Statistics tell us that about 20 percent of married men are unfaithful to their spouses. However, only a small portion men use "escort" services or prostitutes, and even that can vary from a one time lapse to an ongoing habit. Needless to say, we can only speculate on what the story is in the N. Governor Elliott Spitzer marriage. Indeed, one thing we've learned over the years is that the only people who maybe know what's going on within a marriage is the married couple themselves.
And clearly, there are even surprises there. But you have to wonder why someone with so much to lose would participate in such high-risk behavior that could be and in this case was found out. Is it possible that someone in that position wants to be unconsciously discovered? Has so much guilt seeped into his psyche that he purposely leaves a trail of easily-followed clues?
The governor was fighting for much stricter laws on the books to prosecute the men who visit prostitutes. In actuality, did he want to punish himself?
Or is there a sense of self-delusion? Did he think of himself as omnipotent, that is, too smart to be caught? Did the rules apply to everyone except him? One other possibility, although improbable, is that some couples may have a private deal. She's not interested in having sex, or if she is, it's not the kind that he wants, and therefore he has permission to visit a prostitute.
No emotion that might threaten the marriage is allowed, but he can remain sexual. This might be on the condition that he practices safe sex and uses complete discretion. Many therapists define sexual addiction as obsessive behavior that puts marriage, family, career, health and personal safety in peril. Nor are these men defined by obvious personality problems. In a survey published in psychologist Dieter Kleiber of the Free University of Berlin had some johns fill out the Freiburg Personality Inventory and found no particular abnormalities.
The only correlations he found applied to risk taking and unprotected sex. For example, the men who demanded sex without condoms tended to score higher on aggression, and married and well-to-do customers practiced unprotected sex more frequently than others did.
The research underscores the diversity of the men who pay for sex. Accordingly, these individuals seek prostitutes for varied reasons. Some of them may indeed be driven purely by sexual impulse. In a study of johns sponsored by the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, sociologist Udo Gerheim of the University of Bremen, Germany, found that many of these men are either sexually frustrated because they are not getting satisfying sex elsewhere or hedonists who want to live out their erotic fantasies in a red-light setting.
Many men feel freer to experiment within the context of commercial sex than with their wives or girlfriends, enabling them to expand their sexual range and to experience greater sexual fulfillment. Yet some researchers have identified emotional and psychological motivations among the men who purchase sex.
Gerheim spotted a type of romantic john who imagines that he is having a genuine relationship with a prostitute based on mutual trust. Kleiber also saw a romantic streak in many of his interviewees. These men, Kleiber explains, seem to be pursuing the ideal of love in a fee-for-service setting. They portray these relationships as intimate despite their commercial nature and limited scope, he adds.
The behavior of male customers during their encounters with prostitutes also may suggest that they seek a social connection outside of coitus. According to Kleiber's study, more than two thirds of devotees used the services of a particular prostitute more than 50 times. One in four had sex with the same prostitute more than times. But why would a man turn to a prostitute—as opposed to a girlfriend, wife or other consensual female lover—to satisfy his need for a social bond?
One reason may be that real relationships with women are risky and complicated, features that men do not always want and cannot always handle. Prostitutes are far less exacting than girlfriends and wives and may even be soothing to the psyche. That is, an ordinary female date might reject a man or happen to be tired, distant or not in the mood.
In contrast, sex workers generally accept their customers unconditionally and offer intimacy on demand, whatever their true feelings, says gender researcher Gunda Schumann, who co-authored a book on the psychology of prostitution. In this view, ordinary men buy sex to deal with their psychological insecurities as well as their sexual needs. The idea that sex with a prostitute can be therapeutic dates back thousands of years. In the Epic of Gilgamesh , a poem from ancient Mesopotamia, Enkidu—a friend of the king who is half wild—is civilized by having sex with a whore.
The tale portrays the prostitute as sacred because she sacrifices herself to the man to cleanse him of destructive inner forces.
Other researchers disagree that prostitutes serve as a balm for the woes of essentially normal men. These are men, she says, whose sexual desire is switched on by not having to care about the prostitute as a human being—the opposite of the intimacy hypothesis.
Sex with a prostitute, she says, is more about seeking revenge on women or exerting control over them than about a quest for intimacy and romance. Some sex purchasers may even have a social agenda to go along with their personal predilections.
Only there can men reestablish the traditional male dominance over women. Catering to such men, brothels in countries where these institutions are legal hawk women like merchandise on their Web sites.
Some clubs even offer happy-hour specials. In the opinion of these dissenters, johns in the U. However toxic the activity might be to the men, the women often end up more seriously wounded by it. At the very least, prostitutes suffer psychologically from trying to wall off their own emotions so that they can sell intimacy as a commodity. In addition, they often suffer from physical abuse at the hands of their customers.
The annual report of KARO, an organization trying to thwart prostitution in the region dividing Germany and the Czech Republic, noted many incidents of brutality related to the selling of sex. Prostitutes in the U.
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