What is pretty damning about atheist and secular men who support the sex industry is that they disagree with religious organizations bribing people who need help:
“Using your wealth to purchase other people’s loyalty is a game as old as humanity itself. Rich men use their wealth to attract women, unscrupulous employers use material incentives and disincentives to manipulate their workers, and wealthy countries like the USA use their national wealth to keep their citizens loyal to the cause of aggressive and genocidal Imperialism. But historical longevity and common practice don’t make the manipulation or exploitation morally or ethically right.
Organized religions are inherently POLITICAL organizations. There is a fundamental difference between the financial enterprise and political machinations of an organized religion versus a mass of independent unaffiliated believers, philosophers, and mystics who do not support any organized religion.
Christianity and Islam are known as proselytizing religions because they make an organized and systemic effort to gain converts, and they often provide services, products, or employment to attract converts. Judaism, Hinduism, and Buddhism show far less zeal about gaining converts, which is why you almost never hear about Jewish, Hindu, or Buddhist missionaries.
Modern medical and nursing schools usually teach their students the moral principle that the provision of medical services should never be used as a means to proselytize or promote a religion, but that does not deter many Christian health care providers from doing exactly that. Most of the medical and charitable organizations based in Christian countries are fronts for Christian proselytizing activities.”
— Gregory F. Fegel, “Missionaries Are Colonialists“
But when it comes to sex, they have no problem with it. Even if the dudes aren’t using prostituted women, most use porn, so they are still fantasizing and jerking off to the degradation of prostituted women. They’re still using them in a way, because the women are actually affected – even if they aren’t performing sex acts with them. One might even say they are abusing them by-proxy. And that still counts – I mean, we say self-harming is wrong but by-proxy (in the case of kink) suddenly it’s okay? Think about it.
Of course, religious men secretly patronize the sex industry as well – it’s just that the secular men are more honest about, at least, relative to religious men. But it would be really short-sighted to limit this to actual prostitution, because financial dependence on men is the condition of female oppression:
“Nowhere is woman treated according to the merit of her work, but rather as a sex. It is therefore almost inevitable that she should pay for her right to exist, to keep a position in whatever line, with sex favors. Thus it is merely a question of degree whether she sells herself to one man, in or out of marriage, or to many men. Whether our reformers admit it or not, the economic and social inferiority of woman is responsible for prostitution.”
— Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays (1911)
The socially acceptable forms of prostitution are marriage, dating (where the man buys gifts or dinners and expects sex in return), and (closer to actual prostitution) sugaring. This kind of complexity where women can care for their oppressors, and have relationships with them while being financially dependent, is not all that different from actual prostitution. One is limited to one (or a few men), while the other has many men. So when women say they “choose” to enter the sex industry, they are basically opting for the less unfortunate path for themselves; we should examine WHY they are saying what they say, and why some remain in denial of the reality (much like how some rape victims are in denial of their rape). They are not “privileged” (a nonsensical term to begin with) and if anyone is, it is women who don’t have to be nude or engage in sex acts with men for money in order to survive.* And that is a GOOD thing.
* Since over 51% of johns are married, you can also be sure that when their wives refuse sex with them, they are going to prostituted women instead, and some of those wives secretly know about it. They’re glad they can avoid sex (they’ve “done their duty” by having children for them) while maintaining financial stability.