Archive for July 20th, 2010

Penis envy? You’re kidding, right? With what I’ve got between my legs, I can get a penis anytime I want one.  –  My friend Liz

Since the beginning of civilization men have been mystified by feminine sexuality; in the earliest times they even considered it magical, tied to the moon and the fertility of the crops, and whores were priestesses.  Then slowly, over time, the reproductive aspects of the mystery faded and with them male reverence for women in general and whores in particular.  The reverence was eventually replaced in many cultures by a resentment of the nigh-uncontrollable power of male desire for women, made all the more bitter by the ease with which women manage our desire for men.  Men in general were (and still are) galled by the fact that no matter how much stronger, tougher, better at mathematics and more inclined to dominate their environments they are than women, when it comes to sex they need us a great deal more than we need them.  So I suppose it’s not surprising that, in the face of this humbling and annoying fact, many of them simply choose to deny it.

It has been an article of faith in the Middle East since Biblical times that the lust of women is stronger than that of men, and that women thus draw men into sin; the widespread interpretation (though certainly not the original meaning) of the story of the Fall is that Eve’s offering Adam the apple is symbolic of her tempting him into carnality, and to this very day Muslim men pontificate from the pulpit (and on the internet) about the greater lustfulness of women.  The Classical Greek philosophers taught that woman was like an animal always in heat, and the mythology of every part of Eurasia is full of temptresses, seductresses, succubae, enchantresses, whores and other wanton women whose entire reason for existence seems to consist of luring men into sex.  The fact that all of this is observably untrue makes no impression on men who want so badly to believe it, and once Platonic doctrine came to dominate Western thought around the beginning of the modern era, even reasonable men could be convinced; Plato taught that since the senses are fallible, the observation of reality leads inevitably to error and thus only pure thought is reliable.  In simpler terms, the Platonists believed that no matter how it LOOKED like women, planets, ballistic missiles or anything else were acting, they were really doing something else which could only be “discovered” through philosophical contemplation.  This of course conveniently meant that philosophers, scholars and priests could say whatever they wanted about female behavior and motives, and it would always be right even if women didn’t actually behave that way.

In combination with the Madonna/whore duality this was devastating to any kind of male comprehension of female sexuality, and even after the Renaissance replaced the Platonic principle with the scientific one men still seemed unwilling to give up their cherished beliefs; in the Age of Reason even the existence of God was questioned, but the doctrine of the wanton woman was not.  In fact, the division of womankind into the pure and the purulent became even more severe; during the 17th century witchcraft hysteria many thousands of women who were judged “bad” in one way or another (including, of course, many prostitutes and other “loose” women) were tortured or burned to death all over Europe.  And though this bloody horror eventually spent itself, the doctrine which had helped spawn it only grew worse; by the middle of the 19th century the general consensus among learned men was that “normal” women had no sex drive whatsoever, and that any woman who did was an atavism, a primitive and uncivilized beast in human form.  Is it any wonder Freud, reared on this poison, came to the rather strange conclusions he did about female sexuality?

But whatever Freud’s shortcomings, he had opened the door to the study of the mind, and by the middle of the 20th century understanding finally began to dawn in the minds of those men brave enough to look at the subject honestly.  Old preconceptions were, at least among sexologists, cast aside and replaced with conclusions drawn from actual study of the behavior of real women viewed without a filter of dogma.  The “sexual revolution” of the 1960s accelerated the inquiry, and the new climate of sexual openness resulted in a veritable avalanche of articles and books, including many for the lay reader.  The new “men’s magazines” featured explicit discussion of sex, and by the early 1970s even pornography came out of the closet and became more acceptable to the general public.

And that, unfortunately, was where things started to go wrong again.  Porn and girlie magazines are commercial enterprises; they must sell in order to turn a profit, and they must please their customers in order to sell.  And since the overwhelming majority of those who purchase porn are male, it should come as no surprise that the product which sells best is that which appeals most strongly to male fantasies…especially our old bugaboo, the wanton woman with the uncontrollable hunger for sex.  This strange creature infests porn to the virtual exclusion of all other female imagery, and as a result an entire generation of young men has come of age believing the same thing as their ancestors did for the past several millennia, that many if not most women are really sex-starved no matter what we pretend in public.  Nor have the feminists helped in this regard; the “pro-sex” feminists, in their headlong rush to eradicate any and every distinction between the sexes, encourage young women to seek out casual sex as men do whether they actually want it or not, and the neofeminists’ insistence on interpreting any and every male behavior as symptomatic of “patriarchal oppression” results in their attacking porn, prostitution, stripping and any other service which caters to men’s sexual needs as vehemently as any 19th century “purity” crusader ever did.  So, the “pro-sex” feminists unwittingly reinforce the age-old fallacy of the “lustful woman,” while the neofeminists screech that any heterosexual act which is initiated by the man or even pleases him is somehow “demeaning” to all women.  I’m not even going to try to discuss what impact all these contradictory messages have on society at large; even considering it makes my head hurt.  But what I can do is to tell you a little about how this affects working girls and escort service owners.

Every whore who has seen more than one client in her career has encountered the stereotype that we enter this profession because we’re “horny” and “slutty”.  I can’t count the number of times I’ve been asked if I would like to “hang out” (and provide more sex, obviously) with a client after completing a call; this naïve request obviously springs from his belief that I just couldn’t get enough and would therefore be happy to spend my off-time in bed with a stranger.  Others believe the exact opposite, that all whores are “frigid” and our careers are actually quests to find that one man who can arouse us; presumably the money is merely a fringe benefit.  The neofeminists also ignore the commercial gain, and claim that we’re all poor brainwashed victims of the almighty Patriarchy who allow ourselves to be “exploited” because we were “damaged” by childhood sexual abuse; whores who experienced no such abuse are claimed to be “in denial” or suffering from “repressed memories.” And so on, and so on, ad absurdum.

But the strangest symptom of the general ignorance about women’s sexuality is the persistent myth of the female customer, the woman who is so desperate for sex that she’s willing to pay a man for it.  Hollywood loves to perpetuate this one, and not a month passed that I didn’t get a call from some guy who wanted to work as a male escort catering solely to women.  Despite the fact that my ad clearly stated “female escorts,” I always took the time to explain to these fantasy-addled men that the only way for male prostitutes to actually make a living is to see men; I was generally met with incredulity and I’m sure a number of them only called another service after hanging up with me.  They just couldn’t get it through their thick skulls that WOMEN DON’T NEED TO PAY FOR IT.  This obvious fact even seems occasionally to escape the minds of people who should know better, because every so often somebody announces that she’s going to open a brothel or escort service featuring male prostitutes who cater strictly to women.  The service opens to great fanfare, then within a few months either closes or starts accepting male customers.  A friend of mine who owned a male stripper service in addition to his escort service eventually had to stop offering so-called “bachelorette parties” because none of his boys would do them anymore.  The reason they gave?  “Women are lousy tippers and they’re more interested in the buffet than the dancers.”  Even the professional “all male revue” strippers generally travel unless they’re in really big cities, which are also the only places a few male prostitutes who refuse homosexual trade can eke out a living; they profit by the Law of Very Big Numbers, which states that given sufficient opportunity even a rarity becomes a certainty .

Yes, there are a few women out there who will pay for no-strings sex with a man (the gigolo is an entirely different phenomenon because what he sells is the illusion of romance), but unless you live in a place where several million people are crowded together I wish you luck in finding one.  In all the years I owned a service I never once had a serious inquiry for a man from a lone woman, and the other service owners with whom I was friendly had the same experience.  We had drunk coeds calling on dares, crackheads with no money and the occasional psychotic, but no actual customers.  Twice in my career I was hired by a lone married woman seeking a lesbian encounter; couple calls I’ve already discussed at length, and on a few occasions (in several years) we had calls from men who hired other men to screw their wives while they watched.  And that’s it.

Really, how could it be otherwise?  Every attractive woman gets offers all the time, and if she goes into a bar she practically has to beat them off with a stick; even less-attractive girls need only wait around until most of the guys put on their “beer goggles.”  And if even ugly girls can get it for free, why in the world should any woman pay for it other than to experiment or to prove a point (neither of which occurs with remotely the frequency or dependability of the male sexual urge)?  Yet the myth persists, despite its incredibility; now, as for most of human history, many men’s egos are so invested in the idea that women need sex as much or more desperately than they do that they simply cannot bring themselves to acknowledge a fact which should be as obvious as the sun in the sky.

And they say we’re the irrational ones.

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