“We all need one person in our lives who sees who we are and loves us anyway.”
– Nicole Emma
While I wouldn’t expect to find this unconditional love coming from Nicole in her role as a sex worker, she presents a very interesting and provocative perspective. In her TedXTalk, she explains why men patron her services.
Full disclaimer: today’s topic is a sensitive and unusual one for WomanScape. But for any meaningful discussion to happen, it’s always important to be open and consider a variety of perspectives, especially as we head into our month-long examination examining the concept of “fallen women” in history.
Admittedly, this video may be one that many of you don’t like but it certainly opens the door to an age old question about how we see women who provide sexual services. I can’t help but think of the upcoming Hollywood movie, Hustlers. It stars Jennifer Lopez and Candice Wu as New York strippers. While their club activities in the story don’t appear to go beyond taking their clothes off for men, the women form close bonds with some of their customers and you see a variety of reasons for men frequenting this kind of establishment and seeking the company of these women.
What I also like about today’s video is that Nicole seems to be anything but “fallen.”
She reframes the role of sex workers in society by saying they address the needs of men. I”m not sure I buy her argument, in many ways, but the focus is a new one. Women aren’t the “fallen” ones in this context of sexual behavior outside the boundaries of marriage. For Nicole, men are in need and women are helping them. This perspective disrupts the traditional power base and in suggests women are healers.
For Nicole, men turn to women for sex to get what they can’t in our modern world. This is a massive shift away from long held social conventions like those during the Victorian era or America’s Puritanical period, where women were blamed and considered morally deviant – bringing men down.
It’s obvious today that attitudes towards sex have moved away from the fallen imagine rooted in many cultures. But I still believe this view persists and carries weight. When someone suggests a woman dressed provocatively and tempted a man, the woman is still seen as the moral corrupter who has fallen from grace taking people with her.
Mondays reference to sex and politics is definitely still at play in most societies. Government and politics are about the exercise of power. When we understand sex in its most beautiful form, it is about love. But throughout time, sex has also been used to wield power.
Wednesday’s post about Veronica Franco made this abundantly clear. We witness the powerful role sex plays in Elizabethan and Victorian society – catapulting courtesans into the echelons of royal courts and ingratiating them into the highest echelons of society.
Consider the truth today in the story of American Heidi Fleiss. In many ways, she’s reminiscent of Veronica. Heidi was a Hollywood madam whose little black book threatened to take down the most powerful men of industry.
Whatever your morals and beliefs, Nicole definitely sheds a new light on our human condition and dynamics tht affect our interactions with each other. I do believe she was right about one thing: men and women do need a safe place to be honest and open with one another. Have a great Friday.