On Erotic Capital

…Hakim also goes on to show that economic factors are the primary reason most women enter the sex trade. Over several pages she details just how much more women are able to make working in the sex industry than in other low-paid jobs available to them (it’s a lot!).

…If there’s one positive message to take from this book, it’s that we ought to stop moralising and belittling those who choose to pursue work in the sex industry. After all, in Hakim’s words, ‘The meritocratic capitalist values of the Western world invite us to admire people who exploit their human capital for personal gain. I can see no reason at all why people who exploit their erotic capital for its full value should not be equally admired.’

My objection about work in the sex industry is that the productive life of a sex worker is too short. The high earnings, which is suppose to compensate for the short life span and the health risk, doesn’t quite compensate enough. Courtesans of old know this and incorporate other skills (entertainment, hosting, management) to ensure that longer term income remains available to them.


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