i sat on a comfortable chair in a very nice house as a pleasant breeze blew away the humidity of a humid late spring day and listened to tales upon tales of horror.
Good friends who have picked up their lives and their children to move to Southeast Asia and combat sex trafficking were telling about their work. The situations they described were terrible: young girls and boys kicked out of their homes, or abused while in their homes, living on the streets and selling themselves sexually in order to survive. Men, traveling from all around the world to countries in Southeast Asia as a part of a disgusting, burgeoning industry called “sex tourism.”
Desolation. Despair. Poverty. Powerlessness. And the sort of glimpse into a reality on the other side of the world which made me simultaneously grateful, and embarrassed at my relative wealth and safety in the States.
And yet, it’s not far away at all.
This happens in the States too.
But even more than that, when the husband of this couple turned to me he said: “When you talk to men about pornography, do they understand that it fuels what we are talking about in SouthEast Asia?”
i told him “yes.” And it is a message that, though many tire of it, cannot be ignored and cannot be neglected simply because it seems we have said it so many times before.
If you pay for sexually explicit material, you are supporting the commodification of sex, which makes sex trafficking the billion dollar industry it is — enslaving 27 million people throughout the world.
Even if you don’t pay, but just take advantage of the free material on the internet or somewhere else, you contribute to sex trafficking. You endorse and encourage the consumption of sex — and really the consumption of other people as a sexual apparatus — which creates a demand for sexual material that must be filled by real people who are in most cases trafficked.
Even if the people in the material you watch are not trafficked, your consumption of porn adds to the overall pornification of society — which is increasingly a global society, really — and that adds fuel to the fire of sexual exploitation.
Are you a sex trafficker? If you’re into porn — even just a little — then the answer is “yes.”