I’ve been thinking, lately, about how progressive it would be if prostitution were legalized. I don’t think a person or a society is complete until you delve into every aspect of it’s various functions, and I think we underestimate how much we can learn from the sex worker, besides, of course, the obvious physical kind of education.
Why do we think there is nothing intelligent about sex? We all gauge intelligence by some similar standard, but there are different types of intelligence and sexual intelligence is one of them. It’s a fun thought for me. How many people would lighten up and drop their various airs if talk of sex were more out in the open? We act like it’s not that important, but it is important or we wouldn’t be so caught up in repressing it, in crucifying celebrities who engage in it adulterously. We actually make it overly important by going so far out of the way to indicate how unimportant it is! How would legalized prostitution change the way we treat each other? How much room would it free up in prisons? How many people would be on their best behavior knowing a sex worker could come forward and stand up for themselves when they are beaten and mistreated by a client? How much could we learn from them about our leaders, our church officials and all the pious people who get away so much more easily with pretending with one face and acting out with another just because this type of sex worker has no rights, no voice?
I was really inspired by a story I read earlier this year about a group of French prostitutes who staged a protest in Lyons in 1975 to speak out about crimes against them. According to the story, the police threatened to take their children away from them if they didn’t disperse, and it enraged enough non-sex workers that they joined in the demonstration and made it so the police could not decipher the prostitutes from the non-prostitutes. Now, this story is inspiring for a few different reasons – one, because it proves that women can engage in and demonstrate acts of solidarity with each other over issues such as work equality even when it comes to sex work, and two, because there are, at least, some prostitutes, somewhere in the world, who have a voice. When you have no voice, you have nothing. Animals have more of a voice than sex workers. The only sex workers who have a voice are the ones you see on camera, and they barely make up even a minute portion of the entire work force. They barely make up any part of it at all, and not to insult porn stars, but porn stardom is nothing like being an illegal prostitute. Porn stardom is a fad for most, and for others, it is hardly the hard kind of life one is faced with when you know you can go to jail for trying to make your bills.
I can appreciate the efforts of early feminists who fought for a woman’s right to vote because she owned property and payed taxes. I appreciate those who fought for equal rights on the work front, so that our mothers and sisters and daughters are safer navigating offices and factories. But I wonder, still, when the efforts of equal rights will extend itself to all women. We pity Muslim women for having to hide under veils, yet we force our own women into the shadows by regarding them as irrelevant members of society because they have discovered a way to make a living through the only people who seem to actually care about them, even if it is just sexual. I wonder if feminism, like religion, will ever adapt to current times and encompass more than an outdated idea that only seems to serve the old and immovable few. Elders are wise people who remind us about the past because they have seen what mistakes can be made by not considering the situation from different angles, but passion, charisma and fresh views are needed, too, so that systems keep moving and don’t grind to a halt in the process of too much consideration. Prostitutes have a lot of complexity to offer our culture, if they can speak up for themselves. Again, not to insult porn stars, but actors are a separate breed. All actors, men and women alike, need lots of attention because they lacked even just one good role model to push them and tell them they were great and give them healthy doses of affection and tough love. The need public adulation and a constant stream of fun. Everyone needs attention, don’t get me wrong, I’m just saying that the sex worker who does it illegally is a bit more complicated and battle-scarred than the pampered actor and actress. Real prostitutes experience their performance in real time. There is no yelling, “Cut!” There are no re-shoots or do-overs. There are no crew people around to witness any unfair treatment. Their work is an impromptu journey in role play: nurturer, therapist, masseuse, sex kitten… And they have no protection so they have to get it right the first time. I never felt as equally terrified and fearless as I did as an “escort”. But honestly, not being able to talk about it while I was experiencing it scarred me more than any individual act. Everyone needs to express themselves. Everyone needs a voice. I hope I live to see the day when prostitutes have a voice here. I think that would really be something.
Until it becomes legalized, there are great services like AngelsOfLondon.com. This site gives anyone in London an opportunity to experience what some of the most interesting ladies in the city have to offer. You can have a diverse variety of women accompany you and plan a date that you won’t soon forget. They accept both incall and outcall appointments and the agency prides itself on its remarkably competitive rates. The money you pay is meant for the companionship of your date; any other actions that occur are not representative of the agency.
– Julie Meadows