It is Always the Punters Who Have Real Choice

Ok this post is written from a place of utter disbelief and frustration.

All around me, all around all exited women – there is the constant insistence that we should at least try to understand punters.

We can be angry with them but not to the point of pure fury; we can dislike some of them but always some proviso that we know not all punters are bad; we can say there is violence, only if we also some men were gentlemen.

We must not say that all punters are the same, that they all have the same mind-set and they all have a massive sense of entitlement.

We must always be reasonable, we must be able to listen endlessly to the excuses made for punters.

To be other is to be told we are too emotional, we must hate all men, we are tainted by our individual bad experiences – we do not see or know the full pictures of what makes a punter.

Why not say what you really think – exited women are too dumb or too damaged to know their own realities.

I have enough of being told to be reasonable about punters – when it very rare that punters are ever reasonable to the prostituted.

The most important thing that must be stated over and over and over – it is impossible to be a punter and to be a decent human being.

It is impossible to make the choice to buy the prostituted for no other reason than your selfish sexual kicks and still a good person.

I do not care how gentle you are with the prostitute; I do not care if you just talk or watch; I do not care if you decide it was peer pressure made you buy a prostitute; I do not care if you lonely, ugly or disabled; I do not care that you are on holiday; I do not care you in a stag do; I do not care it is work pressure; I do not care that you say it is an one-off.

There is never a good enough excuse for buying and owning a prostitute.

I bet many punters are ant-slavery, hate the concept of trafficking, despise men who rape or batter the non-prostituted women and girls, and know they are always the good men.

Many punters who do not think twice of poring their porn-dreams into the living bodies of the prostituted – will hate sexual torturing to political prisoners and may even fight to end animal torture.

It cannot be torture with the prostitute – it just buying and consuming of goods.

It must always be known and remembered – the moment any punter make the choice to buy a prostitute, he has firmly in his mind she is goods and her humanity does not exist.

That is why the vast majority of punters are violent – and usually it is extreme violence.

The violence comes from every angle, the violence is highly predictable and without any sense of escape.

The violence is mental, physical, spiritual and sexual – leaving most of prostituted as empty shells.

There is no such thing as a non-violent punter – just sometimes the violence is bearable.

But many of so-called gentle or decent punters eat away at the soul and mind of the prostitute.

Whilst a prostitute know at any time any punter can use extreme violence on her – there can no safe place for any prostitute, there can be no part of the sex trade that can be made safe for any prostitute.

That is why we must stop focusing on the individual choices and experiences of the prostituted – and look deeper at the punters, and force them to take full responsibility for making the prostituted sub-human.

For no man need to buy another human for his sexual greed, or to put in his violent porn fantasies into a living body.

Stop looking for excuses for punters – and stand for the human rights and dignity of the prostituted class.

Stop making punters the invisible men.

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14 responses to “It is Always the Punters Who Have Real Choice

  1. Every day I go to work. I sell my time and my labor. Some days are better than others. It can be degrading, tiring and difficult. Sometimes the customers are rude; sometimes I make their day. I’d rather not work but I have to. What do I do? Customer service. In any for profit industry, there is abuse and corruption. While prostitution can be dangerous, so is work for a fast food worker. As I woman, I have sold my time and labor in the regular workforce and on the black market. As a traveler, I paid a woman in the Philippines to keep me company. The best outcome for this industry would be regulation. It is not something that can be stopped. By attempting to hide it, it pushes it to the black market where it is more dangerous.
    Any thoughts?

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  2. I do not think you have truly read my blog – only read with preconceived prejudices.
    Prostitution is not work – it is exploitation and a form of torture.
    The dangers of prostitution is a high likelihood of an early death either through murder, suicide or the body being unable to survive through exhaustion or disease. The dangers of prostitution is being raped and sexually constantly. The dangers of prostitution is mental violence so horrific that the prostitute loses sense of her ability to be fully human.
    That is not true of the fast-food industry.
    It is not about putting prostitution into the black market, but tackling the male demand and decriminalising the prostituted.

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  3. I am not trying to be combative in this response; only attempting to gain an understanding and put my thoughts to the test. I think the mental violence one experiences from selling their body comes from outside perception of taboo and deviance. If it were a socially accepted and regulated industry, would it be so damaging afterwards? If we had social structures in place to reintegrate prostitutes back into society and work in other industries?
    I do not see the demand for prostitution going away any time soon. Men (and in some cases in Jamaica, women) will always crave physical sex and emotional companionship. In a perfect world, I would erase the situations where women and girls feel the need or are forced into this industry. No one should have to do work they don’t have to but reality takes over and we all need money. That’s where I feel regulation can be positive so no women or girls are forced into it, they get the full benefit of the money earned, healthcare and the men are registered so if any violence happens they can report them.
    One last point is what about the women that choose this? I personally did this for about a year in China and I enjoyed it. Did I have to? No. I wanted to and it was through a semi-regulated organization and I greatly enjoyed it. The men did not lord their money over me, rape me or abuse me. They were legitimately lonely physically and emotionally. Sometimes they would pay me just to go out to dinner or play cards. There is just no other way they could have a simple relationship with someone without this arrangement.
    I think we disagree on what work is. To me, it is selling your time and physical self for money. (definition: 1. Physical or mental effort or activity directed toward the production or accomplishment of something. 2. Something that one is doing, making, or performing, especially as an occupation or undertaking; a duty or task). What if we sent all of our potential prostitutes to work in coal mines or as field hands on industrial farms? Is that not as dangerous to health for the same end result of wages? The potential for sexual, emotional and physical abuse is huge in these industries. I felt exploited when I worked for minimum wage in America. In addition, the work was physically grueling. I worked in a male dominated field and experienced no shortage of sexual tension in the workplace with some women filing serious complaints.
    I feel that fighting the ills of prostitution is to fight serious systemic problems in any society regarding class, race, gender and sexuality.

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  4. Thanks. I am male, have never been to a prostitute, because it always seemed like victimisation, and have always wondered, in the face of arguments about free economic choices etc, whether I was being a an over concerned dickhead. Looks like not.

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  5. A E – You have no understanding of what it is to be prostituted, and I think you want it to fit with your myths rather than the lived reality of the prostituted class.
    It is not about stigma, taboo or deviance – that is not the point of danger for the prostituted. The danger is that the prostituted are made into goods, and therefore made sub-human. That means that the punters who buy the prostituted can and do used any and all violence on the prostituted. This is done to all levels of prostitution. There is no safe place for the prostituted.
    Of course, some women have chosen to be prostitutes – but that does not prevent punters from viewing them as sub-humans and being violent to them – and it does not prevent the sex trade profiteers from moving them into more dangerous aspects of prostitution. The prostitute never has full control on how she is consumed, or whether she is safe or not. The punter always has the full choice to not buy a prostitute, and the choice never to use violence on any prostitute.

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  6. Yo AE. Do people in the fast food industry or coal mines work with their vaginas? Do you really think penetrative sex between a man and a woman can be so completely decontextualised from the fact that we live in a world where men have power over women and frequently enforce this through sexual violence that we can regard it as “just work”? You sound awfully attached to the right of men to have access to women’s bodies, regardless of what that does to women.

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  7. Awesome post Rebecca! Men’s “massive sense of entitlement” is indeed a core issue that needs a bright spotlight shone on it like the huge cockroach that it is.

    A E, I sell my time and labor at a (office) job too, and I hate it, and it’s very spiritually depleting because of the industry I work in and the kind of people I work with. But my kind of spiritual depletion is night and day when compared to prostitution, if we even go down that road of comparison, which is the first problem in these conversations. The only comparison that holds water for me when it comes to prostitution and other forms of “work” is that there is money involved, and that has nothing to do the ‘why’ and ‘how’ prostitution is so harmful for the mostly girls and women in it, though money IS the binder between slave and slaveowner (and what pushes many girls & women to “choose” prostitution), where the slaveowner has this massive sense of entitlement in thinking he can and do whatever he wants to his sexual slave, beginning with the idea that it’s OK to go and rent a woman’s body on demand! If that’s not sexual violence I don’t know what is. And from there the violence inflicted on the prostituted’s body for greedy sexual consumption by the man is just a matter of degree.

    “Men (and in some cases in Jamaica, women) will always crave physical sex and emotional companionship.” — Men CAN and DO get physical sexual and emotional companionship (for FREE) when they behave like whole human beings, by treating women like whole human beings, because women TOO crave physical sex and emotional companionship. We as a society continually let men off the hook by constantly ignoring and excusing their emotional, mental and spiritual retardation, which is what it takes to even fathom buying “sex work”, which is not sex, nor work. The off-the-charts PTSD rates among the prostituted is the first major clue that there is something deeply wrong with prostitution, and laws cannot regulate away men’s emotional/spiritual/mental retardation and deep disconnect from their humanity. That requires good ole fashioned work on the self. It’s not the sex industry and “regulations” that need to change, it’s the MEN who are the ones paying for rape on demand (spin doctored as “companionship”), torturing and killing the women – to whatever degree – who need to change. Enough is enough @ men’s spiritual, mental and emotional laziness!

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  8. I minored in feminism in college and I agreed with most of it but I must point out the mistake we are making here of lumping all men into one group. Maybe I was lucky in my own experience in the field and I was able to get to know the people who paid me. As the first post talked about they don’t think they are bad people and I don’t either. I’m extremely good at separating sex and emotion when I want to. That’s how I considered prostitution just another day on the job. I didn’t take it personally and I didn’t separate the use of my vagina (safely) from the use of my back or hands. I know some of the women and girls in the industry are not so lucky as to have a say over their need for the job or who they work for.
    I also understand the context of sexism in the world. There are more than a few jerks that feel they are better than women but I really try not to lump men together in one group as I don’t like when men’s rights people do that to women.
    My experience wasn’t always cheery either. I was raped twice in China by the same man and gang raped in India. The best advice I was given was don’t blame yourself and don’t relive it. I tell myself that anytime it comes up because of the the “should have, could have, would have” situations go through my mind.
    I suppose in the end, I just see this differently and I don’t see all men as one bad group that we’re up against. Like I said, I don’t advocate for a free-for-all in the sex industry. I would like to see (and personally working for in Taiwan) more options for women so they aren’t forced into this industry. But for people like myself who really enjoy sex and don’t take it too personally, there should be safe options to walk into an economic agreement where both parties are happy.

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  9. A E:

    “Maybe I was lucky in my own experience in the field [..] I know some of the women and girls in the industry are not so lucky.” ——> This right here is the blindspot I’m seeing in what you’re saying. The thing of it is, and as prostituted women who’ve been lucky enough to survive & escape their hell tell us — those who are lucky enough not to not have a traumatizing prostitution experience are not only in the minority, but they are a very privileged group, and every time we shift our gaze to this small group (in whatever “industry”), we turn our backs on the masses who are more vulnerable and being harmed. The two cannot co-exist. Those who are fine to sell their bodies just do it, there is no issue, so why do we have to pay them any attention?

    Those of us in these kind of privileged positions have an obligation — not a moral one because that is religious nonsense — but a basic, human obligation — to listen to and look out for those who ARE suffering, and then collectively put an end to it. Tortured, raped and murdered prostituted women aren’t doing this to themselves, it is the MEN who are doing it to them. By giving these men a pass (and there are so, so many of them), we are enabling their torture of the prostituted class. Shifting our gaze away from this rot among the male species is to say it’s okay for them to keep raping, torturing and killing so many women for their sexual “entertainment”. As Rebecca said, even the “gentler” rape-buyers “eat away at the soul and mind of the prostitute.”

    To be proud of supposedly separating the sexual from the spiritual from the emotional from the mental, is to attempt to not be fully human, because the bio-psycho-social-spiritual is what makes up our well-being; there IS no separation. It is the dis-eased colonist culture that tries to normalize the very abnormal act of compartmentalization.

    As Arnold Itwaru says in his book ‘Negative Ecstasy’, industrialized eroticism “cultivates the pornographic imagination in proposing that sexual attraction is manufactured in the political economy of capitalism and is purchasable for all. Desire dressed in the imaginary of industrialism fetishizes each dismembered part of the body whose sensual wholeness is destroyed. […] It is the commercialization of the sexual, the commercialization of the body and the indication of the dominance of the economy of free enterprise which struts about in the name of freedom.” “Slut Walks” anyone?

    Some people think it is “tough women” who make “successful sex workers.” To that sentiment, I like this Arnold Itwaru truth-ism:

    “Toughness is the new hallmark of liberation. Tough decisions have to be made. Life is said to be a tough business. This is a troubling rule of the tough in a culture which has institutionalized violation. The new woman [the so-called empowered sex worker?] is the tough woman. She has successfully imitated some of the worst features in the mythologization of masculinity in this culture, and in this she has sunk deeper into the domination in the values of the phallus/destroyer/protector. She is now the active and “free agent” in the enforcement of its rule. This is her abusive liberation.”

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  10. Thank you for your response. The reason I started responding is because I am battling my own internal conflicts of my own sexuality. Other victims and their horrific stories aside, I am trying to figure out why I am so fascinated and cool about sex when those around me are not so much, especially my ability to sell my body for money. I was sexually abused as a really young girl by a member of my family. It was not violent in the sense of physical harm; I’ve heard much worse stories. But it did open me at a horribly young age to sexuality and pleasure. Now that I reflect, I feel that person did steal my innocence and my ability to separate sex and emotion was probably a defense mechanism I learned before I can remember to deal with the situation.
    After further reflection, I can see the down side of this and how it has affected me. I can’t say I regret anything in my past as I’ve seen a lot and I’m the wiser for it (maybe not always a good thing). I understand all your points especially regarding the patriarchal themes that should be addressed in all societies.
    I’m not really sure where to go from here. I will accept my own past and try to apply it to future lessons and situations.
    “When the Japanese mend broken objects, they aggrandize the damage by filling in the cracks with gold. They believe that when something’s suffered damage and has a history, it becomes more beautiful.”
    I try to fill in my own cracks with gold and stay strong and surround myself with positive people.
    Thanks again for your time and energy.

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  11. ((((((AE))))))), that family member DID steal your innocence, as does every selfish bastard that steals children’s (OR adult’s) innocence by abusing and/or neglecting them! It is also a big door-opener to a future in prostitution, when we learn so early on that we’re only valued for others’ disrespectful, selfish use of our bodies. Of course, these abusers have their own wounds and deep disconnection from their own humanity, otherwise they wouldn’t hurt others. It’s all so tragic, so much pain, behind closed family doors and in the broad daylight of prostitution, and everything in between and around this cultural cluster fuck we call “civilization” and “progress” and “development”. Yeah right, the human species is DE-volving ourselves straight to annihilation the further and further we get away from Indigenous ways of being.

    I wish you luck in finding all the gold it takes to fill in your cracks, and to all of us wounded beings on our own gold-seeking journeys. Though I disagree that a Being who has suffered is more beautiful. That is kind of twisted to me, because there is such beauty to appreciate around us if we’re respectful towards the sacredness of all living beings, we don’t have to destroy something or someone to appreciate or make it beautiful. But many men think this way — as Lydia Lunch says, “men are so fucking afraid to die that they have to kill everything in sight” (of course, this is men from so-called “civilized” cultures; some cultures could never even dream of behaving the way others do. Talk about culture clash). I know life is full of joy and despair, but so much despair that humans suffer is preventable. We must prevent suffering, and we must work to heal the pain. It sounds like you’re on an important truth-seeking journey, and I wish you much luck & healing.

    Before I came across sex trade survivor-activist blogs and began learning the truth about prostitution (this blog being the first), I had a sense that prostitution couldn’t be a good thing, though I had NO clue just how violent and horrific it is (I was just horrified at the idea of having men I would never otherwise allow, touch my body. And who knows, if my luck ever runs out, I might have to “choose” this path for my own survival). Because all I heard was “sex worker rights” and “empowered sex worker” rhetoric, I second guessed myself and wondered if I was a “prude”. I’m so grateful to, and have great respect for survivor voices like Rebecca’s who so bravely speak the Truth about prostitution, especially with all the backlash she gets, which is a sign that an Inconvenient Truth is being told. It’s ironic to me that a group of women that society ignores, dismisses and sees as non-human, are some of the MOST human and wisest of beings I’ve had the privilege of crossing paths with. So much love & respect to you and your sister survivor-activists Rebecca! Pleas never stop speaking the truth!

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  12. A E – I am so sorry that you were abused as a child, and wish all the best. It is very common that women inside the sex trade were abused as children, I was abused by my stepdad from aged 6 to 19. This can and does make us believe and feel our only worth is to be a sexual object for any man, and we may as well be paid for it. This is not a choice.
    you are very brave and strong to look clearly at this, sorry if I was too strong in some of my comments – it is just i get a lot of hate-mail.

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  13. AE, you were physically violated by a member of a trusted and legally protected group (family) as a vulnerable, rights-less child. The extent to which this has affected your life is probably immeasurable, though self-reflection and connecting the dots with other survivors can generate some pretty life-altering understanding and healing. The unfortunate reality about sexual violence victimization is that it is paved in confusion and diffuse physical and mental health complications. Childhood sexual victimization is a documented predictor of future dangerous coping behaviors such as increased sexual partners (if one could even call it “sexual), unsafe “sex” practices and the ever-violent world of prostitution. (your luck at, perhaps, avoiding violence does not change this evidence-based epidemic). What’s more, as a female you are in a high risk group for being re-victimized with little to no recourse. When it comes to dealing with prior sexual violence and preventing future sexual violence you, like all women, are under constant threat with few coping tools. This is the undeniable global context of sexual violence, whether you feel it at any given time or not.

    When you enter a conversation with another survivor by decontextualizing your own journey you must understand how this process disservices all survivors, including you. What society has *denied you* is context, is meaning, is speech, is definition, is the between-the-lines information that connects, for example, “the ability to separate sex and emotion.” (As an aside, apathy -if that’s what you’re alluding to – IS an emotion. Men use the tired, false notion of *emotion-less-ness* to avoid any culpability in the socialized process of not giving a shit about destructive behavior.) I hope this does not come off as insulting, because I believe you are trying to make sense of all this and I wish you the best in finding context. Exited women are brilliant and vibrant in this way, in the context, in the unspoken reality. Seek them out when the world, and thus your mind, offers you no plot.

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  14. I was once a prostitute, or. “escort,” who was tricked into into the business by a misleading ad in a local paper that claimed that they needed girls for a ” gentlemen’s club.” Me, being naive and desperate for work, after being homeless, called and met the person (female, and lesbian, thank goodness) who created the ad. She taught me the business well, and I never went hungry again. I did develop a severe eating disorder from the huge drug habit, and lust for expensive bullshit. In the end, I had lost it all, including my sanity. I don’t want to go off topic, so I will say that I was in denial the entire time I was in the business. I was in denial about my life, and the fact that I could lose it at any minute. Rebecca is right-who cares to personally know these bastards? All they see us prostitutes as is a sleazy, dirty piece of ass that they can buy, use, and abuse. Someone else said not to lump all of the johns together? I call bullshit-stop defending men!!! They never, ever defend us women-especially women that they buy and can use up. Yes, they are all the same, just as they think that we are. I’m so glad that I never have to do that shit with johns again. I’d rather work at McDonald’s than have to deal with that crap anymore. Also, my lesbian “associate” was in denial too about what we were doing. She claimed to be a radical feminist separatist (like what I am now..) I look back on that, and cannot believe it. When I first met her, she was pimping out her GIRLFRIEND! Yeah, real feminist….what a nightmare.

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