A while back, I ran a survey on my Twitter page asking married men if they feel guilty about seeing sex workers behind their spouses’ backs. About two thirds felt very little to no guilt. But about one third felt guilty … some to the point of hating themselves.
Now, I’m not a trained counsellor … at all … But maybe with a bit of common sense, we can figure out how you guys who do experience guilt over seeing sex workers while in a commited relationship can find a way to find peace within yourself over it. Or find a solution that fits.
There’s no judgement here and I’m certainly not going to be telling you what you should be doing. Turns out you have a wife for that! I’M JOOOOOKING!!!
But in all seriousness, the first thing we should look at is the morality of sex work in general. We’re not even starting off looking at whether or not you’re in a relationship, we’re just trying to determine if sex work is immoral. And, keep in mind, just because it isn’t totally legal, doesn’t make it immoral.
Now, to determine your particular moral stance on something, you need to figure out where your moral code stems from. Is it based on a sense of right and wrong you have set for yourself? Or is it based on a more religious background?
For guys with religious based moral codes, we have to accept the fact that most religions just don’t take too kindly to prostitution. But keep in mind, they also don’t take too kindly to premarital sex, extramarital sex, or even having sexy thoughts about anyone other than your wife. Overall, sex, unless for procreation, is pretty much taboo in most world religions.
But, the good news is that, like with all things, most religions understand that people are inherently flawed. There’s a sense of forgiveness to the religions.
And it’s kind of funny. In the Christian faith, every Christian is certain that prostitution is a sin … And, yet, 90% of them can’t tell you what all Ten Commandments are. But none of the Ten Commandments relate to prostitution.
There are so many rules and guidelines that organized religions have about every aspect of life that most religious people only pick and choose the ones that they feel are important to them.
It’s just because people are so uptight about sex in society that prostitution is soooo frowned upon by people saying it’s for religious reasons. The same people who rage against prostitution are the ones stockpiling arms against anyone who challenges their rights to own the weapons in the first place. The hatred towards prostitution is just an excuse to cover up insecurities about sex and keep women from having a financial advantage over men.
So, if you do have morale issues with spending time with a working girl based on a set of religious ethics, perhaps ask yourself if you follow ALL the guidelines outlined by your faith. Do you follow them all or do you experience the same levels of guilt for breaking ALL the rules as you do for breaking the one about seeing sex workers?
If you have more guilt about seeing sex workers than you do about disobeying other aspects of your faith, perhaps you need to look at the varying degrees in your guilty. Is your guilt based solely on your religious beliefs? Or are there some other societal stigmas thrown in there that are causing you to feel worse about the prostitution violations?
It’s worth looking at.
Now, if your morals around prostitution aren’t based in religious dogma, then they must be based in your own personal code of ethics. Again, definitely worth examining…
If you think about a man paying a woman for sexual services, there is no victim. (We’re not talking about trafficking – just purely voluntary sex work.) The client is receiving an experience which is, more often than not, very enjoyable and memorable. The sex worker, on the other hand, is receiving a decent amount of money for doing something for a limited amount of time. Each is giving up something of value. And each is receiving something they want. No one, in this situation, is a victim.
Our society is such that there are enough social safety nets that no one is forced into sex work in order to put food on the table. Sex work is a viable way for women to make a significant earning … Not to merely survive.
At its core, there is nothing immoral about sex work. A service is simply being paid for and provided voluntarily.
Where people start to assign negative values to it is from organized religion’s influence in society. Extramarital sex is wrong in most religions. Because our society still clings to that notion, a stigma remains attached to sex work. Even though most other forms of extramarital sex are more commonly accepted in society.
So, it would follow that if you don’t have a problem with sex outside of marriage, you shouldn’t really have a problem with seeing sex workers either. It’s just that one is for free and one is for money.
If you don’t have an issue with unmarried sex, why have an issue with paying for it? There’s nothing wrong or immoral about apples. If someone gives you an apple for free and you eat it, there’s clearly nothing wrong with that. Would it then be wrong to pay for an apple at a different time? No! We’ve established that there’s nothing immoral about unmarried sex. Then why feel guilty about paying for something that you know isn’t immoral?
Another good question! Spend some time thinking on that one!
But, I suspect that if you’re already seeing a sex worker, it’s not the sex work itself that you’re having a hard time coming to terms with. It’s the fact that you’re in a commited relationship and seeing sex workers at the same time that’s causing you all the guilt.
So let’s pull that apart.
There’s no getting around that every person’s relationship / situation is different.
If you’re in a relationship that may not be totally working for you and your spouse, there are a lot of factors to take into consideration: are you just together for your kids / family? Is there any intimacy left in the relationship? Are you there because it’s just easier or financially less burdensome to stay than to leave?
These are all reasons that might make you consider seeking your intimacy elsewhere. People need physical contact with others. Many people may also need more sex than others due to varying libidos. Seeing a sex worker may provide enough of a relief in a difficult situation that the person in the bad situation may be able to actually tolerate it.
If this is you, don’t beat yourself up. Being in a tough situation in your home life can be very draining. If seeing sex workers makes you feel good, good for you.
But, I will challenge you to ask yourself a few questions: Is your personal situation worth staying in – or are you just prolonging something you know you should have ended long ago? Or could you make changes in your own behaviour that make things better in the relationship? Or, even more difficult to ask yourself: would you be ok if your spouse was also getting physical satisfaction outside the relationship?
I know these are tough questions. But if your current situation is as best as it can be and changing it isn’t an option, then perhaps seeing a sex worker outside of the relationship really is a viable option – one you shouldn’t feel bad about.
Plus, the positive aspect of seeing a sex worker over someone else like an extramarital girlfriend is that there is, ideally, no emotional bond with the sex worker. They provide an intimate time simply for the duration of your session. Once the session is over, no emotional connection remains.
Where it does get tricky, however, is when the relationship is still alive. Where you know your partner would really be hurt if she knew you were seeing sex workers even though you have an active sex life at home.
And you love her.
You might ask yourself, how could I do it? How could I betray her? My family? Why can’t I just stay faithful?
These are tough things to deal with. You want the relationship … But seeing sex workers is so incredible.
But these situations are manageable in a number of different ways.
One possible way is to get her on board with it. Explore the idea of threesomes together. Or possibly having an open relationship. I’ve written an entire guide on how to get your spouse excited about you seeing sex workers – check it out HERE.
Just be careful how you approach the subject. And maybe don’t lead with the fact you’ve been seeing sex workers … ever.
Also, if you do decide to bring a third person (or numerous third persons) into your relationship for sexual excitement, I strongly recommend a sex worker versus someone you know or someone you found on line.
If you involve someone you know, attachments can form outside the core relationship … and the goal isn’t to damage it. A sex worker will not get attached. They’re just there to provide a service and then they’re gone again.
And a random person you’ve found on line could pose the same risks … Plus you don’t know how careful they are when it comes to protection. Generally, reputable sex workers tend to be very adamant when it comes to being safe. There is usually much less risk involved with a sex worker thannwith someone who may not take protection appropriately serious.
But there’s a very strong possibility your spouse may not be interested in adding others to the bedroom. Compersion (the feeling of joy one gets from knowing their spouse is romantically or physically enjoying someone else – the opposite emotion to jealousy) doesn’t always come easy for many people. You know your spouse better than anyone.
If that’s the case, do you need to ask yourself if seeing the sex workers is worth the guilt you feel for cheating. Do you want to keep feeling that way? Is it actually hurting your relationship because she suspects your infidelity or because you’ve lost interest in her because of it? What if she found out?
If you feel like you do want to stop, but can’t, you may have a problem. Counselling may be in order to help you get the situation under control. There’s no shame in talking to someone … And it’s always confidential. It never hurts just to get an objective opinion.
I also have a blog entry on what to do if you feel like seeing sex workers is becoming a problem for you. You can check it out HERE.
Finally, you may come to the opinion that maybe your relationship is lacking something critical. It could be her … Or you. Maybe you’re just not in the right headspace to be in a monogamous relationship at this point in your life. It happens. And it’s ok.
Ending a relationship because you’re not getting what you need from it is a mature thing to do. And it’s more respectful to her than getting physical intimacy elsewhere. Perhaps you just need time in your life to have a lot more noncommittal sex. Or maybe you just need to find someone who meets all your sexual needs. Or maybe you just need time to figure things out and it’s not fair to do that while your in a relationship.
Tough calls to make. But sometimes short-term pain is better for long-term gain.
Again, I’m not suggesting you need to act on any of these ideas. All I’m suggesting is that you think on them and do what you think you can to find the most inner peace.
Finally, it would be irresponsible of me not to bring up the topic of protection. If you’re in a relationship where you’re sexually active with your partner and you’re also seeing sex workers, you NEED to use protection when you’re with the sex workers.
You can do what you want sexually behind your wife’s back, but risking her health by bringing something home to her … something that’s potentially lethal … NOPE! Wear a condom! This is the part where I AM telling you what to do. Condom! No question about it! End of story!
Now, aside from my condom tirade, hopefully reading the rest of this blog entry can bring you some form of comfort and possibly an outcome that fits you better.
All the best with it.
Until next time,
–D at @Workinggirlssix