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Archive for May, 2011

The trouble with life isn’t that there is no answer, it’s that there are so many answers.  –  Ruth Benedict

As usual, we’ll close out the month with a collection to reader questions.  If you have one of your own, please email it to me  and I may include it in my next column.

Are you not uncomfortable with the word “whore”?  I would never call my ladies such a thing!  I don’t even like the word “hooker”.  It has also acquired such a negative connotation.  Like calling a black man a “nigger”.  Just wrong.  (To me, anyway).  I respect the women I am with.  Why would I use such nasty words on them?

A number of us have decided to appropriate the word “whore” just as homosexuals took over “queer” and “dyke” and American revolutionaries commandeered “Yankee”.  IMHO black people would have been much wiser to have done the same with “nigger”.  When one accepts a label it loses its power to hurt; when one avoids it one ends up being like the pathetic wimp in the schoolyard who would run away crying whenever anyone called him “fatty” or “boogers” or whatever.  Here’s an early column which touches on the subject.

And beside everything else, I like “whore”.  It’s a venerable word with roots going back to the ancient Indo-European  language, and is related to the Persian houri, the Arabic hur and the Greek porne (from which our word “pornography” is derived); it may also be related to the Latin hora (hour) because one very ancient euphemism for whore is “lady of the hour”.  It’s also honest and specific (though often misused), unlike the legalistic “prostitute” or the vague and overly-broad “sex worker”.  I also like “harlot” (which is itself related to “whore”) but nowadays that sounds like an affectation.  Of course, these are my personal preferences; other working girls have their own, and some of them definitely don’t like “whore” even when a sister uses it, much less when a man does.  So it’s probably best you avoid it unless you know the lady you’re addressing doesn’t mind.  As far as I’m concerned, though, allowing words to have power over one’s feelings is like giving everyone who can speak a baseball bat and then daring them to hit one.

You have said that you would consider working again not for money but for donations to a pro-prostitute group.  Does that still constitute prostitution as you are not having sex for personal gain?  And how much of a donation (pun intended) would you consider for your time?

Prostitution is defined as the exchange of sexual favors for money, but since experienced whores never actually agree to exchange sex for money cops have to resort to lies and trickery in order to arrest women for the “crime”.  The result is that in prohibitionist regimes like the United States, no woman is safe from police accusations of prostitution based upon such absurd “evidence” as winking, lack of underwear, the possession of one or more condoms or wearing “revealing” clothes.  Legally speaking, I’m not really sure as to whether the law would consider working for donations prostitution or not; the excuse for porn acting being legal is that a third party pays for it, so it stands to reason that if the money were paid to a third party it would be the same.  However, I’ll still be extremely careful because there’s nothing to stop a cop from simply lying, just as they can about any woman.  As for the amount,  I would ask my old rate of $300/hour.

I’ve often wondered about the male “significant others” of sex workers.  When a sex worker comes home after having had sex in some form with 5 or more men, how does she work up enough desire to make love with her sweetheart?  Also I imagine that these relationships are fragile due to jealousy.

The answer is, “it depends”.  That may seem evasive, but people (male and female both) are so different from one another that it’s hard to give you only one answer.  First off, five clients in one day is definitely a high number for an escort, though I am told it’s not all that unusual for a brothel girl or streetwalker. In the first two years I was working I averaged 2.3 clients a day, and many independents set a limit of two (or even one) in order to prevent burnout or have more personal time.  So for the sake of discussion, let’s just say “two or three” because that fits my own personal experience and is much more realistic for most escorts.  Even so, two or three sessions can be rather tiring, especially if the girl specializes in energetic PSE-style performances.  And in most cases, it’s the energy which matters rather than “desire”; a professional does not have sex with clients due to lust but because it’s her job, and for many of us the need for real intimacy is increased by work rather than decreased.  In other words, for some women the more professional jobs they do in a day the greater the need for emotional bonding with their partners later.

Again, everyone is different.  If a whore finds her work sexually satisfying (and some do), she may not be interested in more when she gets home.  If she is indifferent to her work and doesn’t wear herself out, there may be no effect on her sex drive one way or the other.  If she’s indifferent but is worn out (by number of clients, level of activity or difficult customers) she might be only interested in cuddling or gentle lovemaking.  If she’s turned on by her work but not really satisfied, she may be even more randy when she gets home than she would be had she spent the day shopping.  And if she dislikes her work, she may not want anything to do with a man when she gets home.

How the man looks at her work is also important; if he only tolerates it he might be turned off if he knows she had a number of appointments that day, but if he’s turned on by it he may be even more excited by that knowledge.  His attitude is really the one that determines the answer to your second question; most self-aware men know whether they’re the jealous type or not, and those who are usually avoid entering into relationships with pros.  Of course, men who lack the faculty of introspection or who are emotionally troubled may be unaware of their own jealousy or (more likely) fail to recognize that they’re falling in love until it’s too late; wise whores keep their eyes open for danger signs in regulars and hold problem cases at arm’s length because such men can easily become dangerous stalkers.  Some escorts also date men nonprofessionally and hide their professional lives from their “regular” dates, but I consider this both dishonest and foolish; it’s better for everyone involved if both parties are honest with both themselves and the other person in order to avoid future emotional turmoil.

In the past, a number of people have expressed curiosity about my own husband’s feelings on the matter, so I asked him if he would consent to answer such questions from my readers and he agreed.  So you may consider this an official invitation:  any of you who have questions you would like to ask my husband please email them to me and I’ll pass them on to him; his answers will appear in a future column.  Please try to be specific; questions such as “what’s it like to be married to a hooker?” are too broad to be easily answered.

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You can’t protect women without handicapping them in competition with men.  If you demand equality you must accept equality.  Women can’t have it both ways.  –  Mary Bell-Richards

Sweden’s bizarre excuse for its continuing infantilization of women is “feminism”; supposedly, prostitution magically affects the brains of all males in a society, causing them to view women in a way Swedish neofeminists consider unacceptable.  But judging by the way Swedish authorities treat women, that “unacceptable” view must be the idea that women are intelligent adults capable of independent thought and self-determination, because it’s clear that the official position is the opposite.  In my column of December 18th I reported that though the rape rate in Sweden has quadrupled since the mid-‘90s (doubtlessly due, at least in part, to the suppression of prostitution), the conviction rate for rape is much lower than it was in 1965; as Naomi Wolf put it,a woman who has been raped in Sweden is ten times more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer than she is of getting any  kind of legal proceeding on her behalf undertaken by Swedish prosecutors.”  How can this be reconciled with Sweden’s supposed promotion of feminism?  As I expressed it in the linked column,

…the Swedish government only “promotes” feminism as a domineering pimp “promotes” a whore:  As a commodity to be bought, sold or traded for its own purposes.  Sweden views women as a natural resource to be exploited in much the same way as it exploits timber, hydropower and iron ore, and its leaders only mouth platitudes about “equality” to keep female Swedish voters happy so they can stay in power.  Its dismal record on rape and its tyrannical efforts to reduce whores to slaves of its bloated welfare state demonstrate that Sweden doesn’t actually care about the welfare of individual women, but rather only about the political support of women collectively.

And since it does only care about women collectively, any individual women who step out of line must be dealt with ruthlessly, yet in such a way as to maintain the pretense of “feminism”.  In my column of January 18th we saw that Sweden legally requires men to presume that women are prostitutes on the basis of their manner of dress (are you reading this, SlutWalkers?), and this May 19th story from The Local reveals what happens to Swedish whores who dare to speak about their (supposedly 100% legal) work in public:

A Swedish student who was trying to boost her finances by stripping and selling sexual favours has reported her adult education college for discrimination after being suspended for her “sick” behaviour.  After being forced to find a way of paying her bills, the student started working at a Stockholm strip club and also worked part-time as a prostitute to make ends meet…In February, she found herself called in to a meeting with a teacher and the dean of her college, where she was surprised to find them asking her about her job.  “They said that it goes against the school’s values and that students had been harmed by me being so open about what I do,” she wrote in the report.  The dean and the teacher told her that what she did outside of school hours helped to support the view of women as sexual objects.  “I said I have never felt like an object but rather found the whole experience pleasurable,” the student wrote in her report.  According to the student, the teacher and dean were horrified with this statement and said that she had caused the whole class to go through a crisis by being so open with her choice of career.  “You must have a problem if you think like that,” they said according to the student.  Despite the student’s apologies and a willingness to give up her job to stay on at the college, the dean said that it was obvious she wasn’t feeling well, and that she therefore would not be allowed to continue.  “I said ‘But I feel healthy’ and ‘I am passionate about this course’.  Then the dean said ‘you seem passionate about a lot of things’ and looked me up and down,” the student wrote.  After leaving the school she was told by fellow students that meetings had been taking place about her behind her back, and that the dean said that she had chosen to leave due to not feeling well.  The student was allowed to come back and say goodbye to her friends.  At the meeting she was allegedly told by the principal that she was not to mention anything about her suspension…she…tried to speak to several teachers, but was told by the dean to leave school premises as she wasn’t a student there any more.  Since the suspension the student has given up her stripping job but has decided to report the school to the Swedish Equality Ombudsman…

Sound familiar?  In my column of April 13th  we saw the new prohibitionist tactic of pronouncing prostitutes mentally ill if they fail to see things as the prohibitionists want them to; that is exactly what happened here.  In the Victorian Era, women who failed to behave like good little domestic robots were labeled “hysterical”, and now the Swedish state labels women who fail to behave like good little brainwashed neofeminist robots as “sick”.  The Swedish sales pitch claims its repressive regime has not harmed prostitutes in any way; try telling that to the young woman who was expelled for talking about her supposedly-legal job.  It also claims that the majority of Swedes enthusiastically support the ban, yet articles like this one appear frequently in Swedish publications.  Clearly, Sweden’s official claims about the “success” of its disgusting, tyrannical imposition of radical neofeminism on the Swedish people are no more true than its claim that the reason for the outrage is the promotion of “equality” for women.

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Anger is always concerned with individuals…whereas hatred is directed also against classes…moreover, anger can be cured by time; but hatred cannot.  The one aims at giving pain to its object, the other at doing him harm; the angry man wants his victim to feel; the hater does not mind whether they feel or not.  –  Aristotle

It seems as though every time someone suggests a column topic and I tell them I can’t really use it, within a few weeks I end up changing my mind.  Well, I’ve set a new record; regular reader MaMu1977 sent me this link last Saturday (May 21st) and suggested I might find it a worthwhile subject.  And though I at first dismissed it for the bizarre misandrist, neofeminist nonsense it is, the sheer depth of maladjustment revealed in this pathetic malcontent’s ravings haunted me enough that by the next morning I had decided to post about it.  Take a look at the blog in that link if you dare, but be warned that it’s like opening the viewing window into a padded cell, and what you see won’t be pretty.

The neofeminist goal. Gender separatism? Check. Women dress so as to avoid “objectification” by the dangerous “male gaze”? Check. Women patronized and “protected” by law? Check…

For those who would rather not expose themselves to pure, malevolent, self-destructive hate (and I don’t blame you if you don’t), the link is to a blog called Eve Bit First which is written by a radical lesbian neofeminist who characterizes normal male behavior as “being violent, worthless scum” and appears to advocate total gender separatism (though I didn’t have the stomach to read enough to be sure of that).  Needless to say, she dismisses third-wave feminists and portrays prostitutes, women who enjoy BDSM and pretty much all other heterosexual women as emotional cripples.  The particular post in the link is described by the blog’s author as “a handy guide for women who involve themselves with men” (i.e. interact with them in any way, even online) to determine if the man is a “rape supporter”.  One might think that this term might perhaps mean a lawyer who defends rapists, a politician who tightens the legal criteria for determining rape, a man who tends to blame rape victims for their clothing, or the like…but one would be wrong.  In the dank cellar this person uses for a mind, “rape supporter” pretty much means any non-castrated male over the age of 10 who does not live in a monastery.

You know those ridiculous checklists which claim that your husband might be a “batterer” if he’s ever expressed any opinion contrary to yours or been angry at anybody for any reason? Well, this is like that, but much worse.  I’m not going to reproduce the whole thing in all of its hysterical and delusional detail; if you really just can’t restrain your curiosity, please feel free to click on the link above.  Instead, I’ll remove all of the repetition, prevarication and doubletalk and boil her checklist down to the minimum (statements reproduced verbatim will be so indicated).  According to “Eve’s Daughter”, as she calls herself, a man is a “rape supporter” if:

He has ever had sex with any woman without a signed statement from his partner attesting to her consent, accompanied by a statement from a neofeminist psychiatrist attesting to her absolute mental health at the time of the signing.

He defends the current legal definition of rape.  (verbatim)

He believes that a woman’s consent is a defense against a rape charge.

He has ever doubted anything any woman making a rape accusation claims, no matter what.

He has procured a prostitute.  (verbatim)

He believes women are intelligent and mature enough to make their own sexual decisions.

He has gone to a strip club.  (verbatim)

He has any opinion at all on abortion, lesbians or “social construction of gender”.

He believes in freedom of speech.

He watches porn, including gay porn involving intercourse.

He believes that any woman might ever want to attract a man’s sexual attention.

He tells or laughs at jokes involving female characters.

He watches any TV shows or movies with female characters who actually look like women.

He mocks neofeminists.

He belongs to any traditional religion.

He discusses the mechanics of sex, even scientifically.

He believes that most women want children.

He argues that people (or just “men”) have sexual “needs.”  (verbatim)

He is more attracted to some women than others.

He defends any woman’s right to do or believe any of the above.

Obviously, there is no male with a pulse to whom at least nine of these “criteria” do not apply, and I’d be amazed if any male reader can find more than five that don’t.  Clearly, the author knows this; she herself concludes with the sentence “So, let’s see how many women reading this know at least one male over the age of 18 who does not fit this list. Anybody?”  So my question is, why bother making the checklist in the first place?  To cleverly craft such a list so that it isn’t obvious that no member of the target group can escape would merely constitute sophistry, but to do so in a manner that would be obvious to a fifth-grader is an obsessive waste of time. Since what the author actually means to say is that “all men are rape supporters”, why not simply say that and be done with it?  Surely even the author cannot be so delusional that she imagines even one reader will buy her ludicrously-transparent pretense of objectivity, so why bother?  This is, of course, the issue which haunted me; I find it sad and tragic that a human being can be so consumed by hate as to spend the time to construct such an elaborate and narcissistic fantasy of victimization.  And unfortunately, this tortured soul is far from unique.

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And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet color, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication:  And upon her forehead [was] a name written, Mystery, Babylon the Great, The Mother of Harlots and Abominations of the Earth.  –  Revelation 17:4-5

The whore is, first and foremost, an entertainer; she is hired by a man to, as the phrase goes, “show him a good time” by playing the role of a sex partner for him.  Until comparatively recent times the professions of actress and prostitute were one and the same, which is why women were banned from the Elizabethan stage and even as late as Victorian times actresses were considered rather disreputable.  Porn actresses are still a kind of whore, and actresses who appear nude and play love scenes aren’t all that far off, which is why I consider the hypocrisy of actresses such as Mira Sorvino, Demi Moore and Ashley Judd to be so pathetic.  Conversely, prostitutes who specialize in fetish work (such as dominatrices or role-play specialists) are just as much paid to act as any film starlet is.

Because of this shared heritage and related social function, whores and actresses share one other important characteristic in common:  we both tend to be dehumanized into symbols for other people’s psychological needs and problems.  In other words, people project their own concepts onto us and imagine us as the external representations of those concepts.  Marilyn Monroe famously said, “A sex symbol becomes a thing…. I just hate to be a thing.”  But her comment was too narrow; all successful actresses (and actors too) become symbols for one thing or another, if not for sex then for something else.  People cease to think of one so objectified as a real human being with wants and needs and failings, and instead use that person’s name and image to represent whatever concepts they’ve attached to it, for good or ill.  Think of the words we use to signify successful actors: “star”, “idol”, “symbol” and even “legend”.  They all signify things which are admired, revered or even worshipped…but never thought of as human.  And though “stardom” may be intoxicating, “fans” can be demanding and unreasonable and may become angry when their “idol” proves to have feet of clay, as many a celebrity caught up in some scandal (or even just speaking carelessly in public) has discovered to his chagrin.

You might argue that the price of becoming a public figure, whether by acting or music or politics or preaching, is that one’s life is under a microscope.  Perhaps, but with rare (and generally involuntary) exception, whores are the opposite of public figures, and yet people still project their own needs onto us.  Obviously we invite such projection from clients by accepting the role of temporary girlfriend, but since we’re paid for that it’s not a problem.  What is a problem is that certain groups, who neither ask consent nor offer compensation, use us as scapegoats for the ugliness they see in themselves by projecting their own perversions and flaws onto us and then persecuting us in order to destroy the unwilling representatives of their own sins.

Religious fanatics are the most obvious of these groups, but no longer the most dangerous by a long shot.  To be sure, at one time whores were the most visible symbol of  the “worldly lusts” priests fought so hard to suppress in themselves and their congregations, and indeed many such men went so far as to claim that their lust actually came FROM women in general and “wanton” (i.e. sexually functional) women, especially whores, in particular; thus harlots were traditionally vilified in Judeo-Christian religions, but outside of the Islamic world those religions no longer have the influence they once did.

The inheritors of their mantle are the politicians, who see prostitutes as a potent symbol of their inability to control everything and everyone; as I wrote in my column of September 6th,  “no matter how many of their perverse desires we may grant in bed, we deny them their greatest psychosexual thrill:  The illusion of power over others, which they crave above all else.  Most people are willing to crawl to the politician, licking his boots in order to gain a few scraps from his table, but the whore merely laughs at him and reverses the relationship while providing living proof of the inability of his profession to eradicate or control ours.”  No wonder so many of them crusade against us, and here is another reason for the increasing popularity of the Swedish Model; it allows the politician to pretend we’re powerless victims who “need” his “help” against the evil men who “exploit” us.  Then there are the cops; some of them (especially the higher-ups) no doubt have the same issues with us as do politicians, namely resentment of their inability to control us.  But judging by what one sees in interviews, those who don’t merely view us as prey for their sadistic “cops and robbers” games and project onto us their own tendencies toward deception and criminality.

But the worst of all are the neofeminists; they rant about the “objectification” of women, but themselves objectify prostitutes more completely and horribly than the most shallow man ever objectifies any woman.  We become to them the external symbols of their twisted fantasies of female subjugation by brutish men, the living embodiments of their sick obsession with humiliation, rape and degradation.  They imagine us as victims of the sexual abuse they suffered, and their own maladjustment, neuroses and self-hatred are thus transferred onto us.  The fact of this projection becomes obvious the second one hears a neofeminist speak; “no woman would voluntarily agree to prostitute herself” really means “I wouldn’t prostitute myself,” and the “you’re selling my sexuality!” nonsense is a dead giveaway.  Whores see ourselves and other women as individuals, but neofeminists are unable to accept this because admitting to individual responsibility would require them to accept the unbearable truth about their own inability to cope with reality.  So rather than seeing us as real people who might make different choices from them, they must reduce us to nameless, passive statistics to be manipulated in their pseudo-studies, or use us as dolls at whom they can point and say, “the bad man touched me there!” like children at a molestation trial.

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am a whore.  Find something else to fight about.  –  Nell Gwyn  (to her coachman, who was fighting a man for calling her a whore)

Nell Gwyn (February 2nd, 1650 – November 14th, 1687) was literally a born whore; her mother, also named Nell Gwyn (née Smith) was a fat, alcoholic madam who ran a cheap brothel in Covent Garden.  Nell’s putative father, Captain Thomas Gwyn, ran off soon after she was born and little Nell was employed serving “strong waters” (i.e. Nantes brandy) to the patrons of her mothers’ business.  It is highly likely that her mother sold Nell’s virginity to the highest bidder as was common at that time, and that she thereafter worked as what we now call a “child prostitute”; she is known to have taken her first lover (i.e. exclusive customer), a man named Duncan, at the age of 12 and stayed with him until she was 14.  But though the popular modern view teaches that young Nell should have been emotionally and psychologically destroyed by this rather unorthodox upbringing, the opposite was true; she soon learned to hold her own against the customers and developed the strong personality and ready wit upon which she made her fortune.

Duncan found Nell to be an expensive hobby and eventually decided she must earn at least some of her own upkeep.  Luckily for them both, King Charles II had been restored to the throne in 1660 and lifted Cromwell’s ban on theaters; the brand-new King’s Theater opened in nearby Drury Lane three years later, and 13-year-old Nell went to work as an orange girl.  This innocuous-sounding job deserves a bit of explanation:  in Restoration times theaters allowed outside contractors to sell fruit, candy and other treats inside the theater in exchange for a percentage of the profits, and these contractors employed provocatively-dressed teenage girls to hawk their wares.  When he lifted the theater ban King Charles had also legalized acting as a profession for women, and as in classical times most if not all actresses doubled as prostitutes.  This provided another source of income for orange girls; since they were allowed backstage while members of the audience were not, gentlemen who found particular actresses attractive would tip the orange girls to carry messages to them.  Nor did they limit themselves to facilitating business for the courtesans; ambitious orange girls (Nell among them) also solicited business for themselves.  By the time she was 14 Nell’s beauty, charm and wit had made her popular with the actors, and she joined their number before her 15th birthday.

Nell as Cupid (engraving c. 1672); Samuel Pepys displayed this portrait above his desk at the Admiralty.

Nell learned her craft quickly, and though she never excelled at drama she soared to success in comedy.  She became the mistress of leading man Charles Hart, and the two of them became very popular onstage as a comic couple.  When the King’s court relocated to Oxford during the Great Plague of London (summer 1665 – autumn 1666) the King’s Players (including Nell) followed them, though His Majesty does not appear to have noticed her charms at this time.  That did not occur until March of  1667, when she became a star due to her performance in John Dryden’s The Maiden Queene.  Her character was the mad girl Florimell, who disguises herself as a boy; this was a common plot device in Restoration comedies because it allowed actresses to dress in tight pants which showed off their figures.  By all accounts Nell had an exceptional pair of legs, and King Charles took sufficient notice that he ordered a royal command performance at the palace.  Another of her fans was the diarist Samuel Pepys, who wrote “…there is a comical part done by Nell, which is Florimell, that I never can hope ever to see the like done again, by man or woman…so great performance of a comical part was never, I believe, in the world before as Nell doth this…”  Shortly after this triumph she took a brief sabbatical to spend May, June and July with Charles Sackville, Lord Buckhurst; he paid her £100 for the contract at a time when the average workman made about £1/month.  Soon after she returned to the stage the King began actively flirting with Nell whenever he saw her, and in April of 1668 (two months after her 18th birthday) she became his mistress.  She continued to act, however, and her notoriety drew ever-larger crowds and encouraged playwrights to write roles especially for her.  But as time went on her royal patron claimed more and more of her time, and her last appearance on the stage was in 1671.

Nell was by no means the first of Charles II’s mistresses (there had already been four in the previous eight years), nor was she the last, but she remained his favorite for the rest of his life; part of the reason for this was her ready wit, which set her above most of her beautiful but typical competition.  Her favorite target was her chief rival Louise de Kérouaille, a French noblewoman who was created the Duchess of Portsmouth when she joined the King’s harem in 1673.  Nell lampooned her haughty Versailles manners and called her “Weeping Willow” because of her tendency to cry when picked on.  Unlike Nell (the “darling strumpet of the crowd” as the Earl of Rochester called her), Mademoiselle de Kérouaille was thoroughly disliked by the common people; once when Nell was passing through Oxford, a mob mistook her carriage for that of the Duchess and began shouting insults at her, among them “Catholic whore.”  The unflappable courtesan stopped them by putting her head out the window, smiling at the hecklers and announcing, “Pray good people, be civil; I am the Protestant whore.”

Portrait by Sir Peter Lely, c. 1680

Nor was the King himself spared her barbs; when his son by her, Charles Beauclerk, was six years old, she once summoned him for a paternal visit with “Come here, you little bastard, and say hello to your father.”  The King of course protested, and Nell replied, “Your Majesty has given me no other name by which to call him.”  She of course meant the boy had as yet received no title, and the King responded by creating him the Earl of Burford and granting him a house in Windsor.  Nell herself owned the house at 79 Pall Mall; King Charles had given her the lease for her 21st birthday, but she complained that she should own it rather than lease it and in 1676 her request was granted.  It was sold after her death, and until 1960 it was the only privately-owned house on the south side of Pall Mall.

Charles II died on February 6th, 1685; his dying wish to his younger brother, who became King James II, was “Let not poor Nelly starve.”  Though the habitually dour James had no love for the former orange girl who had labeled him with the epithet “Dismal Jimmy”, he honored Charles’ wish by paying off Nell’s creditors, giving her a pension of £1500 a year and allowing her to retain all of the estates and incomes she had previously been granted.  When she died of a series of strokes (probably due to complications of syphilis) less than three years later, her estate was valued at about £100,000.  Her son had been created Duke of St. Albans shortly before his father’s death, and that title and line still exists today; all in all, not bad for a woman born in a brothel who was once described by Bishop Burnett as “the indiscreetest and wildest creature that ever was in court.”

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Oh, I know they exist.  Ok well I’m pretty sure they exist.  I’ve never seen or met one that I know of.  I’ve seen videos on YouTube and JohnTV.  I’ve read newspaper accounts of them and heard the horror stories from women who have been controlled by pimps.  So I’m pretty sure they are out there.  Kinda like the Chupacabra.  –  Brandy Devereaux

For international readers who maybe unfamiliar with the American legend, the chupacabra (from the Spanish for “goat sucker”) is a cryptid (a legendary animal like the yeti or Loch Ness monster) said to live in Puerto Rico, Mexico and the American Southwest.  The legend is of relatively recent vintage (March 1995) but spread quickly through Hispanic communities; reports describe the animal as being canine, rat-like and hairless, and its name derives from its habit of drinking the blood of livestock (especially goats).  Though the critter has attained a considerable reputation, its reality is both smaller and far more pragmatic:  every carcass brought in to scientists as that of a chupacabra has been identified as that of a coyote, mutant coyote or hybrid coyote with an advanced case of sarcoptic mange.  Yet the legend persists, because it’s more exciting to believe in a fantastic monster than a rather mundane reality.

The exciting myth

This is, as Brandy so astutely observed, exactly the mechanism involved in the legend of the pimp.  Like the mythical chupacabra, the storied pimp is a common and powerful bloodsucking monster who can be found nearly everywhere, leaves a trail of exsanguinated victims and evades every attempt to stop him.  But in reality, he is either a fairly rare (morally) diseased individual or else a rather normal and mundane creature misidentified as a monster by those who love a good tall tale.  I’ve written before about this syndrome; the short version is, “When an outsider looks at a whore’s life, he tends to interpret every non-customer male who has any kind of relationship with her as a ‘pimp’, because of course everybody knows that all whores have pimps.”  I’ve estimated the prevalence of all prostitutes encumbered with the stereotypical abusive, controlling pimp (of which prohibitionists are so fond) at 1.5%.  That’s roughly the same as the percentage of women who report that their husbands or boyfriends are “extremely violent” (1.2%) and not-dissimilar to the percentage who say he is “extremely controlling” (2.3%); in other words, pros have roughly the same rate of abuse by their pimps as amateurs have with the men in their lives, yet I don’t see politicians hurrying to outlaw marriage and heterosexual relationships because of it.  And lest you think my figures are too low, I advise you to consider the recent study discussed in my column of April 29th which found that only 8% of underage prostitutes in New York City had been forced into prostitution by a “pimp,” only 10% currently worked with one and only 16% had ever even met one.  Considering that I think we can all agree that underage girls are probably more vulnerable to abuse and manipulation than adult women are, and that these figures represent ALL pimps of underage prostitutes rather than just abusive, controlling ones, it may be that my 1.5% figure (derived as it was from a base estimate of 10% of all streetwalkers controlled by pimps) was actually too high!

But those are statistics for advanced, Western countries; surely it’s higher in the so-called “third world”, right?  Well, no.  Brandy discussed this in her column of May 19th:

…I’m not talking about a manager who helps hookers out with security (like a bodyguard) or with helping her find clients and ensuring that they aren’t cops.  When I say pimp I’m talking about the typical stereotype – violent, knocks women over the head cuz honey didn’t make him any money, supplies drugs, forces them on the street – you know, like in the movies and those 70′s tv shows.  The Farleys want you to believe that every hooker MUST have a pimp that they allow to find men to rape them.  No woman in her right mind would choose sex work.  No man that works with or for a hooker has any other motive except to beat the snot out of the woman and steal all her money.  They push this ‘research’ they have done into most news stories and papers and arguments against prostitution.  It’s ALL trafficking, we are all VICTIMS, and someone must be controlling us by force/coercion…Why then are women around the world, yes even third world countries where we all KNOW it’s all about minors and forced prostitution, standing up for their rights as prostitutes (sans any “pimp”)?

The mundane reality

She follows this up with numerous links backing up her point, which is the same as mine:  actual pimps (as opposed to husbands, boyfriends, managers, escort service owners, bodyguards, drivers and male friends who are accused by “authorities” of being pimps) are actually pretty rare all over the world.  There are indeed chupacabras, and they do pose a danger to livestock.  But they’re not 70-kg monsters who occur in vast numbers and mercilessly decimate herds while evading all attempts at capture; a few are underfed, mangy coyotes which prey on the weak, and the rest are simply normal coyotes, wolves, dogs, foxes and other creatures which are mistaken for chupacabras by hysterical monster-hunters.

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I am not interested in women just because they’re women.  I am interested, however, in seeing that they are no longer classed with children and minors.  –  Crystal Eastman

Even when one already knows something, it’s good to get validation from others.  And when one is beset by enemies on all sides, particularly ruthless enemies who are willing not only to lie but to distort or completely fabricate bogus “research” to support their lies, every extra bit of academic research which soundly supports one’s position is another arrow in one’s quiver.  But given the current anti-prostitution political climate it takes guts and an unwavering respect for the truth to dare to publish an academic paper which refutes the government’s position, so I was very pleased when Dave Krueger sent me this link to the University of Arkansas Newswire last Tuesday (as it turns out Brandy Devereaux had already posted about it two days earlier, but I was busy when I got the notice and forgot to check it later when I had time).  In any case, an economist at the University of Arkansas has shown on paper what we’ve been saying for decades:  most women who enter prostitution choose the work for the same reasons people choose any other job.

…A new study by an economics researcher at the University of Arkansas analyzes the U.S. prostitution market and provides policy recommendations to increase safety for women and communities…Contrary to assumptions that women enter the prostitution market only because they are desperate – that they need money to pay bills or buy drugs – the study indicates that many women, especially educated, affluent women, are making a rational decision to enter certain segments of the prostitution market…“Our model demonstrated that the prostitution market may be pulling educated women – these so-called ‘high-opportunity-cost’ women – out of the conventional labor market and the marriage market, in many cases,” said Jennifer Hafer, a doctoral student in the Graduate School of Business at the University of Arkansas.  “The findings suggest that these women are not forced into the prostitution market but rather choose to enter it for many of the same reasons that people enter the conventional job market – money, stability, autonomy and even job satisfaction”…Hafer…examined high- and low-quality markets within the various types of legal and illegal prostitution, which includes high-end escorts, call girls, brothel prostitutes, streetwalkers and women who advertise prostitution on the Internet.  The model allowed her to examine the type of market a woman would enter and how variables such as morals, effort, health risks, stigma, earnings and the probability of getting caught in an illegal activity influence a woman’s decision.

…opportunity cost refers to what is lost by choosing one out of two or more alternatives.  It refers to the benefits one could have received by taking an alternative action.  For this study, factors that influenced opportunity cost for a woman were education, training, access to both physical and social resources, access to the marriage market and family background variables such as type of household, the neighborhood one grew up in and education level of parents.  So, women with high-opportunity cost had greater access to or benefited from these variables.  The model revealed that high-opportunity-cost women – affluent and educated women with strong family backgrounds and access to resources – may be choosing to enter the high-quality illegal prostitution market, via a high-end escort service or through the Internet.  These women would not enter the legal prostitution market, according to the model.  Women with low-opportunity costs – that is, women with less education and economic opportunities – choose to enter the low-quality legal market – the brothels in the Nevada counties…Considering the finding that low-opportunity-cost women chose the legal market, Hafer pondered reasons for the existence of the illegal market for these women.  There are significant entry barriers to legal brothel prostitution, such as licensing, which might include background and health checks, house rules that the women must follow, such as prohibition of drugs, and, perhaps most significantly, the fact that brothels are located only in Nevada, many miles away from a woman’s support network…Based purely on the outcomes of the model, brothel prostitution should be legalized and regulated in expanded locations.  Her policy attention to escort and Internet prostitution focused on regulation, such as licensing, health testing and possibly taxation, as a means to ensure safety and security for both the prostitute and the consumer.  For the escort and Internet markets to be regulated, they must be legalized…

The one major flaw in Hafer’s conclusions (which should be readily apparent) is that legalization would still create a black market for the exact same reasons 70% of Nevada prostitutes prefer to work illegally:  namely, the onerous requirements imposed by legalization, which as Hafer demonstrates make it unappealing for women who have other choices.  But this is a minor detail, especially considering that laws in this country are never based on scholarly recommendations.  What’s important is that yet another source (besides the testimony of thousands of escorts) has refuted the oft-repeated prohibitionist claim that “no woman would voluntarily choose prostitution.”

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