Switzerland at your service

Today, August 1st (rabbit rabbit rabbit), is Swiss National Day, which I will celebrate by observing that (female) prostitution has been legal — but of course regulated — in Switzerland since 1942, and male prostitution since 1992. I mention this not just because I observe and comment on sexual practices as social customs, but specifically because a few days ago (7/29), a new follower of mine on Twitter popped up: MenBodywork, a Swiss company offering sexual massage for men — and earnestly promoting sexualized gay male sociability. (Sign me up, Scotty.)

What follows is not at all suitable for kids or the sexually modest.

On their Twitter site:

(#1)

So they provide sexual services, openly, but in a therapeutic context: their services can satisfy your sexual desires, but they also can help to make you a better person — at the very least, by helping you to recognize and become comfortable with those desires, whatever they are, but possibly by broadening your range of sexual responses.

It’s all really really hot, but also sweetly earnest.

The company sponsors events, in particular one upcoming in October:

Meet other GBTQ Men at the Naked Men Festival in Zürich. [Sat., 10/17/20, 10 am]

(#2)

Wir laden dich ein, dich ein Wochenende lang in verschiedenen Workshops auszuprobieren, zu experimentieren, Grenzen auszuloten, Scham zu überwinden und dein authentisches Selbst zu erforschen.

Lass den Alltag hinter dir und tauche mit Neugier, Mut und Offenheit in neue Welten ein

Sechs erfahrene Dozenten, Bodyworker, Heiler und Künstler werden ein abwechslungsreiches Programm von verschiedenen Workshops zu den Themen Körperarbeit, Sexualität, Kreativität und Ritual gestalten.

Note the appeal to “your authentic self” and unburdening yourself from shame. And of course the background assumption that sex work is just an ordinary occupation or profession.

Prostitution in Switzerland. From Wikipedia:

Prostitution in Switzerland is legal and regulated; it has been legal since 1942. Trafficking, forcing people into prostitution and [some] forms of pimping are illegal. Licensed brothels, typically with a reception and leading to several studio apartments, are available. One estimate puts the number of street sex workers in Zurich at 5000.

UNAIDS estimate there to be 20000 prostitutes in the country. The majority are foreigners from the Americas, Central Europe or the Far East. In recent years the number of full service sex workers has increased. Many workers operate using newspaper advertisements, mobile phones and secondary rented apartments, some accept credit cards.

This is of course about the prostitution of women to service men, which is massively the most common form of selling sex for money. But there’s more to the world of sexual customs than that. Hence this intriguing story from the Swissinfo site (“Swiss perspectives in 10 languages”): “Bordello opens doors to female clientele” on 12/17/01:

Switzerland’s first bordello for women has opened in canton Aargau [way north, on the Rhine adjacent to Germany], with a team of male prostitutes ready to fulfil all their customers’ desires.

… Male prostitution has been legal since 1992 in Switzerland, and 1,500 to 2,000 men are thought to sell their bodies for the right price. The vast majority of them work for a male clientele though, according to social workers.

Male hustlers servicing women are not unknown, but most of them present themselves as escorts (literally, as companions in public events, whatever services they might supply in private), not as dicks for short-term hire. There was a lot of question about the viability of the Aargau bordello for women when it opened (even granting that its proximity to the German border was probably a big plus); I haven’t found a follow-up story, so I’m guessing the experiment failed.

Meanwhile, stud hustlers for men thrive, at (I would guess) roughly around the 10 percent figure for queers in the population. We are statistically a minority, but 10 percent isn’t trivial; certainly it’s enough to support a targeted business.

Yes, I understand  that sex workers can easily be exploited, and the Swiss government is keen to prevent the exploitation of people who find that their pussies, their dicks, or their assholes are their most available resources for making a living — though, of course, what they mostly offer is a human connection. In any case, a significant number of them are not desperate people with no visible alternative to sex work (who especially need the protections of the state), but people who choose this line of work because they have a talent for it (like people who choose careers as professional athletes) and find the work satisfying. See #1.

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