People who argue that prostitution would be free of coercion, trafficking, the exploitation of minors – and everything else that prevents it from being some kind of all-above-board consenting-adults-only autonomy party – are people who ignore one vital aspect of prostitutions reality. It is the commercial value of youth.
Just as in some actual industries, like modelling or professional dance, youth is highly prized among attributes. Unlike modelling or dance though, youth in prostitution is prized far above beauty and the fluidity of movement. In order to be most highly in demand in prostitution, you don’t need to be the prettiest flower in the field; you just need to be among the youngest. And what you can or cannot do with your body is irrelevant; it just matters that it hasn’t been on the planet for very long.
One of the commonest questions that comes through on any brothels phone line is ‘What age is the youngest girl you have?’ I could not count the times I have been asked that question, and I defy anybody who has answered a brothels phone to tell the blatant lie that it is not the commonest question they’ve been asked too.
The commercial value of youth is so profoundly built-in to prostitution that women routinely lie about their age in order to generate more business. The clients know this, of course, and even as women are shaving a few years off clients are adding a few on. ‘I’m twenty-six – I’ll tell him I’m twenty-three’ / ‘She’s twenty-three? – that means she’s twenty-six’.
Nobody’s fooling anybody here, and the only thing the whole pathetic charade is any good for is the revealing nature of what’s going on behind the pretence. What it reveals, of course, is that men who buy bodies for sex usually want to buy the youngest body they can find.
Last year it was reported to the BBC that prostitutes as young as thirteen were working the streets in Swindon, in the English county of Wiltshire. “Come here at the weekend and you’ll get 13-year-old girls to 19-year-old girls out here”, one prostitute told reporters.
When I read reports like these I just sigh. It tires me to pre-empt the shock people will express. It tires me to imagine that shock, whether it is genuine or not, because if it is genuine then that proves we have a long way to go in educating people about the reality of prostitution, and if it is not, well then, here is yet more in a tsunami of evidence that there are those who do not want the reality of prostitution understood.
Whenever any evidence of teenaged prostitution is revealed the pro-prostitution lobby move immediately to put forth the preposterous assertion that this town is somehow different or unique. The attitude is always either ‘thirteen-year-olds, good Lord, who ever heard of such a thing?’ – or ‘thirteen-year-olds, good Lord, we could clear up this situation if we legalised prostitution!’ – as if somehow the demand for adolescent bodies would vanish if only we’d make the sale of adult bodies okay!
Usually, however, they will simply deny that adolescent prostitution is widespread, or that adolescents are much in demand in the first place.
‘How do we know this is true?’ will come the query from the pro-prostitution lobby. It is not a query in the genuine sense of the word. A real query seeks an answer. This query seeks to obscure the same answer it purports to be seeking.
This will seem strange and confusing to some people. It is neither strange nor confusing to me; I’ve been exposed to the tactics of the pro-prostitution lobby for too long to be surprised or confused by these sorts of seemingly tangled and nonsensical tactics. What people need to understand is that they are not nonsensical. These are obscurest policies and they are purposeful and predictable, and when you understand their purpose you will have no problem predicting them too.
Their purpose is consistently the same; it is to deny and refute the sick and twisted nature of what actually goes on in prostitution. The truth they don’t want to you know is that men who pay for sex will most often opt to pay for a fifteen-year-old over a seventeen-year-old, a seventeen-year-old over a nineteen-year-old, a nineteen-year-old over a twenty-one-year-old, and so on and so forth.
Now, let me be very clear about this – I will be called a liar for having asserted the above. It will be said that I am trying to demonise punters, that I am telling lies about their preferences and proclivities. I wish I was. In my first year in prostitution, when I was fifteen-years-old, I was used by countless hundreds of men; I truly couldn’t say how many. I saw up to ten men a day so you may do the maths for yourself (the thoughts of doing that calculation disturbs me). As I stated in my Examiner article back in February, men were so obviously aroused by my youth it made them climax very quickly, so I soon learned to tell them how old I was in order to shorten the whole ordeal. I made it a policy; it was one of the first things I said when I got into the car – not that I needed to bring up the subject because it was usually one of the first questions asked of me.
In all those hundreds of men, one man, just ONE, turned his van around and brought me back to where he’d found me.
So yes, those who advocate for legalised or decriminalised prostitution will do their damnedest to obscure the truth about the high commercial value placed on young bodies in prostitution, all the while squawking ‘Where’s the evidence? Where’s the evidence?’ – like some kind of belligerent and demented parrot, with all the repetitiveness and severe comprehension issues you’d expect. All beak and no brains, in other words.
This is to be expected; of course the pro-prostitution lobby don’t want you to know that girls who are post-puberty by only a year or two are routinely lusted after, sought out, highly prized and then abused for enough years ‘till they’ve lost much of their commercial value. If that was widely known, it would do a great deal of damage to the autonomous, sexually-liberated, empowerment fantasy depiction they are consistently trying to peddle.
As for ‘Where’s the evidence?’ – I don’t need to ask that question. When I was a fifteen-year-old prostitute I was FAR more in-demand than I ever was as a twenty-two-year-old, even though at twenty-two I was slim, pretty, and an extremely youthful woman; but therein lay the problem. I was a woman.
There is huge emphasis placed on the commercial value of youth in prostitution. ‘The evidence’ is in every brothel and red-light zone in the land, and I know that because I lived the evidence.
I know it because I was the evidence.