Eww: A Rad Feminist Reads About Johns and Their "Pain", Provides Witty Commentary
In my long look into the sex business, I came across many primary sources on what exactly it is like to be a porn star, a prostitute, or a stripper. I felt connected to the experiences of the women I read. I felt that what they did was so normal and wrongly stigmatized. I could see myself doing what they did, hating doing what they did, and most of all, hating the people that asked them to do it. Part of letting go of my zealous relationship with the Madonna/Whore dichotomy was to stop looking at sex workers as whores, manipulative she-witches, and weak downtrodden sex objects.
What I discovered, however, from reading the first hand account of Johns was anything but empathy. I am a serial monogamist. When the inclination to stray is strong enough, I cash in my chips, break the poor guy’s (and one woman’s) heart, and engage in sowing my oats without being a lying sack-of-shit cheater. The thought that fucking random people would be fun is not something that I have never entertained. However, I have never understood the point of being self-destructive and letting my libido do the driving, so I do not understand the actual action of cheating.
Perhaps I am a rare and horrible imitation of humanity, but the objectification of a sexual partner does not turn my crank either. Paying someone to mimic an intimate action, which should be a gesture of mutual respect and affection, never occurred to me. I’m not a fucking kind of gal. My bullshit detector runs smoothly. I am not some pathetic slob that invents romance and respect where there is none. Chances are that if you shop for a sexual partner with all the emotion of shopping for a television set, you’re not getting the best deal.
So I do not sympathize with the two primary motivations for buying sex: (1) I’m too good for monogamy and (2) sex is all about me, me, ME!
Morality in hand, I delved into Letters From Johns, a blog that features the sexploits of random johns, most of which are men. My knee jerk reaction was a feeling of intense sorrow for all of humanity. As I nit-picked through the various misogynistic woe-is-me confessions , I was struck with the thought, “okay, your intense angst is nice, but what about the other side of the equation — isn’t it quite ridiculous to do all of this introspection without once thinking about the humanity of the woman you just bought?”
Well, one sympathetic John was nice enough to make sure that the Chinese woman he purchased was not trafficked. After, of course, he climaxed. Orgasm before morals, you know:
I like Asian girls (have since I was a teen). I like their skin, their soft features, their hair. I ordered one over in the middle of the day a month ago. I was very horny, and only wanted a little talk before sex, but after fucking her, cumming on her face and helping her clean up, it’s always a good time to get to know someone with the remaining part of the hour. She was straight off the boat. With Human Trafficking being the boogie man of the 21st century, I wanted to find out how she came to NYC and this line of work.
Retroactive concern does not work. I am guessing that a guy that will fuck a potential sex slave before he determines whether or not he is raping her is not very nice. The half-assed interest in her personhood does not fool me.
I also really liked the guy who was “Faithful in Every Other Sense of the Word” and very good at authoring horribly ironic titles. His reason for buying sex was not the simplification of an entire culture to attractive things to look at while fucking (see above), but because his wife had the audacity to ask for sexual satisfaction in bed:
I’m happily married, but my wife and I don’t have sex nearly as often as we used to before our daughter was born, and unfortunately, it’s starting to wear on me. Not only that, but when we do end up having sex, I have to do all the work, get her all worked up and then get to humpin’ at her command. It’s fine and everything, but sometimes it’s nice to have someone focus on me, and my sexual needs and wants, for a change.
You mean like porn, right? Where the other half of the equation is nothing but a place to sheath your uncontrollable prick and tell you how much they love it when you ask them to do demeaning things with no regard for their pleasure. Oh yeah, exactly like that:
The last time I went, I got to have sex with an older (then me, she was about 38. I’m 31) Russian lady, who still occupies a warm place in my heart because she looked me in the eyes as I climaxed and genuinely seemed to be interested in my pleasure. That’s what turns me on.
I am guessing that she was faking that interest. Probably because you paid her to, genius. I am also guessing that your wife would be more interested in your pleasure if you were more interested in hers. Reciprocity: it’s hot. Random John B wants all the pleasure without the work. I also find it unspeakably pathetic that he is bored with his wife and has affected such a world-weary tone at the tender age of 31.
I also found the woe-is-me letters, from Johns that want our sympathy so badly:
The answer that I have [for seeking prostitutes], and that many others in this website have also provided, is rejection. Rejection, and its close associate, the loneliness that comes after it, leads many of us to believe that we are fundamentally unloveable. And for us, the prospect of trading some of our money for the affection and the satisfaction that an escort, or a masseuse, or a prostitute (you name it) can provide is not just about sex–it’s more about safety, the feeling that all you have to do to keep this girl by your side is treat her right and pay her promptly.
My guess if that if you have to pay someone to fake liking you that you are generally unlikable. That is probably not anyone’s fault but your own, probably because you really do not care if you are raping a trafficked woman:
My latest experience was with an escort called A. She came from the same South American country I did, a tall, dark-haired girl with a great body. She says she’s in town to “learn English,” which I doubted, but who cares? For an hour and fifteen minutes, I had someone listen to me wholeheartedly, rub my back, provide me with the ersatz-girlfriend that I crave for but feel that I am unable to attract, and then at the end of it all she even asked for my phone number.
“You will call me again, right?” she asks.
I would like to say that I won’t. But my hour with A. felt like water washing my wounds, easing the pain of my brutal loneliness, helping me feel accepted and valued again, a feeling that I haven’t felt in many, many months.
Some people say that love is priceless. Well, to those people I say, for two-hundred and seventy Canadian dollars, something quite like it is there for the taking. At least until the hour is done.
If you are such a sorry human being that you equate “something quite like love” to raping a sex slave, then you probably belong in jail or the ninth circle of hell. I am also guessing that people that find nothing more sublime that sticking their dick in a woman/object/rape victim because they are “lonely” should probably remain lonely far far away from me and the rest of civilization. The best word I can use to describe someone that only feel goods about himself because he just raped/fucked a potential trafficked sex worker is criminal. Perhaps that’s why nobody wants you, even though you describe yourself as “obedient, fundamentally good man in his 20s”.
Those gems came from just the first page. The blog is packed of pages and pages of people justifying the objectification of female, and a few male, prostitutes. The harder they try to make their reasons sound plausible, the sillier and more pathetic they sound. Nothing is more unspeakably disgusting than someone that avoids responsibility for their actions with appeals to their humanity while avoiding the topic of a sex worker’s humanity.
If it really needed saying after that long post here it is: I am absolutely and fundamentally against prostitution. I commiserate and have nothing but empathy for those women that choose to make a living doing something so potentially dangerous. However this feeling does not extend to the other end of the equation: the Johns that profit off of the exploitation, objectification, and rape of sex workers.
The aforementioned blog does nothing to foster the sympathy for Johns. Our rage should know no limits for those who excuse death, rape, and misery with hollow excuses.