Andrew Carnegie once said that “He that can not reason is a fool. He that will not is a bigot. He that dare not is a slave.” I was watching a nineteen ninety six film called The People Versus Larry Flynt. It stars Woody Harrelson as Larry Flynt, the owner of Hostler magazine, dozens of others and owner of about half the internet. If it is porn he likely has a finger in it somewhere – if you see what I mean. Edward Norton stars as his long suffering lawyer and friend, and Courtney Love as his wife. If you have never seen it, you should. It is a damn good film and my goodness it got me thinking about a whole range of topics. But mainly the strange attitudes and laws around sex. In Spain, where I am mainly based, the law is not an issue. Consenting adults can get on with whatever sex they want, money or not. But moral judgements, that is different. Hijo de puta! (son of a whore) is still a common term of abuse.
So, sex for money. Let us take a bit of a look at it. Halle Berry won an Oscar and got paid for pretending to have sex on camera. Porn stars can have sex on camera and get paid for it. And many of them are celebrated and become famous and write books. But even in Ibiza for a firm like Ally s Angels, escorts cannot get paid to have sex in private where nobody else gets to know about it without either the law or peoples silly unthinking moral judgments potentially slamming down on them. You think slut shaming is a thing? Try being a working escort!
It almost seems that having sex for money is OK only as long as you publicise it and let other people watch. Surely that is not the way it is intended to be? Why is a porn star a star and an escort a social outcast? Surely (except for some people with specialised tastes) sex is a private thing that consenting adults have together? Go to any club and strangers will be having sex outside or in the car park. Or even in the club. And they will never see each other again. And no-one cares. But if one of them has been paid it suddenly becomes wrong and shameful. For the payee, never for the payer. How is that right?