Saturday, August 11, 2007
Pornography Part 3
Pornography creates victims. We can talk about sexual liberation and the freedom to choose our turn-ons, feed our fetishes, procure our proclivities but isn’t there always a victim?
The women (with the exception of one) and one man that I’ve gotten to know who had first hand experience of ‘selling’ their bodies would say today that they were victims. In all cases, apart from the afore-mentioned one woman, they were addicts. Drugs and alcohol.
One was an exotic dancer, was there ever such a misnomer. Very little was exotic or even erotic about her stage work. She performed in a place called “Cheaters” in the city of Toronto. As the name hints, this was a place where married men came to watch the girls and to negotiate a sliding scale of pricing dependent on what the need was. All the way from a private dance in a private room ($50) to full unprotected sex ($500) with all the variables in between which I will leave to the imagination. She fed her coke habit with the money she earned, often thousands on a good night, but coke is expensive. She can’t remember much about the men, except to say they were sad and middle-aged. She had several surgeries on her genitals to keep them presentable for stage work. Many of the girls in her line of work did. Her family had disowned her and the focus of her life was the drugs that helped her forget what she called a ‘sordid’ life. She counts herself lucky she got out of it in time before her drug habit finished her and threw her on the street like many of her colleagues. Today she is married but has never told her husband of her past life and has pledged her friends and family to secrecy.
Another, I’ll call her D, thought it was all rather a hoot and enjoyed the thrill of being a desirable ‘escort’. Here there was a variable rate scale as well depending on the whims of the clients. D drank to get through the nights with the more unappetizing of her clients. She would do anything for a price; sometimes it involved more than one man. Or couples.
D confessed to me, now that she is out of the lifestyle and off the booze, that it has left her completely desensitized to normal sex and has resulted in her seeking pain and chains in private clubs that cater to fetishes. She is smart enough and ‘therapied’ enough to realise she is seeking punishment for her past life. However, she is still terrified of any kind of equality in a relationship and actively seeks much younger men to carry out her more outlandish desires without any kind of emotional investment.
One other, S, was a person I met at a meet and greet at a Connections Event at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. The gathering was ostensibly to meet available people of the opposite sex in an educational environment (there was a lecturer) with wine and cheese and much mingling but ironically, women were going off by themselves with new friends and making it more of a female networking event. That was how I met S. S was a former hooker, a very successful un-addicted hooker, who had parlayed her money into real estate. She had been off the game for over a year and was living well on her property management skills, both commercial and residential.
She wanted to go straight, thus her attendance at the specific event, as she hadn’t been lucky in meeting (read keeping)an eligible male through the internet or other ads. It soon became clear as to why she wasn’t successful. She was absolutely beautiful in appearance, in her late thirties, auburn hair, tall and ‘stacked’ to use an old-fashioned term. S would never have called herself a victim. But she was, in the worst way. She had an underlying contempt for men that bordered on psychopathic. She was amusing and cutting in her remarks about them. It was only in the afterward that I was able to see what her years on the street (actually in stretch limos – her ‘brothel’ was a limo – I’ve never been able to look at a stretch limo with its darkened glass in the same light again!) had done to her and her scathing, belittling outlook on men. Truly a victim.
Some might argue I haven’t drawn a line between porn and prostitution but I believe it is all sides of the same coin. The women I met did pose for photos and act in videos and perform various sexual acts on film. That is pornography surely?
To me, there is something desperate, sad and dark lurking in the souls of both the purchaser and the seller of sex whether it be in the titillation of images or actuality of experience. It seems to be that there is nothing that is joyful and honest or that deepens and transforms this most intimate of human experiences into a higher plane.
Call me old-fashioned but I like my sex sublime.