prostitute in Vienna

Interview with an ex-prostitute and activist

Blick.ch wrote an article about an interview with an ex-sex worker that wrote a book about the life of a prostitute, called “Dehumanized”. After 10 years of doing this job, she managed to get out and now is an activist, she fights for people only having sex because they want to.

Sex Work in Vienna

Ms. Mau was asked by the reporter if now, after her period of being a prostitute, she is no longer perceived as a human being. Ms. Mau described the suitor as a client, where he is renting a women’s body for a certain period, just like in the menu. “He pays for the woman to be exactly what he wants and no longer be her own person with her own desires. As a prostitute you have sex that you don’t want to have. That’s dehumanizing.”

It is impossible to recognize suitors

The reporter, ever since she read Ms. Mau book, was looking at every man on the tram and questioning herself if they are buying sex. Ms. Mau confirmed that she does exactly the same thing and the man can be from journalist to judges. “I had many clients who, outside of prostitution, were extremely respectful of women, some were also feminist – in the brothel they still let it all out. Therefore, it is impossible to recognize suitors. The characteristics that they all have in common can only be recognized at second glance.”

Also, Ms. Mau recognizes men that are suitors that they do not want to take responsibility for the other person when it comes to sex. This kind of sex is all about man’s sexuality, the woman’s sexuality is irrelevant. The main job of a prostitute is to make the customer feel that he is the best, the worst is pretending you like it while you are being abused and humiliated.

Ms. Mau confirms that the clients think they have a right to sex, as they want to exercise their power and control over women, which is a natural drive to absolve themselves of responsibility. “They actually expect a machine that pretends to be close to them. Rejection is not an option in prostitution. In summary, it can be said that men who see women as livestock are freer.”

For man, the sex workers are just a bod with a few holes

The most expected question “How does it feel to be a prostitute?” was answered by Ms. Mau straight forward and honest. For man, the sex workers are just a body with a few holes, which can be evaluated along with their “performance”. “What is really behind it, whether the woman is disgusted, afraid, bored, or what she is like, does not interest the suitors at all. That feels very bad.”

This attitude towards women can harm to our society. Men learn that woman feelings and needs does not count, whether if they want to have sex with them or not. This is considered a taboo. “It’s totally creepy: if an acquaintance told us that he had sex with a woman last week but had no idea if she wanted it, we’d be horrified. “

The reporter was curious if the mutual consent to sex is possible in prostitution. The author disagrees with the statement and confirms that in prostitution the mutual consent to sex is completely ignored. Most of the prostitutes that are doing this job, are doing it as an emergency. There is a study about it, where 89 percent of women said they would quit immediately if this would not be the only way of making money.

83 percent of sex workers have a childhood trauma

In the book, Ms. Mau mention the study by the psychotherapist Sybille Zumbeck. This states that 83 percent of all women in prostitution have a childhood trauma, have witnessed family violence, been physically abused, or sexually abused. “I personally don’t know a single prostitute who doesn’t have a history of sexual violence. “

Are the suitors aware of the trauma of the prostitutes? Most man suspect it. They do not care if they do not want to have sex with them as long as they are paying. “What kind of “job” is it that is fundamentally dependent on traumatized women doing it?”

Ms. Mau has strong opinions about “sex work” that should be accepted as a profession like any other. If this would be accepted, it should be like a normal job offer with no more sexual harassment. But the sex cannot be considered as a regular job. “A case from Munich shows this well: Because of the horrendous rents, a man rented his apartment to women there – instead of rent he asked for sex. It came to a trial; the outcry was huge because the landlord had so clearly exploited the women’s financial plight.” This is what happens in prostitution every single day, it does not matter if you urgently need and apartment or money for food, emergencies are exploited.

As we live in 21st century, is strange that prostitution still takes place in the middle of our society. Ms. Mau confirmed that is convenient not to look. People use a shield when coming to prostitution, as they believe it has nothing to do with them, but in reality, it concerns us all. “Whether it’s your own husband, brother, boss or friend: In Germany as well as in Switzerland there are an enormous number of suitors. As a woman, it can be very unsettling to belong to the sex that can legally be bought by the opposite sex. Belonging to the gender treated and traded as a commodity. Even if you don’t prostitute yourself, it damages your status as a woman.”

Sex workers are not different from another women

As they talked about men reaction to prostitutes, they treated also the perception of women regarding prostitutes. Most women absolutely want to distance themselves from the prostitutes and reinforce that the are not “them”. But only coincidences and circumstances separate them. “Prostitution is not a character trait we were born with. We are no different from other women. But there are four factors in life that massively increase the risk of slipping into prostitution.”

As they are talking about the four factors, Ms. Mau enumerates them and the first one would be the sexual or physical violence in childhood. The second in line it would be the devaluation as a woman, meaning that they are sexualized or put down because of their gender. The third factor is the financial hardship and fourth, a person to help you get started.

As mentioned by Ms Mau, the fourth factor is the person who helped them to start this, such as human traffickers and pimps. Ms Mau continues to share the story of how this started for her: “In my case it was a police officer who was ten years older than me and wanted to pay off his own debts with me. Because I was threatened with homelessness, I was desperate enough to take part. Maybe some of my experiences also apply to other women – or not. Then they got lucky. One of the reasons I wrote the book was to show women: You and I are sisters. You could have been in my situation. That’s why I want you to show solidarity.”

Moving forward, Ms Mau is talking about the Nordic model, where buying sex is illegal. As laws have a normative effect, people will stick to them. “If the purchase of sex is forbidden, as in the Nordic model, the number of clients is reduced. And where demand is reduced, supply is always reduced as well.”

This law also raises another good question coming from the reporter, if this will provide a safer environment for the prostitutes. Various studies have shown that the Nordic model makes prostitution safer. Prostitutes can contact the police any time without anything happening to them and the clients are less violent, as they are considered illegal.

As a final though, they are talking about the changes that can occur in society if the Nordics law will be adopted. Firstly, the number of men unable to reach sexual consent is decreasing. For example, in Sweden, the Nordics law is in place for over twenty years, creating a generation that would find it difficult to imagine how it is to buy a woman. “Because neither sex can buy the other, the position of women improves enormously. Whether in Germany or in Switzerland: I would also like to see a society in which it is normal for people to have sex because both feel like it – and not because there are circumstances that force them to do so.”

Previously we wrote

We covered a lot of news and stories, related to sex workers. Below you can find a selection of the best articles:

The coronavirus took quite a tool on sex workers in Switzerland last year, a lot of women got help from FIZ, the association deals with human migration. Read the whole story here: Summary of Sex Workers’ Last Year in Switzerland

Prostitution has been always associated with shame. Read our article about How did famous writers portrayed the life of prostitutes in Imperial Russia.

According to the Balearic University, there are a lot of suitors in Mallorca and the neighbouring island. Their estimate shows over 70,000 men who pays for approcximately 2,500 prostitutes’ services: Over 70,000 men pay for sex on the Mallorca and the neighboring islands

Onlyfans become very polular and sex workers can make extra income by using this platform as well: Prostitute shares her experience on OnlyFans

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