Newsweek: “The John Next Door”

Here are some excerpts from an outstanding article in this week’s Newsweek that reports on a new study by Dr. Melissa Farley, director of Prostitution Research and Education:

Farley’s findings suggest that the use of prostitution and pornography may cause men to become more aggressive. Sex buyers in the study used significantly more pornography than nonbuyers, and three quarters of them said they received their sex education from pornography, compared with slightly more than half of the nonbuyers. “Over time, as a result of their prostitution and pornography use, sex buyers reported that their sexual preferences changed and they sought more sadomasochistic and anal sex,” the study reported…

Sex buyers often prefer the license they have with prostitutes. “You’re the boss, the total boss,” said another john. “Even us normal guys want to say something and have it done no questions asked. No ‘I don’t feel like it.’ No ‘I’m tired.’ Unquestionable obedience. I mean that’s powerful. Power is like a drug.”

Many johns view their payment as giving them unfettered permission to degrade and assault women. “You get to treat a ho like a ho,” one john said. “You can find a ho for any type of need—slapping, choking, aggressive sex beyond what your girlfriend will do.”

…johns prefer to view prostitutes as loving sex and enjoying their customers. “The sex buyers were way off in their estimates of the women’s feelings,” Farley reports. “In reality, the bottom line is that prostituted women are not enjoying sex, and the longer she’s in it, the less she enjoys sex acts—even in her real life, because she has to shut down in order to perform sex acts with 10 strangers a day, and she can’t turn it back on. What happens is called somatic dissociation; this also happens to incest survivors and people who are tortured.”

… Clearly worried about growing social pressure, the [Village] Voice attacked the antitrafficking campaign last month, charging that it has exaggerated the extent of the problem. The most common estimates, oft-repeated by major media, suggest that 100,000 to 300,000 children are trafficked in the United States every year. The Voice reported that this statistic identifies children at risk and claimed that the number of those who are actually trafficked is only a fraction of those figures. But the Voice’s calculations were promptly dismissed as unreliable…

Click for the full article

See also:

Vanity Fair: “Sex Trafficking of Americans: The Girls Next Door”
We’re glad to see this impressive 5/24/11 article is the most popular at today. Among other things, it notes how escort ads in The Hartford Advocate facilitate prostitution. As Northampton honors the abolitionist and feminist legacy of Sojourner Truth this weekend, perhaps our local Valley Advocate will take a long, hard look in the mirror.

NOMAS: “Does Consensual Prostitution Exist?”

New Report: “Targeting the Sex Buyer – The Swedish Example: Stopping Prostitution and Trafficking Where It All Begins”

Guardian: “Why men use prostitutes” “‘John schools’ try to change attitudes about paid sex”

Escort Prostitution: A Response to Tom Vannah, Editor of the Valley Advocate

Abolishing Prostitution: The Swedish Solution – An Interview with Gunilla Ekberg by the Rain and Thunder Collective