You live in a great land of assumptions, with no substantiation for the bulk of it. Where is your support for this particularly delusional one? “And aren’t judged nearly as harshly as men are for simply paying for it.” All forms of female sexuality are harshly judged. Women are supposed to be sexy (for the male gaze) but not sexual. They are expected to be a lady on the streets but a freak in the sheets — but only for the benefit of her husband/boyfriend. If this were not true, words like slut would not even exist.

Both strippers and female sex workers are treated as trashy bimbos who deserve little respect. And yet strip clubs are ubiquitous because the sheer volume of men who want to go to them creates a demand, from the guy on a business trip to the biker, it’s considered a man’s right to go see some tits and ass, but the women is treated as the lowest kind of human.

“The plight of American prostitutes is so bad that in 2013 more prostitutes were murdered in the U.S. than anywhere else in the world. So far this year more than 40 prostitutes have been murdered in America.

But prostitutes aren’t just in danger from clients but also those entrusted to keep the population safe from violence. According to SWOP, “in rape cases involving Chicago street prostitutes, 25 percent of prostitutes identified the rapist as a police officer.”

Conversely, the Gigolos show portrayed the men as kindly studs, happy to help out women going through a bad divorce or otherwise in need of a positive boyfriend experience. To some extent, that is what all good professional sex workers do, but the point of view of the show was very much to admire them.

Patriarchal society is to blame for the stigmatization of sex outside of marriage, and for the particular demonization of paid sex as that prior norm loosened in the 1970s, although it’s really only within the past 100 years or so that men were expected to be monogamous.

As to why you can’t get a gig with Cowboys 4 Angels or set up shop on your own, that’s entirely dependent upon how well you fit the profile to be able to attract clients. Professional escorts, both male and female, have to meet and maintain certain standards of not just physical attractiveness, but professionalism, and understanding of how to be with clients in a manner that is more than just the sexual component.

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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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