Does slut shaming have any effect on the escort industry?

Slut shaming, while nothing new, is reaching all-time highs through social networks, blogging and authorized bigotry in mainstream media. Its main purpose is to admonish women’s sexual behaviors or desires that don’t conform to what is perceived to be socially acceptable. A woman may be slut-shamed for her actions, statements, attire or reputation. Many women and young girls are slut-shamed after sexual assaults, insinuating that they deserved it due to their flirtatiousness, teasing or provocative clothing. Both men and women engage in this judgment of others, and it affects womanhood, as a whole, in addition to having a tremendous impact on escorting and the sex work industry.

In the English language, it was determined in 1979 that there were 220 words used to describe a sexually promiscuous woman, while only 20 existed for a promiscuous man. The number has undoubtedly increased since then. Slut-shaming demonstrates the gap between genders and encourages the belief that women are not entitled to the same sexual privileges of men without facing severe consequences.

The effects that slut shaming has on escorts and the industry are far reaching and include:

  • Slut shaming demeans the importance of consent in the escort/client relationship. Every successful encounter between an escort and her client depends on the observance of consent. No client may take an escort’s presence as an implication of her consent for any activities, regardless of expectations. Slut shaming influences how clients view escorts by encouraging the belief that all escorts are “easy” whores who offer sex for the promise of money. That is simply not true. Escorts may promise their companionship in exchange for a fee; but, there are no promises of any physical affection or intimacies. Slut shaming provides men with the assumptions that escorts are eager to get busy with them and that they can do anything they want, as long as they’ve paid the escort’s requested rate.
  • Slut shaming causes men to judge escorts based on their sexuality. Because clients understand that escorts probably have intimate relations with several men, it’s easy for them to label escorts as immoral, un-Christian and having no self-worth, according to what society is taught by slut shaming. The perception of women who engage in sex or sexual acts with many men is worthlessness and trashiness. When women are judged by their personal choices regarding whom they choose to be intimate with, their rights as human beings to be respected and valued is diminished and, perhaps, absent. Escorts are judged for the acts they commit and not their personalities, kindness, generosity or other traits that make them unique, priceless individuals.
  • Slut shaming opens the door for verbal abuse on escorts. The media engages in it, so-called activists think they have a right to do it and random on-lookers often spout off their uninformed opinions, all in the name of criticizing women for their sexuality. This slut shaming takes on an uncontrolled wave of harsh judgment about escorts and other women; the insults often cross the line from being simple opinions or observations to true verbal abuse. And, when a client witnesses complete strangers and the media slinging abuse (along with society condoning it), it’s very common for it to occur during an encounter. Harsh insults using the words “slut,” “whore,” “bitch” and others are sputtered in disgust by some clients if an escort doesn’t act exactly as a client expects or wants. If slut shaming weren’t so prevalent in modern culture, clients might not feel so free to insult their escorts so severely.
  • Slut shaming has a direct impact on the self esteem of many escorts. Although women who enter the escort industry have to be mentally strong and have high levels of self-worth, they can succumb to the pressures exerted upon them by their critics. After being told you are immoral, worthless and dirty, it’s difficult to continue building yourself up from these insults. After awhile, even the most secure escort is prone to some self-doubt and questions about her own value system. She may wonder if she’s wrong to feel she is in control of her body and has a right to do with it as she pleases. She may start to believe the things that slut shamers say about her and others like her. An escort doesn’t have to be the direct target of such ridicule and impugnment to feel the brunt of judgment.
  • Slut shaming blames escorts for their clients’ infidelity. Many clients of escorts are married or involved with a significant other. Slut shamers would have society to believe that escorts and other “loose” women are responsible for men cheating on their partners. They claim that men stray from their commitments, because of women tempting them through provocative dressing, flirtatious conversation and promises of no-strings-attached sexual intimacies. And, while it’s true that escorts know the power of seduction, men are not blameless. Most of the time, clients go looking for an escort. They troll escort ads looking for a woman who fits their fantasies or desires. Men do not need an escort to come on to them to consider cheating; it’s in many of their natures to seek out flings and exciting rendezvous.
  • Slut shaming causes escorts to worry about how people think about them. Many escorts are so comfortable with themselves that they don’t care about how the general populace perceives them. However, the stigma that has become attached to being an escort is difficult to overcome and is a worry to many escorts if their secret lives are revealed. Slut shamers insinuate that escorts all dress seductively, act without inhibition and serve up sex for nearly free. Because these perceptions influence how they are treated and respected in society, escorts are afraid to come clean about their careers with the people they love and care about. They feel they must maintain double lives in order to be loved and accepted by their friends and family members.
  • Slut shaming creates a double standard for the escort and sex work industries. Prostitutes are subjected to in-depth stings and arrests for attempting to exchange sex for money. However, their clients are rarely pursued. Slut shaming has caused prostitutes to incur the wrath of the law and allowed their clients to escape persecution. Much is the same for escorts. Law enforcement officials automatically assume that an escort offers more than her companionship for her fee; without even once considering that her clients may offer her money for sexual services, which she turns down. The clients are always blameless, and escorts are at fault. It’s acceptable for a client to seek companionship, but it’s somehow sinful or degrading for a woman to offer her time and company in exchange for a fee. It is suggested that escorts lower themselves to a standard that is unacceptable, but few criticisms are ever directed at their client lists.
  • Slut shaming influences clients to feel an escort’s rates are too high. Because escorts are degraded and insulted by the media and other critics, the value of their work comes into question. Clients may feel that they shouldn’t have to pay $300 or more dollars for an hour of time with an escort who is unaccepted by society. Clients may expect an escort to come down in price, especially if they insult or degrade her, stressing her trashy and tawdry reputation. When an escort’s clients begin to feel this way, she is either forced to find new clients or reduce her prices. Slut shaming puts escorts into defensive predicaments where they are required to prove their worth in order to keep charging the same fees for their time.
  • Slut shaming suggests that sex is disgraceful and an example of debauchery. They attempt to convince others that sexuality and enjoyment of carnal pleasures are taboo. It’s embarrassing to be caught seeking affection or an intimate touch from an escort, according to the messages sent by critics. Clients become ashamed of what they are doing, and they may be intimidated into backing out of encounters or never booking another session. Escorts lose business all of the time because clients get a heavy dose of conscience, often administered by a slut-shaming media or society. Society has been trained to think that sex is dirty and only for the purpose of reproduction. However, ancient civilizations realized what a wonderful thing sex can be and celebrated it through rituals and ceremonies. Medieval European societies included palace positions for sexual partners of the royals and seemed to understand that lust and desire were commonplace for all human beings. It is only our more recent, uptight beliefs that lead people to believe that sex is something shameful. And, the slut shamers take advantage of this conservative upbringing to further hinder individuals’ insights concerning sex.
  • Slut shaming can limit the quality of health care available to escorts. Of course, sexual health is of the utmost importance to escorts, and many go for regular STD testing, pap smears and other check-ups. However, with increased slut shaming occurring in society, many medical professionals are highly influenced to believe that escorts and other sexually promiscuous individuals are doing harm to their bodies through their immoral and disgraceful behaviors. Fewer medical clinics are willing to treat sex workers, the government is influenced to decrease female healthcare mandates and derogatory assumptions and generalities are made about escorts’ sexual health. Stereotyping of escorts as whores and sluts often cause them to be discriminated against when they seek healthcare and attention from medical professionals.

Some media outlets and critics are starting to recognize the negative effects that harsh slut shaming is having on our society. Slut shaming has stretched from being directed to grown women who are responsible for their own actions to criticizing pre-teen and teenage girls and victims of sexual assault. Suicides across the country have resulted as a result of mean girls passing judgment on classmates, and sexual assaults have risen against young girls who are labeled with the title of “slut” or “whore.” These actions not only affect the escort industry, but society as a whole, dragging people down with it.