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Paying for sex is one of those things that most people, especially guys, never want to admit. Thing is, it’s not as if you’re damaged goods or a crazy person or lonely AF if you do it, but society would have all of us think otherwise. I can tell you without hesitation that, yes, while in Amsterdam years ago, I ended up paying for sex; so there you have it.

I’m not necessarily embarrassed or disappointed in myself for paying for sex back then, because it was all about the story while traveling abroad. Did I need to do it? No. Did I want to? Obviously. It’s just a matter of understanding that paying for sex is more normal than you think it is, and that, as long as it doesn’t become an addiction and you practice safe sex, is certainly healthy.

For those who need further proof of this, a writer (and sex worker) named Kate Iselin recently penned a piece for the New York Post that talks about what guys who pay for sex are actually like. It’s pretty interesting to see how Iselin described some of the men, so here’s a little transcript from what she wrote.

At the top of the list of things that sex workers hear all the time — along with, “But what’s your real name?” — has to be, “Wow, I bet you get so many weirdos in here. You must be really glad to see a normal guy like me.”

All it takes is a quick look at any media featuring sex workers to see where people would get the idea that most of our clients are creeps.

Sure, not every client is perfect. Some are far from it. I could share a horror story or two about some who’ve neglected to shower before their visit, or others who completely disregard the boundaries that exist between any service worker and their clients (“You should tell me your address,” one man said, “So I can visit you at home and you can see me for free there!”).

The majority of people who visit sex workers — whether they visit strip clubs, brothels, see private workers, or simply download some good, old-fashioned porn — are as normal and average as you and me.

So why does the myth about guys paying for sex exist?

That’s a very interesting question that Iselin tries to tackle in her piece, saying that she thinks there’s a heavy stigma and judgement on guys who pay for sex because of fear. She also added that many of the men she meets up with are just looking for a normal date-like experience, treating her with respect before both consensually agree to the sex.

If it’s difficult for some people to comprehend being a sex worker, or seeing one, it’s understandable that their first instinct would be judgment and fear.

But the belief at its core — that those who pay for consensual sexual services deserve to be treated as criminals while those who sell them need to be moved out of the industry in which they choose to work — exists because of the stigma not just against workers, but our clients as well.

The gentleman who casually asked me how I take my coffee, and then brought me a soy latté every time he came to visit from then on. The kind man who handed me a wad of money and encouraged me to take some time off work after a dramatic breakup with a boyfriend. And the studious and successful man who stayed back after a booking to let me ask him career advice once I found out that he worked in the field I wanted to get into.

To anyone who walked past us, we would’ve looked like nothing more than two average, everyday people. And really, isn’t that all we were?

Sure, this is just one writer and sex worker’s opinion based off of her own experiences, but one would imagine that many guys who end up paying for sex are just looking for a little companionship and physical satisfaction. There will always be unfortunate exceptions to this, but most guys are hoping to fill a void by paying for sex, so it shouldn’t be looked down upon or judged in a negative light.

To see the full article from Kate Iselin, make sure to head on over to the New York Post‘s website.

(H/T NY Post)

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