From time to time we hear from people who are grateful for the work we do. Here we publish, with permission, comments from two men: Steve explains why he realised that decriminalisation is not an appropriate response to prostitution and Ben explains why, as a disabled man, he finds the idea that disabled men are entitled to prostitution to be abhorrent.
I once thought that decriminalisation was a wise move. As an American with a decent education, the nation’s experience with Prohibition and the War on Drugs seemed to make it clear that attempting to ban substances outright, however provably deleterious to health and well-being they may be (marijuana being a notable exception), was sheer folly that only ensured that mafias and gangs would have a solid grip on those industries and make them riddled with violence and woe. And I think I am right about the alcohol and drug industries (who ever hears of an alcohol kingpin, nowadays?), but I now know that I was not right about prostitution, thanks to the columns I’ve read here.
The chief mistake I made was to confuse the administration of unfeeling things with the administration of people. You can legalise the production of marijuana (admittedly, a very mild drug) without terrible consequences because (a) marijuana plants have no sentience and cannot object to being harvested and (b) the effects of taking marijuana aren’t that bad, barring the usual corner cases.
You cannot legalise the buying of sexual services because the prostitute is a human being and will inevitably experience horrors beyond imagination, just by virtue of the nature of the practice. Market forces being what they are, and the johns being unsympathetic at best and sadistic at worst, no prostitute can avoid being demeaned or abused for very long.
I agree with the Nordic Model, especially the parts about the johns and the pimps being punished. This is because not only are the women victims, but the men who use and abuse them are warped into committing evil deeds by the industry. Criminalising such things will be good for men, because it will push us away from something that brutalises our morals and carves our souls away.
I’m tempted to think that the johns should be given some amount of leeway, at least compared to the pimps, but in truth the horrors are perpetrated rather equally by both groups, and so I think the amount of effort expended to ‘straighten the crooked trees’ should be equally distributed between them.
I am writing as a man who wants the Nordic model adopted in full in the UK – no ifs, no buts. Although I have no direct experience with this issue, it’s blatantly obvious we need less prostitution (and the women caught up in it need help in getting out – and into fulfilling jobs/relationships etc) in particular.
Reading some of the testimonies on this website (along with the comments from men who use escorts) has only convinced me even more. I would like to add my thoughts (for what they’re worth) to some of what you have stated on this website.
In particular, I couldn’t agree more with your article on the supposed relationship between men with disabilities and prostitution. Speaking as someone who is totally blind/registered disabled, I find the idea of buying sex being made easier for my apparent benefit despite the obvious wider societal damage it would do abhorrent – and I’m not easily offended. My advice to the small number of men with disabilities who would consider using an escort is simple – put down the black pill and get some self-respect.
I also agree with your assertion that legalising prostitution so men won’t rape is a ridiculous reason. “Sorry I committed that massive fraud your honour, but I’ve got to make money somehow and at least I didn’t rob hundreds of thousands from my elderly victims in person – so if anything you should be thanking me for being so community minded!” And where are the campaigns in favour of government centres for voluntary cannibalisation to keep the serial killers on the straight and narrow?
I am sure I am not the only man to get in contact/offer my support (for what it is worth) and it’s my sincere hope that you keep up the good work.
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If you’ve been in the sex trade, or have been affected by it in other less direct ways, and would like to share your story anonymously, please see our Share Your Story page.