350+ citations by German sex buyers from 2003 to 2018. What can they tell us? How can we make sense of them? An overview:
Many punters imagine that payment gains them unlimited access to a prostituted woman’s body inside the sex trade. In practice prostituted women, like all people, of course have boundaries, e.g. they may refuse to offer kisses or to receive oral or may only do so in exchange for extra payments. Women attempting to assert boundaries in this way often leads to considerable upset, mean insults, threats and sometimes a conscious violation of these boundaries, e.g. by stealthing (pulling off the condom during intercourse without the consent of the woman).
In theory the buyer and the prostituted women negotiate any and all boundaries prior to sexual acts taking place. In practice this often is limited or not possible at all, e.g. because of existing language barriers, due to the financial situation of the woman or because punters consciously decide to violate sexual boundaries. And even when negotiations have taken place, some buyers take a woman’s passivity as consent for specific acts, even though consent is shaky at best in many of these situations.
Contrary to common assumptions sex buyers rarely are lonely socially isolated men, instead they are often partnered or married. On punter forums you find them exchanging about their infidelity and complaining about the ‚annoying‘ sexual boundaries of their girlfriends and wives, while coming up with excuses as to why sex buying does not constitute cheating or why cheating on their partner is justified. A common position amongst sex buyers is also that relationships or marriages are comparable to prostitution, as they take the view that all women directly or indirectly have to be paid for sexual access.
Alcohol and drugs are widely known coping mechanisms for women in the sex trade and sex buyers know this all too well. Clear signs of drug consumption or drunkenness are however mostly considered annoying or alternatively as useful, as the submissiveness of the women is increased. Rarely is it taken as a reason to refrain from buying sexual access to the woman in question. An incomplete list of legal German brothels (many of which women and girls were trafficked into and/or made to sell or consume drugs in) is available here.
What about the sex buyer’s capacity for empathy? As evidenced by hundreds of citations on this website, the all too common human misery of prostitution is observed by them – so what conclusion do they draw from it? For one punters agree amongst each other that they themselves would never consider prostitution for what it could do to their minds and bodies. A few of them do decide to refrain from buying sexual access to women under evident financial or violent duress. While others call on the women… to hide their lack of enthusiasm more effectively in the future and tell brothel owners… to make sure that no punter is confronted with the reality of trafficking. And one manages to complain about having his time with a woman cut short, after it turns out she’s actually a 16-year-old child trafficking victim. Empathy is such a pain in the ass, when you just wanna have fun.
A common trend within the sex industry is the photoshopping and faking of online ad photos in order to create a polished appearance to the outside. In order to increase the „market value“ of a given woman. Online ads report false body sizes, countries of origin and ages, hide unwelcome tattoos and scars, so that women may appear to fit within a punter’s scheme of prey. Additionally sex buyers are bothered by the fact that positive online reviews of brothels or escort services aren’t necessarily reliable, as they are often written by the owners or the women themselves. On the whole sex buyers do not express understanding for the fact that this photoshopping process may be necessary for a woman’s very livelihood.
Sometimes sex buyers report meeting women who show enthusiasm – but they’re rarely sure if they can trust the seeming pleasure of the women. Sometimes it takes months for a punter to realize that a woman isn’t actually into him, with other encounters he notices right away – how unprofessional of her! After all buyers who have been „in the game long“ know the tactics which women use to fake sexual pleasure in order win long-term clients, while others will adjust payments to get the right amount of faked desire they’re seeking. That this pretense of sexual interest often stems from poverty or force is widely known. Sex buyers who are not inclined towards sadism, prefer the women to be active participants in the sex acts, but find the authenticity of her pleasure to be of secondary importance. When the illusion is effective, all is well.
Fetishization of prostituted women by sex buyers usually happens on the basis of skin color or ethnicity. Racist expressions such as chinky-eyes or stereotypes about the supposed natural feminine submissiveness of Eastern women (in contrast to the prudish sex-negativity of German women) are frequently expressed. Other common fetishes pertain to especially young, inexperienced and to pregnant women. Women in especially precarious situations, such as suffering from drug addiction, homelessness or refugees are specifically sought out by some sex buyers for their vulnerability. Transsexual or transgender persons are also actively fetishized. Numbers as to word frequency on punter forums to be found here.
Lack of Enthusiasm
Innumerable punter forum entries (more than 100 examples on this blog alone!) describe women who are not interested in the sex taking place. Some reviews speak of women who are cold, arrogant, annoyed or rude. Even clearer ones describe the women as unemotional, unmotivated, mechanical, passive, dissociated or very concretely as lacking all sexual enthusiasm. A few express explicit rejection and disgust at the sex buyer. Countless are described as impatient, checking watches and clocks or cellphones during intercourse or otherwise giving the impression or outright saying that they desire the punter to finish and leave as soon as possible. Repeatedly the demeanor and behavior of the women is likened to that of a corpse.
From these strong signs of disinterest and lack of enthusiasm sex buyers rarely conclude, that their participation in the sex trade may be morally questionable – instead they complain, that it reduces their enjoyment of the act. Numbers as to word frequency on punter forums to be found here.
Lack of Hygiene
Repeatedly sex buyers report a severe lack of hygiene in (apartment) brothels in the form of dirty walls, sheets and bathrooms. The sex buyer has the option to leave the potentially hazardous location at any time – the women often are exposed to potential hazards for hours, days or longer, especially when the brothel room is also their only home. The presence of unkempt, unwashed women indicates poverty, neglect, mental health issues and/or human trafficking.
Lack of Language Skills
Many prostituted women in Germany don’t speak German – an advantage, some sex buyers say, who are pleased that due to the language barrier the women will be less likely to say „no“ and have a hard time demanding extra payments post-coitus – a disadvantage says another group of buyers, because how do you tell a woman what she’s supposed to do, if she can’t understand you? That’s how the debate goes. Few punters refrain from buying access to women, whose German vocabulary only suffices to name their prices and if they decide to leave, it is either the assumption of an increased likelihood of STI contagion or her unkempt appearance that tend to be the deciding factor. Poverty and trafficking as causes of women being funneled into the sex trade are mentioned, but most of the time verbal communication isn’t a must during sex anyway. In several cases punters can’t understand or even simply forget the names of foreign prostituted women.
In the mind of the average punter men are abulic slaves of their libido and therefore of course not responsible for any of their sex-related actions. The perspective on their own sex buying varies from self-congratulatory to resigned „acceptance“ of their supposed sex addiction to joking self-scolding for their unruly masculinity, which of course requires the objectification of women. A „real man“ requires a sexually submissive woman and those are best found amongst prostituted women and women from developing countries. A few candidates feel sorry for their „inability to control their urges“ and even consider themselves as vulnerable to the ‚money-hungry‘ prostituted woman. Favoured terms for their own genitalia however indicate that sex buyers associate masculinity with drive and aggression – as they enjoy using words that allude to weapons and tools, such as pipe, cudgel, piston, lance, sword and club. Numbers as to word frequency on punter forums to be found here.
Deep misogyny is the rule on punter forums: When sex buyers believe that they’re amongst their own, the women are generally labeled sluts, hookers and whores or called fresh meat, fuck meat and three-holed-mares, who of course get banged, fucked, bludgeoned, poked, hacked or impaled by their penises. Orifices get seeded, pumped with cum, soiled and are sprayed or holed into. The body parts of prostituted women themselves are labeled tits, pussies, snatches, slits, cunts and holes. Numbers as to word frequency on punter forums to be found here.
The misogyny of punters isn’t entirely reserved for women in prostitution: Non-prostituted women are viewed as „too emancipated“ and punters bad-mouth their partners – even though some men will insists that they love their wives, despite the routine cheating. Non-prostituted women are most likely to be mentioned, when the „services rendered“ are not to the punters satisfaction – because sex where women’s boundaries and desires matter can be had „out there“ as well. Some punters however show, that they do not treat their sexual partners any different from women in prostitution, as they view relationships also through the lense of a „transaction“ and sex as „female obligation“. Finally a few punters admit, that their use of prostitution negatively affects their view on all women.
Not Using Protection
A prostituted woman inside a legal German brothel will be visited by 10 to 20 men per day. Next to all the psychological and physical risks which this entails, it of course contains the risk of getting infected with an STD. For this reason, condom use has been legally mandatory for sex buyers in Germany since July 2017. This law however is unabashedly broken by German sex buyers and the explicit non-use of protection, also often referred to as catholic, is actively fetishized and sought out. Women who insist on the use of condoms risk lower income, as well as the displeasure and aggression of punters.
People who are bothered by sexist advertisement in everyday life, should be seriously disturbed at how women are advertised inside the sex trade: Sex buyers actively participate in the evaluating and reviewing of women according to the tightness of their vagina, the size of their breasts and the firmness of their butt. Women who are specifically accessed not to enjoy mutual participation, but purely to be looked at during explicitly one-sided sex are called an optic-fuck. The profile pictures of forum users tend to show naked breasts, women’s or girl’s faces covered in ejaculate and/or close-up shots of vulvas or anuses which are usually being penetrated by fingers, a hand, an arm, or a penis (all photos have been blurred). Older and fat women are mostly labeled as ugly and disgusting and considered a „waste of money„. Numbers as to word frequency on punter forums to be found here.
Because prostitution with few exceptions is based on one-sided desire, prostituted women tend to not be aroused and lack of arousal often results in pain. Part of the everyday reality of prostitution are chronic hand, jaw and back pain. Vaginal and oral intercourse in a state of non-arousal or executed with too much force also often end up causing pain, even if the prostituted woman applies lube. Punters notice this, but they experience it either as an explicit turn on, as an annoyance to their own enjoyment or ignore it after taking note.
One group of people is making big profits off the sex industry: Pimps. And they are everywhere, even according to punters, and taking most of the money made by prostituted women, up to 70% in some cases. Sometimes punters experience the presence of pimps as bothersome or uncomfortable, yet again and again it is the pimps they run to to complain about women refusing to submit, sometimes having almost friend-like relationships with them. And the sex buyer’s mind can rest easy when he tells himself that the money he pays „protects“ the prostituted woman from the pimp’s wrath. An incomplete list of legal German brothels (many of which women and girls were trafficked into and/or made to sell or consume drugs in) is available here.
The porn and the sex industry are tightly interwoven: Not only do they fluidly exchange women between each other, but pornography actively shapes the sexual fantasies of punters. Because pornified sexuality often goes hand in hand with aggression, if not violence, non-prostituted women tend to refuse to participate – but inside prostitution there is always a woman to be found who can be accessed for any sexual request at all. Consequently sex buyers proudly share their experiences of brutal oral and anal intercourse, announce the number of women whose bodies, faces and mouths they’ve ejaculated onto/into and how the women they buy access to submit so well to ATM/ATV (ass-to-mouth/ass-to-vagina).
The word choice used by many punters is also deliberately demeaning towards the women – as is the standard in porn and the sex is described as explicitly body-punishing, often through verbs like nail, hammer, beat and bludgeon. Only one quote stands out by a man suggesting that the sexuality sold by the porn and sex industry may be harmful – but he identifies himself and men as a whole as primary victims, not the women at whose expense these fantasies are lived out. Numbers as to word frequency on punter forums to be found here.
The desolate financial situation of many prostituted women is no secret to most sex buyers. The fact that poverty and the necessity to support a family is a primary cause of entry into prostitution in Germany is well-known and openly discussed. This reality is sometimes viewed with compassion, but often with sneer or even judgement. The way to continue to justify the buying of sexual access to impoverished women is to argue that it constitutes altruism.
As mentioned the fetishization of prostituted women’s bodies often carries racist undertones and relies on stereotypes: The ones included in this category concretely seek to demean prostituted women on the basis of their skin color and/or origin. Sex buyers who don’t enjoy buying access to impoverished Eastern European women, often use harsh words to describe their distaste. Seemingly more harmless are the nicknames punters invent to refer to women from specific backgrounds such as „polish-kitten“ or „china-girl„, but this nicknaming quickly devolves into simply adding the word „fuck/slut/whore/cunt“ to any ethnicity or even to the n-word. Special disgust is expressed for Sinti and Romanie women. When a prostituted woman is murdered, some punters will be quick to accuse „the foreigners“, „Muslims“ or „refugees“, despite most killers turning out to be fellow countrymen and fellow punters. Numbers as to word frequency on punter forums to be found here.
Sex buyers commit rape within the legal German sex industry. Citations from punters evidence this, wherein rapists essentially expose themselves: As mentioned many punters will not hesitate to prenetrate without a condom without consent or to buy access to women who are drunk or high on drugs. Furthermore punters describe women who are fearful, reluctant to submit, try evading them, try to pull their thighs together, try to push the punter away or explicitly state that they do not consent to a specific act, which time and time again is ignored by the sex buyer. In his mind this is justified, because after all: He has paid her. Possibly the worst type of sex buyer are those who boast about participating in the process of „breaking in“ prostituted women, who are usually under the control of a pimp. This process is supposed to essentially rape a woman into submission, so that future „customers“, who do not desire resistance, won’t encounter any.
Sex buyers frequently accuse prostituted women of being in it for the money – a perspective even absurd from the position of a pro-sex-trade advocate, as no „service provider“ acts on pure altruism. In prostitution however, the desire to earn money is looked down upon by the „customer“, who will insult a prostituted woman as „money-fixated„, „rip-off“ or even as „rip-off-cunt“ – warning other buyers to avoid her, potentially jeopardizing her income.
As with the topic of masculinity and empathy – sex buyers are divided on whether to understand themselves as hedonists, magnificent lovers or as victims or just maybe as wrongdoers. Some express doubt over their sex buying activities, e.g. stating that they’re concerned that their capacity to relate to women may be diminished. Those who see themselves seemingly rationally as „customers“ paying for a „service“ also have the entitlement of a customer, meaning they expect to be treated like kings. Possibly depending on self-perception buyers use different vocabulary to refer to their own genitalia, e.g. terms like crown jewels, magic wand or scepter. Numbers as to word frequency on punter forums to be found here.
Sometimes it seems the whole world has conspired against punters. They assert that not just the individual prostituted woman, who decides to refuse or limit sexual access to her body, whose apathy makes the buyers feel attacked, who is a „waste of money“ or responsible for „destroying his marriage„, but the entire German female population carries out a grave injustice against them by not properly submitting in bed. Which must surely be the fault of the feminazis! On the way home after a brothel visit many sex buyers express feeling restless and frustrated – it appears that paysex seldom leads to happiness or long-term satisfaction. And while we’re at it: Sex buyers themselves do have boundaries which they will assert e.g. many don’t feel comfortable being naked and exposed to strangers through open doors in brothels. Selective empathy at it’s finest.
You can never be quite sure whether the woman in front of you has been forced into prostitution – as punters themselves repeatedly admit. Women who can barely speak German, who move to new locations in suspiciously short time spans under the control of a pimp, who „go on holiday back home“ and never come back, who are taken away by police, women with bruises, women who are mistreated in front of the buyer, underage girls – all these are observed by sex buyers. Yet they attempt to absolve themselves of any responsibility by relativising the situation or arguing that just maybe the women chose and enjoy their situation. Plus, reporting suspicions of trafficking and exploitation is risky for the punter himself, so why do it? An incomplete list of legal German brothels (many of which women and girls were trafficked into and/or made to sell or consume drugs in) is available here.