AUSTRALIAN PRAYER NETWORK NEWSLETTER – AUSTRALIAN NEWS 16th OCTOBER 2013
THE OFFICE OF THE AUSTRALIAN PRAYER NETWORK IS CURRENTLY CLOSED FOR A PERIOD OF 6 WEEKS TO ENABLE STAFF TO UNDERTAKE STRATEGIC PRAYER ASSIGNMENTS IN THE MIDDLE EAST AND TO TAKE A SHORT BREAK AT THE END TO RECOVER FROM THE INTENSE PERIOD OF ACTIVITY AND PRAYER. PRE-PREPARED EDITIONS OF AUSTRALIAN NEWS WILL CONTINUE TO BE PUBLISHED DURING THIS TIME BUT IN AN ABRIDGED FORM. AUSTRALIAN NEWS WILL RESUME FULL PUBLICATION ON WEDNESDAY 6th NOVEMBER.
HOW PROSTITUTION DESTROYS RELATIONSHIPS
HOW PROSTITUTION DESTROYS RELATIONSHIPS
I left my partner a few months ago. He’s having an affair. Emails between them talk of love and being together forever. He’s bought her flowers, a ring, a dog and puts money in her bank account. She is a prostitute. Conservatively, there are tens of thousands of prostitutes in Australia. How many clients does that require in their business model to be profitable? How many men in supposedly monogamous relationships visit brothels, escort services or street workers? The debate about this issue has centred on exploitation, the women and their pimps. Wives, partners and girlfriends of the men who have sex with these women are innocent and unwilling participants in this scenario.
Research tells us that most prostitutes are themselves victims. Many have been sexually abused as children. Drug addicts abound. Worst are those trafficked as sex slaves. At the heart of this billion-dollar industry, which rivals the takings in oil, arms and illegal drugs worldwide, is sexism. Women are chattels to be bought. While there are people who claim sex work is a valid career choice, I dispute the argument that these women have made a legitimate choice. Selling sexual intimacy degrades us all. Online posts tells us prostitutes are better: “Sex with prostitutes prevents you from being too dependent, sexually or emotionally, on other women.”
Or “Unless you are young, rich, tall, and handsome, you can probably have sex with prostitutes who are much younger and prettier than anyone you could date or marry.” Central to this behaviour is the thrill of the illicit and the sexual arousal that comes from power. This is especially true for men who have high-powered jobs, are overworked and under stress. It heals, soothes and provides a “safe place” free from the demands of actual performance. It gives an illusory sense of belonging. Unable to express their needs at home, the fantastic nature of a prostitute is captivating. Women become commodified and dehumanised. There is no fear she will talk to him, only listen.
Men who have sex with prostitutes jeopardise their romantic relationships, families and work. They might take considerable time off to pursue this endeavour. The time my ex must have spent thinking about her and inventing the lies would be considerable. Money spent can continue to rise as the addiction spins out of control. A high-class prostitute can earn thousands a day. I saw wads of $5000 several times at home. Even so, my ex is an intelligent man whose job requires him to work up to 15-hour days. Or so I thought. Now I wonder how many of these late nights were spent visiting brothels. Why hasn’t he got help? He has the resources to do so.
While the term “sex addict” is a notion that can be challenged, why is it that so many men, indeed famous men – Hugh Grant, Silvio Berlusconi, Charlie Sheen and former New York governor Eliot Spitzer – have succumbed to using sex workers? Once hooked, the sex becomes compelling and the risks escalate. There is a cycle to the addict’s behaviour, which is an unhealthy response to stress and a way of running away from painful feelings and struggles. I now know what it’s like to live with an addict but not a gambler or junkie. I reject the idea that humans cannot control their sexual behaviour. We are intelligent but our patterns of behaviour can stop us using this intelligence.
Leaving a long-term relationship is difficult. Telling friends and family is not easy. The humiliation of being betrayed is awful. You doubt yourself. Ponder what you did wrong or could have done differently. When you have to explain that your partner is “in love” with a prostitute, the humiliation takes on another dimension. I try to comfort myself with the thought that she is just in it for his money, but who knows? Maybe she really does care for him. My life has become a movie. But he is not Richard Gere and she is not Julia Roberts. This is the first time in my life where I think I’m going crazy. I wonder if I will be believed.
My partner is a world leader in his field – an area one usually associates with caring and compassion. In public, he is hard-working, respectable, polite. His work means he travels a lot and has the opportunity to lie about times and places. This he has done frequently. I first caught him looking at escort websites three months into our relationship. Revenge fantasies abound. Should I out him to family and his work? Friends? Well, he has none. The isolation of many modern men means he is alone in this struggle with no one to confide in. When I ask him to stay away for a weekend while I get some of my possessions, he has to stay in a hotel.
I have moments of compassion when I can see how his isolation makes him believe that he can make something out of this mess, but my heart turns to stone when I think of what he’s throwing away. The best revenge is living well. Mine is writing this. Should I take my lead from Hillary Clinton? I wonder what kind of remorse a man has to show to be believed and for a relationship to continue after such a discovery. Telling the truth would be a start, but this has not happened as there is so much shame on his part. Meanwhile, I am homeless until I find a permanent place to live; I have a car full of clothes and toiletries to cart around to the next friend who’ll put me up for the night.
Source: Anonymous testimony of an affected woman