Tuesday, February 14, 2006

How the poor remain poor

It is a known fact that prostitution is very common in many caribbean islands. What is interesting is that it is not being judged the same way by locals or the ones practicing it or the ones close to it, than to anyone who is basically on the other side. To many, it is just a life-saver solution. I am not opening any judgement, not condoning its practice neither stating it should be abolished. What I am trying to say is that poverty has made its mark on those who for one reason or another haven't been given any opportunity for advancement, whether it is good schooling or simply, good advice from a friend.

It is not uncommon to walk in the streets of Cuba, perhaps the Bahamas, perhaps Jamaica or any other island and engage in a quick oral sex session for a few bucks. All it takes is to ask the targeted fella if she wants to make some money. Prostitution is different than pornography in that the participants use different means to handle the commercial side of the story. When someone prostitutes him/herself, he/she gives up some of his/her freedom to another in the form of relinquishing his/her body for a certain amount of money and for a certain amount of time. Whether the person doing it finds any kind of pleasure at any level is another story. But the fact is that for a transaction to ocurr there has to be a relinquishing factor. This doesn't happen with porn. For the most part, those involved in both sides of the pornographic universe meet under completely different circumstances: performers and actors have agreed to "perform" mostly with people they already know, like or are related to (it is surprising to see so many couples in auditions), viewers, users and consumers in general have -most of the time- little to no direct contact with those producing erotic and sexually charged scenes. Perhaps, the biggest conundrum about pornography is not so much how it affects and degrades the people directly involved but how it affects the universe surrounding the pornographic world. Enjoying sex to the fullest implies a certain level of responsibility and maturity. Where porn to fall in the wrong hands at the wrong time it could not only disinform the subject but also provide this person with a misleading defintion of what sex really is, of what pleasure represents and how both fit into an overall healthy exchange with the world.

If you have read so far I am positive you were expecting to see some porn but not being an expert I may also be pointing in a direction you didn't want to go. Next week I will be writing more about how the poor remain poor after a recent experience I had in Nassau looking for a School for my step-daughter. Have a good weekend.