I have seen how prostitition has increased in the just-over-a-decade that I have been in the sex industry (I never ever imagined this would have been my life!). I became a prostitute a few years before the Internet Escort Craze began. At it’s peak in 2008/2009, the Craigslist Erotic listings truly changed the nature of the sex industry. Later, websites like Backpage would also act as a popular medium for sex workers and clients to connect. I jumped on the Internet craze a bit late, starting in late 2010. In essence, I have witnessed a LOT of change in the sex industry from my early days until now. The pivotal change is how the Internet made sex work more easily attainable for both clients and sex workers. The Internet mediums for selling sex, in alignment with the 2008 economic recession, also led to an increased number of women joining the sex industry due to economic woes.
The Internet, however, increased negativity for women in the sex industry. More and more women were joining the sex industry, and yet standards within the sex industry became more degraded. The price of sex, for one, has barely increased in line with monetary inflation. Instead, the inflation of women has cheapened the price of sex. As a result, many sex workers have to truly lower their dignity and price to attract clients. When I began sex work just over a decade ago, there was no such thing as “quickies” as a high-class escort. Now, there are beautiful women who will do it all for much less. I feel deeply sad whenever I see escort ads — I had never heard of “15 minute specials” or things like “blow and go.” I can’t even look at those ads anymore without feeling immensely sad at what the lives must like of the women who post such ad’s. Moreover, it makes me sad (and scared) to imagine there are men who will contribute to a woman’s worth being reduced to a quickie or “blow and go.”
In my case, I was able to maintain the same standards that I had from the beginning of my sex work days, thankfully. This is because I had the ability to work low-volume, or part-time. Most prostitutes don’t share my experience, however. Most are subjected to having less control over their bodies, which leads to severe emotional (and sometimes physical) trauma from their work. Despite all the sadness I have felt all these years, I cannot even dare to imagine the pain that most other prostitutes experience (again, my situation is not comparable to the majority).
Why is Prostitution Increasing?
The answer is: Society is increasingly losing it’s humanity. Inequality is increasing. Unhappy, stressed and overworked people are increasing. Relations between men and women are more conflicting. The family unit is decreasing. Wisdom/morality is decreasing. All of these social ills are related and are the result of a capitalistic world system based on consumerism (ie: $$$$$$$$$). When people are unhappy or stressed, most will resort to various outlets (drugs, sex, porn, food) to cope. Prostitutes fill a void for the men who visit them.
In times of increased stress, the demand for prostitutes will increase (this is the world we live in now).
For clients, prostitutes are an escape from a stressful work week, stressful responsibilities, etc. People, in general, are stressed more so than ever before in history, and thus there is an increased demand for escapism (the sex industry is one form of escapism for men). Are prostitutes a healthy outlet for escapism? There is no simple answer, because men visit prostitutes for a wide variety of reasons and at different frequencies. In essence, the demand has risen, and thus the supply (prostitutes) has increased.
I have traveled quite a bit of the world, thankfully. From my travels and my anthropological studies, I observed that only certain societies can allow prostitution to thrive. Despite prostitition being “the oldest profession in the world,” not all societies in the past had the conditions for prostitution to occur. Historically, more simplistic societies with a strong emphasis on kin/family had no reason for women to prostitute themselves. Many simple societies had little sense of individualism, so therefore it would be extremely rare for an individual to be neglected and left on their own to care for themselves. A woman is prone to become a prostitute in a context where she is neglected in some form and left to fend for herself —- such a phenomena can only occur in the society that has the conditions where exploitation and inequality can occur. In the current global context, a woman has very little security to protect her well-being and thus many can be easily ‘pushed’ into sex work. It’s an unfortunate reality.
I live in a city where there is a high ratio of women who are in the sex industry in some shape or form.
I remember sitting on a train a few years ago, and I overheard two college girls casually discussing sugar daddies. One girl was telling her peer that she really needs to considering getting a sugar daddie online to help pay her bills. Both girls looked like completely normal, typical college girls. It was a shocking realization for me, because when I was a teen I would never imagine “normal” girls casually discussing schemes on making money by through sex. But clearly I was out of the loop, because THINGS HAVE CHANGED. When I was 16 years old, I had no idea what an escort was! But nowadays, young ‘normal’ girls know all about the sex industry — they know (thanks to music and social media) that a viable option for them is to became an escort, cam girl, sugar baby, stripper, or porn actress. Now, the sex industry has become normalized. It’s even glamorized (for the dark purpose of indirectly trafficking more girls into sex work).
Hip Hop, Social Media & the Entertainment Industry is Making Prostitution ‘Cool’
Celebrities like Amber Rose are promoting apparel that tells women to proudly say they are a “hoe” or “slut.”
“You’re such a fucking HOE, I love it!”
— Kanye West and Lil Pump in ‘I love It’
“Fuck him and I get some money. Yah! Fuck him then I get some money…”
– Cardi B with G-Eazy in ‘No Limit’
THE NEW PIMPS are popular music entertainers and other celebrities:
They hook their viewers by telling them it’s fun to take drugs (smoke a lil weed to dumb and numb them down ), which then weakens and makes the victim complicit in their exploitation.
I can’t imagine what it would be like to be a young man or woman these days (mind you, I am talking as if I am super old…..I am an old soul!). Young minds are so impressionable. A young girl these days faces tremendous pressure from the most soulless, superficial role models. The most popular music ‘artists’ are ones promoting women to literally hate their natural selves. They glamorize a woman’s worth based on her ability to be being a sex object. This kind of objectification was around when I was a teenager too, but it was not to the extreme that it is today. When I was a teen, there was NEVER any popular music that was openly telling me to sell my body as a prostitute. I was in my late teens when I entered sex work and I had literally no idea of what I was getting into. But nowadays, things are much different. Young girls may already know about escorting or sugaring as a career option due to sex work becoming mainstream. Instead of the traditional pimps, celebrities are the new pimps, telling women to become sex workers, to be petty. And now, many women are actually doing it since it has become so mainstream (escorts, strippers, porn actresses, cam girls, etc). Women will have less hesitation to join the sex industry when it is NORMALIZED and ENCOURAGED by pop culture. It’s truly heart breaking, because these women are led to believe lies of empowerment and happiness through false propaganda. Even some escorts will pimp out other women by selling the false image of a luxurious lifestyle. What women are not told about are the consequences of living such a life, and moreover how materialism only creates a VERY short-lived sense of fulfilment. No woman feels empowered when she is treated like an object (where her inner qualities are rejected or ignored). There is short term joy for newbies to the sex industry, but the long term consequences always contain harm, exploitation and psychological distress. As mentioned, almost all sex workers will resort to drugs, drinking, and other harmful habits to cope with the lack of wholesome love that led them into sex work.
Given that the Internet explosion of sex work is still relatively new, it will be very interesting to observe the long term effects of this new attempt at making sex work ‘cool’ and ‘trendy.’
**For any of my readers unfamiliar with street slang, a “hoe” is the same derogatory meaning as a whore, slut or prostitute.
Dear Readers: What do you think? Have you, too, also noticed the expansion of the sex industry? Are there any things that influenced you to the sex industry?