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The conjunction of economics and sexuality

October 28, 2012
Posted at 6:10 pm
Updated: October 28, 2012 - 6:43 pm

There has been - probably for millennia - an attempt, via mores, ethics, and laws, to separate sexual activity and the economic circumstances of the participant. And all through these same millennia, there has been persistent and convincing proof that such a separation is both foolhardy and nonsensical. The most simple and telling is the commonplace saying that the oldest profession in the world is prostitution. How more simple do we need to make it? And yet, lawmakers think of the conjunction of money and sex as a crime. If the definition of insanity is, when finding one's self in a hole, to keep on digging, then the human race seems to be truly insane as in culture after culture, and on all continents, we find such laws. (Granted that there are exceptions, but the fact that they are the exceptions just goes to prove the point more fully.)

Poverty, hunger, the need for effective shelter are highly motivating forces. The confluence of economic stability in older Caucasian men from first world countries, the beauty of young women from economically disadvantaged countries, the relative ease of global travel and the impact the internet has had, on creating ad hoc cross-national pairings, has created a 'perfect storm.' To spend time moralizing on the subject is beyond silly. It is stupid. Or as immortalized in some lines of a skit by the Firesign Theater in the late 60's or early 70's about becoming a criminal for feeding someone…

Senator: I understand you've been handing out free food and water to a, ah, chick who lost her free food card.
Citizen: But, Senator, baby, she was starving.
Senator: Young man, that's her trip. Take him away for, ah, re-, ah, -grooving.

No one's trip is to be poor and hungry and to be in need of shelter. The things young women have that no one else on earth have are: the beauty of youth that often does disappear late in life and the ability to bear children. That 'value' only becomes relevant of there is a market. It becomes perverted if the person with the value is not in a position because of laws to make the barterer, herself, and for her own benefit. The result is human slavery. But, where the female is a free agent of her own body, the nature of the value is neither, perverted nor lost to the bearer of the value. In the stories here, all the women are free agents. You or others might not like what they chose to do, but they are free agents. You may argue that children of a certain age cannot make that value determination, as their faculties are not fully developed. The response is two-fold… first you are directed back to the Firesign Theater snippet above and second you are directed to Maslow's hierarchy of needs. Just how old does a person need to be to make the choice needed to achieve escape from not only level 2 but in truth level 1 scarcity?

If the offering of one's body can accomplish such an escape when there realistically is no other alternative, then why should such a thing be wrong? And further if in the bargain one receives love and attention far beyond the bargain to escape level 1 and 2… then how can we say that anyone has taken an advantage? Further yet, who benefited more, the one whose desires are more fully sated or the one whose life expectancy is greatly enhanced, whose medical care is greatly enhanced and whose progeny may never know poverty?