This should be common sense: legalizing sex work both reduces sexually transmitted diseases and human trafficking. Despite the claims of authoritarians everywhere, prohibition never eliminates victimless “crimes,” such as prostitution, gambling or drug use. It only drives them underground. Moreover, prohibition often makes the banned activities profitable enough that criminal enterprises spring up to take advantage of the new, unregulated markets that the government has created.
The debates around legalizing sexwork have been going on for years. And two of the big arguments against it are claims that sexwork increases the rates of sexually transmitted infections and leads to trafficking. Sexwork advocates say that these are the result of it being illegal and that, if we legalized it, things would improve.
Kate McCombs, one of my former sex education workshop presenters, has been living in Australia and blogging for mysexprofessor.com. She has a post about the effects of legal sexwork in the state of Victoria, Australia. And wouldn’t you know it- legalizing sexwork works! Read more
You know how people are always going on about the bad acting in porn movies? I don’t get it. I mean technically these people aren’t actors. They’re professional… er, lovers. Which means the more pertinent question should be: “why are porn stars so bad at sex?”
I was struck by this again when I watched a wee bit of porn this weekend (strictly for work purposes of course). As usual I was slightly put off by the bad lighting, terrible hair and make-up – good heavens those nails! – cheesy, very unsexy scenarios and the undertone of female humiliation (more about this later).
Mostly I was just stunned by the lack of technique displayed by the performers and the lack of eroticism of it all. The kisses looked gross, the cunnilingus looked painful and the actual penetration looked chafey. (Women giving blowjobs excepted – they were pretty good). Read more
I couldn’t agree more. I realize that most porn videos are meant to be exciting and entertaining for men and are not intended to be documentaries or sex education. However, most of them are so unrealistic, that they’re just not erotic to me. Also, as Lili Radloff says, the sex techniques are often just bad or ridiculous.
Generally, the only porn I like are the amateur videos – the real ones, not the fake “amateur” videos. Those are the only ones where the reactions of the women to what’s happening ring true enough that I can relate to it and get turned on.
When I worked as a street prostitute, men paid me to do things you’d never imagine — like pretend to be their girlfriend and take me on all-expense paid trips.
A Lexus stops. The guy is dark haired, maybe 40, a little too distracted for my comfort. I go with him to a room though I worry he is a nut. We get to some small room on the West side and his thing is making me wear a negligee and act like I enjoy it. Why does he pay for this? I don’t relish this silk, lace, oohing and ahhing routine but there is nothing perverted about it. You’d think he’d get a girlfriend. He says he’s single. He is a medical supplies salesmen and I let him pay me in syringes. Read more
Just because it’s not talked about doesn’t mean it’s not happening: Women, like men, are paying for sex. Recent years ushered in the prominence of feminist sex shops and sex worker rights activism, causing women across the country to think about the sex industry in new ways.
Armed with expendable income and encouragement to claim their right to sexual pleasure, women could become consumers in a field previously reserved for men. However, the notion of a female client is not entirely new. Circa 1980s American Gigolo paved the way for the 2009 HBO series Hung, and Xaviera Hollander’s bestselling memoir of the ’70s, The Happy Hooker, describes several women who were regulars of her call girl agency. Read more
Paying for sex is no longer a male preserve. Mary-Anne Toy explores the world of male escorts and why more women want their services. I just don’t see this as a growing trend myself because, as a sex industry lobbyist points out in the article “women don’t buy sex, they don’t need to. If they want sex, they can just go get it for free wherever they want.”
She is well educated, well spoken and very well groomed: an attractive blonde in her 30s used to men hitting on her in bars. So why did ”Eva”* pay a man to have sex with her? And how did that encounter lead her, a single mother with a full-time professional job, into secretly running a male escort business?
About two years ago, fed up with internet dating and the desultory randomness of the bar scene, but missing male company, Eva toyed with the idea of using a male escort.
Ignoring the storm of censorial voices inside her head, all screaming variations of ”nice girls don’t do that” and worse, she started searching online. Read more
Superfreakonomics authors Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner ask why more women aren’t prostitutes. I think their descriptions of LaSheena and Allie answer their own question.
Sure, authors Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner acknowledge, streetwalking is tough work. But being a high-end escort is big fun, just like being a trophy wife without the marriage. So why don’t more women do it?
In an excerpt from their new book Superfreakonomics, Levitt and Dubner profile two women. One, LaSheena, has “a beaten-down look in her eyes,” and makes her money stealing and turning tricks on Chicago’s South Side. She says prostitution “bothers me mentally,” and she’s not pulling down that much money either — street prostitutes in Chicago make about $350 a week. The other woman is Allie, an attractive blond who works about 15 hours a week having sex with men in her pretty bedroom for $500 an hour. Allie “genuinely likes the men who come to her” and “they treat her, in many ways, as men are expected to treat their wives but often don’t.” She’s also building on the entrepreneurial skills she’s learned as a prostitute by going back to school in economics. Life, for Allie, is good.
It’s so good, in fact, that “the less she works, the more she earns,” and she can charge ever-higher fees without scaring off clients. Levitt and Dubner write, Read more
From the most realistic to the hottest sex, Monica Shores summarizes the seven best movies about sex work.
Sure, you’ve seen Natalie Portman’s mild masquerade as a stripper in Closer, watched Melanie Griffith ditz around as a prostitute in Milk Money, and enjoyed the delightful cheesiness of Sandra Oh and Daryl Hannah in the absolutely fabulous Dancing at the Blue Iguana, but is that really satisfying your penchant for sex workers on celluloid? Here’s a handy guide for you to better navigate the wealth of sex work-centric films Hollywood has to offer. Read more