As of October 1st 2007, this site is stale! Instead, visit http://MaybeMaimed.com for updates. Also, please update your bookmarks and RSS feeds.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Sex Services versus Sex Products

Calico over at Dominatrix Next Door remarks on the influence of money in sex work:

On the way out I picked up $pread magazine’s new issue, which has a whole section about money. Of course it’s about money, I thought, how silly! All jobs are about money. But it’s not actually so straightforward. Quite often we predicate the entire value of sex work on the money and free time. Our critics like to point out the tenuous nature of pay in an effort to discredit the work. Sure, we make money (and thus our work is worthwhile) when young and well and pretty, but what if we’re sick or grow old and fat, which could happen at any time? Sex work can’t possibly hold any merit if it can’t guarantee its one redeeming feature.


One of the problems (I think) I have with the notion of sex work is that it is ultimately a service industry, and there is no real way to reap continuing financial rewards from such a thing. The proven way to make money (and simultaneously not be working) is not to sell a service, but to sell a product. Thus, I feel better about the idea of pornography as a product (videos, sponsorships, physical items) than I do about something essentially ephemeral, such as stripping, professional domination, escort services, or anything of that sort.

I'm not sure if this is any "better" an idea in terms of morality or ethical egalitarianism, but a part of it, at least, rings true with my own experiences.

6 comments:

Calico said...

One of the problems (I think) I have with the notion of sex work is that it is ultimately a service industry, and there is no real way to reap continuing financial rewards from such a thing.

I don't quite understand this statement. Do you really mean to say that no service industry job can be financially rewarding? If not, how is sex-work-as-service different or worse?

The proven way to make money (and simultaneously not be working) is not to sell a service, but to sell a product.

Er, then you're still spending time selling the product. Which means you're still in a service industry. I think you want to go one step removed still: you want to hire the person who sells the product. Then someone creates and produces, your minion sells, and you kick back and enjoy your yacht. Management and ownership are where it's at.

As a side note, pornography as a product tends to benefit only the company owners. Actors are paid a one-time fee, which makes it no better for them than any other "ephemeral" service.

maymay said...

Do you really mean to say that no service industry job can be financially rewarding?

Better to define what I think of as financially rewarding: I have a personal goal to live in financial comfort without the worry of needing to proactively maintain that source of income. It is much more likely that this dream will become a reality if I can, hypothetically, create a thing once and sell it many times than if I would couple the making of money with an act I must perform. In other words, if the making of money depends upon something I must do in repetition, I call that action a service and I don't regard it as much money-making potential as an action I can do once and yet still earn money from more than once.

Management and ownership are where it's at.

I would say only ownership is where it's at, as management is still ultimately some form of service. This is why managers are often given stock plans and option benefits and whatnot--those are forms of ownership.

Your web site shows your understanding of this fact, as does your final comment:

As a side note, pornography as a product tends to benefit only the company owners. Actors are paid a one-time fee, which makes it no better for them than any other "ephemeral" service.

I agree, of course, and you've told me as such many times before. :) If I were in the pornography business, I would want much more to own the company producing the pornography than I would want to be actually creating the content, for this very reason.

Calico said...

Okay, I understand where you're coming from.

Interestingly, your least-time-for-most-money isn't an end goal I share: I would love to run a bed and breakfast, say, or do photography, where I am constantly bound to service and I look forward to it every time. It's why I would want to own and have a hand in the content.

I do cringe a little to see your personal goal applied as a categorical criticism.

maymay said...

Interestingly, your least-time-for-most-money isn't an end goal I share: I would love to run a bed and breakfast, say, or do photography, where I am constantly bound to service and I look forward to it every time.

That is interesting. I would like to love the work I do every time, but I don't, though I do keep striving to find just such an arrangement.

I do cringe a little to see your personal goal applied as a categorical criticism.

Also a good point; there's something else here that bothers me. This money-making dream isn't a deeply-rooted reason why I have trouble with the notion of sex work in general, only why I have trouble it with it personally.

I'm still figuring out the rest, obviously.

Thanks for your comments and forcing me to think!!

Blogger said...

Get daily suggestions and instructions for earning $1,000s per day ONLINE totally FREE.
JOIN NOW

Blogger said...

I have just installed iStripper, so I can watch the hottest virtual strippers on my desktop.