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View Poll Results: Is there any crossover between Sex work, Swinging and Polyamory?
Yes, there is some crossover between all 3 categories 8 38.10%
There is only crossover between sex work and swinging 2 9.52%
There is only crossover between sex work and polyamory 0 0%
Sex work stands alone; there is no crossover 11 52.38%
Voters: 21. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 01-30-2012, 03:48 PM
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Default The crossover between Polyamory, Swinging and Sex work

As some may know (See: Poly Map), I and others believe there is some crossover between the categories of Polyamory, Swinging and Sex Work. I recently read an article that I think solidifies these connections indirectly, while also making the case that Sex Work should be decriminalized in more countries for the good of everyone.

I'm Canadian, so my slant will be more on the Canadian side of things, but I do include an research paper published in the United Kingdom as well. I'll start with that...

The research paper involves 50 sex worker clients, and can be seen here in PDF format:
http://myweb.dal.ca/mgoodyea/Documen...)%20400-17.pdf

It brings up various aspects of concerning sex workers and their clients. I found that some of its points regarding emotional intimacy were quite interesting, as many people seem to think that emotional intimacy can't be involved in sex work. I understand that some sex workers do indeed like to distance themselves emotionally from their clients and that some clients also want to distance themselves emotionally from the sex workers they frequent, and that some may see this as a good thing, just as some believe that there should be a certain distance between other professionals and their clients, such as doctors, dentists, etc. This being said, the study makes it clear that not everyone feels this way. In its conclusion, it brings up how the current laws are detrimental to society as a whole.

The study was done and is specifically geared for the United Kingdom, but I think that many of the points raised are universal. Here are some excerpts that I thought were particularly interesting:
Page 406:
It has been identified that some men are attracted to the temporal relationship available through commercial sex because of the lack of emotional attachment, the ability to suspend ‘normal’ expectations of the male sex role and the type of relationship that is free from societal norms and rituals (Atchison et al., 1998).
 However, regulars were less inclined to be motivated by these features of commercial sex, but instead sought out sex workers with whom they could develop a more in-depth and holistic type of relationship
**
Page 407:
The ‘girlfriend experience’, which usually involves kissing, caressing and other sensual acts (rather than brief sex acts), is sought by many men,
and is met with triumph and congratulations on message boards when a clien reveals he experienced the ‘GFE’. Contrasts were made between the commercial sexual experience where men experience sex workers as emotionally distant during the sex acts, to other experiences of ‘natural’ chemistry and sensual curiosity:
If it’s a situation where it develops quite sexually naturally, then you sort of explore each other’s bodies. But if it’s where for obvious reasons the girl is just doing a job and isn’t sort of connected, it is cold … If you’re not getting much of a response from the girl then you feel bad. (Craig, 38, sales, singles)
Page 414 (Conclusion):
Commerce is but a manifestation of the more general exchanges that occur 
within human sexual and intimate relationships. Some systems refuse to endorse sex and commerce as a legitimate relationship that should be facilitated, protected or even acknowledged. Other systems take a serious position on the social role of commercial sex and the ordinary characteristics of the relationships, preferring to provide an avenue where these relationships can be established with minimal harm and destruction. The relationships between sex workers and clients can be nurturing, respectful and mutual. This experience of the commercial relationship can
enhance the quality of life of men who buy sex (see Sanders, 2007b) whilst at the same time provide sex workers with safe customers who will not breach the contract through sexual misconduct, financial exploitation (e.g. not paying), abusive language, or aggressive behaviour. A system that recognizes the emotional consumption that is integral to some forms of commercial sex and the possibilities for emotional mutuality between sex worker and client could be a framework that distils negative images of women as disposable victims and clients as unruly sexual beasts to be controlled. The current climate of criminalizing men who buy sex
(Brooks Gordon, 2005) and the impetus to block a regulated indoor market
(Sanders, 2007a) prevent policy intervening to reinforce the male client role as an accountable active participant who has responsibilities to himself, the sex worker, other sexual partners and a wider responsibility to respect women in all areas of society. Policy designed to manage sex work markets should be informed by evidence that understands the micro-relationships that form commercial sex alongside the fluidity of male and female sexualities.
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Old 01-31-2012, 04:04 PM
AutumnalTone AutumnalTone is offline
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This topic has been moved to the Fireplace because we don't believe it to be about polyamory.

The commercial nature of the relationship is what removes it from the realm of polyamory--if the relationship wouldn't have arisen without the commercial aspect and only continues because of the commerce, then it falls outside the purview of polyamory. (Some may argue that it does fall under the rubric of polyamory; for the purposes of this site, it does not.)
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Old 01-31-2012, 05:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AutumnalTone View Post
This topic has been moved to the Fireplace because we don't believe it to be about polyamory.

The commercial nature of the relationship is what removes it from the realm of polyamory-- if the relationship wouldn't have arisen without the commercial aspect and only continues because of the commerce, then it falls outside the purview of polyamory. (Some may argue that it does fall under the rubric of polyamory; for the purposes of this site, it does not.)
I'm glad you recognize that this issue isn't settled within the polyamory community. Are you saying that if money changes between 2 people involved in an intimate relationship, it is therefore commercial? If that were the case, a lot of relationships not defined as sex work would be labelled as sex work. The line between sex work and regular relationships can become paper thin. I think that the article I linked to in the OP (Male Sexual Scripts: Intimacy, Sexuality and Pleasure in the Purchase of Commercial Sex) makes this clear.
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Old 02-05-2012, 03:11 PM
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I took the subject of this thread over to another polyamorous forum and got a more receptive audience. I thought I'd share the link of the discussion taking place over there:
http://polyamoryonline.org/smf/index.php?topic=5386.0
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Old 02-09-2012, 02:28 PM
feelyunicorn feelyunicorn is offline
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I haven`t read the whole survey/post yet. But, I am available to be interviewed if you wish.

I have been a long term john, in two different countries, and I have had full-blown (non-pay) relationships with about 4 sex workers, and about 20 times as much for pay.

I have recently felt unrequited feelings for a sex worker, that are making me slow down my 'mongering.'

Nevertheless, I still feel uninterested in traditional dating and the gender roles thereof. And, with few exceptions, women appear uninterested in dating me.

So, it`s been a heart-wrenching bind.

I`d be prepared to answer any questions about the legal, economic, and emotional/psychological aspects of sex work, as well as practical aspects such as logistics, STDs concerns, etc. I have also spoken to many sex workers about the above, so I`ve been exposed to some of their perspectives.

Edit: I would also say that sex work is highly co-dependent upon the institution of marriage, but won`t say more for now.

Edit: It may also have none other than evolutionary/biological reasons for being, as well.

Last edited by feelyunicorn; 02-09-2012 at 02:40 PM.
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Old 02-09-2012, 08:52 PM
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Originally Posted by feelyunicorn View Post
I haven`t read the whole survey/post yet. But, I am available to be interviewed if you wish.
Cool... although I admit that I haven't actually developed a questionaire yet ;-). in the OP, I was quoting from a study done by Teela Sanders; she's the one who interviewed the 50 Johns. As far as I know, she's done with that study, but others could do more (maybe even me, laugh :-)).

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Originally Posted by feelyunicorn View Post
I have been a long term john, in two different countries, and I have had full-blown (non-pay) relationships with about 4 sex workers, and about 20 times as much for pay.
Interesting.

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Originally Posted by feelyunicorn View Post
I have recently felt unrequited feelings for a sex worker, that are making me slow down my 'mongering.'
I recently had feelings for a sex worker as well.. she happened to also identify as poly, which is probably why I decided to make this thread to begin with.

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Originally Posted by feelyunicorn View Post
Nevertheless, I still feel uninterested in traditional dating and the gender roles thereof. And, with few exceptions, women appear uninterested in dating me.

So, it`s been a heart-wrenching bind.
I think I know how that goes, laugh :-).

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Originally Posted by feelyunicorn View Post
I`d be prepared to answer any questions about the legal, economic, and emotional/psychological aspects of sex work, as well as practical aspects such as logistics, STDs concerns, etc. I have also spoken to many sex workers about the above, so I`ve been exposed to some of their perspectives.
Cool.

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Originally Posted by feelyunicorn View Post
Edit: I would also say that sex work is highly co-dependent upon the institution of marriage, but won`t say more for now.
Could you say more in a PM? I'm interested in hearing what you have to say on this...

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Originally Posted by feelyunicorn View Post
Edit: It may also have none other than evolutionary/biological reasons for being, as well.
After having read the first 50 pages or so of a book that is generally highly recommended in poly circles, Sex at Dawn, I found that I agreed with the author that the reason that prostitution is so prevalent in modern society has a lot to do with the society that we're in. I spoke about all of this in more detail in a thread in another forum.
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Old 05-19-2012, 08:29 PM
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In my experience, prostitution is not always limited to a quick one hour affair without emotional entanglements. It can be more than that and truly qualify as polyamorous behavior.

It's interesting you are writing from Toronto. Toronto is quite liberal for this sort of thing. One can find many escorts which are very normal, sometimes highly educated women who simply like sex.

My wife was an escort in Toronto when I met her. She was an absolutely stunning Asian lady, very elegant, tall, slim, long hair, chatty. I fell in love, recommended her to my colleagues and eventually ended up marrying her.

We decided not to publicize our wedding among my friends because, as much as Toronto is very liberal, this would have seemed like stretching our luck. So we moved out.

Still, my wife finds prostitution as very enjoyable. She has several lovers, mostly married men from out of town, and keeps them company when they are in town. They pay her for her time.

I don't find anything wrong with that. To make it work, I committed to be monogamous or else she would feel insecure. I have no problem with being monogamous and on her side. Her promiscuous affairs are sufficient stimulus for our sexual life to the point that I am uninterested in developing extra marital relationships.

This went on for 13 years now and we are just fine. Our marriage lasted longer than most after all.
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Old 05-19-2012, 08:59 PM
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Originally Posted by newrelations View Post
In my experience, prostitution is not always limited to a quick one hour affair without emotional entanglements. It can be more than that and truly qualify as polyamorous behavior.
I agree. But most importantly, I think we need to remember that prostitutes are -people-. The whole reason that this thread came into being is because I met a woman who identified as both a sex worker -and- polyamorous. For reasons that now appear rather obvious to me (the vitriol directed my way for even suggesting that prostitution and polyamory could have crossover being an excellent example), she was rather cautious about letting many people in the polyamorous community regarding her sex work, and it may be that this caution on her part may have led to us going our separate ways, but it led me to think, and write, about my belief that there is some crossover between these forms of non monogamous relationships.

Quote:
Originally Posted by newrelations View Post
It's interesting you are writing from Toronto.
Actually, I haven't lived in Toronto for a year now; I'm -near- Toronto, laugh :-). That being said, I have lived there (and in its suburbs) for most of my life.

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Originally Posted by newrelations View Post
Toronto is quite liberal for this sort of thing. One can find many escorts which are very normal, sometimes highly educated women who simply like sex.
I'm not sure it's that simple. I think it's more that people need money to survive, and a fair amount of women have decided that the best way to acquire atleast part of it is through sex work.

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Originally Posted by newrelations View Post
My wife was an escort in Toronto when I met her. She was an absolutely stunning Asian lady, very elegant, tall, slim, long hair, chatty. I fell in love, recommended her to my colleagues and eventually ended up marrying her.
That's so sweet :-)

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Originally Posted by newrelations View Post
We decided not to publicize our wedding among my friends because, as much as Toronto is very liberal, this would have seemed like stretching our luck. So we moved out.
Point well taken. Perhaps you'd rather not say (and if so, I understand), but when you say London, do you mean London, Ontario, or London, England?

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Originally Posted by newrelations View Post
Still, my wife finds prostitution as very enjoyable. She has several lovers, mostly married men from out of town, and keeps them company when they are in town. They pay her for her time.
Wow, interesting.

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Originally Posted by newrelations View Post
I don't find anything wrong with that. To make it work, I committed to be monogamous or else she would feel insecure. I have no problem with being monogamous and on her side.
I couldn't do that, laugh :-). I haven't had that many lovers to be honest; I've had sex with 3 women in my entire life. But the idea of committing to being with only one person... I once told a woman that I could commit to this for a year, but no longer. I could certainly -tell- them if I became attracted to another woman, but that's rather different.

Quote:
Originally Posted by newrelations View Post
Her promiscuous affairs are sufficient stimulus for our sexual life to the point that I am uninterested in developing extra marital relationships.

This went on for 13 years now and we are just fine. Our marriage lasted longer than most after all.
That's an awesome story nr- thanks for sharing :-)
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Old 05-19-2012, 09:16 PM
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Now, Scott, don't go telling fibs. You weren't getting a hard time for saying that there was "cross-over." You were given a hard time because you were positing that prostitution is a form of polyamory. I'm not about to reiterate the argument, but had to say this just to set the record straight.
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Old 05-19-2012, 11:05 PM
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Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
Now, Scott, don't go telling fibs. You weren't getting a hard time for saying that there was "cross-over." You were given a hard time because you were positing that prostitution is a form of polyamory.
I think the difference is rather thin; a crossover implies that the definitions of the terms aren't clear cut; perhaps I should have said that I believed there was some overlap between polyamory and prostitution?

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Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
I'm not about to reiterate the argument, but had to say this just to set the record straight.
I'm glad you chipped in, anyway. Words can divide people but they can also moderate things. Here's to hoping that second aspect of them wins through here.
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mental illness, obsessive fantasies, pedantic, polyamory, polyfuckery, prostitute, prostitutes, prostitution, sex negative, sex positive, sex work, sex workers, sex-negative, sex-positive, swinging

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