Sex And Conservative American Attitudes
I was talking to a group of women at a shelter, recently about the Sex Positive Movement and was shocked that almost all of them felt certain that online sex, pornography, and prostitution were without question, shameful. They also did not seem to understand that the Sex Positive Movement is an extension of the Gay Rights Movement and having a healthy attitude, in general about sex. I was disappointed to hear that most of them found there to be no argument on these points:
1. All Prostitution involves perversity, exploitation, drug abuse, and oppression.
2. Two adults consenting to sex online or involving escorting or prostitution always sends the message to people indulging in child pornography that what they do is good.
3. Any kind of sex whether for money or otherwise is shameful unless you are married and expect to have children.
4. Sex workers are a direct threat to the institution of marriage, and thus, sex workers should be treated as criminals.
These attitudes are considered to be outdated by a lot of the intelligent Sex Positive community, and the reason is because they are false. There is no proof that Prostitution always oppresses women. Often, Escorts or Prostitutes have healthy sexual experiences with their clients that involve intelligent conversations with bright men and women who enjoy each other, mutually. The pay is often quite high for some, and that makes the experience enjoyable, as well. I will state, again, too that oppression is not found within the community of Escorts and Prostitutes but comes from outside and the bulk of it comes from various religious groups who presume this. When I speak to women who have maintained that Sex Work always oppresses women, I notice that these same women tend to be controlling, manipulative, and sometimes, even coercive. In order for them to feel good about themselves, they will try to steer women in their direction, and this direction often involves a mindset that includes religious transformation, a belief that sex is only allowed in the dyad that includes marriage and children, and that coveting someone else’s partner is always wrong. These women are not concerned with my desire to think independently and to challenge these assumptions. They are more interested in my capitulation and in me ignoring my own beliefs, simply because they do not jibe with their world view. The huge problem with this is that it represents a different kind of oppression at the hands of people who profess to be concerned about women’s rights. Well, I am 44 years of age, and as an adult, not only do I get to disagree with your views, but I can also act on my beliefs. I am not required to follow your beliefs, and I find it presumptuous of you to try to convince me to. Not only is it offensive, but it is immature. Old school Feminists seem to be assuming a, “daddy role.” If you want to talk consent, well, I did not consent to be converted to your way of thinking or to your dominance. Old school Feminists patronize other women when they insist there is only one way to view sex. This further oppresses women as we remain subservient to the patriarchal system we strongly reject.
As for the assertion one woman made to me that I am sending a tacit message to child pornographers that it is all right to have sex with children, that leap amounts to a spurious connection of epic proportions. There is no proof of this insane and ridiculous nonsense. I strongly reject this idiocy. You cannot make outlandish statements about anything and claim it as gospel. You need to be able to prove such things, and I would be hard pressed to find anyone in this country to use the Justice System to find any two or more adults engaging in sex to be promoting child molestation or child abuse. Sex between consenting adults is not directly connected to child abuse. What is abusive is to teach children that they should feel ashamed of their bodies, sex in general, or masturbation. Shaming and verbal stoning in the name of your extremely religious, excessively moral, outdated attitudes about sex is far more abusive than sex in itself and has nothing to do with anything good. Keep in mind, wars have been waged in the name of god, so if you think that religion is healthy for you, I beg to differ. Religion has motivated many people to hate, abuse people, and oppress people. Religion has done a lot of harm, especially to those of us who simply believe that we can choose for ourselves how we live.
Furthermore, Sex Workers are not a direct threat to the institution of marriage. Adult men and women who choose to engage in sex with one another make those decisions based upon where their relationship is going. If an adult is unhappy in his or her relationship and feels as if he has exhausted all means of repairing it, he or she may decide to cheat or hire a Sex Worker. These things happen over the course of one’s lifetime, because life changes people. People do not always feel the same way they did when they first got married, entered into a relationship, and if the people involved in the relationship are unable to compromise or come to an agreement that will keep them together, then the relationship may dissolve. It happens in the way time heals wounds, people evolve, and situations change. It is influenced by many things, and when it happens, it means that you may not be able to stay together. Some couples, though choose a more mature approach. Many couples adapt by becoming polyamorous, instead. I like this approach, because it feels more flexible and tolerant.
The key to tolerance is being able to understand differences in opinion, belief systems, and political ideologies. My open mindedness represents what I believe to be a more mature philosophy about sex and relationships. What I am not intending to do, though, is to make you feel as if you need to accept only my way of thinking. I am challenging those whom I feel only present a rigid, extremely moral, religious option that I cannot espouse based on my reading, education, and years on this planet.