When working for sex is costly

‘No normal woman would find me attractive, so paying prostitutes, is the only way I can get sex,’ says Ivan, a lonely man with a physical disability.

Sex is a basic need and there will always be men who call on prostitutes because they might feel lonely or rejected. There is nothing wrong in that, as prostitutes offer these men the possibility of having sex, perhaps compensating for the relationship which otherwise in normal life would be unattainable. Furthermore, prostitutes can assist their clients in overcoming sexual dysfunctions which often are of concern, causing further inhibitions.

Johns who buy sex may be colleagues, close friends and other public figures. They come from all backgrounds, races and class, may also be respected men who are married or with a partner. Some of them choose to go with prostitutes simply to try a new experience or because there is no level of emotional involvement with them. Johns satisfy their needs without hanging to ties on the next day. Others may feel free to express their obsessive fantasies in a safe way without having problems with the Law. These are the most dangerous and present a level of risk to prostitutes. Amongst the Johns,there might be rapists and women haters who direct their aggression towards women in the job. Given the possibility, they would rape the woman knowing that can get away with it.

Most often, these girls are recruited by pimps, or even boyfriends who decide to use them for the job. Gradually, these girls adapt to this lifetime. Further on it would be difficult for them to get out of prostitution as pimps repeatedly use violence, threats and addictions to drugs to control and intimidate the women.

Poverty, economic problems and drug addiction are the most common factors which push women into prostitution. Unlike men, women do not resort to theft to sustain their drug habit but use their bodies for the gain of money. As a result, these women end up with health problems and sexually transmitted diseases. Upon aging, or falling ill these women are considered useless and therefore are released by their pimps. A bit late in the day!

On many occasions, women end up homeless and with financial problems, due to not contributing legally in the labour market. In countries where prostitution is considered unlawful, sooner or later prostitutes will come into contact with the Criminal Justice and problems are multiplied if these women are sentenced to prison. One predominant reason is the stigma directed towards ex prisoners and this is enough to impede any opportunity to proper employment. All these barriers to leading a normal life will contribute in keeping women working into prostitution.

In my opinion, legalization of prostitution would be one of the many answers. Legalization gives structure and enables prostitutes to work in environments where they are much safer. Additionally, it gives these women rights, whereby they can control their situation without exposing themselves to risks of serious illness and the threat of serious violence.