£10 an hour for a tart?

I have a feeling that the Mail has dropped a zero here:

A job as a £10-an-hour prostitute was advertised on a government website.

Officials at the Department for Work and Pensions mistakenly allowed the post on Direct Gov.

I know times are bad but £10 an hour really ain’t the going market rate.

44 comments on “£10 an hour for a tart?

  1. Also, if the Mail did drop a zero, that would probably be deliberate rather than admit the much better income that can be had than the rest of the jobs on offer.

  2. Presumably the error was not in the amount of money but because the ad was put up in the first place.

    I think we will simply see with prostitution what we have seen with homosexuality, divorce and abortion. What people thought would be a small change, to help a few hard cases, actually turned out to be major social changes as these things became normal.

    So in New Zealand and Germany unemployed lasses have been told to apply for brothel work or face sanctions. No doubt we will do that too. Except perhaps because of, you know, discrimination, we will tell some young lads to give it a go too.

    They do say:

    The website, launched to help stimulate the economy, suggested aspiring actors strip to earn extra income or become an escort which pays between £120-£250 an hour.

    So they do know.

  3. There are plenty of countries, mostly to the east of Europe, where homosexuality, divorce, and abortion are severely, even capitally, punished. SMFS should move there, he’d feel right at home. Alternatively, he might not like all the other illiberal social oppression that goes along with that.

  4. SMFS-

    major social changes as these things became normal.

    You’ve got the wrong datum as usual SMFS. These things always have been normal; we have had around a century of prohibitionary zeal from the reform mob, but that’s the abnormality.

    I know we argue about this a lot, but I do find the ahistoric attitude of this kind of social conservatism baffling. You take a recent reformist experiment- say, brothel prohibition, or drug prohibition- and just ignore reality and declare it some kind of “normal” traditional value. This is the stuff that barmcakes like the Pankhursts were marching down streets in white dresses to get put in place, barely before living memory. There’s nothing the least bit normal about it.

    I guarantee, fifty years from now conservatives will be shouting about out “traditional” gay marriage and a hundred years from now about our “traditional” Islamic culture.

    And on the matter of requiring people to apply for brothel work, it would be logically consistent with requiring them to apply for other work. Which is why I take the view that in practise, it shouldn’t be a matter for the State to force anyone into any job, even if you have a State benefits system. Unfortunately, that kind of thing is just the kind of thing that, again, you can guarantee that social conservatives are going to be ones shouting for the loudest.

  5. JamesV – “There are plenty of countries, mostly to the east of Europe, where homosexuality, divorce, and abortion are severely, even capitally, punished.”

    If I move East from Europe I pass through a lot of Russia, where abortion and divorce were central to the Communist movement in power for most of the past century. And if I keep going I pass through Canada. Which has not executed a Gay person for some time if I recall right. And then end up back in the UK. Although maybe you mean Ireland? Not there any more either I am afraid.

    “SMFS should move there, he’d feel right at home. Alternatively, he might not like all the other illiberal social oppression that goes along with that.”

    Maybe. But as we see with Duck Dynasty a lot of liberal social oppression goes with Gay Rights too. So it ends up being a question of who you would rather see repressed – people preaching Christianity on the street corner or Peter Tatchell. It is a hard choice I admit.

    Ian B – “You’ve got the wrong datum as usual SMFS. These things always have been normal”

    And yet the social outrage that greets the posting of such ads much less the Social requiring young lasses to apply for such jobs suggests it isn’t normal now. If it ever was.

    “we have had around a century of prohibitionary zeal from the reform mob, but that’s the abnormality.”

    I am not sure that is true. Everyone accepted the existence of prostitution, but that doesn’t mean they were keen on it. Or that it was legal much less normal.

    “I guarantee, fifty years from now conservatives will be shouting about out “traditional” gay marriage and a hundred years from now about our “traditional” Islamic culture.”

    I agree about the last bit. We have a choice. We can work to make functional families that will produce a society that can reproduce itself. Or we can painless cede the future to those that do.

    “And on the matter of requiring people to apply for brothel work, it would be logically consistent with requiring them to apply for other work.”

    Indeed. Once you have accepted the normality bit.

  6. And yet the social outrage that greets the posting of such ads much less the Social requiring young lasses to apply for such jobs suggests it isn’t normal now. If it ever was.

    That’s if you consider Paul Daycare’s shitty rag to be a useful barometer of “social outrage”. This is debatable.

    I am not sure that is true. Everyone accepted the existence of prostitution, but that doesn’t mean they were keen on it. Or that it was legal much less normal.

    It was certainly legal and, in fact, still is, though we might well see it finally criminalised by the radical feminists shortly, as they’re on another roll, so to speak.

    There are lots of things that some people or many people aren’t keen on; nonetheless prostitution was generally recognised as a normal part of society and indeed generally still is, once you get out of the small circle of elite matrons in ridiculous hats. It’s worth noting (again) that “liberal” attitudes are a unique indentifier of European society; it’s worth noting that we are pretty much unique as a culture for making folk heroes of whores, from Nell Gwynne to endless hooker with a heart stories (e.g. Pretty Woman)- hence my interpretation that prudery is an alien (Near Eastern) import which is not fit to our cultural character.

  7. Ian B – “That’s if you consider Paul Daycare’s shitty rag to be a useful barometer of “social outrage”. This is debatable.”

    Most popular news website in the world. Is it the largest British newspaper? I think it is a perfectly reasonable barometre. Newspapers do not shape their readers minds, they reflect them.

    “It was certainly legal and, in fact, still is, though we might well see it finally criminalised by the radical feminists shortly, as they’re on another roll, so to speak.”

    I do not know what that word “certainly” is doing. At the time Western society still took the public hypocrisy of Christianity seriously so I doubt many brothel keepers got invited to sit with the Queen at Ascot. And hence it was not normal. Rape may be ever present, but it is not something people admit to in polite company. Aside from some modern young men I don’t think I know of any men, at any time, who would have admitted to sleeping with prostitutes. Even Berlusconi denies it.

    “nonetheless prostitution was generally recognised as a normal part of society and indeed generally still is, once you get out of the small circle of elite matrons in ridiculous hats.”

    Well I don’t think I live in a small circle and elite matrons, but I am also pretty sure no one I know thinks of it as normal – or in a morally neutral way so that they would be as happy with a daughter taking up prostitution as they would if she became a nurse. But perhaps I just lived in rarified areas.

    “it’s worth noting that we are pretty much unique as a culture for making folk heroes of whores, from Nell Gwynne to endless hooker with a heart stories (e.g. Pretty Woman)- hence my interpretation that prudery is an alien (Near Eastern) import which is not fit to our cultural character.”

    South Korea’s quasi-national folk myth is Chunhyangga which is about a girl from a hereditary prostitute family – a kisaeng – who loves a young scholar who goes off to the capital for his exams. An official back home demands she serve him in the normal way of her profession and she flatly refuses. Then about three fifths of the story is her being tortured in a variety of ways to make her change her mind. Then the boyfriend comes back as an even higher official – having passed his exams brilliantly – and blood flows freely.

    So (a.) we are not the only ones and (b.) Koreans are truly f**ked up when it comes to women.

  8. “So in New Zealand and Germany unemployed lasses have been told to apply for brothel work or face sanctions. ”

    But not as prostitutes. As bar staff or cleaners. This was just a bit of bollocks used to help drum up a moral panic, as usual.

  9. At the time Western society still took the public hypocrisy of Christianity seriously so I doubt many brothel keepers got invited to sit with the Queen at Ascot.

    Neither did anybody who dirtied their hands in trade. The best of the commoners might get knighted and tapped up for contributions to the charities of the great and the good (or, if American, for daughters to marry in to impoverished noble families – ’cause gells don’t work anyway) but it was a black-balling from the social elite.

  10. But not as prostitutes. As bar staff or cleaners. This was just a bit of bollocks used to help drum up a moral panic, as usual.

    I was going to say that – but then I looked for the evidence or at least citation. And all I could find was the moral panic (and a few references to German brothel keepers demanding to be allowed to post vacancies just like any other businesswoman, but generally being refused by the bureaucrats.) However, I remember it that detailed investigation (and the specific German case that sparked it) was for front-of-house bar work.

  11. Most popular news website in the world. Is it the largest British newspaper? I think it is a perfectly reasonable barometre. Newspapers do not shape their readers minds, they reflect them.

    Since half of it is minor celebs in bikinis and the other half is stories about how cornflakes give you wrinkles, I’m not sure what this proves about it being a useful barometer of general social opinion.

    I do not know what that word “certainly” is doing.

    You have a dictionary? It means surely, absolutely without doubt, because all those synonyms apply to the legal status of prostitution historically.

    I doubt many brothel keepers got invited to sit with the Queen at Ascot. And hence it was not normal.

    That’s a weird definition, I have to say. Normal is that which attracts political patronage? Hmm.

    One useful flavour of how things were until the disaster of the Victorians; Wilbeforce (since we mentioned him today already) strongly considered resigning parliament when he got God, as it was not considered proper at that point for a gentleman to be too religious; the expected lifestyle for a gentleman was one of booze, gambling and whores.

    So we’re back to the point really; the “normal” you’re appealing to as some kind of eternal values is basically about a century, if that, from the mid 1800s to the mid 1900s, and was already on its way out after the first world war (there was a revival due to the Depression and second war, and a last gasp in the 1950s). There really isnt’ anything “normal” about it; it’s about as “normal” as Soviet Communism was for Russia.

  12. What’s the name of the rhetorical fallacy when someone who understands precisely what you mean uses an overly-strict interpretation of your words (for example, deliberately avoiding the fact that somewhere south-east of A is still to the east of A) in order to pretend to themselves that they don’t understand what you mean?

    Is there a condescending latin name for it anyone is aware of? Or is it simply “argumentum ad fuckwadium”?

  13. It’s an odd thing that social outrage thing.
    The socially outraged try it occasionally here, trying to get ads by hookers ( & employment ads for hookers) banned from the papers. But hey never seem to be able to find enough socially outraged to make it stick.
    AngloSax Anglosphere must be the only realm where social outrage against those not socially outraged gets credibility. Hence the Grauniad, one supposes.

  14. SMFS
    ‘So in New Zealand and Germany unemployed lasses have been told to apply for brothel work or face sanctions.’
    Didn’t this come up here before. As I recall it, it was work serving at the bar in a brothel rather that tarting. Somewhat of a difference.

  15. Oh & just for the record. If ten quid an hour is the rate advertised at the DWP, well done the DWP. First ad I’ve ever seen reflects the actual earnings of hookers, Although maybe a tad ambitious. Or will the career remain the only one where the earnings are solely assessed when the workman/woman has the tools in his/her hand, so to speak. Everyone else gets assessed earnings over time at job.

  16. SMFS,

    So in New Zealand and Germany unemployed lasses have been told to apply for brothel work or face sanctions. No doubt we will do that too. Except perhaps because of, you know, discrimination, we will tell some young lads to give it a go too.

    Well, except it’s not true. The German thing was about working in the bar of a brothel.

    I know jobs in the UK in places like Ann Summers got pulled, which is frankly ridiculous. Sure, some women may feel a little uncomfortable about it, but I’d feel a bit uncomfortable about cleaning and well, I wouldn’t expect a pass on that. I’d much rather be selling people Rampant Rabbits than cleaning toilets.

  17. So in New Zealand and Germany unemployed lasses have been told to apply for brothel work or face sanctions. No doubt we will do that too. Except perhaps because of, you know, discrimination, we will tell some young lads to give it a go too.

    I’ve seen this repeated quite a few times recently, possibly because Gloria Steinem has been touring around using this argument in her anti-prostitution lectures. She also claims that women in Nevada have been forced to work in the legal brothels rather than lose their welfare cheque. According to her, this is something that feminists have been fighting against for years, but their lack of success means that the only solution is complete criminalisation.

    What makes it particularly implausible to me is the fact that there aren’t the same stories going around about women being forced to work as strippers. Unlike brothels, strip clubs are legal establishments in most of the US/UK, and dancing naked doesn’t have quite the same stigma as going on the game. Surely if a legal sex industry inevitably leads to “the state forcibly trafficking and pimping women” (as Steinem puts it) then there’d be plenty of examples of unemployed women being told to sign up as lap dancers?

    The fact that this just seems to exist as an emotional argument from anti-prostitution activists — scaring people with the idea of the state sending their daughters off to work as prostitutes — doesn’t give it a lot of credibility. Especially when the same people are pushing the ludicrous statistic that 90% of prostitutes are actually trafficked sex slaves.

  18. SMFS: “Newspapers do not shape their readers minds, they reflect them.”

    Yep. The DM tries to shape their readers minds but many times the comments clash drastically with the aim of the story that the DM is trying to push.

  19. Kendall,

    In general, I think anything claimed by the likes of Steinem is probably bullshit. Activists work on a storytelling/testimonial epistemology, so once a story has been told by someone, you’re free to repeat it as fact without bothering to verify it. You generally get some class (in the feminist case, women) treated in the passive voice, “women have been forced to…” etc.

  20. SBML: “The DM tries to shape their readers minds but many times the comments clash drastically with the aim of the story that the DM is trying to push.”

    Which makes the ‘Mail’ sister under the skin to the ‘Guardian’s’ CiF

  21. Which makes the ‘Mail’ sister under the skin to the ‘Guardian’s’ CiF

    Sadly, with both the DM and the Graun being so dominated by clickbait it’s now impossible to know whether it’s the home-readership pointing out that they’re talking bollocks, or just the away crowd stopping by to cause a ruckus.

  22. The Telegraph comments are generally contrarian too. Being a sad git who hangs around there a lot, I know enough names to know it’s mostly regulars.

  23. “Which makes the ‘Mail’ sister under the skin to the ‘Guardian’s’ CiF”

    They’re both predominantly totalitarian.

  24. How many years do you have to flog away as a prostitute to qualify for the full state pension? Even France is raising the contribution period to 42 years, which seems a little too long for some ancient professions.

  25. “I know jobs in the UK in places like Ann Summers got pulled, which is frankly ridiculous.”
    If they do, it is ridiculous. They’ve got a bloody great warehouse unit at Whiteleaf (Surrey?) See the sign from the road passes. And from the caff opposite does great bacon sandwiches & a mug of proper, not instant, coffee. How the hell would you morally corrupt a forklift driver? Most of the ones I’ve known, you’d need a hammer.

  26. @JamesV “What’s the name of the rhetorical fallacy when someone who understands precisely what you mean uses an overly-strict interpretation of your words”

    Could be Straw Man fallacy, Symbolic-Literal Fallacy, Red Herring. You could call it the Fallacy of Disingenuousness or, in the context of this blog, the Fallacy of Pendantry.

  27. … or, in the context of this blog, the Fallacy of Pendantry.

    Brilliant. I am going to start using that one.

  28. Surreptitious Evil- “Neither did anybody who dirtied their hands in trade. The best of the commoners might get knighted and tapped up for contributions to the charities of the great and the good (or, if American, for daughters to marry in to impoverished noble families – ’cause gells don’t work anyway) but it was a black-balling from the social elite.”

    Alan Clark, everyone’s favourite Nazi sympathising animal rights activist, was the great-great-something-or-other grand son of Scottish textile merchants. His father definitely got to hob nob with the Great and Good.

    I am prepared to bet the money in prostitution is better but that there is no great, or even mildly prominent, family in the UK that claims descent from a brothel-keeper. Even if they did.

    Surreptitious Evil – “But not as prostitutes. As bar staff or cleaners. This was just a bit of bollocks used to help drum up a moral panic, as usual.”

    Actually it seems mostly hypothetical about what they could be required to do in Germany. But I am not sure that is really the point. If we accept prostitution as normal, by what right would anyone be able to refuse such a job?

    Ian B – “Since half of it is minor celebs in bikinis and the other half is stories about how cornflakes give you wrinkles, I’m not sure what this proves about it being a useful barometer of general social opinion.”

    Really? That is precisely why I think it is an excellent barometer of public opinion.

    “You have a dictionary? It means surely, absolutely without doubt, because all those synonyms apply to the legal status of prostitution historically.”

    And yet keeping a brothel has long been a crime in the UK. Blackstone mentions it. Repeatedly. As in:

    (Explaining those cases where a woman is not held to be innocently forced to commit a crime by her husband):

    In inferior misdemeanors also, we may remark another exception; that wife may be indicted and set in the pillory with her husband, for keeping a brothel: for this is an offense touching the domestic economy or government of the house, in which the wife has a principal share; and in also such an offense as the law presumes to be generally conducted by the intrigues of the female sex.31 And in all cases, where the wife offends alone, without the company or command of her husband, she is responsible for her offense, as much as any feme-sole.

    Or

    THE last offense which I shall mention, more immediately against religion and morality and cognizable by the temporal courts, is that of open and notorious lewdness: either by frequenting houses of ill fame, which is an indictable offense;40 or by some grossly scandalous and public indecency, for which the punishment is by fine and imprisonment.41 In the year 1650, when the ruling powers found it for their interest to put on the semblance of a very extraordinary strictness and purity of morals, not only incest and adultery were made capital crimes; but also the repeated act of keeping a brothel, or committing fornication, were (upon a second conviction) made felony without benefit of clergy.42 But at the restoration, when men from an abhorrence of the hypocrisy of the late times fell into a contrary extreme, of licentiousness, it was not thought proper to renew a law of such unfashionable rigor. And these offenses have been ever since left to the feeble coercion of the spiritual court, according to the rules of the canon law; a law which has treated the offense of incontinence, nay even adultery itself, with a great degree of tenderness and lenity; owing perhaps to the celibacy of its first compilers.

    Or

    All disorderly inns or ale-houses, bawdy-houses, gaming-houses, stage-plays unlicensed, booths and stages for rope-dancers, mountebanks, and the like, are public nuisances, and may upon indictment be suppressed and fined.

    Or

    FIRST then, the justices are empowered by the statute 34 Edw III. c. 1. to bind over to the good behavior towards the king and his people, all them that be not of good fame, wherever they be found, to the intent that the people be not troubled nor endamaged, nor the peace diminished, nor merchants and others, passing by the highways of the realm, be disturbed nor put in the peril which may happen by such offenders. Under the general words of this expression, that be not of good fame, it is held that a man may be bound to his good behavior for causes of scandal, contra bonos mores [against good manners], as well as contra pacem [against the peace]; as, for haunting bawdy houses with women of bad fame; or for keeping such women in his own house

    “That’s a weird definition, I have to say. Normal is that which attracts political patronage? Hmm.”

    No, that is not my meaning of normal. I mean it would be an industry like textiles. Textile magnates do well and some of them get to sit with the Queen. I know of no one come to great wealth, until recently anyway, through prostitution who has got the chance. Although I know of no family that claims to have risen to wealth this way. I know of no record where a family expresses approval of a girl going into the industry, I know of no former prostitute who was received by polite society.

    Thus it was not normal.

    “So we’re back to the point really; the “normal” you’re appealing to as some kind of eternal values is basically about a century, if that, from the mid 1800s to the mid 1900s”

    If prostitution was so acceptable, then the prostitutes should have kept in contact with their families. As TW says, the wages are high because of the loss of social capital (ie it is not a normal job). If you claim it was normal, then there should have been no loss of social capital for doing the work and we should see that in women working locally, being known working locally, marrying well after working locally, and letting their families know. Are you claiming that is in fact what we do so before the Victorians?

    bloke in spain – “AngloSax Anglosphere must be the only realm where social outrage against those not socially outraged gets credibility.”

    Is that a bad thing? Well Italy is not noted for its social outrage. Although I think it is a bit of an outrage that they finally worked up enough to get Berlusconi. But that lack of outrage means they have unrepentent Communists still in the system and unrepentent Fascists in Parliament too. It means that the French protect Roman Polansky. It means the French Minister of Culture can be an open paedophile and no one cares. Or my favourite, an Italian politician can be caught in a hotel with two hookers and some cocaine and claim that this does not prove he is a bad family man.

    The Northern Europeans feel a lot more shame. So whatever you can say about the Germans they were really really sorry about that Holocaust thing. The Italians, the Spanish with their camps, not so much.

    You know, sometimes I think a little moral outrage is not a bad thing.

  29. @JamesV I think it’s the continuum fallacy or the sorties paradox. Closely aligned with deliberate ignorance, where a statement is made that any reasonable person would understand but the other side refuses to accept until It is very precisely defined. The high precision of the definition then gives rise to greater nitpicking which allows the entire original statement to be declared wrong based on some inconsequential flaw in the detail.

  30. The high precision of the definition then gives rise to greater nitpicking which allows the entire original statement to be declared wrong based on some inconsequential flaw in the detail.

    Oh, as in the difference between these?

    Neither did anybody who dirtied their hands in trade.

    and

    Alan Clark, everyone’s favourite Nazi sympathising animal rights activist, was the great-great-something-or-other grand son of Scottish textile merchants. His father definitely got to hob nob with the Great and Good.

    Of course, everybody knows that filthy lucre gets washed clean by passing through a couple of generations (George Osborne, for example, or the wicked witch of the PAC.)

    To which, of course, you can add the false equivalence between the Victorian era, where prostitution was accepted (just because it is a crime, doesn’t mean it is prosecuted) and merchants were not invited to hobnob with royalty and today, where prostitution is less accepted (IanB’s tsunamis of prudery having started and showing no signs of stopping) yet we have Queen’s Awards for Industry and for Innovation.

    Yet, being very to date, it is much easier to get a knighthood as a politician, a head teacher or an academic than it is for a successful businessman or woman (despite this being nominally a Conservative, therefore supposedly pro-business, government.)

  31. ~bloke in spain – “AngloSax Anglosphere must be the only realm where social outrage against those not socially outraged gets credibility.”

    Is that a bad thing? ~

    Put it this way SMfS, you be socially outraged if you wanna. Don’t expect me to be. Particularly on the topic under discussion. (Hint- It wouldn’t to domestic harmony here a whole lot of good.)
    As for; Do keepers of houses of ill repute get to sit with the queen? One of them weekly, surely. And she, the poor lady, has to sit in the houses of ill repute every so often. My sympathy’s with her.

  32. SMFS-

    Nice try, but I didn’t apply “certainly legal” to keeping a brothel, but to prostitution which is, still to this day, legal. You compendium is informative, but other than the 1650 mention consists of a lot of vague laws for action against various types of socially disruptive elements- brothels, theatres, pubs, etc which historically had various degrees of toleration under a common law which required prosecutions to be brought privately, and thus, in the absence of persecutory societies like Wilberforce’s meant an effective legality. Indeed as late as the 1860s reformers were complaining that the police would not enter a bawdy house unless some other crime had been reported there.

    Still, I’ll just reiterate that none of the laws quoted refer to the act of prostitution itself but to various associated business practises (just as today, you can’t solicit or run a brothel, but can charge money for sex).

    1650 of course is the Puritan Commonwealth, the most singularly un-English government in cultural terms ever to hold power and whose regime, as Blackstone notes, was enthusiastically repudiated at the Restoration.

    So what we see I would argue is various eras in which elements of the ruling class attempt to suppress that which teh populace consider generally normal- the Puritans, the Victorians, and now the PCers- all basically cut from the same cloth. We should not define “normal” by their standards in past eras any more than we should define it by the current “politically correct” ideals of the current ruling elite.

    Also, there is no reason to think that the price of a strumpet is set by “social capital”; it’s just the price that the market will support. There’s not much social capital to be had from being a cleaner either, but that doesn’t command a premium.

  33. “Also, there is no reason to think that the price of a strumpet is set by “social capital”; it’s just the price that the market will support. ”

    It’s a complete mystery to me why even people like our esteemed host treat the ‘game’ as if it’s some unique occupation. It lives, like any other, in the harsh world of supply & demand. The service commands exactly what the market will pay for it, bearing in mind there’s, like most other services, a surplus of providers over users.
    That last is the only reason i can imagine the error creeps in. Because there’s a general lack of women around who’ll provide nooky to all & sundry out of the goodness of their hearts – ergo there must be a scarcity of tarts. Try this: Because there’s a shortage of people willing to come round & clean your windows for free – ergo there’s a shortage of window cleaners & window cleaning is a well paid occupation. True? Why should hookers be well paid, then?

    And please don’t be fooled by the per hour rates. That’s like assessing the earnings of a petrol pump attendant by only counting the time the nozzles in a tank. The day (or night) for most hookers is spent waiting for the phone to ring or the doorbell to sound. Mostly it doesn’t. Or tottering round a club in very high heals & not much else trying to entice drunks. If you’ve ever been to one, you might notice such clubs usually have more girls than punters. Supply exceeds demand, yes? Work it out ffs.

  34. Saw a drug dealer earlier on today, a woman selling cigarettes in Morrisons. A company selling other drugs of course – alcohol, painkillers etc. They do advertise in the media and on jobcentre website.
    Even bookies can advertise on such places.
    Then again there isn’t quite the same moral outrage about some things – most of us have had or will have sex. The paying for it with a drink or two in a nightclub is somehow seen as morally better than a cash transaction with expectations known to both parties in advance and no teasing unless wished for.
    But advertise those jobs….

  35. There is a social as well as a legal element. How many men would marry, knowingly, a former prostitute, or put their own wife on the game? Some of course, but really not many.

    And where does money for sex start and one favour for another stop? I guess the escort end of things, dinner and drinks first, works because the bloke knows they will get some nozzle-in -tank time for the outlay, whereas dating is a cheaper but riskier investment.

    SMFS, you were called on the continuum/sorites thing (hat tip magnusw) because of the “countries east of here”, not the normality or otherwise of the sex trade. Nice diversion though. You should read Schopenhauer’s “The Art of Being Right”.

  36. There is a social as well as a legal element. How many men would marry, knowingly, a former prostitute, or put their own wife on the game? Some of course, but really not many.

    Therefore, what? What point are you making here, even if we accept that questionable first assertion and the weird “put them on the game” second assertion?

  37. “How many men would marry, knowingly, a former prostitute?”
    Why not? You both know you got sexual attraction, jealousy & money out of the way before you started. What’s left argue about?

  38. Surreptitious Evil – “Of course, everybody knows that filthy lucre gets washed clean by passing through a couple of generations (George Osborne, for example, or the wicked witch of the PAC.)”

    That is probably true. Although we are back with the lack of a single family that proudly, or even shamefacedly, claims wealth from prostitution. Slavery? Not so much but some. Sir John Gladstone, (1st Baronet) for instance. The son of a farmer turned small scale merchant. Became a large slave owner. Sat in the House of Lords. Son became Prime Minister. As lucre goes, you can’t get much more filthy than that. Didn’t bother his career much.

    But if you want to quibble – Harold Sidney Harmsworth. The son of a solicitor. Sat in the House of Lords. Hob nobbed with the Royals. Max Aitken – the son of a Scottish kirk preacher. Likewise. They did not have to wait a generation or two. Nor did Sir James Nicolas Sutherland Matheson, 1st Baronet – the drug smuggling son of a sailor.

    “To which, of course, you can add the false equivalence between the Victorian era, where prostitution was accepted (just because it is a crime, doesn’t mean it is prosecuted) and merchants were not invited to hobnob with royalty and today, where prostitution is less accepted (IanB’s tsunamis of prudery having started and showing no signs of stopping) yet we have Queen’s Awards for Industry and for Innovation.”

    My point was that merchants *were* invited to hob nob with the Royals. You are confusing what I said with what some one else said. It was common in the Victorian period, but accepted it just what it was not. You could not, as I said, be involved in the industry and be accepted into polite society.

    Which makes the rest of your post too confusing to be worth bothering with. If you have no idea what I said, I really cannot see how I can work out what is worth replying to.

    bloke in spain – “Put it this way SMfS, you be socially outraged if you wanna. Don’t expect me to be. Particularly on the topic under discussion. (Hint- It wouldn’t to domestic harmony here a whole lot of good.)”

    I have not shown the slightest hint of expecting anyone to be outraged. I have to say I am not much outraged by prostitution either. But I would prefer a society where it is not normalised in the way that abortion and divorce have become.

    It is a shame you are not outraged by other things though.

    Ian B – “Nice try, but I didn’t apply “certainly legal” to keeping a brothel, but to prostitution which is, still to this day, legal.”

    I have yet to see evidence it was legal – and some of those quotes suggest it was not. But either way, the point remains that the industry was not normalised. It was not seen as a normal thing at all, but something to be suppressed.

    “which historically had various degrees of toleration under a common law which required prosecutions to be brought privately, and thus, in the absence of persecutory societies like Wilberforce’s meant an effective legality.”

    I don’t see that as relevant. The point is not whether the laws were properly enforced in a modern way but whether people saw the prostitution industry as shameful. I could care less if the police bust brothels. But I think that the industry ought to be shameful.

    “1650 of course is the Puritan Commonwealth, the most singularly un-English government in cultural terms ever to hold power and whose regime, as Blackstone notes, was enthusiastically repudiated at the Restoration.”

    Come on, you can call the Puritans a lot of things, and you do, but they were English. Very English. As you are usually the first to admit when condemning whatever idiotic piece of idiocy the Left gets up to these days.

    “So what we see I would argue is various eras in which elements of the ruling class attempt to suppress that which teh populace consider generally normal- the Puritans”

    Sorry but that is a remarkable reading of the Puritans. I would have thought a better reading was that the ruling class was fine with prostitution and lax morals generally, until a rising middle class – vastly more representative of England – drove them from power in the Civil War and instituted an unfortunate experiment in giving the British voter exactly what he wanted – good and hard.

    “Also, there is no reason to think that the price of a strumpet is set by “social capital”; it’s just the price that the market will support. There’s not much social capital to be had from being a cleaner either, but that doesn’t command a premium.”

    The market is shaped by social capital as well. It is why people will still do poorly paid jobs if they are socially rewarded. As teaching used to be. There is a world of difference between a cleaner and a prostitute. People are willing to marry cleaners. Cleaners do not have to move to the next country to work. So no, it does not command a premium. Being a prostitute does.

    bloke in spain – “The service commands exactly what the market will pay for it, bearing in mind there’s, like most other services, a surplus of providers over users.”

    These days. I doubt that was always true.

    JamesV – “SMFS, you were called on the continuum/sorites thing (hat tip magnusw) because of the “countries east of here”, not the normality or otherwise of the sex trade. Nice diversion though. You should read Schopenhauer’s “The Art of Being Right”.”

    Really? I thought that the continuum comment applied to those who persistently refuse to accept what I meant by normal? We live and learn.

    Ian B – “Therefore, what? What point are you making here, even if we accept that questionable first assertion and the weird “put them on the game” second assertion?”

    That it is a massive loss of social capital. If women lose out in the marriage market by this sort of work, and they do, then they will not want to do it.

    bloke in spain – “Why not? You both know you got sexual attraction, jealousy & money out of the way before you started. What’s left argue about?”

    My God. I would assume such a comment comes from someone who has never met a prostitute. If it was from someone else. Of course jealously is not out of the way. It can rear its head at any time. Wait until she starts in on the unfavourable comparisons with her former pimp. And money is always an issue. The risk of divorce rises with the number of previous partners. Now maybe a retiring lady of the night would be happy just to find anyone. But I expect she will be looking at marital settlements with a keen eye. Prostitutes are not known for their liking of the men they sleep with, nor for the sincerity of their declarations of affection. There are usually good reasons for ancient prejudices.

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