Trying to make sense of the male psyche…
Out of England comes a compelling research paper funded by Eaves and Prostitution Research and Education (PRE) which sought to explain why men use prostitutes. The findings as you shall see are compelling but what makes the research equally interesting is that a lot of the men (700 men were involved in the survey) had no real idea why they continued to pay for sex when clearly so many of them failed on the whole to enjoy the experience. What does this suggest? That men like women just want love? Of course how do we define love? And does it really come at a price? Can money really buy ‘love?’ Let’s find out…
Reports the Guardian:
“I’m not satisfied in my mind” was how one described his feelings after paying for sex. Another told me that he felt “disappointed – what a waste of money”, “lonely still” and “guilty about my relationship with my wife”. In fact, many of the men were a mass of contradictions. Despite finding their experiences “unfulfilling, empty, terrible”, they continued to visit prostitutes.
Okay. so what gives? Continues the report…
One told me about his experience of childhood cruelty and neglect and linked this to his inability to form close relationships with anyone, particularly women. Alex admitted sex with prostitutes made him feel empty, but he had no idea how to get to know women “through the usual routes”.
All right, emotional unavailability. That sounds believable, after all not everyone has the courage to be vulnerable…and that we assume includes women.
“I want my ideal prostitute not to behave like one,” he said, “to role-play to be a pretend girlfriend, a casual date, not business-like or mechanical. To a third person it looks like we’re in love.”
Role play and grand delusions seem to be the other front runners?
“I don’t want them to get any pleasure,” he told me. “I am paying for it and it is her job to give me pleasure. If she enjoys it I would feel cheated.” I asked if he felt prostitutes were different to other women. “The fact that they’re prepared to do that job where others won’t, even when they’re skint, means there’s some capability inside them that permits them to do it and not be disgusted,” he said.
Does this sound like misogyny? Does this sound like a short man syndrome? Does this sound like someone who hates women? Do men hate women?
One of the most interesting findings was that many believed men would “need” to rape if they could not pay for sex on demand. One told me, “Sometimes you might rape someone: you can go to a prostitute instead.”
Are we to believe this? That men don’t have restraint? Or how about the rationale below?
Many men seemed to want a real relationship with a woman and were disappointed when this didn’t develop: “It’s just a sex act, no emotion. Be prepared to accept this or don’t go at all. It’s not a wife or girlfriend.” Others were clear that they paid for sex in order to be able to totally control the encounter, including Bob, who said, “Look, men pay for women because he can have whatever and whoever he wants. Lots of men go to prostitutes so they can do things to them that real women would not put up with.”
What does this suggest about the male/female dialectics in play? How does that change from society to society?