@mrfisher I agree with your interpretation of the meaning of "hell is other people", but it also means that other people are the "cause" of one's presumed misery if you are the "effect." If you allow other people to make your life hell, they will.
Chloe Boulez made one on 01/31/2012 @ 12:10 pm
genius!!! you're such a great writer/deep thinker :) I'm going to have to reread this one a couple times, thanks for the insight!
I know I got into this industry primarily because of a financial need, but I never would have considered it if I wasn't comfortable living with the consequences, no matter what they are. Then again, I fully vetted the concept and researched the hell out of it before committing, and I know it's just dumb luck that I have that ability at all.
I know I need to get involved with your SWOP stuff, it just breaks my heart to think of anyone feeling trapped....
mrfisher made one on 01/31/2012 @ 07:12 am
Thanks for your take on the question of existentialism and choices, especially those related to sex-work/hobbying.
I like to think that sex-work/hobbying can live in peaceful co-existence with marriage, though I know most wives would bristle about it. The sad truth is that we allow ourselves to be governed by ancient "truths" that are no longer needed/relavant.
And hell is not necessarily other people - it is usually one's self, if that self is not living authentically.
After listening to a two part lecture yesterday on Sartre's theory of Existentialism, it got me thinking about how many the ideas behind this philosophy relate to our industry. If "existence precedes essence", meaning that we are able to make decisions based on our own free will, independent of outside influences, then how much do factors like non-consent and responsibilities like monogamy really play into the actions of those who partake in the industry?
It's no secret that many people believe that a large portion of the women working in our industry are not here by their own choosing, but rather, have been forced or coerced in some way or are working for an abuser who limits their movement and actions. While these circumstances are definitely a reality for many providers, the existentialist question that it poses is, how much free will did these women have in getting into these situations AND how much free will do they have in getting out of them? As my instructor noted, "anybody can run at anytime, we're in America, you have the freedom to do that." Ahhh yes, but when there's nowhere to run to, you have no money, and the threat of violence is always upon you, these decisions are less and less easy to make.
I've been doing quite a bit or research about trafficking lately for a project I'm working on and one thing I'm finding out is that most of these trafficking situations begin with a bad decision that results from someone not having better alternatives for earning a living. A film I saw a few weeks back examined sex trafficking in eastern European countries such as Moldovia, Bulgaria, and the Ukraine, where jobs are almost non-existent so many of the women answer 'too good to be true' ads for employment in which all their travel and living expenses are paid for a job in another country. Of course, once they arrive they find out that the job wasn't what they thought it was and they are now being held in debt bondage and trafficked into the sex industry. It's a horrible situation that begins with a decision...a bad one, but many of these people know it could be just that. And situation where providers work with pimps or to support abusive boyfriends, why choose to do that? If one has free will, how much choice does a person have to leave these situations, to transform their own reality?
I notice that the number one way people imprison themselves voluntarily is within relationships. The man whose actions are limited because of an overzealous wife, the women who must make a decision to leave the industry because of a jealous boyfriend, or any type of restrictions a person puts on themselves in order to appease a partner. This is what Sartre calls living in "bad faith" or denying oneself their own freedom, lying to oneself, blaming others for your misery. It's no doubt that any provider in this industry, myself included, has heard many a client share the story of his unhappy marriage that causes them to make the choice to see us. Thank you wives! Once again, it's the decision a man makes that transforms his own reality, hopefully for the better. But who are the folks that dare make a morality judgment on our actions? Is it up to anyone to decide what is moral for another person?
The truth is all our actions have consequences, sometimes good, sometimes bad. I've found that out all too well in the past year (see last blog). Sometimes I see a lot of people within this industry (providers and hobbyists) play the "victim" role over and over, and that, my friends, is definitely something of their own creation. In the end, only you have the ability to change your life based on the decisions that you make and if you continue to make bad ones, you'll continue to be the victim.
I studied Existentialism a lot in my late teens and always tried to live by its ideals. While some of it fell by the wayside as I got older, I think many of the philosophies still resonate with me, which is why that lecture yesterday dug up a lot of these questions which I think raise some good questions about this industry.
Are your actions based on free will or in bad faith?