A while back, Maggie McNeill posted about a group called Clients of Sex Workers Allied for Change (CoSWAC) which has a website they hope to use to “dispel myths surrounding participation in paid sex.”
I don’t know if this site will contribute meaningfully to the cause of sex workers’ (and clients’) rights, but one item on the Myths vs. Facts page caught my attention, and I haven’t been able to get it out of my head.
MYTH: Clients are pathetic losers who can’t get dates or sustain meaningful relationships.
CoSWAC responds with these facts:
- Many clients are in relationships, but turn to sex workers to address unmet needs.
- Some sex workers specialize in addressing the needs of disabled clients.
- Sex work clients have diverse and complex reasons for retaining the services of sex workers.
I’m sure those facts are a reasonable response, and I understand why CoSWAC used them, but someone needs to address the motives of the people promoting this myth. People who say things like this aren’t just making an academic observation; they’re arguing that sex work should be (or remain) outlawed because of these kinds of clients. And that’s an ugly argument. Because even if the myth were true, so what?
Why should it matter that some clients are “pathetic losers who can’t get dates or sustain meaningful relationships”? Does that mean they should never have sex? That they should never experience pleasurable physical intimacy, never touch a woman, because they lack the confidence or charisma to charm a woman into bed? Keeping them from hiring sex workers isn’t protecting women from predators. It’s just sentencing people with personality disorders to a life without intimacy. It’s just cruel.