Why are Swedish men emotionally closed?


Udo Gerheim

To person

Dr. rer. pole.; Research Associate at the Faculty of Education and Social Sciences, Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg, Uhlhornsweg, 26111 Oldenburg. [email protected]

In this article I am concerned with the question of the empirically determinable reasons for which heterosexual men ask for sex for sale. Despite inadequate data, I argue that only a small proportion of men in the Federal Republic of Germany ask for prostitution sex on a permanent basis. The reasons for this can be deduced from the hybrid and "torn" structure of the prostitution field, which on the one hand justifies access to prostitution, but on the other hand demonstrates de-legitimizing ambivalence in the practice of demand. This article will shed some light on some of these aspects and explore the specific attraction prostitution exerts on the male demand side, how the individual path into this field is specifically designed and how the power relations there are. [1]

Discourses on power and barriers to access to the prostitution field

Despite profound social transformation processes of sexual liberalization in the wake of the 1968 revolt [2] and a legal, nationwide established prostitution infrastructure in the Federal Republic, the concrete demand is largely hidden and is still covered with social taboos that make private and public invisibility produce by suitors. Specifically, four demand-focused power discourses or de-legitimizing disciplinary technologies can be named: the feminist perpetrator discourse, the (Christian) monogamy command, intra-male hegemony struggles over (legitimate) sexual capital and the alienation discourse.

The feminist criticism The historical and second women's movement evaluates the male demand for prostitution as misogynistic sexual violence and as male exploitation of the female body and female sexuality. [3] In this context, prostitution represents an existential attack on the sexual self-determination of women and degrades them to an object of exchange for male-sexual submission. Based on the Swedish legal situation, criminal prosecution of the demand side is sometimes demanded from this direction, as the British Labor MP Mary Honeyball puts it, for example: "There is however one lesson that we can learn from abroad. That is to aggressively tackle the demand for prostitution by criminalizing the purchase of sex. The law should treat prostitution in much the same way as it treats rape. Both are generally an act of male violence against helpless women. "[4] Das Monogamy rule It is fed by a religious-moral or normatively operating discourse that classifies the male demand for prostitution as an immoral sexual practice and sees it as an attack on the "sacred" institution of marriage. The third discourse on the delegitimation of prostitution customers surprisingly comes from the internal male competition and distinction struggles himself. [5] In this arrangement, sex represents a coveted resource that is highly charged in terms of gender identity. The demand for prostitution is devalued as an inferior sexual practice and marked as a subjective failure of sexual self-presentation. The use of a sex worker indicates potential deficits in private sexuality or the subjective inability of a client to conquer the desire of women in private. The statement of a test person (24 years old, dropped out of studies) illustrates this impressively: "That's why I was a bit ashamed of myself, that I went there, or that I needed it at all, or that I needed it many others don't have to pay for something like that. "[6] Der Alienation discourse In terms of content, it is fed by the positive reference to forms of relationships and sexuality, which are characterized by emotional authenticity (i.e. love, romance, attachment), honesty and reciprocity. Prostitutive sexuality is characterized here as a reified, commodity-like exchange relationship and rejected, optionally in combination with feminist criticisms. Therefore, it is classified as sexually, emotionally and socially uninteresting. This position is likely to be taken by the majority of men and women who are not active in prostitution.

Bridges to the prostitution field

In view of these explanations, the impression could arise that this affects not only the level of visibility of the demand phenomenon, but also the specific demand practice as a whole. This actually expresses part of the truth, but complementary to this there are social structures that build powerful gender-identity and gender-political bridges to the field on the demand side: The most important pattern marks the demand for prostitution as a standard biographical element of the male world and as a legitimate option for masculine sexual self-concepts. In this male story it is "normal" to visit a prostitute, be it because the man feels a biologically based sex drive that has to be discharged periodically, be it as a sex-biographical status passage ("must be done") or as a male Group experience. Prostitution and demand are perceived on a normative and bodily level as a legitimate male institution and "game option", where "man" with his sexuality and gender is organically suspended.

The second bridge is derived from the logic of the prostitution field as an economic subfield that is subject to the capitalist logic of exchange. In this context, sexuality or, more precisely, sexual services, like other use values, are transformed into "normal" goods and exchanged for money. The act of exchange, which is familiar to all members of capitalist societies as a habitualized everyday practice, develops a fundamental legitimizing power through the mechanism of action "what was paid for is okay".

The third way into the field leads through the magical attraction that the prostitution field as a subculture exerts on potential clients. In addition to its attraction as an anti-bourgeois subversion fantasy ("milieu"), reference is made to the prostitution field as an omnipotent cosmos of male sexual wish fulfillment. Moral and communicative limitations of private sexuality are abolished, accelerated and de-ritualized: no advertising, no delay, no rejection, sex immediately in any formulation with privately "inaccessible" women. Real or subjectively perceived physical, psychological and communicative deficits in the field of private sexuality are suspended for a limited time.

Unhindered commercial access to female sexuality is then historically secured through the power technology of double standards. Against the backdrop of the division of the female gender space into "saints" and "whores" (honorable wives and "fallen girls"), a male-dominated state control and disciplinary regime is being established, which is relentless and full of moral indignation against prostitution and, above all, against Prostitute takes precedence and at the same time guarantees men unhindered access to the sexuality of the "despised" prostitute. [7] The male demand for sex for sale has remained and remains structurally excluded from this discourse and disciplinary regime - with the exception of hygiene discourses - and unchanged in its social practice. Untouched by the history of science and largely by the German social sciences, which so far only has seven scientific monographs [8] and two popular scientific articles [9] on the investigation of male demand for sexuality for sale. [10]