04 Oct Why Sex Workers Are Terrible People
By Ryan Thomas. Co-Founder and Host of the podcast and sexuality focused, personal growth company, Modern SexTalks.
I used to want to kill people. Actually, let me correct myself. I wanted to kill the “bad guys” and be the war hero. (There is a “disclaimer/explanation” of a few things at the end of this article.)
I was serving in the army and wanted to join the special forces. So much so that I applied and went to Hell Week. If you don’t know what that is, it’s basically where they take you to every limit you could possibly imagine and then push you past those limits and see how you handle yourself. It was 7 days long.
The day before hell week started, I succumbed to food poisoning. Needless to say, I didn’t fare very well. I made it to day 3 out of 7. I’ll finish this story later.
How does this relate to sex workers? Glad you asked. Follow along for a minute here.
Something I’ve noticed while being out of the army for several years, and after a decade long career in the service is that our culture awards soldiers who are trained to kill people.
Now, I need to clarify, I have the utmost respect for my brothers and sisters in arms. I am in no way blaming them for how society treats them. And I do believe that soldiers and warriors deserve that respect and honour because they willingly train for years to put themselves in harms way to fight for our values and protect and support those who can’t do so themselves.
What I am suggesting, however, is that despite very few soldiers’ desire to take another human beings life, some will have to and they are rewarded with a medal….sometimes. (few soldiers have to, mind you, but we’re all treated the same in the eyes of those outside of the military)
For the men and women who train hard and make the ultimate sacrifice, they do deserve our appreciation and respect. But that’s not what I’m really concerned about here.
There’s something more dark and insidious happening. During training, there are statues of soldiers with bayonet’s drawn and giving a war cry. There are pictures of war scenes and memorabilia from war that are framed. Obviously, these create a culture that trains warriors and soldiers and prepares them for war.
And here’s the problem. There is a culture that looks upon war and killing as a means to acquire honour through the destruction of people, or preparation thereof. And this sets us up for a distorted perspective of what’s important.
I’m not here to discuss how we treat our soldiers, because I believe they deserve respect and appreciation (I can’t stress this enough). I’m talking about the disparity of how we, as a society, view people and organizations that are designed for destruction versus people who also make sacrifices, but do work that heals.
In most countries, prostitution is highly illegal. In countries like Canada, selling sex is legal, but to purchase is illegal. (No that doesn’t make sense, but it’s the law.)
And in most countries and cultures, sex workers are looked upon as dirty, losers, and sub-human. Or there’s a belief that they couldn’t choose to do that on their own, so they’re likely being exploited.
Now, before I move on, I want to clarify that I am not speaking about the sex workers who are being trafficked and taken advantage of in this article. I am referring to the sex workers who choose to do this work out of their own volition. And there are droves of them.
And here’s where I get confused.
The men (and women) who go to sex workers are often doing so for a plethora of reasons, several of which were already outlined in the article “Why Men Go to Escorts.” And those reasons are, if a person has any empathy or critical thought whatsoever, quite human, healthy and reasonable.
They are not criminals. They are seeking help. They are seeking affirmation. They are seeking intimacy. They are seeking support. They are seeking help. And, at the most basic level, they are seeking fun.
These women (and men) who choose to do sex work are offering their bodies, and their energy to helping others. In the most intimate of ways, they help others find pleasure and approval they thought they could never experience.
They help clients reconnect with their past loved ones via fantasy. They help people connect with their own bodies and sexuality. They help clients heal from sexual trauma.
They help them experience intimacy they maybe could not get otherwise. They give people a consensual outlet for sexual fantasies they don’t know how to get elsewhere (like various kinks).
These people are offering the closest and the most powerful therapy ever known: touch. Specifically, sensual touch.
Yes, sex workers do it because the money is good and for a variety of other reasons. And they are also using their bodies to help their clients. Regardless of their motivation for sex work, the help that is offered and the results they get their clients is not as subjective as their reasons for doing it. It is very real.
And here’s an interesting twist. Despite how society looks at sex workers, they still decide to do it. That’s pretty fucking powerful in and of itself. But I’m curious. Our culture looks at escorts negatively. We believe they need saving, so we apply laws that restrict their freedoms and statistically do more harm than good, while simultaneously speaking poorly of them.
But maybe the reason why they’re treated like shit by several clients is because that’s how we’ve trained the clients to behave and perceive escorts in the first place. Maybe if we spoke highly of escorts, there would be fewer clients thinking negatively of them or harming them. Food for thought.
So why is it, that while in a culture where I was training to kill people, I was receiving honour and respect from family, friends and society? Yet, 4 years later, after professional training, if I massage a woman’s yoni (vagina) for money because she’s never experienced an orgasm before and wants professional help, I instantly lose all that respect, and I’m considered a low-life?
If you believe that helping people connect with their bodies, feel intimacy, experience pleasure, have more love for themselves, and discover acceptance of their sexuality, is terrible and despicable, then yes, you’re right: Sex workers are terrible people. And that means, that if I want respect and honour, I should go back to wanting to kill people. Or are we just a little fucked up in our thinking?
DISCLAIMER: I wanted to end the article in that last paragraph, but there are many loops that need to be closed and I didn’t know how to tie them into the article, so I’m tying them up here. The “kill people” comment I know has probably made a lot of people uncomfortable.
To be honest, in many minds of soldiers who aspire to be “soldiers of fortune”, the thought of “killing someone” isn’t exactly a vivid thought. It’s more like looking at a situation through the lens of a movie. They’re imagining what it would be like to emerge the victor, and worthy of respect and admiration. Killing the “faceless bad guys” so that the “good guys” can win.
It wasn’t until after I had failed Hell Week that I had the opportunity to really sit back and consider what I was about to embark on. I had to really consider if I had the ability to do such a thing. I realized that if I had to pull the trigger while making eye contact with my adversary, that I would have to become the very thing I was trying to abolish.
I determined that if I wanted to leave an impact during my life, I couldn’t do that by doing the very thing I wanted to see less of.
I had to become and represent more of what I wanted to see in the world. Not too long later, I ended my contract with the military and embarked on a journey that has led me here: To build a company with a purpose of cultivating compassion and bridging the gap of understanding between the genders.
Modern SexTalks is a personal growth company centered around sexuality and intimacy. And you can’t have healthy sex and/or intimacy without understanding and compassion.
There are always going to be people from all sides killing each other for their so-called “right way of doing things.” But if I joined those ranks, I would be perpetuating the cycle and I would be going against the very tenet that I said I was trying to uphold: respect for life.
If everyone decided to fight and kill, then….what are we fighting for? So I ask you, what are you fighting for? But more importantly, how are you fighting for it and why? Take it one step further and ask yourself, “If I win, what’s left?”
With those questions in mind, how do you feel about sex workers?
Written by Ryan Thomas. Co-Founder and Host of the podcast and sexuality focused, personal growth company, Modern SexTalks.