My op-ed in defense of sex work (Bay Area Reporter)

Dr Freud's interpretation of the myth, was generated from the extatic universe of intravenous cocaine; of course it would be in the most intense, perverse, forbidden, socio-sexual context.
But I'm sure it was certainly real to Dr. Freud and those others who "get it", even as ridiculous as it is, in its total departure from humainty and the classical meaning of the myth.
So it seems with the structure of this argument against Starchild's defense.

      The Dylan song, of course, isn't (necessarily) about prostitution; I was merely invoking the lyrics in that context, where, taken at face value, they seemed to make the appropriate statement.

As for the rest of your remarks, I'm frankly tired of chasing around in response to your bobbing and weaving.

For instance... My discussion of empathy or shared experience (or shared affect) isn't "parsing"; it's about a blatant and obvious aspect of existence (or of consciousness), of how one experiences life itself. If that isn't obvious to you, so be it; I've tried expressing the point poetically (in my description of how I experience sex) and philosophically. I've discussed this with many people in many contexts, and few if any have such a problem recognizing what I'm talking about. (Then again, try describing the color "blue" to another person: ultimately, either you "get" it or you don't.) At this point, I can only again recommend the Cleckley book, which (unfortunately, perhaps, in a highly clinical style) includes many (extreme) case studies of people who conflate empathy with performance." Parsing," my ass!

To some extent, the same consideration applies to my approach to monogamy. While I (at least) question whether coupling ought to be legally privileged (as in marriage), I can understand why (beyond reproductive biology) it's regarded that way. Here, again, I speak in terms of the way I experience life and intimacy: as I've said, I'm a one-person person. Speaking of "a system in which people monopolize each other's affections" strikes me as tantamount to speaking of one's lungs (deplorably) as being "monopolized" by air. Again: sooner or later, one has to come home.

Obviously (again), I'm far from the only person who feels this way. If you want to engage in hair-splitting, please take it to Justice Kennedy. As for whether a child's love for two parents is problematic or might involve being spread too thin, I refer you to the story of Oedipus as interpreted by Dr. Freud. While I have my own problems with both of these alternative interlocutors, I must leave you to the tender mercies of such inferior minds if you want to engage in further hair-splitting -- given that, at the moment, I (albeit not a prostitute) value my time too much to bother responding any further on such matters.

Prostitutes have for too long had a free ride among anti-authoritarians and countercultural radicals regarding broader questions of ethics -- because the trade, however unfortunately, is criminalized. Even in the larger society, a certain risqué glamor and urbane worldliness attaches itself to the industry. If anyone, it's the client, not the object of his desire, who's socially most marginalized -- and every hooker knows it, since desirability is, after all, his or her would-be stock-in-trade!

The sex trade isn't really such a strange place for me to focus my efforts. After all, I've been bamboozled by the glamor (the notion that someone's so desirable that they can expect to be paid for intimacy itself); if you'll pardon the expression, I've got skin in the game.

More to the point (as I've repeatedly indicated) prostitution forms a prototype or template for the marketing paradigm that now infests all of society -- a world in which most people prostitute themselves merely to survive.

If one is looking for a haven in a heartless world, the prostitute is the first, most intimate imposter that one encounters-- before even leaving home. That much should be as obvious as encountering a pickpocket or burglar in a world of white-collar crime.

If it's taken me this long (at age 65) to realize that, that's my problem -- but then, I've thought highly enough of many practitioners to have felt them worthy of luring out of the trade. I've had some interesting times (however expensive), and I've even found some genuine friends. Nonetheless, seeking the proverbial "hooker with a heart of gold" may be the ultimate fool's errand in a world of whores.

In any event, after all the bobbing and weaving, it's as straightforward as that.

Re: "Dr Freud's interpretation of the [Oedipus] myth was generated from the extatic universe of intravenous cocaine; of course it would be in the most intense, perverse, forbidden, socio-sexual context. But I'm sure it was certainly real to Dr. Freud and those others who "get it", even as ridiculous as it is..."

I was being ironic in bringing Freud into the discussion -- for that matter, along with Justice Kennedy. I was only half-joking when I characterized them as "inferior minds." (Kennedy may not be a coke fiend, but he's a Catholic -- which is arguably just as bad, if not worse.) :wink:

One needn't accept Freud's (arguably delusionary) theory of the Oedipus complex to recognize that "three" can be an especially precarious number for an intimate relationship. (For that matter, one needn't accept Justice Kennedy's privileging of "coupling" as a fundamental human attribute or right, to recognize that most people continue to find one other individual sufficient as an intimate partner with whom to share life.)

This is not to say that polyamory can't work, but it's not for me. It's more than I can take on; it's not what I need, and it's not a situation to which I can do justice.

For that matter, while I'm not immune to insecurity, I'm not even sure I'd demand (or necessarily expect) monogamy from a partner -- as long as he's fully open with me about his encounters, and knows that when he's with me, he's home.