Does It Ever Stop?
People who engage in prostitution as a lifestyle choice generally find it quite hard to stop. In my personal experience, there are at least nine reasons for this.
1. Prostitution can become addictive to many prostitutes. It's not particularly hard work, and for a young and attractive provider, it can be fun, exciting and lucrative. Generally, the longer they engage in it, the harder it will be to give it up.
2. Many prostitutes have friends who are prostitutes. Often these friends can make it harder for somebody to change their profession.
3. Prostitution brings in a good and relatively easy source of income, which is a very important factor if other sources of income are lacking, hard to find or seem unreliable to a needy lady. A prostitute will always consider her return to her former profession as an insurance policy in her relationship with a permanent partner. The insurance policy is important because prostitutes generally have learnt to have a very low level of trust in any man they are with, particularly if they met him through their work. As such it may be unrealistic to expect the former prostitute to give categorical assurances that she would never return to it, unless perhaps her new partner can guarantee her financial security. Sex and money become inextricably linked in the mind of a prostitute. Of course this also brings a big catch 22. If financial security is provided, there is a risk that the provider may never escape being viewed as her customer. This is not really a great basis for a ‘normal’ relationship.
4. Prostitution offers most service providers relatively easy access to a high level of freedom and independence. It’s a bit like running an independent business. There are relatively few external controls (unless they are sought, in the form of a pimp or a work place). For the most part, nobody tells them what to do. They have a lot of freedom. They can turn the money tap on and off when they need to. But when they stop and try to have a ‘normal’ relationship, it simply doesn’t give them the same amount of freedom they had previously. At some point they will feel that their income and day-to-day activities are in some way restricted by their new relationship, and this can cause resentment.
5. When not engaged in their ‘professional’ activities, the majority of prostitutes lead quite easy and self-indulgent lives. When ‘work’ activity generates relatively large sums of money for relatively little effort it is easy for them to lose touch with reality. They often find it very hard to adjust back to a ‘normal’ lifestyle where ordinary people have lives that involve work, routines, and day-to-day disciplines with things like economizing and saving. Getting back to this normality can be very hard.
6. In these days of mobile telephony and email accounts, most ex-prostitutes will still maintain a reserve of old customer contacts, which will not be disposed of in case their plans need to be changed. Of course, when an old customer makes contact, it may be hard to ignore their interest, and of course one little thing can very easily lead to another…
7. Whilst prostitution erodes most women’s self-esteem, paradoxically there are aspects to it that can also make women feel good in a limited, short term way. Most women love to look good, be attractive and sexy and like to know that they can catch men if they want to or need to. This aspect of life for a typical low self-esteem prostitute is another factor that can become addictive to them. Some will find it hard to give up their hunting instinct, and may resort to excessive flirting, and maybe even occasionally catching a customer, simply to prove to themselves that they still can.
8. Whilst the majority of prostitutes don’t actually enjoy sex much, many get addicted to sex, and often to quite degrading sex, because sexual acts reinforce their own low self-esteem and feelings of self-loathing. This kind of sex addiction can be problematic when they try to move to a ‘normal’ relationship later and have a ‘normal’ sex life.
9. Some prostitutes (I think a relatively small proportion) are highly sexed and crave sex, much in the same way that many of their clients do. This means they desire sexual variety, in terms of different partners, different styles, different positions and different fantasies. For this kind of more highly sexed prostitute, giving up her profession for a ‘normal’ monogamous relationship will be difficult because the normal relationship simply does not offer the same level of excitement and sexual fulfillment that her old job does.
So does it ever stop? With love (in the biblical sense), understanding, communication and forgiveness everybody can have a good relationship with almost anybody. Successful relationships with ex-prostitutes will just be that much harder to pursue than ‘normal’ relationships.
But still so many Western guys in Thailand attempt to make a go of it or marry ladies who were once prostitutes…