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 LET'S TALK ABOUT SELLING SEX
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Correct me if I wrong but if you boil down all the theories about life, love and everything else in the Universe, one simple fact emerges. Everything comes down to individual human beings working in some way.

Coal has to be dug out of the earth, seeds planted, fished pulled from the sea. Some of are lucky we don't actually do these manual jobs, we are lawyers, doctors, teachers, prostitutes. To receive what we need to survive we sell services to the people who actually produce what we need. Of course the transaction is not that direct. We do something for someone, who does something for someone else and way down the line the producer receives some kind of service for his or her labour.

We invented tokens to be given for services provided which could be used to obtain other goods or services. We called it money. The whole thing has worked pretty well for a very long time. Somewhere along the line, however, things got a little distorted and those who provided services seemed always to be better off than those who merely produced.  Not only that but some service providers became respectable, highly regarded and other became, well , disreputable.

Which brings me back to prostitution. I've never understood why a person who in order to live, sells his or her body to a third person for forty or more hours a week to screw things together, to clean, to drive a vehicle, or  to do whatever the third party wishes them to do, is considered respectable, while another person who sells a little of their time and the sexual use of their body to another is considered a threat to society by the Police and Politicians, fodder for the fires of hell by the Priesthood, and just plain bad by others.

The same people can tolerate bonded labour  and child labour in developing countries, low wages and long hours in too many first world companies but raise their hands in horror at this most basic of human transactions. 

I would not pretend that much prostitution is conducted in circumstances which are degrading to both those offering their service and those seeking them. As long as we have closed minds to the whole subject that will continue. Suppress anything and it festers. Criminals find rich pickings, people are exploited. The great and the good have created a self fulfilling image.

There is another side, as there always is. Some consider even marriage a form of prostitution. In many cases they have been and continue to be, quite justified in this view. A woman takes a man who will support her and allow him to use her body sexually. It happens in the highest part of Society in this country and in the lowest in the poorest parts of the world. Girls are traded almost as commodities by families, subjected to painful mutilation in improve their marketability and in some places disposed of, literally if they do not perform as expected.

Most partnerships are not like that in this country, at least. People, for the most part are free, to choose their partners and live with them in any form of union they desire which may or may not include marriage. Should individuals also be free to choose to live without a close relationship with another person and satisfy their sexual needs on an ad hoc basis either with like minded individuals or by purchase.

And does that transaction have to be sordid and degrading ? No of course not and frequently it is not. Gradually prostitution is becoming more acceptable even more respectable, but it still operates under a cloud of laws designed to suppress it and drive it underground.

I hope the day arrives when men or women are free to sell their bodies, not only to the MacDonalds of this world but to anyone they wish without fear or harassment. Openness will blow fresh air into the festering sores which our present attitudes create and we can all get on with the things which really matter in life.

Will it happen ? Probably eventually but our European neighbours will probably always be ahead of this little offshore island state. For myself, I have never used a prostitute male or female but cannot rule out the possibility and can see no reason whatsoever why I should not do so if I so wish. The United Kingdom has always been ruled by those whose motto is  'Do as I say, not what I do'  It's time for change and a more sensible attitude to the whole subject.

January 2000

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