punters: please, come out of the closet, for all of us

I was in Edinburgh and did a talk on sex work and feminism.

I discovered that the study "Challenging Men's Demand for Prostitution in Scotland: A Research Report Based on Interviews with 110 Men who Bought Women in Prostitution" was inherently flawed, and that, if you were one of the punters who was interviewed, there is a complaint going to the NHS Ethics Committee about how the research was carried out.

You can read the rebuttal here- http://www.scot-pep.org.uk/reading.html#clients

An example of how the punters words were twisted-

"Another punter was a frequent prostitution tourist in Asia. He detailed the harsh conditions women were subject to in Thai and Cambodian prostitution. Exposing his narcissism and his sadism, he rationalised the commission of sexual violence against women and children.
'I don’t get pleasure from other people’s suffering. I struggle with it but I can’t deny my own pleasures. In Cambodia I knocked back a lot of children; it makes it hard to sleep at night. But I don’t see the point in making a moral stance.'" -http://www.genderberg.com/phpNuke/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=160

Never mind that in Scotland, "knocked back" means "said no to". The researchers didn't bother to clarify, they made assumptions. Assumptions about you guys.

The article I quote above also states, specifically about the men here at punternet-
"These men’s contempt for the women they are paying for (and by extention, all women) could not be clearer. They are deluded, self-important pricks. They are also rapists, but, hey, let’s not be too inflammatory here. No, let’s. They are rapists, and “masturbation man”, who just came right out and said if he’s fed up of masturbating on his own, he’ll go out and buy a woman to masturbate into, admits it, whether he knows it or not."

This is why it's important for you to speak up and speak out, anonymously or not. You need to make yourselves heard, both for your own sakes and the sakes of the women you meet. Currently the climate is moving closer and closer to criminalizing clients, which will mean that WGs like me will be stuck with clients who don't care about the law. This will create a dangerous situation.

I listened to a group of women tell me that I had no agency and no choice, that all penetration was violent, that I was being raped. I listened to them tell me that punters had no respect for me, or for women in general. I listened to things like what the Herald said:

"Extensive interviews with 110 men between the ages of 18 and 77 who had paid for sex found that prostitution adversely affected their behaviour towards other women, and one in 10 said they would go as far as committing rape if they were not caught."

I know this isn't true. Most of you, I should think, know this isn't true. But as long as you stay silent, you will be turned into monsters.

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