March 17, 2009

"All the women here are lovely. We spend a lot of time sitting and talking. I'll stick it out a bit longer."

Prostitution in New Zealand. Brothels are legal, and it is now very easy for a woman who needs or wants money to do sex work. That sounds like a terrible idea, but consider the up side:
Bon Ton [is] an exclusive establishment in the capital where an hour-long session costs NZ$400 (£140; $200). [Prostitutes have] the opportunity to work for a legitimate business in a safe environment....

"[The Swedish approach of prosecuting the clients instead of the prostitutes] would scare away the quality customers," she says. "We would be left with the dangerous sort. The nasty men won't go away."

Bon Ton - which thrives on "quality customers" like lawyers and civil servants - certainly looks like an ideal showcase for New Zealand-style liberalisation.

The bedrooms look like luxury suites, the upstairs office looks like - well... an office, and the workers say they are treated with respect....

Across the industry, she says, women are now aware of their rights and exploitative brothel owners are becoming marginalised as a result of the reform.

56 comments:

traditionalguy said...

These ladies do "own their own sexuality". This system that lets them keep most of the money is too good to be true. It's almost like cows keeping the money from selling their milk. Congratulation ladies.

fcai said...

I prefer the US system of getting the milk for free. D'oh - I made a typo - I wrote MILF. Get those for free, too...

ricpic said...

It's a hard life but somebody's gotta lie back and do it.

Peter V. Bella said...

Coming to a reality based show near you?

Lem said...

Across the industry, she says, women are now aware of their rights and exploitative brothel owners are becoming marginalised as a result of the reform.

The lengths to which the left will go to force unions down people’s...

Wait.. what are talking about ;)

dannyboy said...

now very easy for a woman who needs or wants money to do sex work. That sounds like a terrible idea, but consider the up side:

Heh....oh I think there's a lot that will be up.

I think I may emigrate.

joshbraid said...

Perhaps they will legalize slavery as well.

Prosecutorial Indiscretion said...

"Perhaps they will legalize slavery as well."

The prohibition on prostitution does more to promote slavery in the U.S. than its legalization would.

traditionalguy said...

Slavery is the current system highly favore all over the world. Giving the suckers an even break by letting them own money gives women the freedom they want.The men are falling down on the job here. Only marriage to a good man was a famale freedom ticket for the last 10,000 years. What will the men do to start families now.

Cedarford said...

Prosecutorial Indiscretion said...
"Perhaps they will legalize slavery as well."

The prohibition on prostitution does more to promote slavery in the U.S. than its legalization would.


True.
Prostitution being underground is the main reason that sex slavery "works" in the American market. It is underground, so it's main purveyors - the Chinese snakeheads, Mexican gangs, and the Jewish Mafia based out of Israel and Russia can procure their women and keep control of them.

Of course - nations that legalize vice or "look the other way" about packs of women whoring themselves out have other problems...mostly the bribery of police and other officials by their pimps - who typically are not the black pimp Big Bad Thug stereotype of American inner cities - but members of organized crime.

joshbraid said...

Your argument is that some women are now better off as legal prostitutes because there is some legal "protection". My point is that some people would be better off (for example, not starving to death) as legal slaves given some similar legal "protection".

pj said...

It's probably about as humiliating, but better paid, as other menial female labor. I don't think a woman can be more naked than being relegated to doing Excel spreadsheets in an open office at $15-20 an hour. Nothing like wasting your just out of college life with a crap admin job- all the indignity of being openly degraded without all that bothersome cash - and during your prime sex earning years no less.

Sofa King said...

I don't think a woman can be more naked than being relegated to doing Excel spreadsheets in an open office at $15-20 an hour.

LOL wut?

blake said...

Blogger joshbraid said...

Your argument is that some women are now better off as legal prostitutes because there is some legal "protection". My point is that some people would be better off (for example, not starving to death) as legal slaves given some similar legal "protection".


Yeah? Lotta people starving in New Zealand, Josh?

traditionalguy said...

I still say that a society that cannot protect its women is a defeated one. It now looks like we have lost the will to protect women or anything, except for protecting the Government Aparatchiks,from all reality. Free market sex leads men into every shame filled coping mechanism that the drug companies and the Secular envir-religions can supply them.

Your Correspondent said...

"...quality customers like lawyers and civil servants..."

Man, that's got to hurt somebody here...

William said...

I had a friend who worked nights as a cab driver in NYC during the seventies. He had lost his job as a stock analyst and was hacking to pay the bills. The working girls on 8th Ave all lived across the river in cheap motels in NJ. After about three or four in the morning they would give up and hail a cab home. On the ride home, my friend and the girls would fall into a conversation. They had some things in common. My friend worked nights because he was afraid to met someone he knew during his former life at work. The girls sometimes expressed a similar fear. And. of course, for both cabdrivers and whores, there was always the possibility that the next customer would pull out a weapon and rob you--and maybe kill you just for the power surge. There was a bond....During the course of the trip, the girls nearly always offered a bj in exchange for the fare. But like the girls, my friend never mixed business with pleasure and let nothing lead him astray from his pursuit of money. This abstinence was not necessarily a measure of my friend's morality. The girls were not that good looking. Many were dumb to the point of retardation and all seemed emotionally damaged. In the summer they did not smell good. In the winter, the skimpy attire--generally go go boots and a patent leather micro mini--caused them to shiver and look pitiable. They weren't sexy.....Sometimes the girls spoke about their boyfriends. One girl bragged that her boyfriend had bought her a nice dress with the money she took home. My friend got the sense that the relationships were abusive and exploitative, and the women preferred them that way.....Men have all sorts of weird fetishes and ways of acting out their sexuality. Men are the weird fetish that women have. These women had some subterranean drive of masochism. They did not go into prostitution despite the degradation and exploitation but because of it. It is usual to blame the pimp, but both male and female jackals have a taste for rotten meat. My friend would go home at the end of the shift and give the money to his old lady who would convert it to blow..

MarkW said...

The unmentioned irony is the more legal, safe, and accepted prostitution in NZ becomes, the less it will pay.

That aside, it sounds like a sensible, humane approach (as compared to what happens where it remains illegal).

Freeman Hunt said...

lawyers and civil servants

Ha. Aren't those just the types you would expect to be johns?

This is sad. Oh, but we're supposed to be impressed that the flop rooms look like suites! And the office looks like an office! Well, hell's bells how impressive. Surely all their parents would be proud.

Jeremy said...

[Prostitutes have] the opportunity to work for a legitimate business in a safe environment...

Legalization does not make selling sex a "legitimate business" nor does it make it a "safe environment."

Revenant said...

Legalization does not make selling sex a "legitimate business" nor does it make it a "safe environment."

There will always be some risks in any job that puts a person in regular and isolated contact with strangers. But it is easy to think of plenty of jobs that are far more dangerous and pay much less money than this form of prostitution does.

As for whether it is "legitimate" business, well... it is honest business. Most women trade sex for material goods at one time or another. It is just that few do it without the euphemisms that surround an intimate relationship.

Freeman Hunt said...

Most women trade sex for material goods at one time or another. It is just that few do it without the euphemisms that surround an intimate relationship.

So, all women are whores? What are you referring to within the context of an intimate relationship? Gifts?

Having sex with strangers for money is lazy and disrespectful to oneself. Not everything is a commodity. Not everything should be a commodity. Physical intimacy is such a thing.

Jason (the commenter) said...

It now looks like we have lost the will to protect women or anything...

I can see protecting a lady or a gentleman, but it's wrong to protect women because of their sex. It turns them into spoiled sub-humans.

Free market sex leads men into every shame filled coping mechanism that the drug companies and the Secular envir-religions can supply them.

It's just like illegal drugs. Everyone that wants to do it is already doing it.

blake said...

I can see protecting a lady or a gentleman, but it's wrong to protect women because of their sex. It turns them into spoiled sub-humans.

"I'm sorry, ma'am, I'd help you out with that mugger but I wouldn't want to spoil you! You can take him! Yeah!"

Jason (the commenter) said...

I'd help you out with that mugger but I wouldn't want to spoil you!

Muggers are a threat to the species, so attack away. Just make sure you go for a kill.

Revenant said...

So, all women are whores?

That's an emotionally charged way of putting it, like calling a Marine sniper "a hired killer".

What are you referring to within the context of an intimate relationship? Gifts?

That can certainly be part of it; any man knows that the chances of sex are significantly improved by bestowing gifts upon a prospective mate.

But economics come in to play all over the place, from the old "men won't buy a cow..." adage (which plainly spells out that sex is a unit of barter) to the fact that men who are obviously wealthier have a much easier time attracting mates. Heck, even those "every kiss begins with a Kay" commercials spell it out. :)

Having sex with strangers for money is lazy and disrespectful to oneself.

I don't agree. Oh, it is "lazy" in the sense that they could do harder work for less pay, but so could any of us. I doubt your career consists of digging ditches for minimum wage; you probably try to secure the best job you can get given your skills, just as I did.

As for disrespectful, well, I don't really agree with that either. Certainly most illegal prostitutes have huge emotional problems, but that's typical of criminals in general. Few emotionally healthy people opt for careers where you have to blow a vice cop just to make it through the week.

But the work isn't necessarily disrespectful to self, especially in an environment where the women have the power to say "no" or to pick their clients, as legal prostitutes (and most higher-priced illegal ones) do.

Not everything is a commodity. Not everything should be a commodity. Physical intimacy is such a thing.

Maybe you think sex shouldn't be a commodity, but if you think it *isn't* a commodity then you haven't been paying attention to the last six thousand years of human history. :)

Freeman Hunt said...

That's an emotionally charged way of putting it, like calling a Marine sniper "a hired killer".

You were the one who wrote that whores were no different than most women except that most women wrap their sex for material goods exchange in euphemisms. So if it's just a difference of euphemisms, strip them off. So, again, all women are whores?

That can certainly be part of it; any man knows that the chances of sex are significantly improved by bestowing gifts upon a prospective mate.

Yes, being nice to your prospective mate will improve your odds. But unless the prospective mate really is a whore, you're not talking about a plain exchange of material goods for sex. You're talking about the complicated intricacies of courtship in which gifts may or may not be a part. Working to build an actual relationship with someone and having both gifts and intimacy as part of that is not even remotely the same as saying, "I'll give you $200 if you'll spread your legs for an hour." There is no intimate relationship there. There is nothing being built.

But economics come in to play all over the place, from the old "men won't buy a cow..." adage

If you buy that adage and if you limit the milk metaphor to sex only...

As for the rest, you are again trying to compare a money for sex exchange between strangers to people in the context of an actual relationship that includes a myriad of other factors.

Oh, it is "lazy" in the sense that they could do harder work for less pay, but so could any of us.

That's all it is? It's plain lazy. "I could do some sort of actual work, but I can just spread 'em for $200, so why not?" It's a lazy woman's job. You trade intimacy and self respect for money. That's nobody's "best job."

Certainly most illegal prostitutes have huge emotional problems, but that's typical of criminals in general.

Well, yes, but what difference does it make whether or not other criminals have emotional problems?

But the work isn't necessarily disrespectful to self, especially in an environment where the women have the power to say "no" or to pick their clients, as legal prostitutes (and most higher-priced illegal ones) do.

So, that determines whether or not something is disrespectful to oneself? Whether or not one can say yes or no? Back when some of us where talking about a certain street fair in San Francisco, there was a link to pictures that included a guy who was allowing people to pee on him while performing oral sex on random men. He could have said no, but he said yes. Would you really argue that his asking people to urinate on him wasn't him disrespecting himself?

It's disrespectful to oneself because it shows no honor of one's person. Being a whore is saying, "I am something to be bought and sold. My intimacy is something to be bought and sold. I am a commodity."

Maybe you think sex shouldn't be a commodity, but if you think it *isn't* a commodity then you haven't been paying attention to the last six thousand years of human history.

I'm obviously saying that it's wrong for it to be a commodity. Take loyalty for example. For all of history, some people have treated that as a commodity. So what? That doesn't mean that it should be, or that people who treat it as such shouldn't be ashamed.

Sofa King said...

Working to build an actual relationship with someone and having both gifts and intimacy as part of that is not even remotely the same as saying, "I'll give you $200 if you'll spread your legs for an hour." There is no intimate relationship there. There is nothing being built.

That may be true but you haven't given a very good reason why the physical act of intercourse must always take place in the context of a meaningful relationship. You haven't even supported the proposition that building intimate relationships is always preferable to not building intimate relationships. Should a person who is unwilling or unable to build an intimate relationship be shunned for seeking to satisfy physical sexual impulses with other willing people? What social good does this serve?

A double cheeseburger from McDonald's does nothing to expand my tastes or challenge my palate, and I certainly couldn't survive on them, but I can get one in a hurry with a minimum of fuss, and after I eat it, I'm not hungry for a while.

Revenant said...

So if it's just a difference of euphemisms, strip them off. So, again, all women are whores?

What I said, before, was "most women trade sex for material goods at one time or another". "Whore" is a nasty way of labeling a woman who professionally exchanges sex for money. So no, I did not say all women were whores. What I said was perfectly clear, and I don't see any purpose in rephrasing it in a less accurate, more insulting way.

Working to build an actual relationship with someone and having both gifts and intimacy as part of that is not even remotely the same as saying, "I'll give you $200 if you'll spread your legs for an hour."

I doubt you'll have much luck with the better class of sex workers either, if that's your pickup line.

But the point is that while there is usually more that goes into a relationship, the gifts are a requirement. A guy who tries building a relationship on kind words and deeds and going dutch on everything isn't going to get any. The relationship is probably going to die early on, too.

Guys know gifts get them laid. They know "if I buy my wife those earrings she really wants, I'm definitely getting some tonight". They don't stop and think "good God, I'm paying my wife for sex", but they are. If a person performs a sex act he or she wouldn't have performed if they hadn't been given a gift then that's sex for money, sugarcoat it how you may.

If you buy that adage and if you limit the milk metaphor to sex only...

Sex is what it refers to. Mothers didn't caution their daughters to withhold emotional intimacy from a prospective partner. It was the physical side they were supposed to wait for.

As for the rest, you are again trying to compare a money for sex exchange between strangers to people in the context of an actual relationship that includes a myriad of other factors.

The same phenomenon exists in hookup culture too. It isn't just something that happens in serious relationships. It precedes serious relationships, generally speaking.

That's all it is? It's plain lazy. "I could do some sort of actual work, but I can just spread 'em for $200, so why not?"

It is actual work. If you're doing something for money that you wouldn't do for free, that's work. Ok, sure, they're not producing anything of enduring value, but neither does a busker or a theater performer or a Starbuck's employee. But I wouldn't say that bringing pleasure to another human being is a worthless activity.

Well, yes, but what difference does it make whether or not other criminals have emotional problems?

If I sounded like I was expressing sympathy for criminals then I must have phrased it badly. My point is that emotionally stable people don't generally break the law for money, because the long-term risks dwarf the short-term rewards. So the fact that illegal prostitutes are often emotionally a mess is not surprising; so are illegal drug dealers, illegal carjackers, etc etc.

Would you really argue that his asking people to urinate on him wasn't him disrespecting himself?

I would say that *I* don't respect him, certainly. How he feels about himself, I have no idea. Maybe he wanted to be degraded, in which case that'd be a "yes". Or maybe he had a fetish for urine and public sex, in which case "ew" but "no".

To me, disrespecting yourself means letting harm be done to you because you think you deserve it. Risking harm or enduring an unpleasant experience because you expect to gain from it is another matter entirely. I've had some truly unpleasant jobs that made every day a misery, but I don't think I was disrespecting myself by working them. I wanted the money, and I didn't care about the job because I didn't define myself by the job.

The women I referred to have a choice in who they have sex with. They haven't chosen a career that requires having sex constantly forced upon them with no regard for their own desires who whether they think the money's worth it. That's what I meant when I said they weren't necessarily disrespecting themselves. That doesn't preclude one of them turning tricks because deep down she thinks she's a dirty slut unworthy of love, but it also doesn't preclude one of them simply dispensing orgasms because it is a less degrading job than slinging grease at McDonald's.

It's disrespectful to oneself because it shows no honor of one's person. Being a whore is saying, "I am something to be bought and sold.

No, that's a slave. A consenting prostitute is saying "I will perform a service for you for money".

For all of history, some people have treated [loyalty] as a commodity. So what? That doesn't mean that it should be, or that people who treat it as such shouldn't be ashamed.

There are different kinds of intimacy, just like there are different kinds of loyalty. I am entirely loyal to my parents and siblings. You couldn't pay me not to be and I don't need to be paid to be.

But then there's the company I work for. I'm loyal to it. Why? Because I've agreed to be loyal to them in exchange for money. If they quit paying me I'd walk right out the door and never feel the slightest twinge of regret for doing it. So, yes, loyalty can be bought, and it isn't necessarily something to be ashamed of when it happens. So too with physical intimacy. I wouldn't expect to be able to buy the kind of loving relationship that exists in a marriage (or at least the kind in romance novels), but buying sex is another matter. Sex is just physical pleasure. I pay for physical pleasure every time I buy an Americano at Starbuck's.

Darcy said...

Revenant, I gotta say some of your thoughts here really saddened me to read.

Sofa King said...

What made you sad?

I thought his posts were pretty honest.

Darcy said...

Sofa King, am I wrong or did he basically say over and over that he believes women generally have to be bribed somehow into having sex? Or that men feel they do. It's really an awful perspective, and one that is very offensive to me.

William said...

I think women should offer the same level of tolerance and acceptance to prostitutes that they offer to others who practice forms of sexuality that they find disturbing. I don't claim all women are whores but some women clearly are. That's their perversion. The Spitzer call girl was driven not by economic need or the ghosts of an abusive stepfather but by the rush of power and/or desirability that some women feel in selling sex for money. That is how some women choose to express their sexuality. And I have my doubts about women who are too eager to stone their sisters for this behavior.... Fag bashing is more likely engaged in by latent homosexuals than by straight men. For a straight guy, gay behavior is simply not that annoying or threatening. For a latent homo, it is a sin that must be eradicated from the face of the earth.....I would recommend to all women here to embrace their inner whore and accept it as part of their Darwinian baggage.

Sofa King said...

No, I think you are injecting your own negativity by using the pejorative "bribe." His point, I think, was pretty simple: that women simply don't have sex with men unless those men give them something. Maybe it's a close interpersonal relationship, maybe it's jewelry and flowers, maybe it's just cash. What is the moral basis for saying that any one of these forms of compensation is superior to any other?

Darcy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Darcy said...

No, Sofa King, I believe you're wrong about his point:

A guy who tries building a relationship on kind words and deeds and going dutch on everything isn't going to get any. The relationship is probably going to die early on, too.

I don't think that saying women mostly need to feel an interpersonal connection in order to want to have sex is wrong at all, but the rest of what you described is not at all the same thing to me.

Anyway, I'm not trying to change anyone's mind. It's just sad to read these views. Thanks for the reply.

Revenant said...

His point, I think, was pretty simple: that women simply don't have sex with men unless those men give them something. Maybe it's a close interpersonal relationship, maybe it's jewelry and flowers, maybe it's just cash.

That's pretty much it, yes. But I do think that specifically material gifts are a major factor. Most men will enter into a sexual relationship with a woman who doesn't spend nearly as much on him as he does on her -- or anything at all, even. The reverse is very rare.

When's the last time you heard a guy complain about a cheapskate *girlfriend*? I've never heard that, not even once. Now when's the last time you heard a woman complain about a cheapskate boyfriend? Food for thought, eh?

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

Wow. I must say, I've never felt pressured to give my wife material assets in exchange for sex. I can't say I have encountered that demand in any of my previous relationships either. I see gift exchanges as an expression of appreciation for a loving relationship, not as pre-payment for an evening of lust. But as always, your mileage may vary.

Darcy said...

Hey, Bushman. Thanks for letting me leave this thread with a positive thought. ;-)

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

Hey Darcy, I'm just relating my own experiences. I really believe that a good relationship is based on love and respect. If those ingredients exist, the rest just seems to take care of itself. If I was in a relationship with someone who demanded bribes, I would probably look for someone else.

blake said...

Actually, the theme of the "cheapskate girlfriend" is not at all uncommon in a relationship where the woman has or controls the money. That particular phrase isn't common, I'd grant. ("Stingy bitch", maybe.) This reflects more the fact that men don't complain much about their women not giving them money because society associates masculinity with economic prowess.

And, certainly, women make this association, too, to a degree. Women who use this as their primary criterion are known as "gold diggers", a phrase which most wouldn't appreciate as a descriptor much more than "whore".

Saying that "most women trade sex for material goods at one time or another" but then trying to defend it as "well, it's not professional, so they're not whores" seems a bit specious to me. Isn't "trading sex for material goods" the very definition of prostitution? How is it not "professional" if they're getting paid for it? Are they pro-am?

I also don't buy Sofa King's addition of "a close personal relationship", either. The phrase was "material goods". There's a qualitative difference between "close personal relationship" and "jewelry".

Men and women in relationships do things that lead to sex. You could cynically attach a monetary value to all those things, and say they were both trading things for sex.

This is belied by the fact that the exchanges continue even when sex isn't in the picture. And sex continues even when there's no material trade.

One might: have sex to strengthen a unit that better survives in the word; have sex to get pregnant; have sex because it has a physiological and psychological benefit for your partner; have sex just for sex--because it's fun.

None of this is prostitution or "trading for material goods". Most of it falls into the category of "moral".

Do women sometimes receive an expensive gift that they respond to with sex? Sure. Some relationships degenerate to the point where the only worthy expression of affection is money from him and sex from her.

But in a healthy relationship--one that isn't going to end when her beauty or his money runs out--when an expensive gift moves a woman to sex, it's because it represents something else: The attention of the male and his demonstration that he values her, that he's willing to work or sacrifice for her, and so on.

In other words, there is an exchange going on. It's just not a material one.

In the stereotypical situation, where the man wants sex more than the woman, his sexual attention is at less of a premium. It can be self-centered. If she's not in the mood, sex can be her gift to him. (Wise women know this and wise men appreciate it.)

But how does he reciprocate? However good and considerate a lover he may be, where's the exchange in terms of doing something for your partner that you wouldn't necessarily be inclined to?

You think women respond to expensive gifts? Try doing the dishes. Paint a room. Fix something around the house. Rub her feet. Give her a back rub (that doesn't end up as a breast massage). Try easing her burden a little bit. Do something you wouldn't do except that it makes her feel good.

Try writing a poem or a song or doing something that demonstrates her place in your heart. Yeah, you stink at it, and it's embarrassing, but she loves it. Perform it in front of an audience.

Hell, just show her affection during day-to-day life. Maybe you both have jobs and kids and things are crazy, but you give out the same sort of "we're on our honeymoon" types of signals as you pass in the hallway, and see if that that diamond ring doesn't turn brass.

The "sex for stuff" paradigm only works with particular sorts of relationships with particular sorts of women.

Most women won't put up with it.

blake said...

Having said all that, this is still hilarious.

And, to quote Randy Newman, in his song to Karl Marx,


Karl, I recently stumbled
Into a new family
With two little children in school
Where all little children should be

We went to the orientation
All the young mommies were there

Karl, you never have seen such a glorious sight
As these beautiful women arrayed for the night
Just like countesses, empresses, movies stars and queens

And they came there with men much like me
Froggish men
Unpleasant to see
Were you to kiss one, Karl?
Nary a prince would there be

Darcy said...

Blake, your 3:49 was magical. My clothes just fell off. ;-)

But seriously - brilliantly said.

Sofa King said...

There's a qualitative difference between "close personal relationship" and "jewelry".

Clearly, but nobody has established the relevance of such. One is intangible and one is not. One lasts indefinitely and one does not. One is spiritually fulfilling and one is not. What interest does society have in the qualititative differences?

There's a qualitative difference between the love that causes my mother to cook me a meal and the cash I give to McDonald's. Yet, when either of them feeds me, I'm not hungry any more. Why should society care which I choose?

Revenant said...

Saying that "most women trade sex for material goods at one time or another" but then trying to defend it as "well, it's not professional, so they're not whores" seems a bit specious to me.

I helped people move in exchange for beer and BBQ. If someone asked me if I'd ever received compensation in exchange for moving people's furniture I would have to honestly say yes. But calling me a professional mover would be silly, don't you think? If you think any woman who sleeps with a guy because she's getting something out of it is a whore then yes, most women are whores according to your preferred use of the word. But I wouldn't call them that.

You could cynically attach a monetary value to all those things, and say they were both trading things for sex.

The recognition that women are mysteriously far more willing to boink a rich guy than a pauper is realistic, not cynical. Even when love comes into play, it is odd how women overwhelmingly fall in love with men who make more money than them. This is true even for wealthy women who make more than the vast majority of men. Money is to a man what nice tits are to a woman. Sexy.

A gold-digger is a woman who consciously chooses to marry a guy for his wealth. Most of the rest of women just... happen to be more attracted to a guy with a Beemer than a guy with a used Pinto. I doubt they're conscious thinking "ooh, money = sexy", but since when are the reasons we do things entirely the result of conscious decision-making?

Do women sometimes receive an expensive gift that they respond to with sex? Sure.

There you go.

But in a healthy relationship--one that isn't going to end when her beauty or his money runs out--when an expensive gift moves a woman to sex, it's because it represents something else: The attention of the male and his demonstration that he values her, that he's willing to work or sacrifice for her, and so on.

Any exchange of money for goods and services signifies that the person spending the money values the thing he is purchasing and is willing to work and sacrifice in order to obtain it. I would also point out that men don't expect women to behave in that manner or get upset when they don't. Name a man you know who got upset because his fiancee didn't get *him* a sufficiently expensive engagement ring.

You think women respond to expensive gifts? Try doing the dishes. Paint a room. Fix something around the house. Rub her feet.

Blake, I did not say that women only respond to money. That's obviously not the case. What I said was "most women trade sex for material goods at one time or another". You yourself conceded that this happens. That's all I was saying.

The distinction between a prostitute to sleeps with a guy for $200 and a woman who sleeps with a guy because she likes the $200 bracelet he just gave her that the former isn't emotionally involved with the person she's sleeping with and the latter is. The latter woman cares about (or convinces herself she cares about) the motives and feelings behind the bracelet. The former does not.

But of course a person hiring a prostitute isn't hiring an emotional companion or buying a loving relationship, and the woman isn't selling one. He's giving her something of material value, and she's giving him an orgasm. It is normal male-female sexual interaction, only without the emotional pluses and minuses of an actual relationship.

This idea horrifies people who think sex must always involve emotional attachment. But it is a fact that many people can and do have sex without that. Sex can be much more than just a recreational activity, but it can also be just a recreational activity.

Darcy said...

Revenant, I generally love your comments, but I think you're just way off in your assessment of women. I hope future experience allows you to change your mind.

And Blake nails it again.

blake said...

Rev,

You missed the key graf: In other words, there is an exchange going on. It's just not a material one.

blake said...

Sofa King: Clearly, but nobody has established the relevance of such.

Nobody has established the relevance? Western society seems to gravitate strongly toward stable monogamy (despite often falling short of that ideal). Or, hell, talk to any woman about the relevance. You'll get an earful.

You may mean it's not relevant to you, which is debatable, but is probably best debated over a beer.

Sofa King said...

Western society seems to gravitate strongly toward stable monogamy (despite often falling short of that ideal).

I'll tell you another thing Western society has gravitated strongly to: letting people decide for themselves what to buy and sell.

I don't particularly object to the impulse in favor of altruistic sexual relationships. I object to the totalitarian impulse that seeks to use force to mandate those be the only acceptable sexual relationships.

You may mean it's not relevant to you, which is debatable

No, I think we're arguing past each other. Some people here are arguing that altruisitc sexual relationships are good. Maybe they are, maybe they aren't. I'm not interested in that so much. I'm arguing that those who think they are the only good relationships have no moral basis to deny freedom of action to those who disagree. There is no relevance, I pointed out, that individual preferences for partners and sexual relationships have to laws governing partners and sexual relationships.

Nonetheless, it was an interesting discussion. It was nice to have a chat without the usual suspects crapping all over it.

Freeman Hunt said...

I'll just echo Darcy's sentiments.

Rev, I think you have women totally wrong. You've taken a vacuous subpopulation of women and tarred all women with their behavior. I know so many women who neither have nor want jewelry (or anything else) of significant value for gifts and women who don't have or want engagement rings. You said that complaining of "cheapskate" boyfriends or husbands is common. Maybe it is in some circles, but I have never heard anyone do that. The only time I've heard a friend squeal in delight at a gift was a time when I was on the phone with my best friend when she came home to find an unexpected note from her husband.

If a woman seems especially preoccupied with the expense of material gifts, she's shallow and/or just not that into the guy. But such a preoccupation is not the stuff of successful and fulfilling relationships.

It's the stuff of whores, and not all women are those.

Freeman Hunt said...

I object to the totalitarian impulse that seeks to use force to mandate those be the only acceptable sexual relationships.

Is it a totalitarian impulse or a disagreement over whether or not sex can ever really be just physical? I submit that anyone who believes that is fooling himself. Let him have his fill of purely physical no strings sex and see how that affects him. See how it affects his character, his future relationships, his perspective on other people, his opinion of himself.

Also, it's tough to get around the fact that pretty much all prostitutes have, as has been mentioned, horrible emotional problems. So prostitution is basically dealing in the exploitation of emotionally damaged people.

I think there's plenty of room in a free society to say that that is wrong. You can have all the sex you want with who you want. All that's precluded is buying and selling it.

Tamara Sperling said...

It's funny that people can't tell the difference between sex and love. Sex is best, transcendental, with the one you love. But as a recreational activity, it can be all right. This New Zealand approach looks a lot like an approach to what we have here on Secundus, in the 43rd century.

Revenant said...

Rev, I think you have women totally wrong. You've taken a vacuous subpopulation of women and tarred all women with their behavior.

No, Freeman, that's not what I've done.

Most people don't realize it, but there's a huge overlap between human and animal behavior, even where things like loving monogamous relationships are concerned. We tell ourselves that we're doing something out of a profound sense of love that a dumb animal does out of mere instinct. I say that we're doing it largely out of instinct too. It is just that the #1 human skill, the thing we're better at than anything else, is rationalizing the things we instinctively want to do.

I'm not talking about the behavior of gold-diggers and rich old men. That's just an extreme example of a common phenomenon. Women seek out material wealth in a mate because until a handful of generations ago that was the best way to ensure healthy children. It is a biological thing. The emotional attachments are there to encourage the behavior the biology needs.

I know so many women who neither have nor want jewelry (or anything else) of significant value for gifts and women who don't have or want engagement rings.

In absolute numbers I know quite a few such women too, but they're a distinct minority.

Revenant said...

Is it a totalitarian impulse or a disagreement over whether or not sex can ever really be just physical?

People who think sex can't be just physical are wrong. There are people (e.g., most women) who can't view sex as just a physical thing, but there are plenty of people (e.g., most men) who can.

Also, it's tough to get around the fact that pretty much all prostitutes have, as has been mentioned, horrible emotional problems. So prostitution is basically dealing in the exploitation of emotionally damaged people.

Most prostitutes have horrible emotional problems because emotionally healthy people do not become career criminals or enter into a profession that causes many people (e.g., you) to loathe them. It is not an inherent problem with the profession, per se. It is a problem with the way society treats the profession.

I would also say that it is not my problem why somebody chooses the job they choose. Maybe a cop becomes a cop because he's power-tripping or because his daddy was a smack dealer and he's tortured by familial guilt or whatever. I don't care, so long as he does his job. I can't spend my life second-guessing the motives of everyone I hire to do work for me.

All that's precluded is buying and selling it.

Overtly buying and selling it, perhaps. But the buying and selling of sex will remain a normal part of everyday human relationships forever.

Sofa King said...

You can have all the sex you want with who you want.

Oh, if only.

Freeman Hunt said...

a profession that causes many people (e.g., you) to loathe them.

Just saw the "e.g., you." I don't loathe them. I loathe their profession.

And I think it's pretty obvious that a different sort of emotional damage leads to prostitution than leads to other types of crime.