Sexual needs and desires are now widely recognised in psychology as being the second most important human need after survival.
As such, the suppressing or failing to fulfill sexual desires and needs is widely acknowledged in resulting in a range of physical and mental issues, as well as crime.
If this is the wisdom of those who understand the human mind best, it does beg the question, how many of us really lead a fulfilled sexual life and how many of us do not? And what are the potential consequences of failing to follow one’s sexual dreams?
I have long been exasperated by and grown increasingly weary of the debate by the do-gooders, the moral authorities and the perceived “Intelligencia”, who constantly paint the sex industry and sex workers, in particular, in a negative light.
It is also, in my mind, a fallacious and disingenuous lie to make out it is only men who have rampant sexual desires, as women have their own needs too.
I have often said, a mature and open-minded debate needs to take place, where the facts are looked at rationally, where all of the angles are considered and, most importantly of all, the views of those who know best are taken into consideration.
Such a debate needs to be free of any religious dogma, social stereotyping and negative preconceptions. Otherwise, we go round and around on the same moral roundabout, which has spun since the dawn of humanity and we get nowhere, only increasingly dizzy.
Society moves on and attitudes change. One only needs to look at how the attitudes of society have altered regarding homosexuality, Race and disability in the last generation.
Who would have considered same-sex unions would have been a legally accepted fact twenty years ago? Who would have considered a Race Hate crime would be front page news back in the dark days of the 1960s and 1970s? And who would have thought a celebration of athletes who have overcome a wide range of adversities would have caught the nation’s imagination to such a degree even ten years ago?
Times change and attitudes change. However, this can only happen if there is actually a discussion! Too much of today’s debates, as we have seen in Scotland, Ireland and Sweden have centred on banning an act, rather than attempting to understand it.
Is it not a case, maybe, it is more comfortable for society and those often self-appointed and self-anointed opinion makers to rail against something rather than to attempt to truly understand it?
Look at the debate over the legalisation of drugs: who can tell me why alcohol and tobacco are permissible, given everything we know now, yet other drugs are banished into the margins of society and driven into an unregulated underground existence?
The same goes for the sex industry. Rather than accept it is going to happen irrespective of any legislation, it is concealed from view into a largely unregulated existence, which only serves to increase the dangers to the providers and leaves the health standards open to the conscience of individuals. So who is society serving? Who is society protecting?
To pretend it does not exist or society can live without it is pointless. You don’t agree or believe me? Answer me this then: how is it where sex is meant to be an irrelevance, such as in certain religions or priesthoods, they are rife with sexual scandal?
Sexual desires are there and we all have them on some level or other. Some people are just more in touch with theirs than others. That does not mean some people do not have such desires, more they are latent, suppressed from consciousness and doing who knows what harm to them and those around them.
Sex workers are a fact of every society since the dawn of time and always will be.
It is a simple fact of life, owing to the pace of life and lifestyle of many today, not everyone can either find a suitable partner or one who fulfils all of their sexual needs. To deny this is about as valid an argument as to say the dawn will not follow the night or the sun won’t rise in the east.
Also, have attitudes changed towards a less monogamous, more sexually open and liberated way of life? For some, this is definitely true.
To start from a place where a reasonable debate can take place is the only way an issue will ever move forward. Still trying to deny the fact humans have sexual desires and there is a place for sex workers after so many millennia of futile arguments, is akin to poor old King Canute sitting on his throne trying to command the tide! Like it or not, accept it or not, it is real and it will happen, irrespective of whatever measures “society” will take to “protect” their sensibilities.
But this whole issue needs to be looked at much more in the round. It is not just about carnal lust being satisfied. The whole experience of being with someone who gives themself to you and who accepts you as you are, whilst both of you are at your most vulnerable and exposed is a feeling beyond compare.
The intimacy shared yields a closeness it is impossible to achieve in any other way. The companionship and opportunity to share one’s self fully with another is something which goes beyond the mere satisfaction of desire, rather nourishing the soul; one’s inner core.
Such companionship and intimacy builds a close bond where trust and respect are shared and the sense of worth and feeling valued by another are unsurpassed in any other way.
It leads to improved self-worth and greater self-confidence, amongst other benefits. Sure, plenty do find such experiences within a loving, even monogamous relationship, but not everyone. Sure, for some, encounters are just about sex, but not everyone can be tarred with such a broad brush stroke. And just because it may be a paid for encounter does not mean it lacks the intensity of a “real” relationship. I would argue, on some levels at least, it can surpass it.
For whatever reason, and there are a multitude, some people have to look elsewhere to achieve their desires’ fulfilment and whatever society thinks of this is irrelevant. The true testament is how much this enriches the lives of those involved or otherwise. If there are positive benefits, this just confirms the opinions of the Psychology theorists as to the importance of satisfying this basic need. If there are negative effects, well, maybe society is right after all!
However, there is no black and white answer, only many hues of grey. Yet there are plenty of other areas of life we accept as morally correct or beneficial, which still have a downside. Why are such matters glossed over in their universal acceptance?
Like it or not, every human has certain sexual desires and this is one of the most basic of needs. Suppressing them is, in my mind at least, more detrimental than fulfilling them. How one fulfils them is the issue.
Consent is everything. If it is consensual and safe, where is the harm in it?
There are too many double standards in society for it to constantly stand in judgement over others on issues it neither understands not takes the trouble to explore. Surely the only way to fully understand something is to seek the views and insights of those who really know, isn’t it?