The illustrious French writer Gustave Flaubert was a common frequenter of brothels. He wrote, “A man has missed something if he has never woken up in an anonymous bed beside a face he will never see again, and if he has never left a brothel at dawn feeling like jumping off a bridge into the river in sheer disgust with life.”
Of course, Flaubert paid for his full life with a number of doses of venereal disease.
Even poor old Kafka tried the joys of mercenary sex. Typically, it was not a great success and he records in his diary, “Lonely, long, absurd walk home.”
Hans Christian Anderson was afraid of sex almost all his life. He finally visited a brothel when he was aged 62 – but he didn’t touch, just paid 12 francs and left. He referred to the brothel as “a human shop.”
Is prostitution exploitation? If I am a prostitute by choice, can I be exploited? What if I am poor? Or a drug addict? Is my choice still free?