The Toast has a necessary corrective to a crumby piece of writing on sex work that appeared on GQ, recently. The lesson to learn is that it’s decidedly Not Cool to write about sex-workers (even sugar babies) with outright contempt and dismissiveness.
In reading it though, I was kind of forced to confront a nugget of ugliness in my own brain, where sex work is concerned. I have limitless compassion for sex-workers of all kinds, but as far as their clients are concerned, even the ethical, honest-dealing ones, I find that I don’t. Compassion for johns does not come naturally to me, and I know that’s sort of messed up, I guess?
Part of my brain just thinks, “If you’re lonely and horny, wouldn’t it be cheaper, easier, safer, and less potentially exploitative to, I dunno, just not have sex? Lots of people do that, and they seem alright.” Which is prudish and judgmental, and centers my point of view while excluding all others. While I am quite capable of quieting my need for human connections, and I am perfectly willing to crush my libido like a cockroach, I don’t suppose it’s fair to expect the same of others.
People apparently need other people. I think I need to learn to stop seeing that as some weird, aberrant thing when actually it seems to be a built-in part of being human.
Exploitative, entitled, contemptuous johns can still choke on a fucking peanut as far as I’m concerned though.