Fornication facilitators

Coition administrators at work

In the British Medical Journal as in most other Western publications, it is today required to use this or similar terms, such as copulation coordinators or sex agents, rather than the loaded and implicitly judgmental expression pimps, just as it is required to use the term sex workers rather than the obsolete prostitutes. Dalrymple writes:

I have twice been asked to appear on a panel at literary festivals on the subject of prostitution. Why I should have been selected for this honour, I do not know; but on both occasions I shared a panel with a chairwoman of a prostitutes’ collective and a female sociologist who claimed that prostitution was work like any other—better, in fact, since it entailed flexible hours, tax-free pay, a better hourly rate than average, and the like advantages. The sociologist was herself very prim and proper. I pointed out that, having taken this normalising view of the activity, the government of a German state had suggested that women who claimed unemployment benefits could rightly be put to sex work, as they were obliged to accept work if it were offered. The experiment did not last long, which suggested (to me, at least) that the work was not the same as, say, that of shelf-stacker or secretary.

‘Not everyone can be a prostitute,’ one of my fellow panellists piped up. ‘It takes skill.’

‘I am sure it can be taught,’ I said. ‘The unemployed could be sent for sex-work training. It surely wouldn’t take long to learn.’

My audience proved its intellectual gravitas by not laughing. Indeed, a member of the audience, a self-proclaimed madam of a Thai brothel, informed us that in Thailand there was indeed a training school for prostitutes. Whether it issued diplomas—elementary, intermediate, and advanced—and who, if any, the examiners were, she did not inform us; but again, nobody laughed. On the contrary, the audience seemed to think this was a jolly good idea. It would raise the general standard of sex work.

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