by Poppy Coburn
Wednesday, 30
June 2021

Sex-positive feminists ignore the ugly truth about prostitution

Legalised or not, the trade preys on vulnerable immigrant women
by Poppy Coburn
Who is really hurt by the sex trade? Credit: Getty

Prostitution, we are told, is work just like any other. If we take it as given that ‘the world’s oldest profession’ is, indeed, a legitimate profession, then it is worth asking who exactly we expect to fill this role. We know that demand for prostituted women far outstrips supply of native women — there just aren’t enough British women financially desperate enough to enter into the trade. Immigrants do all our crappy jobs — from delivering our takeouts to cleaning our offices, we’ve become accustomed to relying on cheap foreign labour to fill gaps in unpleasant, ill-paid labour sectors.

An article published by Nordic Model Now, an anti-sex trafficking advocacy group, lays out some of the consequences Western European demand for cheap labour has on poorer European nations. Over two decades on from the fall of Romania’s brutal communist dictatorship, the beleaguered Eastern European nation is still struggling to find its place in modern Europe.

It seems that the most valuable contribution the country can provide in the eyes of its richer neighbours is her people — specifically, her young women. Demand for Romanian ‘prostitutes’ has fostered an extremely profitable — and powerful — criminal underworld. It is no longer enough to lure women with promises of employment in babysitting or cleaning sectors: gangs have become emboldened, snatching young women from the streets of their hometowns to traffic out of the country.

A particularly harrowing case from 2019 illustrates just how pervasive the problem of sex trafficking has become in the country. On her way home from school, 14 year old girl Alexandra Macesanu was kidnapped, raped, and sold into prostitution. Her horrified family begged the police to help, to no avail – Alexandra herself had frantically called the police informing them of her abduction, only for them to laugh her down and ultimately ignore the call. How could it be that Romania, a small country where prostitution is illegal, has thousands of reported cases of kidnapping for the purpose of sex trafficking?

We can gasp in shock at the brutality of these foreign pimps (and we certainly should), but we cannot turn a blind eye to our own culpability in this sick trade. The demand, after all, comes from somewhere. One of the biggest markets for prostituted women is found in Germany, which legalised prostitution in 2002. It’s difficult to get exact figures on sex buyers, or ‘punters’, generally due to the often illegal and underground prostitution circles. Germany, therefore, provides the best glimpse into the European market for paid sex. According to the most recent estimates, around 1.2 million German men buy access to prostituted women every day — with one in five German men having paid for a prostitute at least once in his life.

We have enriched ourselves through the exploitation of immigrant labour for decades. If Britain were to recognise prostitution as legitimate ‘work’, we could no doubt further enrich ourselves from the sexual exploitation of immigrant labour. Legalised brothels make pimps of us all — and pimping is a very lucrative business. How helpful, then, are these sex-positive feminists to the cause of ‘Big-Pimp’? Just as other exploitative industries utilise propaganda to soften the brutal reality of the job for the ordinary worker, advocates for legalised prostitution will obfuscate the typical experience for women and girls in the sex trade — boosting a highly sanitised image of the ‘sex worker’ to suit their decriminalisation agenda.

Rather than look towards utopian hypotheticals, in which all women who ‘work’ in prostitution do so freely and happily, we need to examine the sex trade as it does — and always will — operate: predicated upon the physical, mental and financial exploitation of the most vulnerable classes of immigrant women.

Join the discussion

  • Criminalisation of buying sex will yield the same results as the war on drugs or prohibition of alcohol. That is, the amount of the trade might decrease slightly, but a greater share will fall to organised crime. It is unlikely that the women will benefit as a result.
    Feminists will surely be triggered by this, but sex with a woman is one of the basic needs for straight men. For centuries, the traditional way to fulfil this need was a monogamous family. This has eroded in the past few decades, with no small help from the feminists. Online dating, with its 80/20 scenario, is no real substitute.
    Of course, sex with a prostitute is a surrogate replacement for intimacy in a loving relationship. It is as close as it gets, however, much closer than masturbation. With starting a family having become much harder, and no real prospect of a hookup on Tinder, what is a guy to do?

  • Do these numbers add up?
    There are about 80 million Germans, so 40 million German men. If we say they are equally distributed by age from 0 to 80 years old, there are half a million of any given age. Between the ages of say 18 and 80, there are thus 31 million.
    It would be from this demographic that “1.2 million German men buy access to prostituted women every day”. But “one in five German men [has] paid for a prostitute at least once in his life”. One in five of all German men is about 6 million.
    The inference is surely that each of those 1.2 million men goes to a hooker every five days. It can’t be less frequent than that, because if it were, it would mean more men, so the stat about one in five couldn’t be correct.
    The link also says this is a 15 billion euro business. So 6 million men are spending that per annum, which is 2,500 euros a year each. At 73 visits apiece, they’re spending 34 euros per visit. Is that actually correct? Is that what it costs?
    Are all these women trafficked or are any of them volunteers? I don’t understand how women are forced into this by economic necessity. If you are plain, have acne and weigh 200lbs, you aren’t going to make a living on the game. It’s not an option, so you find a way to make an honest living somehow. In which case, why can’t those women who are attractive enough to work as prostitutes not earn a living the same way their less attractive sisters somehow manage to?

  • ‘If you are plain, have acne and weigh 200lbs, you aren’t going to make a living on the game. It’s not an option, so you find a way to make an honest living somehow.’
    I can’t comment on the numbers, but this statement is completely wrong. I’ve met many prostitutes over the course of my career and while some have been very attractive young women (who no doubt charge accordingly), many are not, to the point where you’d wonder how on earth they made a living in the sex trade. I’ve met some who are just plain ugly, others who have no concept of personal hygiene and more than a few with oozing, stinking abscesses where they’ve injected drugs over and over again, even into the abscess itself, but they’ll have sex with a guy to get their next fix – and there is always some guy willing to trade sex for fix (a baggie of heroin being only a tenner or so, locally).
    I also cannot think of a single one who didn’t either have a drug/alcohol problem or who hadn’t suffered hideous past abuse, whether native or not. It’s very difficult for these women (or men, or trans – because not everyone caught up in the sex trade is biologically female) to leave behind, when it’s coupled with their addictions, mental health issues and frequently, a lack of education/skills that might help them escape to make an ‘honest living’ some other way. It’s a brutal trade.

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