Prostitution has sometimes been called one of the oldest professions in history.
…You have probably heard prostitution referred to as the “the world’s oldest profession,” and in some ways, the idea makes sense. There are references to prostitutes in virtually every culture or society with any type of recorded history. As soon as a civilization began trading and developing wealth, certain members of that civilization would accept goods or money in exchange for sex…
[WESLEY J. SCHROEDER, Attorney at Law]
But with wave after wave of immigrants due to the various conflicts and natural disasters, also comes prostitution. This is not only due to oppressive regimes, homophobia etc but also through the desire of all people to better themselves. Prostitution has continued its merry way, in waves up and down depending on the needs of the people.
Prostitution is not something new, but in most people’s minds it is women who are prostitutes, but this has never only been true. However, what is true today is with the internet anyone can be a lady/man of the night. The upheaval of today’s society has forced people of both sexes to take up this oldest of trades. Often, they are from very conservative, possibly religious backgrounds, and because they are usually without support, and living hand to mouth, without documentation, they take up something that can give them money and maybe (if they are lucky) enable them to move on with their lives.
There are enough YouTube documentaries to support this, and documentaries which try to be aloof about the situation and try not to take sides!
Back in 1985, Streetwise Youth was set up to help tackle young male prostitution:
…Streetwise Youth (an organisation providing support to boys who are being
exploited and abused through prostitution and to young men involved in
prostitution) found that many of the boys and young men who become involved in prostitution are gay and have experienced homophobic reactions to their sexuality, often leaving them alone and unsupported. A significant number of the young men in contact with Streetwise Youth were separated from one or both parents by the age of 15, and over 60% report childhood sexual and physical abuse as well as emotional abuse and neglect. Most of Streetwise Youth’s clients misuse drugs and alcohol in their efforts to deal with earlier damaging and current experiences….
Safeguarding Children Involved in Prostitution – Dept of Health (May 2000)
It did close briefly and then reopened with Gerard Calvert at the helm.in 1994. The Independent ran an article (Bucharest Boys muscle in on Dutch Trade) which highlighted that a growing number of children and teenagers from Eastern Europe were being turned into prostitutes in the wealthier half of Western Europe.
In a totally different geographical location, Thailand, COVID has totally changed the demographics in terms of prostitution. The numbers visiting the country for sex have dropped dramatically and this means that the providers of sex (both the organisers and those actually doing the acts) are living on the poverty line.
Most governments turn a blind eye to the trade as long as it doesn’t become a burgeoning criminal enterprise or health risks become too large to ignore. Still, the problem is that when they do decide to ‘crackdown’ it is the girls, boys, women and men doing the acts who tend to get rounded up, taken to court, fined and/or put in jail. The orchestrators more often and not stay out of the courts living on the ill-gotten gains!
I can pretty well guarantee that under the Conservative government, and indeed even a New Labour one, the required support and funding initiatives etc will not be available to help these girls, boys, women and men locked in a battle of existence.
The displaced people, and think about Palestine, just trying to survive will be rounded up and taken to camps (or floating “hotels” as the Conservatives would have you think of them) where one regime of tyranny will be replaced by another with its own hierarchy.
What do you think we should do to help these women, men, girls and boys? Has society not a moral obligation to be doing more?
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Research and Links:
- Midnight’s Children by Melanie McFayean – Jun 1994
- Piccadilly Rent Boy by Andrew Tyler
- Paedophilia around Piccadilly Part 5 1980s and Operation Circus
- Pointing the way of independence by Mark C. O’Flaherty
- The Love That You Need… by Mark Simpson
- County Life by Matthew Campling
- Friend Will Be Friends by Tereza Coelho – The Guardian April 1994
- What’s Love Got to Do With It by Simon Nicholas – Campaign
- Borderline Straat Wisdom by Steffie Kouters – the Guardian April 1994
- Bucharest boys muscle in on Dutch trade by Annika Savil – The Independent
- Body of Worth by Tom Samuel talking to Gerard Calvert – The Pint Paper January 1995
- The lost children: where ‘trolls’ flee ‘chicken=hawks’ by John Barnes – the Sunday Times January 1993
- A brief history of brothels – The Independent January 2006
- Prostitution, One of History’s Oldest Professions!
- Co-founder’s suicide delays prostitution trial of Backpage executives – The Independent August 2023
- Is prostitution legal in the UK? – Politics Today
- Prostitution in Mexico
- European countries are split on how to deal with sex work as debate reaches EU Parliament
- WHAT DON’T WE KNOW ABOUT LGBTQ+ HOMELESSNESS
- One Year in Prison for Small Boat Immigrants Not Excessive, Court of Appeal Rules