Sex for money: Why is it such a taboo?

© Rainer Elstermann/Corbis

We have sex for pleasure, for love, and sometimes even for personal gain; but when it comes to having sex for money, all hell breaks loose. Why?

As someone who has been sexually active for a good 25 years, I have never considered having sex for money; even when I was at uni and I was broke. The whole concept just always seemed wrong and turned sex into a sellable good – which never really appealed to me as I would rather think of sex as a service (to myself and to others).

But we’ve turned eating and drinking into purchasable goods, and they are just as much of a natural need as sex is. We don’t bat an eyelid when we see someone getting paid for talking or running – or in Paris Hilton’s case, existing; so why is it that when we turn sex into a money-making scheme we automatically go into taboo-zone?

I believe that it’s all a matter of perception. Many of us perceive our bodies to be a temple and, when others prostitute theirs around, we feel violated as a species. Ultimately, our body is our one and true possession and we should not give it away freely. But, then, surely most of us should not smoke or drink alcohol, or soft drinks for that matter, or eat junk food. Isn’t all that harmful to our being? Is giving your body away for a couple of minutes to a complete stranger in return for money such a bad thing when most of us spend years killing it slowly?

As ‘the world’s oldest profession’ prostitution is still a big taboo, but what is it about our conservative ways of thought that does not allow it to break from its shackles even in an age when being libertine is the height of sophistication and worldliness? We can’t use the virginity discourse anymore, seeing as most people have sex with more than one partner before they get married.

So I ask you: do you reckon that we feel prostitution is taboo because of a fear of God? And if so, then should this be the case at a time when more than 50% of the Maltese population does not attend mass?

What is your opinion on prostitution? What’s your answer to Evelyn’s final questions? Let us know in the comments’ section below.