Prostitutes Are The New Therapists

Hookers are everywhere these days: on the cover of the cover of the Post, in a special Diane Sawyer boasts, you find prostitutes here and there, you can find prostitutes anywhere! But seriously, folks, the nerds over at the New York Times' Freakonomics blog have an interview with two sex workers, Mindy and Dorothy, who answer readers' burning questions about what it's really like to be a prostitute. High or low end, they're all in cahoots with the coppers and they think legalization is ultimately bad for prostitutes because "they will just get exploited. They'll get paid a lot less and be forced to do a lot more." But the most interesting part is that both Mindy and Dorothy think "much of prostitution work is about therapy."

Mindy continues, "These men who paid me thousands of dollars control their worlds. Everyone listens to them. And, at the same time, they are incredibly insecure people. Every man I've had as a regular client went through a period of several months where he just cried — and I still got paid."

Over at the Village Voice, anal sex enthusiast and noted sex writer Tristan Taormino only partially agrees with Mindy. In her "Pucker Up" column, Taormino interviews sex workers rights advocate and journalist Melissa Gira Grant, who says "Some men go to sex workers for closeness and intimacy—they want to cuddle, and that's what they are not getting at home. But for others, it's not emotionally therapeutic at all, it's the same as getting a deep sports massage."

Um, I don't want my boyfriend getting any "deep sports massages!!" Taormino argues that we "need to see sex workers as people performing needed sexual services in our society." Theoretically, I agree with her (and so do many others) — that a consenting adult who wants to sell their sexual services should be allowed to. But in practice prostitution seems like the ultimate in objectification, and most of the women who do it seem to be using it as a last monetary resort, not as a fulfillment of their own kinks. Should sexual healing be one of the benefits covered by your health insurance?

Your Sex Industry Questions Answered [New York Times]
In (Partial) Defense of Eliot Spitzer [Village Voice]

Earlier: Really, Eliot? You Interfaced With This?
Young Beauty Sells Her Body, Breaks Our Hearts
Tristan Taormino: Porn Is As Cerebral As It Is Visceral