Increasing numbers of people now understand it is nearly impossible to combat sex trafficking and prostitution unless we address the demand. However, there are still too many people, especially in high places, who do not understand or do not want to challenge men’s role in the chain of sexual exploitation.
Instead, they take refuge in the myths that prostitution is inevitable: that men who purchase sex are fulfilling their alleged biological needs and that prostitution is a necessary sexual service for lonely men, frustrated men, men whose wives and partners do not perform according to the male fantasy script, military men on tours of duty, businessmen who have stressful jobs, migrant laborers who are away from wives and family, and for men who because of disability or dysfunction do not have the usual number of women available to them – in short, all kinds of men.
These myths assume that we must not challenge the demand because there is always some population of men who need sex and must get it, although that means they buy the bodies of women and children.
Other responders say that we must address demand, but they offer measures that appease prostitution users, such as “ethical buying” programs. Journalist Brenda Power goes to the heart of this absurdity: “Asking men to phone a confidential number if they’ve had sex with a foreign prostitute who seemed troubled or reluctant is one such stunt. When has any ‘john’ given a flying curse about the real feelings of a prostitute?”
These “stunts” undermine efforts that truly address demand and leave prostitution users free to continue buying women “responsibly.”
Janice G.Raymond, Not A Choice, Not A Job: Exposing the Myths About Prostitution and the Global Sex Trade