Doin’ it and doin’ it and doin’ it for pay!

I’ve been thinking a lot about sex lately (what else it new?) But, I’ve also been thinking about work (now, that is new!). Sex and work—sex work! Specifically, I’ve been pondering the differences between selling sexual services and other services—particularly those services which address the non-sexual needs/wants of the body. Doctors, personal trainers, estheticians, masseuses, dentists, etc all come into direct, and often very intimate, contact with the bodies of others. So why then, are sex workers so ostracized for performing their work? They, just like doctors take care of the body. Is sex not an innate drive in humans? Ah you say—sex should be free, a “gift” shared between people. You say—sex should be an activity performed outside of the economic market. If that logic is applied, then couldn’t one argue that doctors should “give” their treatments to patients? Living, breathing, eating, healing—these things should exist outside of the economic arena too. Sex, breathing, eating, pooping—these are all natural functions in human life. They should be performed independently from money. And yet, they are not. Doctors help us to breathe (asthma), they help us with tummy aches (pooping and eating), they even help us with sex (STIs, erectile dysfunction, pregnancy, etc), and many other issues that pertain to the human condition of course. But, alas, money is an integral aspect of life. Everything is related to money—even pooping… If you can’t buy food, you can’t poop. Okay, I’m sorry about all the poop talk, I’m hoping it’s helping to argue my point but it may just be grossing you out. I say all of this to say this: money makes the world go round and if someone wants to buy or sell sex, why shouldn’t they be able to? It’s really very simple:

“Gosh, I have a huge wart on my wiener! I better go to the doctor and get it fixed.”

“Gosh, I’m so sexually frustrated. I could really use an orgasm now. I better go to the prostitute and get it fixed.”

 “Gosh, I like helping people feel good about themselves. I’m going to become a personal trainer!”

“Gosh, I like helping people feel good about themselves. I’m going to become a sex worker!”

I realize most folks don’t feel me on this sex-work tip I’m on right now. I also know that many people assume all sex-workers are drugged out, have been forced into it, or have suffered immense personal trauma. While this is a very tangible and horrible reality for some individuals who engage in sex work, experiences such as those listed above are not universal. Have you heard of Belle de Jour? Well, she was an escort working towards her PhD while hooking. And get this, she loved her job. There are many people who freely chose sex-work and gain immense personal satisfaction from their job. And, from what I hear, the pay ain’t too shabby. Sex workers require skills. They often act as therapists, counselors, friends, and lovers to their clients. I mean, who wants to pay someone for whack sex? No way! You want your money’s worth! So like doctors and masseuses and personal trainers, let’s try respecting sex workers. After all, they’ve been around since the dawn of humankind.

Some interesting blogs that inspired this post:


Howard Zinn Dies at 87

Today, the radical historian Howard Zinn died of a heart attack. I remember reading an article by him when I was about to take US History–he emphasized that it was important to view history from the point of view of victims and not just victors. He was a remarkable man, not just leaving behind the legacy of his history scholarship, but of his playwriting–including my favorite, one he wrote about Emma Goldman. His message of considering the underdog will stay with me for the rest of my academic life.

Get Moving!

As if we didn’t already know sitting on our butts all day is unhealthy- there’s a new study out suggesting that a sedentary lifestyle may actually shorten lives. As college students, we spend lots of time sitting in class and the library. We’ve all got busy schedules, but it’s important to take some time to exercise. If you can’t find time to head over to Dodge or the Barnard gym, try taking the stairs to class, or getting off the subway a stop early and walking to your destination. And, for those of us who easily tire of solo exercise- check out some of the great group fitness classes offered at Barnard and Columbia this spring!

“As Fun Buddies come in all shapes and sizes, and you do an incredible amount of bonking, we thought it’d be fun to show you some positions that you and your Fun Buddy can try out tonight!”

This website is great. It has actors acting out simulations of a buncha weird sex positions. The great part is that the main purpose of it is just to show you how different positions work with different body types. So if you’re a tiny little person, and you want to see if you can try the “Lotus Kneeling” position with your gigantic boyfriend, check this website first (and no, the outcome on that particular combination and position is not looking promising). I just love watching these videos. The actors are unselfconscious and, although they’re clearly having a great time, there’s nothing salacious or sleazy about it. It’s nice to see sex treated as something that isn’t that big of a deal, that a lot of different kinds of people can have in different ways. Even if this is an ad for a dating website or whatever.