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Happy hookers – fiction or fact?

I’ve got the luxury of some downtime at the moment so I spent the better part of the morning just surfing t’Internet, you know, as you do. And I came across this totally compelling article about hipster prostitutes in New York City. I mean, I sat there in one sitting and read the whole damn thing, totally spellbound. Later EPI and I went out for a walk around the golf course in gale-force winds and I breathlessly re-told the entire story and he hung on my every word, even when I was forced to interrupt it because the effort of struggling against the wind and speaking at the same time was just too much.

I stand self-consciously before the madam in my underwear. “You’ve got a great ass, but your tits are too small, frankly,” she observes. Then she adds decisively, “I’m thinking $950 an hour.”

Just now, when I went back to find the link, I happened to look at some of the comments that accompany the article, and I’m finding them just as fascinating as the article itself. Particularly the fact vs. fiction debate … it did occur to me several times that this might just be a well-written piece of fiction. Several people draw parallels between this article and the Happy Hooker – which was a pretty famous novel in the 70s as I recall – and today, of course, we have Belle du Jour. Seems that the myth of the hooker who loves her work keeps being recycled and dressed up modern garb. – I particularly enjoyed the comments by the ‘real’ sex workers and their take on the whole thing.

Personally I think a woman who turns tricks for money can’t retain her spiritual integrity for long. The same goes for a man, for that matter. We just aren’t built for it – you can’t separate the spirit from the body in that way and not pay a price. And you pay a higher fee the longer you continue. That’s not a moral judgment, it’s just fact. I know there are people out there who don’t agree, even sex workers, who will maintain until the bitter end that it’s no sweat, just a job, even that they like sex so much that it’s the perfect occupation for them. I don’t buy it. Eventually they will have to find a way to numb themselves.

What do you think? Is the happy hooker just a myth, or is it possible to approach it as a job – and even enjoy it? I’d be interested in your views.

THE WIND HAS DIED DOWN
Thankfully – it was pretty hairy there for a while today. I actually waited until 3 pm to go out or until I could stand it no more – was getting a severe case of cabin fever. I’m an oxygen fanatic … deprive me of my oxygen and I start to snarl. Currently we have 11°C [52F], sunrise was at 6.02, sunset at 8.53.

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  • Sonja August 30, 2008, 1:11 am

    I’m pretty happy hooking away with my crochet hook. http://www.flickr.com/photos/sonjarichter/2793636853/

    You were talking about crochet, right?

  • Sonja August 30, 2008, 1:13 am

    and this is the happy hooker book you were talking about, right?

    http://www.amazon.com/Stitch-Bitch-Crochet-Happy-Hooker/dp/0761139850

    😉

  • hildigunnur August 30, 2008, 1:44 am

    Myth, I think, wasn’t the happy hooker face for years on end the one that finally broke down and confessed the whole thing had been a mixture of pressure from her pimps and being paid for saying she liked her job? Can’t remember her name at the moment.

  • Dumdad August 30, 2008, 9:39 am

    I’ve never liked playing rugby but I’m told many hookers are very happy to scrum down and play the game.

  • Trevor August 30, 2008, 3:40 pm

    I think it can be approached as a job… anything can be spiritual or not and we have to pay a price for every activity we do. That’s aging, both physically, mentally, and spiritually. For some people who don’t work in forests, a walk through the forest can be a very spiritual thing. But the same walk made by a hard-working logger everyday is just part of his routine, and he doesn’t think anything of it spiritually other than maybe hard work is good for the soul. So why can’t hookers do that? The only way would be if there really was something spiritual connected with sex. But I’m not so sure. I think it’s just a case of everything can be spiritual or not, depending on how you view it, and that eventually we pay the price for having lived our entire lives (death). Interesting food for thought.

  • Ásdís August 31, 2008, 9:53 am

    I think you might convince yourself you are happy doing it like some people can convince themselves they are happy being degraded in other ways. The problem is that the reason someone can convince him/herself of this is the same as the reason the men/women buying the “service” can convince themselves it’s OK. Its because we are culturally conditioned to think that unequal gender relations are OK. This is not something that will disappear easily. But we can work on it 🙂
    Did you see this blog about the subject?
    http://hjonablogg.eyjan.is/2008/08/lkaminn-er-gur.html
    It has some very good points. (In Icelandic)

  • Victoria August 31, 2008, 3:03 pm

    It is a beauty of rationalization in its pure form. If people would be brutally honest with themselves and others, the rate of suicides will sky rocketed. Plus, as long as one insists that every thing is dandy, he/she doesn’t need to change anything.

  • alda August 31, 2008, 8:44 pm

    Thanks for the input everyone – I was curious to see what kind of response I would get here, if people would answer at all, or whether there would be a difference in the way men and women view this issue. In light of this, your responses are very interesting!

  • delara September 1, 2008, 5:10 am

    Why wouldn’t there be happy hookers? Happiness is completely subjective and I think it’s a bit rude for people to just presume that someone who uses sex as a career would be unhappy.

    Hell, it beats data entry.

  • Kate September 2, 2008, 10:04 pm

    hmmm… even though being engaged in this kind of activity with happy approach may sound beyond ridiculous for me I think there is some truth behind this story… it’s a matter of prioritising and at the end of the day there are as many ideas as many of us…

  • Cora September 3, 2008, 6:25 am

    What was compelling about the article, exactly?

  • alda September 3, 2008, 10:19 am

    Cora – everything. Just read it.

  • PhilippeP September 3, 2008, 2:20 pm

    About weather ….
    I spent the night before this blog entry in Vik, where in the afternoon I had put up my tent , then the (un-announced for me) storm came…
    Just before it was too late , I moved from the tent to the car where I saw my tent goes totally flat when three poles broke up !
    That was my scary moment in Island 🙂

  • alda September 3, 2008, 3:06 pm

    Philippe – welcome to Iceland. 🙂

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