Laura Lee

Wg's And Public Perception

31 posts in this topic

I was interested in a comment by Bert ;

It's less than 45 years ago that homosexuality was an imprisonable offence. Today we have same sex marriages. Where will we be in another 45 years ?

... and my question is this. Since homosexuality has now come full circle in terms of acceptance in the minds of MOST people, but more importantly, since ( as a minority group ) homosexuals now attract the protection of the law rather than persecution, when do you forsee the same happening in relation to prostitutes/ sex workers, if ever ?

Is it a chicken and egg question ? Which comes first, legal change or a change in our "moral code" which will reduce the stigma and marginalisation ?

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I was interested in a comment by Bert ;

It's less than 45 years ago that homosexuality was an imprisonable offence. Today we have same sex marriages. Where will we be in another 45 years ?

... and my question is this. Since homosexuality has now come full circle in terms of acceptance in the minds of MOST people, but more importantly, since ( as a minority group ) homosexuals now attract the protection of the law rather than persecution, when do you forsee the same happening in relation to prostitutes/ sex workers, if ever ?

Is it a chicken and egg question ? Which comes first, legal change or a change in our "moral code" which will reduce the stigma and marginalisation ?

It has to have support in high circles to bring it to public attention. With homosexuality some making the laws were in the closet themselves so it was an incredibly important issue to them that they were passionate about.

Does prostitution have people in power that have that kind of passion, some maybe but i dont think its viewed at present with that level of passionate commitment to fight to get the law changed in terms of making brothels legal for example.

The media as we know peddle the stereotypical junkies and perverts line in the main, i assume it sells their papers so while it continues to do so why would they let a little thing called the real truth get in the way. Many more ex-WGs like Belle/Dr Magnanti who have had successful lives can help change the publics media influenced views in my opinion, but would most want to when they have now moved on.

It seems to me the pro-prostitution movement does what it can as evidenced on here on the Legalities board but is always battling those media stereotypes which are burnt into very many peoples minds. I really dont know where we will be on this in 45 years time, my guess is not far from where we are now, i hope i am wrong and all aspects of consentual prostitution are legalised and regulated with the bad SPs being dealt with harshly and the good being allowed to operate freely. :)

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i think MP's would be scared of the reaction of certain newspapers to relaxing the prostitution laws.

i think they give far too much credence to the press. I think public opinion is more sympathetic to this but the papers seem to be making the running in westminster.

I would suppor a change, but can hardly canvas my MP on this because explaining to mrs CP why I am campaigning on this subject would not be good. so I keep schtumm.

My attitude, and i think many others, will make any change slow to happen. sorry.

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Prostitution is already legal so what other law's could be passed anyway. Wg's already have the full protection of the law as individual's. It is down to the individual officer though if he treats a wg respectfully if she is assaulted etc, sometimes they are...sometimes they are not.

I dont (unfortunatley) think it is ever going to be acceptable in the broad public opinion. Wives and girlfriends think we are dirty slags trying to tempt their husbands from them because we are jealous and cant find a man of our own and men will secretly visit but publicly condemn to stop wives or partners becoming suspicious. Stereotypes still prevail and you only have to read some of the threads on this board to see that, and thats with men who actually know us and visit us..

Subjects such as...would you marry a wg? (why flippin wouldnt you if you love her) what would you do if a brothel opened in your street( why would it even bother you if it was there 6 months before you even noticed), would you take a wg to the races ( sorry, we dont grow 2 heads and have sign stuck to the back of our dress with our website and price do we)etc.

I mean, in the interests of forward thinking and prostitution becoming publicly acceptable how many men on this board, wg,s also, would stand up and tell their families what they do to prove it is okay?

Personally, if I didnt have children I would, but I do, so I wont, but that is for THIER protection...

I was once outed where I lived, women who knew and trusted me with around their families,who's children had grown up having sleepover's with mine suddenly looked at me as if I was dirt and openly declared...not getting your hands on MY husband love??? I mean come on...he already tried it on and I told him to shove it...but who would believe me even if I told them...I was just a WG lol.x

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Prostitution is already legal so what other law's could be passed anyway. Wg's already have the full protection of the law as individual's. It is down to the individual officer though if he treats a wg respectfully if she is assaulted etc, sometimes they are...sometimes they are not.

I dont (unfortunatley) think it is ever going to be acceptable in the broad public opinion. Wives and girlfriends think we are dirty slags trying to tempt their husbands from them because we are jealous and cant find a man of our own and men will secretly visit but publicly condemn to stop wives or partners becoming suspicious. Stereotypes still prevail and you only have to read some of the threads on this board to see that, and thats with men who actually know us and visit us..

Subjects such as...would you marry a wg? (why flippin wouldnt you if you love her) what would you do if a brothel opened in your street( why would it even bother you if it was there 6 months before you even noticed), would you take a wg to the races ( sorry, we dont grow 2 heads and have sign stuck to the back of our dress with our website and price do we)etc.

I mean, in the interests of forward thinking and prostitution becoming publicly acceptable how many men on this board, wg,s also, would stand up and tell their families what they do to prove it is okay?

Personally, if I didnt have children I would, but I do, so I wont, but that is for THIER protection...

I was once outed where I lived, women who knew and trusted me with around their families,who's children had grown up having sleepover's with mine suddenly looked at me as if I was dirt and openly declared...not getting your hands on MY husband love??? I mean come on...he already tried it on and I told him to shove it...but who would believe me even if I told them...I was just a WG lol.x

Making brothels legal is the main one i would like to see changed. :)

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I bet brothels will become legal and possibly sooner that you expected. Times have changed and in the past generation with the internet, sex is far more open and accessible, hell I was downloading porn pics 20 years ago from bulletin boards. Porn can be freely downloaded and here on PN as well as many other international web sites, you can find info on anything you want. When I was growing up, all you would hear about were those seedy massage parlours and a dirty weekend in Amsterdam, porn was restricted to seedy theatres and girly mags. Today one site I visit regularly discusses punting in Pakistan, and it's a lot more common today for young adults to talk about visiting prostitutes on holiday in Spain, Portugal, Germany, Thailand etc too. You can get free high quality porn in explicit detail with whatever content you desire. You can find phone numbers and pictures of working girls and without the need to check out cards in a phone box, checking out vague ads in the papers or asking someone in the know. Sex is open, easily accessible and the next step is to legitimise the brothel. We are getting close to it, lap dance clubs are found everywhere, massage parlours are everywhere, working girls operate everywhere and many police forces are so overwhelmed with more important offences that streetwalkers are the only targets. Who knows how many illegal places are known to operate without being raided as long as they stay under the radar?

I think it will need just the right story in the right media, say a Panorama special covering the ubiquity of prostitution in the UK, promoting the dangers of working and punting solo, the safety of brothels for both working girls and their customers. If it showed how legal establishments work abroad, how safe it is for everyone involved then maybe it would remove the last of the seedy taint that brothels still have.

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I think before a change in the law comes about, we need to convince and show people that there isnt just 1 type of prostitution. Whenver you say that to alot of people, they take the stereotypical view of curb crawling, girls doing it for drugs and pimps. When in reality - as we know - its not like that at all. Try and convince the average person on the street that WG's do what they do because they enjoy it. Bet it wont be easy

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Making brothels legal is the main one i would like to see changed. :)

yes.

knowing how our country is slowly nicking ideas from the US I can't see it happening any time soon as it will be deemed a crime that disrupts the order of a community.

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yes.

knowing how our country is slowly nicking ideas from the US I can't see it happening any time soon as it will be deemed a crime that disrupts the order of a community.

Yet they are tolerated by the police at their discretion in some areas and have been for many years. So the police dont enforce the law in these areas anyway, at least till a neighbour complains or the police think the brothel owner must of made a wedge of cash so time to raid and obtain as much possible under POCA.

I agree the law wont be changed anytime soon.

Edited by smiths

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Don't know about 45 years from now but can hope that parlours are legalised. Safer for girls and punters and improve public opinion.

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A tacit acceptance of the reality of prostitution and with it legislation to enable sex workers operate more safely.I'm not sure I will see this in my lifetime for a two reasons.

Firstly the range of special interest groups bitterly opposed to this, an unholy alliance of religious fundamentalists and radfems.

Secondly politicians are not interested in legislation that is not a vote-winner. There is a huge stakeholder group that is often forgotten, wives and girlfriends. Mostly they don't like pornography but accept it as inevitable. But again for most of them I suspect the line in the sand would be a legalisation of prostitution and its implied moral validity. I think male MP's would be terrified of alienating their female constituents. When homosexuality was legalised I don't think that there was a large stakeholder group that saw legalisation as directly contrary to their own interests. Which is why this time is different.

I believe that the best we can hope for is a continuation of existing arrangements.

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A tacit acceptance of the reality of prostitution and with it legislation to enable sex workers operate more safely.I'm not sure I will see this in my lifetime for a two reasons.

Firstly the range of special interest groups bitterly opposed to this, an unholy alliance of religious fundamentalists and radfems.

Secondly politicians are not interested in legislation that is not a vote-winner. There is a huge stakeholder group that is often forgotten, wives and girlfriends. Mostly they don't like pornography but accept it as inevitable. But again for most of them I suspect the line in the sand would be a legalisation of prostitution and its implied moral validity. I think male MP's would be terrified of alienating their female constituents. When homosexuality was legalised I don't think that there was a large stakeholder group that saw legalisation as directly contrary to their own interests. Which is why this time is different.

I believe that the best we can hope for is a continuation of existing arrangements.

Sadly, I think you're right. :(

Looking at it from a purely political point of view, wouldn't you think some bright spark would click on to the fact that decriminalisation and regulation would lead to a rise in revenue for the government, given that there are ( as a conservative estimate ) 80,000 sex workers in the UK ?

*sigh*

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I was interested in a comment by Bert ;

It's less than 45 years ago that homosexuality was an imprisonable offence. Today we have same sex marriages. Where will we be in another 45 years ?

... and my question is this. Since homosexuality has now come full circle in terms of acceptance in the minds of MOST people, but more importantly, since ( as a minority group ) homosexuals now attract the protection of the law rather than persecution, when do you forsee the same happening in relation to prostitutes/ sex workers, if ever ?

Is it a chicken and egg question ? Which comes first, legal change or a change in our "moral code" which will reduce the stigma and marginalisation ?

Change in moral code comes first. You need a new generation of people to grow up with the idea that prostitution is completely normal, and for a previous generation which thinks it is abhorrent to depart this mortal coil. Once the generations thinking it is acceptable start outnumbering the generations that think it is abhorrent, then you can start thinking about laws being changed.

It certainly won't be led by MPs. As Smiths points out, some people in power used to be homosexual themselves when it was illegal. I'm not sure this can be directly compared to prostitution, unless there are a lot of female MPs with big skeletons in their cupboard! MPs and others in power already make use of WGs, generally without problem, so there's no real need for them to risk their popularity (if you can call it that!) by trying to be a trailblazer for the sex industry. Personally, I think it will be people like Charlie Sheen who lead the way for the public to be more accepting of WGs. There is still that stigma attached to men who use WGs, that they can't get sex normally so they have to pay for it. This isn't really an accusation you can level at Charlie Sheen. Everyone knows there are many more like Sheen who use escorts, and once they start being more open about doing so, then people's perception of the industry can perhaps change. Of course, it doesn't help when you get unprofessional WGs who shag footballers and then sell their stories to the Sun, although perhaps if enough of them do it, then people will start to think "if it's okay for footballers, it's okay for me."

But that's just the male shame side of it. As previously mentioned, we also need the public to understand that WGs are not all junkies. Stuff like Secret Diary of a Call Girl and all that are perhaps starting the path towards this. Maybe a big film about someone like Heidi Fleiss's career would help too, if done tastefully. Perhaps eventually young girls will go from wanting to be a WAG to wanting to become a WG. I suppose it depends on how far we want public opinion to go - do we want people to look at prostitution as just another job, or do we just want it to go far enough to be as acceptable as using pornography or going to a strip club?

As long as lies keep getting peddled by religious groups and "feminists" like Julie Bindel, it'll be an uphill struggle. The sex industry needs a champion, a popular face for people to rally behind.

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I would suppor a change, but can hardly canvas my MP on this because explaining to mrs CP why I am campaigning on this subject would not be good. so I keep schtumm.

I wrote to my MP on the subject from my trouncer email account and had a sensible response, though I would hardly expect him to take up the cudgels.

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A tacit acceptance of the reality of prostitution and with it legislation to enable sex workers operate more safely.I'm not sure I will see this in my lifetime for a two reasons.

Firstly the range of special interest groups bitterly opposed to this, an unholy alliance of religious fundamentalists and radfems.

Secondly politicians are not interested in legislation that is not a vote-winner. There is a huge stakeholder group that is often forgotten, wives and girlfriends. Mostly they don't like pornography but accept it as inevitable. But again for most of them I suspect the line in the sand would be a legalisation of prostitution and its implied moral validity. I think male MP's would be terrified of alienating their female constituents. When homosexuality was legalised I don't think that there was a large stakeholder group that saw legalisation as directly contrary to their own interests. Which is why this time is different.

I believe that the best we can hope for is a continuation of existing arrangements.

Excellent post and sadly how i see the future also. Following on from your continuation of existing arrangements comment that is the best we can hope for at present i also believe and the positive to the present set-up is police discretion in certain areas dependent on any given areas top cop responsible for the area. I know that discretion could change in an instant but it could be we were in a situation of no tolerance zones everywhere instead of some areas. As it is at least some brothels operate and punters get to be able to go to them. Better than nothing but not as it should be of course which is legalised brothels in my view. :)

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Sadly, I think you're right. :(

Looking at it from a purely political point of view, wouldn't you think some bright spark would click on to the fact that decriminalisation and regulation would lead to a rise in revenue for the government, given that there are ( as a conservative estimate ) 80,000 sex workers in the UK ?

*sigh*

I agree it is a sad state of affairs, more so for the SP than the punter. We can pursue our hobby as we would wish as long as we are careful. But the SP is given the choice of working solo, legitimately but less safely, or working in a safer environment but on the wrong side of the law.

(One of the things that makes me most cross about the radfems is that they would gladly see their fellow gender endangered in pursuit of their own sterile dogma. I don’t think the faux Puritanism of the media helps either, other than to boost their own circulation/audience with prurient material.)

Smiths is right in that most police forces take a commonsense approach to the issue. They monitor and act only if they have to. This can be because of political pressure locally, public nuisance complaints from neighbours, immigration issues, class A drugs, and, much more rarely, allegations of trafficking or child sex. So there is a tacit acceptance already to an extent.

Unfortunately the police also have POCA at their disposal and can be required to use it. In this sense they are being asked to work as gangsters, watching smaller firms do the jobs and take the risk, and then stepping in to get their cut.

There is a flaw in my original argument because there are developed countries that have already legalised prostitution. But I just think that we, in this country, are so screwed up about sex that it will take us a long time to adjust to a freer sexuality. A legacy of centuries of Christian hypocrisy.

So for the indies who choose to be legitimate, they have to set up such security arrangements as best they can, and miss out on the social benefit of working with other people. For the girls that want to work safely and sociably together, or with a maid, they will always be afraid of the knock on the door. It might be just a warning to close and re-locate, or it might be the start of a process that ends with all their hard-earned being taken away from them.

You are right that the government is not squeamish about making money from booze, fags and gambling, but I think that things would have to be pretty bleak for them to countenance this as a revenue stream.

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A tacit acceptance of the reality of prostitution and with it legislation to enable sex workers operate more safely.I'm not sure I will see this in my lifetime for a two reasons.

Firstly the range of special interest groups bitterly opposed to this, an unholy alliance of religious fundamentalists and radfems.

Secondly politicians are not interested in legislation that is not a vote-winner. There is a huge stakeholder group that is often forgotten, wives and girlfriends. Mostly they don't like pornography but accept it as inevitable. But again for most of them I suspect the line in the sand would be a legalisation of prostitution and its implied moral validity. I think male MP's would be terrified of alienating their female constituents. When homosexuality was legalised I don't think that there was a large stakeholder group that saw legalisation as directly contrary to their own interests. Which is why this time is different.

I believe that the best we can hope for is a continuation of existing arrangements.

The perception is illustrated by the way that, even on here, prostitution is imagined to be "illegal". Not so in UK. Activities surrounding prostitution - brothel keeping, working in a brothel, street soliciting, kerb crawling etc, all actions that can be claimed to cause public nuisance - are illegal but the exchange of money for sex is not. ( I am sure the legal eagles will correct for fact and scope!)

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I bet brothels will become legal and possibly sooner that you expected. Times have changed and in the past generation with the internet, sex is far more open and accessible, hell I was downloading porn pics 20 years ago from bulletin boards.

Yes times are changing and if you look at how local authorities have used, or should it be abused, their guidlines on the regulating sexual entertainment venues I wouldn't hold my breath. Given the new frenzy which is being whipped up on the back of the 'sexualisation' of children (look at the smoking ban and how the effects on them of passive smoking was used), I daresay there will be immense pressure to curb all forms of titilation and adult entertainment. A push back to the Dark Ages - maybe.

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The perception is illustrated by the way that, even on here, prostitution is imagined to be "illegal". Not so in UK. Activities surrounding prostitution - brothel keeping, working in a brothel, street soliciting, kerb crawling etc, all actions that can be claimed to cause public nuisance - are illegal but the exchange of money for sex is not. ( I am sure the legal eagles will correct for fact and scope!)

When people mistakenly say it is illegal they are often referring to the activities surrounding it.

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I think before a change in the law comes about, we need to convince and show people that there isnt just 1 type of prostitution. Whenver you say that to alot of people, they take the stereotypical view of curb crawling, girls doing it for drugs and pimps. When in reality - as we know - its not like that at all. Try and convince the average person on the street that WG's do what they do because they enjoy it. Bet it wont be easy

This is so true and applies to perception of male clients too. I was in a business meeting a few weeks ago with a group of very well educated, sophisticated and liberal urbanites from around the world, aged 25-30. We were discussing legislation around controlled products like alcohol and gambling. Out of the blue, one woman came up with an illustrative example around escorts. "I don't see any problem in legalising prostitution. I'd rather a guy paid £60 to see a prostitute than rape a woman because he can't control his urges."

So even among people who you might think would be sympathetic to our cause, we (punters) are just all rapists... :(

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This is so true and applies to perception of male clients too. I was in a business meeting a few weeks ago with a group of very well educated, sophisticated and liberal urbanites from around the world, aged 25-30. We were discussing legislation around controlled products like alcohol and gambling. Out of the blue, one woman came up with an illustrative example around escorts. "I don't see any problem in legalising prostitution. I'd rather a guy paid £60 to see a prostitute than rape a woman because he can't control his urges."

So even among people who you might think would be sympathetic to our cause, we (punters) are just all rapists... :(

Sadly I agree but I think it's our fault, whilst there are working girls quite rightly arguing for their rights ang image and arguably slowly changing public opinion so that they are no longer seen as being trafficked or drug addicts:

Eg http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/2011/06/19/study-finds-prostitution-now-a-career-choice-for-many-women-in-wales-91466-28900994/

There is on the other side a lack of punters arguing why we shouldn't be viewed as potential rapists because we're mostly too ashamed to tell anyone why we do it. I've seen reports before that 1 in ten adult males have paid for sex at some point, that's a far higher number than the number of women that have received money for sex. Imagine the mass impact if everyone who has ever punted admitted to punting and explained why they did it?

Just a thought and perhaps a biased one as I've very recently started a blog on a common male sex issue I have and how I am trying to address it with my main way of seeking help being paying for sex.

Of course the argument against punters coming out is easy, it's not in our interest short or long term, we benefit from the secrecy of punting (some say the taboo factor is a large part of their experience) and currently it's not illegal for us to punt. For working girls though clearly they would benefit in the long term from legalisation, so perhaps those punters who care for working girl welfare should consider outting themselves in some small way (even by anonomously commenting as a punter when debates appear on news websites). I know some do but its a tiny minority whereas the punting community is fairly sizeable with a potentially large voice.

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Sorry to late to edit my comment, given the comments on legalisation I should have made it clear in the last paragraph that I meant only working girls not punters stand to benefit for the legalisation of brothels and more acceptance of prostitution.

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This is so true and applies to perception of male clients too. I was in a business meeting a few weeks ago with a group of very well educated, sophisticated and liberal urbanites from around the world, aged 25-30. We were discussing legislation around controlled products like alcohol and gambling. Out of the blue, one woman came up with an illustrative example around escorts. "I don't see any problem in legalising prostitution. I'd rather a guy paid £60 to see a prostitute than rape a woman because he can't control his urges."

So even among people who you might think would be sympathetic to our cause, we (punters) are just all rapists... :(

Not a comment on punters, perhaps, so much as on men in general - broadly similar to that expressed by the Blessed Cynthia Payne, who once said, "A man needs de-spunking regularly, otherwise he's just a bleeding nuisance." I don't think she regarded her remark as hostile to men.

Edited by Mr. Bloom

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This is so true and applies to perception of male clients too. I was in a business meeting a few weeks ago with a group of very well educated, sophisticated and liberal urbanites from around the world, aged 25-30. We were discussing legislation around controlled products like alcohol and gambling. Out of the blue, one woman came up with an illustrative example around escorts. "I don't see any problem in legalising prostitution. I'd rather a guy paid £60 to see a prostitute than rape a woman because he can't control his urges."

So even among people who you might think would be sympathetic to our cause, we (punters) are just all rapists... :(

Interesting that she knew the going rate for half an hour! :D

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The perception is illustrated by the way that, even on here, prostitution is imagined to be "illegal". Not so in UK. Activities surrounding prostitution - brothel keeping, working in a brothel, street soliciting, kerb crawling etc, all actions that can be claimed to cause public nuisance - are illegal but the exchange of money for sex is not. ( I am sure the legal eagles will correct for fact and scope!)

Thank you for that. SaSFan used to make the same point ad nauseam. For the literally-minded I should of course have referred to the extension of legalisation rather than just the term itself. As my subsequent post shows I’m well aware of the difference, and presumed, perhaps unfairly, similar basic knowledge on the part of others. Mea maxima culpa.

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