Hooked on Prostitution

by Paul Goodchild on May 27, 2010

Sex In Progress

Recently, I met a girl.  I really liked her.  She was fun, had a hugely infectious smile, beautiful eyes, easy laugh, great English (not necessarily easy to find around here), spoke frankly, and gave me heaps of attention.  ‘Well done Paulie’, you might think, good for you!

There was just one problem – she was a prostitute.

Image creditWord count: ~1500.  Approx. reading time: 10~15 minutes.

Hooked on a prostitute

It was my friend’s wedding that initially brought me to Bali.  I’d been here once before and frankly, I didn’t much like the place – the touts are in your face all the time and their persistent nagging gets old quickly.

As with most weddings there’s a traditional stag-party where all the men get together and drink serious amounts of alcohol and act like complete idiots.

That night, by 4a.m. when the club we were in closed, the herd had whittled down to 4 (I think) and for some reason we thought it was imperative that we find another club/pub that was still open. We asked around for pointers and it was clear that there was only one option: ‘The Vida Loca’.

So off we went – we jumped into a large cab and as if by magic, into the car popped 2 or 3 of the girls we had just been questioning to find the next stop in our pilgrimage. Ccompany in the form of beautiful girls can’t hurt – call me a pig, but heterosexual, single men who would label this scenario as ‘negative’ are rare.

After we arrived, and for the remainder of the night I completely lost track of my companions and was effectively pinned to the bar by one of the girls who’d accompanied us in the taxi earlier.  I wasn’t complaining – not at all.

We had a lot of fun there at the bar, but I knew her story and why she was there with me – she was a prostitute.  I felt it important to state my position from the outset to manage her expectations – so I told her that I wasn’t going to be her “customer” that night; paying a girl for sex is not what I’m in to and she should know that by spending time with me she would be limiting her chances of finding a customer.

She was happy enough with that, it seemed, so I suggested that I’d be interested in meeting her when she wasn’t “on duty“.  I asked when that would be next: she replied: ‘When I’m menstruating’.

Well that made sense.  Can’t fault the logic.

I also made sure she didn’t give me her number unless she also wanted to meet me again but she assured me she did, and so we swapped phone numbers.

I was hooked.

It’s a bit of a cliché, but I was ‘hooked on a prostitute’.

What was I thinking?  Not very rationally clearly. Along came my old friend “infatuation” and screwed with my rational thinking.  This went on for probably 2 weeks, until I managed to work it out of my system.

I was practically consumed by the idea of her.

There was some back and forth between us over the phone, and we met once more after that first night.  Though there was nothing intimate, it actually made matters worse because she suddenly turned completely non-responsive to my texts and phone calls.

What’s an infatuated-fool to do, huh?

Whither.  And I did, briefly.

It certainly wasn’t the crowning moment in my travels thus far, but what it did do, in-part at least, was trigger a need in me to work out several things:

  1. the psychology of prostitution, and
  2. why I fell for her.

The former is the most significant and the whole situation has really grabbed a part of my brain and I want to understand it.

The latter, well that was easy and I can address that another time.

Voluntary prostitution as a career choice.

I’m not referring to prostitutes who are either trafficked or who have no other choice than to sell their body for cash.  Instead I refer to girls in places like Bali who often have day jobs from which they earn a decent salary, but turn to prowling the clubs in Kuta to make an extra buck on the side.

To my eyes, and being a man perhaps I’m somewhat limited in how I can see this but, prostitution is a huge price to pay several nights a week just to add luxury to an already self-sufficient lifestyle.

I met a girl about 2 weeks ago in the Bounty club in Kuta who was a tour guide for Japanese tourist groups.  The Japanese are wealthy; they do the tourism thing most often in packs and they pay big money for the privilege of not being taken too far out of their comfort zone.  So what on earth, and this is straight from the horse’s mouth, is a girl (that escorts Japanese tourist groups) doing soliciting sex from men in a bar to make up a little extra?

Voluntary prostitution is lost on me.

I have come to understand the practice much more by simply chatting with the girls and reading books such as Eleven Minutes and McMafia but I don’t wholly get it.  I don’t know why it’s stuck in my craw, but it is.  I think for many men that meet these girls, and I know I’m a sucker for it, we want to rescue them; I immediately want to lift them out of a life that forces upon them a need to do what they do; I want to be that knight in shining armour.

But… what if this is a lifestyle choice made of their own conscious volition?  What if they don’t need a knight, or at least will partly resent external pressures to change their lives into how I’d like them to be living, so that I can feel better.

Who am I, who are we, to tell them that what they do is wrong? Who are we to tell them that there are other options they should consider?  Why is prostitution so bad anyway?  Why does it carry the social stigma that it does?  Unless we sell sex ourselves, how can we begin to understand it?

I don’t have the answers to any of those questions but this article is about trying to work out some them by posing them aloud.

Prostitution and sex tourism is not a topic that people enjoy discussing because it embarrasses them.  Again, I don’t know why exactly, but my guess is a certain amount of social and cultural pressure to be embarrassed.  This provides us moral high-ground where we can all pat each other on the back and congratulate ourselves on how wonderfully inoffensive we all are.

Southeast Asia prostitution raises more questions than it answers

Prostitution is a complex topic, no doubt, but I can’t help but want to understand it better.

In Southeast Asia the sex tourism industry is one that’s difficult to miss.

I arrived in Kuala Lumpur a day or so ago and that evening I decided to take a walk that evening to explore my surroundings.  I found a lively bar and decided to pop in to have a look.  The male:female composition was about 1:5.  Nice odds, right?

I was there 5 minutes and a beautiful Vietnamese girl called ‘Ayum’ had locked arms with me and was offering Rm500 for a “massage”.  It appeared that the men in the club were mostly expats that worked in Kuala Lumpur, judging by their dress and manner – there’s clearly a market here for a bar to be filled to capacity with prostitutes on a Monday night.

You can’t travel through SE Asia and not be faced with that side of the “culture”.

Anyway, there are many angles to take a discussion on prostitution, but for now I’ll leave it there since this article is long enough.  If you have any comments on the subject of prostitution that you would like to add here, please do so in the section below.  I welcome any and all feedback.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Laura June 2, 2010 at 02:01

What an open and frank article, Paul. I don’t know what I think anymore; to now know that this profession isn’t from a neccessity to earn a living has certainly made me think. What is so different between a Western 21st century woman enjoying sex and celebrating it (despite disapproval, no doubt) and an Asian woman earning a little extra cash while she does it? Not a lot. I know which one would certainly go down the least well in our society but the point is these women actually have a choice on whether they do or not AND who they do or not (!) I see your point about wanting to be the knight in shining armour- it’s human nature to want to be someone’s hero- a trap that only you yourself can get yourself into. But that’s another story…
Great article Paul.xx


Paul Goodchild June 2, 2010 at 20:04

Yea, there’s heaps of stigma attached to both: 21st century women that openly enjoy sex, and those that make a living or an extra bit on the side from it. It’s a free choice it seems for some, so where is the harm? I don’t the problem with. It’s a real pity that it has come to the stage where some men need to pay for it. But then, that’s a topic for another article =)
Thank you for the comments/feedback.. always glad to know that you’re still following along =) xo


Leave a Comment

← Previous Article:

→ Next Article: