How would you describe the stereotypical prostitute?

Can prostitution be moral?

These are questions that have arisen because a blogger who wrote up her life of prostitution has either been unmasked or unmasked herself. There has been reaction which, at the lower end you could describe as surprise, at the upper end, shock, horror! The levels of reaction stem from the publicity about the woman, who she is and what she does.

Am I unusual in my reaction, I wonder; I am not even mildly phased by any of the revelations. There is nothing really new, except that a new media has been involved in the circulation of the story; blogging. It has broadened out the sum total of the audience who have now had their curiosity sated. Even more media have taken up the story, generating further discussion and awareness of the milieu that has been exposed.



  1. I don’t see it as a moral problem. It’s up to the individual what services they want to sell and to whom.
    If it is forced on a person or is an adjunct to some sort of slavery, then it is obviously not acceptable.
    It would be sensible if it was made legal and regulated for health and safety (within reason) and any earnings taxed as income in the normal way. It’s always going to happen, so let’s make it respectable.

  2. If the individual is doing it simply because they want to then it’s surely their business as long as they operate as responsibly as possible. It would be better if it were legalised and run like any other bona-fide business with due mind paid to the risks to various people.I can’t personally understand why anyone would want to be involved directly, but that’s just my feeling. I don’t have to be do I?

    Nobody should have to do it if they don’t want to. If some people really believe that they have no options then we as a caring society need to offer them some rather than sitting back and criticising.

    On the other hand it shouldn’t affect anybody’s life who doesn’t want to be involved (female harrassment, exposing to children etc). So confine it to specific locations and we can all stay away. If it was properly controlled this should be possible.

    Anybody who thinks it’s going to suddenly stop happening any time really needs to grow.

    As for those religious bigots amongst us, don’t get me started……

    I could go on, but must dash. Things to do, places to go, people to see…….

  3. It is clear that the exercise has been going on since time immemorial.

    Your thoughts are interesting and have merit. The Dutch certainly take the edge off the covert element. I believe certain states in Australia do the same thing.

    I can see various arguments arising about what is coercion, other than the obvious, which you point out.

  4. There is an element of coercion in all paid work, stick and carrot, sackings and bonuses, promotion etc. etc.. But I agree, getting the balance right is difficult.

  5. Hello WZF,

    Have you seen Munzly’s reply?

    As you point out,the exercise of freewill, within certain parameters, such as taking account of the welfare and well-being of the vulnerable, is a paramount issue.

    The question of morality seems wrapped up in the answers thus far received, as a query that is not answerable on its own in this particular context.

  6. Hi Munzly,

    You get to the nub of my thinking about that element of coercion. Checks and balances will always be hard to achieve in a disparate society like ours with such a variety of personal, business and political interests.

    It seems that culturally, we aren’t adaptable.

  7. I would imagine the morality would depend on its context but then thats true for many jobs. If you worked in a distillery would you be culpable if someone drank a bottle of your product and then battered someone to death? Whether moral or not I agree with everyone above in thinking that provided it is properly regulated then it should be legalised. The arguments against legalising usually come from two seemingly different but actually quite close bedfellows which are those who think that prostitution is morally bad and feminists who argue that it is expoloitative of women.
    My feeling is that being even tougher on prostitution and its clients would lead, as would a banning of pornography,to something like the Prohibition in America. Something done for high moral reasons which led to disasterous consequences as the desire for alcohol didn’t go away but its providers changed and with it power. Without the Prohibition the Mafia would have stayed strictly small beer.

  8. Hello Tim,

    Thank you for your detailed reply. It was interesting to hear, that most prostitutes tend to be middle class women. I have not read the work of the researcher who claims this. I am merely repeating a phrase lifted from her research. Without analysing the full context myself, there would be a lot of questions to ask about this. At a guess, this facet, what in fact might be a particular level and type of prostitution, may well be populated by a particular character of provider.

    Not all prostitutes are women, we tend not to hear about male sex workers except in the context of pimps. For me, I would find it far more interesting to hear about the management of life requirements, (whatever they are) from some males. I doubt that it would be so very different. It would be reported upon from a different gender perspective. I suppose men get lumped under the heading of ‘escorts’, which, though some might think it, is a term not exclusive to women.

    The manner in which our society is structured (I do not exclude other societies, but I am focussing on the home front) enables a whole raft of morals to be manipulated. Are we, as a stiff upper-lipped society, with its hangover of Victorian principles, (we know how superficial many of them were) ready to be open about our sexual life and neutralise some of the more unpleasant aspects associated with it? In this question, values and morals are close bedfellows.

  9. Munzly,
    I totally agree with you. In Germany prostitution is legal. It should be everybodys free choice how they design their life. I am not writing this from a male perspective but from the point of view of a father whose daugter was working as a part time luxury escort for years. Some of her best friends are still working in that business. The ones I know are very intelligent, normal young women.

    My daughter led a double life. What almost killed her in the end was when her escort activities were uncovered and she was stigmatized by people who she thought loved her. This rejection from our wider family and ‘friends’ evoked a phase of selvdistruction in her. In the end she tried to commit suicide but failed. Things are fine today. She fineshed her uni with excellence and is working as a medical doctor (surgeon).

    My wife and I always new about what she was doing. We supported her in whatever she did and still are.

    What is really terrible is when women are forced into sexwork. This is against their will and nothing but the worst kind of slavery. The ignorance of men taking on services of women working under such conditions is unbelievabel. That’s what really should be punished as it is nothing but physical and mental rape every time it happens.

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