red light district

De Wallen’s Problems

It is unfortunate to see Amsterdam’s red light district, De Wallen, turn into a ghost town. COVID-19 is only part of the issue.

The problem with De Wallen was that it made prostitution seem as if prostitution were degrading.  There were these provocative women, displayed in shop windows, one after another, as though they were pieces of merchandise.

You could saunter down the lane and pick the woman who seemed most appealing to you.  These were not sweet young things who had somehow drifted into one of life’s byways but, rather, battle-hardened crones.  It was degrading for them, but it was a living.

There’s Nothing Degrading About Prostitution

Yet, in prostitution, one is not normally featured as a piece of meat. Instead, a sex worker typically is seen as a real live person with integrity who has thoughts of her own and, often, a healthy curiosity about her clients.  One prostitute I interviewed as part of my research told me that she enjoyed her clients because she learned from them.  After the session, her clients would talk about what they did for a living.  This is the high end:  bankers, insurance executives, and the like.  And she learned so much from them that she left the industry and went into finance as a new career.

There was nothing degrading about her willingness to accommodate their sexual desires.  She got paid for it; it was her occupation.  At the high-end, escorts accept maybe one client a day. They receive them at home where they begin the session with a glass of wine and chat amicably.  Or they might start out with a glass of wine at a nearby restaurant and progress from there.

This is actually not all that different from a date.  The transaction is basically the same, except that a date doesn’t end with a handover of cash.  The handover takes place two weeks later as they fly to Miami together.  The terms of the deal are perfectly clear.  She:  “I am young and beautiful, and deserve to be pampered a bit.”  He:  “I am older and have a bit of a gut, but I have an interesting life and I’m willing to buy you shit.”

Why Is Prostitution Illegal in the United States?

Is this transaction that different from prostitution?  No.  But the point is, there’s nothing morally wrong with either approach — prostitution or dating.

Prostitution is legal now in Canada and in most of Europe.  But it’s still illegal in almost all of the United States, God’s Country, where people pride themselves on their nauseating small-town morality and sanctimonious judgmentalism.   And to see the forces of righteousness line up behind Trump, who has patronized prostitutes all his life, is really to vomit.

 

 

 

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