The Shared Values and Techniques of Therapists and Sex Workers.
âSex Worker or Therapist?â was censored by Psychology Today on February 21 and never appeared online.
Several years ago, a 62-year-old man had a consultation with me a few months after good friends had conducted, let’s say, an intervention on his behalf. Andrew was a pediatrician who had worked nearly his whole life in rural Vietnam, a demanding job that caused him to sideline other important parts of his life. Now that he had retired, his friends decided Andrew needed help building a sex life. He accepted their rather unconventional assistance.
Andrew told me he always knew he was gay even though until recently he had never had sex with anyone. âFor the first time in my life,â he said. âIâve developed an intense excitement about having sex with men and perhaps even a loving relationship.â
I asked him about the recent sexual experience arranged by his friends.
âThey found an escort for me. It was a little like you see in the movies â the father taking his virgin son to see a prostitute to initiate him into manhood. Having done their research, my friends chose well. The young man understood that I was a virgin and was extraordinarily kind, loving and generous with me. I was terrified and overexcited. He handled me perfectly,â Andrew said. âSince then, Iâve seen Peter weekly. Itâs been the most amazing experience. I am learning to appreciate my body as old as it is and Iâm also learning the mechanics of sex which I had only occasionally seen in porn movies. My whole attitude has changed. I feel much more confident about myself and Iâve started to date. Iâm so grateful to Peter for what he is giving to me.â
Another patient Judith reported that in the past she had seen a male escort who helped her with a deep fear. Judith had several disturbing childhood experiences with an uncle who fondled her, sometimes masturbating while he touched her prepubescent breast.
Judith had consequently developed a lifelong fear of physical contact with men and although she had fantasized regularly about having sex, when she expressed her fears to the men she dated, they inevitably left her. âToo much baggage,â she said. âAs it turned out the right man for me was an escort.â
âI confided my fears in my closest girlfriend,â she continued. âShe made the suggestion that I try an escort. I thought she was nuts at first, but it was absolutely the right thing. I found an escort service online and called. Dan was sweet, tender and gentle. He knew exactly how to touch me. He had a lot of patience that guys I dated didnât have. I saw him about four or five times and while I am not entirely cured, I am on the way. Iâm no longer afraid the way I was. Iâm making better choices with men now because of Dan.â Later, she said, âIt didnât matter at all that I was paying him. Iâve paid more to therapists over the years and I didnât get anywhere.â She added one more thought. âI got attached to him, maybe I even felt a kind of love. But, I got over it quickly. I put it in itâs place. Yet I have to say that it opened my heart to other men in a way I couldnât before.â Like Andrew, time with a sex worker prepared Judith to go out into the world with experience, self-confidence and a positive attitude toward sex. She felt she could finally have a sexual relationship.
Every escort might not have the same talents to heal and while some do exploit their clients, the sex workers I spoke with, as well as some I have been with, share many of the same positive values and ethics as therapists. Both psychotherapists and sex workers have guided me, at different times in my life, to a deeper understanding of my true desires, partly by challenging me to confront shame.
Of course, a sex workerâs profession is illegal in most states.
In the 1970s, sex researchers Masters and Johnson introduced the idea of using sexual surrogates with patients to engage in intimate sexual relations to achieve a therapeutic goal. The idea caught on for a short time. Sex surrogates were eventually certified to use a combination of techniques â talking, listening and performing to help resolve a patient’s sexual issue. Psychotherapists referred patients to surrogates who had problems with self-confidence, sexual anxiety, premature ejaculation, vaginismus, sexual inhibition and erectile dysfunction.
Despite the high success rate of surrogate programs, complicated legal issues, along with intense criticism from both the far right and feminist organizations, arose. Few states allow sexual surrogates to practice these days.
The sex worker industry, on the other hand, will never disappear. And while therapists cannot refer patients to them, they are working with mental health professionals to help patients explore and develop their sexual potential.
Of course, communication plays a key role in the success of these sexual exchanges as it does in therapy since so many sexual issues are psychological. I have heard of sex workers who use relaxation techniques, intimate verbal communication, non-genital contact, sexual touching as well as intercourse.
Because of negative attitudes associated with prostitution we think of it as lacking humanity. After all, itâs an activity engaged in mostly by strangers with an exchange of money. Therefore, we make the wrong assumption that both parties are entering into a very intimate encounter with a total detachment.
But this Nexus Pheromones wasnât the case with my patients nor with some of the sex workers I interviewed.
“Iâve had such positive experiences with hookers,â one straight patient told me. “The best experiences have been the conversations. Some are better educated than I am. They seem to genuinely enjoy their work and care about their clients. We are no different. Weâre all people. Iâm sure their relationships are just as fraught with complications as mine. The only shame I have about it is what society places on me. I wouldnât talk about it with my friends, even though Iâve learned so much about sex and myself through these experiences. My guy friends would think that Iâm not cool enough to find and keep a girlfriend and my female friends would be totally creeped out. I wish I could openly recommend it to my friends, but I canât.
I wanted to learn more about the views of escorts.
âI introduce guys to their bodies,â one woman I met online told me. âMost of the men I meet are pretty out of touch with themselves physically. They think they want to just fuck. I teach them that sex isnât all about fucking. I relax them first with conversation, then sensual touching I teach them what women need. The connection is important. âSometimes Iâll ask a client about his fantasies if I feel comfortable enough with him. They donât always know I coax it out of them If weâre sexually compatible, then we will go ahead and try to play his fantasies out. There are times I’m just not into what a guy wants and will politely tell him that he would have a better experience with someone who enjoys what he does. I do it without shaming him.
âDonât get me wrong. Iâm not entirely a missionary. I enjoy the money. There is something erotic about getting paid. Itâs as much a turn-on as anything else. It satisfies a deep need of mine to be admired.â
I spoke with Devon Hunter, a gay man who has a decade of experience in the adult entertainment industry and who became a sex worker, or courtesan, as he prefers to call himself, after years of deliberation.
âWhat motivates me is the desire to create an experience that awakens kindness and compassion in my clients. Most of my clients are not coming to have intercourse. The great majority seek intimacy and affection I create a boyfriend experience in which we get acquainted through conversation, touch, perhaps tender kissing. We might go out to dinner then come home and have sex, but just as often not. Together, we establish a romanticized, or idealized version of what every man hopes for. In part, I accomplish this by focusing my attention with deep compassion and empathy for what it is someone needs. Whatever they look like, act like or fantasize. I suspend all judgements. My goal is to affirm people.
“Some of these men come from relationships that are dysfunctional or co-dependent where there has been sacrifice. Our experience acts as a counterpoint. Itâs healing in that my client internalizes the kindness, compassion and tenderness we exchange then takes that into his own life and propagates it. Although I am not trained as a therapist, I always hope that the experience is a therapeutic one for my client. That doesnât mean that itâs not sexy.
“I develop a bond with clients as regularly as might happen in real life and itâs as authentic as any that would happen outside of the situation. It grows from the cycle of freely giving and receiving that I work to establish. Being a man is demanding. Men have to prove they are men usually through aggressive behavior. When we are together, we can suspend that performance. Often I teach a client to receive. To let me take care of them. Most realize that intercourse is not what they want Affection and sensuality is whatâs most meaningful to them. Kissing achieves that.
“Unfortunately, sex workers are marginalized and demonized on all fronts. I understand there are people who are hustlers â âgay for pay.â They are often men who are self-loathing, emotionally inauthentic and inaccessible. Those kind of people exist in every profession. Some men are sadly attracted to the danger and potential self-destructiveness of encounters with these men.
“I want to bring attention to the fact that while sex workers have to constantly deal with society’s demonization of them, many are not self-hating. Personally, such ostracism reminds me to act with greater kindness and empathy towards everyone.”
Itâs difficult not to continue the comparison between the goals and techniques of these sex workers and of psychotherapists â empathy, compassion, communication and connection, self-knowledge, affirmation and a corrective experience. Both experiences take place within a suspended reality where the relationship is limited to a prescribed time and place.
I remember sitting in the lobby of an office suite I once shared. Several patients sat on either side of me and I imagined what it would be like for them waiting for their session to start. My watch read 12:50 P.M. Suddenly, the doors of a dozen consultation rooms flung open. It was the end of the patientsâ fifty-minute session. They were followed a minute later by nearly twelve therapists who came out for a stretch or bathroom break
The image of sex workers standing outside their doors waiting for their next client in Amsterdamâs red-light district instantly came to mind.
Kate Brown says:
Mar 6, 2012
Intersting. It’s informative and something that isn’t usually discussed.
Personally I think a person’s body belongs to themselves and if a person has a service to sell by using their body (What do athletes do for instance) they should be permitted to do so. Regulating this could help lift the stigma of people who are in this business and of the people who are patrons of this business. It would be safer and healthier too.
Fern Fedora says:
Mar 8, 2012
It’s International WOMENS DAY and we NEED this available: The GREAT BARRIER Brief health protection 4 women
More WOMEN dead from AIDS than Men from WAR
1984 – 2010 RIP
Also see the ancient website when corpse were stealing it and Under the name JANESWAY.net there was a NIH GRANT during Clinton admin.
THEN please call any women in government in YOUR STATE and the White House Office. Tell them to sign the petition and then JUST DO IT!
Joey Smith says:
Mar 7, 2012
It is unfortunate that such candid and compassionate commentary referencing the truths of human sexuality could be censored. Many of us look to magazines like yours for understanding that often exists outside what is considered politically correct. These articles are daring, fresh and rendered with a lightness of touch that strip away anxiety from the subjects that are touched upon. Please don’t censor Stanley Siegel’s articles. I have found them so enjoyable, and on several occasions, reassuring.
Mar 7, 2012
As a sexworker, I have to admit to being so glad to read all the amazing connections that have been talked about amongst other sexworking types. We acknowledge this connection, so strong in our work, and some of us are even seeking to get therapist credentials to go along with this. I for one, focus on sex not just as a normative expectation, but also on sex in alternative communities. I work with my clients/customers to provide them a blank slate that allows them to play out their issues or trepidation around some facet of themselves as a sexual being, without judgment or expectation.
It’s refreshing to see this topic talked about in terms both human, and humane.
John Picard says:
Mar 8, 2012
A wonderfully refreshing view of normal human behaviour. I am a therapist and while I work on peoples bodies and tight muscles, I also use my intuition to sense what else might be going on in their lives. I really enjoy the conversation side of the therapy, ( as do my clients)as , together we gently tease out the issues in their lives, and the issues in their tissues.I spend two hours with each client, and dont watch the clock. The session is over when the work is done, not when the clock chimes.What a pity this article was censored.
michael bartley says:
Mar 8, 2012
I had a wonderful experience with an escort, that was the starting point that started to change my life. when my last relationship ended, the way I coped with the pain was by becoming very involved in doing community volunteer work. I did about 20 hours a week plus my real job. The volunteer work was very rewarding and meaningful but I lacked something in my life. One day I decided to hire an escort. I found that I needed a sex life. Since that day I have found a new lover. I am so thankful that I did rediscover the joy and meaning of physical affection.
Mar 8, 2012
I actually used to provide a combination of listening, empathy, relationality, erotic touch, and spiritually-oriented sexuality to people (not for pay; I identified more as a sacred intimate), and was able first hand to see the incredible healing power of addressing ALL aspects of a person’s psyche, including the physical and the sexual. Now that I am a licensed psychotherapist (MFT), it saddens me greatly that I am unable to provide such amazing healing (at least without risking losing my license) because of our culture’s attitudes towards sexuality. We definitely threw the baby out with the bathwater when we completely forbid any sexual or erotic contact within the confines of therapy. If we were more accepting of our sexuality as a culture we could incorporate that work, regulate it, oversee it so that abuses did not occur, etc. But instead we remain partially hamstrung in our efficacy. It’s truly sad.
Domina Elle says:
Mar 9, 2012
Amazing! I am a bdsm professional (dominatrix: dominant surrogate) and what I do is absolutely a therapeutic modality! The ‘work’ I do with my clients is about so many different things such as dealing with issues such as shame, acting out processes that allow a person self observation (which can be a catalyst for personal growth), people are allowed a safe environment where they are free from intolerance and judgment and therefore can freely express feelings and desires that they otherwise hide, this kind of PLAY stimulates the brain, creative thought, is a stress relief, and I could go on and on. It is truly time for rational discussions pertaining to sexuality across the board. Many providers such as myself can tell you, we are working with people in a very intimate way, it is innovative and even controversial due to the stigmas attached to the work, but I can tell you from first hand experience (over a decade now) that this is amazing stuff! Under the right circumstances this is about healing, personal growth, exploration, and just plain ol’ healthy FUN. It is ADULT PLAY THERAPY; sexually based and for adults ONLY, but play therapy no less. I thought about getting credentials and trying to go that route, but frankly I think I am able to do more for people without that beaurocracy looming over my head (too bad the laws seeking to govern morality loom over our heads). It has even been shown through research coming out of the mental health community itself, that people do not open up about these sexual issues with many professionals because of the stigmas. These people often feel more comfortable opening up with providers such as myself because we are not in that establishment. I have heard this so many times directly from clients. It makes sense because we (sex workers, adult service providers) face the same marginalization that the clients do for their ‘alternative’ sexual proclivities (which by the way are usually pretty tame and it is sad that people are so terrified to share these desires with those they are closest to in their lives for fear of rejection or worse). For such a technologically advanced culture (lol) we have a long way to go to get out of the dark ages as far as sexual subjects go. It is time for a sexual EVOLUTION. ~Domina Elle, Denver Colorado, Owner of Studio Play Denver.
Eric Smith says:
Mar 9, 2012
This is a lovely article! Quite frankly, I think it was unconscionable that Psychology Today censored it. Indeed, we are hung up about sexuality in our society and that action by Psychology Today is simply one among thousands of cases in point.
I strongly suspect the following passage, excerpted from the article may have played a significant role in the decision to censor the article:
“I confided my fears in my closest girlfriend, she continued. She made the suggestion that I try an escort. I thought she was nuts at first, but it was absolutely the right thing. I found an escort service online and called. Dan was sweet, tender and gentle. He knew exactly how to touch me. He had a lot of patience that guys I dated didn’t have. I saw him about four or five times and while I am not entirely cured, I am on the way. I’m no longer afraid the way I was. I’m making better choices with men now because of Dan. Later, she said, It didn’t matter at all that I was paying him.”
“I’ve paid more to therapists over the years and I didn’t get anywhere… it opened my heart to other men in a way I couldn’t before.
“Like Andrew, time with a sex worker prepared Judith to go out into the world with experience, self-confidence and a positive attitude toward sex. She felt she could finally have a sexual relationship.”
It has long been regarded in the field of counseling psychology that approximately one third of clients improve through counseling, one third stays the same and one third gets worse. I actually think these numbers are optimistic in that the real number of people who actually improve through psychological counseling or therapy is far less than 33 percent.
In my view, as a former clinical social worker, this is a criticism of the field that the field really doesn’t want to look at. After all, money is ultimately involved and the financial implications are significant.
Even within the field, there is some evidence that the best treatment outcomes involve more than talking- they involve a trusting relationship and they involve an aspect of physicality.
For example, some of the most effective treatment outcomes for people that suffer from various anxiety disorders is “exposure therapy.” Where the therapist actually accompanies the client in an anxiety producing situation- in the field, not in the office- and works with the client to tolerate the experience, inviting, encouraging, stretching, and affirming- and most importantly, being present with and paying attention to the client until the level of anxiety begins to dissipate, the most productive treatment outcomes arise in the least amount of time.
Here’s another example. I’m a ski instructor who works with mentally and emotionally disabled children, youth, and adults. In many cases, (admittedly not all) simply by teaching someone how to ski -even spending as little time as one to five days- is far more effective in building self esteem, self confidence, and a positive sense of well-being than several months or maybe even years of psycho therapy can accomplish.
I see sex therapy as another form of intervention in this same arena involving an aspect of physicality. If a client has sexual hang-ups, there is no question that there are other issues of self confidence, ego defensiveness, and relationship distress as well. And if a client presents with the latter of these issues (even if sexual discomfort or dysfunctionality is not mentioned) one can be certain that sexual discomfort or dysfunctionality is a significant dynamic in the client’s life nevertheless.
What Sigmund Freud noted- and much of the field has forgotten- is how primal human sexuality is to healthy psychological functioning. (I may have issues with a number of Freud’s hypotheses or theories, yet I still think his contribution in this arena was significant).
It makes abundant sense to me that using intimate touch- and possibly sexual touch or sexual intercourse in addition to healing, affirmative healing-oriented dialogue between a sex worker and a client to work through such issues as self confidence, ego defensiveness, and relationship distress among others, a form of physicality is offered that is more effective in achieving a higher, more healthy level of functioning than is possible from mere talk alone.
Unfortunately the “Puritan ethic” remains embedded in the psyche of our larger culture as referenced by the following passage in the article:
“Because of negative attitudes associated with prostitution we think of it as lacking humanity. After all, it’s an activity engaged in mostly by strangers with an exchange of money. Therefore, we make the wrong assumption that both parties are entering into a very intimate encounter with a total detachment.”
Precisely the same can be said about the psychotherapeutic encounter and possibly treatment relationship that can follow!
Even though I, personally, have never been a sex worker nor a client, I strongly support decriminalizing sex work. I am provisionally open to regulating “therapeutic sex work” so long as leadership in this arena comes from sex work therapists themselves and not from legislative bodies that lack the depth of experience and understanding necessary to develop unbiased, useful regulations.
I agree that there is always room for abuse to arise in the context of sex worker therapy- but that is equally true traditional psychotherapy as well. The balancing act here is to promote useful, healthy intervention yet to protect clients from abuse based on actual evidence- not based on assumptions, preconceptions, and untested beliefs.
Thank you for writing this article; I think it is an important step in the long struggle to decriminalizing other socially disparaged actions, such as recreational drug use.
Mar 9, 2012
I would highly recommend the movie “Bliss”. (it’s on Netflicks)
Joseph (Craig Shaffer) and Maria (Sheryl Lee)
are a young couple in serious trouble. Although
they love each other, Maria has difficulty opening
up to Joseph and after 6 months of marriage, he
makes the unhappy discovery that she’s been unable
to have an orgasm with him. Enter Balthazar (Terence Stamp)
and unlicensed sex therapist who agrees to initiate Joseph
into the mysteries of tantric sex that could save his marriage.
Especially in trauma cases, if the body is not addressed then cellular memory will reactivate old wounds. The body doesn’t lie.
Also recommend “Trauma and the Body a sensorimotor approach to psychotherapy.
It is too bad that touch has become taboo in the therapeutic
session. Any tool can be used for good or harm. Intention is
crucial. It must be used for the client not the therapist.
I was healed by the use of touch, to open up pre-verbal
trauma that I could not talk about obviously,
I had not developed language by then, It was a tremendous
release to let go of all that, and I’m eternally grateful to the
women who with her loving touch was able to have such a positive impact on my life and how I held myself from that point forward.
I’ve had therapists tell me that shamanic work
was extremely powerful in the right hands. . .
so there are modalities out there that are making
huge contributions to those that suffer.
I actually did spiritual work on a licensed therapist to
access memories of sexual trauma as a child.
She was able to let her body tell her who
the perpetrator was. There was a huge release
and the denial broke and she was able to file those
memories where they belong (in the past)and to
move into a new world of possibility.
It does not speak highly of Psychology Today
to censor this article.
It is clear to me that many holistic body workers are trying
to make a difference in their clients lives and
to use their skills to heal. Perhaps the psychology
establishment does not want to look at how other
modalities are attracting clients, so they would
rather suppress and discount them instead.
Perhaps they need to look at their own “shadow” self.
Reminds me of AMA attacking natural alternate cures
that have saved many. But that’s another story.
William Allen Law, M.A., LPCC says:
Mar 9, 2012
Ten years ago a “call girl” came to my office for therapy, she was wanting to retire and wanted guidaince in how to change her life. She at one point asked me – “What profession takes someone behind closed doors, makes significant noises, shares initmacy and after about an hour exchanges maoney leaves and hopes it happens again next week?” I understood immediately what she was getting at. Later as her therapy developed she commented that the shame was that at least she got to have sex and play – I was left with nothing but talk. That may be a simplistic view of what we do but there are many parrallels between what sex workers do and what therapists do. It is a shame that Psychology Today editors censored this article for drawing the parrallels. I have been aware of these parallels for a long time and personally struggled for a long time to find how to be more human in the office and less of an agency/insurance/for self pay whore.
Mar 11, 2012
Frankly, I think there is a major hole in psychology methods today. This article points one of them out.
I’ve done 25 years of traditional therapy combined with a number of various books and self-help and human potential courses to route out “mother issues” that got mixed up with my sexuality and made my emotions difficult to control throughout my life. Dabbled in yoga, meditation, music, and much more. There was always an underlying feeling of sadness and lack of connection. It’s been like an itch that I don’t know how to scratch.
Eventually, I discovered I was trying to use my head to solve was essentially was a heart and body issue. I had to recognize something on a body level and integrate it into my mind. For me, the other way was very, very difficult to impossible. The mind just lead me in circles.
When you are hungry for love or a certain type of attention on some level, pictures of or discussions about it are not going to feed you. The experiential path is to experience it with another, feel it, and then find that love in yourself now that you know how it feels. You can now recognize it. Therapy keeping people at an arm’s length is a safety mechanism because of taboos around sex and touch. That’s in addition to the mind’s desire to put things in boxes and avoid the messiness that comes with actually being intimate with other people. Clearly it can be done on some level. People have figured it out.
Since seeing a sex worker who specializes in healing, somehow the core of my itch is gone. Something deep inside is no longer stuck in the past. Took about 12 sessions. I hired traditional escorts previous to this. I got nice ones, but I came away feeling that I wasn’t getting to the core of my needs. There is a difference between sex for entertainment and sex for healing. They didn’t have the presence and intention for healing that I needed. And my now wife, who knows about this and accepts it, knew that it was positive because of “who I was being” after sessions. She could tell that I was healing.
Frankly, I knew I needed something like this 20 years ago, but the options were not talked about or suggested because of societal rules. It saddens me to have spent so much time, energy and money trying to talk through what was better solved with the caring intimate, physical presence of a well-trained sex worker who has integrity. I spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on psychotherapy, counseling, a divorce and trying to use material possessions to scratch the itch.
I also have a problem with Psychology Today, but this is typical. Clearly, this is a positive path for a many people. Unless enough people speak up about it, and say “This worked for me and I want to hear about it”, it’ll stay in the shadows and continue to be shunned. We’ve seen a number of things falling away the past 100 years as people have stood up. Equality regardless of race, gender or sexual preference are all making progress. Perhaps this can be next. I certainly intend to own it and be the change I want to see.
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Veronica Monet says:
Mar 15, 2012
Whore is not a dirty word. Sex workers are in fact reclaiming it. The profession of prostitute has been demonized over the millenia not unlike the profession of midwife. Anything pertaining to the body and professions formerly dominated by females has accrued needless layers of shame and fear.
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I realize that I am more than a bit late to the comment party, but I stumbled across this article while doing research for a client of mine. What I have to say is contrary to other comments, but I have no wish to argue with anybody, only share my experience as everyone else has had the chance to do.
I don’t have the patience to beat around the bush, so I will just tell you where my experience (not necessarily my opinion) comes from. I was homeless for 6 years, during which I hitchhiked all over the country. I stayed in homeless shelters of all description and any affiliation. In the gross majority of those shelters (taking into account the size of the city) the female population usually consisted mostly of either prostitutes or women who occasionally had sex for money (smaller cities had less, larger cities had more). That being said, I can count on one and a half hands how many prostitutes admitted that what they were doing wasn’t exactly what they had in mind 2 or 5 or 10 years ago when they first started hooking. All of the rest that I talked to told me that they did it because they enjoyed it and/or because they wanted to, in spite of the track marks on their arms, the bruises on their faces, or the fact that they were a regular in a homeless shelter, or all of the above. And, in spite of what I saw first hand, there were times living on the street that I got desperate myself. After two encounters I decided nothing would ever make me that desperate ever again.
Jump forward 12 years, and my past as transient are long in my past. Today I am a volunteer crisis counselor on an anonymous hotline. I have a few regulars and a tremendous amount of one timers who have sexual issues of varying description, who have all thought a prostitute or an escort would be exactly what they need. Whether it be for “pornography induced” erectile dysfunction (which is apparently something people get told nowadays) or because they are a virgin at 32 and are consistently being rejected by not only actual dates because of it, but by escorts and prostitutes who try to scam them out of their money because, after all, this person just admitted to never having sex before, so they certainly aren’t privy to protocol when it comes to exchanging money for sex.
Please, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying anybody who sells their body for sex is only doing it to feed a drug habit or is inherently devious. All I’m saying is that prostitution has a bad name for a reason. Yes, I’m sure there are prostitutes out there that don’t use drugs. Yes, I’m sure there are even prostitutes out there that charge enough to weed out the riff raff so they don’t get beaten or murdered. Yes, I’m sure not every single prostitute is trying to steal people’s money because they know people are vulnerable. Yes, a hooker with a heart of gold must surely exist somewhere, but with the experience I have, and the experience of the people I counsel on a regular basis, I have yet to meet one, or anyone that knows one for that matter. Sure, you could argue that “if it went well, they wouldn’t be calling a crisis hotline or puking on the bathroom floor in a homeless shelter!”, and that is a very good point. The only problem I have is why is that all I found when I was homeless? Why were so many homeless and transient women doing it? Why were so many who did it on drugs? Where exactly are these humanitarian hookers who can afford to be picky about their clientele?
I’m sure you can see where I am going with this. The humanitarians you are talking about are the gross minority. For every prostitute who has such a wonderful experience and contribution as you describe, there are hundreds and hundreds who have a horrifically different experience.
And furthermore, to wonder why physical touch is specifically separated from conventional therapy seems like a bit of a no-brainer to me. The possibility for damage, for both parties, the client and the therapist, is so great that it outweighs the positive effect it would have on some people. I don’t deny at all that some people benefit tremendously from physical touch being incorporated into their therapy, but the need for professional boundaries is paramount. Intimacy works both ways, right? Otherwise it isn’t intimacy, it’s just fantasy.
That’s all I have to say, like I said, I know I’m late. I just had to be the 10th man (or woman)
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