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The Truth About the Sex Industry

In Sort 320 Dear Jon takes a close look at naked women.

by Dear Jon
October 18, 2005

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The Truth About the Sex Industry
Actual Letter to Dear Jon
 
Dear Jon,
 
Are there really women out there who "aspire" to become Playboy® Centerfolds?
 
Sincerely,
 
Dazed and Confused
 
Dear Daz,
 
Haven't you written to Dear Jon before? If you are dazed and confused, imagine baseball fans on Chicago's north side. The Red Sox last year, and then, to make matters worse, the White Sox this year. It turns out that God only hates everyone living north of the Hancock Building and south of Kenosha.
 
Concerning your question: The surprising answer is that yes, indeed, a nude centerfold in a sexually-oriented publication is the aspiration of some women. In fact, you might even have been within a hundred feet of such women and never known it. The reason you never knew it, of course, is that you were not driving a Ferrari®, nor were you being driven in a limousine.
 
This is not to say that all women who have modeled for sexually-oriented publications had this as a career goal. Nor have all women in the business of hard-core pornography made it a career goal, nor have all women in the enormous international sex trade always aspired to prostitute themselves.
 
In fact, the vast majority of females, many of them minors, caught up in the sale of their bodies for the camera or a pimp or both, have entered the sex trade from a position of vulnerability. Normally the desperation is economic. Occasionally an enterprising female of nihilistic moral persuasion chooses the sex trade as an avenue of income towards other ambitions, such as the cliché about paying one's way through college. Rarely, although they do exist, there will be the woman who is both endowed with physical attributes that cater to a public appeal, and, who suffers from a mental illness disposing her to exhibitionism. Such a woman "aspires" to be a model for a broadly circulated sexually-oriented (albeit "soft-core") magazine.
 
Even more rare is the "nymphomaniac," regardless of what pornographers would have you believe.
 
It is likely that most men will be in the same crowd with a nymphomaniac or an exhibitionist at least once in their lives. The likelihood increases with certain venues. For example, it is least likely in an Amish Sewing Circle. It is fairly likely at 11 PM on Saturday night at a downtown dance club for young singles. The chances that you, Dazed and Confused, will actually get to dance with such a woman, are next to none. These women belong to a different crowd, the "beautiful people," the Paris Hiltons of the world. I, having no credentials or training and who am therefore completely without liability for slander, am personally convinced that Paris Hilton suffers from the mental illness of exhibitionism.
 
At these night clubs you are far more likely to run into several hundred of the more broadly neurotic humanity: Desperately lonely women who have come to the club in groups of 8 similarly neurotic friends, and who for various reasons mostly unconscious to themselves, are too defensive to give you the time of day. The ones that are brave enough to dance with you won't give you their telephone numbers unless it is to a carpet store widely advertised on television. These are the same women who are angry with the world that they are 28 years old and still single. These are the same women who, during the coffee hour in the church basement on Sunday after worship, are always too busy to go out for lunch with you, too. Women like these are why you are 28 years old and single.
 
Another important piece of advice is that one should not confuse the truly ill nymphomaniac with the alcoholic slut. This woman is truly ill also, with alcoholism, but not with nymphomania or exhibitionism. Her frequent sexual liaisons have more to do with her alcoholism than any other genuine desire. I once met what I am sure is the alcoholic kind in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. I pulled myself away by flashing my wedding ring, then rejoined my group of married men and bragged about how I "still got it." One of my friends was kind enough to remind me about how dark it was, and another wondered just how much the woman had been drinking. These are really great guys.
 
For many women, addiction is the path into the sex trade. It may be booze or drugs or both, but they are in deep and they are selling themselves to feed their habits. For a lot of women, mostly internationally, the path into the sex trade is through some kind of deception leading into indentured service, or, it is outright kidnapping.
 
For some women, especially in the developed world, the sex trade is a professional decision (to pay for a desired lifestyle or a desired education) and they set boundaries around it: I will pose sexually but I will not perform sexually; I will strip in a club but not for a camera; I will perform sex on film but not just for any dirty john on the street. Many of these women will deny that they are being exploited. They will have agents. Some may even retain attorneys. However, the incidence of sexual activity or (especially) abuse as minors among women in the sex business is much higher than average.
 
Of all these women in the business, only one or two who end up naked in front of a camera have aspired to be there.
 
Women continue to be exploited, even forced into the sex trade, because of the vast amounts of money that men spend. Men pour money into the sex trade and justify ourselves that those one or two we watch who really want to be watched, actually represent the thousand we have watched. That, fellows, is the most unrealistic fantasy of all.

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Tommy from United States writes:
January 28, 2008
Very good column. Funny,too.

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