A Note from the Editorial Team: This is another post from the author of Paying for Sex in the Philippines which sparked serious debate when it was published back in April. We do strive to provide a platform for those willing to express an opinion, however the opinions expressed by contributing authors do not necessarily reflect those of the site or it’s staff.
Is prostitution bad?
Most people seem to think so. My last article, Paying for Sex in the Philippines provoked such a strong reaction that it is one of the most-commented and most-viewed pages on mg2r2.wpengine.com.
It also provoked more negative responses than any other post on this website. Weird, especially considering that sex tourism fits perfectly with the travel-sex theme. In this post, I want to return to the oh-so-evil topic of prostitution.
Because most of the negative comments on the previous post were emotional. There was very little well-thought-out argument. I struck a nerve, but rather than engage with intelligence, most people lashed out in anger and personal attacks while proving nothing.
In this post, you’ll discover why you should pay for sex. In response to my last article, most people took the moral high ground, insisting that they wanted to punch me, that I was a scumbag and that I was an ugly loser who couldn’t attract girls for free.
But, as you will soon find out, taking the moral high ground and abstaining from prostitution creates very little value, and thus is the least ethical option, not the most.
Of course, I made a number of mistakes in the last article. I over-generalized when I said all Filipina women being prostitutes. That was dumb. I also didn’t dwell on the problems of prostitution enough. And I also presented myself as a loser who couldn’t attract women and therefore had to pay for sex (poor me!).
Before we continue, let’s deal with these problems –
I over-generalized. Not all women are prostitutes. Not even most of them. I’ve met plenty of normal women here and have found them to be friendly, engaging and intelligent.
There are problems with prostitution, including human trafficking, rape, assault and drugging. So what? There are problems with almost all male-female relationships. Husbands abuse their wives. Does this mean marriage is the problem and needs to be outlawed? No. Instead, we resent the individual who commits the behaviour.
In the case of prostitution, I suggest we do the same. I don’t deny that there are problems with prostitution. But these problems do not invalidate prostitution itself, just like abusive husbands do not invalidate marriage. Are you with me?
As for me, am I a sleazy old guy?
Not really. I’m a young, healthy guy. Think what you want about me, but I’m not interested in prostitution for lack of better options.
I’m fascinated by the concept of prostitution, including the strong emotional response it provokes in most people. So onwards! Let’s get stuck into it.
Here’s why you should pay for sex (and why you’re being unethical if you don’t).
Some people dislike prostitution because they think sex becomes a transaction. But think about this – everything is a transaction. In ANY exchange, one form of value must be exchanged for another. In prostitution, one pays cash for sex.
In a normal relationship, a person pays with a good body, an engaging personality or a nice car. To attract a mate, we have to make ourselves valuable to the opposite sex.
Think about it. Compare two potential partners. One is healthy and fit and has a good job. The other is overweight, unfit, unemployed and in debt to their parents.
Tell me, reader, which partner is more attractive as a mate? The healthy one? Or the fat one? The healthy one, right? Now, think about the why. Why are they more attractive?
Because they offer more value. They offer value in the form of a healthy body and a good job. Value can take many forms. Value can be a healthy body. A good job. Independence. A nice vacation house on the lake.
And here’s the kicker – Money is value. Money is a convenient way to measure how much value you can “withdraw” from society. If you have earned $20, you have earned the right to “withdraw” $20 worth of value from society.
So prostitution is paying cash for sex, intimacy or a short relationship. But if cash is value, then it is equally accurate to say that prostitution is exchanging value for sex, intimacy or a relationship.
Now what do most people do in normal relationships, including all the people who “despise” prostitution? They exchange value for sex, intimacy or a relationship. Which means that ALL relationships are made possible through transactions of value.
Here’s what this means – if you resent the idea of sex being a transaction, then to be consistent, you should quit relationships of all types.
Solitary confinement is the only way to avoid the transactional nature of relationships. Everything has a transactional nature. Contrary to what most yoyo-dieters think, there are no magic bullets. You CAN’T get something for nothing. You have to give something to get something. In business, you give valuable products to get cash. In health, you exchange time and effort invested in diet and exercise for a sexy body. In prostitution, you exchange cash (ie. hypothetical value) for cash.
Don’t you see? Everything in life involves a transaction of value. But hey, I know what you’re thinking. This doesn’t necessarily mean that prostitution is good, does it? Well, you’re about to find out why engaging in prostitution represents a stronger ethical position than to abstain.
The main idea: Sex tourism saves lives.
Why? Because prostitution is creating a HUGE transfer of wealth. People who pay cash for sex are investing money in the local economy. If an American in the Philippines spends $1,000 on prostitutes, he has injected $1000 into the Philippines economy. That $1,000 will filter through the country, going to store owners when someone buys condoms, and from condoms to bread, to feed the family of the shop owner. That “seedy, creepy” American created $1,000 value in a developing economy.
Now, my moralistic friends, when you complain about prostitution, how much value are you creating for the developing countries around the world?
Sure, you can tell me it would be better if that American spent $1,000 on community development, but $1,000 spent is better than what most people do – NOTHING.
Indirectly, the $1,000 that the American spends increases the GDP of the Philippines and enables community development.
In a small Filipino touristy town, $100,000 of prostitution might move through the town every month. Along with the $100k, guests spend money on hotels, activities and food. You’re looking at up to $500k PER MONTH, due to prostitution, and that’s in a small town.
$500k is a lot of money, especially when you multiply it by the number of towns around the world like this.
Take a look at Thailand, also known as the Sex Tourism Capital of the World. Colin from Expat Chronicles mentions that “Thailand’s poverty rate is so low it’s in striking distance of being called a developed economy”.
There is no denying the fact that prostitution is creating TONS of value (in the form of CASH) in developing economies. And indirectly, it’s responsible for many things, both good and bad, from community development to human trafficking.
Perhaps it could be said that prostitution is an effective means of climbing OUT of poverty, not into it like most people think.
All the people who take the moral high ground and belittle the people that engage in prostitution, how are they solving the issue? What value are they creating for the world?
Each time a person pays for sex, they are injecting cash into the local economy. If the sex is consensual and there is no abuse, human trafficking, or drugs involved, then paying for sex is preferable to abstaining from it.
Please understand, I am NOT saying that prostitution is good. I’m saying that prostitution itself is neither good nor bad, just like marriage is neither good nor bad. Prostitution is simply a system, a way of doing things, just like marriage.
So what determines good or bad?
Action. Prostitution isn’t the problem. The problem is the abusive individual. In marriage, we criticise the abusive father and husband, not the institution of marriage.
So in prostitution, we should be criticizing the human trafficker, the abuser, the coercer, rather than the institution of prostitution. Prostitution, in and of itself, is neutral.
If you see yourself as logical person, you will see this as a self-evident truth. If not, go back to the beginning and re-read this article.
So if prostitution is neither good nor bad, why do people react so strongly to prostitution?
Most of the modern world has a religious heritage. Religious people believe that sex outside of marriage is wrong, and therefore they have to argue that prostitution is wrong, even if it means being unreasonable (lest they be inconsistent with their faith).
I’m gonna get slapped for this one. In the Western world, obesity is an epidemic. People are FAT and they seem to be getting fatter. So what’s a guy to do when the availability of slim, attractive women in his home country is becoming less and less? I think it’s likely that a lot of girls are threatened by the fact that it’s easy to find hotter, sexier and friendlier versions of them on the other side of the world.
3. Human trafficking, drug abuse and coercion
I get it – there are problems with prostitution. But don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater. If you want to eliminate prostitution because bad things happen, you’re going to have to eliminate marriage because bad things happen with marriage.
Can you think of any other reasons? Let me know in the comments.
Often, we hold assumptions about life that aren’t actually our own thoughts. How many of you arrived at the conclusion that prostitution was wrong after a reasoned out thought process? Most people assume it’s wrong, but they can’t actually explain why.
In the last article, most people who disagreed with me about prostitution did so on an emotional basis. They didn’t think through their argument. They started with the assumption that is was wrong, and told me all about it. But there was very little rational thinking.
Now, I’m sure a few of you feel the need to respond. Great. I love discussion. Only, rather than personal attacks, try to deal with my points above. The argument above stands on its own, regardless of what you think about me.
Also, while you’re thinking about how best to call me an a**hole, remember that moral victories create little-to-no value.
I’m not looking for approval or praise. I just want people to think.
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