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I am really curious. Most people would argue that selling sex is “wrong”, it’s “bad”, and a whole host of other negative words.

We often view those who sell sex as victims or as bad, broken people. The people who buy sex are judged, although often not as harshly as those who sell it.

But why?

Let’s take out lack of consent and age concerns. We are no longer talking about the women in Amsterdam, the women tricked into leaving their home country to be sold for sex in a new country, or even the heroin addict being pushed by her boyfriend to make more money for drugs. I am talking about an individual (male or female or any other gender) choosing to trade sex for money (or some other commodity), not unlike the women who choose to sell their virginity to the highest bidder or the scores of young men and women looking for sugar daddies and mommas to make some extra cash.

If a person chooses to sell sex to make extra money what is the problem?

It’s obvious that most people seem to think there is a problem, but if you remove religion from sex what is the problem with a person choosing to do whatever s/he wants with his/her body? This is what i’ve heard:

1. It is objectification. Okay, fine. I may or may not agree with this argument but if selling your body is objectification then we better ban modeling of any sort and, really, also ban any other way in which a person might be objectified.

2. Body as a commodity. Again, what about modeling? And what is the problem with using the body as a commodity? We use our minds as commodities (think about tutors and [certain] authors; they are selling their intellect). Why can we whore out our minds and not our bodies? Frankly I think that my mind is more important that my body.

3. It isn’t actually consensual. This is the argument I hear the most “the person may think it’s consensual, but it’s not really – they’re being forced into it for some reason or another”. Firstly, this is one of the most paternalistic arguments I ever hear. “Oh no, the person does actually know how s/he is feeling, but I do!” We can’t claim to know the reasons a person doing anything and we most certainly cannot tell them they are wrong in how they feel. If I chose to get a sugar daddy because I wanted extra money to buy more fancy clothes (don’t worry friends and family — I haven’t) there is no way you can argue I was coerced due to my situation. I have a job that provides me with enough money to live on and parents who would help me out financially if I got desperate. I don’t have a secret addiction that I am throwing my money into. I would merely be trying to get more money to spend frivolously. In what way would I be being forced into it? Many of the people who do it to pay for school (a trend that is on the rise) have other (albeit more time consuming) options. They could work 20 hours a week at some minimum wage job and make enough or they could get a sugar daddy, spend less time “working” and make more money. There is choice there.

I understand the concerns about selling sex in general; people are frequently trafficked for this purpose and exploited by others, but at a basic fundamental level – taking out these types of problems – what is so wrong with choosing to trade sex for money?

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