I Walked by a Brothel Today
“Being with a prostitute is like having a cup of coffee- once you’re done with it, you throw it out.” –A Sex Buyer1
I walked by a brothel today and saw a man walking out the door. He was like most men you see. But one thing was different: he had just purchased sex.
The burdened thought hit my mind, “When will this all end? When will pimps stop oppressing and selling women and children? When will men stop abusing and violating women and children’s bodies for sex?”
And then I remembered the words of Jesus, “The poor you will always have with you” (Mattthew 26:11a).
Here’s the truth: just as the poor will always be with us, there will most likely always be victims of injustice. But here’s another truth: it’s not about the cause; it’s about the people.
Every single victim, every single survivor, (and yes) every single perpetrator matters.
Our vision is to see every person free. But if we can’t free every person, we will continue fighting every day for each individual. Because these are the words of Jesus also, “He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free.” (Luke 4:18b).
Jesus is in the business of freeing prisoners—emotionally, psychologically, spiritually, physically. This means he’s in the business of anti-trafficking, because trafficking involves so many who are prisoners, so many who are blind, so many who are oppressed. So the question must be asked, how can you practically go about brining freedom to prisoners?
In a previous post, I talked about the abolition strategy: changing laws and changing mindsets. Like I said there, you might not be in a place to change laws, but you can change mindsets.
The first step is to pray that mindsets would be changed (7 Ways to Pray Against Sexual Exploitation).
The second step is to start speaking up against wrong mindsets and shining a light on correct ones. Speak up in your every day life, and speak up across social media, the digital town square of today.
Before that, though, you need to understand what the wrong mindsets are, and beyond that, what the root cause of them is. Let’s look at the mindset behind demand—the mindset of sex buyers.
This is a crucial mindset to tackle because at it’s basic level, sex trafficking and sexual exploitation would cease overnight if one thing happened: if men stopped demanding women’s and children’s bodies (and even other men’s bodies) for sex.
What are some underlying behaviors and attitudes of sex-buyers? Let’s look at the findings of a recent study, “Comparing Sex Buyers with Men Who Do Not Buy Sex: New Data on Prostitution and Trafficking.”
- Sex buyers have significantly more sex partners than non-sex buyers.
- Sex buyers are more likely to express a preference for a lifestyle of impersonal sex.
- Sex buyers have a greater hostile masculinity.
- Sex buyers have a greater self-reported likelihood of rape and a greater history of sexual aggression.
- Sex buyers frequently report that they fear rejection from women. “It’s a service that you can go to for sexual favors if you’re too shy to pick up women yourself, if you’re insecure” –A Sex Buyer.
- Sex buyers are more likely to believe that women in prostitution are intrinsically different than other women. “It affects how you view the opposite sex…. If the man has gone with prostitutes a lot he is going to think the woman he is with is like the prostitute.” – A Sex Buyer
- 41% of sex buyers stated their decision to use women in prostitution was highly influenced by their own sexual abuse.
- Many sex buyers believe that laws against prostitution are rarely enforced and even when enforced that they have a trivial impact on them.
So there you have it. Men who buy women and children for sex often regard them as less than human and objects for sexual gratification. They have a sense of entitlement towards them. They want to control and dominate them.
“I don't want them to get any pleasure. I am paying for it and it is her job to give me pleasure. If she enjoys it I would feel cheated." –A Sex Buyer2
Here’s the question: why? What’s the root cause of these mindsets and behaviors?
That’s what l want to address in my next post. Once that’s determined, than you can determine how to fight against the root.
And then you can make a difference.