When I was about nine, I remember playing in our living room one day. Our black and white TV was on and a news program was broadcasting. They showed a photo of a woman in a courtroom, but she was wearing a mask over the upper part of her face. The newscaster was reading a story that said the woman was testifying in a case involving “the world’s oldest profession — prostitution.” I was intrigued by the mask and by the new word, so I asked my mother, “What’s prostitution?” She looked at me confusedly and then finally said, “You should probably ask your daddy when he gets home.”
Hmmm. Something my mom didn’t want to talk about. Guess what? I never asked my dad. I kept the new word in the back of my mind until I was able to look it up in a dictionary. That didn’t help much, since I had no clue about sex. How could anyone “sell their body?”
I eventually learned much more about the term…and the myriad of ways there are to spend money in exchange for some sort of sexual experience. Let’s see:
1. The brothel, whorehouse, or bordello, where a customer is offered a choice between several women. Once he decides (and pays), he is led to a room where the activities begin.
2. Escorts. Once relegated to cryptic yellow page ads or tiny classifieds in underground newspapers, they now can advertise openly online, book appointments, and even get reviewed by patrons.
3. “Massage” parlors which start with a normal massage but end with the proverbial “happy ending” in which a woman jerks off a man.
4. Strip clubs, where women take off their clothes. Though many people are unaware, a customer can often get much more than a lap dance in such establishments. Depending on local laws, the women may be topless, wear lingerie or bikinis, or get totally nude onstage. Some places require them to wear pasties or otherwise keep their nipples covered.
5. “Modeling” studios, where you pay for a half-hour or an hour in a small, private room, and a woman dances and strips while the man masturbates. Usually no touching is allowed, at least not of “the good parts.” These places are often referred to as “jack shacks.”
6. Streetwalking hookers who walk or wait beside a street until a man in a car picks them up and negotiates the price for his desired sexual service.
7. Live peepshows, where a woman strips and gyrates, separated from the patron by a glass partition. Touching is not possible, although I’ve heard that in places like NYC or San Francisco, the partition could be raised if the price was right.
Those are the ones that come to mind at the moment. I have had experience with all of them, in varying degrees. There is an extra level of thrill built into the act of paying for sex. It is illegal, after all, and most men are risking their marriage or job if they get caught. If —like me—you grow up believing that sex is dirty, paying for it feels like taking a dare.
I think prostitution should be legal everywhere. There are certainly traffickers and evil pimps out there. But there are also some educated, clever, smart businesswomen who have fucked their way to substantial bank accounts. If the woman is doing it of her own volition, I fail to see who the victim of the “crime” is.
One of the positive benefits of prostitution is that it is a business transaction. I can tell you there are MANY married men who visit prostitutes just because they enjoy variety…with no strings attached. A “provider” isn’t going to break up your marriage. Both she and the man get what they want and then go their own ways.
In coming entries, I’ll write about some of the above types of encounters. When I look back over my life now, I see a timeline, a progression through many of those levels. Some I’ll never go back to; some may be great for a year or two and then start to feel stale.
Despite the attempts of the government and the law, paying for sex cannot be eliminated. Nor should it. Easy access to orgasms with another person would defuse some of the tension we see in the world today.