Prostitution: a class analysis

The point was this: what is the difference between selling one's skill at baking apple pies and selling one's skills at performing hummers?

Well, suppose someone breaks into your house and forces you at gunpoint to bake an apple pie. He then forces you at gunpoint to perform fellatio on him. Is there a difference that makes a difference? If there is no qualitative difference between making pastry and rape why should rape be prosecuted any differently than, say, assault? This is very foggy territory but one could argue that performing fellatio on someone has a stronger emotional and psychological component than does making pastry. I am a professional cook and a professional baker and I do get passionate about making pastry but not to the point where I would want to have sexual relations with a pie.

Having sexual relations with someone involving pies is different. Sexual relations are a mutual contract between sentient beings. Pastry is an inanimate object. I agree with you to a point, but the working conditions of prostitutes varies greatly. The conditions of Park Avenue call girls are much different than the conditions in the brothels of Colombia, Thailand or the Philippines. Some prostitutes choose prostitution for a variety of different reasons. Some may get pleasure out of it, but I doubt it. Many are forced into it for a variety of reasons; usually economic. The real unemployment rate in greater Caracas hovers around 30%.(Caracas has the most brothels I've ever seen) Young women from the peasant and working class often do not have much of a choice. Further, many prostitutes are drug addicts and thus cannot live the 9to5 lifestyle. Does prostitution add value to the economy? Tough question, but my dogmatic answer is no because nothing physical is produced. Prostitution belongs to the service sector of the economy. Your points about waiters are interesting but since I work as a cook I'm quite biased against waiters. Its usually management/owners that try and bilk waiters for their tips not cooks. Waiters usually earn much more than cooks. I've worked in places where I earned $50 for an 8 hour shift while the waitress may earn upwards of $200(tax-free!) depending on how attractive she is etc.

Cooks add value to the economy, waiters don't. When a dish arrives at a table burned and dried because it has been sitting on the counter while the waiter socializes about her new modeling contract, I take the responsibility even though it wasn't my fault. Remember, that's *my* food sitting under those heat lamps and if you don't pick it up within the next 2 minutes, I'm going to deliver it myself. How have waitresses been associated with prostitutes? Waiters do not negotiate their own relations of power. That is academic bullshit. You can rhapsodize all you want about relations of power and domination but when you experience it you'll know perfectly well what it is. Waiters and prostitutes are slaves to the capitalist like any other wage worker is.

Sam Pawlett