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An unexpected and refreshing slant on prostitution this week from Minette Marrin
"There is nothing quite so enjoyable in public life as seeing the biter bit, especially when the biter is such an unpleasant, cold-eyed, sharp-toothed, grinning crocodile of a hypocrite as Governor Eliot Spitzer of New York. However, schadenfreude is often tainted with the hypocrisy it sneers at, and I think there has been a lot of hypocrisy in the public response to this delightful scandal, on both sides of the Atlantic.
"Countless people have said in print, on air or in blogs that they cannot begin to understand why Eliot Spitzer would want to visit a prostitute. One well-known American commentator expressed the standard view when she said she was mystified, as Spitzer appears to have no "sexual problems". His wife of 20 years is a pretty and clever woman, so what on earth is wrong with the man? All this reminded me more than once of the notorious comments of the judge in Jeffrey Archer's libel case, who invited the jury to wonder why any man would need to resort to a low-class tart in a Paddington hotel when married to someone so frightfully fragrant as Lady Archer.
"A British judge, I suppose, might just conceivably be unable to understand that sexual desires do not always follow the most respectable paths, and lawful fragrance is not always what a man wants. It is surprising though, given that judges, too, occasionally err and stray. There was a law officer a few years ago who preferred the disease-ridden streetwalkers of King's Cross not only to his wife, but also to the prettier, healthier girls at the top end of the market. But most people know that sex is a powerful and anarchic drive, particularly among men. The idea that there is something wrong with any man who wants sex with prostitutes or that there must be something intolerable about his marriage, is just infantile. There is no mystery about why normal men go to prostitutes.
"If you look at the question without the blinkers of morality, it must first of all be obvious that prostitutes vary. Many of them, like the 22-year-old who serviced Eliot Spitzer, are gorgeous. The poor abused young addicts of the streets are as different from high-class hookers as the average wife is different from Marilyn Monroe. Many prostitutes are extremely attractive; I've met quite a few and they are good company as well. They make their money by being charming, entertaining and flattering, unlike her indoors. Quite a few are well educated. There is nothing abnormal or disgusting about desiring such a girl, adulterous though it might be.
"I lived in my early twenties in Hong Kong for five years, and was at first rather shocked when business colleagues of my husband's, visiting from London, asked almost as soon as they got off the plane for directions to the red-light district. Soon I realised that almost every one of our many visitors, happily married or not, was determined to find a hooker. These were normal, youngish, attractive men, many of them devoted to their families. The Far East, like London today, was awash with beautiful and clever girls for hire; in most of the world, for most of history, that has been normal.
"Right up and down the scale, a man can rent a girl a great deal better and more cooperative than the woman he lives with. She will be probably be much more sexually experienced and more accomplished than most wives too. In plain English, or so I am told by perfectly nice men, prostitutes tend to be better at it. They tend to be younger and more energetic. They are also prepared to do things which her indoors might draw the line at. Some prostitutes provide tender loving care, too; the famous madam Cynthia Payne provided her suburban clients with comfort food after the act in the form of poached eggs on toast.
"The other awkward fact, which most people must know, but somehow prefer to ignore, is that men often prefer sex without a relationship. Perhaps that is wrong of them, but one must concede that relationships can be wearing, particularly marriage, and sometimes a man just wants time out, and sex without strings is clearly a source of great pleasure, at least for men. If you were an evolutionary biologist you might argue that unfettered sex is entirely natural to men. One might at least agree that hogamous higamous, man seems to be a bit polygamous.
"If so, prostitutes have an invaluable function - meeting such inconvenient needs without undermining the institutions of marriage and family. In my view a man - even a man like Eliot Spitzer - may be doing a far better thing in using prostitutes than in having torrid affairs with his wife's best friends. It is far less threatening to the marriage - so it's odd that people reserve their strongest disapproval for sex without strings."
Read the rest of this article here.

The GOS says: Not sure I go along with everything here. For instance I wonder how these philandering men would feel if their wives adopted the same attitude?
BUT it has always puzzled me that we are so quick to condemn the idea that someone might use his or her body and its functions as a means to make money.
There's something very illogical about it. It's OK for a masseur or masseuse to offer pleasurable physical contact for money, but not for a prostitute to do the same? Two inches below the belly-button is therapy, but four inches below is a filthy, degrading sin?
Sorry, I don't get it.


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