"I challenge you to tell the difference between a nude prostitute and a classy lady in the nude" said the lawyer (of Dominique Strauss-Kahn).
"The definition of a prostitute is a woman who sells her pussy for money, a woman who gives it away for free is a whore" said the pimp (from the South Side of Chicago).
For my upcoming documentary 10,000 Men I have spent two years researching and interviewing all the players in the business most still call prostitution, but correctly should be called sex trafficking. I have heard so many specious arguments to justify "the world's oldest profession" or that "boys will be boys" it's hard to tell whether I am listening to a high-powered lawyer or a career criminal.
Does any of this matter? And if so, to whom? The law? A judge? A jury of one's peers? The press? To a woman or girl under violent pimp control it surely does.
It seems we are only at the Neanderthal stage of understanding how victimized those who work in the commercial sex industry are, and how and why we must help them. We have to stop burying our heads in the sand and connect the dots: the sexual exploits of wealthy men and politicians do not help advance the human and legal rights of the girls, women and boys who are exploited in the $15 billion a year global sex industry.
If we are to advocate for the teenage girls and boys forced into the commercial sex industry and the adults they become, it is essential that people in positions of power and influence look honestly at their part in the culture of impunity for pimps, traffickers and johns. Statistics are few in this field (who is rushing to fund the research?) but most experts who work in and around the commercially sexually exploited estimate that 90 percent are or have been working under "force, fraud and coercion" which is the Federal definition of human trafficking.
So if you happen upon a lady in the nude, who you don't know, in some hotel and you decide to have sex with her, consider that she may not actually be there by choice and that she may not be having quite as much fun as you are. For 10,000 Men I recently interviewed a man who informed me that of the 500 or so prostitutes he had paid to have sex with "at least 50 or 60 percent had orgasms." Really?
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