An exchange on the Guardian weblog regarding the recent Belle de Jour controversy:
Could you (…) explain why you believe prostitution to be “wrong”? I could understand adjectives such as “dangerous” or “risky”, but since BdJ was harming no-one else, what’s “wrong” about the job she did?
I believe it is wrong to have sex for money precisely because it is not a job. It is not a choice. Even the good doctor was forced into it by desperation (she wasn’t really forced, but depression lowers your self-control because your mind is working on other material).
The whole relation is one of exploitation, contrary to the spin anyone might give it. Why does the good doctor not get back to it, if it is just some lifestyle choice?
Why else do I think it’s wrong? Because it does hurt someone. It hurts everyone involved. The people that indulge in this activity are all depressed. Nobody normal just wants to pay for it. Nobody normal wants to just be used like that, or use someone like that. Strangers can’t give each other love. No-one can really think of themselves as just a piece of meat for sale, or treat anyone else like that forever – the only people that do this are the investment bankers and businessmen (and gold-diggers), who everyone hates. Think about your other personal relationships that don’t involve sex. It is against everything human.
And that is the attraction of it to the people that won’t let themselves be seen as ‘moralistic’ or ‘judgemental’ – it seems like it’s a rebellion against society and culture and everything. But it is a false rebellion. It has no meaning. It is nothing.
People are so cynical nowadays. They think that love doesn’t exist, because they have never let themselves experience it. We like to think that there is nothing but the cash nexus, but there is something else.
Perhaps I am too idealistic, but that is how I see it.