Selling Sex or Simply Selling Yourself Short?


On second thought maybe you don’t need that diet, Bikram yoga class, or impromptu police chase to whip your body into shape in an effort to sell yourself in the world of adult entertainment.

As it turns out, sex doesn’t always sell….or at least not for full price.

Our friends over in Germany have seen their prostitution industry undergo its own bit of a meltdown.


Indeed, the Associated Press reports that since late last year the number American tourists who have flocked to enjoy Germany’s legalized pay-for-play industry has dropped significantly.

Customers have become choosey and cheap – placing quite the dent in the pocketbooks of Germany’s 10,000 street walkers. I thought the point of prostitution was to bring in the big bucks. What's the point if you're not churning a big profit?

Don’t fret for the hookers too much, though. I didn’t know this, but with prostitution being legal in Germany, these ladies of extreme leisure are afforded the same rights and benefits as other professions, like health and unemployment insurance.

I knew turning tricks would lead you to a free clinic, but who knew it could earn you an insurance card, too?

Speaking of turning tricks, the lifestyle is not nearly as glamorous as Showtime and HBO would have you believe.

In “Going down in the downturn, Salon offers a great investigative piece on women who have turned to selling their goodies in order to make ends meet in the economy.


For most of the women profiled in the piece, the notion of selling their bodies placed them leaps and bounds ahead of those flipping burgers for cash. Unfortunately, some of the women profiled quickly learned that not everyone can earn $1,400 for an eight-hour virtual date for eating popcorn and watching a movie on a cam.

Instead more women turned to posting offers like ones for “sensual massages” for $75 via an ad on Craigslist. Sounds like a path that can easily lead one towards a life that requires a lifetime supply of Lysol.


Is $75 a pop for a massage a good enough exchange for your self-respect? At the end of Salon’s piece, prostitution advocate Margo St. James is quoted saying, "A blow job is better than no job."

But with 52-year-old strippers getting stabbed on the job, patrons treating prostitutes like triple coupon Sunday at the grocery store, and reducing yourself to selling the space between your legs on Craigslist to the highest bidder, is that really true?


I’d love to hear from you on this. How low are you willing to go to stay afloat? Moreover, what do you make of these women who have used their bodies as commerce? Does the end justify the means even at discounted prices, or do these women need to write a mean cover letter and get a "real job?"

Leave your comments below or email me at

Michael Arceneaux hails from Houston, lives in Harlem and praises Beyoncé’s name wherever he goes. Follow him on Twitter.