Sex workers" are missing the point, if they think that legalising their abuse by men who don't think they're human, is the way to get full human status.

Prostitution is stigmatised because patriarchy needs a bogeywoman to keep other women in check; it will always be stigmatised while we have patriarchy, because that's why it exists. No amount of fighting for better conditions, better pay etc., will stop the stigma and de-humanisation of a prostituted woman or any other woman who doesn't conform to male-focused feminine behaviour - single women, single mothers, lesbians etc. If you leave out the context of the struggle, you leave out reality IMO.

AnyFuckerForAMincePie Sun 23-Dec-12 17:53:26've "never seen a strong demand for us to stop fighting wars" ! ?

Are you serious ?

OldLadyKnowsNothing Sun 23-Dec-12 17:55:02

Yes. Where are the repeated attempts to outlaw wars through parliament?

AnyFuckerForAMincePie Sun 23-Dec-12 18:00:39

Attempting to say that the rights of men to pay women for sex is absolutely ok because other bad things like x, y and z happens is nonsensical

it's possible to campaign against more than one fact, you can have objections to as many damaging scearios as you like

AnyFuckerForAMincePie Sun 23-Dec-12 18:00:46


OldLadyKnowsNothing Sun 23-Dec-12 18:03:14

I'm saying nothing about the rights of men to buy sex, I'm talking about the rights of people to sell sexual services if they choose to do so.

grimbletart Sun 23-Dec-12 19:03:28

Do you spare as much thought for the person working the checkout in your local supermarket late on Xmas Eve?

Oddly enough I was in my local ASDA this morning at 10am. As the check out young lady - her name was Rachel - was putting my stuff through the till I asked her when she finished and she said 5pm tonight, but working Christmas Eve until 11pm and then on Boxing Day again. I said you will be exhausted won't you - I don't envy you having to do that and remain so cheerful, but she then said she was saving to buy a house so was glad of the extra shifts and I commiserated with her on the difficulty of getting a mortgage.....

I wonder how many punters ask if their ladies are OK, if they are exhausted and when they will have time off, or why they are working that day, or even bother to ask their name?

I am having a difficulty equating the the problem of being on duty on Christmas Eve once a year with that of being on permanent semen depository duty I'm afraid. (Oh, and for over twenty years I used to be on call on Christmas Eve (alternating with Boxing Day).

mellen Sun 23-Dec-12 19:07:38

"I don't see a strong demand that we stop fighting wars."

Really? I think most people would rather that war didn't happen.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Sun 23-Dec-12 19:15:56

Most people might prefer that wars don't haooen, but there is no-one trying to outlaw them, is there? Instead we have rules about how to conduct them.

You're obviously one of the nicer customers, grimbletart, I've just been reading a thread by people who work with the public and the things some customers feel entitled to do and say are shocking.

And yes, I daresay many punters do like to chat a bit, or do you imagine than an hour-long meeting is all shagging?

rosabud Sun 23-Dec-12 19:22:05

So why aren't men selling their sexual services to women then? I know there are a few examples of this, but the men involved aren't generally impoversihed/taking drugs/had fewer life opportunities etc, they aren't generally at risk of being abused/assauted etc. Is this because men who sell sex to women have better working conditions? Or is it because men who sell sex to women are not involved in a transaction which relies on a power imbalance fundamnetal to our society?

I don't know whether I am a "radical feminist," I know that I have been a feminist since I could first think for myself and I think that women should not be offered double standards. From the moment I reached my teenage years and was told that girls who "let" boys do it were sluts, I realized there was an enormous double standard going on about women and sex. Saying that it is OK for women to sell sex to men, is reinforcing this idea of "letting" men have sex in the extreme. If there were no double standard, if we accepted that men do not "need" to have sex any more than women do and that women are not the gatekeepers of sex, then there would be no place for prostitution. Prostitution is the clearest evidence of the imbalance of power, the clearest evidence of the partirarchy and it is not the "oldest" profession for nothing. I look forward to a world where the "old" partriarchy is eventually eroded and, therefore, the "oldest" profession with it. Is this radical? I don't think so, I think it's the bleeding obvious and has been to a large number of people for centuries. Surely it's more radical to suggest that men should be free to continue buying sex (because it is about free choice and better than working at Tescos - what utter rubbish) and, therefore, free to continue this imbalance of power? Radically ridiculous.

grimbletart Sun 23-Dec-12 19:43:33

I am just a bog standard customer OldLadyKnowsNothing. Round our way everyone chats at the checkout as long as we are not holding up the queue or in a particular hurry.

Do I imagine an hour-long meeting is all shagging? No idea. You tell me.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Sun 23-Dec-12 19:47:10

Well, I've never managed a full hour shagging, not even when I was young and enthusiastic. Don't think any of my partners could have coped with that either.

Interestingly, in Sweden, more young men sell sex, than young women. The authorities are puzzled.

Frans1980 Sun 23-Dec-12 20:29:09

"So why aren't men selling their sexual services to women then?"

A quick search on adultwork escort directory shows one third of active UK escorts are male (although they do tend to have less feedback and lower prices).

"No one ever wants to discuss the attitudes of the clients."

After reading your post I get the impression you are just believing in what you want the truth to be. You seem to want clients to be misogynists who hate women etc. In reality clients are all different. Some clients are disabled, some clients are able to get sex if they want but don't want the complications that come with a relationship or one night stand.

"Do I imagine an hour-long meeting is all shagging? No idea. You tell me."

Maybe they have small talk first, or have foreplay or the client wants to act out a roleplay/fantasy or something. It depends on the client.

And not every client wants a sexual service. Some escorts are hired to accompany a client to an event for company or to go out for a meal.

rosabud Sun 23-Dec-12 21:38:06

Oh yes, I forgot, in a minority of cases it happens to men too, in a minority of cases it's about accompanying men to the blacktie Christmas do. Silly me, oh yes that completely invalidates all the other arguments then.

And as for the person who's never managed an hour of shagging - good grief, I thought you were claiming to be "sex positive"?? Really? I think you've been short-changed, so to speak.

Yes but as a former escort, a client never wants to hear things like the fact that your doing this as a way to support yourself or that it's your full time occupation, that's my experience anyway.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Sun 23-Dec-12 22:44:02

rosabud At no point have I described myself as "sex-positive". I have talked about sex-positive feminists aka funfems but not claimed to be one. I have also talked about Radical Feminists, do you think I'm one of them too? Why the need for labels anyway?

And no, I've never managed nor desired an hour of PIV, and don't feel in the slightest short-changed.

Maggie, what did your clients want to talk about? Or was it just sex, straight away?

Frans1980 Sun 23-Dec-12 23:38:06

Maybe clients avoid asking workers about their work because they might think such questions would be instrusive or too personal?

Discrection is very important between workers and clients, so IMO people generally don't like to give too much info away.

rosabud Mon 24-Dec-12 00:01:16

Oh yeah, that'll be it. Very polite, thoughtful clients - sweet of them, really. Can't believe I didn't think of that myself.

SolidGoldFrankensteinandmurgh Mon 24-Dec-12 00:02:52

How do people feel about surrogate pregnancy/sperm or egg donation? I'm sure I heard somewhere that sperm donors get paid lots more than either egg donors or surrogate mothers, which sounds fairly wrong, though I don't object to surrogate pregnancy at all; another case of your body, your choice.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Mon 24-Dec-12 00:05:37

Given that research suggests that clients/punters are pretty much ordinary men, who are in general fairly thoughtful (I know we see the worst on MN) and polite, why would you think otherwise?

Why seek to demonise, rather than humanise, men who pay for sex?

(And, as a total aside, none of my questions have so far been answered, so I'd really appreciate it if you would oblige.)

OldLadyKnowsNothing Mon 24-Dec-12 00:12:06

X post with SGB... It used to be the case that egg donors were paid £15, same as sperm donors but it's obviously harder for women in a physical sense.
Not sure of the current situation, but I'm pretty sure it changed recently.

Surrogate mothers are allowed to be paid actual expenses (lost wages, buying maternity wear etc) but are not supposed to make any sort of profit from 9 months of 24/7 work.

Have read that many couples are now using their own egg/sperm embryos and having them implanted in Indian women as it's cheaper.

rosabud Mon 24-Dec-12 00:15:27

Well, I suppose we demonise men who pay for sex because they are taking advantage of the imbalance of power between the genders in our society, and bearing that in mind, sperm donation or surrogate pregnancy is not comparable as it doesn't take adavantage of a power imblalance. What questions did you want answered?

OldLadyKnowsNothing Mon 24-Dec-12 00:21:33

Erm , why do you think users of prostitutes would be anything other than ordinary men? And questions about the broad assertion re PTSD frequency in ex-prostitutes, there were a few questions associated with that... And the assertion that choosing to work as a prostitute in the UK damages women elsewhere, no response there either...

OldLadyKnowsNothing Mon 24-Dec-12 00:24:40

Ooh, yeah, and how many convictions for trafficking for sexual purposes resulted from Operations Pentameter I and II? I'd like an answer to that.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Mon 24-Dec-12 00:25:32

But I don't expect you to answer them all, rosabud. smile

SolidGoldFrankensteinandmurgh Mon 24-Dec-12 00:59:13

Rosabud: sperm donation for money is over and done with in about 10 minutes. Egg donation is a complicated and potentially risky procedure; surrogate pregnancy even more so. If these are paid at the same rate (ie fee for doing the deed, not hourly) then don't you think there might be some issues of power imbalance?

Frans1980 Mon 24-Dec-12 04:08:34

"they are taking advantage of the imbalance of power between the genders in our society"

What does that mean exactly?

An example of a person who I came across recently, who fully and freely admitted use of prostitutes, I will leave it to you to decipher gender:

"I generally used hookers to get my own back- it allowed me to choose all kinds if exotics in various combinations and pretend I wasn't really cheating- rather convenient>> >> On one memorable evening in Rio Styx(partner at the time) and I did a two Brazilian teens together in a posh brothel. Xx>> >> Sent from my iPhone"


rosabud Mon 24-Dec-12 09:22:26

Why do I think "ordinary" men don't use prostitutes? What do you mean by "ordinary?" I should imagine all sorts of men use prostitutes. Why does the fact that "ordinary" men use prostitutes, make prostitution OK?

I have no idea whether ex-prostitutes suffer form PTSD. Let's imagine that all ex-prostitutes are very happy and laughing all the way to the bank (from my layman's knowledge of prostitution I would IMAGINE that's unlikely, nevertheless, let us supopose that it is true), how does that change the fundamental fact that prostitution only exists because of the imbalance of power based on gender in our society and should be discouraged for that reason?

I don't think choosing to be a prostitute necessarily "damages" other women but prostitution clearly emphasises the idea that men are the gender that need sex and women are the gender that allow them to have sex (either for payment or for love or whatever). This is a double standard that continues to say that sex is something for men. It's a double standard that continues to say that it is all right for women to be less entitled to something than men are and, to that extent, it does "damage" women's rights to equality which, I suppose, is "damaging" for all women.

rosabud Mon 24-Dec-12 09:54:06

^"they are taking advantage of the imbalance of power between the genders in our society"

What does that mean exactly?^

I'm afraid if you do not understand/have not noticed that there is an imbalance of power based on gender in our society, then it's very unlikely that you will be able to follow a debate about the role of prostitution within that society. Perhpas it would be a good idea to go and read up on this before you come back to the discussion?

FestiviaBlueberry Mon 24-Dec-12 10:19:04

Have now read the article and a couple of other things struck me.

"This isn't about evidence, not for "Neo-Victorians", not really. It's about morality, just as it was two hundred years ago"

No, that is where people like Laurie Penny are really thick on this issue. It isn't about morality, it's about a political principle: the principle that women are human beings just like men, not wank-socks for men's use. And that sex is something that should be freely entered into, which cannot happen in a context of patriarchy where women are seen as being there for men's use.

I also think she must have been incredibly thick when she was young because she claims she went to women's groups with the following outlook:

"...their simple solution to gender oppression: stamp out porn and prostitution and the rest will follow, and social relations between men and women will settle into easy equality."

Which women's group ever said that then? I've never heard any feminist come up with anything as simplistic and stupid as that. She's either making it up, mis-remembering, or didn't understand what they were saying at the time.

"as a feminist and a socialist I am proud to take my position on sex work from those who have, and to honor their experiences. " She takes her position from the ones who have who tell her what she agrees with, not the women who have sold sex who disagree with her. She doesn't honour Rebecca Mott's experiences, for example.

Frans the point about the clients, is that they have this enormous sense of entitlement - that they are entitled to use women for sex, as long as they pay for it. That is by definition, misogynist. Men who think women are equal human beings, want their sexual encounters with them to be equal - IE willingly and enthusiastically entered into. If you're happy to stick your dick into a woman who doesn't really want it there (and the clue is that she's charging you to allow you to) then you are a prick who doesn't like women. That's not just with regard to prostitution, that's with regard to all those ghastly husbands out there who think it's OK to fuck their unenthusiastic wives because they have a right to use that particular woman as their wank-sock occasionally. Any situation which validates the concept of men having an entitlement to use certain women as wank-socks in certain situations, is one I disagree with.

FestiviaBlueberry Mon 24-Dec-12 10:22:49

And also yes, I accept the depressing reality that many "ordinary" men do see women as being there for their use.

It's one of the reasons so many ordinary men are so disappointing. And it's one of the reasons patriarchy has not yet been dismantled.

KRITIQ Mon 24-Dec-12 10:45:32

I can see this thread has gone the way threads on this subject always go, so won't bother engaging further.

However, as you say Festivia, the article falls into the trap that so many commentators fall into - the idea that there are only ever two complete polar opposite views on any issue, particularly any issue related to sex, sexuality or feminism.

I remember Gloria Steinham, I think it was, saying she remembered many writers professing outrage that feminists didn't hang, draw and quarter Bill Clinton over his relationship with Monica Lewinsky - believing the default position for feminists was that of being sexually conservative and puritanical. Pah.

Laurie's done the same thing here with a sloppy shorthand that goes something like, "If you are critical of any person having sex in any way with any person, you must follow a Victorian code of sexual morality." Well, insofar as Victorian campaigners like Josephine Butler wanted the laws changed to protect vulnerable girls and women who were involved in prostitution from violence and abuse, both by punters and by the authorities. Oh wait . . .

Frans1980 Mon 24-Dec-12 17:06:57

way to go rosebud completely avoid answering the Q.

And yes IMO "ordinary" men (and also some women and couples) do visit sex workers. The random guy you sat next to on the bus, the guy you passed on the street, your next door neighbour, the shopkeeper you bought groceries from, your child's schoolteacher... you get the idea... are all typical people who might visit workers.

Frans1980 Mon 24-Dec-12 17:11:35

If anyone wants more reading from a sex worker btw here is a blog by Laura Lee who is an escort and a member of SCOT-PEP which campaigns for the rights of workers.

rosabud Mon 24-Dec-12 17:56:05

I didn't diasagree with the idea that "ordinary men" visit prostitutes, I answered that point by asking why that makes prostitution OK. So, by simply reiterating the point that "ordinary men" visit prostitutes, you are the one who has avoided the question. I feel that is an example of what I pointed out in my previous reply, that your lack of understanding about the imbalance of power between the genders in our society will prevent you form engaging in the debate in any meaningful way. Sorry, but there it is.

MiniLovesMinxPies Mon 24-Dec-12 18:23:58

"So congratulations, both you and SCASE made me cry today. You made me cry for the women of my past, those women who are lost forever, either through sex work or through drug addiction or through sheer poverty" from Laura's Blog

She seems to accept that women are lost (could that be short hand for emotionally harmed or worse!) some do it to feed drug habits and many are lost to poverty (what ever that means)

I do hope people don't think that Laurie Penny speaks for the vast majority of socialist feminists. She talks about furthering workers rights and freeing workers from exploitation but doesn't touch upon the basic question of why so many women go into sex work. She doesn't touch upon why women are economically disadvantaged. Instead she makes the case that selling sex is a pragmatic response to their economic situation, how else will they pay the rent, they may become homeless

Why not instead focus on why so many people lack economic and social power. Why are ALL workers exploited and why is it that women provide sex as a commodity and men are almost always the consumers. Tackling the economic inequality at the root of the problem would almost certainly mean that fewer women went into the sex industry.

Frans1980 Mon 24-Dec-12 21:10:54

"the basic question of why so many women go into sex work"

I don't have a clue what streetwalkers charge (prob very little in comparison to escorts), but I know escorts charge between £100 and £200 for 1 hour. And for overnight companionship up to £1,000 can be charged. Streetwalkers are a tiny minority of sex workers if escorts are included.

On a minumum wage one might need to work 48 hours a week to get by. Offering time and companionship for 1 hour means one might only need to work for 3 hours a week to get by. Sometimes escorts travel to clients but some do only work from home which means they won't even have to travel to work.

And to answer rosabud's Q about "what makes it ok". The answer is there are lots of things people do that other people aren't going to agree with. But what 2 people choose to do in their own privacy should be no business of anyone else's.

Frans1980 Mon 24-Dec-12 21:13:10

"Why are ALL workers exploited"

Sounds like a loaded question. Have you asked all workers to see if they agree with you?

MiniLovesMinxPies Mon 24-Dec-12 21:33:59

All workers are exploited under capitalism. They are exploited for their capacity to create from their labour a commodity to be sold. The capitalists profit come from the surplus value btw what someone is paid and what he sells the commodity for. Under this system you have people working for peanuts and others who have significant wealth and therefore social power. Men have far more social power and under capitalism that power is conveyed to them in the form of economic advantage.

MiniLovesMinxPies Mon 24-Dec-12 21:35:22

I don't need to ask workers if they feel exploited, confused because I am not talking about working conditions or toilet breaks, or whether they enjoy their work. Those are all totally subjective things.

Frans1980 Mon 24-Dec-12 21:40:29

"All workers are exploited under capitalism"

Are you talking about work in general and not just sex work? I'm sure not many people like work but that's life. The alternative would be communism which I'm not too sure about.

MiniLovesMinxPies Mon 24-Dec-12 22:39:21

"It is these women that the capitalists most willingly employ as home-workers, who are prepared for a monstrously low wage to “earn a little extra” for themselves and their family, for the sake of a crust of bread. It is from among these women, too, that the capitalists of all countries recruit for themselves (like the ancient slave-owners and the medieval feudal lords) any number of concubines at a most “reasonable” price. And no amount of “moral indignation” (hypocritical in 99 cases out of 100) about prostitution can do anything against this trade in female flesh; so long as wage-slavery exists, inevitably prostitution too will exist. All the oppressed and exploited classes throughout the history of human societies have always been forced (and it is in this that their exploitation consists) to give up to their oppressors, first, their unpaid labour and, second, their women as concubines for the “masters”. Lenin

All workers are exploited but women are exploited in ways in which men are not, both within the private and economic sphere.

SolidGold, often draws attention to the fact that women trade sex for love. If that is the case then marriage and prostitution are two sides of the same coin. Something I would agree with. However if sex can not be traded for one form of economic security rooted in marriage and private property relations why can it be traded for money? What is the difference?

Frans1980 Mon 24-Dec-12 22:46:40

But as I mentioned above, up to £200 an hour is not a "monstrously low wage".

MiniLovesMinxPies Mon 24-Dec-12 22:59:52

What would society look like if unskilled, educationally disadvantaged working class women could command £200 ph for any work other than sex work?

FestiviaBlueberry Mon 24-Dec-12 23:43:11

"what 2 people choose to do in their own privacy should be no business of anyone else's." That argument is completely apolitical. Everything that involves parties with a difference in status and power, is subject to political analysis.

"The alternative would be communism". Only if you have no imagination.

"However if sex can not be traded for one form of economic security rooted in marriage and private property relations why can it be traded for money? What is the difference?" Good point, feminists don't think women should have to trade sex for economic security. That's kind of one of the basics of feminism actually - that a society where women have to trade sex for economic security is sick and needs changing.

Frans1980 Thu 27-Dec-12 00:50:43

"Everything that involves parties with a difference in status and power, is subject to political analysis."

Should we politically analyse one night stands while we're at it and maybe push for politicians to pass a completely unenforcable law banning casual sex to make us feel good about ourselves?

MiniLovesMinxPies Thu 27-Dec-12 10:22:11

The business of politicians is to make laws that protect people from "economic" exploitation, nothing more. Many of our laws, such as taxation, market regulation, small claims, corporate law, monopoly laws, trade agreements, contracts and labour rights/regulations are concerned with ensuring that people are not exploited financially. (of course in practice this isn't the case) Even enforcing law and order boils down to this, we lock up robbers, people who commit fraud and people who upset the status quo btw politics and capitalists, such as terrorists and activists. We fail however to lock up rapists.

One night stands sit firmly outside of this and should be free from political analysis. Rad fems may disagree because of their emphasis on the "personal is the political" I can't speak for others but I agree with you that what happens btw too individuals is their own business as long as one is not being exploited, economically, physically or mentally/emotionally.

Interesting read here, which seeks to bridge the divide btw radicals, liberals and marxist/socialist feminist perspectives.

"Rethinking Commodification and Prostitution"

MiniLovesMinxPies Thu 27-Dec-12 10:26:09

that a society where women have to trade sex for economic security is sick and needs changing

Bang on the button, That sums up exactly what is wrong with marriage (under patriarchy) and what is wrong with prostitution and the sex industry under our latest vehicle of oppression......capitalism.

JuliaScurr Thu 27-Dec-12 11:41:55

one night stands should be outside of political analysis? limited definition of politics - attitudes to studs/sluts are political - derive from social/economic power differences. sex practice, dominant ideology of penis-in-vagina sex is also derived from same. or do we believe it's just coincidence that 'individuals' spontaneously behave the same way? unlikely.

MiniLovesMinxPies Thu 27-Dec-12 12:46:08

Good point, there is a double standard which requires analysis and should be challenged. I just wouldn't want to get into the debate if it became an opportunity for others to go back into the whole argument about feminists being moralisers.

This is because it's the "sex" part of those activities that really causes knickers to be twisted in the icy corridors of bourgeois moral opprobrium. It's a school of so-called women's liberation that remains fundamentally resistant to any analysis of work or economics: work can't possibly be the problem, so the problem must be sex Laurie penny. Writing off the radfem analysis as the politics of middle class prudes.

The personal as political has proven to be a dead end really but Penny writes off all radfems (humanist) analysis as moralising. Convenient and lazy.

In terms of PIV sex, I would argue that sex within the sex industry is not focussed on PIV. My feeling on this is that PIV is seen to have a basis in reproduction. Men hate the fact that women control fertility and have separated women in to two distinct groups.....those worthy of their semen in the act of creating new life (their wives and partners) and the sluts/slave class who are not worthy, who as depicted in porn, have everything else "done to them" with the emphasis being on degrading & reinforcing the woman as not worthy, ie, the emphasis being on anal, coming in their faces, using objects, etc, I don't know for certain if this is the case in prostitution but I am inclined to think that if women have internalised/normalised PIV as sex then I would think a lot of men actually pay for sex that actually denigrates and reinforces their belief that their are two distinct types of women. Historically men kept wives to procreate and slaves to denigrate and treat as subhuman.

So I feel that men use prostitutes because they do see them as subhuman. But it is only economics that separates the subhuman from the human. The human wife.....fulfils the male desire to procreate, the slave class his need to express his hatred and envy over her control of fertility.

MooncupGoddess Fri 28-Dec-12 22:41:19

'The business of politicians is to make laws that protect people from "economic" exploitation' - yes absolutely. I remember vociferous right-wing complaining when the minimum wage was brought in, on the grounds that it would undermine people's free choice to work for very low pay.

It's worth pointing out that it's also illegal to sell one's own blood or body parts (eg kidneys). That reduces people's choices too, and for good reason.

MiniLovesMinxPies Fri 28-Dec-12 22:54:02

I think the key to understanding that though, is the word "sell"

MooncupGoddess Fri 28-Dec-12 22:58:49

What do you mean exactly, Mini? Tbh I have no idea whether it is more illegal to sell blood or buy blood (but re prostitution would certainly favour focusing on the buyer rather than the seller).

MiniLovesMinxPies Fri 28-Dec-12 23:05:11

It is legal to give your kidneys away but not ok to sell them (thankfully) you can donate blood but you can't sell it. But there is market for both. No amount of laws stop unscrupulous people when they pursue money.

Sex and prostitution is the same, you can (and we have) enacted all sorts of laws to punish and shame people but where there is money and there is unmet human need (ie as Penny says "how else will they pay the rent") we will have a sex trade.

GothAnneGeddes Sat 29-Dec-12 01:21:13

I think it's massively ironic that Penny uses the term Neo-Victorian aka prude as a slur, which is very much a male insult towards women who step out of line.

Next she'll be calling us "ugly" and "frigid" next. hmm

Also, I must have missed all the times prostitutes were raped and murdered by feminists, as surely those lovely male punters supporting the women in their career could never do such a thing.

She also ignores completely how so-called sex-worker organisations are often infiltrated by pimps in the sex industry, people who it is in their very interests for prostitution to become "mainstream" and have no stigma. Let's be clear, these people aren't happy with the status quo, they want the sex trade to expand and be even more popular.

After all, if prostitution became the norm for every stag night, every time you had an argument with your wife/girlfriend, every time you wanted a woman to be "sexually available", think how rich the pimps would be.

Meanwhile, the can be painting "sex work" as a liberating career. Just take a look as these posters by Turn Off The Blue Light, an organisation started by Irish Pimps at Escort Ireland:

This demonstrates another reason why the term "sex work" is so vague and harmful, it allows pimps to portray themselves as "sex workers".

MiniLovesMinxPies Sat 29-Dec-12 11:12:05

Excellent points, I think Penny has been very lazy with this piece and as SGM says up thread it seems have been motivated by spite towards Rad fems.

I have dug up these two pieces, one by Fin Mackay and one on Laurie's Blog.

Both are worth a read, Penny in her blog specifically mentions Fin Mackay,

Penny says "Feminists need to put aside ideological differences and work towards a radical restructuring of neoliberal attitudes to sex, to work and to sex work" but it would seem that SHE has fallen into the trap of creating divisions.

She goes on to conclude that "If we want a world where women’s bodies are more than just commodities, feminists need to get radical, we need to get smart, and we need to be prepared to lay down our weapons and take the fight to the real enemies. If we stop fighting each other and turn our energies on the pimps, the abusers and the superstructure of misogynist free-market capitalism, there are exhilarating victories to be won"

So, in the final analysis, both want change under capitalism, both would agree that abolition of capitalism is either the way to achieve change or part of the change that is necessary to free women.

If Laurie really believes that it is time to put aside ideological differences, it might be better to find some way of synthesising Marxist and (patriarchy)radical theory rather than attacking rad fems as prudes.

What is really needed is a new theoretical framework that takes account of both the economic (historical materialist) and the humanist perspectives (radical feminist) and makes sense of women's oppression under one theory. Perhaps she could apply her planet sized brain to that wink

Frans1980 Sun 30-Dec-12 23:25:59

"She also ignores completely how so-called sex-worker organisations are often infiltrated by pimps in the sex industry"


Frans1980 Sun 30-Dec-12 23:29:58

49 recorded cases of trafficking for 2009. That's strange, the statistics used by the online tabloids quote figures of up to and beyond 100,000.

GothAnneGeddes Mon 31-Dec-12 00:35:47

Since your google is broken, here you go:

Frans1980 Mon 31-Dec-12 01:04:48

What about these ones? Are they run by "sleazy" pimps too?

I quote the word sleazy since it doesn't actually tell you any facts it's just an emotive word tabloids love using.

GothAnneGeddes Mon 31-Dec-12 01:22:59

What? There were plenty of facts in that article, actually women describing how they had been abused, but for the sake of one adjective you're ignoring them?

Actually, I myself get quite "emotive" (what a terrible, weak, stereotypically female thing of me to do hmm) about men who abuse women for profit, so I cannot dispute the paper's usage of the word in this case, I'd use far worse words.

Leithlurker Mon 31-Dec-12 10:21:33

Emotive is not the same as truth, your emotive Anne would be a considerable distortion of what is the reality of the situation of woman's organisations. Staffed by them and run by them in just the same way all other charities are.

MiniLovesMinxPies Mon 31-Dec-12 11:14:00

Heaven forbid that women should be emotive about something that harms them. confused

Just had a look at the two links, I agree in principle to decriminalising sex workers, maybe it will lift the stigma attached to prostitution and in that way women can expect protection from violence and rape under the law. Ultimately though ALL workers rights are being eroded under advanced neo-liberalised free market economics.

Laws can be used to punish and stigmatise but the presence or lack of laws has never before stopped the trade in human flesh.Slavery was made illegal and it still exists some 200 plus years later.

Marxist feminists claim the root of the oppression of women is capitalism. In the case of sex work and prostitution, _capitalism causes the migration of women into sex work_. Capitalism exploits women

_Migration into sex work because of poverty is a class issue_. Caused by the power structures within society.....which are economic in nature.

I agree though that bodies of sex workers are commodities because as sex workers, women's bodies are for sale just as Radicals do. Perhaps in Marxist terms it could be compared to rental/rather than outright transfer of ownership.

The commodification of the body of the sex worker is also oppressive because the capitalist system allows women to make money through the sale/rent and use of their bodies.

Capitalist hegemonic dominance is the root oppressor of women and, in this case, the catalyst for sex work and prostitution. Of course one shouldn't make the assumption that this only happens under modern capitalism, the trade in slaves and women precedes this. But one constant remains throughout history from the time we created "surplus" value (when we started farming and settling) we created the commodity called money, that is used as the exchange medium for all other commodities. And it is for money that people exploit others and it for money that women enter the sex industry.

Leithlurker Mon 31-Dec-12 11:36:12

Mini what you have essentially said is that according to Marxism the exchange of labour in any format for payment of any kind, leads to capitalism, and that in turn gives us class conflict. So women who enter in to prostitution are both victims of capitalism and by and large class. All of which I agree with.

However Ann made spurious and uncorroborated statements about organisations, unions in some instances of women trying to engage with the capitalist system, that were actually run by and for the benefit of pimps and those involved in trafficking of humans.
She was provided with evidence of her mistake, and then choose to explain her views by saying she was being "emotive". Lots of emotive language on this thread but not many trying to pass it off as fact.

Leithlurker Mon 31-Dec-12 11:45:36

Sorry pressed to soon. The issue is one of who has the right to speak for whom. This is not a cut and dried debate as this thread like almost all of these threads have demonstrated, both sides like nothing better than throwing reports, facts, articles, at each other both sides claiming that they have the right to represent those who do and have worked in the industry. The fact that voices from inside and outside the industry call for different things is not seen as an opportunity to enter in to a sombre and quiet debate about all the many issues, it is just taken to reinforce the division of opinion. The only result of this is that the capitalist system that commodifies women's bodies is left unchallenged.

grimbletart Mon 31-Dec-12 11:51:11

Frans does not appear to like the word sleazy in relation to pimps. I wonder what description he would use?

MiniLovesMinxPies Mon 31-Dec-12 12:17:03

I think it is very difficult to remove emotion from this because of the basic inability to conceptualise whether the sale of sex, is the sale of a service (labour power which is not finite and is renewable) or whether it is the sale of people, their bodies.

I would agree with the analysis that in prostitution it is the sale of the body, the person but it is also a service! I think this because when you labour you produce a commodity that becomes appropriated by the capitalist and your labour is tied up in the commodity but you become alienated from that commodity when it has been sold. I think sex work is more akin to slavery, in fact the two share the same history. The slave is sold in perpetuity to provide labour but it isn't his/her labour alone that is exchanged, the slave (as person) is sold. There is a transference of ownership of the person. In prostitution there is a similar transference of person, albeit maybe temporary or in the case of trafficked and pimped women, a transference of ownership to the exploiter and that commodity which is women is sold at profit, Which is why in many cases consent is not obtainable, ie rape. What is being sold relies upon access to the body of the person. One can not be alienated from themselves as person and their labour in the commodity.The service, the person and the commodity are one and the same ? or maybe I am wrong but that is how I both think and quite emotively feel.

MiniLovesMinxPies Mon 31-Dec-12 12:23:25

The only result of this is that the capitalist system that commodifies women's bodies is left unchallenged yy, definitely, which is why we are encouraged always to look at law and politics, keeps the proles from looking at the economics! Only very clever economists can understand these things hmm

Everything is being denied to us, stolen, wrapped up and warped and sold back to us, our sexuality, our culture, our bodies, our sex lives and our own concept of who we are......all because someone makes money from this.

GothAnneGeddes Mon 31-Dec-12 13:28:26

No Leithurker, there was no mistake.

I said that Turn Off The Blue Light was started by pimps. This is correct and I have provided evidence of this.

Or did you miss that part in your haste to dismiss me?

Here is another piece discussing how and why pimps like to involve themselves in "sex-worker activism".

Again, in the rush to smear smear those of us who seek to end demand rather then "harm reduction", you overlooked a key part of my post, that the sex industry, like any industry is always looking to expand.

Normalise/destigmatise the profession and you normalise/destigmatise the act.

This makes men (and it is nearly always men, so don't try that derail) purchasing women societal acceptable, if not even portrayed as a social good - see all the sickening claims that men need sex and would turn to rape if they didn't have access to prostitutes.

That is why pimps are using "sex-worker activism" as a trojan horse to push their own agenda.


Leithlurker Mon 31-Dec-12 14:31:35

What a shockingly entitled response given that your whole point is based on a news report that goes out of it's way to clearly and specificly make clear that the example of the organised crime boss starting his web page, was to a web page that was set up by women.
"Anti-sleaze campaigners launched a website called 'Turn Off the Red Light', in which they hoped to end prostitution and sex trafficking in Ireland.

However, a rival site, called 'Turn off the Blue Light', was set up recently by the same design company that set up the lucrative sex website controlled by McCormick."

So instead of highlighting the women for it is mainly women who start and work in sex workers collectives or unions, (or is that too derailing for you Ann?) you pick up on the example of how organised crime often exploits legitimate protest in order to do what, undermine women who were trying to stop the abuse in the first place? This is the site that you failed to talk about, you know the one organised by women. Which unlike your very bigoted statement is not run by pimps or organised crime. The same as the two examples franz gave you, but no you would rather post yet another article about other false flag exercises run by criminals to justify not having to listen to a swath of opinion that you would rather dismiss. Would you like to have a member of scot pep come on here and tell you what they do and who is involved? You wont like it but if you then become more careful in your wild and mistaken allegations it would be worth it.

Then at least we can get on with talking about how we move society forward.

GothAnneGeddes Mon 31-Dec-12 14:54:57

Leith - I have no problem with Turn Off the Red light - it seeks to end prostitution, not decriminalise it.

I will ask you again: where are my mistakes

International Union of Sex Workers - started and run by a pimp.

SWOP USA - run by a pimp

Turn Off the Blue Light - Run by a pimp.

Did you read the link I sent you, listing orgs, supposedly sex-worker lead, all wanting decriminalisation, all run by pimps?

What bigoted statement?

Is a feminist saying that the sex industry is inherently misogynist and exploitative bigoted? Really?

Tell me, would it really make me a nicer person if I just shrugged my shoulders and said that prostitution is no big deal, in fact it's a wonderful service that men must have? I'll just ignore the harm done to women by the punters.

Leithlurker Mon 31-Dec-12 15:05:07

And did you look at the links Franz sent and will you acknowledge that legitimate and fully independent organisations of women who have or still do work in the industry and who oppose criminalisation exist?

What would make everyone a nicer person would be to get sex workers off the street and either accepted or abolished. This can only be done by working with everyone, prostitutes, punters, law makers and the rest of society. The only exclusions should be criminals.

MiniLovesMinxPies Mon 31-Dec-12 15:16:30

The sex industry is exploitative and misogynistic. It might also be said to be racist as well. Thing is though, from where does this misogyny come? what creates misogyny. How are people socialised to hold certain views to be justified. I would argue that it stems from the way in which the material exploitation must be justified. In the same way that racism is justified because of the economic imperative to enslave people. Historically man had to find a way of getting mass agreement to slavery, this was done by the capitalist/moral nexus of church, state and commerce.

men are not born women hating, abusers and exploiters.....they are made.

GothAnneGeddes Mon 31-Dec-12 15:45:01

Leith - interesting how you put punters on the same level as the prostitutes, completely avoid the power differentials, abuse and exploitation.

As for your insistence that I acknowledge certain organisations, any organisation asking for decriminalisation is advocating for the select few over women as a whole. Their arguments do not convince me.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Mon 31-Dec-12 16:26:35

Anyone actually asking for decriminalisation of prostitution in GB is plainly talking utter shite as it is not currently a criminal offense to work as a prostitute or to engage their services.

Leithlurker Mon 31-Dec-12 16:46:35

Mini: I agree with your last sentence, humans do not enter the world straight from the womb pre programmed to be like anything. Racist, violent, capitalists, underclass, wife beaters or rapists. It is society that needs fundamental reform.

Ann what would you rather, women only make the new society? Punters and the others I mentioned are members of the human race and are not all one thing or another.
You really have got a bad case of idealogical claptrap haven't you. How the heck have some woman speaking their mind suddenly become a select few? Does that mean You are speaking for a select few? How are we to judge who the majority is? Then again this is yet another sidetrack or derailment about your use of power when we could be making progress.

GothAnneGeddes Mon 31-Dec-12 16:50:10

OLKN - but it is a criminal offence to actively solict sexual services and it is criminal for more then one prostitute to work in one building. (hence brothels having to pretend to be massage parlours). These are laws that pimps would very much like to change.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Mon 31-Dec-12 16:58:02

It's not a criminal offense to work in a brothel, nor is it a criminal offense to buy sexual services in a brothel. It is a criminal offense to control and to profit from prostitutes.

runningforthebusinheels Mon 31-Dec-12 19:07:31

I know (of) a woman imprisoned for prostitution (a couple of months ago). Presumably this was for soliciting?

OldLadyKnowsNothing Mon 31-Dec-12 19:10:51

She may have been jailed for persistent soliciting, or perhaps non-payment of fines associated with that?

runningforthebusinheels Mon 31-Dec-12 20:31:51

Persistent soliciting then I would think. A very sad tale indeed - involving her child being taken into care.

I would support the decriminalisation of prostitution for this reason. But I'd criminalise the punters.

Franz1980 Sat 05-Jan-13 15:53:18

Claims "75% of women involved in prostitution started as children."

Many other websites repeat that statistic as well as politicians who want prostitution criminalized.

Sounds shocking and emotive doesn't it? What if I were to then say that statistic was a lie since the prostitutes in the study where that figure came from were all under 18 to begin with!

GothAnneGeddes Mon 07-Jan-13 00:30:58

Ah IUSW - otherwise known as the International Union of Sex Workers, run by a pimp, Douglas Fox. For more about him ad his organisation see here:

Fran, your naivete that under-age prostitution is somehow completely separate from the "legitimate sex industry", is rather sad. Your persistent slandering of anyone who doesn't believe women should be on sale for men's sexual gratification is unspeakable.

Franz1980 Mon 07-Jan-13 20:50:57

If so many sex workers enter the industry as children then where are the statistics?

All we have is a statistic which has been debunked as completely false since it didn't actually include any adults.

Franz1980 Mon 07-Jan-13 20:56:33

"75% of women involved in prostitution started as children."

This is from a 2004 study by Margaret Melrose.

The study was done on 47 girls who all worked on the street and were all under the age of 18. 75% of them were under the age of 14.

Doesn't sound so shocking when you know the whole story. Also street prostitutes today make up a small minority of sex workers in the UK.

BuzzyBecs Tue 08-Jan-13 00:06:05

Prostitute is such a degrading name for a woman. The men who use prostitutes are men. There is no degrading word for them, they're just men. Every now and then when there are news stories, the women are referred to as protitutes and if a man has assaulted a prostitute or killed a prostitute he is shamed as a man with his full name. He is not shamed with a label as degrading as the word, prostitute.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Tue 08-Jan-13 00:08:09

The men who use the services of prostitutes are commonly known as "punters".

BuzzyBecs Tue 08-Jan-13 00:15:40

Yes but a punter can be someone who buys a pint in a pub. A Punter is not as degrading as the words A Prostitute.

runningforthebusinheels Tue 08-Jan-13 00:19:28

You could call them losers.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Tue 08-Jan-13 00:25:43

A punter can also be a gambler. There is nothing inherently degrading about the word "prostitute" but if sex workers prefer "sex worker" it would seem polite to use that phrase, and it's certainly better than the prostituted women phrase preferred by those who express horror at the very idea.

BuzzyBecs Tue 08-Jan-13 00:26:26

I believe many, not all, but many women who work as prostitutes have had sexual and emotional abuse in their pasts. I can't begin to imagine how hopeless and what sorry state of mind they must be in to offer such dangerous services. I don't see that there is a need for regulated brothels when there is How long will it be before similar websites are making some fat cat rich? Some women are offering unsafe sex on Some are willing to have penerative sex and oral sex without condoms. I am disturbed at the amount of people who advertise on

BuzzyBecs Tue 08-Jan-13 00:29:26

How about we just call them women? There is nothing more degrading than the word prostitute.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Tue 08-Jan-13 00:31:56

"Brothels" (where more than one prostitute works) are actually the safest way for prostitutes to work, there's someone else around if the punter turns nasty. And brothels aren't illegal per se as things currently stand, the illegality is in both profiting from and controlling the activities of prostitutes.

Thousands of people advertise on AW. RadFems would have you believe that almost all of them are raped daily.

Does this seem likely?

runningforthebusinheels Tue 08-Jan-13 00:33:31

The punters are the losers - not the women.

Sorry if that was unclear.

runningforthebusinheels Tue 08-Jan-13 00:37:39

I believe many, not all, but many women who work as prostitutes have had sexual and emotional abuse in their pasts. I can't begin to imagine how hopeless and what sorry state of mind they must be in to offer such dangerous services.

Yes. But be careful - when you say such things a big klaxon goes off at p*nternet and we get invaded. Has happened many a time.

BuzzyBecs Tue 08-Jan-13 00:40:35

I disagree OldLadyKnowsNothing. Brothels are often run by money grabbing pimps or madams. I think AW might be a safer, more independant option.

runningforthebusinheels Tue 08-Jan-13 00:47:30

Presumably the brothel isn't acting as a not-for-profit charity though?

They're not there to provide a safe environment for the women (and quite frankly, some do the exact opposite). The brothel is exploiting and profiting from the women.

BuzzyBecs Tue 08-Jan-13 00:52:12

I agree with you, runningforthebusinheels.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Tue 08-Jan-13 00:52:16

The police generally know about their local brothels. How many convictions have there been in the last, say, five years for brothel-keeping?

Edinburgh City Council licenses brothels as "places of entertainment" so regular checks can be made by whatever authorities; H&S, fire brigade, immigration officials etc. Seems sensible to me.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Tue 08-Jan-13 00:54:41

The point is that you can only be convicted of brothel-keeping if you both profit from, and control the activities of prostitutes; in most brothels, women are allowed to say they won't shag a particular punter, and the brothel-keeper can't/won't force them.

No control = no brothel-keeping.

BuzzyBecs Tue 08-Jan-13 00:56:07

I wonder how many police are punters themselves.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Tue 08-Jan-13 00:57:26

Individual police/punters don't generally control policy.

Franz1980 Tue 08-Jan-13 01:08:36

Prostitute is such a degrading name for a woman. The men who use prostitutes are men. There is no degrading word for them, they're just men

I agree "prostitute" isn't the best term to use, but it's better than "prostituted women" which I've seen used a lot. A better term is sex worker which acknowledges what they are doing is work and they are deserving of respect just like anyone else who earns money. "Working girls" is sometimes used too.

Clients are often called "punters" or "Johns" although I'm not exactly sure where "John" came from (why Johns? why not James' or Michaels or Alfreds?).

I can't begin to imagine how hopeless and what sorry state of mind they must be in to offer such dangerous services.

It's safer than working in a cornershop or a pub. And the pay is better too (£150 an hour sound good?).

"Brothels" (where more than one prostitute works) are actually the safest way for prostitutes to work

Agree. What usually happens in the UK is a worker always has a friend or "security buddy" who waits (in a car, in another room) for the entire hour while the worker is with a client. But if brothels were legal it would mean the workers could at least work in the same building and look out for each other as well.

Some women are offering unsafe sex on

I have noticed. Fortunately the ones offering unsafe sex (or "bareback") seem to be the minority with zero feedback (which implies they are getting few or no bookings).

Franz1980 Tue 08-Jan-13 01:12:24

in most brothels, women are allowed to say they won't shag a particular punter, and the brothel-keeper can't/won't force them.

This goes for escorting too. On adultwork money is paid for time and companionship only (the site mentions this several times). If a client wants to have sex and the escort doesn't she has the right to say no just like anyone else.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Tue 08-Jan-13 01:12:50

I think " John" as a name for punters came from the fact that John is a very common name, and unidentified dead bodies in the US (it's a very American term) are either John or Jane Doe. Punters prefer not to be identified, especially in the US where prostitution is mostly illegal.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Tue 08-Jan-13 01:13:30

Absolutely agree, Franz.

katiemummy2012 Tue 08-Jan-13 01:13:40

i dont buy that all prostitutes are coerced or drugged, the one my DH was seeing regularly looked in very good health and seemed happy and totally at ease with what she was doing (fucking vulnerable husbands and taking money off my DC's table)

same with most of the other escorts on 'adultwork', the majority have obviously forked out and gone to town on professional pictures to advertise themselves

i cant be the only one to take this stance surely?

OldLadyKnowsNothing Tue 08-Jan-13 01:19:19

I agree with you, katie, that most sex workers in the UK are doing it voluntarily rather than having pimps/being forced. I'm sorry that you and your Dc are suffering, but "vulnerable husband" -really? He's a grown man, he made his own decision, don't blame other women for his behaviour.

BuzzyBecs Tue 08-Jan-13 01:20:31

And the big klaxon has just gone off! rftbih - iswym. smile

OldLadyKnowsNothing Tue 08-Jan-13 01:23:39

I don't understand your Klaxon, becs, are you suggesting that katie is from pn? Because I saw her posting on a different thread re AW earlier and have no reason to doubt her, and I myself (and Franz) have been posting on this thread from quite early on. Are we a PN "invasion"?

OldLadyKnowsNothing Tue 08-Jan-13 01:24:38

And I don't know what rftbih means. confused

runningforthebusinheels Tue 08-Jan-13 01:25:57

Some are happy and healthy

Some are doing it to make ends meet

Some are drug addicted

A high % have suffered violence & abuse as a child and have grown up in the care system (can't be arsed to look up the exact %)

Some are trafficked and raped many times a day by men who have taken their passports

Some even come on MN and gloat about fucking our husbands/partners

Some see themselves as victims, soe don't

But what I'd really like to know is why so much angst is caused by a relatively small proportion of men who feel they have a right to pay to sexually abuse (at least some of the above) women.

katiemummy2012 Tue 08-Jan-13 01:26:40

yes, i believe he was vulnerable at the time he was lured onto adultwork, we were having money and marriage issues and I was so busy with DC's I believe he felt stressed and neglected so took solace in the OW (or escort, however the only difference really is she is a PAYG OW!)

personally i dont see how any moral woman can make money from ruining families like this, I understand most men who visit hookers are attached, theres even reference from some girls on AW to the man about covering his tracks!!

katiemummy2012 Tue 08-Jan-13 01:28:42

im not a klaxon (forgive me, Im not too good with computers), or from any other site, I found my Dh cheating with a woman from adultwork about 3 months ago and posted about it here, its been a distressing time to say the least and I am still upset about it

Franz1980 Tue 08-Jan-13 01:29:23

And if you were to look at a few profiles on adultwork the escorts certainly don't look like they are drug addicts or malnourished. It just isn't what one might expect after reading a Guardian article on the subject.

Noompha Tue 08-Jan-13 01:29:24

fucking vulnerable husbands Sweetheart, I'm sorry it happened to you but seriously get a grip!

runningforthebusinheels Tue 08-Jan-13 01:29:56

Katie, apportion at least some, if not all, of the blame to your husband. Adultw*rk didn't force itself into his living room - I'd never heard of it until I read it on MN. He must have sought it out.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Tue 08-Jan-13 01:31:15

I'm sorry katie, I totally understand that you are devasted by your H's behaviour. But you need to search for online sex, I really doubt that he was contacted spontaneously, without expressing any interest to anyone... No-one forced him to pay for sex. (Including you, if he's doing a guilt-trip on you.) He chose to go looking and he chose to actually go through with his meetings, the blame stays firmly with him.

Franz1980 Tue 08-Jan-13 01:31:31

And adultwork as well as the other major escort directories only list escorts who are at least 18 years of age. So these sites aren't facilitating the demand for underage abuse.

runningforthebusinheels Tue 08-Jan-13 01:32:40

Katie, and certainly don't blame yourself for being busy with the dc! Wives being busy with the children doesn't entitle men to buy sex from other women - despite how many would have you believe it.

katiemummy2012 Tue 08-Jan-13 01:33:27

I definately took it out on my H as he spent christmas on his sisters couch, and is only seeing DCs at weekends

I must say im probably angry about the whole thing, 10 year relationship down the drain, broken family, aswell as further self esteem issues due to finding out my hubby has been shagging a younger, slimmer woman (and PAYING to do so!)

apologies if ive offended anyone xx

runningforthebusinheels Tue 08-Jan-13 01:34:16

I'm not surprised you're angry Katie sad

All the best x

OldLadyKnowsNothing Tue 08-Jan-13 01:37:19

No reason you could have offended anyone katie, but please put the responsibility for your h's behaviour on him. If it wasn't AW, it would have been cornershop ads for "french polishing" pre-interweb, or phonebox cards, or an affair with a work colleague. He's the person who made you promises he broke, not the OW, paid or not.

katiemummy2012 Tue 08-Jan-13 01:40:29

OLKN its a long story but Im very suspicious one of DHs work mates introduced him to the adultwork site, either that or the knowledge that these women are ou t there and so obtainable and with our marriage problems he just couldnt help himself and was lured away by his little brain if you know what i mean

BuzzyBecs Tue 08-Jan-13 01:47:39

OldLadyKnowsNothing, you may not know what rftbih means, I don't expect you too but I'm sure runningforthebusinheels will crack the code.
Katie - I was not calling you a Klaxton or anything else. If you look back on the thread you will see this is not the case. I don't know what OldLadyKnowsNothing is trying to suggest with PN thing but whatever it is I have not suggested anything of the sort.

runningforthebusinheels Tue 08-Jan-13 01:49:06

That really sucks, Katie.

You can bring your dc up to respect others, and teach them that people's bodies are not for sale. That women are the 'sex class'.


runningforthebusinheels Tue 08-Jan-13 01:51:35

BuzzyBecs wink smile

OldLadyKnowsNothing Tue 08-Jan-13 02:09:37

Ok, got the runningforthebus thing, what was your klaxon about?

Natalie555 Tue 08-Jan-13 11:32:07

A mate of mine worked at a brothel. £75 was charged for a full personal service. The owner who worked herself at £75 a time also took £30 a time off my mate everytime she provided a full personal service. The owner was minted with fancy house and car and young kids in private school. For the record my mate wasn't young and horny just vulnerable, skint and desperate. Anyone can fake an orgasm with help of ky jelly.

Franz1980 Tue 08-Jan-13 12:35:48

What country was that in Natalie? Brothels aren't legal in the UK.

runningforthebusinheels Tue 08-Jan-13 13:33:32

* That women are not the sex class!

vesuvia Tue 08-Jan-13 14:40:58

Franz1980 wrote - "major escort directories only list escorts who are at least 18 years of age".

How do you and the directories know this? Do they check government-issued documentation such as birth certificates or passports? If so, how do they do that over the internet?

If the directories don't check, all they do is assume that the people advertising their services on directories are at least 18 years old.

Natalie555 Tue 08-Jan-13 14:47:32

It was UK. Loads of things go on in UK and all over the world that aren't legal. So there was the owner, a maid who answered the phone and working girls. My mate had lucky escape and got out before the owner was arrested. Don't ask me the ins and outs of it all cos I don't know and I'm not that nosey. She tells me what she wants to I don't interrogate her as it not my buisness. It was in the news at the time. My mates head is messed up now though and she is on AD's and has counselling and will probably never live a normal life as she don't trust no-one. She worked with another working girl who self harmed and had scars all over her arms. The scars didn't put the men off from spunking there load into a johnny. Men who use women for there own self gratification don't get any sympathy from me.

sunaintgonnashineanymore Tue 08-Jan-13 15:23:18

Is katiemummy2012 a fake troll? Look at her comment on thread titled Dental nurse sacked for being too tempting to employer. Really hilarious. Not!

Franz1980 Tue 08-Jan-13 19:43:57

If the directories don't check, all they do is assume that the people advertising their services on directories are at least 18 years old.

There hasn't been a single case where Punternet has been notified by a legitimate authority over a profile posted by an underage person.

katiemummy2012 Tue 08-Jan-13 20:25:19

SAS no im not a troll i just found the dentists review hilarious, i wasnt the only one either!

sunaintgonnashineanymore Wed 09-Jan-13 11:00:01

katiemummy2012 - actually there are few comments on dental nurse thread and its not funny - its kinda gross. sure enough you found it funny this is what you said "hahahhahahahahha what a weirdo, obviously cant help himself when in the presence of a woman LMAO has to go to the bathroom to toss off whilst in the middle of doing dental work!" then you come on here , looking for sympathy, talking about your vulnerable husband who uses prostitutes. just doesnt seem genuine to me.

Franz1980 Wed 09-Jan-13 16:00:34

"Germany Forcing Unemployed Women into Legalized Prostitution"

"News agencies around the world are carrying the story of a young German woman, a qualified information technologist, who has been told that she faces suspension of her government relief benefits if she refuses to take a ‘job’ as a prostitute in a Berlin brothel."

Why are we fed so many lies? The above never actually happened.

YowFattyFatso Wed 09-Jan-13 18:22:57

Would there be a rise in sexual crimes without prostitutes in the world? If prostitutes did not exist then how else would men deal with life? Their pent up emotions and desires?
Why is it we make exuses for men to buy sex? Oh they can't help it. It's the way they're programmed etc, etc.
Sorry to be crude but why can't they just have a wank? Why do they have to pay to get the same relief?

YowFattyFatso Wed 09-Jan-13 18:33:48

Why would a man wreck his reputation, his family life for a paid orgasm? He could bring himself to orgasm. Men have a brain in their heads, they have a conscience, they knowwhats right and wrong but they choose to pay someone for sex. How do they know the person they are paying haven't got hang ups or problems or history of being abused etc, etc? Just no respect. These men have mothers, wives, daughters, sisters so why would they be so disrespecful? It is because society makes excuses for them.

Franz1980 Wed 09-Jan-13 18:57:46

Just a thought- but for a 70 year old man or a disabled man having sex with an attractive 21 year old might be more exciting than their own hand and something they would never be able to do without sex workers?

Then there is the category of clients who could have "free" sex if they wanted it, but they sometimes visit a sex worker to avoid the risks/complications/hassle that might come with a one night stand or relationship.

But in the words of MSP Rhoda Grant who wants prostitution criminalized in Scotland "sex with a disabled person is disgusting". Yes she actually said that.

FestiviaBlueberry Wed 09-Jan-13 19:49:13

"Just a thought- but for a 70 year old man or a disabled man having sex with an attractive 21 year old might be more exciting than their own hand and something they would never be able to do without sex workers?"

I'm sure it might. And of course, we must never forget that a man is entitled to put his cock in a woman and if he can't get one to allow him to because she wants him to, then he's entitled to put it in one who doesn't want him to and is only letting him for money.

We must never challenge male entitlement to use women as wank socks.

YowFattyFatso Wed 09-Jan-13 20:32:46

Newsflash : it's not just 70 year old men or disabled men that use women as shagbags. All ages of men, all shapes and sizes, married or single, all different types of intellect. Men do it because they can and they can get away with it. Only when they get caught out does it become a problem. They won't freely admit to it.

Natalie555 Wed 09-Jan-13 20:41:10

Shagbags? Charming!
Any woman intamitly involved with a male partner should use protection. There is a huge demand for prostitutes you can see that by adultwork site and freeads in papers. You cannot trust a fella. Even the nicest ones out there are up to no good.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Wed 09-Jan-13 20:43:49

Rather a sweeping generalisation there, Natalie.

MiniTheMinx Wed 09-Jan-13 21:07:56

It is not inconceivable that in time where sex work is made legal and the liberal mind-benders can convince people that sex work is just like any other employment choice that women could be forced into it or have their benefits sanctioned.

When I first heard about the DWP sanctioning people who wouldn't perform free labour for corporates I was too shocked to accept it as fact.

There is at present a ban on job centres being used to advertise for vacancies in the sex industry worth a read! amazing that so many women are now co-opted to be complicit in their own exploitation.

Slave labour was made illegal over 200 years ago and we now have a situation where the DWP takes down incriminating evidence from it's own website that proved workfare is forced labour. Twenty years ago I don't think anyone imagined that even the tiniest towns would have lapdance clubs and saunas on their high streets and that betting shops would sit next to "quick cash" loan sharks.

Interesting talk by Gail Dines, that seeks to explain how women have become complicit in their own exploitation. because of neo-liberalism (not just economics but ideology!)

OldLadyKnowsNothing Wed 09-Jan-13 21:13:51

Sex work is legal. No-one has been forced into it yet by the Jobcentre.

MiniTheMinx Wed 09-Jan-13 21:21:50

Not here but then how many unemployed people are told to become self employed???? or be sanctioned.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Wed 09-Jan-13 21:27:56

I have no idea, I've never heard of that at all.

MiniTheMinx Wed 09-Jan-13 21:33:31

Of course it has to be made legal for someone (always male, always rich, always capitalist) to exploit her wage labour as a prostitute.

The people with political (financial) power have no interest in whether women are forced into prostitution at the moment. Should the law change to legalise brothels that could change.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Wed 09-Jan-13 21:35:15

Working in a brothel is already legal, as is using the services of brothel-workers.

MiniTheMinx Wed 09-Jan-13 21:37:50

It's illegal for someone else to profit.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Wed 09-Jan-13 21:41:36

Yes, if they also control.

MiniTheMinx Wed 09-Jan-13 21:50:57

So the law would have to change so that people could exploit the labour of one person (the prostitute/sex worker) to make a profit either for a private business owner or corporate employer. If this changed it would then become of prime interest to the employer to exploit workers for as much profit as possible. What is interesting is that a lot of political interest from capitalists in deregulating and making it easier to set up lapdance clubs. Couple that with the fact that the liberals want a change to the language used around prostitution. lapdancing and porn is sex work and is legal and these workers work for others, now we have to use the same language "sex work" to describe prostitution. Change happens slowly for a reason! and you have to change the way people think first so that they will accept full legalisation of capitalistic labour exploitation of prostitution. It will happen. Which is why it is important not be forced to adopt the language of the pro-prostitution lobby. Which I guess may be another reason why so many radicals INSIST on using the language that has been used for 100's of years.

runningforthebusinheels Wed 09-Jan-13 21:52:06

I don't know what you mean by 'control.' Pimping and running a brothel in the UK is illegal - 'living on immoral earnings'.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Wed 09-Jan-13 21:57:04

The offense of "living off immoral earnings" is outdated. The new offense is profiting from, and controlling, the activities of prostitutes.

It is for the courts to determine what "control" is.

MiniTheMinx Wed 09-Jan-13 22:01:02

That's how I understand the law, Owl. as profiting from or controlling to be illegal.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Wed 09-Jan-13 22:05:48

You must both profit from, and control to be committing an offence.

MiniTheMinx Wed 09-Jan-13 22:07:54

In practice it is virtually impossible to prove in the case of a brothel (any address out of which more than one is working) that someone isn't profiting.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Wed 09-Jan-13 22:11:05

It's easy to prove profit. Proving "control" can be more challenging; is it "control" if the profiteer insists on the use of condoms for all services? Is it control if s/he sets the work rota for the week?

MiniTheMinx Wed 09-Jan-13 22:19:45

True. So, should we just make it legal to profit and employ (control) ?

OldLadyKnowsNothing Wed 09-Jan-13 22:26:22

I think so, yes, with regulations drawn up. Eg, condoms must always be used, regular health check-ups, and so on.

MiniTheMinx Wed 09-Jan-13 22:42:07

Sounds like the rest of the sex industry....there is no exploitation herehmm

Very interesting point made by Gail dines in that talk, I linked. She was talking about the way that those that were pro-industry always made the point that it was about free will and free choice, the women were in control etc,,, then she linked to some other anecdotal evidence taken from men in the industry. The men and the chat taken from the pro-porn sites paint a different picture entirely. The producers, the directors, the viewers and the punters they tell a different story. One director who was interviewed for Dine's book said he left the industry when the producer would regularly ring and tell him to "wreck the bitch" The pro-sex industry lobby os full of vested financial interests...male and shell shocked exploited women who live a reality that they hide from themselves. Exited women tell another story and so on. I don't think it should be legalised a more radical solution needs to be found.

Franz1980 Wed 09-Jan-13 23:48:53

"It is not inconceivable that in time where sex work is made legal and the liberal mind-benders can convince people that sex work is just like any other employment choice that women could be forced into it or have their benefits sanctioned."

Despite what some liar tabloids say who are desperate to get attention by posting any old crap that will get shock reactions, this has never happened. And I doubt it ever will.

"Men do it because they can and they can get away with it."

I listed a couple of reasons for visiting sex workers in my last post.

And funnily enough even if you do pass a law criminalizing it it will still happen. Prostitution is illegal in almost all of the USA yet it's still a thriving multi-billion dollar industry there. Even in Sweden where only clients are criminalized prostitution happens just as much except it has moved off the street and indoors (but this could also be because of internet bookings).

Make something illegal then you create a black market for it and far from being a deterrent you risk making it a "forbidden fruit" even more attractive (tell someone they can't have something and they will want it even more).

And for the swedish law to get a conviction against the client the sex worker has to actually testify against him in court. You can guess the chances of that happening (if the sex worker isn't forced do you really think she will want her customers to go to prison??)...

Franz1980 Wed 09-Jan-13 23:54:06

To back up my last statment here is an extract from United Nations-backed Global Commission on HIV and the Law July 2012 (page 38),Rights&Health-EN.pdf

"Sweden’s Alliance of Counties says that resources for social work are scarce, as the money has been siphoned to
policing. In spite of over 2,000 arrests, only 59 clients have been reported suspected of buying occasional sex. Only two
have been convicted, after pleading guilty. No one has been jailed, and only low ? nes have been imposed, as per the
law. Evidence to prove a crime is nearly unattainable. Workers do not consider themselves to be victims and are almost
always unwilling to testify against their clients."

ChickenSoupIsGoodForTheSoul Thu 10-Jan-13 00:18:39

What utter shite! The government are hardly likely to expect people to get involved in prostitution and it certainly will not be an option down the job centre. Do you not think enough people drain the NHS as it is without adding sexual diseases and psychologically damaged people to drain it's resources. Who the fuck is going to put prostitution an a CV. Don't be so fucking stupid.

GothAnneGeddes Thu 10-Jan-13 00:27:26

Well, making murder illegal hasn't stopped that, so let's not bother making murder a crime either. hmm

And only six percent of rapists are convicted, so that's obviously a waste of police time and money too. hmm

ChickenSoupIsGoodForTheSoul Thu 10-Jan-13 00:33:15

Prostitution breaks up families, degrades and exploits women, empowers men. Causes STI's and unwanted pregnancies. Why would the law change to encourage this? Who picks up the costs NHS. Wives can't cope, children can't cope with family break-up. Men claim to be having nervous breakdown when caught as it's far easier than admitting the truth. Girls selling themselves end up with disease, low self worth, need therapy. Daughters don't understand why their dads pay women for sex. Sons grow up thinking it's ok to pay women for sex. Everyone needs fucking therapy. Everyones having therapy. But thats ok thank fucking christ for the good old NHS.

ChickenSoupIsGoodForTheSoul Thu 10-Jan-13 00:40:13

Prostitution needs to be illegal. It needs to stop not be encouraged. All this claptrap on here about legalising it is utter fucking bullshit. Some prostitutes are just 18 years old. Someones daughter. What the fuck do you want to legalise next? Child abuse?

OldLadyKnowsNothing Thu 10-Jan-13 00:45:00

All this talk about legalising prostitution is indeed bullshit, because it's already legal. The rest of your rants, ChickenSoup, are just that, rants, and ill-considered at best. Do you stop "being someone's daughter" at 21, 25, 30, 50....? When do women stop being "someone's daughter" and start being adult women, capable of making their own decisions, however distasteful to their parents?

ChickenSoupIsGoodForTheSoul Thu 10-Jan-13 00:47:01

A rapist
A murderer
A prostitute

Goth . Your point is? A girl who is having to sell her own body abuses herself. A murderer , A rapist both attack people. Not ever a waste of resources to tackle crime.

hmm back at ya!

ChickenSoupIsGoodForTheSoul Thu 10-Jan-13 00:48:53

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Thu 10-Jan-13 00:52:17

Lovely, ChickenSoup, just lovely. I do like a bit of reasoned argument, shame you prefer personal abuse.

Btw, I won't report your post, though it is undoubtedly personal abuse, I'd prefer to see it stand.

Hope your hangover isn't too bad in the morning. smile <---- passive-agressive smilie.

I do believe that Anne was being ironic in her tone, to try and point out why Franzs point was not very valid.
Maybe sleep time, chicken?

katiemummy2012 Thu 10-Jan-13 00:59:57

chickensoup thats not very nice and incredibly rude!

i for one dont agree with it, only in the sense that it ruined my marriage however i dont agree that a woman abuses herself doing it, more that shes just moral less (unless shes forced etc) and is willing to have sex with other peoples men for money

your last post was out of order xx

Franz1980 Thu 10-Jan-13 01:01:31

Big difference between murder/rape/child abuse and prostitution. In murder/rape/child abuse there is never consent. Putting an escort in the same category as a rape victim IMO would be insulting to the rape victim.

And like I said chickensoup making it illegal will not stop it or significantly reduce it. But it will drive it underground making the whole industry more dangerous and the huge amount of money it costs to try and enforce such laws means less money for other things like social work.

Some prostitutes are just 18 years old

Correct. But 18 years of age isn't a child.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Thu 10-Jan-13 01:29:54

Not sure that men belong to anyone, katie, but am aware of (some of) your backstory, and understand your point.

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Thu 10-Jan-13 02:45:50

Chicken, I think you'll find you agree with GothAnn's posts, she was being ironic.

Franz (why have you changed from Frans to Franz btw?) you miss the point of the Swedish sex laws completely and just regurgitating stuff from various pro-sex industry propaganda sites. The Swedish sex laws have vastly reduced prostitution in Sweden and almost completely eliminated trafficking. Not bad for a little bit of legislation.

Franz1980 Thu 10-Jan-13 02:52:17

No they haven't. All they are able to say is street prostitution has halved.

Franz1980 Thu 10-Jan-13 02:53:15

Is the United Nations-backed Global Commission on HIV and the Law a "pro-sex industry propaganda site"?

Franz1980 Thu 10-Jan-13 02:55:39

And the "pro-sex industry propaganda sites" aren't the ones pumping out complete lies such as claiming 75% of prostitutes start work as children, or claiming women are forced to get a job in a brothel or lose benefits.

Franz1980 Thu 10-Jan-13 03:00:16

Is anyone going to tell that country that most prostitution takes place indoors?

"Sweden enforces its sex work laws by targeting 
street-based sex work clients, and only charts the 
impact of its laws by assessing what is happening 
on the street. Immediately after the law was 
passed, Sweden allotted 7 million kronor ($1.2 
million CND) to enforce the new law – the only 
target was the street-based trade. Police, armed
with video cameras, filmed any car that slowed 
down near a sex worker, effectively frightening 
away clients, thus driving the sex workers off the 

MiniTheMinx Thu 10-Jan-13 08:09:53

<<<Despite what some liar tabloids say who are desperate to get attention by posting any old crap that will get shock reactions, this has never happened. And I doubt it ever will>>>

and five years ago it was inconceivable that the government would release a report on privatising state education.......but that is what they have done today! The wheels turn slowly, so from maggie and her neo-liberal agenda it has taken over 30 years for this recent proposal to be put out for public reaction to be assessed.

MiniTheMinx Thu 10-Jan-13 09:19:57

Prostitution breaks up families, degrades and exploits women, empowers men. Causes STI's and unwanted pregnancies. Why would the law change to encourage this? Who picks up the costs NHS. Wives can't cope, children can't cope with family break-up. Men claim to be having nervous breakdown when caught as it's far easier than admitting the truth. Girls selling themselves end up with disease, low self worth, need therapy. Daughters don't understand why their dads pay women for sex. Sons grow up thinking it's ok to pay women for sex. Everyone needs fucking therapy. Everyones having therapy. But thats ok thank fucking christ for the good old NHS

But isn't that what we already have? My point is that by changing the language used from prostitution to sex work we start to change the way we think. We minimise the harm and we start to shape the way people view it so that at some time in the future, the liberals and the capitalists will be free to exploit women as commodities for profit, not just as lapdancers, not just in porn but as "prostitutes" The laws will be relaxed if there is money to be made. That is why I have a problem with laurie Penny, as a socialist she is muddled! we should not be altering the language and allowing a seeping culture of further exploitation of women.

As regards law, it doesn't work, historically proven. Its the economic relations btw all people that needs changing.

Katie, women who enter prostitution do not do so through lack of morals but through lack of economic and social power.

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Thu 10-Jan-13 10:37:10

Franz. The Swedish gov's own enquiry into the efficacy of the sex laws in 2011.

Street prostitution reduced by half. This reduction may be considered to be a direct result of the criminalisation of sex purchases. In a comparison, we have noted that the prevalence of street prostitution was about the same in the three capital cities of Norway, Denmark and Sweden before the ban on the purchase of sexual services was introduced here, but the number of people in street prostitution in both Norway and Denmark subsequently increased dramatically. In 2008, the number of people in street prostitution in both Norway and Denmark was estimated to be three times higher than in Sweden.

Furthermore, there is no evidence that prostitution has been pushed underground:

there is nothing to indicate that Internet-based prostitution has increased more in Sweden than in these comparable countries (Denmark & Norway). This contradicts the idea that street prostitution has simply changed arenas to the Internet. With this in mind it seems reasonable to conclude that the 50% decrease in street prostitution that has occurred is a real reduction of prostitution in Sweden, and that this reduction is probably primarily an effect of the criminalisation of sex purchases.

Source So we can all find a study that can back up our claims, Franz. Only the ones supporting your pro-prostitution view generally a financial vested interest in prostitution. The site you linked to to is not the UN. It is a pro-sex industry site.

Natalie555 Thu 10-Jan-13 10:51:32

The men who pay girls and women for sex do so through lack of morals.

nerhsmon Thu 10-Jan-13 12:09:20

katiemum you need to remember that it was your husband who said his vows to you, not the person he paid to have sex with. take the blinkers off darling. i cant imagine that the girl he paid to have sex with sought out your hubby he went looking for her. i dont suppose she held a gun to his head either. your husband ruined you marriage all by himself. he had no respect for you. how many more has he had that you dont know about? do you trust a word that comes out of his mouth? more fool you if you do. sounds like he has done a good job on you feeling sorry for him. bless his cotton socks. if you take him back he will do it again and you you going to blame then? a relationship with constant doubts and mistrust. good luck.

Franz1980 Thu 10-Jan-13 16:01:26

@Sabrina, all that harps on about street prostitution which now makes up a minority of all prostitution (in both Sweden and the UK).

When many people think prostitution they first thing that comes into their mind is a women on a street corner or leaning into a car. But today most of it isn't like that. Most prostitution is indoors such as escorting booked from phone calls or internet, and escorts travel to their clients discreetly in "civilian" clothes then when they arrive at their client's place they usually change into something more sexy.

And page 38 from this report suggests the sex trade overall happens just as much contradicting the report you posted:

"Underground trade, more violence
Street-based sex work is halved in Sweden, according to the police, but the sex trade remains at pre-law levels. It has
simply moved further underground,to hotels and restaurants, as well as the Internet—and to Denmark. The Swedish
State Criminal Department warns that the sex trade may now be more violent. Especially worrying is the trade in foreign
women, who often fall entirely under the control of pimps.",Rights&Health-EN.pdf

MiniTheMinx Thu 10-Jan-13 16:28:07

Franz, serious question, is someone paying you to lobby for the pro sex industry lobby? Selling people as commodities because men feel they have the right to purchase anything is wrong. Would you encourage working class people to sell their Kidneys to pay their water bill? I expect so. I'm out. You have a vested interest somewhere here, It's plain.

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Thu 10-Jan-13 16:37:42

Like I said, Frans - you can find a report to support either point of view. The report I linked to found no evidence for an increase in internet based prostitution - and found that the law has produced a net reduction in prostitution rather than just pushed it underground.

As always it depends who you talk to. What is for sure is that the Swedish Model has been deemed a success by the Swedish government 10 years on- and is extremely popular amongst the Swedish people - with around 80% being in favour of the laws.

The pro-sex industry lobby - the pimps and traffickers, the people with a financial vested interest in the sex industry - like Douglas Fox who runs the ISUW (who you linked to earlier) - well, they hate the existence of the Swedish Law. They hate it so much that will do anything to discredit it - because it's this sort of enlightened law-making that will severely limit their profiteering from exploited women.

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Thu 10-Jan-13 16:39:29

Yes, MinitheMinx. I was wondering the exact same thing.

ChickenSoupIsGoodForTheSoul Thu 10-Jan-13 18:34:15

Katie - I really couldn't care less if you think my post was rude. If you have a problem with it, report it and get it deleted! Furthermore, I make absolutely no apology whatsoever for what I said about OldLady & Frans/z. I don't care if my post is deleted, they read it, they know what I think and I make no apology for that. The only apology I make is to GothAnn. I was in no mood for irony last night.
I am sick of pimps idiots on this thread talking shite. Still am and refuse to read anymore of their repetetive drivel. It is clear that OldLady and Frans/z have a vested interest in prostitution and anyone too stupid to see that can jog on.
I'm off and won't be returning so go ahead do your reporting and get this deleted too. I cannot be arsed with this thread anymore.

Franz1980 Thu 10-Jan-13 19:50:45

"The report I linked to found no evidence for an increase in internet based prostitution"

I don't suppose it has any evidence internet prostitution decreased either? So from a complete lack of evidence the Swedish Government "reasonably concludes" it is a great success?

This article also initially claims the Swedish law is a "success" because of less street prostitution. But then goes on to say prostitution happens just as much indoors and online...

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Thu 10-Jan-13 20:16:39

"I don't suppose it has any evidence internet prostitution decreased either?"

No, but it hasn't increased any more than Norway and Denmark. Thus, your assertion that the reduction in street prostitution, as a result of the laws, is because prostitutes have gone underground, 'onto the internet' would be incorrect.

Obviously you wouldn't see the Swedish Laws as a success, Franz. Given the views you tirelessly air on MN. However, 80% of the Swedish population are in favour of them. smile

OldLadyKnowsNothing Fri 11-Jan-13 01:51:01

So because I think adult women should be able/permitted to make their own choices over what they do with their own bodies, I am a pimp? How very interesting.

And what a very typical response; I don't agree with you so can can silence me by claiming I must have a vested interest.

Gotta love feminism, eh? grin

OldLadyKnowsNothing Fri 11-Jan-13 03:10:00

And I think my critics could do with reading [ Dr Brooke Magnanti's book]]. But they won't, because it uses facts and shit, rather than, well, shite. And supposition. And does not support the RadFem position.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Fri 11-Jan-13 03:12:48
SabrinaMulhollandJjones Fri 11-Jan-13 10:17:13

OldLady - you're right. I won't be buying Brooke's book. I am familiar with her stance on prostitution though...If you want to believe what Brooke writes about prostitution you are in complete denial over the prostitutes who are harmed by the sex industry. The ones who have no choice, who are drug addicted, who are abused.

I didn't claim you had a vested interest in the sex industry (although you may have, who knows?) - but plenty of people that campaign for so-called sex workers rights do. The example I gave was the IUSW that Frans linked to upthread.

And yes, I do love feminism.

MiniTheMinx Fri 11-Jan-13 11:19:57

I won't be reading the book either. I am not a rad, as a socialist I am concerned with all forms of economic and labour exploitation. Within the social totality we have little room to think without bias.

To think that women have agency under capitalism and patriarchy is to deny that we are oppressed and exploited. So yeah, if you don't get that and understand that, you probably aren't a feminist.

My guess is that the pro-sex work lobby are "Infected" with the individualism of neo-liberalism where it is thought that everyone has agency and therefore oppression is just something imagined within their own minds. They even claim that prostituted women are able to rise above their own experiences and think themselves into a position of social and economic power if they believe themselves to have it. All you need is a legal regulated framework to protect workers rights.

Well get this, we have that in all industries in western countries and guess what, it hasn't made a jots worth of difference to the material fact that labour is exploited. Wages have fallen, people are eating from food banks, people lose their homes, individuals have huge levels of debt, even those that are working etc..... making something legal doesn't stop exploitation.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Fri 11-Jan-13 11:39:44

What a shame, that people would rather cling to their prejudices than be educated. If you won't read Brooke's book because of what she did for money, how about a glance at this one?

Natalie555 Fri 11-Jan-13 11:45:41

OldLadyKnowsNothing ~ your name suits you.

I'm out too. This thread is getting ridiculous.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Fri 11-Jan-13 11:55:46

Ridiculous, because I disagree? Okaaaaay.....

GothAnneGeddes Fri 11-Jan-13 12:37:06

Thinking that prostitution is empowering and a worthwhile "service" to the (male half) doesn't strike me as educated.

Also, whatever she'd like to claim otherwise, Brooke Magnanti is a privileged outlier within prostitution, not the norm.

What she's pushing isn't education, it's appeasement of the men who think women were only put on this earth to service them.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Fri 11-Jan-13 12:42:16

How can you say that, when you haven't read the book? It's not Belle de Jour I'm talking about here.

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Fri 11-Jan-13 13:00:40

Minitheminx, I lean towards the left politically but I'm not a socialist. I have found your posts very interesting to read on here. I know, from reading your posts that I would like to know more about your opinions.

OldLady - it's fine to disagree, but don't claim that because we don't want to read your book recommendation on here that we are all in ignorance. We've all read Brooke's arguments before - we're not in ignorance of them. I don't claim to be that well-read on the topic - but so many of the feminist posters on MN are extremely educated and well-read.

I don't need to read Nick Griffin's book to know I don't want to join the BNP.

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Fri 11-Jan-13 13:04:56

Btw - I watched Brooke being interviewed on News24 a couple of months back - it did nothing but raise my blood pressure!

OldLadyKnowsNothing Fri 11-Jan-13 13:20:49

Sabrina, the book I mention by Brooke does not contain any pro-prostitution arguments, it contains yer actual facts about all sorts of sexual matters, backed up by zillions of peer-reviewed research by people who are not, and have never been, prostitutes. But if you, and/or others prefer to put prejudice politics before actual knowledge, so be it.

MiniTheMinx Fri 11-Jan-13 14:02:08

Thank you SabrinaMulhollandJjones I'm reading your posts and nodding! RadFems and Marxist fems share a common heritage and more in common than Laurie Penny would like to admit grin

I have just had a quick look at the link oldlady and a read from the book on Amazon. I would love to say more but I must go and do some work. I read a bit of the preview to The Sex Myth: Why Everything We're Told is Wrong. I think it would be fairly easy to debunk almost everything I have just read. So far the only thing I am in agreement with, is the intro into the chapter on Children but mainly because when you apply a Historical materialist analysis to this area it becomes obv why childhood is longer and why we seek to control and limit children. If anyone has read Firestone they will understand that too. Although I reserve judgement because I still think this women has an agenda beyond women's rights and no I won't put money in her pocket!

OldLadyKnowsNothing Fri 11-Jan-13 14:04:49

Thank you for at least looking. smile

GothAnneGeddes Fri 11-Jan-13 16:53:26

OLKN - What exactly are you wanting to prove?

That prostitution is harmless?

That it's a perfectly healthy and positive thing for men to pay for sex?

That the majority of prostitutes are happy and willing in their work?

That increased usage of prostitutes, without any stigma will be a good thing for society, particularly women?

Are these facts you think Brooke's book proves?

MiniTheMinx Fri 11-Jan-13 17:21:03

I have just been listening to Brooke, here where she speaks against changes to the law.

What she says is that more women within the sex industry will come to harm because they will not be able to maintain an active and supportive dialogue with the police. She argues that women need to be able to go to the police and report.

_Is there any other legal, regulated labour, in any other industry where workers would routinely be in danger, or be vulnerable to economic exploitation as well as threats to personal safety and integrity where the staff approach the police to resolve the issue?_

Owl Listen carefully to what Brook is saying because she herself actually gives evidence to the fact that women are harmed in prostitution.

I have also had a another read through from that link to her book. She makes the argument that the sexualised porn culture does not harm children. Whilst I think taken in a historical context children are no more harmed than they ever were, what I would argue for is more protection for children. If you look back in history, conditions of overcrowding, lack of education, low school leaving age, early marriage, trading women between tribal groups etc, meant that children grew up very quickly and were party to greater knowledge earlier, we shouldn't accept the idea that porn culture isn't now at this time shaping our children's brains and making them vulnerable. I would draw you to the work done by Gail Dines when she interviews paedophiles and the link btw adult porn and child abuse.

Another interesting thing about Brook, she was raped, _she has no contact with her father after he told her that during her childhood he had paid for over 150 prostitutes_. Strange!

Franz1980 Fri 11-Jan-13 17:56:03

Ah I remember watching this. Interesting how Brooke actually seems to know what she's talking about while Ms. Grant seems rather hesitant, stuttery and unsure.

What she says is that more women within the sex industry will come to harm because they will not be able to maintain an active and supportive dialogue with the police

It's a good point. At the moment most information on trafficking actually comes from prostitutes and clients themselves. If prostitution is criminalized then it's likely the police will stop receiving these tip offs.

As for Rhoda claiming it could be proven and stack up in court I doubt it. At about 2:55 in Margo McDonald says for a conviction the prostitute will need to give evidence against the client which just won't happen.

In Sweden not a single client has been sent to prison and only 2 have actually been convicted of buying sex as of July 2012 (and that's because they were dumb enough to actually admit to it).

page 38:,Rights&Health-EN.pdf

The UK would be no different. If the UK criminalized sex we would prob only get about 2 convictions a decade too. Clients will know it is practically impossible to enforce and it won't be much of a detterent at all.

Franz1980 Fri 11-Jan-13 18:05:58

Is there any other legal, regulated labour, in any other industry where workers would routinely be in danger, or be vulnerable to economic exploitation as well as threats to personal safety and integrity where the staff approach the police to resolve the issue?_

Plenty. Working in a pub, cornershop. Working in the police/fire/ambulance services. Working with mental health patients...

ProzacHelps Fri 11-Jan-13 18:35:27

Hi. Look at it from a different perspective. I copied and pasted the following from thread I started giving insight to it all. Research & Education Website.

Sex Work - There Is No Such Thing
By XLondonCallGirl, survivor of prostitution
December 20, 2012

I've heard a few people recently referring to women who work as prostitutes, in pornography and as strippers, as sex workers. This, I have to say absolutely riles me. Why does it? I am sure some people will have not the slightest idea with what could be wrong with the term sex work. Considering that working in prostitution, pornography or as a stripper is a form of abuse, referring to it as some kind of work normalises it. It makes it okay. It sounds politically correct. But let's not fool ourselves here. This kind of "work" is abuse. It is abusive to the women and men and sometimes even children involved. To be on the receiving end of abuse, allowing abuse to happen to you, being forced to have abuse inflicted on you, is not a form of work.

When I was a call girl back in the 1990s, I don't know if anyone was using the term sex worker. Certainly, myself and the other working women I hung around with didn't use that terminology. However, we had our own words for our own denial that we were harming ourselves. We didn't call ourselves prostitutes, we called ourselves hookers, call girls and escorts. Though my friend Q would talk about her days as a streetwalker when she was originally forced into prostitution and I think of all my friends at that time, she was the one who would occasionally refer to herself as a prostitute. But then at that time, she lived in flats in the most sought after streets in London, had the best designer clothes, expensive jewellery often given to her by clients, and was taken away on luxury holidays. She had it all on the outside, like most of us did though she did have it best, but like the rest of us, she was just as messed up, damaged, hurt and confused on the inside.

We all needed to use that different vocabulary about ourselves to feed the denial that we weren't in fact prostitutes. That weren't acting out the sexual abuse we had suffered as children, thinking this time we were the ones in control, pulling the strings, having the last say. But when we were raped and beaten, that wasn't the case, and that's probably why we always just carried on working as if nothing had happened to us. Nearly every woman in that circle I knew well had told me of their childhood sexual abuse. Some of the others didn't discuss their abuse but I wouldn't be surprised if they'd suffered it too, we just weren't as close. We were used to being treated like sex objects. Some of us were called names like "whore" and "tart" and that self-fulfilling prophecy is what happened to us. We were viewed as sex objects when we were young, so we learned to treat ourselves as sex objects. We saw ourselves as sex objects. Sex is what men wanted from us, that was the commodity we traded in, so we may as well get paid for it.

I thought I was selling my soul in a telemarketing job in my very early twenties. I wasn't selling anything illegal, it was a business to business sales role, but because of my childhood abuse I came to a conclusion that a normal woman wouldn't arrive at: that it would be better to have sex for money, work less hours and earn more money. As simple as that. I didn't see anything wrong with women who worked in prostitution and I still don't see anything wrong with them. I feel a deep sense of sadness for them now just like I feel a deep sense of sadness for myself for putting myself through the ordeal for a few years and that I still pay a price for it now emotionally, psychologically, mentally, in relationships with men as well as friends, I have trust issues, the list goes on - that can be another post for another day.

Sex is not a kind of work, stripping is not a kind of work and neither is pornography. They are kinds of abuse. It would be great if society could see it for what it is and stop using the term sex work, which they see is politically correct. Call it what it is - prostitution, stripping, pornography, but separate the woman from what she does. She is not what she does. She is still a woman. So don't call her a prostitute, a stripper, a pornstar/actress. Instead, call her a woman who is in prostitution, a woman who is in stripping, a woman who is in pornography. Don't let her label become who she is and define her. She is a woman no more or less special than any other. She is deserving of the same respect as any other woman.

For women in prostitution, pornography and stripping and who want to call themselves sex workers that is their choice. Just like it was my choice and my friends' choice to use terminology that made it seem okay to us - our words being hookers, escorts and call girls. I am not here to tell those women what to call what they do, but I am asking society not to feed into that denial, not to let that denial spread and normalise abuse against women by calling it work.

Posted by Melissa Farley at 8:55

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Fri 11-Jan-13 18:47:12

Thanks Prozac, that pretty much sums up my opinion.

As there's been a few book recommendations on this thread - here's one of Melissa Farley's.

Franz, you are wrong about the number of convictions in Sweden - there were 85 convictions in 2006 alone.

ProzacHelps Fri 11-Jan-13 19:01:06

Sabrina - sums up my opinion too. That is good book recommendation. What a powerful front cover. The picture says it all! Do go onto the thread I started to read more from The Survivor'sView. The thread is called Prostitution Research & Education.

MiniTheMinx Fri 11-Jan-13 19:24:29

Franz, that is lame. Dp works in medium secure in mental health and in 8 years the police have been called twice for riots, and a few times for absconders. Other than court (for those sectioned for crime) he has virtually no contact with the police.

He works with women who have a diagnosis of BPD and many of them have a history of abuse and having worked in prostitution, along with DV and drugs/alcohol and having had their own children taken into care. I don't know what the percentage is of women who worked in prostitution but its a significant factor for some of the women he works with.

Thank you Prozac I think calling it sex work is a ploy to hide and minimise the realities.

Franz1980 Fri 11-Jan-13 19:42:05

I wasn't trying to imply sex workers (or should I be calling them "prostituted women"?) need to call the police on a regular basis and I don't think Brooke was implying that either. But the point is the relationship between sex workers (and their clients) and the police should remain open just in case they did want to report a crime committed against themselves or give info about suspected trafficking even if it was only twice a decade.

Franz1980 Fri 11-Jan-13 19:47:56

I think calling it sex work is a ploy to hide and minimise the realities.

Or maybe it's to try and acknowledge the fact they are working for wages just like anyone else and deserve respect just like anyone else and to lower stigma? One of my links above mentioned increased stigma means sex workers in Sweden end up lying to their family and friends and landlord about what they do.

Sex workers in Sweden legally aren't allowed to rent a place to live. And this law is supposed to be protecting them?

MiniTheMinx Fri 11-Jan-13 19:53:13

Lets, take Brooks position here and make all facets of the sale of and purchase of sex completely legal. Including brothel keeping and controlling/hiring and contracting. OK.

Now, would the exploited women (or worker if you insist) contact her A)Line manager, B)her union rep, d)MP, e) solicitor who specialises in employment law or f) the police

Who do you think she is most likely to contact if she can not agree the terms of her employment and the terms and conditions in relation to specific tasks associated with her work?

Franz1980 Fri 11-Jan-13 20:03:25

She leaves.

ProzacHelps Fri 11-Jan-13 20:14:28
MiniTheMinx Fri 11-Jan-13 20:14:47

Would she not have to give notice if she was working for someone? This is after all just work like any other work isn't it???? I assume it would be better to be employed on a contract because the worker would have maternity rights, right to request flexi working, pension rights, time off for dependants and paid holidays and sickness.

Franz1980 Sat 12-Jan-13 00:19:46

Nope. She can just leave.

As well all know forcing someone to have sex who does not give their consent to it would be rape.

Pushthebutton Sat 12-Jan-13 00:52:43

Who's She ? The cats mother?

It wouldn't be a respectable, trusting employer/employee relationship would it.

If She decided to leave such 'employment' and get a normal 9-5 job do you not think she would be discriminated against? How would "sex work" on a CV be viewed by future potential employers?

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Sat 12-Jan-13 10:31:55

Legalisation and regulation wouldn't have helped the prostitutes mentioned in Prozachelps posts. It wouldn't have necessarily stopped them being traumatised by the abuse they suffered as prostitutes - because a lot of the 'abuse' isn't actually physical, being hit or hurt or beaten. And although nobody can say it definitely will happen to all prostitutes, it can and does happen to some - and not just the lowly dug addicted/pimped ones either. Prozac's case above is a 'high class' call girl.

It is described well in Melissa Farley's book as being lined up in a brothel like livestock - and then being judged and 'chosen'. It is being reduced to a vagina, anus breasts and mouth. She says that the one true line in the Pretty Woman film is when Julia Roberts says "I can be anybody you want to be, honey" because the prostitute ceases to become herself and becomes purely what the punter desires. She becomes and empty wank sock for him - if that's not dehumanising, then I don't know what is.

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Sat 12-Jan-13 10:32:47

The 20120 Swedish study looked at comparisons between the Swedish model and places like Amsterdam, where prostitution is legalised/ regulated.

'According to the evaluation carried out in 2007, it is impossible to say whether the situation for prostitutes has improved since the regulation was put in place, in spite of the authorities efforts to protect them and improve their situation and legal status...the evaluation also reported on a survey that used a number of criteria to compare the sex sellers' emotional wellbeing in 2001 and 2006. The results indicated that their wellbeing had deteriorated in all respects. These findings correspond to other results which show that persons in prositution experience growing anxiety and that their use of tranquilisers has increased. Apparently the prostitutes were also less satisfied with their incomes in 2006 compared with 2001'

Not really a glowing recommendation for legalisation.

Check out the state of Nevada as well to see the failures of legalised brothels.


SabrinaMulhollandJjones Sat 12-Jan-13 10:37:34

So many typos in those last posts! Must preview more...

MiniTheMinx Sat 12-Jan-13 10:39:18


Real work doesn't work like this.

Push I have given up on theory and resorted to what can only be described as "rational" reasoning. wink

I asked you Franz to imagine liberalising and legalising the employment of and labour/wage exploitation of women who work as prostitutes. OK, so if it were like any other work the employer would issue the employed person with a contract of employment.

Most contracts are made up of two documents with the Job description/specification forming part of this. Most specifications list the main duties and responsibilities and every one I have ever seen also includes the _caveat "and any other reasonable duties as specified by your line manager/supervisor"_

<<<"As well all know forcing someone to have sex who does not give their consent to it would be rape">>>

How could this possibly be covered under employment law because the contract would have to include that having penetrative sex formed part of your specified duties. Otherwise it would have to be covered under that caveat. The same would apply for bondage or even shaking hands!! The problem then becomes one of proving that the worker is not working to their contract or in the case of the worker proving that having penetrative sex is not covered under the caveat and therefore she was raped. It wouldn't stand up in an employment tribunal.

To say that prostitution is the same as all other work and legalise it would further erode the women's rights to say no to sex because it would effectively remove the consent of the women. Therefore it would be legally sanctioned rape. IMO

MiniTheMinx Sat 12-Jan-13 10:49:13

And saying she can leave, is lame because women have families to feed, mortgages to pay etc,

If you liberalise and legalise you open up an area which is not now available to capitalist exploitation. Once it is legalised it becomes a class war where the workers sell their labour to an employer. Whilst all workers are free to sell their labour, all employers are free to dictate the terms( tasks/ contracts etc) and the wage.

In pre-capitalist society you had very very low levels of un/under-employment because people created their own employment. They still did right the way through the introduction of steam and factories however as we move forward we find that more people are subject to the law of demand. So we now have huge levels of unemployment.....a consequence of the capitalist mode of production.

If you legalise and rationalise a pre-capitalist mode of production, ie prostitution into the capitalist becomes a greater not lesser area of exploitation.

Pushthebutton Sat 12-Jan-13 11:55:03

"It is described well in Melissa Farley's book as being lined up in a brothel like livestock - and then being judged and 'chosen'. It is being reduced to a vagina, anus breasts and mouth. She says that the one true line in the Pretty Woman film is when Julia Roberts says "I can be anybody you want to be, honey" because the prostitute ceases to become herself and becomes purely what the punter desires. She becomes and empty wank sock for him - if that's not dehumanising, then I don't know what is. " Good point! Those experiences can't be anymore dehumanizing. I cannot begin to imagine the mental suffering of the women involved. It is a form of mental abuse. It must catch up with them in the end. The human brain will not go unaffected.
I think out of all the book recommendations Melissa Farley's book is the only one worth reading. I notice Franz has made no comment on Prozacs post containing intelligent and articulate piece written by Melissa Farley.

Franz1980 Sat 12-Jan-13 14:53:31

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Franz1980 Sat 12-Jan-13 14:54:38

"And saying she can leave, is lame because women have families to feed, mortgages to pay etc"

The same could be said about men or about any job.

MiniTheMinx Sat 12-Jan-13 15:28:20

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

MiniTheMinx Sat 12-Jan-13 15:42:15

Plus, I asked you to think about the possible outcome of making the sale of and purchase of sex legal across the board. This is what i said "Lets, take Brook's position here and make all facets of the sale of and purchase of sex completely legal. Including brothel keeping and controlling/hiring and contracting" I asked you to consider the outcome in terms of employment laws and for you to try and make the case that sex work is still just like any other work. You have failed to make the case,

"she can leave" is not an answer and doesn't answer the question "Is sex work just like any other work in relation to employment law, in relation to other forms of waged work? It isn't and what is more Brooke knows that which is why, she says about maintaining an open dialogue with police, not just because of rape (which is not an employment issue now but a criminal offence) but in relation to trafficking. What is known about trafficking is that it is more prevalent where prostitution laws are more liberal.

Why should the resources of social services and law enforcement be use to maintain and regulate the labour conditions of workers? do they routinely involve themselves with Tesco? investigating how much to pay their staff or whether they should give paid coffee breaks or stipulate more clearly what within that "caveat" is a reasonable task not covered in the job spec.

Franz1980 Sat 12-Jan-13 15:50:55

Another thing that's interesting to know about human trafficking- most human trafficking is actually for non-sexual labour. Yet when people think trafficking they tend to think of the sex industry.

Where prostitution laws are more liberal the workers and clients are more likely to tip off the police if they suspect trafficking. They are the best source on info. That's Brookes' point.

Another thing that's now known about sex trafficking is numbers of victims are vastly exaggerated.

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Sat 12-Jan-13 16:00:10

Prostitution is legalised in Germany, and yet Germany is struggling to stem the flow of sex trafficking across it's borders. There is evidence that sex trafficking actually increases as a result of legalisation, rather than decreasing. People that want to exploit and profit from trafficked women and children tend to want to do it where the actually activity (selling sex) is legal. Makes things easier I suppose.

Article about Germany here

Franz1980 Sat 12-Jan-13 16:02:10

The assumption that the law on prostitution caused an increase of trafficking cases does not hold out against the official statistics in Germany. The German Federal Criminal Police annual statistics on trafficking in human beings actually state the opposite. There is no increase in victims of trafficking according to police statistics:

2000 – 926 victims

2001 – 987 victims

2002 – 811 victims (law on prostitution enacted)

2003 – 1235 victims

2004 – 972 victims

2005 – 642 victims

2006 – 775 victims

2007 – 689 victims

2008 – 676 victims

2009 – 710 victims


Franz1980 Sat 12-Jan-13 16:03:59

hmm who to believe? The official stats? Or a scandal tabloid column written by someone who wants to create scaremongering to scare people into thinking the problem is worse than it really is?

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Sat 12-Jan-13 16:40:14

Franz - your link doesn't work, it comes up 'not found.'

I don't know where your figures came from, but they contradict what the German Police Chief reported in 2010- which was that sex trafficking was on the rise - with a 70% rise over a 5 year period.

So yes, who to believe?

I do wonder, if a person or organisation is going to traffic young women into a country, to exploit and profit from them, why they would choose a country where there are the increased risks of prostitution being criminalised. It is perfectly easy to profit from these women in the comfort of a country where buying sex is legalised.

Reliable evidence shows that trafficking has reduced substantially in Sweden.

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Sat 12-Jan-13 16:43:49

Melissa Farley writes:

"As Youngbee Dale has written, in Germany legalized prostitution has resulted in MORE trafficking, not less. In pimp and john terms, this can be translated as: when you advertise women for sale someplace with no penalty for that, the johns come running, from all over. This same phenomenon: legal prostitution and then more trafficking, more sexual exploitation of children, more johns roaming the location where prostitution is legalized or decriminalized, has been seen in the Netherlands and Australia as well, and in the state of Nevada (where the rape rate is one of the highest in the US)."

MiniTheMinx Sat 12-Jan-13 18:14:42

Its interesting Franz that again you avoid the question by seizing on the mention of trafficking in my last post. You still haven't even tried to convince us that prostitution is just like any other work. I am giving you the opportunity to try and convince me smile we live under capitalism, a system where most people "sell" their labour for wages, they are employed.

Prostitution will be exploitative whether we have liberal laws or not. Aside from the obv physical and psychological harm it will always be women who lack social advantage who will end up "choosing" (although many are forced) to sell sex. The laws will have no effect upon this. Laws are part of the super structure not part of the base.....the basis of our lives is economic. For instance if we had liberal laws which allowed brothels to employ staff, these brothels would seek to maximise profit and remain competitive. This would impact upon the women's income. One of the ways in which we maximise profit and maintain market share is to create "added value" (what might that be in relation to selling sex?) or drive down wages, charge customers less, cut corners on health and safety. In fact I would argue that a liberal law would create greater exploitation of the women in prostitution.

I am shocked actually by this "Nevada (where the rape rate is one of the highest in the US)." Thank you for the link, I will have a read.

ProzacHelps Sat 12-Jan-13 20:00:31

Prostitution: Factsheet on Human Rights Violations
by Melissa Farley PhD
Prostitution Research & Education
Box 16254, San Francisco CA 94116 USA
© 4/2/2000

In order to quote from this Factsheet, please credit the author above as well as the specific sources listed below. Thank you.

Prostitution is:

a) sexual harassment
b) rape
c) battering
d) verbal abuse
e) domestic violence
f) a racist practice
g) a violation of human rights
h) childhood sexual abuse
i) a consequence of male domination of women
j) a means of maintaining male domination of women
k) all of the above


The commercial sex industry includes street prostitution, massage brothels, escort services, outcall services, strip clubs, lapdancing, phone sex, adult and child pornography, video and internet pornography, and prostitution tourism. Most women who are in prostitution for longer than a few months drift among these various permutations of the commercial sex industry.

All prostitution causes harm to women. Whether it is being sold by one’s family to a brothel, or whether it is being sexually abused in one’s family, running away from home, and then being pimped by one’s boyfriend, or whether one is in college and needs to pay for next semester’s tuition and one works at a strip club behind glass where men never actually touch you – all these forms of prostitution hurt the women in it. (Melissa Farley, paper presented at the 11th International Congress on Women’s Health Issues, University of California College of Nursing, San Francisco. 1-28-2000)

"The everyday life of prostitution is distant from most of us. And here, our imagination is a poor assistant. Negotiate a price with a stranger. Agree. Pull down one pant leg. Come and take me. Finished. Next, please. It becomes too ugly to really take it in. The imagination screeches to a halt." (Cecilie Hoigard and Liv Finstad, Backstreets: Prostitution, Money, and Love, 1992, translated by Katherine Hanson, Nancy Sipe, and Barbara Wilson; first published as Bakgater in Norway, 1986, Pennsylvania State University Press, University Park, Pennsylvania).

Men call up the image of the whore when they are abusing their partners. The accusations in between the kicks and slaps: "You slut....whore...." Historically, the words mean "subhuman," "having no rights," "invisible," and "wicked." As recently as 1991, police in a southern California community closed all rape reports made by prostitutes and addicts, placing them in a file stamped "NHI." The letters stand for the words "No Human Involved." (Linda Fairstein, Sexual Violence: Our War Against Rape, 1993, New York, William Morrow.)


"[The prostitute] is a victim of every bad thing men do to women: physical and sexual abuse, economic oppression and abandonment." (Mick LaSalle, "Hollywood is hooked on hookers, " San Francisco Examiner, December 3, 1995).


Women in prostitution are purchased for their appearance, including skin color and characteristics based on ethnic stereotyping. Throughout history, women have been enslaved and prostituted based on race and ethnicity, as well as gender (Kathleen Barry, 1995 ,The Prostitution of Sexuality, New York University Press).


We usually don't see prostitution as domestic violence because it is just too painful: "...the carnage: the scale of it, the dailiness of it, the seeming inevitability of it; the torture, the rapes, the murders, the beatings, the despair, the hollowing out of the personality, the near extinguishment of hope commonly suffered by women in prostitution." (Margaret A. Baldwin "Split at the Root: Prostitution and Feminist Discourses of Law Reform" in Yale Journal of Law and Feminism, 1992, Vol 5: 47-120)


"Male dominance means that the society creates a pool of prostitutes by any means necessary so that men have what men need to stay on top, to feel big, literally, metaphorically, in every way;..." (Andrea Dworkin, Prostitution and Male Supremacy, in Life and Death, Free Press, 1997).


"Prostitution isn't like anything else. Rather, everything else is like prostitution because it is the model for women's condition." (Evelina Giobbe, 1992, quoted by Margaret Baldwin in "Split at the Root: Prostitution and Feminist Discourses of Law Reform," Yale Journal of Law and Feminism, 5:


"The sex industry markets precisely the violence, the practices of subordination that feminists seek to eliminate from the streets, workplaces, and bedrooms." Sheila Jeffreys, (1997) The Idea of Prostitution, Spinifex Press, North Melbourne, Victoria.


The practice of prostitution is a practice of sexual objectification of women. "... every act of sexual objectifying occurs on a continuum of dehumanization that promises male sexual violence at its far end." John Stoltenberg (1990) Refusing to be a Man, Fontana, London.


The average age of entry into prostitution is 13 years (M.H. Silbert and A.M. Pines, 1982, "Victimization of street prostitutes, Victimology: An International Journal, 7: 122-133) or 14 years (D.Kelly Weisberg, 1985, Children of the Night: A Study of Adolescent Prostitution, Lexington, Mass, Toronto). Most of these 13 or 14 year old girls were recruited or coerced into prostitution. Others were "traditional wives" without job skills who escaped from or were abandoned by abusive husbands and went into prostitution to support themselves and their children. (Denise Gamache and Evelina Giobbe, Prostitution: Oppression Disguised as Liberation, National Coalition against Domestic Violence, 1990)


The age of entry into prostitution is decreasing. For example, how do we even conceptualize "juvenile" prostitution, when the age of consent for legal sexual activity is constantly lowered, as in Netherlands and Philippines? (Kathleen Mahoney, Professor of Law, Calgary University, Canada, 1995)

"Incest is boot camp [for prostitution.]" (Andrea Dworkin, "Prostitution and Male Supremacy," in Life and Death, Free press, 1997)


Estimates of the prevalence of incest among prostitutes range from 65% to 90%. The Council for Prostitution Alternatives, Portland, Oregon Annual Report in 1991 stated that: 85% of prostitute/clients reported history of sexual abuse in childhood; 70% reported incest. The higher percentages (80%-90%) of reports of incest and childhood sexual assaults of prostitutes come from anecdotal reports and from clinicians working with prostitutes (interviews with Nevada psychologists cited by Patricia Murphy, Making the Connections: women, work, and abuse, 1993, Paul M. Deutsch Press, Orlando, Florida; see also Rita Belton, "Prostitution as Traumatic Reenactment," 1992, International Society for Traumatic Stress Annual Meeting, Los Angeles, CA M.H. Silbert and A.M. Pines, 1982, "Victimization of street prostitutes," Victimology: An International Journal, 7: 122-133; C. Bagley and L Young, 1987, "Juvenile Prostitution and child sexual abuse: a controlled study," Canadian Journal of Community Mental Health, Vol 6: 5-26.


80% of prostitution survivors at the WHISPER Oral History Project reported that their customers showed them pornography to illustrate the kinds of sexual activities in which they wanted to engage. 52% of the women stated that pornography played a significant role in teaching them what was expected of them as prostitutes. 30% reported that their pimps regularly exposed them to pornography in order to indoctrinate them into an acceptance of the practices depicted. (A facilitator's guide to Prostitution: a matter of violence against women, 1990, WHISPER - Women Hurt in Systems of Prostitution Engaged in Revolt Minneapolis, MN)


The male sexuality in prostitution is "male masturbation in a female body." (Hanna Olsson, regarding a study of Swedish prostitution, quoted by Kathleen Barry in The Prostitution of Sexuality, 1995, New York, New York University Press) In prostitution, "men buy not a self but a body that performs as a self, and it is a self that conforms to the most harmful, damaging, racist and sexist concepts of women..." (Kathleen Barry, The Prostitution of Sexuality, 1995, New York, New York University Press)


The prostitution market is driven by customer demand for sexual service. During WW II, the Japanese military forced from 100,000 to 200,000 Korean women into prostitution to service their military. (Kathleen Barry, The Prostitution of Sexuality, 1995, New York, New York University Press).


In 1974, police estimated that there were 400,000 prostitutes in Thailand, procured primarily for the U.S. military on R & R from the Vietnam War. As of 1993, an unofficial estimate is that there are 2 million prostitutes in Thailand, whose national economy is dependent on tourism. Prostitution is the largest commodity for the 450,000 Thai men who purchase prostitutes daily as well as for a large percentage of the 5.4 million tourists a year who arrive in Thailand for "sex tours." (Kathleen Barry, The Prostitution of Sexuality, 1995, New York, New York University Press).

A more accurate term for "sex tourism" is prostitution tourism. (Melissa Farley, 1997)


90% of prostituted women interviewed by WHISPER had pimps while in prostitution (Evelina Giobbe, 1987, WHISPER Oral History Project, Minneapolis, Minnesota).


Pimps target girls or women who seem naive, lonely, homeless, and rebellious. At first, the attention and feigned affection from the pimp convinces her to "be his woman." Pimps ultimately keep prostituted women in virtual captivity by verbal abuse - making a woman feel that she is utterly worthless: a toilet, a piece of trash; and by physical coercion - beatings and the threat of torture. 80% to 95% of all prostitution is pimp-controlled. (Kathleen Barry, The Prostitution of Sexuality, 1995, New York, New York University Press)


Describing the trauma of prostitution, and its consequences, one fourteen year old stated: "You feel like a piece of hamburger meat – all chopped up and barely holding together" (D. Kelly Weisberg, 1985, Children of the Night, Lexington Books, Toronto).


The answer to the question "why do prostitutes stay with their pimps?" is the same as the answer to the question "why do battered women stay with their batterers?" (Melissa Farley, 1996) Humans bond emotionally to their abusers as a psychological strategy to survive under conditions of captivity. This has been described as the Stockholm syndrome (Dee Graham with Rawlings and Rigsby, Loving to Survive: Sexual Terror, Men's Violence, and Women's Lives, 1994, New York University Press, New York.)


"About 80% of women in prostitution have been the victim of a rape. It's hard to talk about this because..the experience of prostitution is just like rape. Prostitutes are raped, on the average, eight to ten times per year. They are the most raped class of women in the history of our planet. " (Susan Kay Hunter and K.C. Reed, July, 1990 "Taking the side of bought and sold rape," speech at National Coalition against Sexual Assault, Washington, D.C. )

Other studies report 68% to 70% of women in prostitution being raped (M Silbert, "Compounding factors in the rape of street prostitutes," in A.W. Burgess, ed., Rape and Sexual Assault II, Garland Publishing, 1988; Melissa Farley and Howard Barkan, "Prostitution, Violence, and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder," 1998, Women & Health.


78% of 55 women who sought help from the Council for Prostitution Alternatives in 1991 reported being raped an average of 16 times a year by pimps, and were raped 33 times a year by johns. (Susan Kay Hunter, Council for Prostitution Alternatives Annual Report, 1991, Portland, Oregon)

85% of prostitutes are raped by pimps. (Council on Prostitution Alternatives, Portland, 1994)


Prostitution is an act of violence against women which is intrinsically traumatizing. In a study of 475 people in prostitution (including women, men, and the transgendered) from five countries (South Africa, Thailand, Turkey, USA, and Zambia):

62% reported having been raped in prostitution.
73% reported having experienced physical assault in prostitution.
72% were currently or formerly homeless.
92% stated that they wanted to escape prostitution immediately.
(Melissa Farley, Isin Baral, Merab Kiremire, Ufuk Sezgin, "Prostitution in Five Countries: Violence and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder" (1998) Feminism & Psychology 8 (4): 405-426


83% of prostitutes are victims of assault with a weapon. (National Coalition Against Sexual Assault)


A Canadian Report on Prostitution and Pornography concluded that girls and women in prostitution have a mortality rate 40 times higher than the national average. ( Special Committee on Pornography and Prostitution, 1985, Pornography and Prostitution in Canada 350.


Many of the health problems of women in prostitution are a direct result of violence. For example, several women had their ribs broken by the police in Istanbul, a woman in San Francisco broke her hips jumping out of a car when a john was attempting to kidnap her. Many women had their teeth knocked out by pimps and johns. (Melissa Farley, unpublished manuscript, 2000)

One woman (in another study) said about her health: "I’ve had three broken arms, nose broken twice, [and] I’m partially deaf in one ear….I have a small
fragment of a bone floating in my head that gives me migraines. I’ve had a fractured skull. My legs ain’t worth shit no more; my toes have been broken. My feet, bottom of my feet, have been burned; they've been whopped with a hot iron and clothes hanger… the hair on my pussy had been burned off at one time…I have scars. I’ve been cut with a knife, beat with guns, two by fours. There hasn’t been a place on my body that hasn’t been bruised somehow, some way, some big, some small." (Giobbe, E. (1992) Juvenile Prostitution: Profile of Recruitment in Ann W. Burgess (ed.) Child Trauma: Issues & Research.
Garland Publishing Inc, New York, page 126).


In one study, 75% of women in escort prostitution had attempted suicide. Prostituted women comprised 15% of all completed suicides reported by hospitals. (Letter from Susan Kay Hunter, Council for Prostitution Alternatives, Jan 6, 1993, cited by Phyllis Chesler in "A Woman's Right to Self-Defense: the case of Aileen Carol Wuornos," in Patriarchy: Notes of an Expert Witness, 1994, Common Courage Press, Monroe, Maine.


Like combat veterans, women in prostitution suffer from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a psychological reaction to extreme physical and emotional trauma. Symptoms are acute anxiety, depression, insomnia, irritability, flashbacks, emotional numbing, and being in a state of emotional and physical hyperalertness. 67% of those in prostitution from five countries met criteria for a diagnosis of PTSD – a rate similar to that of battered women, rape victims, and state-sponsored torture survivors. (Melissa Farley, Isin Baral, Merab Kiremire, Ufuk Sezgin, "Prostitution in Five Countries: Violence and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder" (1998) Feminism & Psychology 8 (4): 405-426


"For a great part of 1992 I lived in a beautiful apartment on Capitol Hill. I drove my expensive car. I bought lovely clothes and traveled extensively out of the country. For the first time in my 20 years as an adult woman, I paid my own way. There was no need to worry about affording my rent, my phone bill, all the debts one accumulates simply by living month to month. I felt invincible. And I was miserable to the core. I hated myself because I hated my life All the things I came to possess meant nothing. I could not face myself in the mirror. Working in prostitution lost my soul." Survivor interviewed by Debra Boyer, Lynn Chapman and Brent Marshall in Survival Sex in King County: Helping Women Out (1993), King County Women;s Advisory Board, Northwest Resource Associates, Seattle.


"[In the past, we had a women's] movement which understood that the choice to be beaten by one man for economic survival was not a real choice, despite the appearance of consent a marriage contract might provide. ...Yet now we are supposed to believe, in the name of feminism, that the choice to be fucked by hundreds of men for economic survival must be affirmed as a real choice, and if the woman signs a model release there is no coercion there." (Catharine A. MacKinnon, "Liberalism and the Death of Feminism," in Dorchen Leidholdt and Janice Raymond (eds), The Sexual Liberals and the Attack on Feminism, 1990, Teachers College Press, New York.)


67% of 475 people in prostitution from South Africa, Thailand, Turkey, USA, and Zambia met diagnostic criteria for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). 92% stated that they wanted to leave prostitution, and said that what they needed was: a home or safe place (73%); job training (70%); and health care (59%). (Melissa Farley, Isin Baral, Merab Kiremire, Ufuk Sezgin, "Prostitution in Five Countries: Violence and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder" (1998) Feminism & Psychology 8 (4): 405-426

Other studies have noted that those in prostitution want to escape, and have the same needs as others who are in similar circumstances. El Bassel found that women who used drugs and who also prostituted were significantly more psychologically distressed than were drug-using women who did not prostitute. El Bassel et al. (1997) "Sex Trading and Psychological Distress among Women Recruited from the Streets of Harlem," American Journal of Public Health, 87: 66-70.


In order to understand the trauma of prostitution, it is necessary to also understand the ways in which racism and sexism are inextricably connected in prostitution (see Vednita Carter,1993, "Prostitution: Where Racism and Sexism Intersect," Michigan Journal of Gender & Law, 1: 81-89. Also see Jackie Lynne (1998) "Street Prostitution as Sexual Exploitation in First Nations Women’s Lives." Essay submitted in partial fulfillment of Master of Social Work, University of British Colombia, Vancouver, B.C., April 1998. See a short version of Lynne’s thesis "Colonialism and the Prostitution of First Nations Women in Canada" on the Prostitution Research & Education web site <>


There are few if any programs which address the needs of children of prostitutes. In a recent study of 1,963 prostitutes, more than two-thirds had at least one child. The average number of children was 2. 40% of the children lived with their grandmothers, but 20% lived with a mother working as a prostitute. 9% of the children were in foster care. 5% of the working prostitutes were pregnant when interviewed. (Adele Weiner, "Understanding the Social Needs of Streetwalking Prostitutes," 1996, Social Work, 41: 97-106.)


In 1994, women in the sex industry were identified as one of three populations most in need of specialized services, primarily as a result of the violence inflicted upon them as a result of their work. (City of Seattle Dept of Housing and Human Service, Domestic Violence Community Advocacy Program Expansion, Feb. 1994)


In prostitution, demand creates supply. Because men want to buy sex, prostitution is assumed to be inevitable, therefore 'normal.' Here are quotes from three different johns:

"It’s like going to have your car done, you tell them what you want done, they don’t ask, you tell them you want so and so done…" (McKeganey, N. and Barnard, M. ,1996, Sex Work on the Streets: Prostitutes and Their Clients. Milton Keynes Open University Press, Buckingham, Scotland.).

I am a firm believer that all women… are prostitutes at one time or another" (Hite, S. ,1981, The Hite Report on Male Sexuality. New York, Alfred A. Knopf)

Discussing his experience in a strip club, one man said, "This is the part of me that can still go hunting" (Frank, K. (1999) Intimate Labors: Masculinity, Consumption, and Authenticity in Five Gentlemen’s Clubs, Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Duke University, Durham, N.C.).

Violent behaviors against women have been associated with attitudes which promote men’s beliefs that they are entitled to sexual access to women, that they are superior to women, and that they are licensed as sexual aggressors. ( White,J.W. & Koss, M.P 1993, "Adolescent sexual aggression within heterosexual relationships: prevalence, characteristics, and causes. " In H.E. Barbaree, W.L. Marshall and D. R. Laws.(eds.) The Juvenile Sex Offender, Guilford Press, New York.


In 1993, 42% of women arrested in Seattle on prostitution-related charges were convicted.

In 1993, 8% of men arrested in Seattle on prostitution-related charges were convicted. (Seattle Women's Commission, 1995, "Project to Address the Legal, Political, and Service Barriers Facing Women in the Sex Industry" Seattle, Washington.


If we view prostitution as violence against women, it makes no sense to legalize or decriminalize prostitution. The primary violence in prostitution is not "social stigma" as some maintain. Decriminalizing or legalizing prostitution would normalize and regulate practices which are human rights violations, and which in any other context would be legally actionable (sexual harassment, physical assault, rape, captivity, economic coercion.) or emotionally damaging (verbal abuse). (Melissa Farley)

In 1999, the Swedish Parliament put into effect a law which criminalizes the buying of sexual services but not the selling of sexual services. This is a compassionate, social interventionist legal response to the cruelty of prostitution. (see,Sven-Axel Mansson and Ulla-Carin Hedin, 1999, "Breaking the Matthew Effect - On Women Leaving Prostitution," International Journal of Social Work. Also see Prostitution Research & Education web site, for a copy of the Swedish law))

"It takes a village to create a prostitute."


P.R.E.: Melissa Farley, PhD is at
Current Webmaster: Nitecat Media

All Contents ©1998-2004 Melissa Farley unless otherwise noted.

ProzacHelps Sat 12-Jan-13 20:11:22

My last post was for Franz benefit who clearly lacks comprehension. smile

ProzacHelps Sat 12-Jan-13 20:21:57

And another article for you Franz:

June 22, 2009
Melissa Farley
Excerpt from Indoor Versus Outdoor Prostitution

“Nobody really wants to be sold,” a woman in a Nevada legal brothel explained to me. Even if you know that simple fact -- that prostitution is an abusive institution for any human -- maybe you still think it can be made not so bad. Maybe you think that if prostitution happens under a roof, it is better than outside on the street.

Read entire editorial on

Frans1982 Sat 12-Jan-13 20:31:57


I agree it is strange why the German police chief said that when his own statistics say the opposite.

@prozac, if I wanted to read some biased scaremongering propaganda I would read some Julie Bindel columns in the Guardian, but thanks anyway.

ProzacHelps Sat 12-Jan-13 20:44:50

Dr. Melissa Farley
hardly uses scaremongering propaganda. Do your research Franz1980/Frans1980/Frans1982

Frans1982 Sat 12-Jan-13 20:57:27

"Prostitution is:

a) sexual harassment
b) rape
c) battering
d) verbal abuse
e) domestic violence
f) a racist practice
g) a violation of human rights
h) childhood sexual abuse
i) a consequence of male domination of women
j) a means of maintaining male domination of women
k) all of the above"

And this isn't scaremongering propaganda? ok whatever. Keep all this to the other little thread you made.

I got locked out my account twice for some reason. I don't know if MNHQ is banning me for my political views or something. Maybe I missed the part in the rules that said I had to agree with everything mainstream feminism says to be a member.

ProzacHelps Sat 12-Jan-13 21:14:11

No it is not scaremongering propaganda. It is evidence based facts!

MiniTheMinx Sat 12-Jan-13 21:15:10

You got locked out of your account! do you realise that the pro-sex industry lobby have been targeting feminists with emails and hate campaigns because we dare to stand up against male violence and exploitation.

Can I ask what your motivation is? also when are you going to explain how a legalised system of

a) sexual harassment
b) rape
c) battering
d) verbal abuse
e) domestic violence
f) a racist practice
g) a violation of human rights
h) childhood sexual abuse
i) a consequence of male domination of women
j) a means of maintaining male domination of women
k) all of the above"

plus socio/economic exploitation of women

can possible ever be work like any other work. Exactly how could current employment laws be used to protect the rights of workers and prevent the abuses listed above.

Frans1982 Sat 12-Jan-13 21:37:10

The list above is full of highly emotive language- words that trigger emotions when they are uttered. Is that its purpose?

If the things on that list are happening how is criminalizing consenting adults going to prevent them? Most of those things on the list are already illegal. So why would a law banning consenting adults from engaging in paid sex stop them?

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Sat 12-Jan-13 22:10:35

Franz/s are you a banned user? Do you keep registering new accounts on here to post this stuff on here??

Do you know what, the last 'discussion' I had on here about the sex industry was with someone else who turned out to be a banned user hmm What is it with them?

He was also obstinately refusing to acknowledge that any harm whatsoever was caused by the sex industry.

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Sat 12-Jan-13 22:22:42

Franz/s/whateveryournameisnow: I still can't verify those figures. That latest link leads to the same 'not found' link as the last time.

So far, the only source I've found for those figures is '' which the briefest of glances shows me they are yet another 'pro-sex-work' site.

So yes, still a mystery as to why the police chief says one thing, and pro-sex work sites say another.

MiniTheMinx Sat 12-Jan-13 22:29:09

The list is emotive yes and these abuses occur and will occur what ever the law. The abuses listed are covered under existing laws but still happen within the sex industry. How could a combination of existing laws and employment laws be used to ensure that sex work is just like any other work should the sale/purchase of sex become totally legal? you refuse to answer this because it can't. That is because all of those abuses are inherent to prostitution. In fact if you took everything out that caused harm to women there would be nothing left that men would want to pay for, would there????

Leithlurker Sat 12-Jan-13 22:31:43
I think those taking an anti sex work stance should have a good read of this sight and consider the emotive language that is being bandied about as it seems at odds with what is said by those doing the work. You might also take 13 minutes from your busy lives to watch the video made by third world sex workers (There choice of name not me making any judgement) say about the anti prostitution pledge.

Leithlurker Sat 12-Jan-13 22:54:29
The first two conclusions in a up to date (2011) piece of research carried out in a proper acedemic fashion are:
The majority of the migrant workers in the UK sex industry we interviewed were not forced or trafficked
• Immigration status is by far the single most important factor restricting their ability to exercise their rights in their professional and private lives

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Sat 12-Jan-13 22:56:00

Yes Leith, why don't we all just shut up and read the pro-sex worker site? Sure hmm

The language you are calling 'emotive' is used by prostitutes and ex-prostitutes. You cannot just disregard it as emotive - it describes womens' genuine experiences, their harrowing experiences.

Leithlurker Sat 12-Jan-13 22:57:56

Unlike just about everyone making contributions I am thinking of the human rights of those involved in the trade., I am not supporting any point of view although I do support having a proper evidence led debate not chucking about lists of quotes from either side, or dodgy out of date research.

Leithlurker Sat 12-Jan-13 23:01:08

Yes Sabrina do read the site and then comment. If you did you would see that unless you are taking away the right of those who are working in the sector to speak, it is from those very people, just like any work force they SHOULD be interested in what they do.

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Sat 12-Jan-13 23:13:52

I'm interested in the rights of the 81% of prostitutes in Nevada who want to exit the industry, Leith. Why do you think they don't 'just leave' like Franz/x/y/z suggests?

ProzacHelps Sat 12-Jan-13 23:15:40

Leithlurker and Franznamechanger you are clutching at straws and there is not much point continuing this argument.

Factual evidence CAN be found on and you cannot dispute that.

Frans1982 Sat 12-Jan-13 23:22:06

"Franz/s are you a banned user?"

I have no idea. I haven't recieved any emails to tell me I've been banned for my last 2 names it just says password is incorrect when I try to login even though I'm sure I know what my password is.

Anyway I'm not denying some workers come to harm in the sex industry. And I'm not denying some are trafficked into the industry. But the Q is is the problem as bad as some make it out to be and would criminalizing prostitution full stop be the solution to protect those who are being forced or harmed?

Underage sex is already illegal (regardless if money changes hands or not)
Assault and rape are already illegal
Trafficking for sex or non-sexual labour is already illegal

We already have laws to cover the above. What the UK doesn't have laws for at the moment is to criminalize one adult paying for sex with another consenting adult indoors (which isn't a brothel).

People who traffick humans for sex are already breaking the law. So why would they care about a new law on prostitution?

People who rape and murder obviously aren't going to care about a new law on prostitution it won't exactly be a deterrent for them.

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Sat 12-Jan-13 23:40:36

Well, then yes, I'd say you were banned if you can't log on. I think you can e-mail them and ask why?

But frankly I'm fed up with having debates on here about the sex industry with people that can't even stay within the (very relaxed) MN rules. As far as I'm concerned - a banned user doesn't get to have their say on here - because you could be sock-puppeting, or on 'the list' or whatever...

You must have done something to breach the guidelines - they don't ban you just for being pro-sex industry.

Frans1982 Sat 12-Jan-13 23:55:08

I'm not sure exactly what rules I've breached it's not like I've spammed or called people names or anything. And I've never had more than one name at once so I don't have any sockpuppets.

I don't think I would call myself "pro-sex industry" I'm just open to solutions other than passing laws left right and centre banning things we don't like thinking it will all go away.

Over 10 years ago Portugal legalized all drugs and now they claim to have less crime, less drug addicts and less HIV infections among drug users. Interesting that.,8599,1893946,00.html

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Sun 13-Jan-13 00:01:48

Drugs are a thing, a commodity, Frans. Are you saying that women are?

I don't buy that you are just open to 'other solutions' - you have just peddled too many hooker myths, and linked to too many pimps "pro-sex work" websites on here. You have completely ignored posters like Prozachelps and the research of Melissa Farley. To turn a blind eye to that, in order to argue for the dubious "right'" of women to be prostitutes, is just a bit wrong imo.

GothAnneGeddes Sun 13-Jan-13 00:04:01

I am sick to death of men coming on here calling us "emotive", like it's an insult to care and want better then womens bodies being sold.

Frans1982 Sun 13-Jan-13 00:09:42

"Drugs are a thing, a commodity, Frans. Are you saying that women are?"

No. Women in sex work are not a commodity, they do not "sell their body" (an emotive terminology used by some). They sell a service.

And the point I am trying to make is making a commodity/service illegal does not necessarily mean the trade ends or becomes safer.

And by dismissing groups such as Scot-pep/IUWS etc you are dismissing the views of their members (who consist largely of sex workers- the people who are more qualified to talk about this than anyone).

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Sun 13-Jan-13 00:26:35

Frans. No. Women in sex work are not a commodity,

No, you're right, they are not.

they do not "sell their body" (an emotive terminology used by some). They sell a service.

No - interviews with ex-prostitutes show that very many of them do not feel that they are just selling a service. Read back to my post this about how prostitutes are utterly de-humanised by the work - they are "whatever the punter wants them to be." They are an empty wank sock - no other line of work allows for such dehumanisation.

Frans1982 Sun 13-Jan-13 00:43:15

Do massage therapists "sell their hands"?

Do engineers "sell their brains"?

Do male porn stars "sell their penises"?

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Sun 13-Jan-13 00:55:40

You are actually talking like Belle De Jour now, Franz.

You can't compare those other ways of earning a living with prostitution, as none of them involve daily:

1. Exchange of bodily fluids
2. Risk of rape/sexual assault/violence
3. Risk of STDs
4. Risk of PTSD
5. Feelings of detachment and dehumanisation

Just as standard. And of course this is not an exhaustive list - this is just off the top of my head.

But let's not forget that prostitution has the highest proportion of workers who have been sexually and physically abused as children. Is that just a coincidence?

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Sun 13-Jan-13 00:56:34

Actually the male porn star might - but male porn stars are a whole other thread sad

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Sun 13-Jan-13 01:05:13

Oh, and as far as I'm aware, no engineers are trafficked, have their passports taken and are forced to sit at their drawing boards for no wages in a locked room. hmm

rosabud Sun 13-Jan-13 02:00:33

For centuries, it has been accepted that prostitution is a "bad thing" - noone has ever had to go to great lengths to explain why, it has been pretty obvious really. I cannot understand how we finally make great leaps forward in the realm of women's rights - and suddenly there is a suggestion that prostitution might be a "good thing." You don't think that, possibly, the two are linked? That certain people, determined to scupper the women's rights movement, are doing their absolute best by promoting something that is clearly NOT in the interests of women.

GothAnneGeddes Sun 13-Jan-13 02:04:27

For the zillionth time, the IUSW was started by a pimp (who advertised "a night with one of my girls" as a raffle prize). They advertise for members on P*nternet.

They are about as representative of prostitutes as a banana.

Frans1982 Sun 13-Jan-13 03:00:31

I don't know about engineering work, but there is far more people trafficked for manual labour than sex work.

are doing their absolute best by promoting something that is clearly NOT in the interests of women

Noone speaks for all women.

the IUSW was started by a pimp

That doesn't mean all of its members are pimps.

Leithlurker Sun 13-Jan-13 08:32:43

Show me how you get that figure for Nevada Sabrina and I might engage. Talking about people who want to leave is NOT talking about those who do not. Those individuals have human rights that need addressed, the research I have pointed to shows clearly that although small in scale, those "forced" in to the work were not the majority. This is only importamt in the sense that one person forced is one to many, but for the majority who are not their needs and wishes are being belittled and ignored.

GothAnne Interesting about the pimp thing, pity the link and the report were produced by a completely different organisation which you would have seen if you had bothered to look.

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Sun 13-Jan-13 10:34:43

Frans - for the record, I'm also against trafficking for forced labour. Nevertheless, we are discussing prostitution here and, it's a bit of a red herring (and a very cheap debating tactic) to start saying 'there are far more people trafficked for manual labour'. But, this tactic has allowed you to ignore and deflect away from the risks of prostitution that I listed in my post last night. Because, you have to ignore them, don't you? In order to keep arguing your pro stance.

Leith - is it a 'human right' to sell or buy sex? I'm not sure it is.

Let's talk about prostitutes' supposed 'human right' to sell sex - so what you're asking for is that prostitutes have regulations enshrined in law to allow them to work in an industry where they have a daily risk of: Violence, Rape, STDs & HIV, humiliation, PTSD. But the problem here is legalisation of prostitution cannot protect them from those dangers - because they are inherent in the very nature of the job they are doing. Research has shown that legalisation has not protected the prostitutes in Netherlands or Nevada - if anything it has made things worse for them.

When you dig deep enough, you always find these pro-sex sites actually are people with a financial vested interest in the sex industry. They are not fighting for legalisation to protect workers rights and safety - that's just a smokescreen. What they want is the legal right to exploit and make a profit from people selling sex.

And, as Melissa Farley says, be careful who you listen to.

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Sun 13-Jan-13 10:58:25

Interesting how these discussions always end up centreing on the prostitutes. What about the punters? Where are their responsibilities here?

What is known is that not all men, or even a majority of men use prostitutes. Accepted figures are generally 1 in 10 (although some studies have been as high as 1 in 7). Some of these men may have only used a prostitute once - not all of those are regular customers.

Why do these men (a minority of men) feel entitled to buy sex? To buy a woman, a real human being and use her as an empty wank sock for an hour? To even abuse her or rape her?

This research is awful to read: The men who buy sex.

The legalisation of prostitution will inevitably add to it's normalisation in society. Research has also shown punters already flock to places where it is legal - so punters are encouraged to use the services of prostitutes in areas where it is legalised.

What more could the pimps and traffickers want? More business, more profit from exploiting vulnerable women and no nasty laws getting in the way.

Leithlurker Sun 13-Jan-13 11:09:28

So on a purely idealogical stance you deny woman human rights, you would rather than since women are selling sex they should have no protection and no status, and no voice. Your solution of no one should sell sex may one day be the case, but till that time comes your position is to ignore, and belittle what women and men involved in selling sex say, becouse they to some extent have made a choice that you think is wrong.

Turning to what you say about the web site and it being a front for economic interests, ok prove it do your digging. Come back with proof. You will not find it because it is not there. It is a charity one that comply's in all respects with OSCAR, it has been established for many years and in the past has recieved government funding, and lastly has always been about human rights so indeed it is not me that talks about human rights in the respect of promoting that angle, it is the sex workers and their advocates themselves that say that, I support them in that call. And you are entirely right to quote Farley although her agenda is both obviouse and honest but she most definitely has one.

Leithlurker Sun 13-Jan-13 11:40:07

Indeed lets do talk about the buyers of sex which would include porn, lapdancing, internet, and telephone sex. Some of the buyers are female, although not in such high numbers but still enough to register.

In fact what we need is a discussion about sex and morality, as well as the place that sex, love, affection, monogamy, have in the discussion about why people pay for sexual services. So are you going to start it Sabrina?

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Sun 13-Jan-13 11:55:00

No Leith - you have so spectacularly missed the point there - how can prostitutes have there 'human rights' not to be raped, abused, assaulted, risk STDs etc etc- enshrined in law when these things are an inherent risk of prostitution? Legalising prostitution cannot (and has not) protected women from these risks.

Minitheminx put it way better than I did - but you're asking for legalised, state sanctioned sexual abuse. And for no reason - other than to make money. There is no reason to buy and sell sex as a commodity. How many times have I heard in these arguments that men have a 'right to have sex'. No they don't - and they certainly don't if there is a risk of another human being being abused in the process.

You could just as well argue that people have a 'human right' to sell their own kidney - well, that too is prohibited by law in the UK, and for good reason. It is because it would result in the ultra-poor and desperate selling their own kidney to feed their family. No wealthy person is going to say 'I fancy an extra holiday in the Seychelles next year - I think I'll sell a kidney to fund it" are they? Just as you don't generally get wealthy, advantaged people selling sex on the street, or being targeted by pimps for exploitation.

Also, Leith. You do realise that your main line of argument was one used against the abolition of slavery, don't you?

Leithlurker Sun 13-Jan-13 12:13:19

I am asking for nothing of the kind get a grip, if you think I have missed the point then I suggest you be the one to explain to those raped and abused women and men that what they have been telling us for years remains of no interest because you would rather they were not prostitutes in the first place, but I guess any one who can demean another human being by referring to them as a wank sock as you and others have done several times is indication that you would rather that the rape and abuse continues as it allows you to make moral arguments for making something illegal. You and others are fine examples of why politics have failed in this country, you would rather be right at all costs.

Leithlurker Sun 13-Jan-13 12:21:29

You still have not come back with evidence to show that the web site you were happy to disparage as a front for economic interest is as you say? Nor are you willing to follow your own line of logic and start the discussion about why people buy sex?

You want to change society by what method blind faith and ignorance? Thats the practice of a dictator, those who want to change society have to engage with it.

Leithlurker Sun 13-Jan-13 12:28:31

Again show me Sabrina where slave owners and those interested in making money from slavery were in the least bit interested in what the slaves had to say about the issue?

That is a pretty sick twisting of logic sabrina you are so determined to be right that you have lost sight of the basic principle, slavery was all about illegal and forced imprisonment, transportation, and forced labour, till death. You have been given ample evidence to show that a large number of those who work selling sex are not coerced, abused, and worked to death. You just choose to not believe it and deny that those people, those humans have any right to a voice or to have their views heard because it suits your politicle ideology to.

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Sun 13-Jan-13 12:33:59

That's the point I'm making Leith. Legalisation of prostitution will not protect prostitutes from rape and abuse.

I've been assuming that you're calling for legalisation? It's what the sites you and Franzthebanned keep linking to want. In which case research has shown that in countries where it is already legalised, life has not got any better or safer for the prostitutes. What I'm arguing is that legalisation cannot protect prostitutes - because it is not the fact that it is illegal that is the problem. It is the sheer nature of the work that is the risk.

Legalisation does not protect prostitutes from exploitation and abuse - what regulation could you put in place to stop pimps abusing and exploiting vulnerable women? Legalisation just mean the pimps don't have to worry so much about arrest.

That's why I support the Swedish model - decriminalisation of prostitutes, and support for them to exit the sex industry, and criminalisation of punters. Tackle the demand.

And, just so you know - it's not me calling prostitutes a wank sock that is the problem here (and fyi it was an ex prostitute who coined the phrase originally) - it's punters treating real women as wank socks that is the real problem.

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Sun 13-Jan-13 12:35:30

Leith : Again show me Sabrina where slave owners and those interested in making money from slavery were in the least bit interested in what the slaves had to say about the issue?

Oh. My. God.

Where to start??

MiniTheMinx Sun 13-Jan-13 12:42:55

Thank you Leith I watched the video.

Franz you accept that we already have laws to protect all people (all workers) from rape, battery and assault. These laws apply to ALL people in all sectors. People are less likely to suffer from rape and assault working in legalised professions and we know for a fact from Sabrina's links that women who work in prostitution are stigmatised, an example being the police reports marked NHI (no human involved). So it would seems entirely rational to conclude that by altering the language and the laws around prostitution it would A) lead to less stigmatism B) ensure that workers who report crimes covered by existing laws are not marginalised and are protected.

_I would argue that we are completely overlooking class_ and because of this the legalisation and stigma/safety issues can not be resolved.. Women and indeed men who are either forced or coerced (in a class analysis we leave little room for choice) into selling sex (prostitution, porn, stripping) do so to earn money under the capitalist mode of production.

"trafficking is the exploitation men and women in forced labor. The paper identifies “Causes of Human Trafficking”. They include: economic imbalance between countries of origin and destination, including societal inequality within countries of origin; demand in destination countries, low risks, and profits for traffickers" The reason we have trafficking is entirely a rational response to capitalism. The way in which we have to make profit. Those who work in the sex industry are always from economically disadvantaged groups.

Sex workers themselves overlook their own exploitation under capitalism. Take a tour, be it politics on MN or AIBU you find that "working people" are saying the government cuts do not go far enough because they feel the squeeze on their income is caused by welfare provision confused how often do you hear in the media the real reasons why bosses now earn up to 500x the average pay of their workers? you don't!

So how would a change in language benefit prostitutes, changing the language over time could lead to less abuse because it becomes less stigmatised. (ideologies change over years not minutes and there is little data on the psychological and physical harm in prostitution in Roman or Greek civilisations when it was legal and not stigmatised to the same extent or for the same reasons. what we do know is that the industry stems from the economic base of society not from the culture/ideology because prostitutes rarely escaped their trade and it ran in families) If you look at the situation in Germany where they sought to destigmatise the trade it didn't remove the abuse or the fact that ONLY disadvantaged poorer people opt to sell sex. Change the language, call it sex work?????? Watching the video rather proves the point that changing the language will not tackle the root cause of the exploitation. In fact I just felt more desperately sad not because these people are selling sex but because they are like turkeys voting for Christmas. Lacking education and social power they survive their low status and alienation and they survive to eat through selling sex. "The only reason I could come here to the festival is because of sex work" ie I am so poor I can only travel because I sell myself, if I sold bread I would be poorer still.

But how would making all forms of sex work legal prevent the class/economic exploitation under capitalism? it won't. You can change the language we use, you can legalise and you can regulate and use existing laws to better ensure safety but you can not remove the impetus to exploit through trafficking, and wage work and existing labour laws do not protect workers, unions do not adequately protect workers rights and their share of profits. Existing labour laws protect no one. Employment rights could be used to protect sex workers???? but could they because sex work is not like any other work, the risks involved would need to be factored in and the contracts would need to be rather more weighted in favour of workers before you could be assured that they are as safe from risk as other workers????

"In 2005 Mary Sullivan compiled a thorough and extensive study on prostitution in Victoria, Australia. The paper documents the circumstances under which women work and _indicates that most women who “voluntarily” enter the trade do so due to economic hardship_. __A Prostitutes’ Collective of Victoria survey on the impact of legalization provided this statement from a woman regarding the influx of illegal prostitutes: ‘far more competition, the clients are extremely demanding [and] the control over what the women will and won’t do is often taken out of their hands’. Another woman faced A$300 fine per booking if she refused a buyer she found ‘abusive’, ‘drunk’ and ‘threatened physical violence’"

So even where it is legal and women can work in the least exploitative way ie a collective, the dominant capitalist mode of production erodes some of the gains by giving incentive to others to traffic workers to undercut and offer "value added" ie the clients learn to expect extras such as abusive acts as part of the service. This then becomes the "norm" by which other competing sex workers/brothels/collectives must operate to maintain clients and therefore their income.

Changing the language and changing the laws will only liberalise in the sense that the lack of social stigma hides the basic exploitation that lies at the heart of it.

Are women commodities? Were slaves commodities? the answer is to be found in a historical materialist concept of history not in the ideologies we have built up the explain the phenomena. for the quotes!

GothAnneGeddes Sun 13-Jan-13 13:06:51

"sick" "dictator" "emotive".

So many insults.

One question Leith.

Why is it so bad to think that men should have the right to buy women's bodies?

MiniTheMinx Sun 13-Jan-13 13:07:23

<<<<The legalisation of prostitution will inevitably add to it's normalisation in society. Research has also shown punters already flock to places where it is legal - so punters are encouraged to use the services of prostitutes in areas where it is legalised.>>>>

What is actually likely to happen is the pimp extracts more profit from workers and drives down the price of sex. As it becomes more normalised you drive demand but the end point of that isn't higher prices (the falling rate of profit could be applied) so as more sex work is available prices decrease. As this happens the only way to maintain profit is to squeeze workers wages or demand greater "value added or productivity" from workers. Which is why I said watching the video was like watching turkeys vote for christmas.

MiniTheMinx Sun 13-Jan-13 13:08:58

Slaves? what came first racism or slavery?

GothAnneGeddes Sun 13-Jan-13 13:20:11

*Should NOT

Leithlurker Sun 13-Jan-13 13:24:18

Okay Sabrina again no evidence but just assumptions, what I might be calling for and what you want are very likely poles apart but it does not follow I am making the argument that YOU THINK I am.

Lets start with the slaves, human rights were exactly what slaves wanted to determine their own lives for good or bad. If they had all wanted to head back to what ever their mother country was then thy could have chosen to do that, the majority choose to stay and enjoy their freedom in what ever country they were in, as people with the ability to do as they please.

Wank sock might have been used to describe punters by an ex prostitute but on here in several instances it has been used in such a way that it reflects on the woman and not the man, I guess context and legitimacy all crucial. I would be pretty annoyed at a non disabled person calling me a crip, but I choose to use that term of myself as it is for me to reclaim it. In the same way ex sex workers can call themselves a wank sock if they wish thats their choice, if I were a sex worker I think being refered to as a wank sock would do more damage to my self esteem than being called a prossie, or hooker.

Would you or mini be supportive of decriminalising the prostitutes and they remain prostitutes? As Franze has pointed out just by decriminalising does not seem to indicate that all forms of prostitution has ended in Sweden?

Mini I am a leftie like you, but I think my difference is that as I am consistently excluded by parties of the left, as well as being persistently dissapointed in the left and their desire to promote themselves and their cause rather than work with the the masses who they fondly imagine they are speaking for. Only yesterday I had to pull up the organisers of a large public meeting to unite the resitance in to be held in Glasgow for not making sure the venue was accessible. So what I am saying is that I broadly agree with your analysis, the video though showed not (in my view) that the workers had no ambition or desire to work in diffrent fields, indeed I am sure they would all choose to be international bankers with massive bonuses if that was open to them. What they were saying though is that this is their life NOW, and as such they wanted respect and to be listened to. Meta arguments about marx's and politics are a means to an end, but that means can only be engaged in at their level and in a way that they choose. Steaming in feeling sorry for them as they do not recognise their own oppression is gonna get you turfed out on your ear, in the same way that I am just not interested in anyone saying they will fight side by side with disabled people to oppose benefit cuts and closure of services, if they cannot be bothered to find out how they have to be accessible.

Leithlurker Sun 13-Jan-13 13:31:51

GothAnne I await your apology for your slur on the web links I posted. You might Also Goth you like to start the discussion that Sabrina has failed to as it could help uncover why men feel it is ok to buy womens bodies, what I think is not important, I am not capable of either supporting or bringing down the globalised sex industry all on my own. I am however capable of asking people to engage with the issues and with each other not following idealogical dogma that means you see things on black and white and those that argue against you see the same things in white and black.

MiniTheMinx Sun 13-Jan-13 13:50:20

I agree with some of what you are saying, good on you taking them up on access in Glasgow.....go leith!

Watching the film you linked was quite shocking because it showed the degree of cognitive dissonance ( for ease of understanding) these people have. A massive amount of money is invested in liberating "sex work" so that it can be opened up to the capitalist mode of production. It's interesting because the same sums of money are made available to all sorts of activism including some on the left because politics now is about identity politics. The neo-liberal economic agenda spawns a neo-liberal politics of individuality over collectivity. As a an example we have feminism divided into , Radfems, SocialistFems, MarxFems, Libfems, MaterialistFems, Lesbian separatists and the list positives and funfems.

It takes the ruling elite a huge amount of money and collective interests to tell us we are all individuals with the right to be exploited any which way we long as it is by them. They have collective interests we have our personal hobby horses specially designed in various colours so we can all tell each other apart. It is a very effective way of making each individual focus not on the exploitation and oppression but on whether their nearest neighbour has more rights than them. Which is why repackaging prostitution as sex work might appeal to the coal face workers but it only really benefits the capitalist (In this case pimps)

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Sun 13-Jan-13 13:52:05

Mini - I was nodding along with your post. Turkeys voting for CHristmas sums it up well.

Leith - you have just been throwing insults around and now you're demanding apologies? hmm

Leith: Wank sock might have been used to describe punters by an ex prostitute but on here in several instances it has been used in such a way that it reflects on the woman and not the man, I guess context and legitimacy all crucial

No. Upthread I quoted an ex-prostitute who said she was used as an 'empty wank sock' by punters. It has not been used as once on this thread in a derogatory way against a prostitute - it it describing how punters use prostitutes.

GothAnneGeddes Sun 13-Jan-13 13:55:39

You'll get no apology from me Leith. Your persistent insistence on trying to dominate the conversation and then insulting us and our viewpoints - caring about women is either "emotive" or "dogma" according to you.

You cannot argue that prostitution is wrong, that is harms women and society as a whole, so you keep insulting us, trying to derail and throwing in privileged mouthpieces to agree with you, then insult us some more when we refuse to by it.

As for the nonsense you're spouting about slaves being to "choose" to go back home, but they "chose" to stay in the US, that is one of the most foolish things I've ever read.

Do you honestly think freed slaves had the financial ability and support to decide to relocate? Do you think after generations of slavery and forcibly having their culture removed from them they knew where their home was?

Leithlurker Sun 13-Jan-13 14:13:00

Okkaaayyy Sabrina whatever you say, just do not let the facts hit you on the bum as you leave for the night. Again show me where I have thrown insults? Your track record of backing up your own claims is poor, no evidence shown to suggest I linked to a pro sex site, no discussion of why men and women buy sexual services, no evidence to support your claim that human rights talk was used against ending slavery? Your evidence of my throwing insults will be a first and entertaining.

Mini Thank you for your "go leith", we have a failure in politics and the way politics is done to people, we do not have a failure of politics as politics is essential. But like Lazlo said about education, you need to be feed, housed, healthy, and in a fair mental place to engage with education. The same is more true for politics and in particular when we already have a massive number of people who think politics is only their to do them some harm. The left need to get back in to the communities work along side community projects and people and make the politics fitr them not the people fit the politics. Prostition is in no danger of going away anytime soon therefore the only people who will be irrelevant to the debate are those who do not sit down with everyone and work out not just how we pass a law but how society is changed to either allow different social and sexual practices, or put the genie of self sexual expression and economic subjugation back in to the bottle. Passing a law will do neither.

Now if you will excuse me I must go and do other things, so I will not be responding for a while.

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Sun 13-Jan-13 14:14:40

Goth - I've been called many things on these threads - but 'dictator' is a first. I mean it's very nearly Godwin's Law isn't it? wink

As for being told that "me and others like me are responsible for politics failing in this country" or whatever he said - well.... <laughs heartily>

Leithlurker Sun 13-Jan-13 14:26:42

Goth that is so funny I am dominating the conversation, oh please get a grip. Privledged mouthpieces, yea that's right that's prostitutes for you. You are the one who directly quoted the IUSW as being started by a pimp except none not one little bit of any of the web resources even came from the Iusw, but did you bother to look it appears not, or else you choose to wilfully post a lie, which was it it Goth?

BTW this is page 14 of this thread and I only have about 12 posts, way less than Franze, and many, many less than Sabrina, then you have the gall to acusse me of derailing hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

But you do at least get my point, your right no one would seriously expect slaves to go bvack I said they could because they would have had the choice. Just like freeing women from the bondage of sex work will not lead to them automatic choosing a different life, but that is their choice and you will have to deal with that when the women have no other interest or economic choice other than to stay with the work that they know.

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Sun 13-Jan-13 14:30:30

Leith - multiple links have been provided by myself and others on all the subject of men paying for sex and for the damage done by prostitution. You can and have chosen to ignore them, but it doesn't mean they're not there.

Here's Research on the men who buy sex again.

And here's Melissa Farley's website again.

I know you don't like Melissa Farley - she has an 'agenda' or something, did you say? But it would be hard to accuse her as having the same sort of agenda, or a similar financial vested interest as, say, Douglas Fox.

All the information is there, for anyone who chooses to read it, that shows that unionisation, regular health checks, legalisation are not going to stop the damage the sex industry does to vulnerable people.

Leithlurker Sun 13-Jan-13 14:31:03

Sorry Goth I meant to go but I laughed so much I missed me bus, but going now as I am getting a lift instead, Godwin by the way is often linked with the term Nazi Sab, nothing like dictator completely different things HTH

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Sun 13-Jan-13 14:32:36

That's why I said "very nearly" Leith. Calling someone a "dictator" in a debate is a similar silencing technique as calling them a Nazi.

MiniTheMinx Sun 13-Jan-13 15:29:22

Leith, I agree that first people need food and shelter, good mental health and space to really be able to engage in politics. It's fundamental and it is especially so when you consider whether women who are in the industry actually have the privilege of those things to be able to really understand their exploitation.

I think in some ways you are right, people can not engage with the political process because it doesn't seem to reflect their concerns but as I said earlier up thread there is a certain amount of cognitive dissonance or what I would refer to as alienation. people are alienated from the political process because they are alienated from themselves and their true abilities, their labour and their "ideologies" are shaped by the powerful interests of those who wish to exploit them. The working classes have yet to be conscious! I would argue that prostitutes working within the industry lack consciousness in the same way.

Of course I have always had a problem with labour because they do not represent working people but it could also be argued that unless working people wake up and gain class consciousness they are not ready to lead politically. Of course they have to do this.....I mean look at the massive mistake of the bolsheviks in thinking that elites should think for people because they were the only people capable of liberating the workers.

RadFems have been very active in local communities and in activism, in setting up refuges and in working to help women exit that not grass roots? (I'm not radfem but I support this whole heartedly as the way to make change happen) I also believe in collectivism over individualism so in some ways I think allowing the small percentage of "empowered" people in prostitution a voice could in fact have the unintended consequence of hiding the real abuse and harm in the industry and silencing the much larger percentage of women being abused. A stand should made somewhere!

Is it ever a human right to sell sex? _it can never be a human right because the corresponding human right is the right to buy sex from people who lack socio/economic power_

GothAnneGeddes Sun 13-Jan-13 16:13:16

Leith - Something you are unable to do is not a choice.

Freed slave could not "go home" for all the practical reasons I have stated above. So it was not a choice for them. You saying that they could choose to go home is wrong.

Again, as Sabrina has already said, you completely ignore the men who demand prostitutes.

So if we women who demand an end to prostitution are such terrible "dictators" because we are (accordingly to the privileged viewpoints you favour) denying women their right to work as prostitutes...

does this men that the men who go to prostitutes are in some way liberating them and helping them?

Even though these same men rape, abuse and murder prostitutes leaving them with high rates of PTSD and other trauma?

Pushthebutton Sun 13-Jan-13 19:26:50

Leithlurker it's clear to me you are the mn member who also goes by the name of OldLadyKnowsNothing. What happened did you too get locked out of your account? You need to stop exaggerating your Okaaaaaaaaays. It's a bit of a give away.

Frans1982 Sun 13-Jan-13 20:15:23

"daily risk of: Violence, Rape, STDs & HIV, humiliation, PTSD. But the problem here is legalisation of prostitution cannot protect them from those dangers"

Legislation means less stigma which means workers are more likely to go for regular STI checks and report abuse against them to the police (even with the Swedish law). Do you think sex workers who aren't forced are going to want "rescued" and have police and social work interfering with them and confiscating all their earnings and condoms (yes that's what the police do- sometimes even in the UK where they have no right to).

In the Netherlands for example it is legally mandatory for a condom to be used for both oral sex and vaginal sex. Do you think condoms are used in prostitution as much in countries where they have made it illegal?

I think it's reasonable to say a man has a higher chance of getting an STI if he has unprotected sex on a one night stand with a stranger picked up from a bar as opposed to having protected sex with a prostitute in a country where prostitution is legal.

Frans1982 Sun 13-Jan-13 20:20:16

@Pushthebutton don't make accusations unless you know for certain.

Frans1982 Sun 13-Jan-13 20:23:09

"you completely ignore the men who demand prostitutes."

So what about the men (and sometimes women and couples) who buy sexual services? Do you want to know what they eat for breakfast?

Frans1982 Sun 13-Jan-13 20:34:59

"Why is it so bad to think that men should have the right to buy women's bodies?"

Here you go again more emotive language and dysphemisms. Noone's body is being "sold". Sex workers sell a sexual service.

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Sun 13-Jan-13 21:41:43

It's easy to get hung up on the 'high class' prostitute's experience if you're not careful - I don't believe that all prostitutes are victims, for the record. But I do think that the Belle de Jour's of this world have a disproportionate amount of 'airtime' (compared to the coerced, desperate, pimped women) in which to perpetuate the "I'm doing something that I love and am good at, and being paid for it" stories.

The problem here is that the issue of prostitution then becomes all about an individual's choice to sell sex. An individual's right to sell sex, even. This has a massive and negative effect on the group of prostitutes for which this isn't a choice. Those that are trafficked, pimped, runaways then pimped, those with a low socio-economic status, were abused in childhood, desperate for money, see no other option, the list goes on. They are all dismissed, denied or brushed under the carpet in one sweep of that prostitute's "It's my choice" statement.

Even if an individual prostitute (for example Belle de Jour) feels that she is only selling a 'sexual service' and not 'her body,' what is absolutely certain, is that women and children's bodies are bought and sold for trafficking for the sex trade. Prostitutes 'selling their bodies' has been part of the vernacular for an awfully long time, Frans - and for a reason. It's how many prostitutes actually feel about what they are doing.

I think Donna Hughes puts it really well:

"The enormity of the sex trade throughout the world is overwhelming, but the only way to proceed is to acknowledge the violence and exploitation for what it is and create remedies accordingly. Legalization will only benefit traffickers and pimps and compromise individual women and the status of women in the long run. In the words of one survivor of prostitution: "Legalization will not end abuse; it will make abuse legal."

Frans1982 Sun 13-Jan-13 22:09:09

In the words of Scot-pep from just 1 hour ago:

"when will those who claim to be looking out for the interests of women start listening to the actual lived experiences and voices of sex workers - we want RIGHTS NOT RESCUE, and this comes in the form of decriminalisation!!!"

Frans1982 Sun 13-Jan-13 22:11:45

Prostitutes 'selling their bodies' has been part of the vernacular for an awfully long time

For an awfully long time most people in the world thought planet earth was flat.

To assume something is true just because it's been said a lot or because a lot of people say it is a logical fallacy.

Frans1982 Sun 13-Jan-13 22:13:40

"Legalization will not end abuse; it will make abuse legal."

How? Even if prostitution itself is legal; rape, assault, trafficking and abuse would still be illegal.

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Sun 13-Jan-13 22:17:32

But prostitutes themselves use the term 'selling their body" Franz - hardly the same as saying the earth is flat.

Frans1982 Sun 13-Jan-13 22:27:34

I'm willing to bet the majority in the UK don't.

They are all dismissed, denied or brushed under the carpet in one sweep of that prostitute's "It's my choice" statement.

Legalized prostitution doesn't mean there can't be exit programmes for those who want to leave.

As for any children involved- that isn't the fault of adults paying for sex with other adults. It's the fault of paedophiles. Hunt down pedos not what willing adults do in hotel rooms.

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Sun 13-Jan-13 22:34:47

The questions thus become:

1. Does the individual's right override the wellbeing of the whole group?

2. Does legalisation and regulation actually work and make life better for prostitutes?

The answer to both, imo, would be No.

Research in places like Nevada, where brothels are legal and supposedly regulated, from Melissa Farley or even Louis Theroux, tells me that legalisation is not the answer.

In Nevada: For the privilege of working in a state licensed brothel, women must hand over a large percentage of their earnings to the brothel owner, she usually has to pay for any extras such as condoms, toiletries and even bed linen. She can be fined for falling asleep during her shift, or appearing late for a line-up. She's often required to live 'on site' for days or weeks at a time and is not permitted to leave the brothel grounds.

She has weekly STI testing but interestingly, the customer is not required to prove is freedom from STIs by producing a recent certificate of health. She is registered as a sex worker, which can then effect her ability to get health insurance, another job etc.

Source: It's like you sign a contract to be raped.

The abuse suffered by prostitutes is not necessarily illegal, especially not where prostitution is legalised.

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Sun 13-Jan-13 22:37:56

Oh, and just in case anyone believes that "Legalization of prostitution doesn't mean there can't be exit programmes for those who want to leave:

In Nevada again:

Farley found a "shocking" lack of services for women in Nevada wishing to leave prostitution. "When prostitution is considered a legal job instead of a human rights violation," says Farley, "why should the state offer services for escape?" More than 80% of those interviewed told Farley they wanted to leave prostitution.

Pushthebutton Sun 13-Jan-13 22:40:09

Frans @Pushthebutton don't make accusations unless you know for certain.

I am certain! grin

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Sun 13-Jan-13 22:51:09

Or, if you're not happy about just talking about Nevada:

Here's Australia. In the territories where prostitution is legalised and regulated:

"The legalisation of prostitution not only fails to alleviate the harms of prostitution. It creates new and serious harms. It creates a culture of prostitution. When brothel prostitution is legalised men’s prostitution behaviour is normalised. Prostitution takes an ordinary and everyday place in the culture and girls and boys, women and men are educated that the behaviour of the buyers, in Melbourne in 1998 60,000 men per week, is acceptable."

A culture of prostitution. Does anyone really want that?

Frans1982 Sun 13-Jan-13 22:55:31

I don't get your point about Australia.

MiniTheMinx Mon 14-Jan-13 00:12:01

Laws are part of the super-structure not the base of society and using laws to minimise harm, either legalisation or in criminalisation of buyer/sellers is not the answer when you overlook the economic structure.

It's no use having laws and exit programmes when there is an ever increasing pool of forced labour or poverty stricken women being poured into the industry everyday.

Only educating women, ensuring access to (free) higher education, free childcare, better support for single mothers, access to affordable quality housing, forcing employers to pay a living wage, predistribution of wealth, ensuring that women on lower wages are able to take maternity leave etc & raising aspiration has any hope of freeing women.

I like what Alexandra Kollontai a real revolutionary had to say on the matter in 1922 smile

"The hypocritical morality of bourgeois society encourages prostitution by the structure of its exploitative economy, while at the same time mercilessly covering with contempt any girl or woman who is forced to take this path"

"It is also significant that in the capitalist countries prostitution recruits its servants from the propertyless sections of the population. Low-paid work, homelessness, acute poverty and the need to support younger brothers and sisters: these are the factors that produce the largest percentage of prostitutes. If the bourgeois theories about the corrupt and criminal disposition were true, then all classes of the population ought to contribute equally to prostitution. There ought to he the same proportion of corrupt women among the rich as among the poor. [insert, if it were really a choice ???] But professional prostitutes, women who live by their bodies, are with rare exceptions recruited from the poorer classes. Poverty, hunger, deprivation and the glaring social inequalities that are the basis of the bourgeois system drive these women to prostitution"

Nothing much has changed in nearly 100 years but then we have had capitalism for some 250 yrs. Which rather makes the case that nothing can and will improve under capitalism.

Frans1982 Mon 14-Jan-13 00:45:28

"Nothing much has changed in nearly 100 years"

I disagree. 100 years ago prostitution would have been done dominantly on the streets. Now it is done mostly indoors. And if escorts today make £150 an hour (sometimes more) they can't be that poor.

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Mon 14-Jan-13 00:59:45

Again, Frans - you're concentrating your attentions on the high class end of prostitution. You're supporting the 'rights' of the high class prostitutes at the expense of the others - the ones who are pimped, walking the streets, desperate and drug addicted. The streetwalkers, and many (if not most) of the brothelworkers are not making £150 hour. Especially not after they've paid a madam/pimp a cut of the earnings.

In fact, I remember a poster pointing out on another thread that a quick google confirmed you could get sex for £20 in London. That's a lot of clients in a hour if you're going to make £150/hour.

Frans1982 Mon 14-Jan-13 01:24:49

Like I said streetwalkers in the UK are now the minority. Escorting/call girls make up the majority of sex workers in the UK.

If you want a better idea of what they earn go look at some random profiles on adultwork.

Frans1982 Mon 14-Jan-13 01:27:04

"I remember a poster pointing out on another thread that a quick google confirmed you could get sex for £20 in London"

Not sure where exactly but from a London escort not a chance they often charge £200+ an hour.

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Mon 14-Jan-13 01:38:37

Like I said Franz - you're concentrating on the high end. They are also ready and available for £20. I'm afraid.

Belle de Jour charged £300/hour apparently. I don't disbelieve her - but if you believe all prostitutes command those amounts? Well...that just goes to show how little you know.

Frans1982 Mon 14-Jan-13 02:50:55

And you're concentrating on a tiny proportion of sex workers in the UK.

I think you'll find what you call the "high end" is actually more or less typical. Prices can range from £100 an hour up to stupidly high prices.

MiniTheMinx Mon 14-Jan-13 10:03:00

The case of the Australian collective shows that trafficking actually undercuts their income. The massage parlours and brothels in the uk are becoming the norm because of trafficking and because of the tendency under capitalism for monopolisation where employers own the means and workers supply labour. Labour can now be supplied very cheaply because of illegal trafficking. This is fast undercutting high end escorting. One local paper here used to have numerous adverts for escort agencies, these have been replaced with individual adds for orientals and exotic individuals (usually pimped) and massage parlours and saunas.

I have had to pick up an individual elderly vulnerable mentally ill man with parkinsons on numerous occasions. He has been drugged, he has been locked in, credit card and cash stolen, a pimp threatened to smash him up unless he handed over £2000, he got through just under £30,000 in two years! I have had to turf out illegals from his home (trafficked women) I have had to deal with police, SW, GP, specialist, Psych team, make statements for court.........he was not purchasing high end escorts but Chinese trafficked women working in a brothel. At one stage I had the psych SW in the sitting room with the man who was at that time psychotic because of a drug OD whilst there were two girls trying to escape over the fence!

Trust me Franz there is nothing about prostitution and sex work that is OK. Go back and carefully read the link Sabrina gave "why men buy sex" it is clear from what these men say that they are having to do a huge amount of mental gymnastics in their own heads to even try to justify their behaviour. Men are being socialised to strip their own partners of their sexuality whilst imposing their own "male" standard of desired female sexuality upon women they know are acting. It leaves the men feeling empty, worthless and dissatisfied. "They are cold, nothing reciprocal, she seemed anxious" and then the dialectic " she enjoyed it, yes she liked me, no not scared of me" because they can not admit to themselves that they are "raping" a women. To do that would be to admit to themselves they are not a super stud who is desirable to women. The man I was dealing with actually said one day that he was so lonely but he knew the girls were repulsed by him. He also said he wanted to marry one of the girls and spare her the hell of having to be pimped.

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Mon 14-Jan-13 13:03:01

Prices start from:

£10-15 - for 10mins with a street prostitute.

£20 - sex in a 'walk up' room in a red light district.

£40 - £100 is the fee you would pay a prostitute advertising in a phone box.

£50 - will get you 30mins in a brothel.

£80 is about the maximum amount a person will pay for full sex in a sauna.

£200 per hour - high class independent escort.

£3000 - entire day with high class independent escort.

£5000 - entire day with a high class courtesan (will probably only take bookings for 48hrs).

Source: The Independent.

FartyBeans Mon 14-Jan-13 13:45:40

S.M. Berg has published responses to frequently-asked questions about prostitution. For example: Isn't prostitution a choice? Don't a lot of women enjoy it? Porn and stripping aren't prostitution, right? Aren't you making personal moral judgments? Don't some people need sex but can't get it any other way? Isn't it better to get a lot of money prostituting than work a minimum wage McJob? And many others.

Read S.M. Berg's FAQ

FartyBeans Mon 14-Jan-13 13:49:18

Prostitution Harms Women Even if Indoors

Melissa Farley

This article describes the social invisibility of indoor prostitution, points out the lack of evidence suggesting that indoor prostitution is "safe," and summarizes the testimony of women who reported violence in strip club prostitution and warnings about violence from groups promoting indoor prostitution.

Read full article (PDF format

Frans1982 Mon 14-Jan-13 14:51:57

@Sabrina, out of your list the only practices which are actually legal is the "high class" escort.

Streetwalkers may charge cheap prices but streetwalking is illegal in the UK (and enforced) and is the minority of all sex workers.

@Fartybeans, indoor sex workers are more able to screen clients than streetwalkers. They can read a client's feedback and choose whether to accept the booking or not.

MiniTheMinx Mon 14-Jan-13 16:21:40

What is feedback? are you referring to AW?

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Mon 14-Jan-13 21:06:14

It's not 'my' list Frans, it's the Independent's list titled 'what the punters pay.' And yes, the uncomfortable truth is that men can buy sex for as little as £10-£15.

MiniTheMinx - feedback is a field report written by punters or prostitutes on sites like P*****net. I think Frans is referring to it in the context of the prostitutes flagging up 'unsafe' or abusive' punters as a warning to the other women.

I think, however, it's far more indicative of the misogyny involved in prostitution to read the field reports written by the punters. These can be stomach-churningly detailed. Descriptions include the woman's breasts, arse, pubic hair, stomach (scars seem to be worthy of note), age/youthful appeal, a guess at dress size and general prettyness. And then of course, what they did. Really, worse than a cattle market summing up a prize cow. Then they get to recommend them. Or not.

Mind you, I did have to laugh at one that complained about a particular prostitute's attentiveness and enthusiasm about the whole thing: 'she even sent a text while I was doing her from behind'. (Good for her.)

Frans1982 Mon 14-Jan-13 21:53:02

"the uncomfortable truth is that men can buy sex for as little as £10-£15."

Like I said this is the minorty of cases and is already illegal and the police do enforce streetwalking laws.

Remember escorts can also leave feedback for the client. And if a client has feedback that says "timewaster" or "poor hygiene and refused to shower" then other escorts will see this and most likely won't accept a booking from him.

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Mon 14-Jan-13 22:35:20

Who says high class escorts are the majority? Apart from you? Brothels and saunas are not as readily enforced by law as streetwalkers (although they should be). As OldLadyKnowsNothing stated way upthread in the case of brithels/saunas it is notoriously difficult to actually prove both profiteering and control in a criminal case. So that's plenty of transactions in going on in brothels and saunas - charging £50-£80 for sex.

Unfortunately, the police weren't enforcing the law on those nights that five prostitutes were taken from the street and murdered in Ipswich in 2006. As a result of those murders, a charity and memorial fund was founded by the Borough Council and a local paper called 'Somebody's daughter.' What is interesting about this charity is that it recognises the sheer desperation those prostitutes felt, that they went out to work on those nights despite police warning them to stay indoors, that there was a serial killer targeting prostitutes.

However, Somebody's Daughter doesn't campaign for the same sorts of things as the red umbrella campaign, or the turn off the blue light campaign, or all those other 'sex work activist sites.

Instead it states this:

" A board of Trustees oversees the distribution of funds raised for the benefit of vulnerable people with an Ipswich connection to:

1. Protect and preserve good health by promoting the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of substance misuse, drug and alcohol addiction and related health problems and provide counselling, information and support services to the users of drugs and other addictive substances and their families;

2. Relieve sickness and distress amongst people working as prostitutes, in particular but not exclusively those affected by substance misuse, by providing appropriate information, support and treatment;

3. Advance the education of the public in the misuse of drugs and other addictive substances. "

Because Ipswich recognises that it lost 5 of it's daughters to prostitution and drug addiction.

rosabud Mon 14-Jan-13 22:37:55

Wow, Frans, you are making prostitution sound so sensible and appealing, I've just said to my teenage daughter who is up late studying for her exams, "Darling, don't bother with all that nonsense, I've found a perfectly good career for you that will take far less effort!" She's thrilled. Can you point me in a similar direction for my teengage son, please?