Interesting Article on Prostitution

In light of the Eliot Spitzer scandal, many people from a wide range of disciplines (psychologists, economists, etc) have written articles about why Spitzer solicited sex from from a prostitute.

This article, written by Columbia University sociologist Sudhir Ventakesh, sheds some light on the high end call girl industry. It’s pretty fascinating.

 Here are some excerpts from the article:

 “What high-end clients pay for may surprise you. For example, according to my ongoing interviews of several hundred sex workers, approximately 40 percent of trades in New York’s sex economy fail to include a physical act beyond light petting or kissing. No intercourse, no oral stimulation, etc. That’s one helluva conversation. But it’s what many clients want. Flush with cash, these elite men routinely turn their prostitute into a second partner or spouse. Over the course of a year, they will sometimes persuade the woman to take on a new identity, replete with a fake name, a fake job, a fake life history, and so on. They may want to have sex or they may simply want to be treated like King for a Day…

This doesn’t mean the elite women have a great life…high-end workers routinely experience physical abuse at the hands of their clients—on average, they report getting abused twice per year, which is better than the six times a year that street-based workers report but still, clearly, troubling. Escort services (usually owned by men) often charge…Plus, their lives are cash-based—they can’t plan for the future or make any real investments.”

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