Monday, July 27, 2009

bleak future for street girls

I like to read the PunterNet forum and sometimes I contribute. There has been a thread recently called 'Street girls'. I was going to make a contribution but I didn't get round to it and now it has been closed. There were a lot of snide remarks and it dealt with issues that have been dealt with before by myself and others in previous threads, so it wasn't a high priority for me. It was interesting how much hatred some people have for men who have sex with street girls. I think there were contributors who were not involved in prostitution but were either extreme feminists or religious.

Extreme feminists and religious people have a lot in common, although they would not like to admit it. They both take an ideological approach, see everything in black-and-white terms, and don't want to learn anything because they think they know it all already. Ideological approaches always end up harming the people that they say they want to help. They are all hypocrites because if they really wanted to help they would first try to understand what the problems are.

Now it has been decided that there will be no more discussions on the PunterNet forum of the subject of the street scene. I predict that this will make the PunterNet site less credible in the eyes of the general public. Many people will have thought “They discuss prostitution but at least they are willing to show the dark side as well as its more acceptable side”. Now they are not willing to discuss the dark side. They want to make out that it is like Secret Diary of a Call Girl. Hiding the truth will not make anything better.

There were many points raised in this thread that I would like to address. I am no longer able to contribute to the thread because it has been closed. I am no longer able to start a new thread because the subject of the street scene has been banned. So I have to do it here. There were 2 points that I thought were the most important. I will address them both in this posting and then if I can be bothered I can address other points in later postings.

Someone made the point that street girls have enormous problems and that people like me are adding to them. It is not me who is adding to their problems, it is people who want to ban things and drive them further underground.

I have mentioned Amanda Austin, the local resident who campaigned for prostitutes to be removed from Tooting Bec Common. Now it seems that she has achieved her aims. I have only seen 2 prostitutes there this year. This is probably more due to the activities of Harriet Harman and Jacqui Smith than Amanda Austin.

According to Amanda Austin the Common was awash with used condoms and drugs paraphernalia. This was a lie. Tooting Bec Common is a big park and the prostitutes restricted their activities to one small area of the park. The only used condoms that could be seen were in particular areas of the undergrowth. The only drugs paraphernalia I have ever seen in several years of going there was an improvised crack pipe. It was there for many weeks, which just shows that what rubbish could be seen was an accumulation of many weeks-worth.

I often wonder if Amanda Austin and her fellow campaigners ever thing about what has happened to these women, as I do. Perhaps they think that they have all given up drugs. I don't think they care, there seemed to be a lot of hostility to the women from residents, although of course they are always willing to shed crocodile tears if it helps them get their way.

When I first started going to the Common about 9 years ago, there were many women there of different types. I would say 3 different types. There were women who occasionally went to the Common when they had rent to pay or a bill, or because of delays in getting benefits. There were other women who drank or took some drugs but were not addicts, or who would not have considered themselves addicts but recreational users. The third group were the hardened drug addicts who came to the Common because it was a safer and easier option for them than getting into cars at 2 or 3 in the morning in New Park Road or Brixton Hill.

What has happened to these women is different in each case.

The first group will be having even more problems because of the economic downturn (caused by Harriet Harman and her chums) and they will be getting evicted or sitting in the dark or not having gas to cook their children food (Ms Harman is getting 'evicted' soon).

The second group will be shoplifting and committing other crimes. Perhaps the men in their lives will have to do more burglaries. Or maybe selling cocaine to kiddies (there has recently been a big rise in cocaine use among young people). So if Amanda Austin gets burgled and her teenage daughter gets a cocaine addiction like Daniella Westbrook it should not come as a big surprise.

And then the third group will be getting into cars at 2 or 3 in the morning in New Park Road or Brixton Hill and maybe sometimes never be seen again. They are likely to face injury. So I wonder if Harriet and Amanda and their fellow campaigners are proud of themselves about what they have achieved.

Another possibility is the more attractive and more organised women in groups 1 and 2 decide to become full-time prostitutes. Which I'm sure is not what Harriet Harman and Jacqui Smith originally intended.

The woman who made the posting that I am replying to finished by writing 'maybe it's time to go away and rethink your moral standards...?'. Ethics is a branch of philosophy that has occupied the minds of some of the most intelligent people for centuries. They have not come to any conclusions but they always stick to certain rules.

People should base their morality on thinking instead of emotion. They should be informed about issues and be willing to share information and discuss facts and opinions, without being sarcastic or insulting. They should not try to shut people up, either by intimidating them or trying to stop their contribution to the debate.

They should try to understand the consequences of their opinions and actions. If they can see that the consequences of their actions or opinions have increased human suffering then they should not continue to claim that they are altruistic. They should realize that they are not altruistic, or that they are not altruistic enough to be willing to spend a little time listening to others who know more than they do and to think about things a bit. If they are unwilling to see the consequences of their actions, as I think is the case with Amanda Austin, then they are immoral people.

How is it that so many women can be happy to bring so much misery to other women?

The other post that I want to reply to today was made by a man whose contribution was well intentioned but misguided. He said that in a job he had he encountered a street girl who told him that 'she felt that she was worthless and would never amount to anything more in life so took drugs to numb the pain she felt'. This is the sort of thing that drug addicts say to make people feel sorry for them.

The fact is that if you take a drug like cocaine, crack cocaine, heroin or crystal meth you will like it and want more. You are likely to become addicted. It has nothing to do with self-confidence or feelings of worthlessness or whether you spent your teenage years in a children's home or were abused as a child.

People think that addiction will not happen to them. They think “Well, I never lived in a children's home and I don't have feelings of worthlessness, so I'm not going to end up as a street girl”. This is a fatal (often literally fatal) error of thinking. If you think that street girls are only a certain type of unfortunate individual then you are missing an important truth.

Last year on the Common I met a woman in her thirties (I guess) called Alison. She was from Dublin. I asked her if she took crack and she said she did. I asked her if she took smack and she said she did, but only smoked it, not injected it. She said that she used to run a restaurant in Ireland. I told her that I had never taken drugs. She said don't, if you take it and you like it it can change your life. This is the sort of thing I have seen again and again in the years that I have been going to the Common. I have never seen a 'teen runaway'.

The author of this post also said that he would have liked to help this woman but she would not consider rehab. There is a reason for that. The reason for that is that the life of a crack addict is a life of much pleasure as well as pain. You may not want to believe that but people who know about drug addicts know that they are getting too much out of it to give it all up. That might sound like a crass thing to say but it is an important truth to understand. They want to party all the time.

In any case psychological opinion is changing about drug addiction. I had a CBT therapist who had worked with drug addicts. She did not see them as victims. I told her about my involvement with street girls, and that some people see me as an abuser. She could not understand this. She did not see me as an abuser, and none of the street girls have seen me as an abuser, so why should I pay any attention to dickheads?

Of course there are abusers on the street scene. Just like in any kind of prostitution or in any sphere of life. There are men who like to have women under their control and to harm them. But I have always listened to street girls and tried to help them. Just because I fuck them (occasionally) doesn't mean that I can't care about what happens to them. You might say that I am pretending that I am benefiting them and am deluded, but it is not me who is pretending to have their best interests at heart and is deluded.

There will be more abuse of street girls now. Read this from this site

Since the kerb-crawling legislation came in, nobody’s drug dependency or rent arrears or benefit delays have magically cleared up overnight. Women are still working on the streets, but with many of their regular clients avoiding the scene for fear of legal repercussions, they are seeing a greater proportion of unpleasant and violent clients, with a rise in requests for sex without a condom and services at insultingly low prices. Some are resigned to being out all night, since business is slow, they still need to make money, and in some cases they haven’t a hope of meeting their curfews in homeless accommodation. Clients want them to leave their traditional areas and meet them elsewhere, so that the clients won’t be targeted by police; as a consequence sex workers are working in greater isolation with a significant threat to their personal safety.

Friday, July 3, 2009

thoughts about Trina

If things had worked out between me and Trina and I had become a regular client I would have let her take a shower at my flat. If she had been hungry I would have given her something to eat or given her a cup of tea. If she had needed to talk I would have listened. If I had a washing machine I would have been willing to wash her clothes.

I would have been willing to do this for a girl. If someone is homeless or living in a squat then this could have been important to her. But I would never have let one stay in my flat, not even for one night.

Men have an attraction towards young women. That doesn't stop when you get older. I have had an attraction towards young women since I was a child and that is not going to change. Men also have an instinct to look after young women. You may not believe that but it is true. You may want to be cynical and think that it is just about lust.

There are plenty of people - especially feminists - who want to see things in black-and-white terms, with women as victims and men as predators. Reality is more complicated than that. You can't even begin to help people if you don't want to understand reality. Men who use prostitutes are not always as bad as they are made out to be, and people who are drug addicts are not as innocent as they would like others to believe.