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September 24, 2004 9:16 AM   Subscribe

Sebastian Horsley - a man who's slept with more than 1,000 prostitutes - gives a controversial and candid account of his experience of paying for sex
posted by zeoslap (40 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
This explains much of the friction in our lives - love being the delusion that one woman differs from another. But with brothels there is always the exhilaration of not knowing what you're going to get.

He says that women are all the same, then says that he finds the variety exhilarating?
posted by orange swan at 9:28 AM on September 24, 2004


"The problem with normal sex is that it leads to kissing and pretty soon you've got to talk to them. "

"The problem is that the modern woman is a prostitute who doesn't deliver the goods."

"What I hate with women generally is the intimacy, the invasion of my innermost space, the slow strangulation of my art. "


There's some misogyny in there, somewhere. You have to look hard, though. Still, an interesting read.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 9:28 AM on September 24, 2004


You forgot to add 'overly romantic' and 'self-involved' to your list of adjective, zeoslap. I've probably read more misogynist crap in my lifetime, but not recently.

The arguments he puts forth for having it remain illegal - the thrill of illegality, the fact that crime and danger add spice to life - all sound very dashing when he says them. Except, of course, that it's the prostitutes, not the clients that take on most of the threat of prosecution and physical harm. And while he may have dabbled in the trade, he's speaking more from the perspective of the client in this article.
posted by jacquilynne at 9:32 AM on September 24, 2004


Why would he sleep with prostitutes, I'd think he'd want to, you know, have sex with them?

jacquilynne, you're right on the most of the threat part, they just did a bust near my house and boy do they like to post the names of the Johns who got arrested there!
posted by fenriq at 9:34 AM on September 24, 2004


The other side of this coin is a woman who seeks rich men to leech off of and is unabashed about it.

Just anotehr sign of the loss of all respect people may have had for each other.
posted by Space Coyote at 9:34 AM on September 24, 2004


I suppose that if someone wants to not-so-secretely think of themselves as the ubermensch because they're infatuated with transgression, doing so in a way that involves screwing beautiful people all the time has some advantages to partly compensate for the delusional, pedestrian soul-destroying pathos of it all.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 9:35 AM on September 24, 2004


Some men proudly proclaim that they have never paid for it. Are they saying that money is more sacred than sex?

The same men have probably never sold their children. Does that mean that money is more sacred than their children?

I'd like this article a lot better if the man had even an average ability to reason.
posted by orange swan at 9:38 AM on September 24, 2004


The arguments he puts forth for having it remain illegal - the thrill of illegality, the fact that crime and danger add spice to life...

These are generally the same people that are in favor of capital punishment simply for aesthetic reasons... that it helps produce great art. This was a good read, but I couldn't help wishing that Martin Amis had written it for him. I think he would have nailed the misogyny in a much more self-loathing and hilarious kind of way.
posted by psmealey at 9:42 AM on September 24, 2004


When you have a very small penis (which contains your even smaller brain) you must pay for your sex.
posted by nofundy at 9:46 AM on September 24, 2004


When I love somebody, I feel sort of trapped. Three years ago I was saved. I found a girl whom I could fall in love with ... and sleep with prostitutes with. She sends me to brothels to sleep with women for her. I buy her girls for her birthday and we go to whorehouses together. I am free forever from the damp, dark prison of eternal love.
It's an entertaining, dissimulating read, but this gets to the core of it. His version of sexual freedom is a promiscuous patriarchicalism, just like classic swinging and the now-amost-standard "daring" f-m-f triple power relation. I'd venture to say that he would probably be loathe to engage in a m-f-m triple with his partner. His sexuality seems to be focussed on possessing females, and on causing the expression of constrained, situational bisexuality within his female mate.

Were he homosexual identified then 1000+ random partners would not be unusual. Heterosexual-identified males generally tend to engage in sexual practices with a smaller mean number of partners through a lifetime. However there are always outliers and here's a classic example. From an epidemiological point of view this man and his clients (when linked to other patrons) represents a very pinched, cyclic graph.

I am reminded of Sam Delany's wonderful autobiography, The Motion of Light in Water: Sex and Science Fiction Writing in the East Village, 1957-1965, where there is a telling passage where he tries to explain to a heterosexual friend what being gay in New York City meant. His friend was concerned that because *he* found it difficult to get "dates", it must be really difficult for Delany. Delany explained the concept and fluid rapidity of cruising to him.

In the final analysis though, this dude's spent $150,000 satisfying a compulsion. Which is expensive, but a lifetime of therapy might have cost nearly as much. It seems that engaging in sexual practices with a very number of heterosexual partners is always going to be a very expensive undertaking, compared to doing it "on the cheap" as a gay man deciding to be promiscuous.
posted by meehawl at 10:07 AM on September 24, 2004 [1 favorite]


When you have a very small penis (which contains your even smaller brain) you must pay for your sex.

Yes, because everyone knows that if you're a man with a big cock, women find you irresistable. I learnt this in middle-school, like everyone else.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 10:08 AM on September 24, 2004


It's never fun to listen to someone rationalize their bahavior and the mistakes they are making in life.

Well, ok, this time it was fun.
posted by Outlawyr at 10:09 AM on September 24, 2004


Sebastian Horsley - a man who's slept with more than 1,000 prostitutes

...which would be interesting except for the fact that there are plenty of prostitutes who've slept with over 1,000 johns.
posted by jpoulos at 10:11 AM on September 24, 2004


Without cruelty there was no banquet.

Well. There you go then.
posted by petebest at 10:12 AM on September 24, 2004


Metafilter: The whore fuck is the purest fuck of all.
posted by Peter H at 10:13 AM on September 24, 2004


Some men proudly proclaim that they have never paid for it. Are they saying that money is more sacred than sex?

No but self-respect is.
posted by jonmc at 10:23 AM on September 24, 2004


Meehawl ... is that an Amazon referral link I see? :|
(An unfettered alternative.)
posted by grabbingsand at 10:29 AM on September 24, 2004


I wonder if he's the same Sebastian Horsley as the artist who "travelled to the Phillipines and subjected himself to crucifixion"? If so, it seems The Guardian loves him.
posted by taz at 10:37 AM on September 24, 2004


It's an odd read and I wasn't really sure what to make of it to be honest. He seems conflicted though, secretly trying to justify his choices while putting on this mask of bravado. Trying to convince the reader that for him it's all about pure sex while revealing that it's really about the kinkiness of the transaction. At the end of the day it sounds like a lonely, empty life.
posted by zeoslap at 10:40 AM on September 24, 2004


I have no comment on the article itself.

People's attitudes towards sex is very telling. In my experience, a partner's willingness/desire to have sex with you is at least as much about them as about you. In other words, everyone has their own agenda - for some, sex is like eating - natural, necessary and not a cause for guilt/self-doubt - for others, it's like a sacrement - something you must qualify for.

I'm kind of a slut myself. Monogamous when I commit but if not in a relationship pretty easy. The one thing I wont do is say what I'm supposed to say just to get a woman into bed. Telling the easy lie should be a bigger blow to a person's self respect than paying for sex.
posted by chris0495 at 10:42 AM on September 24, 2004


Sad. His few good points - monogamy isn't for everyone, one night stands can be really demeaning for all involved, sex workers deserve more respect - are pretty much drowned out by his hatred and fear of women (and the human body in general).

If you want to write about love and sex in terms of a cost/benefit analysis, you can't leave this out: I'm in a committed long-term relationship, which includes a healthy, enjoyable sex life. That said, would I like to sleep with other women? Sure, of course I would. If there were some way I could sleep with other women without it negatively affecting my relationship with my girlfriend, that would be great. But there isn't, so I choose not to. Because my relationship with my girlfriend is more important, and rewarding, to me than the opportunity to have sex with lots of women.

Now, you could say that this is a repressive state of affairs for me, and that I'm just fooling myself into thinking I'm happier and better off in the relationship...but then you'd be Dave Sim.

That said, to each their own. If this guy wants to sleep with prostitutes his whole life, it's no skin off my nose, and maybe he's better off, personally. But it's just absurd to take your own experience and assume that everyone would be better off emulating it...especially in regard to matters of the heart (and genitals).
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:44 AM on September 24, 2004


Good find Taz, certainly sounds like it (can't be two of em can there) and this quote 'His friends and family were appalled. Some (especially his fellow ex-junkies) saw it as a need for sensation - the final fix in the numb world of the recovering addict;' could equally apply to his sex life me thinks...
posted by zeoslap at 10:44 AM on September 24, 2004


He should write a guide, like Perkel did.

Oh yeah, that's not safe for work. Unless you work at a brothel, in which case it's client research.
posted by Jart at 10:47 AM on September 24, 2004


Yay, creepy misogynist achieves self-actualization through clumsly logic! Or something.

In truth, I can't get over the feeling that the whole thing might be a bunch of deliberately provocative bullshit.
posted by Skot at 10:50 AM on September 24, 2004


Yay, I can't spell!
posted by Skot at 10:59 AM on September 24, 2004


The Card Cheat: That said, would I like to sleep with other women? Sure, of course I would. If there were some way I could sleep with other women without it negatively affecting my relationship with my girlfriend, that would be great.

As another data point in the "variety is the spice of life" category, I don't particularly want to sleep with people other than my SO. My brief attractions to other people never progress to the point where it is likely that sex will satisfy an itch I can't scratch myself.

But I think one of the problems with these pieces, whether from habitual johns, polyamorists, committed monogamists, promiscuous playboys is they inevetably make the leap from "this rings my bell" to "men are wired to ring this way, while women are wired to ring that way."

zeoslap: Good find Taz, certainly sounds like it (can't be two of em can there) and this quote 'His friends and family were appalled. Some (especially his fellow ex-junkies) saw it as a need for sensation - the final fix in the numb world of the recovering addict;' could equally apply to his sex life me thinks...

That's interesting because my ex-junky ex-friend (although we have made attempts to reconcile) also had problems in regards to sexuality.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 11:20 AM on September 24, 2004


If you say you're enjoying sex with the same person after a couple of years you're either a liar or on something. Of all the sexual perversions, monogamy is the most unnatural.

Interesting article, but why do people who demand acceptance for their unorthodox lifestyles often do so by demeaning and ridiculing the alternative? Not everyone wants to fuck whores; but if that's your bag I say 'go for your life'. By the same token, not everyone has the ability to be happy in a monogamous relationship - that doesn't make monogamy bad does it?

How can someone demand understanding and respect, whilst demeaning the different choices made by others?
posted by DrDoberman at 11:39 AM on September 24, 2004


amazing, i think we have consensus. the guy's an ass :)
posted by zeoslap at 12:10 PM on September 24, 2004


Meehawl ... is that an Amazon referral link I see?

Sin é. Cha chuirear gad air gealladh! Will blog for food. Und so weiter.

We are all whores.
posted by meehawl at 12:12 PM on September 24, 2004


The other side of this coin is a woman who seeks rich men to leech off of and is unabashed about it.

Just anotehr sign of the loss of all respect people may have had for each other.


Space Coyote, you seem to be suggesting that marrying for money is a new trend. I would suggest that marrying for love is a far more recent development.
posted by MrMoonPie at 12:34 PM on September 24, 2004


Is this where one comes to tsk?
posted by dydecker at 1:24 PM on September 24, 2004


Why does a sleazy bastard like me like whores so much?

Because you're a sleazy bastard.
posted by Faze at 1:39 PM on September 24, 2004


What's the point of all the personal insults aimed at the writer? He can't hear you, and I'm not entirely sure he wrote the article seeking your approval of his lifestyle anyway. It doesn't make prostitution or misogyny disappear either, if that's what you're going for.
posted by Hildago at 1:52 PM on September 24, 2004


MrMoonPie, was that a reference to Britney's recent nuptuals?

Hildago, you mean there isn't an army of people waiting to put into motion any of the harebrained plans, schemes and theories that get tossed up in here? Damn, what IS the point of all this then?

Oh yeah, discussion. Carry on.
posted by fenriq at 2:01 PM on September 24, 2004


There is a discussion going on, fenriq, by a majority of people, but I'm not sure that the sizeable number of personal insults so far can be part of any sort of honest discussion. Do you disagree? It seems to me they're separate from it.
posted by Hildago at 2:22 PM on September 24, 2004


"The worst things in life are free. Value seems to need a price tag."

That is pretty deep. It certainly applies to porn websites, anyway.
posted by tcobretti at 3:02 PM on September 24, 2004


Yes, yes, I know. Heroin is obscene, debasing and disgraceful. The point is, so am I.

Yes, yes, I know. 10,000 calories of junk food a day is obscene, debasing and disgraceful. The point is, so am I.

Yes, yes, I know. 6 martinis a day is obscene, debasing and disgraceful. The point is, so am I.
posted by stbalbach at 4:15 PM on September 24, 2004


I don't really see how you've demonstrated anything with that, stbalbach. Seems to me that the writer is denying either the labels "obscene, debasing and disgraceful" or is denying their negative connotations. Which would apply just as well in both your examples.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 4:20 PM on September 24, 2004


The guy is an addict. The essay is an addicts rant. It has nothing to do with sex or prostitutes, substitute any addiction it would work just as well.
posted by stbalbach at 12:59 AM on September 25, 2004


What's the point of all the personal insults aimed at the writer? He can't hear you -- Hildago
On the contrary, this dipwad is probably relishing the international response to his ho-hum little piece, and is very likely Googling his name every few hours or so to see what people are saying. He's bound to come across this Metafilter thread, and realize that no one is impressed with him. He will then turn off his computer, and go for a long walk along the Seine. Gazing down into the murky waters, he'll wonder why he doesn't simply take his own worthless life. But as he looks into the water at his own reflection, the clouds will part behind his head, and the sun will form a kind of halo there. The bells of the Notre Dame will start to ring, and he'll be filled with a kind of heavenly grace. He'll realize that there's no reason why he can't change his life and not be an asshole any more. Then he'll seek out every one of the 1,000 prostitutes he's ever slept with, asking their pardon, and offering to make some kind of restitution. He'll become a crusader against sexual exploitation, and travel the world helping the poor and children who are forced into prostitution. And one day, as he's standing by another river, perhaps in Thailand, alongside the mission he built to care for homeless and forgotten children, giving them food, clothing, education and the kind of love he himself never got as a child, he'll remember reading this thread in Metafilter, and realize that this was the turning point in his life. This was where he got saved. And he'll wonder at the workings of providence and chance that allowed him to do so much good in his life.
posted by Faze at 9:26 AM on September 25, 2004


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