The United States is not somewhere we are ever going to work. And Smooci notwithstanding, I do not see us going into the Far East, South America, Middle East or Eastern Europe. So, I will just discuss Europe.
There are a number of subcategories within the legal frameworks. So though we are focusing on Barcelona escorts, it is worth looking a little wider.
Countries where prostitution and managing brothels and escorts is legal: Greece, Austria (since 2014, Belgium (informally), Germany (since 2002), Netherlands, Switzerland,
Countries where prostitution is legal but managing a brothel or escorts is illegal: United Kingdom, Denmark (since 1999), Italy, Portugal, Luxemburg, Monaco,
Countries where prostitution is legal but customers are prosecuted: Ireland (since 2017), France (disastrously since 2016),
Countries where all sex work is illegal: Gibraltar(!)
Spain, as you would expect, is a complicated anomaly. Prostitution itself is legal in Spain, but pimping is not. Owning an establishment where prostitution takes place is legal if the owner neither derives financial gain from prostitution nor hires any person for the purposes of selling sex, because prostitution is not considered a job, and has no legal recognition (though income from prostitution is, of course, taxable) Most regions do not regulate prostitution, but the government of Catalonia offers licenses for persons “to gather people to practice prostitution”.
Strictly speaking, we should make it clear that we charge a commission for advertising and answering the telephone. Not for prostitution.
On the face of the above, the law is changing in opposite directions in Europe over roughly the same timescale.
Germany and Austria effectively legalised the sex industry (not the same as or good as decriminalisation) in 2002 and 2014 respectively. Denmark decriminalised prostitution (but not brothel keeping or managing escorts) in 1999.
France and Ireland introduced laws criminalising the buyers of sex in 2016 and 2017, following Sweden and Norway, who did the same 1999 and 2008. In the cases of France and Ireland, it immediately led to problems (lower prices, increased violence against sex workers, lower condom use) and sex workers have suffered. Sex workers continue to protest against the laws and academics repeat their findings, but we have seen that politicians will never let facts get in the way of their narrative. Especially not in ostensibly Roman Catholic countries.
It must be said that the more extensive ladies’ development still avoids sex labourers and even effectively battles against them. Continuously in the anecdotal structure of battling dealing. Which, as we probably am aware, truly isn’t the issue that individuals describe it. Horrendous when it occurs, yet just not so normal.
Society should discover methods for changing their demeanour and lawful ways to deal with the more extensive sex industry. In any case, rationale is probably not going to have wherever in the discussion. Government officials don’t follow up on reality. Even in Spain, where there are no laws at all related to the work of Madrid escorts. They follow up on what they see to be the popular’s assessment; which is exhibited by who yells most intense and undermines their re-appointment or advancement possibilities. A solitary model will show the point.
An escape clause made sex work, rehearsed away from public scrutiny, lawful in the State of Rhode Island somewhere in the range of 2003 and 2009.Baylor University financial analyst Scott Cunningham and his associates found that during those years the sex exchange developed. Yet, Cunningham focuses to some other significant discoveries: During that time-span the quantity of assaults answered to police in the state declined by over a third. What’s more, gonorrhoea among all ladies declined by 39 percent. Obviously, changes in prostitution laws probably won’t be the main source, yet Cunningham says, “the exchange off is in the event that you make it more secure somewhat, you develop the business.”
Rhode Island made sex work unlawful again in 2009, to some degree under strain from some enemy of dealing advocates. That is the thing; the discussion about sex work consistently gets connected to dealing, and consistently without any realities or actualities made up on the spot from an example of one. Certainties won’t sell society or legislators. What’s more, legislators won’t push forward of society.
Be that as it may, society is moving quickly toward the acknowledgement of prostitution and sex work. This can be seen effectively in the volume of enormous spending plan and prominent TV projects and movies centring on or highlighting sex work; The Girlfriend Experience (film and TV), The Client List, The Deuce, Hung, Harlots, Secret Diary Of A London Call Girl, Game Of Thrones, Tipping The Velvet, Cathouse, West World, After Porn Ends, Hot Girls Wanted and Hustlers.
It has to be said that the wider women’s movement still excludes sex workers and even actively campaigns against them. Always in the fictional framework of fighting trafficking. Which, as we know, really is not the issue that people make it out to be. Horrific when it happens, but just not that common.
Society will have to find ways of changing their attitudes and legal approaches to the broader sex industry. But logic is unlikely to have any place in the conversation. Politicians do not act on fact. Except in Switzerland, where Geneva escorts work in a safe legal environment. They act on what they perceive to be the public’s opinion; which is demonstrated by who shouts loudest and threatens their re-election or promotion chances. A single example will demonstrate the point.
A loophole made sex work, practiced behind closed doors, legal in the State of Rhode Island between 2003 and 2009.Baylor University economist Scott Cunningham and his colleagues found that during those years the sex trade grew. But Cunningham points to some other important findings: During that time period the number of rapes reported to police in the state declined by over a third. And gonorrhea among all women declined by 39 percent. Of course, changes in prostitution laws might not be the only cause, but Cunningham says, “the trade-off is if you make it safer to some degree, you grow the industry.”
Rhode Island made sex work illegal again in 2009, in part under pressure from some anti-trafficking advocates. That’s the thing; the debate about sex work always gets linked to trafficking, and always with no facts or facts made up on the spot from a sample of one. Facts will not sell society or politicians. And politicians will not move ahead of society.
But society is moving rapidly toward the acceptance of prostitution and sex work. This can be seen easily in the volume of big budget and high profile television programmes and films centring on or featuring sex work; The Girlfriend Experience (film and TV), The Client List, The Deuce, Hung, Harlots, Secret Diary Of A London Call Girl, Game Of Thrones, Tipping The Velvet, Cathouse, West World, After Porn Ends, Hot Girls Wanted and Hustlers.
Amnesty International and The Economist are very different organisations, but they have reached similar conclusions on policies regarding sex markets. Last August, the International Council of Amnesty International decided to back the complete decriminalisation of prostitution. Decriminalising prostitution, they reasoned, would better protect the human rights of sex workers, and be better for the health and safety of all involved. The Amnesty’s International Council took care to declare opposition to criminalising sex work for both clients and for sex workers. Criminalisation both on the demand side (clients) and the supply side (sex workers) implies pushing this ‘market’ into the hidden economy, increasing the risks that sex workers face.
Perhaps less predictably, The Economist, in a report on paid sex in 2014, also argued for a complete liberalisation of the market and against criminalisation policies. Robert Skidelsky, a prominent Keynesian economist and member of the House of Lords, recently joined the cause. In the interest of protecting the health and safety of sex workers, he advocated against criminalisation and in favour of regulation of the market.
At the same time, a number of prominent actors and organisations continue to advocate the so-called ‘Swedish approach’. Since its adoption in Norway and Iceland, this is more accurately called the ‘Nordic approach’, and is enshrined in the Kvinnofrid (violence against women) act of 1999, which condemns the industry as a locus of female oppression, and aims to combat the oppression of sex workers by criminalising sex workers’ clients. The Swedish government has promoted the approach domestically and abroad, through public education and conferences, fact sheets and intense lobbying at the EU and the UN.
As economists, we believe that public policy ought to be based on relative welfare considerations. In other words, under which arrangements are the actors, and the public, better off? Throughout our research on the economics of sex work, we have asked ourselves a set of basic questions around the welfare of those involved. What do we know about the agents, the prostitutes, the pimps, the clients and others? What types of people are they in terms of their sociodemographic characteristics, behaviours and motivations? Surveys and studies provided the data. How do they compare with the population as a whole? Importantly, as economists, we were particularly interested in the various institutional arrangements – streets, brothels, parlours, apartments – in which different actors might act, and how these respond to different regulatory arrangements. Regulation, after all, is not one thing, but rather exists on a wide spectrum, with different modes and degrees of criminalisation, decriminalisation and legalisation.
We have spent 15 years researching these questions using data from US and UK clients and an international sample of sex workers from eastern European and former Soviet Union countries, as well as from Africa, Latin America, China and South East Asian countries. We have worked with many collaborators and subjected our work to extensive peer review and professional criticism in papers, conferences and books. Here’s what we can tell you.
Sex workers, or prostitutes, are not just women. They are also men and transgender people. They face risks to their health, risks of violent assault, and risk of fraud (not getting paid for their services). In every case, these risks are higher where prostitution is criminalised, partly because criminalisation makes collaboration with both medical personnel and law enforcement more difficult. Criminalisation of sex work also makes the detection of under-age or trafficked people more difficult.
Perhaps surprisingly, our research on sexually exploited trafficked women shows that women who work in the streets are in some ways better off than sex workers in parlours, clubs or hotels. Street workers enjoy more freedom of movement, suffer less physical and sexual abuse, and are more likely to have access to health services than women who work in parlours, clubs or hotels. These market dynamics of sex work apply to women trafficked into sex work, too. For both clients and for sex workers, demand-side and supply-side, criminalisation pushes the market into secluded and, for the workers, isolating places. Flats, clubs and massage parlours are more separate from the rest of society. The welfare of sexually trafficked women decreases in these dangerous environments.
Sex workers’ clients are mostly men, but not exclusively. They are, for the most part, average guys. When we matched client data in both the US and the UK with the rest of the male population, we found no difference between the two groups on most measures. Still, clients care about the effects of buying sex on their reputations, and they face more risk when prostitution is criminalised. But by and large, clients of sex workers tend to be risk-takers. There is a high correlation between paying for sex and engaging in other risky behaviours. To many men, criminalised prostitution is actually more attractive than decriminalised or legal sex work. So pushing prostitution into the shadows not only makes sex work more dangerous, it actually increases demand.
Maria Laura Di Tommaso & Marina Della Giusta
This article was originally published at Aeon and has been republished under Creative Commons.
In the Sistine Chapel, you look up at Michelangelo’s Last Judgment and see muscular angels hurtling through space, nude or with just a scrap of cloth tight across their buttocks. Then after leaving the Vatican, you browse a bookstall and find an illustrated sex manual, designed by another great artist, where your eye is drawn to the same figure driven by a different impulse (Figure 2).
Explaining this extraordinary resemblance inspired me to writeEros Visible: Art, Sexuality and Antiquity in RenaissanceItaly (2017). On the book jacket (Figure 3), another of Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel nudes strikes a provocative pose and swivels his eye to meet yours, as if to say: What do you make of this? The answer is that a little-recognised ‘erotic revolution’ swept through Italy between 1500 and the post-1550 Counter-Reformation.
Of course, some pictures were condemned as erotic even before 1500: Girolamo Savonarola, the fiery moral reformer of the 1490s, ordered his followers to toss them onto the ‘bonfire of vanities’. But broadly speaking, during the Middle Ages, depiction of sexual activities was confined to the low, comic or grotesque style, while nudity was extremely rare in high art (except in scenes of Hell), and figures tended to be slender rather than voluptuously rounded. Classical nude sculptures were sometimes destroyed or branded as the devil’s work. Courtly love was exalted, but lust and libido were condemned. Erotic feeling was most vividly expressed in mystic accounts of the ‘bridegroom’ Christ and his ‘bride’ the human soul.
The beauty of classical art was more highly valued in the early Renaissance (the 15th century), as was the love-theory of Plato. However, this led to an even deeper split between the pure ideal and base reality, between sacred and profane love. Neoplatonism polarised the celestial and the earthly Venus, and insisted that bodily experience must be expunged from true love. Beautiful figures in art were still mostly draped, and rare exceptions such as Botticelli’s TheBirth of Venus were kept for private viewing and interpreted as strictly celestial. The questioning and collapse of these rigid distinctions is the erotic revolution.
Like most revolutions, this one was hardly total. It differed from the ‘sexual revolution’ of the 1960s in that it didn’t change social history, and no new contraceptive device liberated women from the endless cycle of marriage or prostitution. A more accurate phrase would be ‘erotic-aesthetic revolution’, radically changing the way that Italians conceived, created and thought about art. Great changes happened in the art world, which included the emergence of powerful patronesses, even though female artists and models were few. Passion and amore were valued as the wellsprings of creativity – not a distraction or pollution. Channels opened up between inspiration and arousal, between sacred and profane, between what is now separated into ‘art’ and ‘pornography’. Artists felt licensed to express all the passions and ‘motions of the soul’, not merely the chaste ones. Critics endorsed this by praising works that cause ‘whoever gazes’ to feel ‘an amorous fire/in their heart and their gestures’. Beauty was discovered in earthly as well as celestial love. Erotic response became the guarantee of the ‘living’ quality now most valued in art.
One way I measure this revolutionary change is by tracking key words such as lust or lascivious in writings about love and art. Philosophers of the Platonic school worshipped the celestial Venus – ‘chaste, orderly, superior, divine and spiritual’ – but denounced the lower, corporeal Venus as the root of all evil, ‘inferior, disorderly, variable, lascivious, animal, obscene’. Savonarola insisted on burning all ‘lascivious pictures’ (pitture lascive). Yet within an amazingly short time, lascivia was used without disapproval.
The writer Pietro Aretino justifies the Renaissance sex manual (Figure 2) by arguing that poets and artists have always amused themselves by making cose lascive, ‘lascivious things’. The patroness Isabella d’Este enjoyed art that was lascivo ma honesto, ‘lascivious but honourable’. In turn, artists were encouraged to bring out the ‘lascivious’ in their subject matter and in their sensuous brushwork, capturing the ‘living flesh’ and the excitement of falling in love. A wonderful description of Titian’s Venus and Adonis (Figure 4) praises the bisexual ‘mixture’ of masculine and feminine beauty in the ‘lascivious’ Adonis. The same Aretino promises the powerful ruler of Mantua a statue of Venus so ‘alive’ that it will ‘fill every viewer’s mind with libido’.
Leonardo da Vinci boasts that one of his religious paintings provoked ‘lust [libidine] in the owner’. For Leonardo, this is not a matter of shame but of pride in the superior power of painting, which ‘moves the senses more readily than poetry does’, and ‘depicts libidinous acts so lustful that they have incited viewers to play the same game’. The red-flag words libidinosi, lussuriosi and incitare shed their moralistic overtone. Leonardo in effect denies the fall of Adam and Eve and the shame that makes us hide the genital organ: ‘man is wrong to feel ashamed to name it, much less to display it, always covering and hiding what should be adorned and displayed with due solemnity’. Aretino justifies erotica in the same way:
What’s so bad about seeing a man mount on the back of a lady? So the animals should be freer than us? It would seem to me that the thingy that Nature gave us to preserve herself should be worn round the neck as a pendant, and in the cap as a medal … They should establish Holidays and consecrate Vigils and Festivals for it, not shut it up in a bit of cloth or silk.
Artists went ahead and visualised those ‘festivities’ (Figure 5).
This might all seem a phallocentric game that only elite males could join. In fact, I have found countercurrents to the alleged repudiation of female sexuality in accounts of the arousing effect of painting and sculpture. In Aretino, the viewer is ‘filled’ with the libido streaming from the Venus statue. Titian’s Venus melts and softens the viewer rather than giving him a hard-on: he ‘feels himself growing warm and tender, and the whole of his blood stirring in his veins’. Certainly the recipient is assumed to be male (the canvas was painted for Philip II of Spain, after all) but face-to-face with Venus’s bottom he is ‘penetrated to the marrow’.
As a final example of the revolution in action, consider another plate from that album of sexual postures, this time a lady mounting a man, a 19th-century reconstruction based on a tracing from a now-lost engraving (Figure 6).
The posture comes from one of those ‘lascivious things’ that amused the ancient Romans, but the modern Roman artist made a scene of it: Aretino, who wrote sonnets on the whole set of positions, imagines the man yelling: ‘Cupid, you little fuck, stop pulling the cart!’ This ‘lascivious’ print then inspired one of the most entrancing images of the High Renaissance: Parmigianino’s love-god carving himself a new bow (Figure 7). Parmigianino’s Eros/Amor turns to lock eyes with us, and his implicit question is still: What do you make of this, do you like what you see?
At first, the answer was No. The art historian Giorgio Vasari, who celebrated the erotic art of his day, later condemned that posture manual as ‘ugly’, though without having seen it. The Counter-Reformation that started with the 1545 Council of Trent aimed to stamp out the sensuous and ‘lascivious’ elements that had allegedly contaminated religious art – especially Michelangelo’s Last Judgment. But reactions generate counterreactions so that, over the centuries, the lush sensuality of the High Renaissance has been celebrated, deplored and celebrated again repeatedly. Even now, after that other sexual ‘revolution’ of the 1960s, historians swing between a cerebral, idealising, Platonic approach and a deliberate campaign to put the body back into art, to value the erotic experience (of both sexes) and to question the division between ‘art’ and ‘pornography’.
James Grantham Turner
This article was originally published at Aeon and has been republished under Creative Commons.
In Marbella, some things never go out of fashion. Others are here today, gone tomorrow which can be confusing to people returning to a highly transitory environment. But what is always popular in Marbella and the Costa Del Sol?
The first and most obvious is the sun! Over 300 days a year of sunshine makes the Costa Del Sol a very attractive pace for visitors and ex-patriots from Northern Europe and Scandinavia. And in the summer the vast array of beaches are filled with tourists and locals of all shapes and sizes, though there is a distinct “changing of the guard” through the day. The Northern Europeans hit the beach early (fill in your own jokes about sunbed-claiming, towel-laying nationalities here! But the Spanish and Southern Europeans tend to hit the beach after siesta time. Which, as an established local, I find a much more civilised way of doing things when the worst heat has gone from the day but you can still get a great tan if you want to.
All the beaches, incidentally, are public. The private beach clubs such as Nikki Beach, Ocean Club, and La Sala by the Sea are just positioned alongside the public beaches. So you can often enjoy the music, atmosphere and pretty people for free from your towel. And you can swim in the sea while they only have a crowded pool!
Sex is also pretty much always on the menu in Marbella. The tourists and locals all like to dress to impress, usually in high-bling style, and the sexy atmosphere has to be experienced to be believed. There really is a sex charged feel just walking down the street. And that is before thinking about selling sex as one of the major industries in Marbella and the Costa Del Sol, with escort agencies such as Marbella Beauties from The Marbella Escort Agency and 2nd Circle Marbella Escorts competing with dozens of brothels, clubs and hundreds of independents advertising in the local Sur newspaper.
Sex is certainly in the air in Marbella. And during the summer months it is also in the hotel rooms,villas, apartments sun loungers, beaches, cars and just about anywhere else you can imagine! Obviously people “hook up” all the time everywhere, but in very places, such as Marbella, is it so obviously the entire point. In Ibiza there is a lot of “action” but most of the time it is about the clubs, chilling out and the overall experience. Marbella is about getting laid. As often as possible with as many damn fine looking people as possible. Whether they are professional Marbella escorts or enthusiastic amateurs enjoying the hormone raising glamour of one of Europe’s hottest locations (in all senses), sex is always in fashion on the Costa Del Sol.
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2nd Circle Madrid and Barcelona is really well entrenched in the local market. These professionals have been definitely around for a few years, working at the higher end of the market and are undoubtedly well known for the quality of the girls that these individuals represent and the friendly, honest and straightforward way that these individuals deal with everything.
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