After reading an article this morning which raised my blood pressure to unhealthy levels, I could not help but find myself jaw dropping-ly amazed by the blatant hypocrisy that seems to rule our societies major financial and governmental systems. What could have incensed me so much I hear you ask - well, it was the news that a number of porn stars have recently found that their bank accounts have been shut down on the grounds of "compliance issues." You can read the article here. Compliance issues here representing the 'improper morals' of the client, in the case of the bank subsequently receiving and handling money presuming to be made from pornography.
F**K me! Was I getting this straight I wondered? The banks, notorious for investing their money in arms and warfare, unethical trading, large scale corporate corruption both from within and without, were refusing to take money from porn stars on the ground it is 'immoral'? Am I missing something here?
Chanel Preston (pictured above) makes porn and enjoys it. It might not be everyone's cup of tea but it operates within the realms of adult, consenting, co-operative sex. It does not pretend to be anything other than it is. You either love it or hate it, avoid or ignore it, use it to enhance your sex life or reject it, wish you could do it or are frustrated by the often joyless representations of women's sexual power in it, or some other variable of response. So how did the banks, with their squeaky clean record of investing our global finances (spot the irony) then become our moral arbiters? And what is it about sex that still shakes us up so much.
All of this got me thinking, and led me as these things often do, down a fork in the next road where I came across a delightfully frank article where my long time heroine and inspiration Annie Sprinkle (pictured below) was discussing the taboos around paying for sex.
I believe that we are still incredibly hung up about paying for sexual services despite the fact that we think nothing about paying for almost every other aspect of our personal desires and needs. We pay for alcohol and drugs to relax us, we pay to enlist the services of people whose skills we need at any point in our lives, we pay to experience the lives and cultures of others, we often pay to work or perform, and we pay for just about every need we have without too many questions being raised. We are human beings conceived in sexual bonding, and it's fair to say that the exploration of our own sexuality then continues all the way through our lives - the good the bad and the ugly all entering the fray, for most of us that is. How is it then that we still balk, moralise and intervene on the issue of the buying and selling of sex?
For me, it's the Bluebeard's Key of our lives - the key to the door we are given but told not to peek into, never to venture in for the rivers of blood that will be unleashed if we dare to cross the forbidden threshold. "Here, I'm offering you this in trust but you must not let your curiosity reign supreme." Discipline (but not paid!) must be found or the devil may cavort!
It's curious to me that should I have a sexual desire or need that I could never openly admit I may choose to pay for. Honest, clean negotiation? What's wrong with that? At least the bank aren't my caretakers or judges on the matter at hand. At least the choice is mine. Sex, the most normal drive and urge in the world, so distorted, so misrepresented, so repackaged and re-sold to us that we even believe the mythology now. That everyone else is having better sex than we are and that it's wrong to pay for it.
Give me one good reason why?
For centuries women have been getting into trouble for daring to unleash their curiosity or their need - Eve, Pandora, Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, Bluebeard's wife and so many many more, all of them/us doing little more than expressing a desire. What then of women's sexuality when it is unleashed and expressed?
Whilst sex remains the Bluebeard's Key, we will never change things and it's most certainly time to change things. Unlock the door and dare to get the pleasure you deserve!
Let's turn it into a pleasure zone!