Sex Work

Australian Prostitute: Don't Blame Sex Workers For Your Failed Marriage

Sex workers as victims "old, worn and not backed by research"


Thomas Hawk/

Yesterday, the Sydney Morning Herald published a column by a woman going by the pen name Louise O'Neale who blamed her failed marriage on her husband's relationship with a prostitute. O'Neale drew the larger conclusion that sex work is therefore bad. Today, an actual sex worker, who did not identify herself, responded with her own column in the Morning Herald:

For those who have never met a sex worker, we're like any other professional. But rather than being your hairdresser or plumber, we are learned and experienced in the art of sexual pleasure. Our clients are regular people coming from all backgrounds, age groups, abilities and disabilities, genders, sexualities, cultural, religious backgrounds, and so on. We provide a service in exchange for money between two or more consenting adults. It is nothing like sex slavery.

If there is time in the booking (most go for 30-60 minutes), we chat and usually make small talk while showering and getting dressed. Clients might discuss their relationships with us or any problems they are experiencing. Clients tell us that they don't have time or the desire to invest in a personal relationship and/or they want some no strings attached sex. Sometimes they complain their partners or wives won't engage in sexual activities that they enjoy—and rather than have an affair, they seek out the services of a sex worker. While many would like to believe that clients are either sex addicts or misogynists, and that sex workers are victims or home wreckers, this simply isn't true.

[Column writer Louise] O'Neale's personal relationship breakdown is not something that brings me any joy. However, her partner should bear the full brunt of her anger, not his service provider.

Read the rest of the column, where the author calls the "sex workers are victims" trope "old, worn and not backed by the research" here.

Maggie McNeill, a retired sex worker cum blogger, suggests Fridays the 13th as days to speak out publicly in support of the sex work industry. She says up to 10 percent of women have been paid for sex at least once and up to 20 percent of men have paid for it at least once occasionally. 

More Reason on prostitution here.

h/t Applederry

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  1. Maggie McNeill, a retired sex worker cum blogger

    I see what you did there.

    1. As if it would escape this sharp eyed crowd, right?

      1. No shit–I am not a unique snowflake afterall… 🙁

  2. 20 percent of men have paid for it at least once

    I’m pretty sure that # is closer to 100.

    1. Uh, dream on.

      1. Epi’s right. There are plenty of guys out there who, like him, are still virgins.

      2. Pretty sure he’s making a statement on the “costs” and “rewards” of “dating” and “marriage” and not a statement on the number of guys who have explicitly hired a sex worker

    2. Prostitution is cheap compared to marriage.

      1. Yep. My own marriage just cost me half of everything.

    3. Define “paid”… in some sense, haven’t we all paid for it (from picking up the check on a date, to buying a ring, etc, heh heh).

      1. (getting beaten up by the boyfriend she didn’t tell you about)

        1. Ah, I managed to avoid that one! Ouch.

          1. Whoops…uh, Pay no attention to that screen name behind the curtain!

            1. Next time you change your screen name you may want to change the href.

              *damn 3 o’clock squirrels*


            1. Its…its…true!

              *runs away, bowlegged and sobbing*

          3. What’s this? A non-sasquatch Steve Smith?

            1. Oh, I see. False alarm.

      2. (having to buy a delousing kit)

      3. Juicy bars! Need a ruling!

    4. I’m surprised that the % of men that actually admit to paying for it is 20%.

      I mean, we’re talking “a direct transfer of money for the sole purpose of engaging in sex” here, right? 20% just sounds high to me with as puritanical as society has been coupled with the AIDS scare of the 80’s-90’s effecting a large portion of the adult male population.

      1. Are we talking about ‘Murca or worldwide?

      2. I think it depends on where you are talking about. In places like Eastern Europe or France there is very little stigma. So it is probably higher than 20% there.

        In the US though, I think 20 % is high.

      3. Is that 20% just Americans or world wide? I bet if you thrown Europeans into the mix, you can see where the 20% comes from!

      4. Why do you think all of those gringos come down here to Costa Rica? To go fishing?

        1. Well, Costa Rica does have a large ecotourism industry, yes.

        2. Well, the come back smelling like fish…

      5. “as puritanical as society has been”

        Puritanical?! Are you yanking my freakin’ chain? *Real* Puritans coming to America think they’ve wandered into one of the seedier districts of Sosom.

    5. One way or the other, it is definitely 100%.

      Nobody pays more for sex than a married man, after all.

      1. OR, pays to not have any sex at all.


    1. You do hunters, too? Smooth!

  4. Prostitution is destructive to society. It is offensive to traditional American morality, where sex and love are sacred. No, it should not be illegal. But it should not be accepted either. It is abhorrent, immoral behavior. Libertarianism is not libertinism.

    1. What functional difference is there between two people agreeing to have sex for fun and two people agreeing to have sex for money?

      1. I’m not to keen on the “if it feels good, do it,” ethos either.

        1. Explain to me the negative impact of safe, recreational sex. People who say sex or prostitution are somehow ‘destructive to society’ never seem to give examples.

          It seems to me that the only way prostitution is destructive to society is through its illegality. Street walkers are put at risk because they are operating in a black market. If there were above the table ways to pay for the same service, the odds of a prostitute being hurt by a client would drop substantially.

        2. So you are saying that my wife and I should not be having sex any longer since I have had a vasectomy and am incapable of producing any more offspring and therefore the only reason why we would ever have sex is “because it’s fun”

    2. Oh jesus, but I guess I could marry a politically connected lesbian to further my career–that would be “sacred”.

      1. + 1 weiner.

    3. Prostitution is destructive to society. It is offensive to traditional American morality, where sex and love are sacred.

      I personally would never pay for sex but how is prostitution destructive to society and why should I care if it’s opposed to ‘traditional American morality?’

      Your argument that traditional American morality believed sex and love are sacred is also a bit ridiculous. The founders used to complain that sailors would whip their penises out in the docks by Boston, which was a symbol at the time for a man looking for no strings attached gay sex. Abraham Lincoln also loved him some whores.

      Ambivalence characterized his later courtships and various marriage proposals. A possible reason for this, at least for a period of time, may have been a fear of syphilis — not an unknown disease in his world. Wilson does not credit stories of Lincoln’s possible love children but notes two episodes with prostitutes. If once or twice, why not more often? His longtime law partner, William H. Herndon, thought that ”Lincoln had a strong if not a terrible passion for women: he could hardly keep his hands off.” Nor would he get married until he was 33.

      THAT’S traditional America.

      1. I hate this idiotic myth people have that no one screwed before the 1960s. Since BC was pretty spotty and if you got the clap, you suffered for a few months instead of taking a pill, it was a lot riskier. But risk doesn’t stop people from having sex.

        1. No, you see, they had sex but it was simply a harmonious melding of the flesh and spirit that was undertaken between a married man and woman and always for the sole purpose of procreation.

          This is why no one had sex after 40 prior to the 1980s. They couldn’t have children anymore, and therefore knew that it had become immoral.

          1. True story. The American soldiers in England during WWII fathered so many bastard kids that the Brits took to putting up signs warning GIs against speeding that read

            “drive slowly, one of the children playing here could be yours”.

            It was greatest generation, back when traditional values mattered.

      2. The founders used to complain that sailors would whip their penises out in the docks by Boston, which was a symbol at the time for a man looking for no strings attached gay sex.

        Sigh, sometimes the past really was better.

        1. Backside rules the Navy
          backside rules the Sea
          you want some bum
          go see your chum
          you’ll get no bum from me!

          /19th Century sea chanty

        2. Sailors have been screwing each other since the Phoenicians. It is not gay if it is away. If you like gay sex with otherwise straight men, become a sailor.

          1. A friend of mine did some joint training exercise with the Yemeni navy and said it was just wall to wall Yemeni officers banging their subordinates until the behavior became so disruptive they were kicked off the ship.

            1. If you can figure out what the deal with Arabs and sexuality is, you are smarter than me. The same people who openly debate about whether homosexuals should be stoned to death or have a wall dropped on them, engage in some of the worst sort of pederasty and homosexual power relationships. I guess if you are the guy doing the fucking and the guy or boy you are fucking is subordinate to you, it is not gay? It is just strange.

              1. I guess if you are the guy doing the fucking and the guy or boy you are fucking is subordinate to you, it is not gay? It is just strange.

                It’s not that strange if you look at other mammals. How does an Alpha male dog show his dominance? He mounts a Beta and butt rapes him, just to show him who’s boss.

                If you’re a dude who can force another dude in a “feminizing” position, the you are ultra manly and alpha as fuck.

                1. Libertarianism is also not complaining about the “hippity-hop” music and kids with their pants below their waists.

                  I have never considered myself to be any kind of beta male. But if being an alpha male means having to fuck some guy up the ass to show it, I take beta thank you.

                  NTTAWW guys who like fucking other guys up the ass. But it is just not my thing.

                2. True. Take a look at hyena anatomy.

                  For some reason this canine derivitive evolved into female dominant societies. So the female hyena has developed a long, phalic clitoris which the alphas use to establish dominance over the lesser females.

                  Among mamlas sex is not just for procreation.

              2. My limited impression is that public perception of what is going on matters quite a bit too. I don’t think anyone really gives a shit if you’re taking it up the bum unless you get caught taking it up the bum, and then it becomes a problem of saving face.

                1. That is true jesse. In some ways I wish we would be a little less public about our sexuality. I would like to go back to the days of “I don’t care what you do just don’t make a spectacle of yourself”. And I don’t mean that to put gays in the closet again. I mean that everyone gay and straight would do well to be a bit less exhibitionist and perhaps find other ways besides their sexuality to define who they are.

                2. Well, I do remember a few years ago that there was a meme in the Arab world that “emo=gay” and emo kids in those countries were being harassed and sometimes even killed on the basis that they were perceived to be gay/lesbian for dressing in a certain way, regardless of their actual sexuality.

                  1. Aren’t emo kids in every country considered closet cases and harassed for it?

                    1. Well, let’s not forget the original meaning of the word “punk”.

            2. A friend of mine did some joint [sic] training exercise…

              Uh huh.

    4. where sex and love are sacred.

      This is why marraiges fail. You can’t be married for years or decades if your idea of sex is that it is some sacred act. I have a news flash for you, you screw the same person long enough, it stops being sacred and becomes recreational activity. Sure, maybe on the odd night it will be all emotional and sacred and shit. But not all of the time. If you think sex has to be “sacred” whatever that means, you are going to end up having sex once or twice a year. If you are going to do it regularly, which last I looked most people seem to prefer, you better realize it isn’t always going to be sacred or meaningful.

      1. Yeah. I wasn’t paying it much attention so for a while I thought “same sex marriage” was referring to how things got after 5to 10 years of marriage when the sex just seems the same after so long.

    5. You know who else was destructive to society?

        1. I’m sorry. we were looking for “Who is Ricardo Montalb?n”.

    6. Libertarianism is also not complaining about the “hippity-hop” music and kids with their pants below their waists. It is also not pining for the days of sharing a malted milk with your “steady” before the the sock-hop.

      Now skip to the part were you start screeching about “cosmos” so we can start safely ignoring you.

      1. Awww, I like the COCKTAIL PARTIEZ!!! complaints.

        1. Hey, LTC John, I don’t remember if you ever answered my query as if you were a Force on Force (Ambush Alley Games) player.

      2. Libertarianism is also not complaining about the “hippity-hop” music and kids with their pants below their waists.

        No, it is about not complaining to the government about those things. You are free to object to things you think are damaging or immoral or whatever. You just can’t demand laws.

        1. Well, he’s right in that those things aren’t a part of what defines libertarianism. True, you can be a libertarian and complain about those things, but it’s by no means any sort of requirement

        2. Absolutely, but the acolytes of Rockwell insist that the imagined conservative social mores of a 1950’s American that only existed in their minds have something to do with liberty. Because liberty is a man in a gray flannel suit grumbling about the uppity gays, Jews, and Negroes, or something.

          1. “Because liberty is a man in a gray flannel suit grumbling about the uppity gays, Jews, and Negroes, or something.”

            Really? Damn! Now i have to return this suit.

            1. If you wear a 42 chest, I’d be happy to take it off your hands for you, if the jacket is single-breasted.

              1. It is! It won’t be cheap, though. As a good Libertarian I(put on my monocle, of course and) specifically ordered a suit made in an Asian children’s sweatshop. It costs a pretty penny, but those tiny oriental hands do fantastic work.

                1. Speaking of that, if you ever find yourself in Bangkok, I recommend Rajawongse‘s. They’re not the cheapest to be found, but they speak perfect English, so you can be sure they understand what you want.

                  1. I wish I could say things like “if you ever find youself in Bangkok” and then be able to recommend a place to have a good suit made. Recommending a good Chicago style pizza joint in NC is the best I can do.

    7. “Prostitution is destructive to society.”

      Given that EVERY human society has had prostitution to one degree or another and there is no correlation between the strength or duration of those societies has no correlation to the levels of prostitution present in them you’re going to have to come up with some very compelling evidence for how this is destructive.

      ” It is offensive to traditional American morality, where sex and love are sacred.”

      Um, no it is not. First off your “traditional American Morality” was not traditional and only existed for a very brief time from roughly 1890 through about 1940 and even within that prostitution was quite common

    8. I’d like to see some actual argument to the effect that prostitution is destructive to society before I accept that as a given. But then, I don’t accept that “Society” is the bubble of upper-middle class white woman gentility that always seems to be the driving force of anti-prostitution Crusades.

  5. American morality, where sex and love are sacred

    You left out motherhood and apple pie.

    1. And baseball…but not hotdogs (by inference).

  6. Sometimes they complain their partners or wives won’t engage in sexual activities that they enjoy

    *Puts this on a billboard*

    Unless he’s trying to put a plastic bag over your head or shit in your mouth (turns to stare at Episiarch), at least give your man’s unique brand of perversion the old college try.

    1. Yes. For men, sex is emotional. And it is emotional in the sense that self worth comes from having a woman who is willing to please them. Wives who turn down their husbands or only do sex a certain way, are telling their husband “honey I just don’t value you enough to do that”. Eventually the guy will either say fuck it and pay a hooker to get what he wants or run into a woman who says “you are awesome, I would love to do that” and have an affair.

      Women need to figure out what a guy really wants in bed before they marry them. If the guy wants something that the woman just can’t for whatever reason do, they shouldn’t get married. The marriage is going to end in unhappiness or cheating.

      1. What’s the difference between a wife and a job?

        After a couple years the job still sucks.

        1. It is a old joke, but a true one. It is funny, talk to any hooker and ask her what her married customers always want; a blow job. Someone needs to explain to these men’s wives that if their husband can’t get it from them, they will get it from someone else. I know t hat goes against our feminist and Christian fantasies of sacred love and sex. But reality rarely lines up with our fantasies.

          1. Someone needs to explain to these men’s wives that if their husband can’t get it from them, they will get it from someone else.

            Not all men are like that.

            1. Then they really don’t want it that bad. I think it is a bad idea for either spouse to be picky about sex. I get it that being married to Warty or Episiarch would require giving a firm never in a million years to some or even most of their predilections. But basic harmless shit that doesn’t involve, danger, illegality, health risks or degrading abuse? You should do it. It just creates animosity and discord over nothing.

              Seriously, giving a blowjob is one of the most powerful inducements women have. Why some of them want to give that up is beyond me. Hey honey, two blowjobs a week in return for “insert whatever chore or service wife wants” here.

              1. No, not really. When I entered into a relationship with my current gf, I made an implicit contract wherein I would obtain sexual exclusivity for same. Unfortunately, I didn’t specify the rate that this exclusive access to the poonani would occur at.

                Always read over the contract, kids.

                1. Yup. She could always do like mine and just unilaterally shut down the operation. Women can go without sex for longer than most men can believe possible.

                  After having gone through it more than I would have imagined I no longer consider a woman faithful if they simply don’t screw anybody else. They have to at least be screwing me on some measurable frequency. As long as I am staying fit, dressing well, bringing home the bacon, and behaving well I expect to find a source for what I desire at home. If it isn’t there I will find it elsewhere.

            2. “Not all men are like that.”

              No they are not, but then neither are all women. Some of us are smart enough to marry women who are kinky and actually like sex

            3. Sex is one of the basic drives. It is possible to ignore it, but most men won’t. If you don’t like sex (and my wife doesn’t) you need to be prepared to allow your husband to obtain it elsewhere (which my wife does). I stay with my Lady because she is my best friend. one of the reasons she is my best friend is that she tries very, very hard to play fair.

          2. This is why it’s important to marry a libertarian woman.

          3. I wish I could find a clip of it, but there’s a clip of Mo’Nique calling herself the FBIA: Freakiest Bitch in America. She figures if she isn’t willing to do it for her man somebody else will so she might as well get down and dirty and enjoy it.

          4. True. Although a guy has absolutely no right to complain about a lack of blowjobs if he’s not willing to go down on his woman (and to be honest, I’ve never really understood the guys who are against that. As long as it’s hygienic down there, it’s enjoyable for both parties IMO)

            1. Those rules should apply to both spouses. Get over yourself and show them you think they are important enough for you to put out.

      2. What’s the difference between a wife and a dog?

        After a couple years the dog is still happy to see you.

        1. A man walks into a bar and tells the bartender he needs a drink because he’s just had the worst day of his life.

          “Really?”, asks the bartender. “What happened?”

          “Well first I got in a car accident on the way to work. Then I got fired for being late. And when I managed to get home today I found my wife in bed with my best friend!”

          “That’s awful. What did you say to your wife?”

          “I told her it’s over, that I’m leaving and I never want to see her again.”

          “What did you say to your best friend?”

          “I said ‘Bad dog!'”

          1. Speaking of prostitution jokes…

            A guy walks into a bar. He sees a pretty woman sitting at the far end of the bar so he walks over and buys her a drink. They start chatting and after a little while he decides he’ll just cut to the chase, so he says”

            “Listen, would you sleep with me for a million dollars?”

            She looks him over and says “Sure. I think I’d sleep with you for a million dollars.”

            “OK, then would you sleep with me for one dollar?”

            Offended, she slaps him across the face. “No way! What kind of girl do you think I am!!!??”

            “We already established that. Now we’re just haggling over the price.”

      3. Hence that Dear Prudence letter I linked to yesterday.

    2. Oh look, here come the SoCon asphyx-phobes right on cue…

  7. I count no day as lived unless I have loved a woman, slain a foeman, and eaten a fine meal.

  8. If you read the original piece there are a couple of tells in it that let you know what the real problem was.

    My favorite part is this:

    There is no fear she will talk to him, only listen.

    In other words, she nags. And he pays a prostitute to be around a woman who doesn’t have a complaint ready for the moment he walks in the door.

    It heals, soothes and provides a “safe place” free from the demands of actual performance.

    In other words, he’s not fantastic in bed, and she bitches about it. So he decided it would was worth the dough to be able to get laid without be negatively judged every time.

    1. Gee, the guy just wants some emotional support and comfort from his wife. What a demanding sexist bastard. Doesn’t he know it is supposed to always be about her?

    2. In other words, he’s not fantastic in bed, and she bitches about it. So he decided it would was worth the dough to be able to get laid without be negatively judged every time.

      Yeah, here’s the funny thing about that: we, as men, do not read minds. Having a deep, wonderful, mental and emotional connection does not mean that we instantly know that you like/hate someone playing with your nipples or like/hate doggy style or you like/hate cunninglingus plus fingers.

      And it is hard to fuck a woman who annoys and/or nags you. Unless you’re hatefucking her.

      1. See Coward, sex is sacred. You are just supposed to feel and know it.

      2. Goddamn, tell me about it. What’s worse is when they try to tell you what it is that they want, only to change their damn minds later on. I got a taste of that the time before last. It’s especially difficult when you’re still struggling with the after effects of phimosis, and it takes a while to adjust your sensitivity and rythm.

        So, yeah, I watch a lot of porn. Too much.

  9. I just read the original complaint. That harridan’s poor husband should have just divorced her years ago and everyone would have gotten over it by now.

    1. Feminism really does set up women to be divorced and bitter doesn’t it? If you are a woman and think it is your husband’s job to please you and that you are not obligated to do anything you don’t totally enjoy, you are going to end up divorced, bitter, and unable to understand why your marriage failed.

    2. DIVORCE!? You’re a monster (moreso than normal). Divorce is the very bedrock on which the destruction of our society is based.

      1. Jesse, you are aware that you are speaking to “the very bedrock on which the destruction of our society is based”

        I mean, it IS Warty.

        1. I’m apparently not that great at being “ironic”.

          This is why there are no libertarian hipsters.

      2. Divorce is pretty bad, especially if you have kids. What I find interesting is that we have totally taken away the stigma of divorce. You can leave your spouse and leave your children to be the products of a broken home for the most shallow of reasons. A man or a woman can come home one day and walk away from a marriage because they just need to grow or they just feel unfilled or any number of other amorphous and selfish reasons and face little or no social approbation.

        But let a married person have a one night stand in a moment of weakness or an affair while going through a rough patch in their marriage and they are a cheater and subject to any amount of outrage in shame.

        Not to say that cheating is good. But it seems we are a little out of whack. I think walking ending a marriage, especially when there are children involved for anything but very strong reasons is a lot worse than having an affair much less a one night stand. But our social mores say the opposite. I don’t think that is very healthy.

  10. There should be a bit of distance between wanting to legalize “sex work” and wanting to say it does no harm.

    I mean, Reason defends the right not to cater gay weddings, but it doesn’t defend that behavior, just says it’s not the govt’s business. Why not the same with prostitution?

    Here’s a major reason why SoCons don’t want prostitution legalized – the associate legalization with social approval. Reason seems to be doing the same thing, which sort of mutes the “I disapprove but support your right to blah blah” argument which is central to libertarianism.

    1. Two other points: The woman whose relationship was messed up was not a wife, but a “partner.” Maybe that’s a reason the guy went beyond a one-night stand and actually got into a romantic relationship with a hooker. That’s not exactly a typical scenario, I think (but I’m no expert). It seems like the boyfriend was seeking a whole new relationship, not just the occasional sexual release.

      Then this from the harlot’s article: “I’m a parent with a primary school-aged child. I’m a sociologist and political scientist pursuing postgraduate qualifications. I’m in a long-term relationship. I’m also a sex worker. My partner knows.”

      That partner is either desperate, or he’s holding out for her to change (which she doesn’t seem like doing).

      1. I’m a sociologist and political scientist pursuing postgraduate qualifications. ….I’m also a sex worker.

        And you people wonder why I stay in academia?

        It’s because of the hos.

    2. Should beer be illegal? No? Then you support alcoholism!!!! And don’t care about the CHILDRENZZZZ!!!!

      Now replace “beer” with “prostitution” and…fuck it, just stop making fallacious arguments.

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