Recently I saw this Reddit post floating around Facebook. Go ahead and give it a read.
Yikes. Pull out all the misogyny though, and there approaches a rational point. How do we solve so much sexual frustration? Before I continue, I want to be clear: no one is “owed” sex at all. Consent is devoid of emotional blackmail.
There is truth to the statement that sex is a need, similar to food or water. Although unlike food and water, if you go without sex for a few weeks you’ll still live. Sex is necessary for emotional, psychological, and even a little bit of our physical well-being (sex is a well-known way to reduce potency and duration of migraines in women, for example), and some people (men and women both) just don’t get enough of it.
So again, no one is owed sex, but we need a lot of it just the same. How do we solve this conundrum? Do we tell women to be huge sluts? (terrible idea.) Do we tell men to be more aggressive? (more terrible idea.) The only other option seems to be getting more comfortable with our sexual sides, to not be afraid to experiment, to not be judgmental– in essence, return to the “free love” era of the sixties. But that had its own set of problems, and besides, the majority of America isn’t ready for that to come around again.
What do we do, then?
Well, there’s one option. It isn’t the best, but if you take out all the unsavory elements, then it works. That option is prostitution.
No, don’t jump ahead. I’m aware of all the problems surrounding it. I know that currently, being a female escort can be a dangerous, degrading, and/or life-ruining experience (strangely, that doesn’t seem to be the case for male escorts. There’s a study I would like to read in full). The reason it’s like that though, is because it’s illegal almost everywhere in the U.S. When you make something illegal that people need, you instantly create a black market– a market that exists outside of the law and is subject to only the whims of the sellers. And the underground sex market has been booming for decades, with women being sold like hunks of meat.
Okay, this is all stuff you (sadly) know already, but I reminded you specifically to say that it doesn’t have to be dangerous or degrading to women– not if we legalize it. In Nevada, prostitution is legal (sidebar: I’m not familiar with Nevada’s laws on the matter, but I expect they’re very specific to allow even some form of prostitution to be legal). The women who work in the legal brothels work for a business, not a pimp. They choose their clients, they keep their money, and they even have health insurance that requires rigorous check-ups and tests for STD’s (their insurance is probably better than mine). Most importantly, these women are safe and protected. If some asshole tries to hurt them, the Nevada prostitutes can and do call the police– something they can’t do when it’s illegal out of fear they’ll be arrested themselves.
Okay, so the last two paragraphs are just a long-winded explanation about the state of prostitution in America, how does that connect to sexual frustration? As Penn Jillette once said, money is the great equalizer. Sexually frustrated people should be able to scratch that itch without judgment, and prostitutes can help with that, provided they’re treated with the respect and care they’re due as human beings. It’s not a coincidence that so many clubs look the other way while their employees earn a little more on the side in a private room, or why a loophole exists in California law that allows porn actors to be paid for sexual services so long as it’s for filming purposes. Most people who don’t have sticks up their asses recognize the need for these things to exist, even if they’re technically illegal. If a sexually frustrated man or woman just can’t (or won’t) find someone to jam their bodies with through dating, they should be able to find another man or woman for a fair price.
This is not failure to date, this is succeeding in filling the needs of sexually frustrated people, while maintaining the safety and dignity of those selling the service.
Overall though, it would make me more happy to see sexuality in general rise above the internal repression many of us get hung up on. Outside of a professional setting (where we try to get things done, and sexuality becomes a distraction), men and women should allow themselves the freedom to be more open with their sexual needs, without fear.
That’s just my two cents.