The painful thing about the post below is that I got it from a blog that was racking up five figures by posting about odd and obscure comics. Go fig.
Anyway, everybody's talking about prostitution in connection to Spitzer. One meme in the discussion confuses me. Several pundits (like Susan Estrich)put forward the idea that the awful thing about prostitution (which I think is wretched but should be legal) is that it involves using a person's body. Something about this assertion annoys me, and I can't quite figure out why. I think it's because I've spent some time as a manual laborin' service provider, and that certainly involved people paying for the use of my body. I suppose one could argue that sex is different because it's more intimate, but I dunno... I suspect some prostitutes are more comfortable having paid sex than I was getting filth out of peoples' carpet. Ask the average blue-collar laborer whether they'd rather spend twelve hours a day on the job for a bit more than minimum wage or an hour a day schtupping smug alpha-males for hundreds or thousands of dollars, and I suspect a lot of them would have to think it over.
When Estrich wonders why handsome powerful men pay for sex when they could get it for free, I want to answer with the old saying: hookers aren't paid to come, they're paid to go. The kind of alpha male who would join The Emperors' Club understands business and financial transactions better than emotional ones; with a hooker there's no "When will I see you again" or "When are you getting a divorce so I can be with you completely." They get out of the way so you can get on with your busy day. It's not nice, but handsome alpha-males don't have to be nice. Estrich gets it right when she says that prostitution is the cheapest sex. There's no emotional cost... so cheap.
Okay, so I'm a beta male with a chip on his shoulder. But I'm in love with a wonderful woman who's better than I ever expected, and I'm glad I'm not a hard driver; she wouldn't be with me if I were.