Most religions have a big downer on prostitution and adultery. Nature gives us a different story. As far as adultery is concerned many species of animals practice it and admittedly there are some which enter into monogamous relationships. That does not mean either is right or wrong. It also does not mean than man ‘caused’ the fall of all life on earth as the Bible might try to persuade one of, since the examples of those species which do not travel outside monogamous relationships is proof. We have a choice as reasoning beings. Women can generally see that there are some advantages to having a home provider, but that is a function she can manage herself with adequate child care facilities available or rely on the state, since it is somewhat in the interests of our species for us to pay the fertile women, those willing to have babies, in these days when many feminists try to persuade women that they should not consider babies important. They should be an important part of a woman’s life but not the totality. There is a species of bird which to choose mates enjoys a system where the males build nests and the women come round and inspect them, selecting a mate on the quality of the nest. This is not daft since the chances are the offspring will have an ability to build good nests and perpetuate her genes. Prostitutes, especially those who have children and want more money to care for them are similarly inspecting a location for men who have the wherewithal, money, to help them raise young and then mating with them. It is as natural as anything else we see in nature though of course not always reproductive. However, in many species a female will take multiple partners and allow the sperm to fight it out inside her. It is generally males who have to try and invent strategies to ensure their seed fertilise women. Looking at religions one could say the god of the Jews was trying to invent strategies for males to succeed by, through insisting on monogamy and domination by males. Equally in the Indian sub-continent religion there are tales of the god Indira sending his houris, (prostitues), against wise men to tempt them, this is where a moral tone instilled inot the people by religion can be used to judge the wise as wrong-doers, a sort of insurance for a God in case anybody begins to see what he is really up to.
Objections to prostitution can be rooted in male chauvinism, men thinking they can pull women without having to build a nest. While this is quite possible, it is also the case that other ways, including prostitution, are equally valid. In a February 2007 edition of the UK newspaper The Independent, Caryn Franklin, a TV presenter said, “I would legalise prostitution and make it a safe and tax-friendly environment for women to work in. I’m disgusted by society’s treatment of women that provide a valuable service”.
I cannot condone pimps but brothels should be decriminalised where run by madams. Firstly, it is easy for people to imagine themselves superior to prostitutes and their clients, but what about prostitutes that service the needs of the disabled and others who have difficulties in finding wives and girlfriends. Secondly many couples have been helped by the sex documentaries of Dr Andrew Stanway (The Lover’s Guides), but some people appearing in those met for the first time on set and they engaged in sex for the cameras as was necessary for the context of the video. They were paid for that naturally so where do we draw the line? Are they health service workers or prostitutes.? It is really a case of how insulting one wishes to be as to which name one chooses. Like using the ‘n’ word for black people, the ‘p’ word for people from the indian sub-continent or ‘infidel’ for those who are not Islamic
A number of mainstream films now picture actors and actresses having sex for which they are paid, including the French film “Baise Moi”, the widely praised Danish film “The Idiots”, the seminal Japanese Classic “In the realm of the senses” and the tasteful English “9 Songs”. In addition there are surrogate sex therapists who have sex with their clients.
It is clear that people from all walks of life enjoy sex as a commercial product so why get so hypocritical about it.
The commentator Joan Smith writing in The Independent after the murders of five prostitutes in Ipswich, appears to try to make political capital out of the murders by using it to launch an Angela Dworkin like tirade against men and praise the Labour Government for introducing the idea of prosecuting men who pay for sex, (like Dr Andrew Stanway and many well regarded film directors presumably). She uses emotive language like “The notion that the solution is a string of mini-brothels, untroubled by pimps and traffickers in which cheerful girls minister to charming clients, belongs in the realm of bad fiction.” She uses this as an excuse for rejecting brothels and sending clients of prostitutes to jail, but in reality, women and children who work for 18 hours a day in pitiless conditions making clothes for the world are equally exploited and what is required there is regulation, not an end to employment opportunities of choice. Equally in prostitution the road forward is to regulation not closure.
People often change their minds about liberal attitudes to sex when someone they trusted expresses disapproval or rejects friendship. This can give a domino effect, much like a Greek orthodox priest rejecting the idea of equality for women. It soon becomes a feature of the society that women are lesser beings. Prostitution, like our attitudes to theatre and cinema needs tact and compassion so that we do not damage peoples happiness which can be hard to find. To do such damage is to smash flowers when the owner of the garden only wanted the weeds pulling.
Bizarrely, another commentator in The Independent, Yasmin Alibhai-Brown used exactly the same reference point as joan Smith , the film Pretty Woman, to try to explain to everyone that prostitution is not really like that. She also uses almost exactly the same claim. Compare her “”..even in these times when it is offered up for free by young women game for casual sex..” with Joan Smith’s “...we live at a moment in history when consensual sex has never been so freely available..” I believe that the arguments I out forward above show plenty of examples where the picture they try to place in reader’s minds is false and narrow in filed of view.
Of course, giving due regard to equality for all citizens, all the above about female prostitutes also applies to males. Some times the stereotype of the male prostitute is homosexual but as the world gives women more freedoms there is no reason why busy businesswomen should not seek diversion with male hetero-sexual prostitutes. Any male still having difficulty with that should think about “The lady boys of Bangkok” on one extreme and male Jehovah Witnesses and Plymouth Brethren on the other. The heterosexual male prostitute is somewhere between those two.
Another Independent writer, Janet Street Porter, wrote an article in the summer of 2007 saying the we should stop calling prostitutes “working girls” because they do not really work. This is bizarre since she enjoys country walks but gets paid by the Independent for writing about them. She also wrote how terrible a reality TV show was then promptly went on the show when offered a place. It makes you wonder if she can prostitute her intellect how much it would take to persuade her to prostitute her body. Prostitutes should be respected whatever their motivation for doing the job.
In all the above health is important and condoms should be used for all casual sex.