So, if it’s wrong to pay money for sex, then why isn’t it wrong to receive money for sex? That’s an excellent point made by a good friend of mine and it’s a point rarely ever discussed by feminists. Feminists typically focus on the dehumanization of the prostitute and her exploitation by men who pay her for her services and who view her as an object of sexuality. Rarely is the inverse discussed. Is not the john exploited? Is he not dehumanized and seen only as an object of utility? Whether a person is viewed as an object of utility or as an object of sexuality, it makes no difference. Both persons are made objects and the fullness of their humanity is not realized and experienced.
I recall a discussion with an anarcha-feminist who was also a high-class hooker. She said there is no objective difference between a back massage and a penis massage. The only difference was one of subjective social stigma. That’s a fine and valid point. However, when the boyfriend buys the engagement ring, several months worth of dinner and drinks, flowers, and all that other romantic bullshit, the underlying business transaction is obfuscated from the relationship by psychological dependency, self-deception, tradition, and other sorts of social constructs that prevent both parties involved from ever acting in “Good Faith,” as Sartre would call it.
For Sartre, it’s all about the responsibility to strike a balance between the oscillations of the facticity of the underlying transactional nature and the transcendental nature of love. If the woman focuses on the transcendental nature of love in order to obfuscate the facticity of the transactional nature of the relationship, she is without moral balance between facticity and transcendence. She is deceived, self-deceived, acting in “Bad Faith,” as Sartre would say. How is it that she gets a moral pass? Feminists, traditionalists, and society-in-general give her a moral pass for her moral purity, for focusing on the transcendental notions of romance in order to obfuscate her dehumanization of men as objects of utility. However, the man who focuses on the facticity of transactional sex…he is a pig, a moral pervert and generally despised, shamed, and ridiculed as an exploiter–a degenerate, a predator, a man who reduces women to objects of sexuality. The man and woman are both neglecting their responsibilities to strike a balance between the oscillations of facticity and transcendence. It’s not morally better to be unbalanced one way or the other. This is why I respect the hooker far more than I respect the traditional woman. The hooker acts in “Good Faith.” There is no deception regarding the transaction. Balance is maintained and she does not obfuscate the underlying facticity with some transcendental romantic bullshit.
Why do women get this moral pass? Men. It is because men do not speak up. Men have been conditioned to deny their emotions. Men have been trained to focus on the logical analysis of facticity. Men are trained to “suck it up, Buttercup.” It is women and society-in-general that exploits men as objects of utility, but it is men who allow this to continue. It is men who need to focus on developing their emotional intelligence and become better equipped to balance the facticity of their sexual drives with transcendence of their emotional lives.
Men need to tell their stories. The story of man’s exploitation is muffled by our shame. For men, it is better to be dead than useless. We hide in the facticity of sex to obfuscate the fact that mother/woman only values us insofar as we are useful to her. We are manipulated by the shame of our utility. Our entire identity and meaning is bestowed upon us by mother/woman. We await her approval or disapproval, like a dog awaiting its treat or scolding. For men, this is angst. We are afraid to confront the reality that she doesn’t love us, that she doesn’t value us, that she only values our utility to her. We are afraid of her for what she makes us–her toy, her object of utility. It is men who are dehumanized by women. It is men who are made objects, reduced to things that have done something for her lately. It is her “moral purity” that perpetuates our enslavement to her whims. The depths of her cruelty is matched only by the depths of his cowardice. This is our story. This is our oppression. It is not our privilege.
Listen to a passionate speech by Andrea Dworkin on prostitution. Listen to the passion as she talks about the women who work in prostitution. Put aside logical analysis of the bullshit for a moment and gauge what she says based on her passion. Those kinds of stories are the passionate stories that men must learn to tell about their lived experiences as objects of utility to a woman, to women, and to society-in-general. It’s difficult for men to gain a moral high-ground from statistics alone. Even though 80% of the homeless are men, the statistic doesn’t matter. The statistic makes men a caricature of a number, not a full human being with a lived experience, desperate for love, desperate for dignity, desperate for a meaningful existence that is callously denied to them by women who bestow upon them the title of loser, creep, hobo, scum, and whatever other demeaning and dehumanizing language can be used to shame men for failing to climb the dominance hierarchy, for failing to become satisfactory providers/protectors, for being men. It is time for men to speak, to find their voice, to find their self, their identity and their own meaning.
As men find this voice it is important to remember that one cannot develop a deep understanding of men without simultaneously developing an even deeper compassion for men. Compassion for each other precludes competition against each other and entails cooperation with each other. In the old narrative told about men there is much misunderstanding, callousness, and competition. The new narrative that we must develop is one of understanding, compassion, and cooperation. We are no longer like the brothers, Cain and Abel, fighting for divine approval, proving our worth with sacrifices and offerings. We don’t need to sacrifice ourselves as offerings to the divine. We don’t need to prove ourselves worthy. In fact, we don’t need her God Damn approval at all.