I probably perpetuate the myth myself, when I defend the men who patronize strip clubs or escorts. I say they are lonely. I say they have trouble talking to women. I say they are physically unattractive and wouldn't get the kind of attention anywhere else that they are seeking. I say they are disabled but have needs too. Needs that aren't being met.
All of these descriptions reduce the sex industry customer to some feeble-minded, outcast who cannot get himself laid. But this is one myth of the sex industry customer.
Another myth is the one perpetuated by abolitionists. They say that our customers are woman-haters, abusers, sexually-depraved, perpetrators of violence, rapists. This is not true either.
The sex industry customer is neither a victim or an abuser.
A sex industry customer is a married man who gets a sex worker to tickle his balls while he masturbates, because he's too scared to ask his wife. This is his boundary. He will not have any other contact with the escort.
The sex industry customer is a man who wants to try sex with a butt plug. How many guys out there would be comfortable asking their wives to try a butt plug on them? However, anal penetration can be extremely pleasurable for both women and men.
As an exotic dancer, I found that one of my most oft-used skills was the ability to get men to be comfortable with my nudity. They'd come into the private show booth with me, sit down, then become extremely uncomfortable - not sure where to look, embarrassed of their vulnerability, apologetic for "objectifying" me - if that's the crap they've been fed by the abolitionists.
I would help them feel at ease. I would smile and chat comfortably. I would say "it's okay to look at my pussy, it doesn't make me uncomfortable at all." I would say, "Relax, I love my job and I'm the one taking your money, Honey." I didn't feel objectified. I felt in control of my surroundings, my income earning potential, and my body. I also felt in control of my customer. My job was to help him accept his own desires and not judge him for it.
An escort I know tells me there's a market for older women. And it makes sense. While one older man may want a young, hard-body for his money's worth, another would feel absolutely silly making love to a 30-year-old. He wants the fine company of a woman his own age.
How about the war veteran who paid an escort to share his war stories with her. They never had sex. He was monogamous. But he needed to talk about things that he would never dream of sharing with his wife. He found comfort in the reassuring "Hmm's" and "Ahh's" whispered by the escort while he divulged haunting wartime atrocities over dinner in a fancy restaurant.
Let's not forget the age old tradition of paying an escort to take a man's virginity. The practice is more common than you might think.
So what kind of man pays to watch a woman dance naked in front of him? What kind of man pays for sex?
Well the truth is, he could be any kind of man. Combine the circumstances of life with the very real, very natural need of men to be physically comforted via fantasy or reality, and you've got a booming sex industry.
On a personal note, if I wasn't having sex with my husband, I would rather he paid a professional than went out and found a replacement.
So the obviousconclusion is that sex industry customers are neither victims or abusers. They are consumers responding logically to a physical need by using the services of a professional. And there ain't no shame in that.