A sex worker is, by definition, there to be the fantasy of the client. You do not have to pay bills or wash dishes together or even ensure her sexual satisfaction. She (or he) is there for your pleasure for the time contracted. I have heard some sex workers say that they won’t book dates for longer than a weekend (even though they could make a lot of money traveling with a client or spending an extended period with them) because it’s too demanding to be “the fantasy” for that long.

You’ve described yourself as a happily married man, so you already know this — having a real life, long term relationship requires give and take. It requires compromise and a commitment to the strength and health of the union, not just to your own needs/desires or even those of your partner. A sex worker doesn’t have to do that.

It can be difficult to ascertain intention between strangers, in writing. However, your response does seem to indicate that you believe that sex workers are better, more fun, easier to be around, in some way than “real” women without acknowledging the reasons that might be so. Maybe it’s just a miscommunication, but it did come off a bit that way. And since there is a very palpable under-current (from actual individual men, but also from media and the way women are socialized) that tells women that they exist for the pleasure and enjoyment of men, hearing a man say something which seems to be agreeing with this would be highly rankling to me, and to a lot of other women as well. I think this is what happened in this particular instance.

Here’s a very good article about what constitutes “the male gaze” in cinema and how that translates out into the world and reinforces this notion. In another article of mine, I discussed how I was in college before I began to understand and deconstruct this paradigm in my own life.

“I’ve been angry at the books, movies, and societal norms that had me unconsciously believing for too many years that men were people; people with important missions, ideas, and strengths, but that women were only antecedents of that, to be either overcome or won as a prize. I may have been in college before I completely dismantled that internalized belief that women primarily exist in relationship to the men around them.

“In the male gaze, woman is visually positioned as an “object” of heterosexual male desire. Her feelings, thoughts and her own sexual drives are less important than her being “framed” by male desire.”

Sorry there is so much here to read, but I’ve tried to pull out the most relevant aspects so that if you don’t have time or inclination to read all if it, you can still get the gist.

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Dispelling cultural myths with research-driven stories. My favorite word is “specious.” Not fragile like a flower; fragile like a bomb! Twitter @ElleBeau

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