Under the Covers with Eve - Episode 27: The Sex Trade

35:51 Under the Covers with Eve episode 27 / 34 Mar 20, 2016 15 comments 1495 309

Download (57 MB, MP3)

After my week off, I'm back with a discussion about the world's oldest profession...

Why haven't our attitudes towards sex work and workers changed in 2000 years? What is the real problem with two consenting adults agreeing to exchange sex for money?

Some history, some information on legal brothels and escorts, and some food for thought, as always :)

Links mentioned in the audio:

How Old is the Sex Trade

Questions on becoming a client

Prostitutes were among the freest, wealthiest and most educated women of the 19th century

Bonobos

Gilgamesh

Pompeii brothels

Mercedes Carrera

Escort Review

Escorts in Amsterdam


Other audios in Under the Covers with Eve

Comments

You must be logged in with a commenting account to post comments. Log in with a commenting account or register a commenting account if you don't have one. This is not the same as a Membership account.

  • LeaDavenport1968 on 2017-04-30 04:11:10 (UTC)

    I welcome the whole breadth of this episode Eve, finding your honesty very refreshing and knowledge very insightful. There appears,in my mind,no good reason for prostition and brothels to remain against current U.K law. Despite many debates in our broadcast media it remains so and I cannot see it changing. Even when the examples of Amsterdam,Nevada and I also believe some German cities show it can be a legitimate soloution to solving major problems in society.
    This leaves U.K citizens on both sides of the issue,sex worker and client in a difficult spot.

    I,personally,have considered availing myself of the services of a sex worker. It's impossible not imagine what normal or "vanilla",as you would put it,sex would feel,I have to be honest. That said I would be very reluctant to break the law.

    To my mind U.K legislation is so behind the times so to speak and is restricting what could be a legitimately and government sanctioned trade. We just cannot totally shake off our Victorian attitude it seems!

    Very stimulating debate Eve,please keep them coming!

    Lea.

    • A Eve on 2017-04-30 10:42:49 (UTC)

      I think that in many cases of escorts, etc, it's not so much a question of breaking the law. I think the legality is in place to prevent exploitation and abuse, not to punish an average 'punter' like in that escort review above. You should check out that site and see what others have said about their experience, everyone I've talked to has had a very pleasant and positive experience with a sex worker and would recommend it.

      • LeaDavenport1968 on 2017-05-01 13:26:27 (UTC)

        I fully understand what you mean about the women who work in the sex trade needing some legal protection. We must end their abuse at the hands of men that do not fully appreciate their true value,far beyond their fees. They are,for the most part,normal hard working people, with normal lives outside of their work. Yet they don't receive a fair deal from society in general and as Charlie points out from Canada,get marginalised. Here they are on the fringes of society,prey for monsters such as Peter Sutcliffe at worst or treated as third class citizens at best. They don't deserve that. Rather,on a broader basis,as in more enlightened countries,proper framework to allow them to pursue their trade. I would even say full legalisation and licensed systems,just as we can see for other therapies. These women have a far higher level of skill and expertise than most for the main and deserve treatment that sees them as such. We would search for licensed,certified massage therapists to mend our tight and stressed muscles and I'm engaged in such a search right now. If we are sexually inexperienced we may consider looking up a sex trade worker but it isn't as simple as finding other therapists. I think it could be and should be possible for men and women to do this. Why can't societies do so on a much more widespread level?
        I looked up one link and honestly found myself quite attracted to the prospect of engaging,I will call them,specialists. I say so because,truly,the technical lingo,I suppose you may call it,shop talk,baffled me! Abbreviations,I think one was OMO,not a clue what was being referenced! After some thought,I decided it wasn't the right time for me. A purely sexual experience is not only what I am striving for at the present. This aspect of my sexuality I would rather fulfil as part of a deeper relationship with a woman I could truly forge a loving bond with. However,Eve,as ever you enlighten,instruct and entertain us here at Eraudica and in your Garden in particular. I never knew of such a site as Punterking's existence until last week! I actually thought that it would be illegal under our law here to advertise like they do. Which highlights just how poorly the state of affairs is regarding the sex trade here. Most men can tell of numbers posted in rest rooms or phone kiosks, which are almost gone here now. This was me until recently.

        Thank you Eve for giving us guys the knowledge to make informed choices in our lives! You are a huge credit to your profession,the finest example of such that I know and I will not rely upon any other!
        Lea.

  • CharlieRomeoLima on 2017-04-07 20:15:06 (UTC) (edited)

    Haha, Eve, I honestly try (and fail) to keep my comments as brief as I can but your episodes provoke so much thought! If you want to reply please take all the time you need, no pressure.

    The first thing that popped into my head at your mention of the word prostitution was the marginalization of the sex trade by Canadian society. It's not right now as front and centre in the papers as it was a two or three years ago, but here in BC there's been a fair amount of reporting on murdered and missing aboriginal women and girls, many of whom worked in the province's sex industry centred in my city's Downtown Eastside. Wally Oppal's contentious (and panned as a failure by aboriginal women's groups who were excluded from participation) Missing Women Commission of Inquiry report released in 2012 identified systemic bias, stigmatization, and discrimination by the police against aboriginal women as the factor responsible for allowing serial killers like Robert Pickton to claim as many lives as he did. When prostitution and drug use are shoved out of public scrutiny into the shadows, their negative aspects are allowed to fester.

    I also see for myself in my day-to-day life how prostitution services are veiled behind the more euphemistic labels of 'massage' or 'acupressure' and these premises appear to be largely staffed by migrant sex workers of East Asian origin. Some of these women may have been victims of human trafficking and indentured servitude, but even legislative efforts targeting these crimes are extremely complex (and fraught with their own biases against sex workers), beyond my own ability to comprehend without much more research.

    I agree that women are adults and should be treated as such instead of this paternalistic legislative attitude that seeks to protect them from themselves. It doesn't help matters any that Canada's previous laws on prostitution are confusing as all hell: it's illegal to operate a brothel or bawdy house in public view but it's completely legal for independents to communicate or solicit for the purposes of prostitution. 2014's Bill C-36 strikes down some of these laws but sex workers still criticize the bill as worsening working conditions for them. Chief criticisms are that they would be banned from advertising their services in publications, and that it may criminalize their working together in numbers to better ensure their personal safety. And to date, all legislation aimed at regulating and limiting the sex trade has not meaningfully engaged with the input of sex workers themselves.

    I remember an episode of the Simpsons from the late-90s where Marge goes on a moralistic crusade against a burlesque house on the outskirts of town which incites a mob into moving to destroy it. Fortunately the madam and her girls display their own brand of self-advocacy (a rousing song and dance number) and convince the mob to spare their establishment. I imagine the outcome would've been different if these women were independent sex workers lacking a collective support and voice.

    Your aside about that male prostitute in Nevada having to bow out reminds me of the experience of some less fortunate male performers on GWA just giving up and retreating into silence due to a lack of positive feedback. I've reached out to a few guys on GWA just to compliment them on a script or fun accent performances and I've seen how much they appreciate it.

    Finally, anyone who browses the comments of your site or subreddit can see plain as day the good that comes out of reaching out and connecting with people as you do. I am reminded of your short audio on memberships and donations, and it's rather disappointing that payment processors like PayPal or Square Register feel the need to arbitrarily lump the good people like yourself in with the truly objectionable content they fear so much, and in the process making it difficult for you to receive something for your efforts. Thank God for Verotel or Amazon - I wouldn't know much about sending money to you by less conventional means like wire transfer or money orders.

    P.S. Erotic billboards in Pompeii, my kinda place! :)

    • A Eve on 2017-04-12 19:06:14 (UTC)

      The problem with any issue like this is that it invariably brings up issues of human trafficking, child abuse, poverty, drug use etc. It's almost to the point where you really can't have a general discussion about it without people rushing to point out these obvious horrors. My point was always that if you de-criminalized the very basic need for humans to get together sexually even if money changes hands, then I believe we'd see a sharp decrease in the misery. We could then focus on the victims like children and the trafficked and get them out of it. I think a lot of places waste enormous resources chasing down 'average' Johns getting a consensual blowjob from an 'average' hooker, if you know what I mean. There are far worse things that need fixing.

      • CharlieRomeoLima on 2017-04-12 22:26:29 (UTC) (edited)

        Thanks, Eve, you're right, and I can agree with the main points you lay out in this audio, some of which I will admit are new to me. The worse abuses associated with the sex trade invariably draw a lot of media attention when they occur so they tend to be particularly salient in my mind whenever I think upon an issue like this. I suppose that what I want to say is that I have grown up being exposed to negative moralistic judgements of prostitution as a social ill, from authorities both secular and religious and it will take time to completely 'deprogram' myself and recalibrate towards a better way of thinking about this complex issue. This is why I appreciate you putting your rational thoughts and opinions out there for anyone who will listen receptively.

        • A Eve on 2017-04-14 19:16:02 (UTC)

          Well thanks Charlie - I definitely want there to be more rational discussion around sex and sexuality. It's way, way too shamed in our society - what should be at most be given some due consideration for privacy and respect for others has been blown into a full-scale hatred and hysteria, and I think that's incredibly harmful.

  • Fysh on 2016-05-18 20:30:50 (UTC)

    As someone with a severe disability, I would certainly consider using a sex worker, however, I don't think my wife would approve:-)

    I do feel there are people in society who are vulnerable and laws around sex work are important. Unfortunately the law is a very blunt instrument, and doesn't necessarily prevent crime, injustice, or exploitation, but at least it makes it more difficult for criminals and criminal gangs to operate.

    Some sort of legalisation with strong regulation could work. I'm sure most users of this website will already be fairly open-minded towards issues around sexuality :-)

    • A Eve on 2016-05-21 23:11:23 (UTC)

      Yes I agree, and I know that this subject would never find consensus among the general public, many of whom would still be very moralistic about it. And naturally laws would have to be in place to protect the vulnerable - but considering there is absolutely no protection for anyone right now, I think legalizing it would be a step in the right direction.

  • MadWithLust on 2016-03-27 18:21:29 (UTC)

    I've never given prostitution this much thought!!! I can't come up with any legitimate reasons why consenting adults shouldn't be able to engage in mutually agreeable sex for money. But personally, the thought of paying a woman for sex bothers me but I wouldn't try to stop others from doing it. I feel that if I was hot enough, I'd get the sex free and willing, but since I'm not, I have to throw in money to seal the deal. I can't help but feel a bit second class. But like you mention, that's basically what's happening right now anyway with hot women only going after guys with money.

    You are onto something with the responsibility aspect of it, though. I think that's the biggest part of the resistance. No one wants to take responsibility for when things go wrong. Women want the easy money but not the work that goes into screening or safety (hence, pimps). Men want the easy sex but don't want to explain that they fell in love with a prostitute (like in Pretty Woman). Caveat emptor? :P

    • A Eve on 2016-03-28 11:45:14 (UTC)

      Yes, there's certainly a component of that. It's not a perfect solution by any means, but I was just trying to imagine an ideal world type scenario.

  • FallenKnight71 on 2016-03-21 06:24:30 (UTC)

    Glad to have you back Under the Covers m'lady Eve:D I personally need an emotional connection for sex, so prostitution is not for me. I do think it should be legalized and taxed here in the US. I liked how the TV series Firefly had the concept of Companions as almost a religious order who picked who they accepted as clients. When you were describing the temple of Ishtar it reminded me of that:)

    • A Eve on 2016-03-21 09:55:28 (UTC)

      Thanks, Sir knight!

  • STEVE4EVE on 2016-03-20 23:40:37 (UTC)

    We have restaurants where we pay to eat, hotels where we pay to sleep, doctors we pay fir medicine, teachers we pay ti learn from... an endless list of needs and desires that we can pay to have them met, no problem - exceot sex. Crazy isn't it, that paid sex is not just left out but outlawed?

    I think it must stem from fear, which tends to arise from ignorance...so maybe education is the answer. As a society, we need to learn to be more mutually honest and resoectful, as you point out.

    I applaud women like Mercedes (and yourself) who make their own choices regardless, and do what they enjoy, on their own terms. You make the world a happier place :)

    • A Eve on 2016-03-21 09:56:09 (UTC)

      Great points, Steve! We pay people to do all sorts of things for us, we even pay psychologists to listen to our problems - no one hates them for being a 'friend for money' :)