NOTA PARA LOS LECTORES: Hasta ahora siempre he escrito en castellano, sin embargo debido a la cada vez mayor proyección internacional del blog he decidido comenzar a escribir algunas entradas en inglés (las que puedan tener un mayor interés para el público anglosajón). Si veo que la medida tiene buena acogida continuaré con ella, en caso contrario pues nos quedamos como estábamos… espero que no le suponga un perjuicio demasiado grave al público castellanohablante.
“Paying for sex isn't an empty experience if you're paying the right person for sex”
"Prostitution may not work for every man, but it works for him"
This is going to be my first (and I hope not last) post in english. I decided to begin with one of the most notorious johns that has VOLUNTARILY decided to “get out of the closet”: Chester Brown.
But, first of all, I think that it’s necessary a brief explanation about what is this blog, who I am and why I’m writing about Mr. Brown for all those folks that arrive to this page and don’t understand a sh*t of Spanish. I’m “Cliente X”, a spanish john that wants to show the reality of prostitution beyond the myths and stereotypes that people have in their mind. As Chester and many other johns, I had many fears and wrong ideas about the phenomenon of prostitution that I only managed to overcome after meeting many (and man, they were really many… I mean HUNDREDS) prostitutes and other people related with them. I also investigated and read a lot of books, articles and informs about it. The more I were knowing about prostitution, the more astonished I was about the huge lies media, feminists and politicians were telling about it. How could it be possible? Were they idiots? Were they so uninformed? Or… had they any interest that we don’t know? Well, all to it’s time, children. I’m not going to summarize all the blog in just one post. For now I just will say that, like Chester, I think that "Government has never worked in the interest of the prostitutes". Opinion that is shared by the own prostitutes, like Pye Jakobsson.
Prejudices and stereotypes really harm prostitution. One of the things I found funnier was how surprised Chet and his friends were when they found that (certain) prostitutes were so good-looking. Some people, even recognizing that they haven't met any prostitute or john, think that prostitutes must be finished junkies, that johns are aggressive rapists (like Chester’s ex gf) and that pimps force the girls to “sell her body”. Evidences show the opposite, but it’s impossible to convince with proofs people that are already convinced without proofs.
What means the heading of this post? “Puteros de renombre” could be roughly translated as “famous johns” and in this series I’ve written about personalities as Silvio Berlusconi, John Profumo, Hugh Grant and others (maybe you won’t have heard of the others because they are Spanish public personalities, well-known here but not abroad). I know, there are many left like Strauss-Kahn, Tiger Woods or Eliot Spitzer… just give me time. I’m doing all this by myself and to write a decent blog is a really time-consuming hobby.
I have chosen Chester Brown this time due the high notoriety he has recently reached with his book “Paying for it”, in which he confess to have paid for sex along several years. Also he shows the reasons he had to do it, what he thought about prostitution in the beginning, what he found and the opinions of his friends about his behavior. It’s really an interesting comic, that you can buy for around 30$ US… (I've also added a free download link, check the bottom of the page). I’d prefer to just give the money to Chester, it’s a pity to pay 30 bucks and that he only gets… how much? 3? What a real scam. I want all my money to go to bitches, I'd prefer to give it to him because I know he’ll know what to do with it… hehe.
Based on his libertarian ideas (he is also candidate of the libertarian party of Canada), he promotes the decriminalization of prostitution arguing that government has no business in the free relations between two persons. Well, I have written pages and pages about this topic and my basic position is that IN THEORY I’d also like it. But as Homer Simpson said once, “you’ve no idea how powerful gov is, it reaches even the president”. This means that, although we don’t like it, public powers are not going to keep their (dirty) hands off this lucrative business. Be realistic, Chester, recognize it: whoring moves A LOT of money. It’s nonsense to think that gov will simply say “ok, do what you want, live your life, peace bro”. Government is here to fu*k our lifes. Franklin was right, there are two inevitable things in this life and no one of them is voluntary: to die and to pay taxes.
The legal status of prostitution is a very controversial thread. At first sight, it’d seem that the best choice would be a total absence of any legal framework, that no regulation is needed. That’s idealistic: public intervention is as catastrophes, inevitable. So we must try, as a catastrophe, to reduce it to its minimum expression. Of course that “any government scheme to license sex would be evil". I can’t discuss that. But what we are talking about is the GRADE OF EVIL we want: a limited government means less evil and an omnipotent government a lot of evil. Moreover, legal recognition of prostitution could help us to achieve a “social normalization” of it, as has happened with homosexuality or racism: legal changes can help social changes.
So I defend a more pragmatic solution. Ok, deal, you win (the gov). Regulate it. Use your COACTIVE power to assure public order limiting places and hours where prostitution can be practiced. FORCE prostitutes to pass regular sanitary controls. CLAIM a percentage or a flat tax of their earnings. BUT, and this is the important thing, do JUST AND JUST what laws allow you. Don’t ask for a single cent more. This is the kind of regulation I’m fighting for. Not a regulation of prostitution in the strict sense, but a regulation of the public powers.
Because if there isn’t a formal regulation, what do you think? That the authorities will simply cross their arms and will do nothing? You are very wrong. If the administration is not authorized to act legally… it will act illegally. Simple. Alternative to regulation is not deregulation. With no laws to hold the public administration what we will have is a runaway Leviathan. Well, I don’t know how is in Canada, but in Spain is the way things work. In fact I use to say that more than defending prostitution what I’m for is the “State of Right” (Estado de Derecho). In the Anglo-Saxon world they use the expression “Rule of Law” (translated here “Imperio de la Ley”), but means the same: that even the public powers are subject to laws.
SPOILER ALERT: FROM HERE I WILL WRITE ABOUT THE BOOK
In the introduction, Brown explains the legal situation of whoring at Canada: only “outcall” prostitution was legal (escorts, agencies that go where the customer is), both “incall” (brothels, saunas, massage parlors, apartments, etc) prostitution and street walkers were outlawed. But he could find with no difficulty those incall places… don’t you think that police must know them very well? And why they keep those places running? Oh, of course I’m not trying to suggest ANYTHING, they are just… INNOCENT QUESTIONS.
Brown is a clear example of what I’ve sustained that is the main benefit of prostitution: THE CHANGE OF MENTALITY IT PRODUCES. What I’m speaking about? If you have read the book, probably you had noticed that Chester is way too different from the other characters (his friends and ex gfs). He is a guy extremely judicious, quiet, tolerant… He had that temper since the beginning, although as he said he has changed a lot in the last years of his life. Prostitution, at least for me, has been very positive. They key of prostitution is not money for sex, but promiscuity. And promiscuity makes you to reconsider all the old teaching you learned, what Chester call the “romantic love” and “possessive monogamy”. You get FREEDOM. You stop from being obsessed with sex, it’s importance is made relative. Our society teaches us to be very possessive and jealous, but if you really think about it, it’s a complete irrational behavior. So prostitution is perfect for those free spirits not lied to somebody: guys who aren’t jealous, that like freedom (both from them and their partners) and that don’t feel bad for being with other promiscuous persons. Brown was this kind of person before becoming a john, and when he found this space of freedom he loved it. I wasn’t. But thanks to it I began to change and now my way of thinking is very similar to Chester’s: what if your gf fucks with other? She fucked with others before and will fuck with others in the future. You don’t own her. Live and let live. So, for me, a prostitute is just a temporal girlfriend: I’m with her the same way I’m with any other girl.
Defense Chester does of prostitution is based in true libertarian values. As owners of our body we can make with it what we want. He thinks that only having sex for love is a LIMITATION, it’s ok if anyone wants it but there are other possibilities. Problems come when other tell us that the ONLY right way to have sex is under the “romantic love/possessive monogamy” scheme. Later we realized that “romantic love is a bullshit” and that “natural behaviors” are really learned. If we can have more than one friend, why not no have more than a sex partner?
What it’s more important for me in any relation (lasts 1 hour or 1 year) is confidence. To trust and to be trusted. I don’t like scams, fights or any trouble. And that can happen either in a conventional relationship or with a prostitute. But with the paid sex you can diminish the risk. To start, you quit completely all those “possessive feelings” so common in usual relations. When I see a prostitute I know with another guy I don’t get jealous… I’m happy for her because she is getting what she wants. Difference between the “romantic love” and the “amoral love” (to call it in some way) is that the first one is selfish and destructive: you want the satisfaction of your own necessities and you don’t mind about you partner, even being able to force her (or him) to do something against her/his will. I think that’s horrible. When I love a person, I want the best for her/him: so if her/his decision it’s apparently against my own interests, it’s ok because is her/his choice. To say it in fewer words, first kind of love it’s based in force and coaction, second one in freedom and voluntary agreement. It’s clear what I prefer: love is as the market, the more free the better.
Overall, I find Brown’s work really illustrative about how is prostitution in reality. I’m not discovering anything new with it, but it shows clearly that there are so many myths about prostitution in general and johns in particular that must be fought. From his book you can appreciate how REALLY are relations prostitute-john: respectful and pleasing for both sides. He shows that johns are usually more frightened than them, that there is no correlation between prize and service or beauty of the girl, that who sets the rules are them, and that johns usually are very worried about the situation of the girls. I’ve said many times that we could be a potentially very important ally against mafias, we could know who girls are coerced and how those criminal organizations work. Why then the tendency is to punish the johns? Because some of us know too well the delinquents…
We, Johns, are seen as very undesirable persons. And we don`t need to do anything, our condition IMPLIES that we MUST not be as normal as everyone. Just like an homosexual, a jew or an AIDS infected: they could be your neighbors, nice persons, even your friends… until someday you discover his secret… and then all changes. WHY? That’s RIDICULOUS! Man, I’m the same! You friend since years! Nothing to do. Some people prefer to believe on the “atypical examples” shown in the media that their own eyes. My experience is like Edith, a sex worker that said Chester that "Only about two percent of the clients are bad, the rest are nice".
In fact, those who are against prostitution are those who ignore how prostitution is in reality. For example, Seth is the archetype of what a “bad john” would be: he says that Chester doesn’t need to speak with the girls because prostitutes are to fuck, not to speak with. Or that a relation with them MUST BE cold and impersonal. Many people is incapable to assume that a whore can give you the same that a girlfriend. All that is said about ho’s is to avoid accepting them as persons like us: that they are cold, that they have pimps, that they are ill… all FALSE, but it’s a discourse that justifies the situation of social marginalization and legal prosecution they suffer.
Chester shows that his sexual life has never been so satisfactory, and he had three girlfriends (I also had several gfs before, and while, going to prostitutes). Another myth broken, that romantic sex is better. No one is better per se, difference is in the person. A prostitute can be so good or bad as a gf (well, I think never so bad…). Who says that prostitutes must obey and do whatever we want? The chapters of Hillary and Beatrice show that THEY and no us are the ones who establish the rules... our "power" is that we can choose to come back or not. Other things you can see in the comic is that girls are usually comfortable in their flats while they wait clients (one negative thing is that they don’t keep in trim because of staying so many time at home… but that problem is applicable to anyone who works in a sedentary occupation). Or that money paid is money lost. No refund. If you don’t like the girl your option it’s simple, don’t repeat anymore… and you can even stop in the middle of the session. If the girl does this then she may offer to give your money back (part of it, at least). But if you are the one who decide to end, it’s your loss. Some girls work this way, because the high number of johns. But as bad clients, bad whores are the exception. Btw, it’s wise to have an excuse in case you can’t finish with the girl… Chester has one, hehe.
Which are the principal concerns of the girls? One of the main problems, and Chester reflects it, is the social stigma that forces many of them to separate his personal and professional life. This is especially true in the case of the high class prostitutes or “escorts”, the girls Chester was visiting. They know that if they were discovered their world would collapse. And this is also one of the reasons of the high prevalence of migrant prostitutes: they are not only looking for a place where they can earn enough money, but also leaving their country they are protecting their anonymity. Other is police raids, “escorts” have no problem with this but for streetwalkers it’s a real threat (watch the interview with Deborah from Miami). Usually policemen let girls work because they make an “agreement”… you know… but when they are asked for arrests they must fulfill the quota and they go for them (watch Sonia Sanchez’s testimony). Finally, contrary to popular belief, venereal diseases don’t worry them especially. Some of them are certainly strict in use of condom, but as Chester confesses at least three of them were ready to “BBBJ” him. I’ve found that you can get condomless sex with relative ease, if you are clean and nice. In all my whole life as a john I was infected just once, here in Spain controls are mandatory (not by law, but de facto) and prevalence of STDs is really minimal in prostitutes.
Prejudices are stronger than any evidence, as the cartoonist Johnny Ryan shows here. Brown can oppose a wide (although in my opinion, kinda limited) experience. But at least he is speaking about REAL FACTS and about what he really lived. That’s not an obstacle for the fundamentalists of the evils of prostitution, things must be as they think regardless the proofs we put over the table. They act like the Islamic integrists, can we convince or at least reason with those fanatics? No, is not possible. You can see the comic in full size clicking on it. My opinion is that Ryan is reflecting here what he'd like to do with streetwalkers.
Of course I have some critics. First of all, he has limited his experiences to indoor prostitution. My firsts times were also in flats, but in my opinion is a way too shallow to know prostitution. You see the girls too few time and you don’t get real confidence. You need to go to clubs and streets to compare. It’s necessary to know what I call “the environment”: bosses, madams, waiters, policemen-pimps, boyfriends, “cousins” (old prostitutes that protect girls from pimps), friends, cleaners, sellers, familiars, social workers, journalists, lawyers… and, of course, another johns.
Other complain I have is about his initial insecurity. He has many mistakes of a true beginner. A “noob” as americans say. You aren't a john simply "paying for sex", a real john HAS AN ATTITUDE. He likes bitches, is a whoremonger. But Chester has many fears (to get robbed or doped, to pimps, to condomless sex...) and often he finds that when he calls he is duped… what a notice, this trick is as old as to shit. Also he was used to give tips and that is not an usual practice (some of the girls even say him that). For me, Chester is a LOW LEVEL JOHN. Some of the lacks I've found are: he just knows one typology of prostitution (or two if we split “incalls” and “outcalls”), goes only with expensive escorts, never has been arrested, has never fucked a girl he really disliked or he wasn’t able to establish a deep friendship with any girl (but the last one)… As everything in life, one learns when in troubles and it looks Chester had very few. Anyway he managed to overcome that insecurity, to the point that he wrote and published a book telling everyone that he is a john a he doesn’t regret for it. So now it’s a valiant. And I admire him for that.
GET "PAYING FOR IT" NOW!
· You can buy Chester's new book at "El Corte Inglés" (a big mall typical spanish)
· Or download it freely and immediately (to read it you need a program like CDisplay)
I'm sincerely grateful to Chester Brown for his excellent work. I encourage all of you to buy his book, but I have added the free link to let you read the book before buying it.