Ok – this is not one of my typical blogs, but I couldn’t stop thinking about it until I put it down on paper. Bear with me.
Do you remember The Arsenio Hall Show? One of his main routines involved, “Things that make you go Hmmm.” I have come across a pattern recently and it made me go, “Hmmm.” I work with teens and young adults dealing with anxiety and/or depression. Many times they may also have related social difficulties. These can be related to a number of diagnoses including (but not limited to) Asperger’s Disorder, Autism, Social Anxiety, Schizoaffective Disorder, and Schizophrenia. Several men with whom I have worked on their difficulties related to social relationships have turned to prostitution to facilitate relationships with the opposite gender. This is a shortcut to a sexual relationship without concern of rejection or ridicule and allows the man to achieve sexual gratification. Unfortunately, it does not assist in improving the symptoms related to the social problems and, in actuality, may make the symptoms worse, rather than better. How?
- In achieving sexual gratification, the individual is not pushed to work on his social problems. There is no incentive to change and he is able to stay in his comfort zone. This makes him no better able to communicate with non-prostitution women in the future.
- The man is reinforced for his social awkwardness. No matter how he behaves or interacts with the prostitute, he will get lucky. Baring some dangerous or otherwise scary behavior, he will be successful. He is, then, encouraged to continue acting in such a way in the future (even with non-prostitute women).
- Participation in prostitution can often escalate in “severity”. For example, a man may participate in a massage that has a “happy ending” (Google it, if you don’t know). This may satisfy him for a period of time, but then he may want increasingly intimate interactions. I have had clients whose sexual gratifications lead to trips to foreign countries where the age of the prostitute may be in question.
- There is always the risk of criminal involvement. Prostitution is illegal in most areas of the US. Arrest for pandering can lead to criminal charges and public embarrassment which will not help with anxiety and social difficulties.
- If this man is able to enter into a reciprocal relationship with a non-prostitute woman in the future, he will need to tell her about his past relationships with prostitutes. This puts his future relationships in jeopardy as many women would have moral and health concerns regarding his history.
Whatever your moral position on prostitution (whether it is a victimless crime or not; whether it is immoral; whether it should be legalized), it does not improve anyone’s ability to interact with those outside the industry. If you, or someone you care about, suffer from trouble interacting with others, get help, not a hooker. Learn the skills necessary to communicate and connect with others. This will serve you better than buying a relationship.