Dr. West






Can Prostitutes Enjoy Sex?

        Common belief would have us think that all prostitutes are trapped in an ugly and dangerous profession.

And while that may be true in many cases, especially among "street walkers," a bit of research turns up come surprising findings.

One survey among "professional sex workers" -- primarily women who were their own bosses -- showed that many would not change professions, even if they had the opportunity.

        Of course, this type of view is not publicized in the media, primarily because the fear of viewer response and because it conflicts with what people prefer to believe.

The women in the survey listed high income and a great amount of free time as the benefits that held them.

Most of the women surveyed had either (1) some college, (2) a college degree, (3) or, in some cases, even a Masters Degree.

This education would presumably allow them to engage in another profession, although probably for much less pay and a rigid schedule.

Although people often bring up the fact that prostitutes seem to frequently become victims of homicide, what they don't mention, or know, is that women are more apt to die from the hostile acts of their husbands. 

At the same time, prostitution -- both male and female -- can be a dangerous and disagreeable profession. Most who engage in it do so for one reason only -- money.

        Admittedly, I've encountered a limited number of prostitutes in my work, so direct knowledge is limited.

However, I do remember one former prostitute -- or call girl -- telling me that if she saw only one man a day, she could enjoy the sex, even to the point of almost always reaching a climax.

She had no steady relationship with any other man, and it was her approach to generally spend the entire night with men.

She frequently accompanied the men to parties and on business trips. Having an intense and varied social life was important to her, and her sex work afforded her this opportunity.


Amy: The Story of a Prostitute

        Another woman, we'll call her "Amy" has a story worth recounting because it's somewhat  common.

Amy said she had come from a conservative Catholic home and had married early -- "partly because we wanted to legitimize sex."

Believing effective birth control was a sin, Amy soon became pregnant.

Her husband, who had made it clear from the start that he didn't want children. was angry and he disappeared from the scene.

Amy had no family members whom she felt she could confide in, or ask for help.

Repeated efforts to find employment were unsuccessful -- especially considering her obvious pregnancy.

In desperation, she finally turned to the owner of a bar who gave her a room and some money.  He saw her through the birth of her child, a boy.  amy(Most prostitutes have at least one young child.)

After that, this man put her in contact with people who could baby-sit and  started introducing her to men who paid her to sleep with them. He was also responsible for finally convincing her to use "the pill."

Being an attractive and social woman, many of the men wanted her as a date for parties and government functions.

        Amy said it was very difficult, even traumatic, at first -- especially with the major guilt she felt over having unmarried sex and an out of wedlock child.

Amy enjoyed parties and socializing with people. After she played the role of a date for the evening, it was "a given" that she would spend the night with the man.

...During the evening I know we were both were wondering what it was going to be like. If the guy was cute, I could get turned on anticipating it. Fact is, by the end of the evening I probably wanted sex as much as he did.

This suggests that enjoying sex can be a matter of experience and conditioning.

 The next morning Amy would return to her apartment, spend time with her child, and take a nap with him until early afternoon.

Amy worked as a prostitute for more than two years before she met a man outside of her work that married her and adopted her child. Soon they had a child, another boy.

Although Amy's story undoubtedly isn't typical, given how things started out for her, it apparently had a happy ending.

        Since Amy said she had been friends with twenty or thirty prostitutes, I asked her why most of them went into prostitution.

She thought about it and said:

I guess maybe there are four groups. There are those who are forced into it just to survive, like me; there are those who do it for the money, because they can make more money doing that than anything else [that's available to them]; there are those who want to meet men in hopes of getting married; and there are those who just like to party. All this can change over time, of course.

        Did it change with you?

Yes, definitely. Since I came from a very conservative religious family, I started out being full of guilt over what I was doing.  That was all I could think of. I was really miserable.

But, it's not like I had much of a a choice;  I had to do it for my baby and me, so I constantly tried to push that out of my mind.

We were taught to be very modest in my family, so going into bed with a man I had just met was pretty difficult.

...But, I got used to it, and after a few weeks I found that I was enjoying the dates, the sex, and the social life.

And then I felt guilty about that.

Some guys were shy, some were aggressive. Each guy was a different experience; I mean it was all sex, and most of that was the same; still it was different each time.

I remember that I made the comment to another prostitute that it was great to be paid for something that was fun and she looked at me like I was nuts.

But I know that some others admitted that they liked the sex too.

What most worried you about it?

Getting some disease.

What about the police?

I never had any problem with them; but, then again, I wasn't street walking, I was a 'date.'

But you were getting money for the dates.

Yes, but that was hidden and at the end of a long evening. No cop is going to spend a whole evening with a girl for a bust, they've got too many easier women to catch. [I've since been told this is not a safe assumption.]

What didn't you like about it?

Being seen as a prostitute. People don't think much of prostitutes.

Guys view you different once they know what you are or were.

Although most of the guys I met treated me pretty good -- I even got marriage proposals! -- a few thought of me as something less than a respectable human being. There was always that.

Even now, I can't tell people about those times; I know it would really change the way they see me. [Amy now has a responsible job with a large corporation.]

        Looking back on it, do you wish you could have avoided having to use sex for money?

Not really.

You are serious?

Yes, I am. Some girls had some bad experiences, and some felt they were trapped and had to do it, but once I came to terms with it, I had to admit I generally liked what I was doing. 

        Did drugs or alcohol play a part in you life?

I don't drink, and I've never gone near drugs.

It's hard to believe that you want to all those parties and you didn't drink.

Well, the guys I was with almost always drank, but I needed to stay clear-headed so I could take care of myself. You never knew what might happen; you hear about a lot of bad stuff.

        Did you ever have a bad experience?

Amy thought about it. Well, there was time when the guy woke up early and tried to take money out of my purse, but I caught him and made such a fuss that he dropped the money and left.

And that's the only bad thing that happened in two years?

To me it was, but then again, I didn't go out with guys that I got bad vibes from. I guess I kind of have a sixth-sense about that. But I know that some of the other women had some definite problems.

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