the apparent nonchalance of prostitutes / by mrm


It was more striking than the prostitutes themselves. Sitting or standing behind their floor-to-ceiling windows, lit in pink and red. Dyed blonde, tanned, tattoed, lingerie- or bikini-clad. The same idea of attraction, conformity and repetition. And palpable disinterest. Eating, talking on cell phones. I suppose I expected some kind of show. Dancing on poles, come-hither nonsense. But you get nothing for free, besides the hammering if somewhat inexplicable guilt of voyeurism. The sameness of it all was what hit me hardest. And the heteronormativity. No men in the windows, and I was told that prospective female clients would be turned away. This from a city with a reputation for the largest Pride party in Europe.

How many, if indeed any, are there truly of their own volition? How many had better options that they turned down? The more I read about human trafficking, the more terrified I am that we never abolished slavery. We just pushed it underground.