The question of whether we should legalize prostitution comes up periodically and has many times throughout my career as a counselor and coach. I have a wide variety of clientele and have found myself working with sex workers and other fringe members of society without judgment. This enables me to have a unique perspective.
In contrast to other coaches, when a client comes to my office, I invite them to enter first. This is a symbolic ritual that they are unaware is going on behind the scenes. This is sacred space, their safe place to do their deep work. When I enter the office, I enter their world.
This empowers me to best serve them in strength and honor from their perspective in full tolerance and without judgment. I believe this, combined with penitent privilege, gives me access to the most intimate details in conducting the deepest work with my clients.
If you knew what these people had been through you would not judge them.
I have and have had, clients who are or were prostitutes and/or sex workers. And I can tell you this; if you knew what these people had been through, if you walked a dozen steps in their shoes, you would not judge them the way you do, if you think for one minute that these people should be criminalized for their behavior.
Think about this from a legal perspective. Is it illegal for your spouse to have sex with your neighbor or best friend, or his/her coworker or former flame? No, not currently. Yet, in all but 10 counties in Nevada, it is illegal for your spouse to remunerate a complete stranger for an in-the-flesh sex act. Note: virtual sex acts, even interactive live-cast via the Internet or cell service provider for pay, are perfectly legal, except for virtual sex involving underage children which is completely illegal.
I know the story deeply from both sides, from the side of the sex worker, but also from the side of the offended partner whose relationship was visited by the overbearing darkness of infidelity. And I can tell you this, based on my experience, the negative effect on a couple’s committed relationship is far more severe when conducted in a legal manner.
When the straying partner seeks a particular sexual gratification legally, with someone with whom he or she has a relationship, this can more certainly lead to the end of the primary relationship. Whereas, if the offending partner had sought this gratification from a sex worker, the primary relationship is far less affected.
Why? Because the person with whom the affair was conducted may have an agenda, one that could include taking your place in the relationship, while the sex worker is just providing a service, without any more intention than being paid for the service.
Why does your partner feel the compulsion to engage in such acts? Well, that is another subject of concern.
Most sex workers are deeply troubled and wounded, and while not expecting you to understand this, they are somewhat healed when they engage in these acts of sex work. It helps them relieve the pain from their often-traumatic pasts and make it through life another day.
If you knew those things which are forbidden for most of these people, the sex workers, to speak, you would better understand them, and have compassion for them.
The most abusive thing you could do to someone so deeply wounded is to punish them for trying to alleviate the pain they struggle with every day. For them, this is the only thing that they have found that works for them.
You cannot force or legislate treatment on these individuals, for no fruit will be born from your efforts to do so, unless the timing and conditions are right. To impose punishment or treatment on these people, the sex workers, who are victims themselves, only further victimize them.
Continually abusing the abused only further distances them from the hopes of dealing with and healing their past in a way that will empower them to live a better life.
As coaches, it is our job to help them find other ways to deal with the pain from their tragic past, which is only possible when their hearts are open and ready to receive healthy alternatives. Then, and only then, can they hope to be free from their past and find true love and happiness in the manner of their own choosing.
If justice is to be served, legalize prostitution, and allow sex workers to operate within the laws of the land, just as your neighbor, best friend, your partner’s coworker, or former flame is sanctioned to do, and pray for them, that they may have hearts opening up to do the deep work when the time is right.
We’re all just doing the best we can with what we have.
There is no judgment here. This is your sacred space.